Experienced motorcyclists might make riding look easy, but that’s only because they’re experienced. As a novice, there’s a lot you need to keep on your mind before you ride. These ten things will help keep you safe while having fun on two wheels.
Letting your feet hang low when riding at any speed won’t only burn the rubber off your shoes, it might leave you with some broken bones as well. Keep your feet in a position where they can act quickly if you have to react in an emergency situation, not dragging against the asphalt.
When riding a motorcycle, keep your eyes up and planted on the direction you want to be headed. Same goes for driving a car. Reader GareBare will tell you:
Sounds so simple, but is imperative on a bike. If you focus on the car/curb/tree you’re headed for, you’ll hit it 100% of the time. If you look where you want to go, the bike will follow.
Stay away from braking inside of turns, or trail-braking, unless you’re a real hotshot motorcyclist. Who are you trying to impress? Slow down more than you think you have to, leave room for error, and then corner.
Performing regular maintenance checks and inspections are crucial if you want to build a close, trusting relationship with your machine. Blowing a tire on a car is one thing, you have three others you can rely on. Losing a tire on a motorcycle? Not fun!
Whether you’ve come to accept it or not, chances are your first bike won’t remain right-side up for much of its life. Find a bike that you’re comfortable riding, has just the right amount of power and displacement to get you going, and that won’t break the bank if you do have the misfortune of experiencing an accident.
Thanks to the almost immediate connection to the road that motorcycles offer, they’re extremely easy to zoom in out out of traffic and pester other motorists with. Not only are the tossable, even seemingly low-powered bikes are usually considered quick by car standards. Serious injury and or death are both very real possibilities for riders that want to try and push their luck on public roads.
If you are riding with traffic and not trying to get knocked over, make your movements predictable and easy for car drivers to move with or around. Reader porange can explain.
Other drivers have a hard enough time seeing you, so when you’re riding hard in traffic, going too fast, etc., you are taking yourself out of the norm of other drivers’ expectations.
When spending time out on busy public roads, keep an eye on everything moving around you, stay attentive, and be at the ready to save your own ass. You can hope all you want that everyone else on the road will see you in their blindspots, be completely sober, and or an amazingly knowledgeable driver, but we all know that’s never the case.
If anything will save you if or when you go down, it’ll be your gear. Invest in gloves, a helmet, full-coverage armored clothing, boots, knee guards, whatever. Just cover all that skin up.
Drivers’ ed in America might be somewhat broken, but motorcycle safety classes are on the ball, for the most part. Reader Justin Hughes can share some information:
This will teach most of what every rider should know before they start riding. Unlike typical automotive driver’s ed, the course will actually teach you how to control your vehicle and do it well. In many places, passing this course replaces your license exam. You can walk in with a learner’s permit and never having ridden a bike before, and walk out a license and the basic skills you need to ride safely.
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