We’ve all heard the tall stories about what will happen to you if you ride a motorcycle, the weird things you can do to make your bike faster or what to do if you crash. Most, if not all, is nonsense. So here’s RideApart’s view on the top 10 of motorcycle myths and legends.
1. You should lay down your bike if you’re going to crash.
It’s never going to happen. For one thing most accidents happen so quickly that as a rider you’re simply not going to have the time to think about doing this. It’s also a bit odd that you should try and crash before potentially hitting whatever risks you’re about to encounter. As RideApart's Wes Siler pointed out in his recent article – 10 Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them – never, ever try and lay your bike down. It’s not going to help. Instead, shed as much speed as you can, stay upright and use both your brakes.
2. Race tires will make me and my bike faster on the road.
Uh, no. Motorcycle race tires are completely different from road tires. They have different compounds and properties and are designed to work best when really hot to create grip. You’re rarely going to get a set of race tires up to proper race temperature out on the highway. The chances are, after setting off on your bike, you’re going to probably fall off. at the first intersection. Stick to road tires for your bike for anything apart from track days.
3. Motorcycles are smaller than cars or trucks so police speed radars won’t be able to detect you.
Just because your motorcycle is not as big as other road vehicles it doesn’t mean that you can dodge the radar. Today’s police lasers are extremely high-tech and far more accurate than in the past. In fact, they are said to be so good they can lock on and register the speed of a flying insect. But that might be another urban myth. Either way, just because you’re on a speeding bike doesn’t mean you’re going to evade a ticket.
4. It’ll never happen to me.
Yes, it will. Just because you’ve ridden for years without falling or getting into an accident on a motorcycle doesn’t mean that it’s never going to happen. Always ride prepared for the unexpected and remember that it’s never a case of if it happens, but when it happens.
5. Traction control on a motorcycle will help me go faster.
Yes and no. If you’re new to riding and not that confident yet, you’re never going to be aware of what traction control does. If you’re an all out racer and ride really hard, then the chances are traction control is actually going to get in your way and slow you down, even when set on the least interfering mode.
If you fit somewhere between these two groups then it’s good to have traction control as a sort of safety net if you find yourself going a little faster than expected into and out of the corners. Its there to help you out of trouble.