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Rider Safety

Safe Riding Practices

Below, you will find the recommended safe riding practices. Read through the list below to ensure a safe experience.

Motorcycling Has Inherent Risks
  • You can minimize risks, but you can’t eliminate them completely. Even if you’re an experienced motorcycle operator or passenger, read all of the safety information in this manual before operating the motorcycle.


  • Take a rider education course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or another qualified instructor. The course will help you develop or refresh you expertise in safe riding habits through instruction and riding. For information on courses in your area, call (800) 446-9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org.


  • Read and understand all information in this rider’s manual.
Improper Use

Improper use of a motorcycle can result in serious injury or death to you, your passenger and others. To minimize the risk of injury, read and understand the information contained in this section before operating the motorcycle. This section contains safety information specific to INDIAN MOTORCYCLE™, as well as information about general motorcycle safety. Anyone who rides the motorcycle (operators and passengers) must follow these safety precautions.

Design Characteristics Affect How You Should Ride The Motorcycle
  • The motorcycle is designed for on-road use with one rider (and one passenger if the motorcycle is equipped with a passenger seat). Never exceed the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or the GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating). Refer to the Specifications section of your Owner’s Manual, or the Manufacturing Information/VIN label on the motorcycle frame for model-specific information.


  • Riding off-road, riding with more than one passenger, or carrying weight exceeding the maximum weight rating can make handling difficult, which could cause loss of control.


  • During the first 500 miles (800km) of operation, follow all break-in procedures as outlined in your Owner’s Manual. Failure to do so can result in serious engine damage.


  • If your motorcycle is equipped with saddlebags, a windshield or a passenger backrest, be prepared to reduce operating speed to maintain stability.
General Safe Riding Practices
  • Until you’re thoroughly familiar with the motorcycle and all of its controls, practice riding where there is little or no traffic. Practice riding at a moderate speed on various road surfaces and in different weather conditions.


  • Know your skills and limits, and ride with them.


  • Allow only licensed, experienced operators to ride your motorcycle, and then only after they have become familiar with its controls and operation. Make sure all riders read and understand the rider’s manual before riding.


  • Do not ride when you’re fatigued, ill or under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs or any other drugs. Fatigue, illness, alcohol and drugs can cause drowsiness, loss of coordination and loss of balance. They can also affect your awareness and judgement.


  • If your motorcycle operates abnormally, correct the problem immediately. See the INDIAN MOTORCYCLE Service Manual or an authorized INDIAN MOTORCYCLE Dealer.


  • Ride defensively, as if you are invisible to other motorists, even in broad daylight. A motorists failure to see or recognize a motorcycle is the leading cause of automobile/motorcycle accidents. Ride where you’re clearly visible to other motorists, and observe their behavior carefully.


  • Be especially cautious at intersections, as these are the most likely places for an accident.
Reduce Speed
  • The road has potholes or is otherwise rough or uneven.


  • The road contains sand, dirt, gravel or other loose substances.


  • The road is wet, icy or oily.


  • The road contains painted surfaces, manhole covers, metal grating, railway crossings or other slippery surfaces.


  • The weather is windy, rainy or otherwise causing slippery or rapidly changing conditions.


  • Traffic is heavy, congested, not allowing sufficient space between vehicles or otherwise not flowing smoothly.


  • You are being passed in either direction by a large vehicle that may produce a wind blast in its wake.


  • When approaching a curve, choose a speed and lean angle that allows you to pass through the curve in your own lane without applying the brakes. Excessive speed, improper lean angle or braking in a curve can cause loss of control.


  • Ground clearance is reduced when the motorcycle leans. Do not allow components to contact the road surface when leaning the motorcycle in a curve, as this could cause loss of control.


  • Do not tow a trailer. Towing a trailer can make the motorcycle hard to handle.


  • Retract the sidestand fully before riding. If the sidestand is not fully retracted, it could contact the road surface and cause loss of control.


  • To maximize braking effectiveness, use the front and rear brakes together. Be aware of the following braking facts and practices:


  • The rear brake provides 40% of the motorcycle’s stopping power, at most. Use the front and rear brakes together.


  • To avoid skidding, apply the brakes gradually when the road is wet or rough, or contains loose or other slippery substances.


  • If possible, avoid applying the brakes while making a turn. Motorcycle tires have less traction during turns, so braking will increase the possibility of skidding. Bring the motorcycle to the upright position before applying the brakes.


  • With new pads and rotors, allow up to 250 miles (500km) of operation in urban driving conditions (not highway cruising) to allow pads to mate with new rotors. Brakes should be used frequently. During this time brake performance will be less effective. Avoid using brakes harshly unless in an emergency. Brake efficiency will gradually increase during this seating period.

Stay Safe

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