Riding a motorbike well will take some practice and a lot of focus to get right. If you are new to riding or very experienced on the road, it never hurts to have a little refresher now and again on what to avoid, especially if you have taken a break between riding, or if you are getting ready for a long ride.
1. Master the clutch
This is something that you will get used to over time, and may very well already have a solid handle on. Once you have figured this out on your bike it will become second nature and stalling is something that you won’t need to worry about. If you are a beginner then you should pay extra attention to how you use the clutch as stalling at speed can be annoying and dangerous.
Even if you are an experienced rider, if you are taking a new bike, or a bike that you are unfamiliar without on the road, you should make a mental note to feel out the clutch as it might be lighter or heavier than what you are used to. Wearing the right kind of motorcycle gloves can also help with your clutching skills.
2. Don’t downshift while stationary
Starting from any other gear other than first is not ideal. In fact, you should do all that you can to ensure that you are down to first gear when you are about to stop. Starting in a higher gear will not give you the smoothest start. This is something that you will gradually get used to over time and will soon become second nature.
3. Don’t forget the kickstand
If it has been a while since you hit the open road this may be a habit that you have forgotten about, You must always make sure that the kickstand is up before you put the bike into gear.
4. Not hovering over the brake/clutch
This is something of a personal preference and not something that is done all the time. If you need to stop in a hurry or cut the power to the engine quickly this small preventative measure could be a real lifesaver. Even just the fraction of a second that this will give you when you need to stop quickly could make all of the difference.
5. Keeping an eye on the gas
Each bike is different and will consume gas at a different rate. It is very important that if you are going on a long trip you plan accordingly. The last thing that you want is to be stuck in the middle of the highway without any gas for your bike. This is just one of the things that you should think about before you get on your bike. You also need to consider how much energy you have and how long you will be able to drive safely. If it has been a while since you last went for a long drive, or you are new to riding a motorbike, you should always underestimate this and give yourself a healthy safety margin.
6. Cancel those turn signals
If you are used to driving a car, a lot of them will cancel the turn signal after the wheel has recovered. Some motorbike models do this too. However, if you are riding a bike that doesn’t have this technology then you need to make sure that you always remember to turn off your turn signals.
7. Don’t assume other drivers have seen you
When riding your bike you should always assume that other drivers and riders on the road have not seen you approaching them. This will keep you alert to the smallest of movement of the other vehicles and could save your life.