Acquiring safe motorcycle riding skills and techniques is an important part of being a responsible rider. While nothing can replace hands-on experience, knowing a few riding tips and techniques can help you learn to be a safer motorcyclist. Here are a few basics to get you on your way to safe riding.
Safe Motorcycle Riding Skills and Techniques
Take a Course:
A safety course or even basic instruction class can help you improve your skills and knowledge base dramatically. Studies have shown that most motorcycle accidents involve riders who have never taken a safety class and are reportedly self-taught or instructed by family and friends.
Buy the Gear:
Purchasing safety gear is not optional for the responsible motorcyclist. While you don’t have to wrap yourself in bubble wrap and install safety bumpers on your bike, the basics like leathers and a helmet are essential.
Wear the Gear:
Studies show that most motorcycle accidents occur close to home or during short road trips. Always wear your safety gear, even for quick trips.
Learn to Corner:
Cornering is one of the hardest skills for new riders to master. Use the throttle lightly while going into the turn and accelerate slowly once you reach the apex of the turn and power through to the straight stretch to help counteract the effects of gravity on the bike. Position your body in the center of the bike and look where the turn ends to help anticipate the end of the turn.
Learning to brake safely on a motorcycle can be a complex process. Using front brakes and back brakes improperly can throw the bike off balance, lock up a wheel, or hurtle you over the handlebars. A combination of downshifting, light rear brakes, and heavy front brakes until the bike begins to shift weight is usually recommended. GEICO insurance company has sponsored a how-to style video on proper motorcycle braking.
Choosing your position within a lane of traffic can significantly affect your level of safety. You should select your position within a lane of traffic to improve your visibility with other motorists. Also, you should position yourself so that you have a clear view of the road ahead. When traveling with a group, stagger yourselves within a lane so that if one bike should have an accident, others will have a chance to avoid becoming part of the pileup. Utilize banking in a turn to help you power through sharp turns safely and maximize road contact and traction.
Contact your local motorcycle dealership or Department of Motor Vehicles for information about taking a motorcycle safety and skills course near you.