Learning to ride a bike is not difficult, but learning to ride properly and safely is whole other ball game entirely. Mastering the art of motorcycling is something most of us might never lay hands on because it takes a lifetime of dedication. Unlike cars, motorcycles come with rather complex dynamics, i.e. dramatic balance changes, roadway hazards, other drivers, etc. That’s why many beginner motorcycle riders look for tips to help educate them on how to ride properly and effectively while minimizing risks.
In that light, this article we will be listing the Top 10 Best Tips for a Beginner Rider; both new and old should know these tips before they even think about mounting a motorcycle:
1. BE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR MOTORCYCLE
When learning how to ride a motorcycle for the first time, balance and coordination is key. Your eyes, foot, and hands must be in perfect sync all the time. Utilizing different controls simultaneously is inevitable, therefore it’ essential that you become familiar with all the controls.
- Clutch Lever
Found at the left side of your bike’s handlebar. This is what you squeeze when changing gears.
- Gearshift lever
This pedal can be found at the lower left side of your motorcycle. Gearshift lever is used to change the gears while you ride.
- Throttle grip
The throttle grip of a motorcycle is similar to a foot pedal accelerator in a car. It’s found at the right side of your bike’s handlebar and can be controlled by twisting its grip with your right hand.
- Front brake
Can be found at the right side of the handlebar and must be squeezed gently with your right-hand control the front brake.
- Rear brake
Can be found at the lower right side of your motorcycle. You need to use your foot to depress gently to apply the rear brake.
2. PRE-RIDE INSPECTION
Most times, we are always in a hurry, and we forget to do simple things like a pre-ride inspection. Maintenance is vital to the durability of your bike and taking your time to do a simple maintenance check can add more years to the lifespan of you and your bike.
3. BUY THE PROPER GEAR
When engaging in any sport or activity for the first time, you need to gear up correctly to have the best experience riding and to help prevent injury. As a new rider, you’re more prone to mistakes and errors so gearing up is more than just good advice. Here’s a list of gear to consider:
- Eye protection
- Face Protection
- Leather jacket and pants
In some states or country, wearing a helmet is required by law.
4. BE PRECISE AND THINK FAST
Driving around in your car and riding a motorcycle are two very different things entirely. Why? When you drive a car, your body is disconnected from the car’s frame to an extent, and even if you let go of every control, the car would move till it comes to a halt.
The same can’t be said about a motorcycle as your body is an integral part of the machine. You can’t make a turn by yanking the bikes handle. You need to lean your body into the turn to execute the move properly. Shifting your body weight has a major effect on the direction and maneuverability of a motorcycle. This is why riding a bike is significantly more technical than driving a car.
- Look through corners.
- Pay attention to other drives, especially with the number of people texting while driving!
- Always have an exit strategy before getting into a move.
- Stay out of blind spots.
Remember that wherever your body goes, your bike goes as well.
5. VIGILANT AND DEFENSIVE
When learning how to drive, we were taught the art of defensive driving. This kind of driving also extends its wings into the motorcycle world. A motorcycle rider needs to be twice as defensive as someone driving a car. A bike has little to no protection, unlike a car that is fortified with steel and fiberglass. There’s no last resort other than your wits and the agility of your motorcycle.
When riding, you need to remain alert and vigilant. You need to understand the art of knowing the blind spot. Never assume anything and always have in mind that, if you can’t see the mirror of another vehicle, there’s no way the driver can see you in it.
6. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you begin to ride, it’s crucial you do your research. If you are planning on purchasing a new motorcycle, research and buy the one that suits both your taste and skill set. Ask a lot of questions and do not let anyone put you under any unneeded pressure. Don’t forget, buying a motorcycle based on looks or price can lead you into an uncomfortable situation.
7. MIRROR ADJUSTMENT
Adjusting your mirrors correctly and promptly is a safety measure all riders should learn to remember. On some bikes, this process can’t be done by hand, and even when possible, it would be unrealistic to do that while in motion. Make a habit of adjusting your mirror before you leave on your journey to save you from some unwanted accidents.
8. AVOID AVOIDABLE MISTAKES
We all know mistakes are inevitable, but some are rather too pint-sized to be called one. What kind of mistakes? Mistakes like forgetting to return your bike side stand to its default position, forgetting to turn on or off the tap on the fuel tank valve, or forgetting your bikes choke. These mistakes are avoidable and as little as they sound, they can save you time, money, stress, and injuries.
9. RIDE SOLO FIRST!
Listen, we all know how much fun it would be to toss your loved one on the back seat for some sunset cruising down back roads. However, riding with someone on the back is 5x as hard as riding solo.
Not only do you have to account for your weight and balance, you know how to account for theirs as well. It’s essential that you understand how to operate you bike like an expert before you even think about putting someone else on the back seat. Don’t risk your life or theirs until you feel you are 100% capable.
NOTE: Before going on major roadways with a passenger, drive around your neighborhood to get comfortable with the different weight distribution.
10. GET YOUR BIKE INSURED
Try to talk to an agent and find out what insurance policy is needed for your new ride. As a motorcyclist, we all need to be alert, and one step towards that goal is getting our bike insured.
Riding a motorcycle is exhilarating, and many love the culture, but we need to know that cutting corners or dodging some of the less-pleasant parts of