Most motorcycle riders understand that there are inherent risks that come with their hobby. After all, while exhilarating, motorcycles lack the safety features found in cars and are much smaller in size, making them more vulnerable in accidents.

But while the dangers of riding a motorcycle are well established, there are still many myths regarding how bikers can increase their safety on the road. Here are three of the most common falsehoods regarding motorcycle safety and the facts behind them:

1. Larger bikes are safer for beginners

There’s a common misconception that bigger bikes are more reliable for new riders because they appear more stable. But on the contrary, the size and weight of big bikes make them more challenging to maneuver, especially in tight turns.

With higher torques and larger engines, bigger motorcycles usually require riding skills that new motorcyclists don’t yet possess. If you’re a new rider, choose a lighter model with easy maneuverability to gain experience.

2. Loud pipes save lives

It’s understandable why many riders believe that noisy exhaust pipes increase their safety in traffic. Many motorcycle accidents result from a driver failing to see a motorcyclist on the road, so a roaring exhaust pipe should also help bikers be visible, right?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Motorcycles direct the sound of their exhaust pipes rearward, so it likely won’t help anyone in front of your bike hear you coming. Car drivers also often have their windows rolled up and listen to music, making it even more difficult to hear you approaching. When it comes to motorcycles, it’s better to try to be seen than heard.

3. Roads and streets are safer than the interstate

While you’d think it’d be safer to ride your bike on a quiet street than a busy highway, it’s actually the opposite. One study found that 91% of motorcycle and passenger vehicle crashes occurred on non-interstate roadways.

Intestates have wider lanes, a smoother flow to traffic and usually a barrier to separate opposing traffic, making them much safer for motorcyclists to navigate. There’s also the benefit of using carpool lanes, which motorcycles can use without restriction.

Riding a motorcycle is a risky pastime, but there are ways to keep yourself safe. By choosing the appropriate bike for you, staying visible and being extra cautious on backroads, you can enjoy your hobby to its fullest this season.