We could write this as if the lawyers were hovering in the background -- always obey all speed limits, always dress in leathers, Kevlar, and so forth -- but it would be pretty tedious if we did. Instead, here's the Official Health Warning.
Motorcycling can be dangerous. If you haven't realized this yet, maybe you'd better quit. Now. Before you get hurt.
Although the vast majority of the advice given here is based on solid experience over many years, you should always read everything we have written through the filter of your own common sense as a motorcyclist.
For example, there is no doubt that it is a great deal more dangerous to ride in a T-shirt and jeans, with an open-face trials-style helmet and no gloves, than to wear Kevlar-reinforced racing leathers and a full-face brain bucket. But if the California Highway Patrol can ride as (relatively) skimpily dressed as they do, it is self-evident that failing to dress up like a racer is by no means an invariable precursor to an immediate and horrible death.
If there is a conflict between information given on this site and information given elsewhere, always err on the side of caution until you have verified for yourself who is right. For example, if someone else gives a blood alcohol level of 0.05, and we say 0.08, go with their figure until you have double checked. The same would apply if we say that the speed limit is 50 km/h and they say 60 km/h: go for 50 until you are sure. We are confident that our information is more accurate and up-to-date than most -- often, a lot more accurate and up-to-date -- but anyone can make a mistake.
If you are not comfortable with something we recommend, or with something we describe without comment as being the norm (such as speeding on European motorways), then just don't do it. But equally, don't sue us if you make a mistake, fall off, and hurt yourself -- or if you get a ticket. Don't pretend it is a result of something you read in here. It isn't. You are responsible for your own safety: we aren't. That's why the following disclaimer appears at the foot of every article:
This information has been verified as far as possible but should not be taken as definitive. You alone are responsible for your safety and legality on a motorcycle (or elsewhere) and should always ride and behave accordingly.
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© 2003 Roger W. Hicks