Road Hazards to Avoid on a Motorcycle

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Road Hazards to Avoid on a Motorcycle

Road Hazards to Avoid on a Motorcycle


When you are riding on two wheels, you have to be more aware of your surroundings than if you are driving a car. There are many hazards to look out for that could cause damage to you and your bike.

1. Gravel

One of the most common road hazards is gravel. Loose rocks and dirt can easily make you slide out and lose control, especially when you are leaning into a turn. Pay close attention for gravel around construction sites, intersections, and around turns.

2. Litter

Littering isn’t just bad for the environment, but it can also cause dangerous debris for motorcycle riders. A crushed soda can at an intersection can ruin your day should you pull up and place your foot on it trying to stop. Even if you do not drop the bike, you can still strain your leg trying to keep the bike up.

3. Spills

You also want to be careful to avoid spills. An oil or fluid spill can cause a sudden loss of traction. Large automobiles commonly leak fluids from beneath the vehicle. One way to use precaution is to abstain from riding directly in the center of the lane.

4. Potholes

In your car, bad pavement is just annoying, but on a bike it can be deadly. If your tire hits a large crack in the road, you can lose control. Hitting a large pot hole can even break a wheel, which could easily lead to an accident at highway speeds. Uneven lanes can grab the tire, which also is dangerous. Always keep a sharp eye out for these conditions, especially in construction zones.

5. Tar Snakes

Speaking of construction zones, we’ve all seen the tar patches that fill cracks in pavement. These are commonly called tar snakes. Well, these snakes will bite. On a warm day they can be very slick and can easily cause you to wipe out, especially on a curve.

6. Road Gators

Without big rigs running the roads, we wouldn’t have many of the things that we can’t live without. However, big trucks can be quite dangerous. When one has a tire blowout, it leaves a huge mess in the road with large chunks of tire, commonly known as road gators. The rubber debris is dangerous enough, but if you are caught beside the tire when it blows, the result can be deadly. Always try to keep as much distance as possible when passing semis. Not only is there the risk of a blowout, but you want to make sure that you are not in the driver’s blind spot if they need to make a sudden lane change. You need to also beware of loose rocks or debris that can fall off of the heavy equipment haulers. A piece of gravel hitting you at highway speed is never a good thing.

7. Truck Stops

Truck stops are a place where you really want to watch out for hazards. Big trucks might spill a little diesel from topping off too much. Cans, gravel, and rutted roads from the abundance of heavy loads can all be found near truck stops. When you approach a truck stop, slow down and pay special attention.

Whether you are an experienced or novice rider, road hazards are extremely dangerous. There is never a good time to let your guard down when riding a motorcycle. Stay alert and always be aware of your surroundings to minimize risk and enjoy a long life or riding.

By |2017-01-26T12:19:05+00:00October 24th, 2016|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles, How-To Articles|3 Comments

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  1. Ross Kiihn November 10, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    One of the biggest hazards right now out in the countryside is hitting a deer.

  2. Jonathan Green October 25, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    GRAVEL: especially in Wisconsin which leads the country in gravel kicked up onto pavement from corners and the inside of curves…even though it also might lead the country in percentage of roads which are paved (thanks to dairy lobby). With a Harley riding governor (Walker) and Attorney General (Schimmel) I would wish for a fix for that, although I have moved to Tucson for the never-ending riding season.

    • Mark Weaver October 26, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Yeah gravel is brutal!

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