Going for a Ride in New Zealand? Here Are Some Tips for you
Motorcycling in a country as beautiful as New Zealand is certainly a treat and makes for a wonderful adventure. Motorcycling through the roads in the South Island of New Zealand is known to be one of the best experiences for a rider in the world because of the Southern Alps spine that runs virtually down the centre. Motorcycling is not only more fun than driving a car but also more fuel-efficient. New Zealand is known for its empty roads with great visibility. Motorcycling in New Zealand comes with great surprises in& around every corner, throughout this beautiful country. But along with these scenic views and wonderful adventures, comes the risk of riding a motorbike. Although it’s a popular opinion that motorbiking is more fun than car driving, it also comes with its hazards.
Therefore, before setting out for a road trip on a motorbike, here are a few things that you should keep in mind :
Plan Your Route:
- Having a fair idea of the route is going to save you time, energy and be safer for you throughout your planned ride. This would help you avoid stopping to look at your phone and confirming the route or even better, prevent you from the safety hazards than looking at your phone throughout the route. I am pretty sure you would want to take in the breathtaking views and landscapes that this gorgeous country has to offer than to look into your device for the most part of your journey.
- It is also important to have a basic knowledge about road conditions as some roads may be slightly more difficult than the others. For such roads, prior information about alternative routes is important to avoid any kind of trouble if it were to arise.
- One very important thing to consider is to avoid riding at night because of several reasons. There is undoubtedly a higher chance of getting into accidents at night. Riding short distances in a well-lit area is a different experience altogether but it’s not advisable to ride long distances at night because of exertion due to lack of sleep and even increased animal activity at night that makes you more prone to accidents.
Wear Appropriate Safety Gear:
- Starting with the most important part of the safety gear – helmets. Wearing helmets while riding is mandatory in New Zealand. Make sure to invest in a proper full-face helmet than a semi one before embarking on your journey. Helmets prevent you from the most severe and commonly caused head injuries. It also prevents you from random flying objects coming out of nowhere. Helmets are good protection against cold and windblast as well.
- It is also extremely important to have proper protective eye gear which comes in the form of face shields. Anyone who has been attacked by stones to your face can tell you that using a face shield is very useful. It also prevents the eyes from becoming really watery which leads to a compromised vision during the ride.
- During warm conditions, riders can tend to not pay heed to extra protective clothing like motorcycle jeans or motorcycle jackets. However, neglecting these safety apparels could lead to severe injury and bruising in an unfortunate event.
- A good pair of boots give you a firm grip over ruff roads and avoiding slipping on the footpegs, preventing foot and ankle injuries.
- Another important piece of safety gear is gloves. You can find different types of gloves for every season and come in a wide range. Hence, safety being of utmost importance, proper care should be taken to be appropriately dressed before embarking on your exciting journey.
Get Knowledge of Basic Road Rules :
If you aren’t a regular rider and are not aware of the NewZealand road rules, make sure you visit the New Zealand transport agency website. Some of the brief rules that you need to keep in mind before embarking on your journey are:
- Driving licence: It is mandatory for you to hold and carry a physical copy of your full motorcycle licence and make sure that it is translated if it is an overseas licence.
- Speed limits: New Zealand is very strict about speed limits and some speed cameras are not even visible in bright colours like others, so it’s important that you are conscious about your speed throughout your journey. The speed limit is 100km/h maximum on the open road and 50km/h in built-up areas.
- Overtaking: Overtaking crossing the yellow line is prohibited whereas broken white lines are okay but only as long as you are within your speed limit. You must stick to the left side of the road.
- Safety gear: Wearing helmets at all time while riding is compulsory in New Zealand by law and if you’re seen riding without it, you would have to pay a hefty fine& in addition you not be able to continue your ride.
- Riding under influence: Riding under the influence of alcohol is considered to be a very serious offence in New Zealand. Watch the percentage of alcohol while consuming your beers or wine which can easily get you over the legal limit. It’s better that you delay your ride in the morning if you’ve had a long night of heavy drinking the night before. It’s important to stay sober because on a motorcycle, the risk is a lot higher than that being in a car, and riding a motorcycle requires more awareness, quick reactions, better balance, everything that is required when you are sober.
- Knowing & listening to your bike properly is more important than it seems. Motorbikes have a lot of moving parts that are responsible for a smooth and safe ride. Test all the parts well before you set out on your ride. For example, test your brakes properly, shocks, check oil, chain, horn & air pressure before starting out. Enjoy the ride than having a sudden realisation that your brakes are dodgy for example & having to mess around finding a motorcycle shop for a quick fix.
- Motorbikes like any other vehicle go through wear and tear during their normal usage. Make sure that your bike is in proper condition in order to smoothly sail through all the miles you wish to cover. Check whether your clutch and throttle are working properly. Paying close attention to all these small details beforehand will ensure that you don’t face unforeseen breakdowns during your adventure. Get full insurance on your bike and make sure that it is in a roadworthy condition otherwise it will be difficult to claim your insurance if your bike was in an unfortunate event. The last and most important thing to keep in mind is to remember to have fun.
- Riding a motorbike exploring new roads and scenic routes in New Zealand has a vibe of its own so make sure to slow down, enjoy the ride and take in all the sights, sounds and smells that you would enjoy better on the bike than in any car. Riding a motorcycle can have a hugely positive impact on your mood and your daily routine so make sure you make the most of it.