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Motorcycle Riding | 5 Common Myths Busted


5 Common Motorcycle Riding Myths in Singapore

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As a motorcycle rider, chances are you would have heard many myths and misconceptions about motorcycle riding. Even veteran riders are prone to believing some falsehoods regarding the safety of riding as it passes down the bike chain. So, how can you separate fact from fiction?

We’ve put together a list of the 5 common motorcycle riding myths that have been busted by reports, statistics and real-life observation. Some of these may shock you, and some might be new to you. Regardless of what you may have heard or not, the time has come to separate motorcycle facts from myths!

1. Bigger Motorcycle Pipes, Better Performance

This is probably one of the most roaring myths that bikers believe. On the surface, it may make sense. The rationale is that the bigger your bike's exhaust pipes are, the higher the performance of the engine.

But, the evidence against this myth is loud and clear. Bigger motorcycle exhaust pipes largely exist because they look cool and have little to do with motorcycle riding performance. Most conventional bike pipes are also specifically built to gain maximum performance, by balancing power with noise and gas emissions.

What you should be aware of is that the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore has recently tightened the rules on vehicle noise and emission standards to curb sound and air pollution. According to the revised guidelines, motorcycle noises will have to fall within 77 decibels - equivalent to the noise level of a normal conversation.

So, think twice before you fit your motorcycle with a big pipe. If your bike is already fitted with one, then you can attach a muffler to it, to lower the noise emission. Installing a proper air filter is also a better way to increase engine power and efficiency.

2. Helmets can hinder Vision and Airflow

Most riders understand the importance of wearing a good motorcycle helmet but there are a few who argue that it’s more harmful to wear one than to ride without it. 

There are a few reasons that uphold this tragic myth. Amongst them are:

  • The higher probability that you can fracture your neck in an accident because of the increased weight of the helmet.
  • Helmets block the motorcycle rider’s ability to see or hear potential danger.
  • It restricts airflow to the rider, which restricts breathing and causes increased fatigue.

Clearly these fables came about as a way to avoid wearing a motorcycle helmet altogether. But statistics and intensive safety checks prove that wearing a helmet actually does the opposite: the visor provides protection from wind and debris, allowing the rider to see better. It also cuts down wind noise so the rider can hear better. 

On top of that, wearing a helmet reduces the likelihood of serious neck and head trauma sustained, if the rider gets into a serious accident.

3. Conventional Brakes are better than Anti-Lock Brakes

There is still a fraction of riders that prefer the conventional motorcycle braking system compared to the new anti-lock braking system (ABS) that has been around since the 1960s. Basically, the ABS system works to prevent a motorcycle's wheels from locking during braking.

An experienced rider may say that they are skillful enough to never lock their wheels while on their motorbikes. For new riders, the common reason to opt for a non-ABS bike is the fact that they may not properly learn how to brake in the first place. 

With that said, the ABS system can no doubt increase the safety of riders by avoiding accidental locking of the wheel when braking, besides enabling the rider to brake quicker and faster at a short distance. So, if you think that you would be able to react faster than this proven technology designed specifically for emergency braking, perhaps it’s time to remove your heavily-tinted visors.

4. Riding Gear Is Hot and Uncomfortable

Riding a motorcycle in a hot and humid country like Singapore can be challenging. What more with the added weight of bike riding gear that many deem to be hot and uncomfortable. 

The thing is, these days there are ample riding gear options available that are made of materials suited for our climate – rain or shine. Good riding gear should actually provide sufficient ventilation and protection when riding. It definitely pays to invest in a good riding suit, gloves and boots for the added security.

5. Other Road Users Don’t Care About Motorcyclists

This one is also an untrue myth that has lingered on amongst motorcyclists. Although statistics show that motorcycles meet with more accidents than other motor vehicles, it’s not like other road users are out to get you! 

Most of the hits or near-misses come because bigger motor vehicle owners don’t see the motorcyclist, perhaps because they are in their blindspots, or there isn’t a distance kept between the two vehicles. Of course, other contributing factors on the part of the motorcycle riders could be things like speeding, violation of traffic rules and weather-related problems.

Basically, when it comes to road safety, nothing beats skill and safe road-sharing habits. To ensure that other road users can see you, turn on your headlights or wear brightly colored safety gear. Always use your bike signals when turning and avoid weaving through fast moving traffic or squeezing through small pockets of space.

Motorcycle Myths Busted!

Have you heard of these motorcycle myths? Do you believe them to be true? Let us know in the comments section below!

The bottomline is, motorcycle riding requires skill and proper safety measures. You can also practice safe riding by utilising technology, such as the on-board unit (OBU)
To add on to your safety, don’t forget to equip yourself with the best motorcycle insurance in Singapore. Direct Asia offers three main cover types of motorbike insurance to give you total peace of mind when navigating through Singapore roads. Get a quick quote online or call us at 6665 5555 for more information. Don’t get baffled by these busted myths!