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.
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.
3. MX apparel
Let's start with you and whether you have the right clothing. This is because before you get on your ebike, you need to take care of your safety. I therefore strongly recommend that you complete the outfit even before buying two wheels, so that you are not tempted to get on the bike and become a “squid”. Your health is the basis for the pleasure of riding.
There is an important rule in riding our vehicles: dress for the slide, not for the ride. The better prepared you are for contact with the ground, the more likely you are to return home safely after your ride. Manufacturers of clothing, pads and helmets are constantly improving their technologies to give you the best protection, comfort and maximum fun.
The priority in choosing clothing for riding our electric vehicles is safety. If you are looking to select pieces of your own motocross or off-road clothing, please seek expert advice from the sales staff or ask an experienced rider for help.
The recommended minimum is:
- Body armour or buzer
- Knee pads
- Gloves with knuckle and finger protection
- Ankle boots with a hard sole
Common sense is:
- Neck protector
- Protective pants
- MX boots
- Custom made leg orthoses after consultation with a doctor
Always wear full MX motorcycle clothing. Even a seemingly minor motorcycle accident can result in long and expensive rehabilitation of the ankle, knee or hip. Impact-resistant motorcycle clothing comes with protectors to protect against the effects of most falls.
The name is not coincidental - the purpose of the armor is to protect critical areas of the body from impacts with the ground, rocks, trees and other off-road or track elements. Motorcycle armour is designed to absorb and disperse impact at speeds typical of off-road riding, so it is not suitable for use on public roads where speeds are higher and there is something almost unknown off-road - friction with high temperature. An alternative to armor is a buzer, which provides a slightly lesser degree of protection but gives greater freedom of movement.
To safely ride off-road or on the track, good quality protective pants with protectors and a long-sleeved sweatshirt worn over the armor are required. The cut should be relaxed - so as not to restrict movement. A wide range of brands such as Fox, Alpinestars or Troy Lee Designs allows you to choose a design of shirt and pants to suit your style and even your mood. Gloves with glove and finger protectors are an important piece of equipment. When riding in the woods and a small twig that hits your fingers at 50km/h can cause a lot of damage. Decent gloves with hard rubber or kevlar protection will negate this problem.
Off-road or motocross boots must stiffen and secure the ankle and foot and protect the shins. To do this, the boots must fit perfectly to the foot and calf, with no pressure and no looseness. Many models have special rails made of very hard materials, which have the additional task of stiffening the boot construction. For the best possible fit, manufacturers use a system of buckles and snaps.
4.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.
5. 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.
6. As a warning
With all of the above "good advice" in mind, you may also want to take a look at our customers' photos from their accidents and crashes. All of the damage below, in most cases, took place with a helmet on and full protective clothing.
The pictures were sent by our customers as a warning to other customers and new, future users of the sport to show how dangerous it can be.
If you are also our customer and would like to share your pictures as a warning, please contact us.
Our observations show that 80% of users have an accident or dangerous situation within the first week of using an electric vehicle. The remaining 20% have an accident or dangerous situation within a month after purchasing the vehicle.
If you think that you will drive calmly, safely and without going crazy - that's fine, but you are no different from others. You are just among one of the two percentage groups mentioned above who thought the exact same thing as you. This is a matter of time and being prepared after reading and taking to heart the above points.