We’ve all done some pretty dumb things while riding our motorcycles, including some that we wouldn’t own up to. But that’s about it, and fixing these mistakes is crucial to our safety. In what can be described as brain fade moments, here are some common mistakes that you should try to avoid next time you are on your motorcycle.
We get it. You look cool and want to feel good about yourself. There’s nothing wrong with taking a quick look at the reflection on the windows of stores along the street to admire yourself. Except that the traffic ahead could suddenly back up, and the next thing is you flying across the road. In what was meant to be a morale-boosting moment, you could end up picking your shattered self-image. Most newbies have found themselves heading for the traffic in front when their attention has been diverted by being too self-conscious about their appearance.
As one rides, it becomes pretty evident that not every road user is responsible enough. The best option would be to ride as though oncoming traffic will turn right in front of you, and not give care that you are present. At an intersection, notorious drivers will pull right into space you are occupying. You will need to drive with extra caution and wear bright safety gear that boosts your visibility by other drivers.
As a rule of thumb, choose riding gear that is appropriate for conditions you will be riding in. I happened to learn this crucial lesson myself. I was riding home in a sweltering hot day of about 40 degrees, and the humidity level was also exceptionally high. After a few miles, with my full leathers taking in the heat, I began to feel light-headed, and my concentration level on the road dropped considerably. Luckily, I managed to get to a gas station and ended up taking a much-needed recess of close to thirty minutes before I could hit the road again.
To make matters worse, I had been caught in heavy traffic. You can imagine how hot it was. I cooked, and my feet felt like they were boiling. The point here is to choose the right gear to make you more comfortable in the conditions of the day. Remember to stay hydrated as well, especially when the sun is blazing.
I know how it feels to get overtaken by riders in bikes larger than yours, or some idiot drivers trying to scare you off the road. Quite often, these antics will spur you to want to be a hardcore driver, which is a bad idea. The bottom line is, a road is not the same as a race track, and you are in no competition with other road users. If you really crave for speed or want to push as fast as you can, then the only place to make it happen is on a racetrack.
You can quickly lose traction and crash when you apply brakes in a hurry near a corner. New riders and aspiring sport riders are most affected when it comes to deciding when to fall off in a turn. What this will do is have you panic when your bike starts to wobble. Instead, you should keep leaning and steering until the fall comes naturally. Let the tires and brakes lead you to fall off instead of you trying to decide it.
Changing gears when overtaking will cause vital time loss, which can be fatal under certain circumstances. You want a quick and clean take over, and shifting gears mid-maneuver will make the overtaking much riskier. You should only think about shifting when your meter runs out of rpm, of which can be dangerous as well.
Some people might be tempted for full-on speed inside a corner. This can be risky and dangerous, especially when you try and force a fall down. To avoid perils, use a lot more braking when entering the corner, followed by acceleration from mid-corner.
We like to believe that you have not done any of these things because you are a smart rider. However, some of your friends might be making these same mistakes, and you should be the one to guide them not to do so.