We’ve all been there, trying to prove how good we are in front of our peers. Even though everyone makes mistakes every once in a while, only losers will ignore the lessons. If you are a new rider, chances are you will make several mistakes before getting a handle on them. Just like anything else, motorcycle riding requires dedication and learning to be proficient. The trick is always to adjust as time goes on. We are going to look at six of the most common mistakes made by new riders and how you can avoid them.
Real-life motorcycle riding is unlike anything else. No matter if you’ve grown up riding bikes in your parent’s backyard. It’s a whole different matter when it comes to pro riding or becoming a lifelong biker. You will be more comfortable in the saddle than a person who is riding for the first time since you already know how it feels to ride a motorcycle. You will also likely be familiar with some basic techniques, which is an added advantage. But this type of riding is like a sandbox and doesn’t teach you the core lessons of road safety, road awareness, hazard avoidance, and other crucial lessons. Taking motorcycle riding lessons and getting good at riding on the road is what will be your most valuable gain as a biker.
The right motorcycle riding gear is like a breath of fresh air to motorcycling without which you expose yourself to danger and death. At American Legend Rider, we strongly advocate for ATGATT-all the gear all the time. If you ever find yourself at the crossroads, remember that ATGATT is the only code you need to follow. It is surprising and perplexing to see many rookies wearing flip flops, tank tops, and shorts on their motorcycles. New riders may assume that motorcycle riding gear is expensive. But that’s not the case.
For a start, you can get yourself a few pieces of riding gear like a cool motorcycle helmet, a sturdy pair of riding boots, motorcycle gloves, and a cool riding jacket. All these without breaking your bank and you can get yourself riding gear for just under $500. To make riding even more exciting, you can choose riding pants, biker sunglasses, and other accessories that improve your safety on the road.
There’s no denying the fact that big bikes have the power to give you the adrenaline and thrill that you crave for. But a big, powerful motorcycle will also make it harder for you to learn the ropes sooner than you should. New riders should go for smaller, more maneuverable bikes to help them learn faster and become better riders. Starting with something smaller will help you build your chops quicker. Luckily, there are fabulous and newbie-friendly mid-range cruisers and sportbikes that you can grow with and won’t make you feel underpowered. When you have a new license, there’s a lot to learn and digest, and you will need a lot of patience during the learning process.
So you’ve finally figured how to get your motorcycle license and are ready to take on the world. Nothing can stop you. At least not at the moment. But like anything else, motorcycling is a wild adventure and a jungle full of uncertainties. Quite often, with more dangers than you are prepared to handle, including challenging roads, hectic traffic situations, and other risk factors that come with motorcycling. The most important thing for new riders is to learn the art of riding before taking on harder challenges. Take your time and learn how to focus on the road ahead. Take paths that are easier to ride as opposed to challenging ones and develop the core riding skills of avoiding distraction and staying safe. With enough patience and practice, you will eventually gain more confidence and be ready to take on the more challenging riding conditions.
Riders who’ve been around for a long time, usually of 45+ years old have one piece of advice to new riders. When it comes to safety, assume other motorists cannot see you. While there are many ways to get noticed on the bike, it is also helpful to assume that you are invisible to other road users. Quite often, new riders find themselves in a tight spot when they have to give way to other motorists even if it was their right of way. You cannot bet on other motorists to not cut you off or hit you even if you’ve made eye contact with them. Always be prepared for sudden or unexpected maneuvers by other motorists. Remember to always have your fingers on the brakes just in case you need to perform and emergency avoidance braking.
One of the reasons why we ride is to be part of a community that cares deeply about motorcycling. To be a part of a cultural movement and to develop a unique identity as a biker. One way to foster this bond is through group rides. However, group riding comes with pressures of its own, especially for new riders who might often feel pushed to impress others in the group at the expense of their safety. Riding in a group requires a great deal of spatial awareness, which most newbies may not have. This leaves them vulnerable to accidents and mistakes. To avoid this, spend time developing your riding style and getting in tune on the two wheels before you decide you’re ready to ride with others.