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Motorcycles are as exciting as they are dangerous, and for those just starting, learning the ins and outs of your new vehicle can be difficult, whether you’re looking to go off-road or on-road. Here are the four best tips for new motorcycle riders to take advantage of that’ll keep you as safe as possible, especially while you’re learning the ropes.
The Right Gear
Motorcycle helmets are, in a way, iconic. Thus, they may seem obvious when you’re looking for gear. But it’s easy to forget that you need more than only one safety item when riding a motorcycle. Our bodies can’t endure speeds any faster than what we’re naturally capable of traveling at. So, you’ll need protective gear like boots that cover and protect your ankles and a riding jacket that can prevent road rash. We also recommend you invest in armored riding gloves that protect your hands, as they’re typically one of the first things to hit the pavement.
Getting a handle on your brakes can be difficult, especially since your front brake is so much more powerful. To avoid bucking yourself off your ride, you should practice 70/30 braking. This means applying 70 percent of pressure to the front brake and applying 30 percent to the back brake. Using this technique ensures you come to a smooth and gradual stop. The only time this doesn’t apply is when you’re off-roading since you must adapt to circumstances as necessary for smooth braking.
Defensive Riding Habits
Once you get more comfortable on your bike, it’s easy to start falling into a more laissez-faire attitude. However, you’re much more vulnerable than the cars around you when you’re on a motorcycle. So, you must maintain defensive riding habits that will keep you safe. These include performing shoulder checks whenever you come to a stop and endeavoring to stay out of the blind spots of other drivers. Another habit to adopt is riding in a lower gear so that you can speed up quickly.
Of the four best tips for new motorcycle riders, nothing bears repeating like a reminder to always look out for changes in surface conditions. For example, wet or patchwork roads make for slippery and unstable conditions that can easily cause you to wipe out if you’re not vigilant. It’s always a good idea to check your local weather reports to help you anticipate changes in road conditions.