Motorbike

Motorcycle tips for new riders

It is a bit of a dream to be riding high speed on country lanes. Nothing but you and the road, the two wheels that are going to take you places. It can take a while before you really have the confidence to go at higher speeds. In fact, it can take a while to be comfortable riding your bike at all. Although during your lessons you will be given a crash course in safety, how to handle a bike in different situations and of course, prepped to pass your test – you won’t encounter all that the roads have to offer you. 

Photo by REVOLT on Unsplash

Even more so if you take your lessons and test in the summer. 

Before we get to the tips, you should always remember that in a crash motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die. Because while you are taught to pay very close attention to cars, car drivers don’t always repay the favor. Still, many people go their whole riding life and never get in any sort of scrape. 

Brakes

Invest your cash in some anti-lock brakes. IIHS reports have shown that bikes with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal accident. ABS are smart systems, and in fact, it doesn’t matter how good of a rider you are, and no matter how many years the ABS system will brake better than you ever will. 

Brakes that lock take the control out of the hands of the rider completely. The loss of steering control means that even if you were capable of rectifying the situation, it is no longer possible. This leads to skids and crashes that could otherwise be avoided. 

Many bikes now have this as standard, but if yours doesn’t check out Solomotoparts and find some aftermarket options. 

Bigger Bikes

There is a tendency with younger drivers to purchase way more bike than they can handle, and equally with riders who have had long breaks away from riding too. The performance of the high-end bikes is incredible, and it does take a while to work up to that level of skill. There is no harm in purchasing something in advance, but don’t be tempted to take it out until you are less rusty or more learned. 

When you are shopping for a bike, start with what fits your skill bracket. Often people get embarrassed on a 125cc when a big 2,294cc Triumph Rocket III pulls up next to you. 

However, the person riding that started where you are too.  

When you are at the center you intend to buy your bike from, make sure you sit on the bike. Some are deceptively heavy, and that weight will translate to the road. You need to be able to have both feet flat on the ground when seated, if you find yourself on your tiptoes, this isn’t the bike for you. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to reach to the handlebars and controls, they should be easy to touch from your seated position. 

If you are intending on heading down the motorway or freeway often, then you should consider a higher cc bike, simply so you can keep up with the flow of the traffic. 

Gear

How many times have you seen people in jeans and t-shirt on a bike, when you know that if they happen to fall off the road rash isn’t going to be pleasant – at best. You want gear that is going to protect you from the elements, wind chill, bugs, and flying debris – and that road rash mentioned above. 

You’re going to really need a leather set of gear, with padding on ankles, knees, and elbows as a minimum. Gloves, jacket, trousers, and bike boots. Bike gear is designed to be breathable and as safe as possible. You will also need proper eye protection. 

If you want to maximize your chances of being seen, then you should skip the black and opt for reds, blues, and whites. This minimizes the change a car driver will miss you in their mirrors or eye line. 

Helmet

This deserves its own area. Some riders still prefer to ride without them. But that is pretty much saying that if you get in an accident, you don’t mind not making it out alive. Riders without helmets are 40% more likely to suffer a fatal head injury even in the smallest crash. 

You want a strong helmet, in fact, if you can only afford to splurge on one piece of riding gear – make it this. Helmets are now strong, lightweight, they cut down on wind noise and fatigue too. You will need to replace your helmet every five years as a minimum, as they deteriorate over time. 

Defensive Riding

There are a few ways that people drive. Some are aggressive, some are defensive and others hesitant. It is better to be a defensive driver. Typically when a motorcycle rider is hit, 60% of the time it is due to the driver of the car. 

Don’t tuck yourself too tightly to the side or back of a car, when it comes to low visibility keep as much distance as you can. The space that you put between you and the vehicle in front or behind might save your life. 

Always drive with the idea the other vehicle hasn’t seen you. 

Bad Weather

Bad weather doesn’t always mean low visibility – sometimes it means black ice on the roads. The margin of error you have in good driving weather is very much diminished. Your grip on the road is much less, and this makes cornering more than a little tricky. If you do need to head out, remember that the worst time to drive is just after the rain starts. It can often cause a slick oily residue to rise to the top. You will also want to go easy on the brakes, and steering. Leave plenty of time to come to a complete stop. 

For intense winds, you will need to be proactive and anticipate a push from one side or another. 

Riding a motorcycle is one of the freest feelings in the world provided you treat it with the respect it deserves. 

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