Night Rider

Let's get this off the table to start with - we will not be talking about David Hasselhoff, sorry if you happen to be a fan. In fact we are going to take a look at the dark side of riding, without any discussion about the force; we'll be reviewing riding at night. OK I'll try to keep Star Wars out of this too.

Seems there may be just as many riders that have a bit of fear to night riding compare to those that try to avoid riding in the rain. As with everything else, a lot has to do with how we approach this and being a little better prepared and educated. Riding at night can offer enjoyable aspects such as a little serenity with the silence of the darkened, open summer sky or even excitement and energy by taking in the lights and sounds of a busy urban strip; but as with many things with motorcycling, there are always risks to be aware of and hopefully avoid.

The first and foremost reason for any hazard associated with riding at night - it’s dark. With the loss of light there is obviously a reduction visual capability; not only for you, but those sharing the road. Even before you get started, consider how well your night vision really is. Some things that happened as we get older includes reduction of vision in general, which in turn affects your night vision. Some folks experience extended "starring" from other vehicle headlights, combine that with possible delayed reaction time for the vision issue and it can turn out to be something unexpected and unwanted. If your night vision is minimal, then planning around not riding in the dark may be a better option; but if you do there are options to be safer.

These days the abundance of high tech LED primary and auxiliary lighting for both front and rear can be a major benefit for visual recognition, again for both you and others. Certainly cost may be a factor for some, especially if riding at night is not part of one's normal road activity; but that cost could be a big saver for your own well being or property (aka - your motorcycle). OK , spending a ton of dough may not work for you; yet fear not, you do have alternatives to help protect yourself.

When rolling with the night crickets, consider wearing high reflective gear or a vest, even bright colored gear; black certainly has no noticeable value in the dark. There are even options for reflective tape that can be place strategically on your bike or helmet to make you more visible to others. With the overall thought process or strategy to riding that includes to SEE (Search Evaluate Execute) and be seen, doing whatever we can at night will do good to us overall. Use whatever available lighting around you that you can, if you are riding in city conditions, try to avoid darker streets. If in rural areas, use the lighting of other vehicles when available to give you more visual clues. Even a cars taillights can help you. If you are following a vehicle and see the rear lights go up and down it could be indicating a dip, pothole or some other road hazard ahead.

Try to know your riding area; looking for turn offs, street names, etc in an unfamiliar place can interject some distracted  measures. Being mentally sidetracked while dealing with the risks with riding at night can result in a bad combination. Along with hazards of road conditions, other vehicles or traffic; depending on your location, wildlife can also add to the risk factor. Many animals are nocturnal and can come apparent in your headlights way too quickly. With that though, do no override your headlights. That means - watch you speed. For instance, if your headlight shines 100' ahead of you, but the speed your traveling winds up needing 150' to stop because of your perception (available vision), reaction time and braking distance; that little Bambi that suddenly shows up in the light can become a big problem for you and your bike. Simple step to take into account when riding at night - slow down. This thought works well during the day too.

So we only touched on a few issues that comes with riding in the wave of darkness, but it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Respect the issues that can cause harm and adjust for them. Do everything to see as much as you can; whether it be additional lighting, use of any lighting around you, even having your vision checked to be sure you are seeing what you can clearly. At the same time, do what you can for others to see you the best they can. Driver’s first response when involved in a crash with a motorcyclist is "I didn't see him/her" adding a cloak of darkness definitely does not make things better.

Yes riding at night positively has its added level of risks, but at times can be enjoyable. Do not let your fear of it get the best of you and if you do venture out into the dark side; may the force be with you. Sorry about that, fell into my own corny trap - Be Safe Out There!

Don't forget to checkout Dates/Locations for our FREE Motorcycle Safety Seminars Below - more dates are being added.

Also, more events for 2019 are being posted.

Is the winter getting you down by not being able to ride or ride as much as you'd like? Perhaps to pass the frigid hours you may be interested in some reading for motorcycles. Well you're in luck; two of ESMSEP's supporters have recently each published books that can improve your riding with cornering information and for those of you in rider education, or possibly interested in the field; there's a book for that too.
Cornering Confidence
Jon DelVecchio

Cornering Confidence provides motorcycle riders with a simple progression of skills to elevate their riding within a short period of time. The ultimate goal of the book is mastering the often misunderstood trail braking technique. These advanced skills can take years to discover separately, but have been condensed here into a nice little package. Learn the secrets to 100% cornering confidence.

Click on Image to Order Your Copy

The Art of Effective Motorsports Coaching
By David Beyer

There are literally dozens of books out there designed to help riders improve. There are hundreds of classes and thousands of people who teach and coach in the motorsport’s arena. When it comes to helping those, who teach, and coach to improve, there are very few options and even less material on the subject. In the words of Dr. James Snell Effective coaching is an Art…Effective coaching requires the ability to create an environment in which coaches and students develop a partnership in learning that allows for the development of skills outlined in course objectives and students’ personal goals.

Click on Image to Order Your Copy

Free Motorcycle Safety Seminars
We are presently posting our Free Motorcycle Safety Seminar for 2019. Motorcyclist Tune Up is an informational presentation for riders to review the mental tools needed for a safer riding season

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For only $25 a year, your membership helps support our Free Education to the Riding Community plus you receive tons of discounts from our Sponsoring Partners.

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Check Out All Our Sponsoring Partners

We have more Sponsoring Partners that offer discounts to our members than any other non for profit educational program in the country. Our Sponsors fully support the motorcycling community  with our goals to Promote Motorcycle Awareness & the Benefits of Rider Education

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2019 Area Motorcycle Events

We are starting to post events for 2019 for Dealerships, Clubs, Charities, etc.

If your organization would like to have your event posted on our website page; email information to:

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Past Safety Articles/Emails

You can check out past email updates & motorcycle safety articles of various topics.

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Meetings are in Nassau & Suffolk Counties. The Nassau meeting will be informational only and the Suffolk meeting will remain the primary meeting time.

Suffolk Meeting Tuesday February 12th  at the Lake Ronkonkoma Fire District Meeting Hall Corner of Hawkins Ave & Portion Road Ronkonkoma, NY
Meeting starts at 7:30pm

Nassau Meeting will be 
Tuesday February 19th  at the Marine Corps League
99 New York Ave Massapequa NY
​Meeting Starts at 7:30pm


Empire State Motorcycle Safety Education Program, Inc  (ESMSEP) is a not for profit, 501(c)3 outreach education organization group of like-minded motorcycle safety enthusiasts working towards the goal of promoting motorcycle awareness and the benefits of rider education through FREE informational seminars at libraries, adult continuing ed programs, dealerships, club/group meetings, rallies, etc. Our primary goal is to present the information to licensed motorcycle operators as to the importance of continuing rider education, but our information can also be extremely useful for newer riders as well. To date, there is no one in NYS that presently addresses what we do..

ESMSEP has a Member Benefit Program that includes discounted offers from our Sponsoring Partners. ESMSEP currently has over 80 Sponsoring Partners listed on our website that have joined our team with many of them offering a benefit offer for our membership that have pledge to support this new exciting venture. All of them are extremely supportive of our task and recognize the value of it for the motorcycling community plus the potential for future customers that appreciate their support of motorcycle safety. We have more sponsors than any other not for profit motorcycle education organization in the country.