Before you hit the road on your new motorcycle (or new to you), there are some important things you should do beforehand. These things will not only improve your safety while on your bike but also help to protect you from financial repercussions should you find yourself in an accident.
1. Have the bike inspected. Just as you would never purchase a car without knowing its complete history, you should do the same with a motorcycle. Have the history of the motorcycle checked to ensure the bike hasn’t been in an accident and have a mechanic look it over for any major repairs or immediate service that should be conducted.
2. Purchase the right gear. Too often, especially in warm states like Florida, riders take to the road without the appropriate gear. Helmets, boots, and a motorcycle jacket are all key to maintaining your safety while on the bike. Helmets may not be required for motorcyclists over the age of 21 with a medical insurance policy of $10,000 in Florida, but they do save lives when motorcyclists crash. Boots may be heavy but they can be the difference between keeping your bike upright when coming to a stop—sneakers (or worse, sandals) can be dangerous to ride in and can lead to you dropping your bike or sliding into an intersection because you cannot properly stop your bike and put your foot down at a red light. Other gear like jackets and gloves can help protect against road rash. With the wind in your face, you’ll barely notice the protective gear—so why go for a ride without it?
3. Take the class. In Florida, if you already have a driver’s license, you’ll only need to get a motorcycle endorsement added. Requirements for this endorsement include a Basic Rider Course, written exam, and a vision and hearing test. Don’t buy a used bike privately and ride without this endorsement. There is hefty fine and if you are in an accident, there can be severe liability to worry about.
4. Get motorcycle insurance. Most states have laws requiring at least a bare minimum of coverage for motorcycle insurance. Read more about requirements in our FAQ.
5. Register your motorcycle. In addition to making sure you have the right endorsement on your license, while at the DMV, you should also stop to register your new bike and get a license plate for it.
The independent motorcycle insurance agents of the Magruder Agency can help you identify the best insurance products within your budget. Many policies allow for discounts if you combine your car or home insurance with your motorcycle insurance policy. In addition to helping you enroll in the minimum required insurance, we can also review additional coverages to make sure you, your bike, and your motorcycle gear are protected.