In late September, the Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol Bureau conducted a safety checkpoint on the Long Island Expressway in New York. In less than three hours, the police stopped 134 motorcyclists, and issued 57 of them summonses for safety violations, according to CBS New York.
The violations were for numerous issues including lacking a valid license, uninspected, uninsured and unregistered motorcycles, unapproved helmets and illegally modified exhaust systems.
The excessive number of violations should be a reminder to any current or hopeful motorcycle rider: You need to follow the rules.
Owning and riding a motorcycle is much like owning and driving a car: you need to have the proper license in order to do so legally. You should check on the specific laws of your state, but many jurisdictions require potential riders to take and pass a class before they can gain their license. Even if a class isn't required, it's often a good idea.
Most states require you to register your bike as well. Check on your local laws to find out how to register and make sure you're fully licensed and registered before you hit the road.
Next, just like you need auto insurance, you need motorcycle insurance. Many factors go into the price of coverage, including your age, driving record, where you live and the current theft rate for your bike. To find the best price in your area, use CoverHound to shop around.
Don't forget to purchase proper gear as well. Again, the state laws vary on whether helmets are required or not, and you should make sure you know the laws of the areas you'll be riding through. Some states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets and others require riders of a specific age and younger to wear helmets.