Everyone makes mistakes when they first start learning about something and learning how to ride is no different. When it comes to riding a motorcycle, most of the mistakes happen because beginners get a little too enthusiastic as soon as they get on the bike.
This adrenaline-pumping enthusiasm often results in making some of the following common beginner mistakes in motorcycling:
#1: Going Out of Your League
Going all the way and buying a massive, powerful motorcycle might sound tempting, but you will become a better rider if you start with something small, experts say. You can still get your cruiser if that’s what you want, but make sure not to buy ‘too much motorcycle’ or at least, don’t buy more than you can handle.
#2: Being in Over Your Head
Many beginners fail to resist the urge to ride everywhere the same moment they get their motorcycle license. But, it’s a jungle out there. You’ve just started riding, and you need to focus on the ride itself, and there is no way to practice what you’ve learned if you ride challenging roads.
Tight traffic brings many hazards you are not ready to deal with yet, and so do hectic intersections. Remember, you are on a motorcycle and far less protected than when driving a car. You need to master the art of riding first and then bring it to the busy, more complex roads.
Take the roads less travelled at first and give yourself time to focus on perfecting your riding without worrying about any distractions or dangers.
#3: Not Having a Proper Mental Image of Traffic
When you’re riding a motorcycle, there’s so much to watch out for when you’re in traffic. Is that guy going to open the door of that parked car you’re about to ride by and possibly launch you over the street? Is the person in front of you aware that you’re behind them or are they talking on their phone?
We live in the age of crazy driver distraction, and you must keep a 360-degree image of traffic at all times when you’re on a motorcycle. Once you can reach that level of awareness, you will not be surprised by the unexpected.
Scan your surroundings well ahead, always check side to side and don’t forget to check your mirrors occasionally.
#4: Not Remembering to Always Assume You’re Invisible
Many riders who’ve put many miles behind them have one crucial piece of advice for all beginners:
Always assume you’re invisible!
You can stay visible on your bike with the help of various gear, but it is very helpful to think of the car drivers around you as blind to your existence. No matter how flashy your vest might be, or how neon bright your entire bike might be painted – assume the drivers around you cannot see you. Always.
Make sure to keep a finger over the brake lever at all times in case you need to make an emergency maneuver. Always stay alert for car driver’s sudden moves.
#5: Riding with a Passenger or Joining a Group Ride Too Soon
It’s exciting to go out for a ride, but it’s even more amazing to take your girlfriend for a spin on your new motorcycle, right? As tempting it is to bring a friend or a love interest on a ride with you and head for the hills, you need to be really good at handling your bike before you take a passenger because it changes the motorcycle’s handling dynamics significantly.
Also, we all know you’ll be trying to impress the person you’re bringing and push harder, so don’t to that either.
When it comes to group rides, as wonderful as they can be, such rides come with their own set of challenges. You need to adjust to the group ride and rhythm, and you will need an extra layer of space awareness because of all the motorcycles riding next to you.
A beginner should spend their early riding time solo, so they get in tune with their own pace and find their own way of handling the bike. Soon enough, you will be ready to share the experience.
Photo by Bruno_Caimi