You obviously remember your first bike ride, don’t you? The fear and adrenaline mixed together, make up for an exciting experience. That’s what made you want to ride again and again. Once you get a hang of it, your motorcycle becomes your most loyal sidekick through all your riding experience. That’s how everyone starts, right? Well, most of us. Now, it’s been a while since you’ve been riding and you’re pretty good at it too. That’s cool, however, if you think it is time to take your skills a level higher and try to become a professional rider, your riding experience and approach will be completely different from what it presently is.
Another good read is Overcoming Your Survival Reactions To Improve Your Riding written by professional Rider, Urvashi Patole.
Ride Your Motorcycle like a Professional Rider
From your first ride to becoming an experienced biker and professional rider, is a long series of mistakes, scratches, trials and errors, and striking experiences that you would never want to exchange for anything else in the entire world. There are numerous things to keep in mind when you finally take a step towards becoming a professional rider. Your rookie mistakes and slips are going to be uniquely yours and each one is going to go through a different series of steps towards perfection. However, here are 10 tips that can apply to everyone who wants to take their biking passion up a notch.
There are certain qualities that distinguish the experienced biker/professional rider from the rest. They may look trivial or irrelevant at first the first glance, however, they truly define your stand as an experienced biker:
- Calmness: Avoid being easily excited or triggered. Even stunt riders are serene while riding. There is a higher possibility of committing mistakes if you tend to lose your calm easily.
- Instincts: In the event that something unexpected happens, you have to know how to handle the situation. Know your bike like the back of your hand and be able to execute sudden corrections and evasive manoeuvres without having to think much.
- Ability to think quick: Learn to absorb and mentally sort through large amounts of information at the same time, create a situational awareness that is constantly updated to keep yourself out of any trouble before it even has a chance of occurring.
- Patience: Mistakes often occur when you are in a hurry. Experienced riders know that these mistakes are never worth the risk. Patience allows them to make better decisions, which is essential for riding. The true test of your experience resides is your ability to be patient.
If you plan to take a plunge and become a professional rider, gather as much information possible about your bike and the sport. It is imperative to study every element relevant to riding and gaining as much knowledge possible that ensures you are able to handle any situation, good or bad, that comes your way in the future.
A period of training is essential before you plan on taking motorcycle riding seriously and dream of becoming a professional rider. It helps you learn and apply different aspects of biking. Without training, it becomes tremendously easy to practice bad habits. The best thing you can do to support your quest is to take some classes. It provides you hands-on training and allows you to actively engage in proper biking techniques and avoid mistakes.
Choice of Bike
It is not exactly wrong when they say that your bike defines you. Depending upon your requirements, choose the bike that incorporates what you as well as the situation and activity you plan to engage in demand. Every bike is designed perfectly for a specific style of riding. As a professional rider, your bike should be built exactly for your style of riding which will allow you to have a command over your bike and not the other way round.
Prepare your Bike
Simple acts like checking if every part of the bike is working properly before going on a ride are characteristic features of a good professional rider. Habituate yourself to following this routine. This includes examining the signals, lights, brakes, the chain, the belt, as well as the tire air pressure and tread. Additionally, it is important that you get oil changes and check your brake and transmission fluids frequently.
Practice makes a professional rider perfect. Once you have finished your training and prepared your bike, it is suggested that your start practicing on your bike so that you get accustomed to it. You could also arrange for a mentor so that you can have your doubts cleared and keep yourself focussed on the goal. Veteran riders know that the skills can become rusty over time, hence you will always notice them practice periodically.
Variety in Activity
If you do the same activity over and over again, it is highly unlikely that you have learnt anything. Seek and be eager to face different types of riding challenges so that you become accustomed to different scenarios. Be open to new experiences and ideas. Experienced riders are always on the lookout for different sorts of riding challenges that range from long open stretches, twisty mountain roads, to city traffic. They continuously try to expose themselves to different disciplines, riding styles and bikes, so that they are able to round out their skillset. Follow the pattern and accustom yourself to challenges and expanding your boundaries.
Technique, practice, and experience are all important in their own right. However, owning proper gear and being aware of its importance is one of the distinct features of a pro motorcycle/professional rider. The “proper gear” that you must have includes:
- Helmet: A proper helmet should be worn, generally of a full-face variety. This is the most important gear and compromise of any sort on this bit should be definitely avoided.
- Clothing: In order to protect your skin, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a protective or leather jacket, full fingered gloves and a pair of ankle-covering boots. Additionally, the attire should be of bright colours to increase your chances of being spotted by other riders in case of darkness to avoid possible accidents.
- Eye Gear: You should wear shatterproof goggles or glasses for protecting your eyes appropriately.
An experienced biker is one who knows how to ride smartly. It should be kept in mind that the most important safety feature of being a professional rider is being you. Even if every precaution in the world is taken, it would be insignificant if the rider has a careless attitude. Simple aspects like avoiding riding at night or on unfamiliar roads, on without enough practice and wearing headphones, can prove beneficial. Safety is the key to becoming a professional rider and it should be maintained at all costs.
Lastly, you can never become a professional rider without commitment. Repetition is the key to expertise.
Once your decision is made, make sure every step you take is towards becoming a professional rider. Your bike has been an important aspect of your life this far, so be careful not to let go of your passion. Be mindful of the minutest details every time you ride and make it a point to do away with the faulty ways you’ve been following. Your journey will be in stark contrast to that of someone else but never let that discourage you. Embrace your mistakes and learn from them. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun along the way!