Little did German auto pioneer Herr Gottlieb Daimler know that when he added an internal combustion engine to a bicycle frame, he had just revolutionized the perception of traveling. The American love for motorcycles has been reflected in the movies over the decades. With Steve McQueen planning a daring escape on a Triumph TR6 Trophy 650cc motorcycle in the classic The Great Escape, Maverick Tom Cruise riding the Kawasaki GPZ900R in Top Gun, or cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger riding the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy in the 1990 global hit Terminator 2. One thing that many Hollywood films have reflected is how much motorcycles have fascinated the American populace.
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What are the regulations governing motorcycles?
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the regulatory body governing transportation in the United States. There are stringent rules & regulations governing various aspects of motorcycle transportation. Motorcycle licenses in the US are issued by the individual states and not the federal government.
A written test, practicing driving, and a skills test are the three steps toward acquiring a license. Depending on the state, these specifications could change.
Motorcycle road rules and requirements
Motorcycle road rules have been well-defined in the United States. However, different states vary in their perception of these rules and have tweaked them accordingly. Some of these key requirements have been mentioned herewith for your reference.
Barring three states which do not have motorcycle helmet laws, all other states conditionally require that all riders wear a helmet.
Out of 50 states, 22 have some kind of mirror requirement, while the remaining 28 do not need one legally. Five states require a motorcycle to have two rear-view mirrors.
It is compulsory in 12 states for the rider and the passenger to have eye protection. Some states exempt eyewear if your bike has a windshield, but the windshield height must be 15″ above the handlebars. There are 14 states where there is no requirement for eye protection.
There is a regulation on handlebar height in 30 states. The restrictions range from no more than 30 inches above the seat to no higher than the operator’s eye level.
Fenders: Twenty states mandate fenders for front and rear wheels, whereas three states only require fenders for the back wheel.
Apart from the above rules, there are some vague rules like the use of headphones being restricted or forbidden in sixteen states. Passengers must have access to footrests in all but three states. The restrictions, which apply to newer bikes built after a specific year and require the usage of headlights during the daytime, are present in 24 states.
Perception towards Motorcycles
It’s impossible to overlook how motorcycles have influenced American culture. Motorcycles have captivated the American imagination in more than one way. Americans felt a close association with Harley Davidson bikes due to their participation in both World wars. This passion continued post-World War II, when motorcycle clubs were formed, fostering a community of enthusiasts. Homegrown brands like Triumph and Harley Davidson have been American icons and have been providing bikes to the US government and military.
Every wonderful invention has a drawback, and motorbikes are no different. The dark underbelly of the bike world has been the infamous outlaw biker gangs like Hells Angels, Mongols, Pagans, and Bandidos. Over the years, the perception towards motorcycles has significantly changed, with Americans preferring owning a car over a bike. The fatality rate associated with motorcycles has been almost 28 times in comparison to the passenger car fatality rate and 43 times the fatality rate for light-truck occupants for the period between 2011- 2020, as published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
These factors have led to a decline in ownership of motorcycles, as people prefer owning a four-wheeler which is safe in comparison.
Safety features for motorcycles
Safety features in motorcycles have been evolving over the past few years. Modern motorcycles have plenty of safety features to mitigate accidents, injuries, or fatalities. Some of the safety features have been listed herewith for your reference.
There are two types of airbags to save the rider in case of an accident. The first airbag is found behind the windscreen to protect the rider in case of a head-on collision. The second type of airbags is a part of vests, bodysuits, and jackets. These can be worn by the rider and deployed within no time when a computer chip in the clothing detects a chance of collision.
ABS is a life safer during tight turns and emergency braking. Anti-lock braking systems use wheel-speed sensors to identify when a wheel might lock up under braking conditions and to stop it from happening by quickly releasing and reapplying brake pressure numerous times per second.
Unlike a car, a motorcycle is less visible and more challenging to locate on the road. To direct the light where you are heading rather than straight ahead of the bike, adaptive headlights (available on some bikes and as aftermarket accessories) use electronic sensors and pivot with the motorcycle when you take a corner.
Helmets are a crucial component of motorcycle safety. Modern motorcycle helmets are modified to include technologies like built-in GPS systems and built-in cameras to provide rear views and remove blind spots. Motorcycle helmets play a significant part in rider safety.
The next advancement is V2V communication (Vehicle to vehicle communication), where Vehicles can wirelessly communicate data about their location, heading, and speed. These V2V communication messages can detect risks hidden by weather, topography, or traffic having a range of more than 300 meters.
Use of Sports tech:
The rear wheel attempting to drive the engine at a pace quicker than its power would typically partially disengage the slip clutch on modern bikes. The slip clutch was initially created, for high-performance super sports motorcycles and equipment used only for track and field sports, but it is now utilized more frequently for regular bikes.
How do GPS Trackers function?
Before getting to motorcycle GPS tracking and its safety features, let us understand how GPS functions. Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a satellite-based navigational aid. It does not require cellular data or Wi-Fi to identify the location.
A ground radar receives a signal from a satellite and directs it to your GPS device. It can pinpoint the device’s exact location using a constellation of satellites. GPS can speed up the delivery of satellite data to the smartphone by using the internet provided by a cellular network.
Benefits of Motorcycle GPS tracker
A motorcycle though in dimensions may not measure up to any four-wheeler, does not make it any less valued for its owner. The safety and security of the bike are of paramount importance to its owner. While a motorcycle GPS tracker may sound like any other tracker for locating an object, it is much more than that.
Latest Motorcycle GPS trackers are technologically advanced and can perform wide-ranging functions than just tracking your motorcycle. Following are some safety benefits of installing a Motorcycle GPS tracker on your valuable bike.
The most profitable for any thief is stealing the entire motorcycle instead of the parts. Compared to a car, it is easier to jump on a bike and ride away. The anti-theft alerts in motorcycle GPS trackers are real-time notifications and will inform you if there is an attempted theft of your motorcycle.
These alerts are also transmitted if the motorcycle tips over. Another feature is geofencing, a virtual fence that you can set up around the areas where you are most likely to ride your motorcycle. You will be alerted instantly if your bike moves beyond the pre-set boundaries. Live vehicle tracking via mobile app becomes easier by installing a motorcycle GPS tracker.
Statistics & Information:
Advanced Motorcycle GPS trackers offer additional features like detailed information about your riding patterns, mileage traveled, and how you compare to other riders in your area. They can also assist you in keeping a closer eye on your fuel usage and identifying fuel-saving techniques.
Motorcycle GPS trackers also help you maintain a computerized schedule of all your motorcycle maintenance due and help prevent expensive repairs.
Reduction in Insurance rates:
Before approving for coverage, motor insurance companies always look out for your driving habits, age, model of your vehicle, etc. Insurance firms are also aware of the advantages of a motorcycle GPS tracker. For this reason, they frequently provide savings on insurance for motorcycles equipped with motorcycle GPS trackers. It acts as an additional layer of security that prevents motorbike theft & discovered soon if stolen. As a result, the insurance provider offers a discount for insurance services and, in some manner, guarantees that it won’t have to pay the whole amount in the event of an accident.
GPS trackers are linked to the cloud for retrieving data whenever required. All the data is stored, on a single server in the cloud. Each owner of a licensed motorcycle may use a web interface to access the cloud. The user can access all the real-time data via the online site. You can access your private cloud storage to review rides and riding stats and to import and share within your circles.
Riding statistics and information:
Access detailed information about your riding patterns, mileage traveled, and how you compare to other riders in your circles. This feature is helpful for bike communities where riding volume is high.
Ease of use & versatility:
Most motorcycle GPS trackers are wireless and easy to fit anywhere in the motorcycle. Motorcycle GPS trackers are available with dual magnet casings that are simple to mount on your bike. Trackers are available for those who want to use them for purposes other than tracking their motorcycles. These trackers are portable, so you can take them wherever you choose.
Good battery life:
Some motorcycle GPS trackers can be connected to the motorcycle’s battery, while others have standard Lithium-ion batteries which need a recharge. You can extend the battery life by switching off real-time tracking when not in use and switching to low-power mode to conserve the battery.
It’s always confusing to choose when multiple companies sell the same product. Family1st portable GPS trackers are the most trusted brand in the United States. The Family1st trackers are versatile and provide everything a good GPS tracker should. People’s attitudes toward travel have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trains, local buses, and other modes of public transit are susceptible to contamination because of their regular congestion. This threat has led to a trend toward motorcycles, which are accessible and affordable. Due to the phenomenal growth of the four-wheeled vehicle industry, the motorcycle industry has faced negligence, and the pandemic has given it a much-needed boost.
Two-wheelers have been increasingly seen as the best mode of transportation post the quarantine period, according to industry experts and bike manufacturers like Honda, Harley-Davidson, and Triumph Motors.
Due to their pragmatic approach, Generation Z prefers to travel by motorcycle. This choice appears to be spreading rapidly around the world. The future of global transportation lies in electric vehicle usage to replace finite fossil resources. The two-wheeler sector has advanced in this direction already, and numerous businesses produce electric bikes.
There is a market for each type of bike – be it a standard, cruise, or for sports. Recent happenings globally have brought back the limelight on a mode of travel that was losing its sheen. Motorcycles will continue to develop and exist. Getting a motorcycle GPS tracker safeguards both the vehicle and your life. Motorcycle GPS trackers will become more advanced than they are now because of technological advancements. This little gadget will do a lot to keep you and your loved ones safe.