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Is your motorcycle ready for spring riding?

Spring has descended on North Carolina, and that makes many motorcycle enthusiasts eager to get on their two-wheelers and get in a little wind therapy.

Bike Safe North Carolina promotes safer motorcycling in the state. As such, they offer the following tips for bikers to avoid collisions and other dangers.

It's very important that those who ride with passengers instruct them on how to be a safe passenger. This involves learning how to move with the rider and leaning into curves, among other things.

Both riders and passengers must wear protective gear, including:

-- Department of Transportation-approved helmets.

-- Face and eye protection.

-- Long-sleeved shirt.

-- Motorcycle boots that cover the ankles.

-- Heavy jeans or other padded or protective clothing, such as leather chaps.

-- Gloves

All riders should carry rain gear on their bikes, as a spring or summer storm can come on with very little warning.

Especially if your motorcycle has been put up over the winter months, it is necessary to check all systems to make sure that the components work and are in optimum shape. Check the tire integrity for splits or worn tread. Make sure all signals operate and that the lights aren't burned out. Top off fluid levels and check the torque on belts and chains.

All these steps will help make you and your passengers safer on the roads, but there is another danger lurking — inattentive drivers who appear not to acknowledge that they share the road with motorcyclists. At-fault drivers are responsible for a high percentage of bikers' injuries.

If you get in a collision with a vehicle driver that is his or her fault, you may choose to pursue both him or her and his or her insurance company for your medical bills and other damages.

Source: Bike Safe North Carolina, "Motorcycle Safety Tips," accessed March 18, 2016

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