One of my Harley buddies in England would always tell me, "John, it's not the speed.....it's the sudden stops". It's fun to sometimes go fast under the right conditions when motorcycle riding, but you need to use your head. Failure to think about what you're doing can result in serious injury or even death. When you are on two wheels, there are very few second chances. If you have to lay the machine down or have contact with another vehicle, it's not going to be pretty. Always give yourself plenty of room to stop. After doing that the next factor in stopping safely is having good brakes.

If you own a motorcycle, when was the last time you checked your brakes? Most of today's modern motorcycles have a front and rear brake (and usually disc brakes). When braking, both brakes should be applied evenly at the same time. And although, braking should be done in an even fashion, it's usually the front brake that does 70 percent of the work when stopping the motorcycle. It is always a great idea to check your brakes before every ride. Do a visual inspection and then check the front and rear separately to make sure everything feels normal. Another good idea is to have your brakes checked by a certified motorcycle technician when getting your yearly New York State inspection. If the brake pads are worn, replace them. If the rotor needs replacing, do that as well. It's money well spent and something that could easily save your life.

Enjoy your bike and make sure it is road worthy.  Next week's motorcycle safety tip will focus on tires. Ride safe and we'll see you on the open road.