Tips And Mindsets I Wish I Knew When I Started Riding
As a new motorcycle rider, there are several considerations that can help you be successful and stay safe on the road. Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s important to approach it with caution and a willingness to learn.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that riding a motorcycle is not a race. Even if you have a natural talent for it, it takes time to develop the skills and knowledge needed to ride safely. Don't be overconfident and don't rush to take on more advanced techniques until you've mastered the basics.
One of the best ways to improve your skills is to practice, practice, practice. Find a safe, controlled environment where you can practice your clutch, throttle, and braking techniques, and become familiar with your motorcycle's handling and performance. This can help you build the muscle memory and confidence you need to ride more effectively.
Another consideration for new riders is to give yourself overhead to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when learning something new. You need to be comfortable with the fact that you may mess up when you start riding on the road. If you’re still getting used to your bike’s handling, then start with neighborhood streets and empty parking lots before moving onto more challenging roads. Give yourself the time and space to make mistakes so you can learn from them in a safe and controlled environment.
One of the most critical considerations for any motorcycle rider, new or experienced, is to wear protective gear. Always wear a DOT-approved helmet, gloves, boots, and protective clothing to reduce the risk of injury in case of an accident. This is not just a recommendation, but the law in many places.
There are several common hazards that all riders should be aware of, such as gravel, other drivers, and overconfidence. Gravel can be a particular challenge, as it can cause your tires to lose traction and make it difficult to control your bike. Other drivers can be unpredictable and may not see you on the road, so it's important to stay alert and ride defensively. Overconfidence can be a major hazard for new riders, as it can lead to risky behavior and poor decision-making.
There are also some commonly overlooked hazards that new riders should be aware of. Neighborhoods and parking lots can be particularly hazardous, as there may be children or pets playing, or other obstacles that can be difficult to see. Inexperienced riders may also be a hazard, as they may make sudden, unexpected maneuvers that can be difficult to anticipate. Flying debris, potholes, and road debris are also hazards that can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle.
In conclusion, if you’re a new motorcycle rider, it's important to take the time to develop your skills, practice in a safe environment, wear protective gear, and be aware of the many hazards you may face on the road. With patience, practice, and a commitment to safety, you can enjoy the thrill of riding a motorcycle while staying safe and in control. Ride safe, ride SMART!