How to Properly Adjust Your Motorcycle Mirrors

In all vehicles, mirrors are essential safety equipment. They are there for one reason and one reason only: to help you see other traffic and road conditions.

If another driver, whether car, truck, or other motorcycle, is too close to you, you want to be able to see that and avoid a rear-end collision. A mirror helps you know whether you should adjust your speed or change lanes. If you want to change lanes for any reason, you need a mirror to help you see whether it is safe, or whether oncoming traffic it too close for comfort.

These safety checks are important in all vehicles, of course, but they are particularly important in motorcycle safety. If a car or other vehicle rear ends you or hits you when you are changing lanes, the accident could be fatal to you. You have little protection against a several-thousand-ton vehicle on a motorcycle.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the other driver’s fault, in terms of your personal safety. You need to drive defensively. Mirrors are a vital link in your defense, just like helmets and other protective equipment.

Adjust your mirrors to see other traffic

So, how do you adjust your mirrors for maximum safety?

  1. First, remember that factory settings or prior adjustments are not the way to gauge whether they are adjusted properly. The best way to do the adjustment is to sit on your motorcycle as you normally would. Use the same position. Use the same posture as well. You want to replicate the riding stance you normally have.
  2. Second, adjust the mirrors so that you can see behind you fully and on either side. Some guides say that you should see the tops of your shoulders as well. Other riders find that distracting. Be guided by your own comfort level in that regard, as long as you can see behind you and on other side as much as possible. Like cars, some motorcycles will have a blind spot. If this is so on your make and model, you goal is to aim for the smallest blind spot possible.
  3. Third, don’t rely solely on mirrors to check traffic and other potential road hazards! You will need to look over your shoulder to see if there is oncoming traffic when you want to change lanes, for example. You might want to check traffic in other situations. Never, never rely solely on mirrors even if you don’t have a blind spot.

When you need an experienced attorney

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have had years of experience litigating motorcycle and other accidents in New York state. We can help you with any accident, whether they involve vehicles, pedestrians, or road debris.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and potential next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with an experienced seasoned New York City and Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer today.


  1. Henchliffe, Mark. “How to Correctly Adjust Motorcycle Mirrors.” Motorbike Writer. Feb. 27, 2015.
  2. “How to Adjust Your Motorcycle Mirrors.” March 16, 2015.