How To Drive Your First Motorcycle: 10 Tips For Men
Riding a motorcycle gives men a different high and unbelievable fulfillment. It’s more of a passion rather than a means of transportation. But it’s not as easy as it looks as driving a bike has too many risks and hazards, especially when you are a beginner.
Here are 10 tips on how to drive a bike:
The motorcycle looks like an easy thing to drive. But like driving a car, there are basics that you cannot just learn on your own. Professional training also enhances the informal training or knowledge that you already have. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers various trainings all over the country. You can check out www.msf-usa.org for details and schedules. Most of these trainings are part of state required programs.
The golden rule
Always wear your helmet. That is the golden rule in motorcycle driving. Aside from the driver’s license, the helmet is the most important thing for a rider. Not only is it required by law in most states, it protects your head from any serious injuries. If you forget that precious helmet, then you are not a rider. You could be an organ donor.
Aside from the helmet, riders are also advised to wear motorcycle-appropriate safety gears like jacket, pants, gloves and boots. These accessories not only protect your skin from being exposed to the sun or getting soaked in the rain, but more importantly, they also help prevent major injuries during motorcycle crashes. Sure, these gears may seem uncomfortable to wear, but they are necessary. So unless your bike’s got airbags, gear up before you drive.
Turn the choke off
Most first time motorcycle owners forget this once or twice. That is pretty much normal because turning off the choke isn’t second nature to them yet. The choke causes the motorcycle to run rich or more fuel when the engine is cold. When it becomes primed up, the choke should be turned off.
Leaving the choke on after the engine has warmed up causes unnecessary usage of fuel. You would not want to waste fuel at the rate its price is increasing these days. So don’t forget to turn off the choke once you’re bike has heated up.
Tire pressure is crucial when you drive a bike because you are running on just two wheels. Having the right tire pressure makes your bike perform better. Having low tire pressure can make your bike seemingly uncontrollable and difficult to maneuver.
Somewhere in the bike is a metal plate where you can find the PSI ratings of your front and rear tires. Check your tire pressure using a good tire gauge. Add more air if necessary. And yes, don’t forget to return those valve caps when you’re done.
No to the flow
Enticing as it seems, don’t go with the flow. Speed is often tempting and watching other riders go fast looks easy. But you don’t have to go 80 mph just to be able to catch up with them. Say no to the flow. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody nor do you have to impress them.
If other riders ride as fast as their guardian angels can fly, ride only to the extent of the skills that you have learned and mastered.
Look ahead, but look back too
Looking ahead expands your view and allows you to anticipate potential dangers like reckless cars, humps, people or animals crossing and other road obstacles. Spotting them ahead will give you more time to react and protect yourself.
On the other hand, the mirrors on your bike aren’t just decorations. As much as you need to see what’s ahead, you also need to see what’s behind you. Because when you’re on the highway, behind every bike is big reckless truck.
Loose on top, tighter at bottom
Despite the differences between various bikes, this rule applies to all: Get a firm grip of the handlebars without exerting too much force, and squeeze the gas tank with your thighs tight enough to get a good balance.
There is no right or wrong position in riding a bike, just remember the rule and be sure that you can control the bike with smooth and fluid moves.
Lean when you turn
When negotiating a turn, the rider should lean with the bike in order to have a faster and smoother turn. The faster you are going, the more you and the bike have to lean. Leaning to the inside direction is necessary to counterbalance the centrifugal force that is trying to sway the bike towards the outside of the turn.
Different bikes require different leans. Sports bikes can do sharper turns, while choppers are limited because of their low swung silencers. New riders must learn how to lean and tilt his bike correctly.
2 second rule
The 2 second rule is the minimum distance that you should always maintain between you and the other guys in traffic. Studies have shown that 2 seconds is the mean time consumed between detecting a potential danger and starting to hit the brake. What’s beyond this point depends on rider experience, motorcycle condition and road conditions.
They say that four wheels drive the body , but two wheels drive the soul. A man is not complete without a bike as much as he is not without a woman. And remember that cowboys aren’t the only ones who ride into the sunset at the end of the movie.