You have always admired the thought of riding a motorcycle and that feeling you get whenever you see folks riding their motorcycles in grand style propelled you towards acquiring your motorcycle license. You did not just stop at obtaining a license, you searched through the internet for a motorcycle that suits your personality, and in no time, you are ready to hit the road like a pro. But before you do, this article would like to highlight five common mistakes new riders make and how to avoid them.
1. DOING TOO MUCH, TOO SOON
As soon as a new rider gets both a license and a bike, they jump into doing whatever they deem fun. This is unrealistic and can result in unneeded injuries and damages.
Every new rider needs to remember that things are crazy out there. Some roads are very challenging and hazardous than others. So skills and experience come before an adventure.
Take a less busy or less traveled route, and this would help you focus more on improving your craft without worrying about distracted or bad drivers. Staying safe during your early riding days is crucial as this would give you more confidence in a long haul.
2. TAKING YOUR LICENSE FOR EXPERIENCE
Acquiring your motorcycle license is an accomplishment in the bag; however, many new riders take this the wrong way. From the moment they get their license, they see themselves as an expert in the art of motorcycle. Funny but true. The truth is, nothing can substitute experience, absolutely nothing.
- Give yourself enough time to learn and gather enough experience.
- Learn how to handle most of the situations every rider face on the road.
- Try to master the art of visualizing various conditions you might encounter and plan your move ahead of time.
- Practice emergency maneuvers as this can help you when you face a similar real-life challenge.
3. ASSUMING YOU’RE ALWAYS VISIBLE
A lot of disastrous scenarios comes from an assumption, and many new riders fall prey to this problem. They tend to have a feeling that every motorist sees them, so they pay less attention to their surroundings.
While riding on your bike, try as must as possible to avoid the blind spot of motorists. You need to think about others around you and avoid assumption. Even if you are on the right lane, don’t assume a car won’t cut you off.
Eye contact with a driver does not grantee anything. You can have eye contact, but a distracted driver can still make silly mistakes that can put you in jeopardy. So as a precaution, always keep a finger over your brake lever just in case you need to make emergency maneuvers
4. TAKING ON A PASSENGER TOO SOON
New riders find it hard to contain their joy. They want everyone to know what they can do even if they are still at their learning phase. Some pull off tricks to technical for their skill set, while others raise the bar of risk by taking on passengers too soon.
A new rider must ride alone comfortable before taking on a passenger because riding alone is different and less technical than riding with a passenger. Why?
- A passenger may get nervous and jerk. This can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle.
- A passenger paying less attention to the situation around him/her may throw your bike of balance if you accelerate or brake suddenly.
So, taking on a passenger could cause you to lose control due to your lack of experience. It’s best new riders gain the needed experience before taking on passengers. This would help them handle different weight distribution correctly and efficiently.
To help a new rider learn faster, a backpack filled with some extra weight could help. This backpack can act as a second person but without the free will of movement. Once a new rider can ride comfortable with those weight hanging on, they can then try to ride with a passenger.
5. MISJUDGING TRAFFIC
When it comes to riding in traffic, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Riding in traffic is not all about scanning ahead with your eyes. If you misjudge a single scenario, the price may be costly.
You have to be very vigilant and alert to everything around you because this would save you from different kinds of disastrous situations. A car can slowly encroach into your lane, or someone can swing open the door of a parked car right in front of you. Been vigilant can help you avoid misjudging traffic.
6. NEGLECTING MAINTENANCE ON YOUR BIKE
After acquiring your license and purchasing your first bike, all you want to do is ride, ride, and ride. When going to work you ride, to a friend’s place you ride, as far as you going out, you go there with your new buddy. Riding is not the problem, the problem here is, most new riders easily forget to maintain their motorcycle.
Try setting aside a day for maintenance because it is a necessity. Your motorcycle needs regular maintenance and whenever you get home, make a habit of washing your bike after the day’s ride. You might also want to check your air filter once a month. Regular oil changes, spark plug replacements, and general maintenance are very important. All this would improve your bike durability and performance.
You can learn how to maintain your motorcycle yourself or get it done at a local motorcycle mechanic, but most people would love to do it themselves as it aids them in understand their motorcycle better.
As a new rider, it can take some time for you to get used to your motorcycle, and many things can happen within those adjustment periods. But no need to worry about those rookie mistakes, you need to remember that no one is a perfect rider, and there’s never going to be a point where we’ve learned it all. Keep practicing, gather more experience and you will only get better as time passes by.