Riding Season is Upon Us; Check Your Motorcycles and Take it Easy!

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses riding season and being safe.Although we ride our motorcycles all year here in California, in many parts of the country, riding season has begun with the coming of spring.

Whether you are in California, or somewhere else in the Country or world, it is always a good idea to do a safety inspection of your motorcycle, or have an authorized dealer or mechanic to do the same.

Having a motorcycle that is unsafe can cause motorcycle accidents. Unlike in a car that has 4 wheels, a motorcycle only has 2 wheels. There is no room for error or skimping on ensuring that your motorcycle is in tip top shape for riding.

I was recently on a group run where multiple people got flat tires. To be frank this was an odd occurrence and could have either been a coincidence, or the result of rolling though debris or road conditions that caused the flat tires, I do not know.

During a pit stop, one of the guys had some of that spray tire sealant put into his tire to get it back up, and the peer pressure was put on him to continue the ride. I whispered into his ear that his life was not worth it and that he should take the motorcycle to the dealer to get a new tire. I will say it again; on a motorcycle we only have 2 tires. Tire sealant and or plugs or patches are not safe for motorcycles period. Some people may argue or disagree, I don’t care. Unlike in a car, on a motorcycle the result of a blown tire can be your life or gross or serious personal injury. It is not worth taking a chance.

Inspect your motorcycle for loose bolts or screws. Check your brakes and tires for wear and replace pads or tires if necessary. Replace oil and fluids if necessary, etc. Making your motorcycle safe is not rocket science.

Above all the key to riding your motorcycle in a safe manner is you yourself as a biker or motorcyclist, taking it easy on your motorcycle, especially if you are getting back on the motorcycle after a winter break, or even a couple of week break. You are the key to preventing a motorcycle accident and personal injury. You need to watch for negligent cagers; cover at intersections; keep your motorcycle in gear at stops and watch behind you for potential rear enders; take turns slow; not ride next to cars or trucks; stay visible; ride like cagers cannot see you; anticipate the worst thing a cager can do, etc.

I wish nothing more than for you all to be safe this motorcycle riding season. I will be on the road this season as well and am planning on riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide thousands of miles. I will be at many major motorcycle rallies this summer; therefore, I need to heed my own advice too.

Be Safe this Season so says the Biker Law Blog!

If god forbid you do have a motorcycle accident, or are a passenger who has been injured in a motorcycle accident in the State of California, and want to talk to a real biker lawyer who handles motorcycle accidents you may call me at 800-816-1529, extension 1.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2008

Riding your Motorcycle in the Rain; Don’t do it unless You Must!

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses the dangers of riding your motorcycle in the rain.This is my first article of the New Year 2008. As I write this article California is enduring extraordinary rains which we are not accustomed to.

I was out yesterday riding my cage in the rain, and I saw a guy riding his motorcycle with normal street clothes on, tennis shoes, and a half helmet. I could not believe it. I would not ride in normal conditions wearing what this guy was wearing in a constant downpour of rain. He must have been soaked to the bone and very cold. Not good to say the least!

I have said many times in my articles that I do not ride my motorcycle in the rain unless I have no other choice. There have been many instances where I have been on the road and have had to ride through storms to get to my motel, or a safe place to wait out the rain.

Some of these instances of riding through the rain were severe, such as in Durango, Colorado, and in San Francisco, California. One time riding through the Arizona desert I literally ran into a thunderstorm out of no where that was so violent that it left welts on my face from hitting the rain at the speed I was riding at. Anyway…………..

If it is raining outside, it is probably a better idea to drive your car than ride your motorcycle. We have had a bad drought here in Southern California for the past couple of years, and when the rains come, the oils that have built up on the roads come to the surface of the road and make them slippery.

Since we only have two wheels on a motorcycle, a slippery road can mean disaster if your motorcycle slides out from under you.

Secondly, hydroplaning can make your ride a disaster as well. Hydroplaning occurs when water gets between your tires and the road surface. A layer of water builds between the rubber tires of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to the loss of traction and thus preventing the vehicle from responding to control inputs such as steering, braking or accelerating. It becomes, in effect, an un-powered and un-steered sled. Hydroplaning on a motorcycle with only 2 wheels in a heck of a lot different than in a car with 4 wheels, on a motorcycle it can mean disaster.

If you absolutely have to ride in the rain, my advice would be as follows:

(1) Wear full protective gear, including water proof boots, full face helmet, leather jacket, gloves, etc;

(2) Wear a good rain suit that is preferably designed for riding motorcycles in the rain;

(3) Do not accelerate or brake fast, take it easy;

(4) Leave plenty of room between you and the cars around you. Try to keep a very good distance between you and the cars or trucks in front of you because their spray will impact your visibility, and as you know on a motorcycle we do not have windshield wipers; and

(5) Take turns or curves very slowly and cautiously. It only takes a split second to eat asphalt if your motorcycle looses traction and goes out from under you.

Above all, do not ride beyond your comfort level. If it does not feel right, it probably is not right! In other words if you are riding in the rain, and you do not feel comfortable in the conditions, pull off and wait it out at a restaurant or some place like that if you can. I have been stuck in conditions which left me no choice but to ride or leave my motorcycle in the middle of no where. I chose to ride, but I rode cautiously!

One of my worst experiences was on the 101 freeway south of San Francisco when I got stuck in a torrential downpour at night. I did not have rain gear on, and the rain came out of no where. It was so bad that I could barley see anything and there were lots of cars doing 70mph plus. There was no safe place to stop or pull over. I had to ride it out. Luckily I made it to my hotel in one piece.

Do not let your friends or others assert peer pressure on you to ride your motorcycle in conditions which make you feel uncomfortable. I am not afraid to say “I do not ride in the rain unless I have to.”

Take it easy out there folks. It is supposed to be raining for the next few days here in California. Cage it if you can.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2008

This Summer Riding Season is turning out to be a Real Meat Grinder!

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez on Motorcycle SafetyI am always preaching about motorcycle safety to everyone I know. I have written many articles on motorcycle safety here on the Biker Law Blog.

This summer is turning out to be the absolute worst motorcycle accident season that I have ever seen as a biker. I am gauging my analysis on the number of calls coming into my office, and reports of motorcycle accidents that I get from all over the world.

I assume that the rise in gas prices and the increase in motorcycle popularity are the main factors in the vast increase in accidents. However, I am getting calls from guys with many years of riding experience!

Whatever the cause of the vast increase in motorcycle accidents this summer may be, I will again reiterate some basic motorcycle safety tips:

(1) Do not ride your motorcycle until you take a certified Motorcycle Rider Safety Course.

(2) If you are an experienced rider, or you have purchased a new motorcycle, take an advanced Motorcycle Rider Safety Course. Remember you do not really know your motorcycle until you have ridden it at least 1000 miles.

(3) No matter how experienced you think you may be on your motorcycle, practice makes perfect. You must careful all of the time.

(4) Assume that cagers and people in other motor vehicles do not see you!

(5) Always wear a helmet, leathers, gloves, boots, and proper riding attire, even if it is hot. You may not look as cool, but if the meat hits the pavement, the pavement wins. It is always better to go home to ride another day.

(6) Do not tailgate Cars.

(7) Keep you motorcycle in gear when stopped, and always monitor your rear view mirrors for someone who looks like they are going to rear end you. Always plan an escape route at stop lights.

(8) Always cover when going through intersections. Assume that someone will turn left in front of you or blow through a red light.

(9) Make sure that your insurance is up to date and that you have at least $500,000 in liability, underinsured, and uninsured motorist coverage. It may cost a bit more, but if you do go down, you want to have enough insurance to cover your passenger, and you.

(10) Always keep an emergency card with you while riding. The emergency card should contain emergency contact names and numbers, relevant medical information such as blood type, medications, health problems, etc.


(12) Always inspect your motorcycle and tires before riding. Look for loose screws, bolts, nuts and tighten them. Check your tires for pressure, and wear.

Riding your motorcycle can and should be one of the most pleasurable things in your life. Take it easy out there. Remember it is not the destination that matters; it is the ride that counts!

You can read many more safety tips here on the Biker Law Blog by clicking on the Safety Tips button on the top of the Blog.

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007


I read an article this weekend in the San Jose Mercury news about a tragic motorcycle accident which took the lives of a biker and his passenger. Apparently the rider of his new Harley Davidson motorcycle rode through a turn too fast, and slammed into a slow-moving big rig truck, killing himself and his passenger. You can find the article here.

I receive daily reports of motorcycle accidents throughout the nation. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclist losing it in turns, which results in either the motorcyclist crossing the median and striking an oncoming vehicle, or losing control and crashing their motorcycle.

The one thing you should never do while riding your motorcycle, is to attempt to pass another vehicle in a turn. The below video courtesy of Youtube.com shows what can happen when you attempt such a stupid stunt. (I am not going to comment on the idiots in the cage who should have pulled over to help the fallen rider, or their assumption that they would have been beat up by the bikers if they pulled over. That is not the purpose of this article.)


All of those who ride motorcycles have made the mistake of taking a turn too fast. Anybody who says they haven’t is lying. Depending upon how fast you were going, the traffic conditions, and the type of turn that you are in, you may have even experienced the feeling of panic knowing that you’re going to cross the median, or you might not make it through the turn.

I am not the Holy Grail when it comes to motorcycle safety. I can tell you flat out that I have taken turns too fast and crossed the median, especially in Canyon roads. I have seen friends, brothers, and strangers do the same thing. Luckily for me, there was not oncoming traffic at the exact moment that I crossed the median; if there was I could have been roadkill as well as my friends.


Riding your Motorcycle; Safety Tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez's friends Liz and Tammy
California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez’s friends Liz and Tammy

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is the premier organization in the country with respect to promulgating motorcycle safety. They have published an outstanding 86 page manual on riding your motorcycle, and motorcycle safety tips.

Even if you are a long time rider of motorcycles I highly recommend reading the manual. You may learn a few things that you did not know about!

I highly recommend that you read this manual for valuable information on riding your motorcycle and motorcycle safety tips. You can read the manual by Clicking Here Now.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, ESQ. , Copyright 2006

Motorcycle Education and Training will Save your Life!

San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friends on a run in San Diego
San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friends on a run in San Diego

It should be obvious to all motorcyclists that education and training is the key to being a good rider, and keeping both wheels on the road.

I do not work for the MSF nor do I get any money whatsoever from the MSF, so my endorsement of the fact that EVERYONE, including seasoned riders should take a MSF certified basic motorcycle riding course if they are a new rider, or have been out of the saddle for a few years, is not a matter of bias, it’s a matter of common sense.

I further recommend that EVERYONE take a MSF advanced motorcycle riding course, on their own motorycle, every time they get a new type of motorcycle.

Yes, I know, it cost money, it’s a hassle, and you are an experienced bad assed experienced rider that knows everything about riding…… NOT. I have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles on many types of motorcycles since I was a kid.

I am still amazed at new tricks and safety techniques that I learn from other riders from time to time. I am also amazed at the differences in the various motorcycles that I have ridden over the years with respect to their handling, breaking, power, etc. I feel that a rider on a new motorcycle does not really know their bike unless they put a minimum of 1,000 miles on the motorcycle, no matter how many years they have been riding.

The sad fact is that motorcycle deaths and injuries have been growing every year. Much of these deaths and injuries have been attributed to there being more new riders on the road due to the increase in popularity of riding motorcycles, plus the rises in gas prices forcing persons to buy motorcycles to save money.

There are three parts to education and training for bikers; (1) The biker knowing how to properly ride his motorcycle; (2) The biker knowing what Cagers do; and (3) Cagers getting a more positive image of us bikers so that they respect our right to be on the road, and are more careful when they see us.

We bikers only really have control of (1) and (2). With respect to number (3) we can have an affect. This is my humble opinion.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006

Stupidity; Learn from this Bikers Mistake!


I have seen some really stupid things in my days of riding motorcycles but this video takes that cake. Click on the Arrow to watch the video. In some versions of Internet Explorer you may have to click the arrow twice.

This video courtesy of youtube.com shows what happens when you show off for the camera and don’t pay attention. You will notice that there is laughter in the background while this guy crashes. There is nothing funny about this crash. The guy was probably seriously injured. When this crashed aired it was probably for some funny home movie show. If you look carefully the biker probably sustained serious leg injuries when he hit the car.

Was it worth it? As you all know hindsight is always 20-20. I am quite certain that this biker would not have tried to show off had he known what was about to happen.

On a motorcycle there is no room for errors. You will notice that he takes off like a bat out of hell and places his feet on the highway pegs instead of the footrest. Instant accident! I ride a Harley Davidson Electra Glide like the one in this video. Although you may not realize it, these bikes are quite nimble for their size. However, they are big, heavy bikes.

Why am I posting this video? So that you don’t make the same stupid mistake that this biker did. Take it easy; pay attention; accelerate smoothly and watch where you are going. Don’t put your feet on the highway pegs in a parking lot to look cool. Only do so when it is safe to do so.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006

All About Motorcycle Pack Riding; Use Caution!

Norman Gregory Fernandez and Friends About to do some Pack Motorcycle RidingOftentimes you may want a ride your motorcycle with your friends, clubs, or other motorcycle riders in a pack. Unless you know the person so you’re riding with, and their habits, you must be very careful. Even if you do know your friends riding habits, you must be careful.

I am not going to go into a dissertation on biker hand singles for riding in a pack in this article. There are many places on the Internet that will show you all of the recognized hand signals used by motorcyclists in a pack. When you ride in a pack make sure you use the hand signals at all times.

Unlike riding by yourself, pack riding can be extremely dangerous because you have motorcycle riders in front of you and to the rear of you, and often times safe distances are not observed. Pack riding involves placing your trust in all of the other motorcyclist in the pack. One wrong move by any rider in the pack can literally take out the whole pack.

Many of you have probably been on poker runs, or at biker events where you ride with a whole bunch of motorcycle riders that you do not know. Although it’s fun to ride with a group of other riders, you must assume that the other riders are either amateurs, or weekend riders unless you know them.

Continue reading “All About Motorcycle Pack Riding; Use Caution!”

Good Motorcycle Safety Information in the California DMV 2006 Motorcycle Handbook.

Hollywood Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friends at Tower Records in Hollywood
Hollywood Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friends at Tower Records in Hollywood

With more and more people of all ages buying motorcycles each year it is important for new riders, riders who have not ridden motorcycles for a while, and even hardcore motorcycle enthusiast to use every resource possible to keep their skills sharp.

Statistics have shown a drastic increase in the number of motorcycle accidents, and motorcycle related fatalities in all States in the last few years.

I highly recommend that you read the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Motorcycle Handbook 2006 edition by clicking here now. Be patient if you have a slow internet connection speed it may take a while to download.

Bottom line; There are some very good motorcycle safety tips for all riders in this handbook that may safe your life or prevent you from being a motorcycle accident victim.

This publication is also the official study guide to get your Motorcycle Drivers License in the State of California.

I am sure that each State puts out their own publications with respect to Motorcycle laws in each respective State; however, the California Handbook is amongst the best I have ever seen with respect to providing motorcycle safety information.

Check it out!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006

Watch out for Traffic. Anticipate what the Cager will Do!

I have handled many motorcycle accident cases where Cagers (people in cars) cut right into a biker. (person on motorcycle) In this video courtesy of youtube.com you will get a first hand look from the biker’s point of view how fast an accident can happen. You will notice that the traffic on the right was slowing, and the traffic in front of the biker was slowing, as well as the traffic to the left. This accident could have been prevented if the biker slowed down and left herself an out.

If you are on a motorcycle you just cannot ignore traffic. You must watch your surroundings and other traffic and try to anticipate the cagers moves. There is no way this accident was in anyway the fault of the biker. However, if she was watching her surroundings and slowed down, she may have been able to either swerve out of the way or even stop. Only god really knows. The point of this article is; SLOW DOWN, ANTICIPATE, and maybe you will you will keep both wheels on the road instead of ending up in the emergency room.

You will also notice that this biker was wearing full leathers, helmet, and gloves. It probably saved her life! Click on the arrow button to start the video.

by Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. Copyright 2006.

Cagers turning in front of you can Kill! Beware..

Do not speed on City Streets! Remember one of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents are cagers who make turns in front of motorcyclist. Here is a video example of just this type of accident courtesy of youtube.com. Click on the arrow button to start the video.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. Copyright 2006

Inspect your motorcycle Before Each Ride!

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez motorcycles
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez motorcycles

Before each ride, you should visually inspect your motorcycle to ensure that nothing is loose, and that there is no visible damage. Unlike in a car where you can simply pull off to the side of the road when you have a malfunction, on a motorcycle there in many cases are no second chances. A tire blowout could be catastrophic, or a loose bolt could result in disaster.

A simple cursory inspection of your motorcycle before each ride, could mean the difference between life and death.

If you find the loose bolts simply tighten them. If you find a nail in your tire, or visible damage to your tire, ensure that you get the problem fixed before you ride.

Do not take chances and ride your motorcycle when you know that there are problems. It’s not worth risking your life for.

Norman Gregroy Fernandez, Esq. is a Biker and Motorcyele Lawyer based in California. You can reach him through is website by Clicking Here.

Welcome to the Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer Blog

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. at Cooks CornerAs a lawyer who is a real biker, I wish to welcome you to this blog which was created by me on August 31, 2006.

My purpose in creating this blog was to educate bikers and motorcyclist on the legal issues related to riding motorcycles.

I am one of the few lawyers that I know of in California that actually practices what he preaches. In other words I ride, and I handle motorcycle accident cases, and other biker related cases.

I hope you read through the various articles that I post from time to time. I hope you find them helpful.
Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.
Biker and Lawyer
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