Bike Weeks

2017 Spring Bike Rallies

  • Harley Bike Week: May 15 - 21, 2017
  • Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest: May 25 - 28, 2017

2017 Fall Bike Rallies

  • Harley Bike Week: September 25 - October 1, 2017

Welcome

Chief Rhodes

Welcome

On behalf of the officers of the Horry County Police Department, welcome to the 2017 Bike Weeks. I am Joseph Hill, Chief of Police for Horry County, which includes the Myrtle Beach area.

Hosting two bike week events in the same month is no small task especially when it comes to Public Safety issues. Law enforcement agencies, area-wide, strive to provide a safe and enjoyable venue for our visitors, business owners and residents alike. Life safety issues are a priority and will remain a top priority as it only takes a few problems to create an unsafe environment for others.

Like last year, we will be making changes to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors. These changes include:

  • An increased police presence for the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest with several hundred additional police officers and South Carolina State Troopers;
  • A 23-mile traffic management loop during select hours to keep traffic moving;
  • One way traffic on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach;
  • Barricades on Ocean Boulevard to separate vehicular traffic from pedestrian traffic; and
  • Many other measures intended to make the weekend safer and more  controllable.

Our community is special to us and we value the safety of our residents and visitors. We chose to make the Myrtle Beach area home because it’s a great place to live, work and raise a family. We respect where we live, and ask that when you visit, you do as well. It’s my job to ensure that everyone follows the laws and enjoy a safe experience while visiting the Myrtle Beach area.

As a rider myself for over 35 years I want you to visit and tour our great area and leave with the appreciation of this beautiful community   We welcome everyone to come visit, but when you do, remember to:

  • Be safe;
  • Have fun; and
  • Follow the law!

Respectfully,
Chief Joseph Hill
Horry County Police Department 

Awareness At Social Events

  • Plan to be with at least one other friend when going out to a bar, club, or party.
  • Be sure that at least one person is identified as the designated driver.
  • Keep your friends or roommates informed of where you are going, when you plan on returning and who you’ll be with.
  • Do not drink beverages that are already open handed to you by people you don’t know or trust. Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Trust your instincts. If any social situation becomes uncomfortable or feels wrong, remain calm and leave immediately.
  • If at any point, you or a friend feels disoriented or unusually intoxicated for what you have consumed, leave the bar or party immediately. Get medical help if necessary.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and travel the safest route available.
  • While sexual offenses go underreported, please call 911 is you have been sexually assaulted.

Motorcycle Laws

South Carolina Motorcycle Laws (printer friendly version)

Information provided by South Carolina Department of Public Safety
ARTICLE 29.
MOTORCYCLISTS; RIGHTS AND DUTIES THEREOF

SECTION 56‐5‐3610. Rights and duties of operator of motorcycle generally.
Every person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles, except as to special regulations or other provisions of law which by their nature would not apply.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐498.4; 1969 (56) 317.
SECTION 56‐5‐3630. Manner in which motorcycles shall be operated.
  1. A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto and the operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.
  2. A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
  3. No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
  4. No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
  5. No person riding upon a motorcycle shall attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on the roadway.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐498; 1952 Code Section 46‐498; 1949 (46) 466; 1978 Act No. 451 Section 6.
SECTION 56‐5‐3640. Motorcycle entitled to full use of lane; riding two or more abreast; overtaking and passing; operation in other instances.
  1. All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.
  2. The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
  3. No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
  4. Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.
  5. Items (b) and (c) shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐498.2; 1969 (56) 317.
SECTION 56‐5‐3650. Footrests; rear view mirror.
  1. Any motorcycle carrying a passenger, other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, must be equipped with footrests for its passenger.
  2. A person shall not operate any motorcycle unless it is equipped with a rear view mirror which will afford the operator ample vision to the rear at all times.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐4983; 1969 (56) 317; 2006 Act No. 278, Section 1, eff May 23, 2006.
SECTION 56‐5‐3660. Helmets shall be worn by operators and passengers under age twenty‐one; helmet design; list of approved helmets.
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty‐one to operate or ride upon a two‐wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears a protective helmet of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. Such a helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap and be reflectorized on both sides thereof. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering the types of helmets and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved helmets which meet the specifications as established hereunder.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐631; 1967 (55) 199; 1980 Act No. 514, Section 1; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 1422.
SECTION 56‐5‐3670. Goggles or face shields shall be worn by operators under age twenty‐one; list of approved goggles and face shields.
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty‐one to operate a two‐wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears goggles or a face shield of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering types of goggles and face shields and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved goggles and face shields which meet the specifications as established hereunder.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐632; 1967 (55) 199; 1980 Act No. 514, Section 2; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 1423.
SECTION 56‐5‐3680. Wind screens.
The provisions of Section 56‐5‐3670 with respect to goggles and face shields shall not apply to the operator of a two‐wheeled motorized vehicle equipped with a wind screen meeting specifications established by the Department of Public Safety. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering types of wind screens and specifications therefor.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐633; 1967 (55) 199; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 1424.
SECTION 56‐5‐3690. Unlawful to sell or distribute helmets, goggles or face shields not approved by Department of Public Safety.
It shall be unlawful to sell, offer for sale or distribute any protective helmets, goggles or face shields for use by the operators of two‐wheeled motorized vehicles, or protective helmets for the use of passengers thereon, unless they are of a type and specification approved by the Department of Public Safety and appear on the list of approved devices maintained by the department.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐634; 1967 (55) 199; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 1425.
SECTION 56‐5‐3700. Penalty for violation of Sections 56‐5‐3660 to 56‐5‐3690.
Any person violating the provisions of Sections 56‐5‐3660 to 56‐5‐3690 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46‐635; 1967 (55) 199.
SECTION 56 3 1240. Display of license plates; motorcycles equipped with vertically mounted brackets; missing plates.
License plates issued for motor vehicles must be attached to the outside rear of the vehicle, open to view. However, on truck tractors and road tractors the plates must be attached to the outside front of the vehicle provided that single unit commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of twenty six thousand pounds may have the license plate on either the outside front or rear of the vehicle. Every license plate, at all times, must be fastened securely in a horizontal and upright position to the vehicle for which it was issued so as to prevent the plate from swinging. However, if a motorcycle is equipped with vertically mounted license plate brackets, its license plate must be mounted vertically with its top fastened along the right vertical edge. The bottom of the plate must be at a height of not less than twelve inches from the ground in a place and position clearly visible as provided in Section 56 5 4530, and it must be maintained free from foreign materials and in a clearly legible condition. No other license plate, lighting equipment, except as permitted in Section 56 5 4530, tag, sign, monogram, tinted cover, or inscription of metal or other material may be displayed above, around, or upon the plate other than that which is authorized and issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of validating the plate. It is not unlawful to place a decal on the license plate if it does not obscure any letters or numbers. A motor vehicle owner may attach a trailer hitch to a motor vehicle provided the hitch does not obscure more than two inches of the license plate issued to the motor vehicle. It is unlawful to operate or drive a motor vehicle with the license plate missing and a person who is convicted for violating this section must be punished as provided by Section 56 3 2520.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46 73; 1952 Code Section 46 73; 1949 (46) 342; 1957 (50) 146; 1974 (58) 2262; 1991 Act No. 46, Section 1; 2007 Act No. 90, Section 2, eff June 14, 2007; 2008 Act No. 347, Section 1, eff June 16, 2008.
SECTION 56 5 3835. Driving upon sidewalk.
No person shall drive any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.
HISTORY: 1978 Act No. 451 Section 7.
SECTION 56-5-3885. Unlawful to display obscene bumper sticker.
  1. No person may operate a motor vehicle in this State which has affixed or attached to any part of the motor vehicle which is visible to members of the public not occupying the vehicle any sticker, decal, emblem, or other device containing obscene or indecent words, photographs, or depictions.
  2. Obscene words, photographs, or depictions must be defined and interpreted as provided in Section 16-15-305(B), (C), (D), and (E).
  3. A sticker, decal, emblem, or device is indecent when:
    1. taken as a whole, it describes, in a patently offensive way, as determined by contemporary community standards, sexual acts, excretory functions, or parts of the human body; and
    2. (2) taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
  4. A person who violates the provisions of subsection (A) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars.
SECTION 56-5-4460. Time when motorcycle lights shall be turned on.
  1. Any person who operates a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle on public streets or highways shall, while so engaged, have the headlights of such motorcycle or motor-driven cycle turned on except for those vehicles exempted by Section 56-5-4470.
  2. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars or be imprisoned for not more than ten days.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46-521.1; 1973 (58) 634.
SECTION 56-5-4560. Stop lamps required on motor vehicles.
From and after July 1, 1949 it shall be unlawful for any person to sell any new motor vehicle, including any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, in this State or for any person to drive such vehicle on the highways unless it is equipped with a stop lamp meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4730.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46-531; 1952 Code Section 46-531; 1949 (46) 466.
SECTION 56-5-4650. Lamps on other vehicles and equipment.
All vehicles, including animal-drawn vehicles and implements of husbandry, road machinery or farm tractors and other vehicles not otherwise specifically required to be equipped with lamps, shall at the times specified in Section 56-5-4450 be equipped with at least one lighted lamp or lantern exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of such vehicle and with a lamp or lantern or reflector exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46-540; 1952 Code Section 46-540; 1949 (46) 466.
Horry County Noise Ordinance (printer friendly version)

Horry County Noise Ordinance as it relates to motor vehicles/motorcycles

Sec. 13-32. - Certain noises prohibited.
  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be continued, any excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others, within the unincorporated areas of the county.
  2. The following acts, among others are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this section, but such enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:
Horns, signaling devices, etc.
The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle on any street or public place within the unincorporated areas of the county, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; and the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time. The use of any signaling device, except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
Radios, phonographs, etc.
The using, operation or permitting to be played, used or operated, any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of persons in the vicinity who are not voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of such set, instrument, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be audible at a distance of fifty (50) feet shall be prohibited unless operated in an established amusement theme park subject to the provisions of subsection 13-33(c)(3) or section 13-35
Loud speakers, amplifiers for advertising.
The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated, any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph. loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is broadcast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure.
Yelling, shouting, etc.
Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office, or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
Exhausts.
The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, motor boat or motor vehicle except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
signs are displayed in such street indicating that the same is a school, hospital or court street.
Horry County Local Laws
  1. The legal drinking age is 21.
  2. Drinking alcoholic beverages in public and having open containers in vehicles are illegal.
  3. Motorcycle operators and passengers under 21 must wear an approved helmet under South Carolina law.
  4. Speeding laws are strictly enforced, as are seat belt laws.
  5. Sleeping on the beach is illegal.
  6. Thong bikini bathing suits and the public display of certain body parts are illegal and can result in arrest.
  7. Parking restrictions are enforced. Illegally parked vehicles will be towed.
  8. Private property owners may tow vehicles from their property at the vehicle owner’s expense.
  9. Blatantly excessive revving and acceleration is a violation of the county’s noise ordinance. It is also unlawful to:
    1. weave in and out, and in between traffic; and
    2. motorcycle burnouts; and
    3.  motorcycle riders “holding” intersections to allow their group to continue without having to obey traffic signals or signs.
  10. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle of any kind or nature upon the public beach or within public marsh areas within the county limits.
  11. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any type of alcoholic beverage on the public beaches or public access.
  12. When litter is thrown from a vehicle or allowed to escape therein, the driver will be held responsible for the improper disposal of the litter, regardless of who throws the litter.
  13. It shall be unlawful for any person to advertise for sale, manufacture, possess, sell, deliver, or to possess with the intent to deliver or sell drug paraphernalia.

Motorcycle Safety

Information provided by DMV.org

Group Riding: Safety in Numbers

Although motorcycle riding is primarily a solitary activity, many experienced riders enjoy traveling with friends. When you find someone else who shares your passion for this hobby, there's no greater excitement than a weekend road trip with your buddies.

Preparations

Before you hit the road, everyone who will be in your group should hold a brief meeting to discuss the important details of your trip. For example:

  • What route will you take?
  • What rest stops are along the way?
  • Who will lead the group? Ideally, the lead rider should be an experienced motorcycle operator who is very familiar with the route you are traveling.
  • Who will be the tail rider? Ideally, the tail rider should be an experienced motorcycle operator who has a cell phone to call for help if necessary.
  • What will you do if someone becomes separated from the group?

Generally, experts recommend that you limit your motorcycle riding group to between five and seven riders. In a larger group, it's too difficult to keep track of everyone. If you must travel with a larger crowd, divide yourselves into two or more smaller groups.

It's a good idea to assign someone in your group to carry a first-aid kit, cell phone, and basic tools. Motorcycle riding can be unpredictable, so it's important to be prepared for any emergency situation.

On the day of your trip, fill up your gas tank and inspect your bike for any mechanical problems. Your motorcycle should be in good running condition before any group riding experience.

Safety Tips

When riding in a group, you should always follow the same safety procedures you'd use when traveling alone. However, the close proximity of other riders does add to the risk of operating a motorcycle. To stay safe in a group riding situation, remember the following tips:

  • Use a staggered riding formation to provide a sufficient space cushion between group members. Each rider must have enough space and time to react to any hazards that you might encounter.
  • If you're traveling on a curvy road or visibility is poor, ride in a single-file formation.
  • Side-by-side formations should be avoided whenever possible. If you're traveling in this manner, you may not be able to swerve if you encounter an obstacle in your path.
  • Riders one the same track should have a distance between them of at least 2 seconds.
  • If your group must merge with another group at some point in the trip, let the first group lead.
  • Motorcycle operators carrying passengers should ride on the right whenever possible. Novice riders shouldn't carry passengers at all.
  • If someone in the group is riding a motorcycle with a sidecar, have him/her ride at the rear or front of the group.

As you're riding, periodically check your review mirror to make sure the person behind you isn't falling behind. If necessary, slow down to allow him/her to catch up. Don't allow anyone to get separated from the group.

Ideally, your group should include people with similar skill levels and riding styles. But, if you are traveling with both new and experienced motorcycle operators, keep the novice riders in the middle of the group to prevent them from falling behind.

Under no circumstances should you mix alcohol and motorcycle riding. Do not allow anyone who has been drinking to travel in your group. A single unsafe rider puts everyone at risk.

Using Hand Signals to Communicate

When traveling with a group of motorcycle riders, hand signals are the best way to communicate. Using hand signals appropriately keeps everyone informed of the group's plans and reduces the risk of an accident caused by a surprised rider. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • To signal that you need to stop for fuel, place your arm out to the side and point to the tank with your finger extended.
  • To signal that you need to stop for refreshments, keep your fingers closed and point to your mouth.
  • To signal that you need a rest stop, extend your forearm, keep your fist clenched, and make a short up and down motion.
  • To signal that there is a hazard in the roadway, point with your right foot or your left hand.
  • To indicate that you wish to have another rider follow you, keep your arm extended straight up from the shoulder and keep your palm forward.
  • To indicate the need to speed up, keep your arm extended straight out with your palm facing up.
  • To indicate the need to slow down, keep your arm extended straight out with your palm facing down.

How to Ride in Heavy Traffic

There are few pleasures on the road equal to riding a motorcycle. The idea of being out on the open, scenic roads alone or even with a group of like-minded riders conjures up images of perfection. But with every good thing on a motorcycle there always tends to be an opposite danger involved.

Getting to those lonesome roads in the middle of nowhere (if that is even possible) usually means having to endure a bit congestion first. That is, fleeing the urban matrix for a bit of respite. Heavy traffic is an extra hindrance for motorcyclists and presents dangers and obstacles that require premium skills and hyper-awareness.

Control the Situation

You can never expect other drivers to be on the lookout for you on a motorcycle. That is not the way it works, and if you expect those insulated in their mammoth SUVs to be on the watch for two-wheeled speedsters, then you may be in line for an accident. You need to be in complete control, not only of your bike, but also of the street (through keen observation and prediction), and of your mental state.

Thus, if you just saddled up and hit the road after an argument with your spouse or boss, you can bet you will not be at your best emotionally. Your emotional state has a direct effect on your overall mental processing.

So you are automatically creating a hazardous condition because you are sacrificing an element of control. The stakes are high in heavy traffic and you have to use your size and vision to compensate. They are your allies, and hindering them by not being as sharp as you should only means you increase the possibilities of making a mistake.

Distance is Your Friend

The best way to assume control riding on the motorcycle is to create space. Much like a football running back attempts to find gaps that increase the field of vision, you will have much more success maneuvering in traffic if you have some breathing room. These gaps may be essential for quick reaction and narrow escapes, but they are also key to observing the whole road in front of you. The more you see, the more you can predict.

If you are riding two feet off the bumper of a Hummer with tinted windows, odds are you will not see much besides the license plate and paint job dings. If the driver of the Hummer slams on the breaks your options will be completely cut off. Because you could not predict what was happening up the road (or even see it), the consequences will not be good even with the swiftest reaction.

Thus, even in the heaviest traffic (think L.A. or D.C.), try to keep around two to four seconds of length between you and the car in front. How do you measure time? Just base it on your speeds and guess. If you are in a slog and only moving around 10 miles per hour (mph), then a car length or two will suffice. But if you are pushing upwards of 50 mph then you should considering sitting back four or more car lengths.

Lane Location

A single lane is divided into three riding areas: right side, center, and left side. Obviously a road can have all sorts of lanes and a rider's positioning will essentially depend on that. For example, if there is only one lane in your direction (i.e., two-lane road) and you are in traffic, odds are you will not want to be in the left portion of the lane, especially if there is a curb.

This is because you have just reduced your options almost to nil if a situation arises. Not that you necessarily want to be hovering over in the right side of the lane, either, with oncoming vehicles barreling toward you. Here is a good instance where riding in the center, with distance applied, can be your best bet.

However, if you are on a major highway with four to six lanes in one direction, the center is most likely the last place you want to be in traffic. Most riders are taught to slice and dice to the far left lane (minimize obstructions to one side completely) and then ride in the right side of that lane. Some riders will stay one lane from the left, but ride in the far left of said lane.

Of course, if you are in city traffic, the left lane may be a real hindrance because of left turning vehicles, so opting for the center lane may be the best option. It really just depends where you feel comfortable, while at the same time keeping control and maintaining good distance.

Motorcycle Theft Prevention

Try following these tips:

  • Always lock your ignition and remove the key.
  • When looking for an object to wrap your bike lock around, think heavy and difficult to dismantle.
  • Lock your bike around other bikes if you can.
  • Try not to park your bike between cars, as doing so provides some visual protection for a thief.
  • If staying at a hotel with parking lot security cameras, park your bike in view of the camera. If that's not possible, try to park it as close as you can to either the front entrance of the hotel or to your room.
  • When storing your bike in your garage, try to station your car in front of your bike. Obviously, be sure to close the garage door. You might also want to install a burglar alarm inside your garage.
  • If you store your bike outside, consider installing a motion-sensitive bright light nearby.
  • Use a plain, dull motorcycle cover―one that doesn't draw attention to your bike or loudly proclaim the name of the manufacturer. Or, use the cover from a company that thieves generally don't target, such as a BMW cover over a Harley.
  • Consider doing something "crafty" with your bike after parking it. Maybe loosen a spark plug cap, or pull the main fuse. Doing so may fool a thief into thinking there's something wrong with your motorcycle after trying to start it, and they'll quickly move on.
  • Put a unique marking on your bike, which discourages thieves, as well as aids in theft recovery.

You might want to add security devices to your motorcycle too. It's best to take a layered approach to security, meaning using more than one device. Remember, thieves are generally in a hurry. The harder and longer they'll have to work at stealing your motorcycle, the more likely they are to move on to an easier target.

Besides simple chains and padlocks, consider the following:

  • Disc locks
  • Steering column locks
  • Alarms
  • Hidden kill switch
  • Immobilizers
  • Tracking systems

A little caution and some well-spent money can help protect your prized possession for years to come.

Motorcycles and Weather Conditions

Motorcycles can be a fun and affordable form of transportation. However, they can also be downright hazardous under adverse weather conditions.

If you're a fairly inexperienced rider, the best way to stay safe is to avoid riding your motorcycle when it's raining, too hot, or excessively cold. Listen to your local weather forecast before riding. If rain seems likely or extreme temperatures are predicted, consider using a different form of transportation or postponing your trip.

If you have to venture outside in poor weather or you find yourself unexpectedly riding through less-than-ideal conditions, remember the following safety tips:

  • Take a short break at least once every two or three hours. Fatigue contributes to many motorcycle accidents.
  • If visibility is poor, slow down. Make sure you are riding at a speed that allows you to stop in the distance that you can see. It may take you longer to arrive at your destination, but a late arrival is still preferable to an emergency room visit.
  • If you're in the middle of a long trip, consider renting a hotel room for the night. Operating a motorcycle at night can be difficult even under normal weather conditions.
Riding in the Rain

When you're driving in your car or truck, you're protected from the rain. When you're riding a motorcycle, you're exposed to the elements. However, motorcycles do offer some advantages in wet weather. They provide a superior view of the road, easy maneuverability, and more escape routes from any potentially dangerous situations.

If you're riding in the rain, remember the following tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation:

  • Aim for smooth control. Be gentle with your brakes and throttle, but balance your grip. When you're riding in the rain, aim to complete your turns before you accelerate.
  • Avoid last-minute reactions whenever possible. In wet weather, you must plan ahead to determine when you will need to accelerate or brake. Using engine braking for corners and junctions will reduce the risk of skidding.

Avoiding hazards is extremely important in the rain. Watch out for the following obstacles when you're riding your motorcycle in wet weather:

  • Slick concrete surfaces
  • Manhole covers
  • Railroad tracks
  • Puddles
  • Potholes
  • Oil spills

When you're purchasing tires for your motorcycle, avoid tires that are labeled as "long-lasting" if you plan to do a lot of riding in wet weather. Many motorcycle owners think this purchase is a good way to save money. However, these tires are typically less tacky and can't provide enough traction to keep you safe in wet weather.

Riding in Hot Weather

It's a proven scientific fact that your physical condition affects your ability to react to dangerous situations. Most riders know that you're more likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident when you're tired, angry, or exhausted. However, few realize the impact excessive heat can have on your safety.

When you're riding your motorcycle on a hot summer day, the best safety precaution you can take is to stay hydrated. Take plenty of water breaks. If you don't like the taste of water, drink sports drinks instead. However, you should avoid soda whenever possible. The caffeine and sugar will add to dehydration.

Dressing appropriately can keep you comfortable on a hot day. However, it's not a good idea to ride your motorcycle in shorts and no shirt. Keep as much of your body covered as possible. Skin exposed directly to the sun will evaporate water significantly faster than skin that is properly covered. Plus, overexposure increases your risk of sunburn.

Another easy tip to keep you comfortable on a hot day is to open the vents on your motorcycle helmet to increase air flow. Just remember to bring along some extra lip balm, since the additional air will dry out your lips.

If you're riding on a hot day, watch for signs of heat-related illnesses. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or heat cramps can happen to anyone. However, alcoholics, older people, the obese, and those taking certain prescription medications are at an increased risk.

Riding in Cold Weather

To the casual observer, riding a motorcycle seems like an activity best left to warm days. However, the enthusiastic rider will often want to venture outside under colder conditions. Dressing appropriately is the best way to keep yourself safe while riding your motorcycle in cold weather. Remember the following tips as you're selecting your motorcycle apparel:

  • Keep your hands and feet warm. Invest in a good pair of gloves and some high-quality motorcycle boots.
  • Keep your torso warm. If your torso is cold, it will restrict blood flow to your hands and feet.
  • Wind-proof your body. Make sure the outside layer of your outfit is made of a material that will stop the wind.
  • Seal the openings in your outfit. Don't let air come in through the neck opening in your jacket, the sleeves of your shirt, or the bottom of your pants.
  • Choose a good insulating material. Wool is the best natural fiber insulating material, but synthetics such as Thinsulate work well also.

If your bike allows it, you may also want to consider installing a windshield. If you plan to ride in cold weather on a regular basis, a windshield will keep you warmer than if you simply dress in appropriate motorcycle apparel.

While riding your motorcycle in cold weather, it's wise to watch for signs of hypothermia or frostbite. If you start to feel uncomfortable, stop your bike and seek medical attention.

Safety Tips for Passengers

Before you carry passengers on your motorcycle, give them a quick safety lesson. Don't assume that your passenger understands what he must do.

The following tips will help keep your passenger safe:

  • He must be tall enough to reach the footrests
  • He must keep his feet on the footrests at all times.
  • He should keep his legs away from the mufflers, since they can get very hot.
  • She must wear a helmet and other protective gear.
  • She must not turn or make sudden moves that could affect your ability to safely control the motorcycle.
  • She must hold onto your waist or the bike's passenger handholds.
  • If your passenger is heavy, he must brace with his hands against the tank when braking to keep from pushing you over the bars.

When you carry passengers on your motorcycle, they should consider themselves to be second operators. Don't allow someone on your bike who doesn't obey your safety instructions.

Children should not be carried on a motorcycle without the permission of a parent or legal guardian. Even if the child is wearing the appropriate protective gear and follows all safety recommendations, riding a motorcycle still poses a safety risk. In addition, some states have legal requirements for the minimum age of a passenger on a motorcycle.

If you plan to have someone frequently travel with you on your motorcycle, ask him to complete a basic safety course. Even if he never learns to operate a motorcycle, this course will provide a better understanding of the procedures necessary to avoid accidents while you are riding together.

Riding Safely While Carrying Passengers

When you're carrying passengers on your motorcycle, you'll need to make some adjustments your riding. A passenger's extra weight will substantially affect your bike's handling characteristics. To help compensate for this difference, remember the following tips:

  • Allow more time and space for passing.
  • Be cautious when turning corners, since clearance may be affected.
  • You'll need to brake sooner than normal when carrying passengers.
  • The extra weight of your passenger will increase the stopping power of your rear brake.
  • You'll need greater clutch finesse and more throttle when starting from a stop.
  • If your passenger is heavy, it will take longer to turn, slow down, or speed up on your motorcycle.
  • Avoid traveling at extreme speeds.
  • Be prepared to counter the effects of wind when appropriate.

When traveling with a guest, remember to start your motorcycle before your passenger mounts the bike. The stand should be raised and the motorcycle should be securely braced before the passenger mounts.

Tips for a Safe Ride

Whether it's a quick trip to the corner market for a few things, or a two-week touring trip with friends, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your motorcycle driving is safe and enjoyable.

It would be nice if the road was always smooth, and without bumps, but those bumps, potholes, breakdowns, lost riding moments and more are out there. The best way to avoid trouble from these instances is to be prepared. You can also improve your own safety, as well as that of your passengers and vehicle, by not only following the laws and rules of the road, but also by knowing them well and always practicing courteous and calm driving.

Safe from the Start

The best way to start off right and ensure you have a smooth ride, and to anticipate problems that may occur, is to prepare and pack for your trip, bringing water, extra clothing, a map of the area you're driving, or other items that might be necessary, depending on your trip. You should also be sure you have some safety basics, particularly a first-aid kit, and a charged mobile phone if possible.

It is also important to make sure that your bike is well-maintained and checked, and that all fluids and major systems, including braking and lights, are in working order. You cannot predict and prevent all vehicle failures and breakdowns, but you can reduce the risk by maintaining your motorcycle.

Next, you will need to make sure that you, as the driver, and any passengers are properly seated on the bike. This means sitting squarely on the center of the seat with feet on foot pegs and hands holding handlebars or the rider. Also, make sure you and passengers are always wearing protective helmets. It may not be the law in every state, but it is common sense for safety.

Defensive Driving

One of the most obvious things you can do to make sure your driving is safe is to practice defensive driving. This does not mean you have to drive extra slow, but you should use extra caution at all times, and remember that other vehicles are not just other cars and trucks, they are people. Defensive driving consists of a few basic driving tips that are intended to help keep you focused on the road, raise your awareness of your surroundings, and prepare you for a fast reaction to avoid a crash.

A List of Defensive and Safe Driving Skills and Practices
  • Avoid distractions, including mobile phones and other devices, which can divert your attention, even with hands-free functionality.
  • Aim high when looking out over the handlebars at the road.
  • Keep your eyes moving, meaning don't just stare at the road ahead; check mirrors and other views frequently.
  • Leave yourself an out; this means anticipating what would happen if you had to swerve or slam on the brakes.
  • Position both hands firmly but comfortably on handlebars.
  • Never drive while feeling drowsy or sleepy; pull over at a rest stop or other safe place to take a break and get some real rest.
Courtesy is Cool

It is easy to get caught up in rushing yourself, as well as other motorists, when riding. It is important to remember that although you may be late, or another driver may have cut you off or otherwise disregarded the rules of the road, riding is no race or competition.

One of the biggest causes of accidents is vehicles following each other too close. The general rule of thumb for driving is one car-length, but it never hurts to extend the buffer between yourself and the vehicle or vehicles in front of you, especially on a motorcycle. This can also help you maintain a smoother ride that saves fuel and wear and tear on your bike. If you are spinning out every start and constantly hitting the brakes, you are accelerating too fast and following too close.

Courteous driving also consists of allowing other motorists to merge into traffic by giving them the space to do so. Similarly, if you are merging, maintain a safe speed, but do your best to quickly accelerate to the flow of traffic.

Helpful Information

Helpful Information


Traffic Management Loop

Operational Friday, Saturday and Sunday
May 26-28, 2017

10 pm - 2 am

Bike Loop

During the Memorial Day holiday weekend (Friday, May 26, 2017, through Sunday, May 28, 2017), entry to the Myrtle Beach International Airport after 9:00 p.m. will be limited due to a traffic diversion route which will affect the area surrounding the airport.

Airport passengers and anyone picking up or dropping off passengers must access the airport as follows:
Enter: US 17 Bypass North to Harrelson Boulevard exit, then Harrelson Boulevard to Jetport Road (main entrance
Exit: Jetport Road to south Harrelson Boulevard, then Harrelson Boulevard south to South Kings Highway.
For more information, contact the Myrtle Beach Police Department: (843) 918-1382.

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