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The Most Common Daily Life Motorcyclist Problems and Tips to Avoid Them

The Most Common Daily Life Motorcyclist Problems and Tips to Avoid Them

Not all journeys are hassle-free and without turbulences. Motorcycle riding is a heart-pounding experience with a set of challenges that riders need to overcome in daily life. Motorcyclists have to deal with several issues, such as back problems, muscle stiffness, and hair problems, and they also have to avoid drivers who are rash and tailgaters.

Weather conditions are also an obstacle for motorcyclists and they need special skills, alertness, and adaptability to overcome such problems. This article looks at the most frequently encountered daily life motorcyclist problems and offers useful tips to help riders overcome these. By being knowledgeable of these issues and taking the recommended measures, riders can make their motorcycling experience safer, more fun, and more enjoyable.

1. Distracted Drivers

Distracted Drivers
Photo Credit: Johnson Garcia LLP

Sharing the road with drivers whose attention is distracted by cell phones, in-car entertainment systems or even fellow passengers can be a nerve-wracking experience for any motorist. However, for motorcyclists, the issue of distracted driving is a magnified problem. The smaller size of motorcycles makes them harder to see, and the driver's delayed reaction because of distraction can be a minor oversight that turns into a serious problem.

1.1 Tips for Bikers to Avoid Getting Hit by Distracted Drivers

Improved Visibility

  • Use a headlight if necessary during the day for more visibility.
  • Invest in reflective gear such as vests or jackets.
  • Place yourself in a manner that will not put you in the blind spots of other vehicles.

Adopting Defensive Riding Style

  • Ride at a moderate pace and be alert.
  • Presume that other drivers can’t see you and you should be ready to anticipate their actions.
  • Keep a safe following distance and do not weave through traffic.
  • Keep more space at intersections where distracted driving is more common.

Indicating Clearly

  • Use turn signals in advance before lane changes and turns.
  • Use a motorcycle horn to get the distracted driver's attention.

2. Tailgaters

Photo Credit: Motorcyclists Online

Tailgating is a stressful situation for any driver but for bikers, it becomes a major safety issue. Unlike a car with more protective features, a motorcycle rider is directly exposed to the impact of a rear-end crash. A tailgater car reduces the safe reaction time of the biker to the danger in case of a sudden stop or a hazard on the road. The irresponsible behavior of tailgating can completely change the calmness of a traffic flow to a stressful and nerve-wracking one.

2.1 Tips for Bikers to Deal with Tailgaters

  • Maintain Speed: Don't ride too slow to satisfy a tailgater. Maintain a constant speed that is in harmony with the other vehicles on the road.
  • Change Lanes (When Safe): If the situation permits, shift to another lane to signal the tailgater to overtake. Try not to make abrupt lane changes that may cause another hazard.
  • Don't Retaliate: Try to avoid the temptation to hit back. Keep your cool and concentrate on riding.
  • Increase Following Distance: If the tailgater continues to drive closely, try to increase the space between you and the vehicle in front to create a bigger safety zone.
  • Signal Early: Get your turn signals on in advance before changing lanes or making turns so that the tailgater will have enough time to react.
  • Seek Refuge (If Necessary): If you feel unsafe, try pulling over to a gas station or rest stop to let the tailgater go ahead of you.

3. Flat Tires

A flat tire is one of the most serious problems and the most occurring for a motorcyclist and it can even be dangerous. In the case of a car, when a blowout occurs, it might result in a wobble, but a motorcycle flat tire can cause a sudden loss of control, particularly at higher speeds.

Flat tires don’t only stop your ride but also force you to change a tire right there on the spot, which can be quite difficult, especially if the weather is bad. It is also a safety concern, especially when you are far from a source of help, especially at night or in bad weather.

3.1 Tips to Deal with Flat Tires

Prevention is key : Check your tire every time before a ride. Check for any indications of wear, damage, or things, such as nails, that are embedded in treads.

Maintain proper tire pressure : Make it a habit of checking your tire pressure before each ride. Tires running on underinflated pressure are more likely to get flat.

Consider puncture-resistant tires : Although not completely puncture-proof, these tires provide an extra layer of defense against possible punctures from road debris.

Carry a tire repair kit : Consider buying a compact tire repair kit that comprises a tire plug kit, a pump, and tire irons. This will allow you to use a repair kit and fix a minor puncture on the roadside, so you can continue your journey.

4. The Obligation to Carry Riding Gear

For most people, the image of a biker is all about the leather jacket and helmet. Some riders may find this equipment to be a tedious inconvenience but it's a vital safety measure that is inseparable from the freedom of the open road. However, the issue of carrying and storing motorcycle gear is a common problem for motorcyclists, particularly those with limited storage space or who commute daily.

Even though the situation is not comfortable, the benefits are unquestionable. Helmets, jackets, gloves, and pants for motorcycle riders are specially designed to protect them in case of an accident, performing as a very important barrier against abrasions and impacts. Although carrying the riding gear might require an extra step in your routine, it could be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a life-and-death situation.

4.1 Tips for Carrying Riding Gear

Worried about carrying necessary equipment and safely securing your riding gear on your motorcycle? Viking Bags , a leading motorcycle luggage manufacturer, offers a variety of options that improve your motorcycle’s storage capacity without compromising on the aesthetics of your bike. At the company’s online store, you can find luggage bags that are specifically designed to suit your particular make and model, including saddlebags , tank bags , backpacks , trunk bags , sissy bar bags , and much more.

5. Hair Style Issues

Hair Style Issues
Photo Credit: @sarah merrell

For motorcycle lovers, there is a certain romance about riding on the open road, with wind in your hair, and nothing but the road ahead. However, riders who have long, luscious locks face a troublesome experience when it comes to wearing a helmet. This is not just a matter of aesthetics; it is common to motorcycles and can add frustration to the otherwise liberating experience. Imagine you reached your destination, feeling thrilled from the motorcycle ride, and then you take off your helmet to find that your hair is a tangled, flattened mess. This struggle between fashion and safety is a daily issue for many riders.

5.1 Tips to Deal with Hair Style Issues Due to Wearing a Helmet

  • Pre-Ride Braiding: A nice braid can be your go-to hairstyle if you are a daily rider. Braiding your hair before a ride will save you from the tangles you may have when you remove the helmet. Try out various braid styles (fishtail, Dutch braid) to see which one suits your hair texture best.
  • Headscarves and Bandanas: These are not just fashion statements, they can also act as a barrier between your hair and the helmet's inner shell. Choose silk or satin scarves instead of cotton ones as they cause less friction.
  • Protective Hairstyles: Low ponytails, buns, or knots are the hairstyles that are helmet-friendly and minimize the movement of hair and wind exposure.
  • Helmet Choice: Consider buying helmets with removable headliners. These characteristics can help minimize the effects of hair flattening and frizz.
  • Dry Shampoo: Carry a travel-sized dry shampoo with you. A few sprays at your destination would do the trick to absorb excess oil and refresh your hair after a ride.
  • Post-Ride Refresh: Carry a small comb to brush your hair after reaching your destination to get rid of flyaways and shape your hair once you remove your helmet.

6. Back Pain

Back Pain
Photo Credit: Motorcycle Cruiser

For motorcycling enthusiasts, the sensation of riding along a scenic open road, wind blowing their hair, is heavenly. Nevertheless, this wonderful image can be ruined by a chronic and often underestimated issue, back pain. This is a universal motorcycle problem that changes a liberating ride into a physical fight. However, the culprit is the riding posture itself.

Unlike a car seat that gives full body support, a motorcycle usually requires a hunched-forward position with minimum back support. This extra pressure on the muscles and the spine is especially dangerous during long trips. Moreover, the vibration being transmitted through the handlebars and seat can act like a jackhammer, and this will aggravate the discomfort and cause severe back pain.

6.1 Tips for Preventing Back Pain Due to Motorcycling

  • Ergonomics are Everything: Pick a motorcycle that fits your body type. Look for one with a seat height and handlebar reach that are comfortable and allow for an upright riding position. Adding aftermarket seats or backrests may be a good idea for more support.
  • Stretch It Out: Make it a habit to get off the bike and walk around during the ride to stretch your muscles. Pay attention to the stretches that target your lower back, hamstrings, and shoulders.
  • Strengthen Your Core: A good core gives the back support that is needed. Doing core exercises such as planks, bridges, and crunches regularly can have a tremendous impact on reducing back pain while riding a bike.
  • Mind Your Posture: When riding, keep your posture upright with relaxed shoulders and a back slightly engaged. Don't slouch as it is harmful to your spine.
  • Upgrade Your Gear: Invest in a good quality motorcycle jacket with inbuilt back protection.
  • Listen to Your Body: Don't fight pain. If you find yourself getting uncomfortable and the back pain is increasing every day, stop riding for a while and give your body a dose of rest.

7. Stiffened Muscles

Along with the back problem, muscle stiffness is also a typical motorbike problem, especially for those who take long rides. The specific posture which often requires you to hold your arms in a fixed position and grip the handlebars tightly may lead to muscle fatigue and tension in the arms and shoulders. Besides, the wind buffeting and the vibrations transmitted through the motorcycle also can be the cause of muscle stiffness.

7.1 Tips to Keep Muscles from Stiffening While Riding

  • Pre-Ride Stretch: Before you go out, spend a few minutes on dynamic stretches for your shoulders, arms, back, and core. Choose stretches that enhance your flexibility and blood flow, for example, arm circles, shoulder rolls, and torso twists.
  • Post-Ride Stretch: After your ride, take some minutes for static stretches that you hold for 20-30 seconds each. It prolongs and eases out the muscles that were contracted during riding.
  • Strength Training: Doing exercises such as planks, rows, and push-ups to develop your core and upper body strength will improve your posture and endurance when riding. The stronger muscles can resist fatigue and stiffness.
  • Mind Your Grip: Do not hold the handlebars too tight. Keep your grip firm but not too tight so that you do not feel any tension in your arms or shoulders.
  • Adjust Your Position: Shift your weight and posture regularly while riding to prevent muscles from sitting in a fixed position for a long.
  • Hydration is Key: Proper hydration before, during, and after your ride is key to preventing muscle cramps and stiffness.

8. Allergies, Eyes Itching, and Runny Nose

Most motorcycle riders find their dream of riding down a beautiful road being overshadowed by a runny nose and itchy eyes. This is because allergies, eye irritation, and a runny nose are the most common motorcycle problems, especially for people who have seasonal allergies. Unlike the comfort of a car with a pollen filter, motorcyclists are directly exposed to all the elements, including airborne allergens such as dust, pollen, and insect dander. These allergens can activate an inflammatory response, producing a runny nose, itchy eyes, and difficulty breathing.

8.1 Tips for Motorcyclists to Avoid Allergies, Eyes Itching, and Runny Nose

  • Plan Your Ride: Look at pollen forecasts and schedule rides at times with lower pollen counts (early mornings or evenings).
  • Gear Up: Invest in a high-quality motorcycle helmet with a well-sealing visor to create a barrier that will keep away allergens. Think of hypoallergenic helmet liners to lessen the irritation from the material of the helmet.
  • Medicate Strategically: If an antihistamine is necessary, take it before your ride so that the allergic symptoms do not develop.
  • Eye Protection: Choose to put on wraparound sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from allergens like pollen and dust.
  • Nasal Saline Spray: Having a nasal saline spray with you can help alleviate the discomfort caused by inflamed nasal passages and remove allergens.
  • Shower after Rides: Showering after a ride will help you wash off pollen and other allergy-causing substances from your hair and skin.
  • Clean Your Helmet Regularly: Keep the helmet interior clean to avoid the accumulation of dust and allergens.

9. Drivers/Riders who are Eager to Race

Another dangerous factor for motorcyclists is drivers who put speed over safety, transforming a peaceful cruising experience into a nerve-racking encounter. Speeding, lane changing at the last minute, and weaving through traffic are some of the things that these drivers and riders can do to create unpredictable situations on the road. Motorcyclists, who have less reaction time and a smaller profile than cars, may be unable to perform such maneuvers safely.

9.1 Tips for Bikers Dealing with Aggressive Drivers and Riders

  • Defense is Key: Use defensive riding techniques. Maintain a safe distance from all vehicles especially those showing aggressive behavior.
  • Assume the Worst: Ride as if other drivers and riders on the road are blind. This safety-first approach could help you foresee possible dangers.
  • Stay Alert: Make it a habit to keep your eyes glued to the road for any sudden swerves or vehicles speeding.
  • Don't Engage: Don't react to the aggressive behavior of rash drivers and riders by making gestures or riding faster. Try to stay calm and ride safely.
  • Leave Space: If you find a driver behaving dangerously, don't ride beside him/her. Change lanes or reduce speed to create a bigger safety zone.
  • Choose the Safe Path: Select your routes wisely. Go for routes that are not famous for speeding or reckless driving, especially at night.
  • Trust Your Instincts: In case you feel like the situation is not safe, don't hesitate to pull over to a safe spot and let the aggressive driver or rider pass.

10. Combating Low Visibility/Blind Spot

One of the biggest concerns of motorcyclists is the low visibility on the road. Motorcycles are more difficult to spot on the road compared to cars that have a large frame and reflective surfaces. This is a major common motorcycle problem, especially in low-light conditions and when blind spots are encountered. A car driver might not see a motorcycle and make a sudden move, putting the biker in a very dangerous situation.

10.1 Tips for Dealing with Low Visibility on Your Motorcycle

  • Keep the Headlight On Keep your headlight on at all times, not just when it is dusk or dawn. This will make your motorcycle to be more visible to other vehicles on the road.
  • Use Auxiliary Lights: Think about the use of auxiliary lights on your motorcycle for increased visibility, especially if you ride often at night.
  • Reflective Gear is Your Friend: Invest in a reflective vest or jacket. Reflective stickers on your helmet and motorcycle can also do a good job of increasing your visibility, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Lane Position Matters: Try to stay away from blind spots of larger vehicles. Look for a place where you can be seen from a driver's mirror.
  • Use Your High Beam (Safely): On dark roads and open spaces, use short flashes of your high beam to attract the attention of oncoming drivers (don't blind them).
  • Signal Early and Clearly: Don't wait until the last moment to use your turn signals. Use your signal lights in advance of lane changes or turns.
  • Ride Defensively: Remember, other drivers may not notice you. Keep a safe distance and be extra careful at intersections and around large vehicles.

11. Weather Problems

The adventurous spirit can sometimes be spoiled by the unpredictable nature of the weather which is one of the common motorcycle problems that can turn a pleasant ride into a challenging obstacle course. Instead of the comfort and safety of a car, motorcyclists are directly exposed to the weather conditions, including the full force of rain, wind, extreme heat, or even hail.

These weather conditions may create a range of problems and safety risks. The heavy rain may reduce visibility and make driving on slippery roads dangerous. Fierce winds can be a real challenge for the motorcycle, as it can be very hard to keep it under control, especially for the new riders. Heat waves can make people dehydrated and tired, while cold weather may cause numbness and slow down reaction time. Even though a sunny day may seem harmless, it could become a problem due to the blinding sunlight, and also health and skin-related issues.

11.1 Tips for Motorcyclists to Deal with Bad Weather

  • Dress for the Conditions: Invest in the right riding equipment. Search for water-resistant or waterproof jackets, trousers, and boots. Motorcycle riding gear that is made of breathable materials will help you control your body temperature in hot weather.
  • Plan Your Ride: Before every ride, check the weather forecast and choose the route accordingly. Riding in a storm, extreme heat, or heavy rain is not recommended.
  • Adjust Your Ride: Slow down in wet conditions and be more careful on slippery roads. In the heat, drink plenty of water and rest often to prevent exhaustion.
  • Pack Smart: Bring rain gear with you even on sunny days in case of sudden showers. Consider putting on a pair of gloves with a good grip for wet conditions.
  • Know Your Limits: Don't force yourself to ride in weather conditions that make you feel uneasy or insecure. There is always another day to ride.

12. Motorcycle Theft

For motorcyclists, the excitement of riding is often tempered by the fear of getting their motorcycles stolen. Unlike cars that can be secured with a central locking system, motorcycles are more prone to theft. This constant anxiety is like a dark cloud over the ownership experience, as riders are concerned about leaving their cherished bikes unattended for even a short time.

The reasons for motorcycles being attractive to thieves are diverse. Being smaller in size, they are easy to transport and some of the models have poor security systems. Moreover, the demand for used motorcycle parts forms a black market that is an impetus for motorcycle theft. This can be a substantial blow to the rider's finances, in addition to the emotional turmoil of losing a favorite possession.

12.1 Tips for Bikers to Secure their Motorbikes from Theft

  • Lock It Up: Invest in a durable disc lock that will hold your brakes and stop the motorcycle from rolling.
  • Use Security Alarm: Think of getting a motorcycle alarm with motion sensors and a loud siren that will scare off thieves.
  • Park Smart: Choose well-lit, high-traffic areas to park your motorcycle and take advantage of secure motorcycle parking if it is available.
  • Double Up: Mix up your locking methods, including disc lock and chain lock.
  • Track It Down: Consider installing a GPS tracker on your motorcycle to assist in recovery in case of theft.
  • Insurance is Key: Purchase a motorcycle insurance policy that covers theft as well. This financial security net can help to reduce the impact if the worst-case scenario occurs.
  • Home Security Matters: Try to keep your motorcycle in a locked garage or secure shed if you can.

13. Wrap-Up

As you continue rolling down the road on a two-wheeled adventure, the riders must accept the fact that each twist of the throttle brings a new obstacle that they must overcome with skill and caution. The everyday rides of motorcyclists can be full of distractions, unpredictable weather, and other challenges which include back pain and helmet hair.

Nevertheless, with the tips provided in this article, riders can now face these challenges squarely and come out stronger, safer, and better prepared for the road. By promoting visibility, defensive riding, wearing necessary gear, and implementing strategies to counteract everyday problems like back pain and stiffened muscles, motorcyclists can improve their riding experience and ensure their safety during every trip. Before you embark on your next trip, keep in mind the above-mentioned tips and you will be good to go to enjoy the trip to the fullest.

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