Learning how to operate a motorcycle is comparable to learning to drive. Both are initially a little daunting.
But you can make this process less scary if you approach motorcycle riding with care and caution.
You’re virtually ready to ride once you’ve decided on the type of motorbike you want to ride, invested in suitable safety equipment, such as a decent helmet, and appropriate licencing and insurance.
These ten suggestions can help you in learning how to ride a motorcycle – however, there is no better alternative than genuine motorcycle training.
Inspect Your Motorcycle
Before taking to the road, make sure to thoroughly inspect your motorcycle. Use this checklist as a reference.
Every time you take a ride, not only the first occasion you are on the road, you should check that the essentials are in good functioning order.
- Wheels and tyres
- Levers, pedals, wires, hoses, and throttle are all types of controls.
- Lights – such as headlights, signal lights, mirrors, and batteries.
- Oil fluid amounts
- The framework, suspension, chain, and other components of the chassis.
- Stands, such as the kickstand or the centre stand
Check Your Safety Gear
It’s pretty easy to gravely hurt yourself in a motorcycle accident, even at parking-lot speeds.
Wear as much safety equipment as you can, such as gloves, armoured clothing, and boots, to ensure your protection.
It really is advisable to wear a decent helmet, even when you don’t reside in an area where motorcycle helmet use is mandated for some or all riders.
You’re prepared to hop on the bike once you’re appropriately attired.
Mount Your Motorcycle
The first few times you mount a motorcycle may be difficult depending on your height. This will become automatic after some practice.
With your knees bent a little and your weight evenly distributed across your legs, position yourself towards the left side of the bike.
Leaning slightly towards the front of your motorcycle, lean over and use your right hand, take the right handlebar, and after that grab the left handle with your left hand.
Shift your weight to the left leg, and swing the right leg up and back over the bike to mount it. To avoid getting trapped before touching the other end of the bike, pull your leg up high.
Once you’re seated on the motorcycle, familiarise yourself with the controls.
Take note of the location of the foot pegs, as well as the signal lights, horn, and headlights. You’ll rely on your mirrors a lot while riding, so make sure they are adjusted.
Throttle, Brakes, Gears, And Clutch
Your right hand performs two essential tasks while riding a motorcycle: accelerating and braking. You engage the throttle by rotating the handle in your direction of rotation (such that your wrist slides down).
Be careful with this control as a little twist can go a long way as accelerating the engine can result in instability or the front wheel leaving the pavement.
The front brakes are also controlled by your right hand; their lever is situated at the front of your throttle, just like a bicycle’s.
Also important in this case is smoothness. If you pull on the brake too forcefully, the front brakes could lock up and send the bike skidding or even into a wall.
Even though the majority of brake levers only need two fingers to function, some do. The rear brake, meanwhile, is operated with your right foot.
The most effective method of stopping, according to safety experts, is to first softly use the back brake before letting off and gradually applying the front brake.
But the type of bike you are riding also affects how securely you can brake.
If you’re riding a sportbike, you might be able to get by most of the time utilising just your front brake. You will depend more on the rear brake if you are riding a hefty cruiser.
The lever to the left of the left handle is the clutch. Most sport bikes can be operated with just two fingers. The lever frequently needs to be grasped with the entire hand.
Squeezing the clutch lever effectively places the motorcycle in a neutral gear. The transmission and engine are engaged when you release the brake. Utilize your left hand to carefully pull the clutch.
Compared to cars, motorcycles shift differently. Motorcycle shifts work on a similar premise and include raising or lowering a lever with your left foot.
With your left foot, it feels a little complicated to find neutral.
Practice shifting by moving the shifter backwards and forwards; watch for the gauges to illuminate with a green “N”.
Even though certain motorcycles may be shifted without the clutch, make a habit to always use the clutch.
Similar to a manual gearbox car, release the clutch first, change gears, and then carefully re-engage the clutch. Shifting becomes more fluid when the clutch is used to feather the throttle.
Aim to change gear before the engine begins to work too hard and avoid revving the engine too high in any gear.
Riding Your Motorcycle
It’s time to get on the road now that you have reviewed some of the motorbike riding techniques.
Squeeze the clutch lever, engage first gear with the shifter, gradually release the clutch, and slowly turn the throttle. Set your toes up on the grips so you can go ahead as the bike does.
You can’t ride in a straight line, of course. You must be able to control your motorcycle.
Once you reach about 10 mph, a motorcycle is handled similarly to a bicycle by counter steering rather than by twisting the handlebars between left and right.
Pushing the handgrip to the edge you want to turn is counter steering.
The secret is to ride your motorcycle slowly and with a smooth touch. In addition to making you a better rider, doing this will improve your riding’s grace and ease.
Start out cautiously. A motorbike rider must practise and put in the necessary time to become proficient.