When the sun sets, the road turns a bit harrowing for the motorcyclist. If you think drivers have a hard time seeing us in the day, just think how invisible we become at night.

Unlike the driver who simply turns the headlights on, a rider likely already has running lights illuminated for day time visibility so has little else in their bag of tricks to make themselves even more noticeable when the sun drops. However, that's not to say a motorcycle simply vanishes as day turns into night.

You can take a number of proactive steps to remain obvious in plain sight to drivers and keep safe any time of day. Additionally, as a rider, you have to prepare yourself for the day-night transition as well, since some of your gear works better in the day than at night and vice versa. The first step begins with knowing whether or not you plan on riding after sundown.

So, here's the thing. Many, if not most, but a lot of, riders don't head out at night and purposely plan their day to be home at night. Often you know for certain a planned trip gets you home by dusk, like your commute from work, and you dress accordingly. Riding a motorcycle at night presents far more dangers than day riding. Animals become a bigger concern, you can't see normally avoidable road hazards and as mentioned you nearly turn invisible if not completely invisible if you wear the wrong gear.

Therefore, if riding at night causes you significant apprehension then stick to four wheels.

However, plans change, delays happen, oops the time falls back an hour in most places and sometimes shorter days totally sneak up on us. You can plan for some things while other times despite your best effort you get caught with the lights out. When transitioning from day to night riding follow these suggestions for both planned and unplanned excursions through the dark.

1. Slow Your Roll

Slowing down gives you more time to react to anything in your way and drivers more time to see you.

2. Turn Lights On

If not turned on already, turn on all your lights. If the headlamp looks a bit faded wipe off any residue on the glass. If the bulb has dimmed get a new one your first opportunity. Use all appropriate directional lights, too. A blinking turn signal pops a bit and makes you more visible to surrounding drivers.

3. Don't Ride Back Roads

Though less traffic, back roads generally don't have street lights, have little protection from on-coming traffic (think swerving drunk drivers) and more animals passing through. Don't expect anyone to find you until morning if an accident results in your motorcycle somewhere off to the side and you in a ditch.

4. Carry Alternate Face Shield

Most face shields pop in and out for easy transitioning. If using a clear tinted shield for sun glare during the day, it becomes much harder to see at night. Swap the tinted shield for a clear shield you can easily carry in a backpack or other bag.

5. Wear Sunglasses Approved for Night Riding

If you prefer sunglasses in place of a tinted visor, wear sunglasses that function well during the day and at night. Most polarized sunglasses keep glare at bay during the day and provide a clear focus at night though you can find night specific glasses as well.

A Hi-Vis Riding jacket

6. Wear High-Vis or Retroreflective Clothing

High-Vis clothing helps you stand out during the day and at night but when driving after sundown high-vis or some type of retroreflective riding gear becomes a must-wear. Riding jackets and pants that don't incorporate retroreflective properties (shines back in the direction of the light source) make you nearly invisible at night. You can find high-vis colors for helmets, jackets, pants, gloves and boots and many manufacturers incorporate retroreflective striping into their gear.

7. Use Retroreflective Tape

You might find it stylish or definitely not, but you do get a custom look using retroreflective wheel tape which helps your motorcycle stand out at night so much that it looks like you have attached lights to the wheels. You can also use this tape on your gear if you don't have high-vis colors or other retroreflective elements incorporated into your jacket, helmet, pants or boots.

We totally get it - a slick black motorcycle with matching gear looks cool but you will completely vanish into night air. Motorcycle endorsement and other safety classes teach you to ride smart so any plans to ride at night require a bit more preparation and diligence on your part.