Motorcycle Tips: the Night Rider!
By Greg Hudson
Out of the darkness he rode, blacker than sin but dumber than a bag of hammers. Riding a motorcycle at night brings a new twist to the riding game so take in a few tips on reflective gear; braking, night blindness and other related topics. . .
Get the pants and jacket with the reflective stripes already built in. This serves to enlighten other road users to your presence. Also, try and find a reflective tape to line the side of your wheel rims.
Braking at night
You’ll notice that braking with the front brakes causes the patch of light from your headlights to dip towards you. The solution is to opt for rear braking and engine breaking to maximise the view of the road ahead of you.
Ever noticed that looking into a bright light at night cause temporary blindness?
This is because a substance in your eyes called visual purple becomes temporarily disturbed. Avoid looking directly into headlights.
Due to the nature of light, small scratches on your visor can diffract the beam causing a strarburst effect. This is similar to a car’s windscreen when covered with drops of water. Make sure your visor is clean an polished before riding.
Through the looking glass
Perception is drastically reduced at night. Parts of a road you’re familiar with during the day will be altered in darkness. Tune into the clues on the road that you can work with namely catseyes, white lines relective road signs and the patches of road illuminated by street lamps.
Oncoming traffic is easier to spot, but don’t take this for granted. Cars parked on the side of the road can be rendered invisible under certain light conditions. Not to mention that some gangs drive around without lights as a part of their initiations. Go Figure!
Ever heard of large busses being felled by deer jumping into the road? Imagine it was you! Try your best to detect animals by looking for the reflection in their eyes. Everyone knows the expression “like a deer caught in headlights”. Dip your lights, slow down and steer around the animal. They’re unpredictable so go on the side of caution.
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