There’s no feeling quite as good as riding your new motorcycle off the lot for the first time. The feel of the grips in your hands and the wind in your face is exhilarating. However, no matter how great it seems, there are plenty of things you need to know before becoming an avid motorcyclist. Many of them are things that you’ll learn over time, but finding out about them early on can help keep you safer and your bike in better condition. So, here’s our list of tips for new motorcycle riders to know.
Be a Defensive Rider
As much as we’d like for drivers in larger vehicles to be more aware of motorcyclists, the fact of the matter is, they aren’t. There are many reasons why people in cars fail to see motorcyclists, but none are excusable.
Nevertheless, if they aren’t going to be careful around motorcycle riders, you need to be careful of them. Some ways to do this are to avoid their blind spots whenever you can and try not to blaze past them at high speeds, especially in tight areas. Also, staying in a lower gear is a good idea. That way, you can quickly speed up if another driver is about to hit you.
Best Way to Brake
Speeding up isn’t always the right option, though. More often than not, you will need to come to a quick stop. For those that don’t know, your front tire brakes are the stronger ones. But you shouldn’t use them exclusively unless you like launching yourself off the front of your bike.
Instead, you should use the 70/30 method, where you perform 70% of your braking with the front wheel and 30% with the back. This will help you stop as quickly as possible while remaining safely on top of your bike. Also, be aware that a big-time beginner mistake is braking while turning. Doing this is an excellent way to fall over and continue sliding towards whatever you were turning away from.
Hold off on the Music
As great as it is to blast some tunes while you’re cruising, they can be pretty distracting from other sounds that you need to be listening for while you’re riding. Once you’ve become a better rider, you might be able to get away with this. However, newbies should listen for cars and other hazards while they’re still learning the ropes.
Don’t Forget to Service Your Bike
Whether you do it yourself or take it to a shop, our biggest tip for new motorcycle riders is to make sure you keep up with your bike maintenance. Maintaining its condition will keep you safer and keep your wallet fuller since more significant problems can be costly for motorcycles.
You should inspect your bike often as well. Get into the habit of giving it a once-over before you ride. If you find anything strange or out of place, get it checked out. It could be nothing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.