There are lots of different motorcycles. And at the rate manufacturers keep developing bikes for more and more and narrower niches, it won’t be too long before you’ll need to hire a consultant just to figure out whether you are best suited on a cruiser, dual-purpose, sport bike, tourer, sport tourer, standard, dirt bike, super moto, or adventure tourer – let alone which specific bike would best suit you in your niche category! (Or course the ideal solution is a big enough garage to fit lots of motorcycles).
All the different categories of motorcycles make for different opinions on what is the best bike. Regardless of all the differences riders may express about motorcycles, one thing that most EXPERIENCED riders will agree on, is that long-term motorcycle enjoyment relies on your riding skills and awareness of exercising good riding judgment and techniques.
Having said that, what’s a simple way to boost your safety margin for long-term motorcycle enjoyment?
How about counting to three?
More specifically, three seconds.
That’s the time/safety cushion you should maintain between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
You can mentally note the time/safety cushion by observing the vehicle in front of you pass some roadside object, such as a sign or telephone pole. Start counting (begin with “zero”) when the forward vehicle crosses the mark, and count how long it takes for you to pass the same mark. A good time/safety cushion will be at least three seconds.
The time/safety cushion works, regardless of different speeds. The faster you are going, the more space you need between you and the vehicle in front of you. Of course three seconds at a spirited riding pace will encompass a greater physical distance than three seconds at a mellow pace.
Although you, personally, may be an alert rider and able to quickly react to swerve or brake at the last instant to avoid a collision, why not just make your whole job a lot easier by keeping at least a three-second time/safety cushion in front of you? This will give most riders enough time to react urgently and safely when the vehicle in front suddenly brakes due to something in their way that you cannot see yet.
Develop a personal riding habit of counting to three to better orient yourself to the time/safety cushion you normally give yourself. You may be surprised to find that you do not give yourself a generous enough margin (and don’t cheat by counting to three too fast!).
Whether you are riding fast or slow, giving yourself a buffer of three seconds between you and the motorist in front of you will ensure you have a large enough time/safety cushion to boost your long-term riding enjoyment.