A lot of people will always deem motorbikes as unsafe; however a lot of these views have come from issues with motorcycles from years ago. These days, as well as more awareness from drivers to the existence of motorbikes on the road, there have also been a number of safety improvements that have helped make motorcycles safer.
There are people who will purposely go out and be unsafe on a motorcycle and put their own lives at risk. These kinds of people will sometimes have cut down registration numbers plates and illegally loud exhausts. However, this is just the minority, and a lot of riders do their best to stay safe on the road.
Motorcycles have improved just like cars have over the years. Transitioning from the old drum brakes to the new disk brakes has helped lower stopping distances, while making braking safer all-round. Drum brakes heat up through use and this makes them less effective, but disk brakes don’t suffer from this and are more effective in general.
Also in braking, ABS has just made its way on modern motorbikes. ABS (anti-lock braking system) primarily stops the wheels from locking when the rider is braking hard. Normally, the wheels locking can cause skidding and this often results in a crash. ABS also has the added advantage of improving brake distance and vehicle control, and is especially effective on slippery surfaces.
Some new bikes also have combined brakes. This means that when the front brake is used it also activates a small amount of back brake, which helps stabilisation and stopping time without having to pull the front lever and press the back pedal individually.
Ride-by-wire is a new system that’s just been introduced on newer bikes. A computer takes the throttle action and controls the force the engine releases. The computer decides exactly what the rider is trying to accomplish when pulling the throttle and gives the amount of power that it deems is required.
This can stop an overeager rider pulling on the throttle too hard and causing the bike to either shoot off dangerously or just stall. Ride-by-wire also allows power management modes for different riding styles, which can help the rider in different situations such as toning down the power when it’s wet.
Another brand new form of technology is motorcycle air bags. These airbags are at present fitted inside a very small number of bikes, but it’s much more common to see them incorporated into some kind of riding gear like a jacket or helmet.
Different types of motorbike gear airbags deploy under different conditions, but they’re all designed to soften the blow of a rider hitting the floor at high speed.
These are just a few of numerous advancements in motorcycle safety. There have been other advancements in gear safety and the materials that the bike is made out of that have made riding a motorcycle safer too. Advancements in visibility and the mandatory requirement or reflectors such as those used on the registration numbers plate have all also helped.