Peter Catania | December 22, 2021 | Motorcycle Accidents
If you love fresh air, adventures, and spending less money on fuel, riding a motorcycle is a no-brainer. A new motorbike can give you the opportunity to travel, feel the wind in your hair, and do it all affordably.
But before you hit the open road, make sure you have everything crossed off the checklist. Do you need a special license? How about motorcycle insurance? Keep reading to learn about the basics of motorcycle insurance in Tampa, FL.
How to Get Your Motorcycle License
Before we can talk about whether you need insurance for your motorcycle, let’s cover the basics.
To legally operate a motorcycle in the state of Florida, you must:
- Be 16 years or older
- Take and pass a motorcycle education course
- Obtain a motorcycle endorsement
To obtain your endorsement, you need at least a valid Class E license and must be willing to pay the $7 fee. The good news is that once the endorsement is added to your license, it’s good for life.
Just make sure you visit a local license office to have the endorsement added within one year of receiving it. Otherwise, you’ll have to start all over.
Of course, you can also skip the traditional license and endorsement route. You’ll need to be 16 or older for a motorcycle-only license. You’ll also need to hold a learner’s license for one year and then pass the same test as you would for a Class E license.
Find Out Whether You Need Insurance
Under certain circumstances, insurance is needed to operate a motorcycle within the state of Florida. However, you do not need insurance to register the vehicle.
Instead, insurance is only required if a rider is charged with causing a motorcycle accident and wants to avoid license or registration suspension.
Of course, with that being said, insurance is always a good idea. A rider may be liable for property damage and/or bodily injuries whether they have insurance or not.
How to Safely Prepare for Your Next Trip
Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Even the safest of riders can’t always avoid an accident. To lower your risk of serious injury or death, it’s best to pick up these safe habits:
Wear a Helmet
The numbers don’t lie. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 69 percent and the risk of death by 42 percent. After all, no one wants the long-term effects of a serious brain injury. Recovery can cost thousands of dollars, leave you with long-term issues, and force you to take time away from work.
For best results, choose a helmet with a full face shield. Make sure it is approved by the Department of Transportation and properly fitted.
If you plan to make this a long-term habit, that’s a great idea. Just make sure to replace your helmet every five years.
Take Care of Your Bike
A well-maintained motorcycle is a safe motorcycle. To keep your bike running smoothly, implement these maintenance guidelines:
- Change the oil every several thousand miles
- Replace the air filter whenever it gets clogged and dirty
- Check your tire pressure and tread before every ride
- Check the coolant level and replace it when needed
- Clean your O-ring chain whenever it looks dirty
To keep your insurance in good standing, make sure that your bike is in safe working condition.
Motorcyclists are held to the same laws as other motorists. So while it can be tempting to split lanes or tailgate, avoid these maneuvers. You don’t want to be liable for another traveler’s damages or injuries.
With these safety habits in your routine, you’ll have everything you need to travel in safety. Just don’t forget to obtain a license and invest in insurance.