Getting your first motorbike is an exciting experience. After getting your licence, you’ll be keen to get out on the road and start riding. But, as you know, riding a motorbike can be dangerous if you don’t follow the rules. To ensure your safety on the road, as well as that of others, you need to develop good habits from the off.
Take a look at the following motorbike habits to develop as a beginner to help you develop some excellent riding behaviours.
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Practice in different conditions
It can take time to get used to riding a motorbike, especially if you’re riding a new bike in addition to being new to riding. You’ll want to build up your rides slowly, practising in different terrains and different conditions to help you get used to the bike and to practice braking, gear changes, turns, etc. Over time, you can build up your motorcycle skills to help you become more competent and help you to become an expert rider.
Get the right equipment
Safety precautions should not be taken lightly when you ride a motorbike. It’s a very different experience to driving a car, where you have protection from the elements. You’ll want to buy the right safety gear, such as a helmet, as well as appropriate clothing. You should invest in good motorcycle boots to help you maintain your grip and protect your legs - it’s worth the cost to ensure your safety. Don’t scrimp on safety equipment, it’s one of the most important purchases you’ll make.
Tailgating is a bad driver behaviour that can be even worse for motorcyclists. If the driver ahead of you were to make a sudden stop, this would be particularly perilous for a motorcyclist. Learn the different motorcycle braking distances to ensure you can maintain a safe distance and speed on the road in all conditions. Remember to keep this distance when turning and overtaking, and it will soon become a natural habit to keep a safe cushion between you and the driver ahead of you.
Make yourself visible
Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on other drivers to practice good habits on the road. Many car drivers fail to check their blind spot, which can be dangerous for motorcyclists, and other vehicles on the road. Aside from wearing visible clothing, keep to the middle of the lane and make sure you use your headlights properly at night. By maintaining some visibility, you’ll make it harder for a driver to ignore your presence.
Keep your visor down
Keeping your visor down is not only going to stop your face from dirty, but it could also save your life. When you ride a motorbike, you risk all sorts of things flying at your face, and most crucially - your eyes. If something were to hit them - be it some mud, a bug or worse, a stone - it’s enough to distract you and cause you to crash. It’s really not worth taking any chances. Read about the rider who got hit by a pigeon to help you understand what not using your visor can do.
Maintain your motorbike
Just as you would with your car, maintaining your motorbike is an important part of being a responsible motorcyclist. Keeping it clean helps you to take pride in your vehicle, while also allowing you to inspect your motorcycle closely for defects. Meanwhile, perform regular checks on the chain, the cables, your brakes and your tyres. Regular service will help ensure your bike stays in tip-top condition for riding safely on the road.
Use your common sense
Being a good motorcycle rider includes using a lot of common sense. There are stupid mistakes that every driver makes, and many of these apply to motorcyclists too. By practising common sense and making sensible decisions while out on the road, you’ll develop good habits and keep yourself safe on the road. It’s not always easy to stay safe when riding a motorcycle, so if you feel uneasy or need a breather, don’t be afraid to find somewhere safe to stop.
Anyone who ventures out on the road should approach it with caution and a sensible head. As a motorcycle rider, you have a responsibility to yourself and others on the road, so make sure you develop some great habits from the beginning. Over time you’ll develop more confidence on the road and become an excellent and expert motorcyclist.