Motorcycling is an exciting activity – but there is a pretty steep learning curve to get started. If you have a desire to get started in the world of motorcycle riding, you are going to need to learn the basics in order to make your early experiences as enjoyable as possible. With this article, we are going to present eight beginner mistakes that you’ll want to do your best to avoid while learning how to ride. Otherwise, you might be have to call a motorcycle injury attorney… and no one wants to do that.
#1 – Kickstand Problems
Okay, so this one can be a bit embarrassing, but that’s okay. With regard to your kickstand, the job is really quite simple – put it down before you get off and kick it up before you get started. You may have to consciously pay attention to this point early on, but it will become second nature soon enough.
#2 – Stalling the Bike
Again, this can be an embarrassing, but it is another one that you should get past pretty soon. Just like driving a manual transmission car or truck, you need to master the clutch in order to avoid stalling your bike. There is really no way around this other than to practice. As you gain experience, you’ll get a feel for the clutch lever and you will soon forget any worries about stalling out.
#3 – Failing to Counter-Steer
Learning how to counter-steer correctly is one of the early skills that you’ll work to pick up as a new motorcycle rider. If at all possible, learn directly from someone who already knows how to ride – whether it is a friend or a paid instructor.
#4 – Running Out of Gas!
You certainly don’t want to run out of gas while out for a ride, as you could be in for a long walk or wait depending on where you are riding. The best plan here, especially early on, is to not take any chances. If you have any doubt that you’ll have enough fuel left to make it to your destination, fill up right away and cover your bases.
#5 – Turn Signal Management
In a car, the turn signal usually turns itself off after you have made the turn. That usually is not the case with a motorcycle. Therefore, after you have turned the signal on and made your turn, you’ll want to be sure to turn it off once again.
#6 – Forgetting to Downshift
When starting your motorcycle from a stop, it will be easiest to accelerate if you are beginning from first gear. What does that mean? You should think about working your way down into first gear as you come to a stop. That way, you are already in the right gear, and ready to go when the light turns green.
#7 – Getting Crowded
It’s always a good idea to give yourself some space out on the roads, no matter what type of vehicle you are piloting. This is especially important for new motorcycle riders, however, as you may need a little more time than others to adjust and avoid danger. As you are getting started, do your best to maintain a comfortable buffer around you in traffic.
#8 – ‘Cover’ Your Levers
Keeping your hands in a position to quickly use the clutch and brake levers might mean the difference between getting in an accident and avoiding such a fate. Learn proper technique early on and use a grip that will allow you to take the action necessary quickly and easily.