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Motorcycle safety springs forward

March 23, 2017

Pretty much everyone gets excited about the arrival of spring, especially here in Minnesota. But there’s one group of people who start looking forward to it as soon as the first snowflake falls: motorcyclists. From the moment you put that machine away in the fall, you anticipate getting it back on the road again a few months later.

Motorcycle training course poster.This spring is no exception, and it’s a good time to remember how important safety is. March 5 brought us the first fatal motorcycle crash of the year—that’s the second earliest ever in Minnesota. The earliest was Feb. 23, 2002, and 2016’s first motorcycle fatality happened on March 7.

Safety is especially important because more than half of all motorcycle-involved crashes are single-vehicle crashes. That means that sharpening your crash-avoidance and other safety skills can go a long way toward keeping you from becoming a statistic.

For example, there are a few issues specific to spring that can compromise your safety:

  • A lot of intersections and turns will still have sand and gravel.
  • Pavement is uneven.
  • Motorists aren’t yet used to seeing motorcyclists out on the road.

That’s why it’s important to take it slow and use extra caution. And of course, always wear your full, brightly-colored protective gear and DOT-approved helmet. And although reacquainting yourself with your bike by taking some time to practice in a parking lot or on local roads is great, signing up for a rider training course is even better.

The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center offers training courses for every level at 28 training sites throughout the state. Training starts in April, and registration is open now. The Intermediate Rider Course is the perfect refresher course and will have you riding the spring roads with confidence.