Every single experienced biker out there used to be a rookie at some point. They all went through ups and downs while learning how to get better at riding, and most of them had to learn everything by themselves. Learning how to ride is quite simple, but becoming a great rider takes plenty of time, practice, and some helpful tips from more experienced riders. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to learn everything by yourself. We have assembled a list of the eight most fundamental dos and don’ts for beginner motorcycle riders. So without further ado, let’s dig in.
Do Start with An Old Motorcycle
As we said, learning how to get better at riding takes plenty of practice. Through that practice, some mishaps may occur, especially when taking a sharp turn or while in traffic. However, don’t get discouraged by this, as this is very common to most rookie motorcycle riders. With this in mind, it’s always better to start with an older and inexpensive motorcycle, rather than buying the motorcycle of your dreams and damaging it. Once you are ready to move on, you can sell your old bike and go to the motorcycle dealers to find a new one, that you always wanted.
Do Get the Adequate Gear
Just like with any other activity, having the proper gear can keep you safe, and safety should always be a priority when riding. This is particularly vital to new riders, as they are more prone to accidents. Rather than riding in shorts and sandals, here is the list of must-have motorcycle gear:
- Full face helmet
- Motorcycle Gloves
- Motorcycle Jacket
- Thick motorcycle pants
- Motorcycle boots with ankle protection
Do Practice in Empty Parking Lots
The most basic location for improving your riding skills is the empty parking lot. This is because there’s no one around to judge you, since learning while someone is watching can be intimidating and can discourage you. Empty parking lots are an excellent choice since they already have lines, which you can use for riding around.
Do Learn to Repair Basic Things
As a rookie motorcycle rider, you could be intimidated by fixing and maintaining your bike. However, it’s not rocket science and if anyone can do it – so can you. You can find great resources on YouTube or simply ask someone for guidance, and this will undoubtfully save you money and you’ll feel proud of yourself when you repair something with your hands.
Don’t Assume You’re Visible to Others
Every experienced rider knows the importance of assuming that you are invisible when riding. Although there are many ways to increase your visibility on a bike, the majority of people won’t notice you even if they see you, because they are usually focused on looking for other cars and bigger vehicles, but not for motorcycles. Some bikers even go to the extremes and they pretend that everyone is after them. This approach certainly helps them stay safe all the time.
Don’t Neglect Motorcycle Maintenance
Unless you maintain your bike regularly (which you can do yourself, as we mentioned earlier), you can expect to pay more visits to your local mechanic. Neglecting motorcycle maintenance is not only expensive in long run, but it can be very dangerous too. A well-maintained bike has a bigger lifespan, and you can rely on it once you’re on the road. So, get to know your bike and inspect it regularly, check everything from fluid levels to chain, and you’ll have no worries.
Don’t Take a Passenger Before You Are Ready
One of the greatest things about motorcycle riding is a sense of community. As tempting as it can be, don’t throw your friend or family member on the back of the bike, unless you are an experienced and skillful rider. Extra passenger completely changes your bike’s handling dynamics, and instead of trying to impress someone, you should rather direct on developing your riding skills. And once you’re sure that you are ready to show off, go for it and take a passenger.
Don’t Ride After Dark
Until you become completely comfortable with riding, avoid riding your motorcycle after dark since it’s much more difficult to see and drive safely. What’s even worse is that it’s more difficult to be noticed by others during that time, no matter how shiny and bright you are. If you absolutely don’t have a choice and simply need to ride after dark, slow down and pay extra attention to everything.