Now is a good as time as any to go for a trip on a motorcycle. And why not? Motorcycles can provide a fun and adventurous way to travel. However, you should know the laws pertaining to motorcycles and some motorcycle safety techniques before you hit the road.
Indiana Motorcycle Laws and Regulations
- Riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet and eye protection, and so do any passengers who are under 18.
- Eye protection is required for riders and passengers of all ages.
- Your motorcycle must be fitted with a fixed passenger seat and passenger footrests in order to carry a passenger.
- Your motorcycle must be equipped with a headlamp that is illuminated whenever it is being operated.
- Your motorcycle must also have at least one rearview mirror, a speedometer, and turn signals if it was manufactured after 1955.
- Your motorcycle’s handlebars cannot be higher than 15 inches above the seat.
- Your motorcycle must have a working braking system on both wheels.
- Permit riders cannot carry passengers and may only ride during daylight hours.
- You must have your permit for 30 days before you may apply for a license or endorsement.
- A motorcycle education course can waive the skills test needed to obtain a motorcycle license or endorsement.
- Motorcycle insurance requirements:
- $25,000 of bodily damage or death coverage if one person is involved in a crash.
- $50,000 for total bodily damage or death in a single crash.
- $10,000 of property damage coverage.
- Become comfortable riding a motorcycle before using it regularly. Most motorcycle accidents happen within five miles of where the motorcycle was started. This is because some beginner riders fail to properly train themselves before they start riding a motorcycle. It takes a lot of skill and focus to properly ride a motorcycle, so you should consider taking a motorcycle safety course before you do anything else with your motorcycle. This will allow you to hone your riding skills and “break in” your motorcycle.
- Wear protective clothing. You do not have the luxury of riding in an enclosed cabin when you ride a motorcycle (but that’s part of the fun). With that in mind, you should wear clothing that is durable, and that will protect you from the elements. Some motorcycle companies make their own clothing that has built in armor to protect you in case you slide your motorcycle. Although, jeans and a thick jacket should provide adequate protection. Wear heavy boots that come up above your ankle. This will make it easier to shift gears and could protect you from breaking a foot if you crash. Make sure that your helmet fits snuggly onto your head and that is covers your entire head, this will provide the most protection (and will keep you from accidentally eating a bug). Gloves would be a good choice, but this is more of a matter of comfort. Gloves absorb some of the vibrations generated by your motorcycle and help keep your hands warm.
- Carry more than the minimum insurance. Only carrying the minimum amount of motorcycle insurance is not a good idea. This is because there are a lot of situations that could leave you with a lot of financial burden if you are not properly covered on the road. You should consider the following coverages:
- Comprehension coverage. This will compensate you for any damage that are not a result of crashing into another vehicle. For example, it would cover costs if your motorcycle was stolen, or if your motorcycle is damaged because of the weather.
- Uninsured motorist coverage. This will compensate you for medical costs and property damages if you crash with a person who does not have insurance, or whose insurance company won’t cover all of your damages.
- Roadside assistance. This will be particularly helpful for riders who are planning on going on a long road trip. Even if you know how to fix your own motorcycle, it would be easier and less stressful to to have this coverage that would tow your motorcycle for you if you break down on the side of the road.