May is 'Motorcycle Awareness Month': Safety reminders for riders - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

May is 'Motorcycle Awareness Month': Safety reminders for riders

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You've heard the expression, it's just like riding a bike.

May is 'Motorcycle Awareness Month,' and there are some safety tips bikers might have forgotten after the long winter.

KSFY News looked into what motorcyclists should do before kicking off the spring riding season.

Saturday, a young woman riding as a passenger on her friend's motorcycle died after being thrown from the bike an into the path of a semi, near Alexandria.

Her friends father says his son hadn't been riding for long.

South Dakota Safety Council director Rick Kiley said there are a few tips for both new and experienced riders to keep in mind this time of year.

"Make sure you wear all gear, all the time, because you don't know when you're going to need that gear," Kiley said.

Motorcyclist Rick Kiley knows a lot about bikes.  He's not only an experienced rider, he's also the director of South Dakota's motorcycle safety program.

"Before any ride, you should always conduct a pre-ride inspection of the motorcycle. In the spring of the year, that's especially important. You need to go through the motorcycle very thoroughly to make sure it's mechanically sound," Kiley said.
 
And once you're ready to ride?

"Just take it slow and drive and drive as defensively as possible. And try to expect that unexpected.  Anytime you pick up your speeds or you expect that nothing is going to go wrong, that's about the time something does happen," Kiley said.

Something young or new bikers may pick up over time but even longtime riders can learn a few things

"With the older driver, they should be aware that eyesight changes and reaction time changes so they need to adjust their rides as well," Kiley said.

And since you and your bike may have been sitting still throughout the winter, all riders should take a refresher course or take some practice runs.

"Get out in a safe area and practice some of the skills that you commonly have to employ, especially quick stops, turning maneuvers, things of that nature so that you can dust the rust of a little bit," Kiley said.

Besides making sure to wear a helmet, make sure it has the DOT stamp of approval on it.

It's also a good idea to replace your helmets every five years, whether or not it's been dropped or in an accident because it can wear out.
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