Motorcycle Operator Manual - Motorcycle Safety

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a n m s f m a n ua l16th EditionMotorcycleOperatorManualWith Supplementary Informationfor Three-Wheel MotorcyclesMSF LICENSING PROGRAMS

2 PrefaceWelcome to the Sixteenth Edition ofthe MSF Motorcycle Operator Manual(MOM). Operating a motorcycle safelyin traffic requires special skills andknowledge. The Motorcycle SafetyFoundation (MSF) has made this manualavailable to help novice motorcyclistsreduce their risk of having a crash. Themanual conveys essential safe ridinginformation and has been designedfor use in licensing programs. Whiledesigned for the novice, all motorcyclistscan benefit from the information thismanual contains.The original Motorcycle OperatorManual was developed by the NationalPublic Services Research Institute (NPSRI)under contract to the National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)and within the terms of a cooperativeagreement between NHTSA and theMSF. The manual and related testswere used in a multi-year study ofimproved motorcycle operator licensingprocedures, conducted by the CaliforniaDepartment of Motor Vehicles undercontract to NHTSA.The purpose of this manual is toeducate riders and to help them avoidcrashes while safely operating eithera standard two-wheel motorcycle or athree-wheel motorcycle.This latest edition has undergonesignificant improvements, and containsnew, more in-depth information,designed to: Guide riders in preparing to ridesafely Develop effective street strategies Give riders more comprehensiveunderstanding of safe group ridingpractices Describe in detail best practices forcarrying passengers and cargoIn promoting improved licensingprograms, the MSF works closely withstate licensing agencies. The Foundationhas helped more than half the statesin the nation adopt the MotorcycleOperator Manual for use in theirlicensing systems.Improved licensing, along with highquality motorcycle rider education andincreased public awareness, has thepotential to reduce crashes. Staff at theFoundation are available to assist state,private and governmental agencies inefforts to improve motorcycle safety.Tim BuchePresident,Motorcycle Safety Foundation2 Jenner, Suite 150Irvine, CA

contents contents THE RIDER ANDTHE MOTORCYCLE 4PREPARING TO RIDE3Being in Shape to RideWhy This Information IsImportant 42Wear the Right Gear 5Alcohol and Other Drugs inMotorcycle Operation 42Know Your Motorcycle 7Alcohol in the Body 42Know Your Responsibilities 10Alcohol and the Law 44RIDE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIESBasic Vehicle Control 11Keeping Your Distance 15SEE 20Intersections 21Increasing Conspicuity 24Minimize the Risks 44Step in to Protect Friends 45Fatigue 45EARNING YOUR LICENSE 46Three-wheel supplementCrash Avoidance 27Supplementary Informationfor Three-Wheel Motorcycles 48Handling Dangerous Surfaces 30Know Your Vehicle 48Mechanical Problems 33Basic Vehicle Control 50Animals 34Carrying Passengers and Cargo 53Flying Objects 35Getting Off the Road 35Carrying Passengersand Cargo 35Group Riding 38Hand signals. 55T-CLOCS PRE-RIDE CHECKLIST 57

4 The Rider and the MotorcycleMotorcycling is aunique experience.Compared to a car,you don’t sit in amotorcycle, youbecome part of it.Not as a passivedriver, but as anactive rider arcinginto a string ofsmooth corners,playing along withthe rhythm of theroad; shifting,accelerating,and brakingwith precision.Whether youride to and fromwork or preferthe camaraderie of a group ride on theweekend, motorcycling engages all yoursenses and creates an invigorating senseof freedom.Along with that freedom comesresponsibility. All states requiresome form of license endorsementdemonstrating you possess a minimumlevel of skill and knowledge. Thisbooklet and other motorcyclepublications can help prepare you tobe successful. You might also considertaking a formal hands-on trainingcourse, even if your state doesn’t requirethat you complete one. You’ll learn howto improve your riding skills and mentalstrategies, so you can be a safer, morealert rider.The diagram above illustrates thecomplex environment that awaits you,Riding environmentand supports the concept that, as theMotorcycle Safety Foundation says,“Safe riding is as much a skill of theeyes and mind as it is of the hands andfeet.”Successfully piloting a motorcycle is amuch more involved task than driving acar. Motorcycling requires a fine senseof balance and a heightened sense ofawareness and position amidst otherroadway users. A motorcycle respondsmore quickly to rider inputs than a car,but is also more sensitive to outsideforces, like irregular road surfaces orcrosswinds. A motorcycle is also lessvisible than a car due to its narrowerprofile, and offers far less protection byexposing its rider to other traffic andthe elements. All these risks can bemanaged through study, training, andpractice.

PREPARING TO RIDE 5What you do before you start a trip goes a long way toward determiningwhether or not you’ll get where you want to go safely. Before taking off on anytrip, a safe rider makes a point to:1.Wear the right gear.2.Become familiar with the motorcycle.3.Check the motorcycle equipment.4.Be a responsible rider.Wear the Right GearWhen you ride, your gear is “right”if it protects you. In any crash, you havea far better chance of avoiding seriousinjury if you wear: A DOT compliant helmet. Face or eye protection. Protective clothing.Helmet UseCrashes can occur — particularlyamong untrained, beginning riders.And one out of every five motorcyclecrashes results in head or neck injuries.Head injuries are just as severe as neckinjuries — and far more common. Crashanalyses show that head and neckinjuries account for a majority of seriousand fatal injuries to motorcyclists.Research also shows that, with fewexceptions, head and neck injuries arereduced by properly wearing a qualityhelmet.Some riders don’t wear helmetsbecause they think helmets will limittheir view to the sides. Others wearhelmets only on long trips or whenriding at high speeds. But, here aresome facts to consider: A DOT-compliant helmet letsyou see as far to the sides asnecessary. A study of more than900 motorcycle crashes, where40% of the riders wore helmets,did not find even one case in whicha helmet kept a rider from spottingdanger. Most crashes happen on shorttrips (less than five miles long), justa few minutes after starting out. Most riders are riding slower than30 mph when a crash occurs. Atthese speeds, helmets can cut boththe number and the severity of headinjuries by half.No matter what the speed, helmetedriders are three times more likely tosurvive head injuries than those notwearing helmets at the time of thecrash. The single most important thingyou can do to improve your chances ofsurviving a crash is to wear a securelyfastened, quality helmet.Helmet SelectionThere are two primary types ofhelmets, providing two different levelsof coverage: three-quarter and full face.Whichever style you choose, you canget the most protection by making surethat the helmet: Is designed to meet U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) and state standards. Helmetswith a label from the Snell MemorialFoundation also give you anassurance of quality. Fits snugly, all the way around. Has no obvious defects such ascracks, loose padding or frayedstraps.

6 PREPARING TO RIDEWhatever helmet youdecide on, keep it securelyfastened on your headwhen you ride. Otherwise,if you are involved in acrash, it’s likely to fly offyour head before it gets achance to protect you.HelmetsEye and FaceProtectionA plastic shatter-resistantfaceshield can help protectyour whole face in acrash. It also protects youfrom wind, dust, dirt, rain, insects andpebbles thrown up from cars ahead.These problems are distracting andcan be painful. If you have to dealwith them, you can’t devote your fullattention to the road.Goggles protect your eyes, thoughthey won’t protect the rest of your facelike a faceshield does. A windshieldis not a substitute for a faceshield orgoggles. Most windshields will notprotect your eyes from the wind. Neitherwill eyeglasses or sunglasses. Glasseswon’t keep your eyes from watering,and they might blow off when you turnyour head while riding.To be effective, eye or faceshieldprotection must: Be free of scratches. Be resistant to penetration. Give a clear view to either side. Fasten securely, so it does notblow off. Permit air to pass through, toreduce fogging. Permit enough room foreyeglasses or sunglasses, if needed.Tinted eye protection should not beworn when little light is available.ClothingThe right clothing protects you ina collision. It also provides comfort,as well as protection from heat, cold,debris and hot and moving parts of themotorcycle. It can also make you morevisible to others. Jacket and pants should coverarms and legs completely. Theyshould fit snugly enough to keepfrom flapping in the wind, yetloosely enough to move freely.Leather offers the most protection.Sturdy synthetic material providesa lot of protection as well. Weara jacket even in warm weather toprevent dehydration. Many aredesigned to protect without gettingyou overheated, even on summerdays. Some riders choose jacketsand pants with rigid “body armor”inserts in critical areas for additionalprotection. Boots or shoes should be highand sturdy enough to cover yourankles and give them support. Solesshould be made of hard, durable,slip-resistant material. Keep heelsshort so they do not catch on roughsurfaces. Tuck in laces so they won’tcatch on your motorcycle.

Gloves allow a better grip and helpprotect your hands in a crash. Yourgloves should be made of leather orsimilar durable material. Hearing protection reducesnoise while allowing you to hearimportant sounds such as car hornsor sirens. Long term exposure toengine and wind noise can causepermanent hearing damage evenif you wear a full face helmet.Whether you choose disposablefoam plugs or reusable custommolded devices, be sure you adhereto state laws regarding hearingprotection.In cold or wet weather, your clothesshould keep you warm and dry, aswell as protect you from injury. Youcannot control a motorcycle well ifyou are numb. Riding for long periodsin cold weather can cause severe chilland fatigue. A winter jacket shouldresist wind and fit snugly at the neck,wrists and waist. Good-quality rainsuitsdesigned for motorcycle riding resisttearing apart or ballooning up at highspeeds.clothing7KNOW YOURMOTORCYCLEThere are plenty of things on thehighway that can cause you trouble.Your motorcycle should not be oneof them. To make sure that yourmotorcycle won’t let you down: Start with the right motorcyclefor you. Read the owner’s manual. Be familiar with the motorcyclecontrols. Check the motorcycle beforeevery ride. Keep it in safe riding conditionbetween rides. Avoid add-ons and modificationsthat make your motorcycle harderto handle.The Right Motorcycle For YouFirst, make sure your motorcycle isright for you. It should “fit” you. Yourfeet should reach the ground whileyou are seated on the motorcycle, andthe controls should be easy to operate.Smaller motorcycles are usually easierfor beginners to operate.At a minimum, your street-legalmotorcycle should have: Headlight, taillight andbrakelight.test yourself 1A plastic shatter-resistant faceshield:A. Is not necessary if you have awindshield.B. Only protects your eyes.C. Helps protect your whole face.D. Does not protect your face as wellas goggles.Answer - page 47

8 Preparing to ride Front and rear brakes. Turn signals. Horn. Two mirrors.Borrowing and LendingBorrowers and lenders of motorcycles,beware. Crashes are fairly commonamong beginning riders — especiallyin the first months of riding. Ridingan unfamiliar motorcycle adds to theproblem. If you borrow a motorcycle,get familiar with it in a controlled area.And if you lend your motorcycle tofriends, make sure they are licensed andknow how to ride before allowing themout into traffic.No matter how experienced youmay be, ride extra carefully on anymotorcycle that’s new or unfamiliarto you. More than half of all crashesinvolve riders with less than five monthsof experience on their motorcycle.Get Familiar with theMotorcycle ControlsMake sure you are completely familiarwith the motorcycle before you takeit out on the street. Be sure to reviewthe owner’s manual. This is particularlyimportant if you are riding a borrowedmotorcycle.If you are going to use an unfamiliarmotorcycle: Make all the checks you would onyour own motorcycle. Find out where everything is, particularly the turn signals, horn,headlight switch, fuel-supply valveand engine cut-off switch. Find andoperate these items without havingto look for them.motorcycle controls

Know the controls. Work thethrottle, clutch, brakes, and shifter afew times before you start riding. Ride very cautiously and be awareof surroundings. Accelerate gently,take turns more slowly and leaveextra room for stopping.Check Your MotorcycleA motorcycle needs more frequentattention than a car. A minor technicalfailure on a car is seldom more than aninconvenience for the driver. The samefailure on a motorcycle may result in acrash or having to leave your motorcycleparked on the side of the road. Ifanything’s wrong with your motorcycle,you’ll want to find out about it beforeyou get in traffic.The primary source of informationabout how a motorcycle should beinspected and maintained is its owner’smanual. Be sure to absorb all of itsimportant information. A motorcycle willcontinue to ride like new if it is properlymaintained and routine inspectionsbecome part of its maintenance cycle.A pre-ride inspection only takesa few minutes and should be donebefore every ride to prevent problems.It’s quick and easy to check the criticalcomponents and should be as routineand automatic as checking the weatherforecast before heading out for the day.A convenient reminder developed byMSF is T-CLOCSSM. There is a T-CLOCS“tear-out” sheet at the back of thismanual for you to keep with you whenyou ride. A T-CLOCS inspection shouldbe conducted before every ride, andincludes checks of:T — Tires and Wheels Check tire inflation pressure,treadwear and general condition ofsidewalls and tread surface.9 Try the front and rear brake leversone at a time. Make sure each feelsfirm and holds the motorcycle whenfully applied.C — Controls Make sure the clutch and throttleoperate smoothly. The throttleshould snap back to fully closedwhen released. The clutch shouldfeel tight and should operatesmoothly. Try the horn. Make sure it works. Clean and adjust your mirrorsbefore starting. It’s difficult to ridewith one hand while you try toadjust a mirror. Adjust each mirrorso you can see the lane behind andas much as possible of the lane nextto you. When properly adjusted, amirror may show the edge of yourarm or shoulder – but it’s the roadbehind you and to the side that aremost important.L — Lights and Electrics Check both headlight and taillight.Test your switch to make sure bothhigh and low beams work. Turn on both right and left handturn signals. Make sure all lights areworking properly. Try both brakes and make sure eachone turns on the brake light.O — Oil and Other Fluids Check engine oil and transmissionfluid levels. Check the brake hydraulic fluid andcoolant level weekly. Be sure your fuel valve is openbefore starting out. With the fuelvalve closed, your motorcycle maystart with only the fuel that is still inthe lines, but will stall once the linesare empty.

10 Preparing to ride Look underneath the motorcycle forsigns of an oil or fuel leak.C — Chassis Check the front suspension. Ensurethere is no binding. The rear shocksand springs should move smoothly. Be sure the chain is adjustedaccording to the manufacturer’sspecifications and that the sprocketsare not worn or damaged.S — Stands Ensure the side stand operatessmoothly and that the spring holdsit tightly in the up position. Ifequipped, the center stand shouldalso be held firmly against the framewhenever the motorcycle is moving.Additionally, regular maintenancesuch as tune-ups and oil changes are asimportant for a motorcycle as routinecheckups by your doctor are for you.Wear and tear is normal with use;routine maintenance will help preventcostly breakdowns. The schedule forregular upkeep for motorcycle partsand controls is contained in yourmotorcycle’s owner’s manual.KNOW YOURRESPONSIBILITIES“Accident” implies an unforeseenevent that occurs without fault ornegligence. In traffic, that is not thecase. In fact, most people involved in acrash can claim some responsibility forwhat takes place.Consider a situation where someonedecides to drive through an intersectionon a yellow light turning red. Yourlight turns green. You pull into theintersection without checking forpossible traffic. That is all it takes for thetwo of you to crash. It was the driver’sresponsibility to stop, and it was yourresponsibility to look before pulling out.Both of you are at fault. Someone elsemight be the first to start the chain ofevents leading to a crash, but it doesn’tleave any of us free of responsibility.As a rider you can’t be sure that otheroperators will see you or yield the rightof way. To lessen your chances of acrash occurring: Be visible — wear proper clothing,use your headlight, ride in the bestlane position to see and be seen. Communicate your intentions —use the proper signals, brake lightand lane position. Maintain an adequate spacecushion — when following, beingfollowed, lane sharing, passing andbeing passed. Search your path of travel 12seconds ahead. Identify and separate hazards. Be prepared to act — remain alertand know how to carry out propercrash-avoidance skills.Blame doesn’t matter when someoneis injured in a crash. The ability to rideaware, make critical decisions and carrythem out separates responsible ridersfrom the rest. Remember, it is up to youto keep from being the cause of, or anunprepared participant in, any crash.test yourself 2More than half of all crashes:A. Occur at speeds greater than35mph.B. Happen at night.C. Are caused by worn tires.D. Involve riders who have less thanfive months of experience on theirmotorcycles.Answer - page 47

ride within your abilities 11This manual cannot teach you how to control direction, speed or balance.That’s something you can learn only through practice, preferably in a formalcourse of instruction like an MSF RiderCourse. But control begins with knowingyour abilities and riding within them, along with knowing and obeying the rulesof the road.BASIC VEHICLE CONTROLBody PositionTo control a motorcycle well: Posture — Position yourselfcomfortably so you are able tooperate all the controls and can useyour arms to steer the motorcycle,rather than to hold yourself up.This helps you bond with yourmotorcycle and allows you to reactquickly to hazards. Seat — Sit far enough forward sothat arms are slightly bent whenyou hold the handgrips. Bendingyour arms permits you to press onthe handlebars without having tostretch. Hands — Hold the handgripsfirmly to keep your grip over roughsurfaces. Start with your rightwrist flat. This will help you keepfrom accidentally using too muchholding handgripsthrottle. Also, adjust the handlebarsso your hands are even with orbelow your elbows. This permitsyou to use the proper muscles forprecision steering. Knees — Keep your knees againstthe gas tank to help you keep yourbalance as the motorcycle turns. Feet — Keep your feet firmly on thefootrests to maintain balance. Don’tdrag your feet. If your foot catcheson something, you could be injuredand it could affect your control ofthe motorcycle. Keep your feet nearthe controls so you can get to themfast if needed. Also, don’t let yourtoes point downward — they mayget caught between the road andthe footrests.Shifting GearsThere is more to shifting gears thansimply getting the motorcycle to pickup speed smoothly. Learning to use thegears when downshifting, turning orstarting on hills is equally important forsafe motorcycle operation.The gearshift lever is located in frontof the left footrest and is operated bythe left foot. To shift “up” to a highergear, position your foot under theshift lever and lift. To downshift, pressthe shift lever down. The shift leverchanges one gear each time it is liftedor pressed down. Whenever the leveris released, spring loading returns it tocenter, where the mechanism resetsfor the next shift up or down. A typicalgear pattern is 1-N-2-3-4-5. The N is

12 ride within your abilitiesfor neutral, which is selected by eithera “half lift” from 1st gear or a “halfpress” from 2nd gear. Most motorcycleshave five gears, but some have four orsix gears.Shifting gearsAs your motorcycle increasesspeed, you will need to shift up to ahigher gear. Shift up well before theengine RPM reaches its maximumrecommended speed. As a general rule,shift up soon enough to avoid overrevving the engine, but not so soon tocause the engine to lug.When upshifting, use a 3-stepprocess: 1) Roll off the throttle as yousqueeze the clutch lever, 2) lift theshift lever firmly as far as it will go, 3)smoothly ease out the clutch and adjustthe throttle. Once the shift is completed,release the shift lever to permit it toreset for the next shift.enough before downshifting safely.When downshifting, use a 3-stepprocess: 1) Roll off the throttle as yousqueeze the clutch lever, 2) press theshift lever down firmly, 3) ease out theclutch lever as you roll on the throttle.Once the shift is completed, releasethe shift lever to permit it to reset forthe next shift. Rolling on the throttleslightly while smoothly easing out theclutch can help the engine come upto speed more quickly and make thedownshift smoother. Shifting to a lowergear causes an effect similar to usingthe brakes. This is known as enginebraking. To use engine braking, shiftdown one gear at a time and ease outthe clutch through the friction zonebetween each downshift. Keep theclutch in the friction zone until theengine speed stabilizes. Then ease outthe lever fully until ready for the nextdownshift. Usually you shift gears one ata time, but it is possible to shift throughmore than one gear while the clutch issqueezed.Remain in first gear while you arestopped so that you can move outquickly if you need to.Work toward a smooth, even clutchrelease, especially when downshifting. Itis best to change gears before enteringa turn. However, sometimes shiftingwhile in the turn is necessary. If so,remember to do so smoothly. A suddenchange in power to the rear wheel cancause a skid.You should shift down through thegears with the clutch as you slow orstop, and can also shift down when youneed more power to accelerate.BrakingMake certain you are riding slowlyenough when you shift into a lowergear. If not, the motorcycle will lurch,and the rear wheel may skid. Whenriding downhill or shifting into first gearyou may need to use the brakes to slowImproper braking technique remainsa significant contributing factor in manymotorcycle crashes. Your motorcyclehas two brake controls: one for thefront wheel and one for the rear wheel.Always use both brakes every time you

slow or stop. The front brake is morepowerful and can provide at least 70%of your total stopping power. The frontbrake is safe to use if you use it properly.Maximum straight-line braking isaccomplished by fully applying bothfront and rear brakes without lockingeither wheel.To do this: Squeeze the front brakesmoothly, firmly and withprogressively more force. Do notgrab the brake lever or use abruptpressure. As the motorcycle’s weighttransfers forward, more tractionbecomes available at the frontwheel, so the front brake can beapplied harder after braking begins. Keep your knees against thetank and your eyes up, lookingwell ahead. This helps you stop themotorcycle in a straight line. Apply light-to-lighter pressureto the rear brake pedal to prevent arear wheel skid. As weight transfersforward less traction is availableat the rear. Use less rear brakepressure.Using both brakes for even “normal”stops will permit you to develop theproper habit or skill of using both brakesproperly in an emergency. Squeeze thefront brake and press down on the rear.Grabbing at the front brake or jammingdown on the rear can cause the brakesto lock, resulting in control problems.Braking in a CornerAny time a motorcycle is leaned over,the amount of traction available forbraking is reduced. The greater the leanangle, the more the possibility of thetires losing traction.13To stop as quickly and as safely aspossible in a curve, and depending onroad and traffic conditions, try to get themotorcycle as perpendicular to the roadas possible, then brake. If conditions donot allow, brake smoothly and gradually,but do not apply as much braking forceas you would if the motorcycle werestraight up. As you slow, you can reduceyour lean angle, and as more tractionbecomes available for braking, you canmore firmly apply the brakes, so thatby the time the motorcycle is stopped,the motorcycle is straight up, and thehandlebars are squared.Linked and IntegratedBraking SystemsSome motorcycles have linked brakingwhich connects the front and rearbrakes on the motorcycle and appliesbraking pressure to both brakes wheneither the front lever or rear pedal isapplied. An integrated braking systemis a variation of the linked system inwhich partial front braking is appliedwhenever the rear brake is activated.Consult your owner’s manual for adetailed explanation on the operationand effective use of these systems.Anti-Lock Braking Systems(ABS)ABS is designed to prevent wheellock-up and avoid skids when stoppingin straight-line, panic situations. ABSoperates when maximum pressure onboth the front and rear brake controlsis applied. If electronic sensors detectthe possibility of a wheel lock, brakehydraulic pressure, is released thenreapplied to maintain maximum brakingeffectiveness.The system is capable of releasing andreapplying pressure more than 15 timesper second.

14 ride within your abilitiesTurningApproach turns and curves withcaution. Riders often try to take curvesor turns too fast. When they can’t holdthe turn, they end up crossing intoanother lane of traffic or going off theroad. Or, they overreact and brake toohard, causing a skid and loss of control.In normal turns, the rider and themotorcycle should lean together at thesame angle.Normal turnsUse four steps for better control: SLOW — Reduce speed before theturn by closing the throttle and, ifnecessary, applying both brakes. LOOK — Look through the turnto where you want to go. Turnjust your head, not your shoulders,and keep your eyes level with thehorizon. PRESS — To turn, the motorcyclemust lean. To lean the motorcycle, press on the handgrip inthe direction of the turn. Press lefthandgrip — lean left — go left.Press right handgrip — lean right —go right. The higher the speed in aturn, the greater the lean angle. ROLL — Roll on the throttle tomaintain or slightly increase speed.This helps stabilize the motorcycle.test yourself 3When riding, you should:A. Turn your head and shouldersto look through turns.B. Keep your arms straight.C. Keep your knees away fromthe gas tank.D. Turn just your head and eyesto look where you are going.Answer - page 47In slow, tight turns, counterbalance byleaning the motorcycle only and keepingyour body straight.slow, tight turns

KEEPING YOUR DISTANCEThe best protection you can have isdistance — a “cushion of space” —separating yourself from other vehicleson the roadway. This will provide youwith a clear view of emerging trafficsituations, so that if someone elsemakes a mistake, you will have: More time to respond. More space to maneuver, includingan escape route if necessary.Lane PositionsSuccessful motorcyclists know thatthey are safer when clearly seen. Insome ways the size of the motorcyclecan work to your advantage. Each trafficlane gives a motorcycle three paths oftravel, as indicated in the illustration.Your lane position should help you: Increase your ability to see and beseen. Avoid others’ blind spots. Avoid surface hazards. Protect your lane from other drivers. Communicate your intentions.15 Avoid windblast from othervehicles. Provide an escape route. Set up for turns.Many motorcyclists consider the leftthird of the lane – the left tire track ofautomobiles – to be their default laneposition. You should then considervarying your lane position as conditionswarrant, keeping mind that no portionof the lane need be avoided —including the center.You should position yourself in theportion of the lane where you are mostlikely to be seen and you can maintaina space cushion around you. Changeposition as traffic situations change.Ride in path 2 or 3 if vehicles and otherpotential problems are on your leftonly. Remain in path 1 or 2 if hazardsare on your right only. If vehicles arebeing operated on both sides of you,the center of the lane, path 2, is usuallyyour best option.Remember, the center third of thelane is the place where debris and oildrippings from

MSF. The manual and related tests were used in a multi-year study of improved motorcycle operator licensing procedures, conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles under contract to NHTSA. The purpose of this manual is to educate riders and to help them avoid crashes while safely operating either a standard two-wheel motorcycle or .File Size: 1MB

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