Motorcycles are easily subjected to many urbans legend and myths. If you find yourself at a bike rally, group ride or even the dealership, you’re bound to hear some of these. I’ll admit some do sound pretty true and logical but if you check the facts and statistics, you’ll see how wrong most of them are.
In this article we are going over 5 myths that go around about motorcycling. Some of them will sound silly but the truth is that some how someone actually did believe this at some point and it spread like wild fire!
CONVENTIONAL BRAKES ARE SAFER THAN ABS ON THE STREETS
I’ve heard this myth thrown around a lot especially when a new motorcycle is released with the option to have ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes) or not. Truth is that conventional brakes allow the wheels to be locked and this produces a loss of traction. ABS on the other hand engages when the sensors detect a wheel lock-up, this allows for the bike to remain stable and prevents loss of traction. For those of us who ride on the streets and not on the track or off-road, ABS is just the way to go to remain safe.
YOU SHOULD LAY YOUR BIKE DOWN IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO CRASH
This is one of those myths that I wish would stop making its rounds around the motorcycle community. It basically means that you should purposely drop or crash your motorcycle to avoid an obstacle. With accidents I know its hard to think fast many times but if we all take the time to practice swerving and braking techniques our reaction time will improve. Crashing your motorcycle every time you think you’re about to crash can cause serious bodily injuries and will for sure trash your bike.
FULL FACE HELMETS BLOCK YOUR VIEW
Full face helmets are the safest option when you are out on two wheels. They protect you from debris on the road, bugs and they reduce wind noise. The added coverage to protect your chin if you go down is more important than most people think. Those that oppose this style of helmet have often been caught believing the myth that they block your field of view. The human field of perception is about 180 degrees. Even helmets with the lowest safety ratings are required by law to have a minimum of 210 degrees of visibility. This fact totally shatters this myth.
BIKERS SHOULD NEVER LANE-SPLIT/FILTER
A common thing that happens to bikers is being rear ended by another vehicle in heavy traffic. To avoid this in most other places in the world, lane-splitting or filtering is done. Here in the US, a lot of people view it as just plain silly and dangerous and the only state where it is legal is California. Statistics in Cali show that bikers have been a lot safer from getting rear ended because they allow lane-splitting. That fact should be enough to have other states revisit their laws on it.
MOTORCYCLES ARE SAFER ON STREETS THAN ON HIGHWAYS
The thought behind this one is that since you generally ride slower on city/suburban streets, you are safer. This unfortunately isn't true. With cars going in all directions at intersections, drivers running red lights and pedestrians…motorcycle riders have it a lot tougher in these environments. On interstates or highways, traffic flows in one direction and there are no pedestrians popping out on you making it a safer experience. Hard to believe that but accoriding to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 60% of serious motorcycle accidents occur in city/suburban areas.
Having bad information or sharing misconceptions about motorcycles can really be a danger. It’s important to look deeper into things that people tell you because believing something like “full face helmets block your view” or “you should lay your bike down” can seriously put your safety at risk. I recommend for every rider to take safety courses. There you will learn all the techniques and get some great advice from coaches.