There are few things better than hitting the open road, feeling the wind on your face, and the hot engine of your motorcycle as it cruises down the road. Motorcycles are fun, efficient and offer a sense of independence and adventure that cannot be beaten.
But if you’re riding a motorcycle for the first time, there are some essential things that you should know in order to keep safe, comfortable and maximize your enjoyment on the bike.
Keep reading for our guide to motorcycle riding for beginners.
1. Get the Gear
Contrary to popular believe, motorbike geat is actually functional and doesn’t exist solely to look cool — that’s just the bonus.
You need to wear proper riding attire to prevent motorcycle injuries and to ensure you’re comfortable on the bike. Leathers, jackets, pants, and boots are necessary to keep you safe.
Glasses or goggles are a must if your helmet is open and gloves are non-negotiable to protect your hands.
No matter how hot it is, sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt are a bad idea on a bike. Pick footwear with good traction so that if you put your feet down to stop you won’t slip and slide all over the place.
2. Check the Bike
Every time you’re about to get on your motorcycle you should give it a thorough once-over. Ensure the tire pressure is good, adjust your mirrors and check your lights.
The last thing you want to do is to be adjusting mirrors while you’re riding. Unlike in a car, riding a motorcycle requires all of your attention and you should avoid multitasking to prevent motorcycle accidents.
Tire pressure on a motorbike is extremely important as low tire pressure can make it difficult to control your bike which puts you in a dangerous situation.
Alongside giving your bike a quick check before you ride you should also regularly maintain it. Fix things as soon as you notice they need attention, do regular oil changes, suspension adjustments, and such.
3. Know Your Limit
If you’re a motorcycle beginner, the most important safety tip is to understand your capabilities and stick within those limits. In time, you will become more comfortable on a bike and your knowledge and skills will grow. But in the beginning, you should avoid pushing yourself and stay within your comfort zone.
This includes choosing routes that are not outside of your experience and capabilities as well as a motorcycle that is more than you can handle.
4. Check the Forecast
Motorcycle riders are at the mercy of the weather and it’s important to keep up-to-date with weather forecasts so that you don’t land up in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation.
Wet and icy roads are extremely hazardous for two-wheelers as they lack the stability of the car. It’s also uncomfortable as your body is exposed to the elements which are not only unpleasant but add to the risk as you will be distracted and unfocused.
Rain and snow limit a rider’s visibility and even driving at a slow speed, rain hitting your body hurts. So always check the weather before heading out on a long drive or multi-day journey.
5. Practice…A Lot
If you’re learning how to ride a motorcycle you should take introductory lessons and continue the learning and practicing from there. Of course, you can try out advanced classes or simply head to quiet areas and practice by yourself.
Here are a few motorcycle safety tips for riding that every new rider should know:
- Always have an escape route by staying to the left or right of a vehicle
- Practice constantly scanning your environment when riding
- Learn to study the road surface
- Ride in open zones in traffic
- Make sure you’re comfortable with a passenger before riding with one
- Practice braking in different conditions
- Master your clutch
- Refine your body position
These are just a few things to think about when you’re learning how to ride a motorcycle. Each time you get on your bike, make it a practicing and learning opportunity.
6. Ride Defensively
Everyone should be driving defensively to some degree in a car. However, on a motorcycle, this is much more important. You are much more vulnerable to accidents or injuries while on a motorbike, so you need to drive as if everything is a possible danger.
This doesn’t mean driving anxiously, but rather it’s about being aware. What would be a bumper-bash in a car can be fatal on a bike.
Remain completely aware and focused at intersections especially as many car drivers aren’t trained to look out for motorcycles on the road.
Avoid driving in someone’s blind spot as the last thing they expect is a motorbike behind them and this often leads to accidents. If you can see yourself in someone’s mirror then you’re in a good position, as they can likely see you too.
7. Know What to Do in Case of an Accident
Here’s to hoping that you and your motorcycle have many glorious miles together with no emergencies. Even if you take all of the motorcycle safety tips into consideration and practice, accidents and injuries do happen.
It’s important to seek out help from personal injury lawyers if you find yourself in an accident that was not your fault. As a motorcycle rider you are more exposed and at risk and you’ll need a good team to assist you if you sustain injuries. Find out more information about motorcycle injury lawyers in Florida, linked here.
Are You Prepared for Riding a Motorcycle for the First Time?
Now that you know the key elements, lessons, skills, and tips for riding a motorcycle for the first time, are you feeling ready to get going? Remember, your safety is the most important thing and as long as you are a focused and defensive driver, you’ll have many incredible trips on your motorcycle.
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