Are you new to the motorcycling game? If so, there are a few things you are likely to find out over the next couple of years, and some of them could end up being rather painful – both on your body and your bank account. Nothing will teach you more about biking than getting out there and doing it, of course, but there’s no harm in learning a little beforehand. With this in mind, here is some sage advice for rookie bikers that should stand you in good stead – and keep you safe. Let’s take a closer look.
Buying your bike
You might have plans to go for that beautiful, enormous, super powerful Japanese bike you have been lusting after for the past five years. But let’s be honest, the reality is you will be much better off riding something like the Braaap cafe racer motorcycles at 250 ccs, work your way up to 6-700 cc and then try your hand at something from the more powerful range. Another thing to remember about buying your first bike is to keep an eye on your budget. It’s likely you will have a certain amount put aside to make your purchase, but avoid blowing it all on the bike itself. Helmets, leathers, boots and insurance will all need to be paid for, too.
Corners can kill
There is a simple fact about motorcycling that you will learn almost immediately – wherever you look, you will go. If you look towards the ground ahead of you, that’s where you will travel, and if you are looking far ahead into the distance, you will keep travelling that way until you get there. But this is problematic – especially when it comes to corners. If you are looking at the ground as you turn – somewhere in the middle of the road, for example – you may not see hazards coming up fast. Try to look through the corner instead, rather than one static point – it will help you spot pedestrians, small animals, and even potholes on your approach.
Always be defensive
Sadly, a lot of motorcycle riders don’t ever make it back, and many of these fatalities are caused by car and truck drivers. And whether you are a good rider or a poor one, it makes no difference – get hit by a couple of tons of metal at high speed and you will come off worse. The only way to keep safe on a motorbike is by being defensive at all times Assume that everyone and every other vehicle is out to get you. Sure, it might sound over the top, but it only takes a blind spot, a minor distraction or even a sneeze for a car driver to make a mistake.
Finally, motorbikes are a lot more delicate than cars in more ways than one. A small amount of damage in your chain or belt could prove disastrous if it breaks while you are riding – this is especially true of shaft-driven bikes. It is imperative that you get into the habit of doing pre-ride checks every time you take your wheels out – as well as cleaning and waxing your chain on a regular basis. Stay safe out there, folks!