AMERiders knows that Learning to Ride anything is not easy especially when has just Two Wheels, but once learned a Motorcycle Can Stir the Soul. Let us explain in a few words how Learning to Ride on Two Wheels Can Stir the Soul this is basically an extension of a few articles that we have written previously as well. On Starter bikes and Riding motorcycles safely.
So now that you’ve chosen which starter bike suits you best, you’ve got to figure out just how to ride this thing safely — the only thing uglier than a bike confined to a garage is one on its side. Getting out and getting some wind therapy is the best way we know to decompress and let the work week wash away. However, before you swing a leg over and head out on the highway on your first bike you need to understand a couple guiding principles.
There are more ways for you to develop and hone your skills than there are reasons to ride. Knowing when to act counter-intuitively will someday save your ass; well-trained reflexes are the only things sometimes quicker than luck. To keep your eyes on the horizon and your bike shiny-side up, we’re offering up some sound advice to help you learn how to ride. After all, you’re about to enter into a brotherhood/sisterhood, and as you’ll learn, we take care of our own.
All of the technique in the world won’t help you if you don’t ride protected, both mentally and physically. First of all, you need to be more than alert — we’re talking Spidey-sense levels of awareness. Sensitivity to pedestrians and cyclists (who can cut you off just as easily as a car), tar-snakes and other pavement irregularities (which can upset your balance mid-corner), and intersections is absolutely imperative.
Know your escape route
Most bikers meet their creator (whoever they believe that to be) at a crossroads, so always approach them with caution and take every advantage of lane positioning to increase your chances of seeing what’s coming and allowing others to see you. Also, always, always, know your escape route. Look for it first, so that you know it already when you see an obstacle or a driver who’s cutting you off. The same rules apply when stopped: always leave enough room in front to get out of dodge when objects in your mirror become larger than you want them to appear. Or when you see that something bad is going to happen to you that might affect you as well get out of the way.
Unfortunately, every biker on two wheels is likely to encounter a spill of some sort. Fortunately, we have an ever-improving catalog of gear to keep us protected when that time comes. Jeans and a t-shirt won’t definitely don’t cut it at that time, road rash sucks and hurts really bad.
We’re talking reinforced jackets and pants, dedicated riding gloves, a full face helmet and a pair of actual motorcycle boots. If you think it’s too hot outside to warrant suiting up, go try using the street as a slip ‘n’ slide and discover what melting really feels like. Your gear is your only protection when things go wrong, and it can’t help you if it’s in the closet at home.
Get Rider Training
The number of rider fatalities has more than doubled in the last decade. During a Study of the causes of motorcycle crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered that, in 23 investigated accidents, almost half (11) of the riders had less than a year experience with the bike they were on, and seven of them were new riders. The most alarming discovery was that only a dozen of the downed riders had received some form of rider training on two wheels. Unlike your early trials and tribulations behind the wheel of a car— jumping from gas to brake, making abrupt directional changes and jerky gear shifts — riding on two wheels requires a lot more smoothness. While on-road experience will refine your actions, understanding the basic physics at play before that first twist of the wrist could save you a lot of skin and moreover even your life.
Knowledge is good
As with most things in life, a good place to glom some essential knowledge is buried in the pages of a book. David L. Hough’s Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide($20) is one of the best. A collection of intelligence and techniques gathered from over forty years on bikes, Hough’s book covers topics ranging from the underlying dynamics of two-wheeled turn-in to why dogs will always try to chase you down (and yes, they will) to save you from surprises out there.
In 2009 Hough was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame, and he’s received numerous other safety awards as recognition for the lives his writing has undoubtedly saved. Even if you’ve got Iron Butt levels of mileage under your belt, we recommend a rainy afternoon nose deep to curb any nasty habits you’ve developed while riding on two wheels.
Practice Makes Perfect
With your grey matter suitably saturated, it’s time put into practice — air things out a bit. If you’ve signed up for a certified motorcycle training course, pat yourself on the back — it’s a great way to spend a weekend and hammer home some riding essentials. Plus, if you do happen to dump the wheels, at least they aren’t yours. Most courses can be tackled over a weekend and offer an excellent outlet to put your newly found knowledge to the test and while picking up priceless pointers, all within the confines of a parking lot devoid of asshats texting and eating in their 4-wheeled murder machines. That being said, your bike is probably larger and faster than those classroom cruisers, and you need to know how it will respond to your input.
As we have done with the past few articles we are going to split them up for you since they are a bit long.. not wanting you to have to read much. So continuing this on Friday will be the last half of the article.
~And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders keep you up to date with Riding tips on how to ride on two wheels.
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