What Is the Safest Type of Motorcycle?
David Muñoz | June 15, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents
The safest type of motorcycle depends on your size and strength. It also depends on your experience level and how you plan to use the motorcycle. All of these could factor into your safety on the bike and your risk of a motorcycle accident.
Unlike cars, the government has not mandated safety features on motorcycles. Federal regulations require new cars to have seat belts, airbags, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), and electronic stability control systems.
The government requires none of these on motorcycles. As a result, you will see much more variation in the safety features offered.
Read on to learn about the safety features available on motorcycles and the safest type of motorcycle for you.
Safety Considerations When Picking a Motorcycle
Safety will probably not sit at the top of your list when you buy a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than occupants of a passenger vehicle. But you can choose a motorcycle that helps you ride as safely as possible.
Some considerations you might want to consider when choosing a safe motorcycle include:
The weight of a motorcycle will have two effects in a motorcycle accident. A heavier motorcycle will tend to absorb more energy from the crash. As a result, it might better withstand a collision and protect you more than a lighter motorcycle. On the other hand, a heavier motorcycle can trap your leg if you go into a slide.
Motorcycles vary in weight from 200 pounds for a dirt bike to 900 pounds for a touring bike.
A larger engine paired with a lighter motorcycle will give you a higher power-to-weight ratio. The power-to-weight ratio can affect your ability to control your motorcycle.
Your experience and strength will affect your ability to control the power of a motorcycle. If you lack experience or size, you might want to pick a motorcycle with a lower power-to-weight ratio.
Most motorcycles use a manual transmission. Manual transmissions give you greater control over your gearing while climbing a hill, accelerating, or cruising on the freeway.
But some riders have difficulty operating a manual transmission. A manual transmission can distract these riders or even cause them to lose control of their motorcycle. Thus, inexperienced riders may want to consider a motorcycle with automatic transmission.
Although the government does not require them, some motorcycles have ABS. Insurers have found that the fatal crash rate for motorcycles with ABS was 22% lower than those without ABS.
Manufacturers offer ABS as an option rather than a standard feature. One reason for this is that some motorcyclists, like off-roaders, want to be able to lock their brakes and skid.
Types of Motorcycles and Their Safety
Different types of motorcycles are designed for different purposes. As a result, they have different sizes and features. Some common motorcycle types include:
Standard motorcycles come in a range of engine sizes and weights, so you will probably find one that fits you. They usually lack a windshield, so you may risk eye injury and accidents resulting from getting hit in the face.
Chopper or Cruiser
Choppers sit low with a fork that sweeps forward. Choppers are notoriously difficult to control.
Touring motorcycles are often the most comfortable and feature-packed motorcycles. But they can get heavy since they are designed for long road trips.
Sport bikes have a high power-to-weight ratio. Beginners can have trouble controlling them, and experienced riders can get tempted to drive them too fast.
Dirt bikes are the lightest motorcycles. They also have the fewest safety features, and most are not street-legal.
The Safest Type of Motorcycle
If you can afford it, a touring motorcycle probably has most of the newest safety features. However, these bikes are also heavy, so smaller riders might be unable to handle them.
A standard motorcycle will cost less money and have fewer safety features, but you will have many options to find one that fits you.
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