As motorcycling as a passion and recreation gains wider popularity and acceptance, more and more amateurs are joining in for their share of thrill. While the regulars and enthusiasts are looking for ways to broaden their experiences to the next level.Be it novice or an expert, motorcycling is a skill that requires careful practice and cultivation. Everyone starts somewhere and everyone wants to improve & sharpen their skills. Here are a few fantastic motorcycle riding tips to keep you safe and help you self-improve your riding.
Stop being Negative about your Riding Skills
Remember when you sometimes say to yourself, “S***, that was really stupid I didn’t use brakes properly” or “I should have lean harder in that corner”. We all say such things (mostly negative) to ourselves that we didn’t do or couldn’t do in a ride.
Well, let’s stop doing that. If we’ve not done something if we’ve not tried something, how can we improve it? Everyone starts somewhere and everyone is always learning, even the most professional riders have a lot to improve on. So, start looking at positives and try to add more positives to your riding by practicing and learning. Read on.
Pay Attention to your Bike and the Road
Riding requires you to keep all your senses sharp, not paying attention to the bike and road could lead to dangerous situations. Do check out our guide for where and what to look at while riding .
With your attention, you will be able to observe, accept and process the continuous bits of information that flow in when riding. Also, it is only when you are calm you’ll be able to make the right decision in a fraction of a second if need be. This is one of the biggest difference between a novice and an expert. So, every time you are on the bike teach yourself to stay focused and not get distracted.
Relentless Hammering and Practicing
An old adage goes “There are no shortcuts to success”. The same thing applies to motorcycle riding. Endless, repetitive practice in old parking lots or unused roads is the one constant in your journey. Be it practicing braking or figure 8’s at higher and higher speeds or wheelies, there’s always a skill to brush up or a new technique to master.
Only when you have done it painstakingly over a hundred times will the movement be smooth and effortless during the actual ride.
Remember when applying for a job, how having handled multiple projects varying in size, duration, functionality and business area becomes a trump card in your resume? In the riding world, this trump card is a sheer driving range. Go, ride your bike into different terrains. Open roads, highways, circuitous mountain paths, internal city roads choc a bloc with traffic; each presents a completely different challenge.
Ride in different weather conditions using different bikes. Each experience develops newer skills required to navigate the course. Be it sliding on a slick road or the control required on a dirt road or navigating the twists in the mountains as it pours down, invaluable tricks are now in your pocket. Experiencing new things will help you improve and better yourself.
Learning from yourself and Others
Not everything can be explained in theory. Keen observation on and off the bike becomes the best learning technique. On the bike, develop your observation skills to constantly scan and absorb your bike’s response and riding landscape.
If you want to improve your skills, you must self-observe how you are riding or ask a friend to record your ride. Off the bike, you should analyze your ride carefully identifying what needs to be improved. The key is to focus on improvements and not the negatives. Also, observe other riders, watches videos and take in the minutest details that make a difference.
You can read all the books you want and watch all the videos, but nothing can replace consistent actual riding. At every chance you get, take your bike and ride on. The more you ride the more you learn to control your bike. With constant repetition, the responses become part of muscle memory.
As your mileage increases, so will your confidence and each time you find yourself in a tight spot, you will be able to observe as the responses become instinctive and immediate. Just ensure you are working towards improving your skills.
As always, the right teacher or mentor can make all the difference. They help you by removing your mental blocks that limit you from trying something new. A veteran with his tremendous experience is a treasure trove of information.
He will also be able to spot the one tweak that will perfect your move. Moreover, motorcycle riding tips, motorcycle maintenance, varied tricks and moves, all of these customized to your strengths and weaknesses is not something that can be searched over the internet.
Any machine that you wish to master, needs an intimate understanding of its working. When you plan to push this machine to over triple digits, this is even more critical.
Carefully study your motorcycle and note how it reacts to various triggers and inputs, how do brakes, clutch, gears, and accelerator work together and apart. Read voraciously about specifications, technical tips, and motorcycle technology. Tinker around with your bike (of course with expert supervision) and gain a handle over its internals.
Technique – The right Braking
If you plan to rev your motorcycle to 100 mph, you must be confident of using brakes at that speed. Only this assurance will give you the courage to throw yourself forward. So, practice braking and coming to a full stop at 20mph. Increase the speed progressively and repeat the act. This will take several days to fully master but will be the difference between lying in the hospital and zooming on the circuit. Keep returning to this skill and ensure it stays razor sharp.
Braking is an art in itself , it’s a skill that can only be learned with practice.
Do you have any more motorcycle riding tips to share? What has worked the best for you? Do let us know in the comments section and keep learning! After all, there are miles to go and miles to learn. Ride Safe!