Learning how to ride a motorcycle is simple, but mastering that skill requires patience, knowledge, and of course — lots of miles on the road. Riding a motorcycle doesn’t offer the same level of protection as riding a car, and that’s why it’s crucial to learn as much as possible about riding to make it safer and more enjoyable.
Some motorcycle riders were fortunate enough and they had mentors who passed their knowledge of riding to them. Others had to learn the hard way, all by themselves. Fortunately, you don’t have to learn all by yourself as we have a solution for you. We asked the riding experts and came up with the six riding tips from six pro motorcycle racers, who shared their expertise with our readers.
All The Gear, All the Time aka ATGAAT
If you aren’t familiar with this concept, its significance is vital for all motorcycle riders to stay protected on the road. Having all the gear all the time will considerably reduce the risk of suffering potential injuries in case of accidents, and it’s one of the most fundamental tips we can give you.
To fulfill ATGATT, you need to wear the following:
- Full face helmet
- Riding jacket
- Riding gloves
- Thick riding pants
- Motorcycle boots
Keep Your Heels Close To the Bike
If you paid attention to street motorcycles, you probably noticed diamond-shaped metal plates. They aren’t just there for appearance; they are placed there for separating the foot from the interior of the bike.
Everyone should use them by simply moving the foot closer to the bike and pushing the heels against the plates. This allows much better control and stability overall. It’s a simplistic and straightforward thing to do, but it can make a huge difference, and many rookies aren’t aware of this.
Always Assume You Are Invisible to Others
You probably heard this from other riders, but in case you haven’t, every time you’re out there riding your motorcycle always assume you are invisible. The reason behind this is safety because the majority of drivers don’t usually notice motorcycles, no matter how bright you are.
This phenomenon is called inattentional blindness, which occurs when the brain is burdened with stimuli while trying to concentrate on a task, which in this case is driving. Essentially, many drivers are on auto-pilot and since they are trained to look out for other cars or bigger vehicles, they won’t see what their brain isn’t looking for — a motorcycle. Stay hyper-aware while in traffic and always assume that other drivers aren’t noticing you.
There are three main positions in riding, and the first one is standard/neutral which can be used by anyone, without straining their body. This is the most manageable position, and it’s done by sitting upright and pushing the shoulders back for a bit while mounting the bike with your legs.
The next one is the cruiser position, which is similar to neutral, but in this case, you have to place the legs in front of you. The third one is the sports position, which is done by tilting forward slightly while keeping the back straight and shoulders backward. To take some strain off the body, shift your weight to your heels.
Learn How to Brake
It’s surprising how many bikers aren’t braking properly. You need to know how your bike will react in case of hard brakes during emergencies, so we strongly advise going to an empty parking lot where you can practice your braking.
Over time, you’ll build a muscle memory which will prove very useful in situations when you don’t have time to think about how to break perfectly. Furthermore, don’t overlook your rear brake since learning how to use it will improve the slow riding and maneuvers.
Always Choose a Good Mechanic
Take your time and find a mechanic that earns your trust. You can ask other bikers for recommendations or read the reviews online. Although a good mechanic is expensive, it will save you lots of money in the long term and your bike will remain well maintained so you won’t have to deal with any hassles. A good mechanic will always notice potential issues on time, and you’ll be grateful for choosing a good mechanic instead of an inexpensive one.
So, there you have it! If you are a new rider this post is certainly ideal for you. However, simply reading this list will not make you a more skilled rider, but following these tips certainly will. Becoming a better rider takes practice and can’t happen overnight, so take your time and practice as much as you can, and one day you can become an expert too!