Five Motorcycle Tips Every Beginner Rider Should Know
Learning to ride a motorcycle can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Once you have your motorcycle license for the first time, it’s easy to become swept up in the moment and hit the road. But if you’re not careful, riding before you’re ready can be a costly mistake. This article is intended to let beginner motorcyclists know the basics of riding to become an expert.
Know Your Motorcycle
Each and every motorcycle has its own personality, even bikes of the same make and model have been known to have a different feel on the road. If you have just bought a new motorcycle, you need to take a few weeks to become acquainted with riding it.
This means that you should not only be comfortable with your motorcycles limits and operation, but also know its maintenance patterns and fuel consumption. Beginner riders will sometimes be so caught up in riding on an open road for the first time that they will neglect to check oil and fuel levels. Generally, you should stop to refuel when your motorcycle’s gas gauge reaches the quarter-tank mark for the first few weeks of riding. Additionally, you should check your motorcycle’s oil levels, look for any concerning wear and tear, and make any necessary adjustments after your first few days of riding.
Ride Smart and Ride Comfortably
Nearly all motorcycle crashes happen within five miles of where the trip starts. This is because some beginner riders try to hit the road before they have the skills they need to ride safely.
Only ride your motorcycle regularly when you are confident in your own abilities. As a first-time motorcyclist, the smartest thing you can do is attend a rider safety course. In a rider safety course, you will be able to read the road and gain riding experience. It’s important to know your own limits when riding, and especially important to know how to react in an emergency situation. Above all, a rider safety course will teach you how to stay calm, which in turn will help you prevent most accidents.
Use Your Head: Wear a Helmet
Safety equipment is available to motorcyclists for a very specific reason: it saves lives.
A helmet should fit snugly onto your head, cover it completely, and be approved by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). It’s not just helmets that can help to protect you, you should also consider thick, warm clothing as well. Wearing jeans, boots, and a leather jacket could provide protection in the event of a slide and protect you from the elements that you’ll be exposed to while riding.
Prepare for Your Trip
Listening to your body and preparing for it’s needs before starting a trip is a sign of an experienced rider. It can be surprisingly easy to ignore a body’s needs while riding, and being drained of food and water will shorten your attention span and lead to exhaustion. Exhausted driving, like distracted driving, is a leading contributor to fatal crashes in the US.
Prepare for a ride by always bringing dried food and plenty of water. This is important not only while traveling, but is especially important in case of a breakdown. A first aid kit is also a good idea, and make sure to have any relevant medical information on your person when you ride. Ultimately, you can’t prepare for every possible situation but you should bring anything that you reasonably consider important.
Here’s a short checklist:
- Matches or lighter
- Pocket knife
- Small tool kit or multitool
- Cell phone and charger
- First aid kit
- Food and water
- Glow sticks or road flares
- Insurance and medical information
Know Your Surroundings and Stay Calm
The best way to enjoy your trip and to stay safe is to practice situational awareness.
This technique will likely be taught to you in your motorcycle safety course, and for a very good reason. Situational awareness, to put it simply, is knowing what is going on around you. Pay attention to the conditions of the road at all times, while also paying attention to how your motorcycle is operating.
The best strategy for facing any situation is to remain calm. Panicking is a critical situation will only make a situation go from bad to worse. So, focus on the actions that will help make you safe, and to take a moment to breathe afterwards to calm your nerves. If you crash, or almost crash, make sure that everyone in the situation is medically stable. Afterwards, accept that the moment has passed and calm down before proceeding with your next steps.
If you have been in a motorcycle crash and need legal help, visit http://accidentattorneys.org/motorcycle-accident-lawsuits/ to find an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for a free consultation.