Just the process of buying a motorbike can be pretty thrilling but learning to ride your new purchase takes the experience to a whole other thrill level. Naturally, you probably want to start riding your bike as soon as possible however, you must take into account the potential for motorcycle accidents consider your safety first. The safer you are when riding, the more enjoyable the experience will be and the less likely you are to get anxious or stressed. Boost your confidence to ride your bike and become a pro motorcyclist in no time with the following tips!
Be prepared for an emergency
Riding a motorcycle is a dangerous activity where you should never underestimate the risks of riding one. Ensure you understand all the preventative and responsive action plans in the event of a motorcycle emergency. Take out insurance that is specific to yourself as a motorcyclist as well as for your vehicle and equipment. You will also need to get yourself an extra pair of keys through Mister Minit, in case that you drop or lose them. It is also wise to bring emergency kits with you whilst you are on your travels, especially if you plan to ride alone to your destination. Pack a mini first aid kit as well as a toolkit (quality Multi Tools and slim torches are available from Mister Minit too) that you can use to repair your bike in unforeseen circumstances.
Buy proper safety gear
There is a reason why motorcyclists are known to wear leather. The material is durable and resistant to abrasion from road rash and weather conditions. Opt for a jacket that is leather or designed for motorcycle riding and is well insulated. Choose pants that are thick and heavy which can better shield you from rocks and pavement. You may even purchase pants that include plastic armour at the knees and hips to protect yourself from injury. You will be required to purchase gloves that protect your hands and wrists not only for safety but also guarantees comfort and warmth. Opting for boots that cover your ankles and have strong grips on the soles will allow you to ride your bike with comfort and ease. Another critical gear is ensuring to purchase a helmet that is brightly coloured and can be easily visible in the day and at night.
Motorcycle leathers are certainly an investment, but necessary to protect your body when riding. It’s important to nourish and care for these leathers so as they last you a life time. Applying a good quality leather conditioner such as Joseph Lyddy’s Jay El Beeswax Leather Dressing, available at Mister Minit, every month will ensure your leathers stay nourished, supply and will prevent mildew from growing in the offseason.
Learn the theory
It is integral to read and memorise the motorcycle handbook. Have a solid understanding of all the parts of your motorcycle as well as how to use the features in various scenarios. Ensure that you are familiar with the controls including the throttle, front brake, rear brake, clutch and shift lever. You will also need to know how to repair your bike and the location of your trusted mechanic. Be well informed of the road rules as well as rules that are specific to motorcyclists on their learners.
When practising, ensure that you hire an instructor or have an experienced motorcyclist to teach you the basics of how to start and ride the motorbike. This way, you will know that you are being accurately taught and they can also assist you with any mistakes. Practice in a parking lot and in smaller and quieter roads before going on main highways with high traffic and large vehicles. When you are ready to practice by yourself, ensure that you tell someone where you are in the event of an emergency and that you are within an area that you familiar with.
Be cautious of external risks
As a learner motorcyclist, ensure to be aware of environmental factors that can increase the level of risk when riding your bike. Before riding, check the climate conditions and wait until it is safe for you to travel, such as waiting until after the sun sets or when the rain and wind is less severe. You can also check to see whether there is high traffic and take the roads that have less traffic and less prone to trucks and large vehicles. Motorcyclists on their learners are not allowed to use their phones, using phones for navigation is also forbidden on your learners. Stick to driving to areas that you have memorised and are familiar with.
Don’t ride recklessly
Adjust your riding behaviour and attitude. Although you may be skilled as a car driver, you’re back to square one as a motorcyclist. It is optimal to maintain an open and patient attitude to learning. Lane filtering, which is the act of squeezing through traffic on your bike, is illegal for motorcyclists on their learners. It is a high-risk move as learners aren’t fully accustomed to their motorcycle gear and the roads. The traffic can be instantly congested as it can be suddenly cleared and move freely, so you must be fully skilled to keep in pace with the traffic before you will be able to lane filter. Another consideration is to ride slowly. Don’t be pressured to ride fast on highways as you should ride the speed that you’re comfortable with and is under the speed limit.
Learning to ride a motorcycle for the first time is a daunting yet thrilling experience. Take these tips and use them to boost your ability to learn faster, safer and with confidence. You’re only a step closer to being able to ride your dream bike!