Be a Better Motorcycle rider Today with these Tips:
These 5 motorcycle riding tips were incredibly helpful to me when I was a beginner. They are easy to remember and I'm sure they will be useful to any of you who are learning, or who plan to learn, how to ride a motorcycle!
1. Keep your knees in tight to the fuel tank.
On a motorcycle moreso than almost any other form of transportation, balance is critical! Your brain is always trying to control your centre of gravity to keep you upright and sometimes when turning a corner, your reflex is to stick a knee out for balance or in case of a fall. Don't do it! Sticking your knee out MOVES your centre of gravity and makes you unstable. Your brain tries to compensate which leads to the characteristic "wobble" new riders experience.
2. Look up, and in the direction you want to go.
It's easy to look down at any obstacles that might be in your path, but more often than not looking AT an obstacle causes you to ride right into it! Keep your eyes up and focus on your main path. This is especially important in corners where you need to turn your head to identify where you want to go before starting the turn. Your ride will be less jerky, and you will still be able to avoid obstacles by using your peripheral vision.
3. Control the throttle with a level wrist.
Many beginners control the throttle with their wrists cocked at 90 degrees to the road. They think this gives them better control when opening the throttle. Aside from common sense, there are 2 reasons why you do not need to do this as a beginner. First, from closed to wide open throttle, you only need to twist the handgrip 1/4 turn. Second, if you ever release the clutch too early, or your arm jerks for any reason, you are very likely to pull back on your arm and open the throttle sending the bike flying! Using a level wrist still allows you to fully open the throttle, and helps keep the bike under you rather than send it across the road.
4. Use the rear brakes and clutch for low speed control.
Anyone who comes to motorcycle riding from driving (especially with a manual transmission), knows that your front brakes provide 80-90% of your stopping power, and is under the impression that riding the clutch is bad.
First, motorcycle brakes also provide 80-90% of your stopping power, but in low speed situations or when navigating around obstacles, front brakes are more likely to result in a jerky and embarrassing dismount. Instead, gently depress or "drag" your back brakes (do NOT lock them). This is one excellent way to control your speed in tight spots.
Second, motorcycle clutches are built to be ridden at the friction point (the friction point is where the engine is only transferring some of its power through the clutch to the wheels). Keeping your clutch slightly disengaged gives you a bit of forgiveness with the throttle, and won't send you flying if you open the throttle too much while negotiating those obstacles.
It sounds cliche, but the more you ride, the more you get to know your bike and the better you become at controlling it. Don't be discouraged! Everyone has stalled their bike or had an embarrassing fall. It will get easier!