How to Crash a Motorcycle Safely
Motorcycle crashes are dangerous, and motorcycles offer their operators very little in the way of physical protection in a crash. No doors and no frame are present to absorb the force of impact, and a motorcyclist may only have seconds to react when a crash is imminent. Sometimes, instead of attempting to avoid a crash it is actually safer to attempt to control the crash, but you need to know how to crash a motorcycle safely.
Understand the Risks
Before even riding your motorcycle, you must acknowledge the inherent dangers of using it. A motorcycle has two wheels instead of the usual four, meaning less physical contact with the road, less balance, and less friction to keep you stable. No doors or body panels are present to absorb the force of an impact, and most motorcycles will crumple completely in a serious accident. You cannot expect your motorcycle to offer much protection at all in a crash.
Wear appropriate safety gear and be realistic about your skill level. If a particular route seems too challenging for you after first starting to ride, refrain from using that route until you feel more comfortable. You can also take a motorcycle safety course that can lead to increased confidence as well as potential discounts on your insurance coverage.
Recognizing When a Crash Is Imminent
You may only have a second or two to react once you identify a crash hazard on the road and you realize you cannot avoid hitting it. While it is always best to try and avoid crashing in direct traffic or into a sidewalk, you may have very little choice of where to crash safely. Ultimately, you must react quickly and do your best to limit your injuries.
Stay Attached to your Bike for as Long as Possible
Bailing is almost never the best option when you must slide into a crash. Try to remain attached to your bike as long as possible and aim your crash so the bike absorbs as much of the impact as possible. If you can, once you start to slide with the bike, let go and enter a controlled roll as long as doing so will not put you in front of traffic.
Try to Relax
Try to relax as much as possible. This can be difficult but doing so limits the risk of bone fractures and soft tissue injuries like torn ligaments.
Select a Crash Point
If you have time to react, try and select a crash point that will not involve hitting a surface or other vehicle head-on. Instead, try to aim your crash so your bike absorbs the impact and you hit the crash point on your side rather than directly.
Tuck and Roll
The “tuck and roll” method can be helpful if you lose control of your bike or fly from it and have no other choice. Tucking your body inward with your chin toward your chest and your knees toward your stomach can protect the most sensitive parts of your body in the crash. Remember: it is best to use your bike to absorb the force of impact if possible, and only tuck and roll as a last resort.
These are merely suggestions that may not apply to all motorcycle crash situations. You may not have time to react at all or could suffer injuries from falling in front of traffic. If you find yourself sliding or rolling, do your best to protect your head and face.
Prevention Is Better Than Crashing
Ultimately, in almost any situation in which a crash is imminent, you will only have seconds to react. It can be difficult to remember how to control a bike slide or tuck and roll in the moment, so do your best to prevent crashes entirely. Complete all required safety training for your motorcycle license and make time to practice riding so you become more comfortable with operating your bike. Invest in high-quality safety gear that keeps you visible to other drivers, and be sure to address routine maintenance for your bike to keep it in peak operating condition.