Electric vehicles guarantee great fun and unforgettable experience. However, let us remember about common sense and our safety.
Safety on an ebike depends mostly on ourselves - on how well we are aware of the risks and how well we anticipate them. A driver of a car is protected by a thick layer of safety systems, unfortunately, we are protected only by our own instinct of self-preservation. However, good preparation for safe riding is not a closed book. Although, of course, nothing can replace experience and good riding technique, it is also worth learning a few hacks that will help improve your own safety.
Helmet and goggles
A helmet is the most important piece of protection for any motorcyclist, not just those who ride off-road. It is a must-have piece of equipment both on public roads and at any motocross competition. A motocross helmet is quite different from a road helmet - it has an open, goggle-adapted design, is devoid of visor, sun-visor and other unnecessary accessories, and is much lighter than its road counterpart. When riding off-road, however, the same rules apply as on the road - the helmet must be fastened, well-fitting and undamaged. It must also be approved - in Europe it is ECE R22.05.
Cross-country helmets, like those used on public roads, must be certified. In Europe this is ECE R22.05, in the USA and some other countries this is DOT. Even if you don't plan to use the helmet on public roads, make sure it's certified - it's important for your safety. It's such a declaration by the manufacturer that it has met the technical conditions that guarantee a high level of passive protection. The protective functions of a helmet will only work if it fits your head properly. Due to the fact that head shapes differ, it is definitely not worth buying a helmet online. You should try on the cross helmet - it must fit snugly on your head, and may even be slightly too tight at first. If you feel that you can turn it after putting it on, or move it up and down without any problems, it means that it is too big.
We do not recommend buying helmets from Asia, Africa or America. Manufacturers design shells and liners to fit the head shape typical of the population of that continent. So it's not unusual that a seemingly identical helmet imported from the USA won't fit. Contrary to popular belief, the weight of a helmet is not as important as its proper balance. The best example here are Arai helmets, which, although not the lightest, are well balanced, so you almost don't feel them on your head. It's another argument to buy helmet only after trying it on.
An extremely important feature of the helmet is the type of ventilation used in it. During motorcycle activity, the heart rate increases and the rider's breathing becomes faster, so they need more air. Hence, cross helmets have elongated jaw section and numerous air inlets. A good helmet is not cheap, but this does not mean, however, that you necessarily have to spend a fortune on decent head protection. A decent cross helmets can be bought for about 800-1000 zlotys, the best ones, with advanced safety systems, with shells made of composites, cost more than 2500 zlotys. Even the most expensive helmets are not for life - this is a common myth among motorcyclists. The helmet is disposable - after each impact you need to replace it, this also applies to situations when it drops from the handlebars (or seat) onto pavement or concrete. Micro cracks appear in the structure of the shell, which can make the helmet, instead of protecting the head, fall apart next time.
Besides, cross helmets made of thermoplastic need to be replaced every 5-6 years, and those made of composite every 7-8.
Riding without goggles is asking for trouble - contact with a branch, rock or tire fragment of the ebike in front of you, - so always wear them while riding. Off-road goggles must have lenses made of unbreakable material, should fit snugly against your skin, and should fit snugly against your helmet. Before you decide to buy goggles, try them on - manufacturers use different shapes, try which one will fit your face best.
In motocross, they use so-called tear offs, which are clear stickers on the lenses that allow you to immediately get rid of mud and dust.
Good practice to prevent fogging is to buy goggles complete with helmet from the same manufacturer and the same series. On the other hand, ski goggles with double lenses will not always be a good solution for summer riding due to the density of the foams and the different design of the facial ventilation.
You never have priority
Traffic can flow smoothly because drivers behave predictably and let you read their intentions. If you behave the same way - you will minimize the risk of an accident. Make sure your manoeuvres are clear and understandable to other drivers, whether you're on a cycle path or chasing your friends through the woods. Signal your intentions and keep to the rhythm of the traffic. Also observe the actions of other drivers, taking into account the principle of limited trust. When riding on DH, Enduro and Freeride trails you NEVER have priority. Remember, you are not riding an ordinary bicycle, an accident between an ordinary cyclist and you will always end tragically for the other party. Use common sense! Do not prove to anyone that you are faster. Everyone knows that you are the fastest.
Respect blind corners
A blind corner means you can't see what's behind the top of it. There could be sand, a cliff, a child or a broken tractor. There could also be a tightening radius of the turn, so if you enter it at too high a speed, you won't be able to react to the danger. At worst, you'll pull out into the opposite lane or fall off the road. Drive carefully on the outside - you'll see a wider area.