Riding a bike is absolutely nothing like driving a car. While this might be obvious to some, others believe that they can keep the same habits while on a bike, but that is simply not the case. Any beginner on a motorcycle is going to be nervous but there are a few tips to help you feel much more comfortable.
One important thing to remember when riding a bike is to remain tight on the bottom and loose on the top. This means that you should be squeezing the bike’s gas tank with your legs as well as having your ankles pressing into the bike. This keeps you stable and attached to the bike should you hit any major bumps in the road. I also recommend being loose enough on the top to wiggle your elbows. If you have too tight of a grip, you won’t be able to control the bike while in a turn.
Going into a turn on a motorcycle is nothing like taking the same turn in a car. On a bike, you have to worry about your lean angle, entry speed and braking all at the same time. I believe the best idea for taking a turn on a bike is to line up on the outside, go through the apex of the turn on the inside and finish on the outside. Doing so will let you lessen your lean angle and allow for you to look further into the turn increasing the safety factor.
In addition, when taking a turn, never break in the middle of it. This will only result in the bike straightening up and causing you to lose control. The safest way to take a turn on a bike is to break before you get to the turn and then accelerate through it.
Another thing for beginning bike riders to remember is to always look through the turn. What I mean by this is to look as far ahead as you possibly can. This will not only make the road appear much wider and less scary, but it will also alert you quicker to any potential hazards in your way.
While this might seem like a no brainer, be sure to keep the visor down on your helmet while riding. Anything and everything will come toward your eyes including bugs, dirt and rocks making it hard, if not impossible, to see. The last thing a beginner needs is to be worried about trying to swat away bugs at the same time as controlling the motorcycle in traffic.
Finally, always assume that you are invisible to other drivers. Motorcycles can get lost in blind spots and even other drivers will take a quick glance and not even know that you are there. Always drive defensively and have an escape plan. It helps to think a few steps down the road. For example, I might thing that if the guy in the next lane suddenly comes over, this is how I am going to protect myself and get out of a tight spot.
Motorcycle riding can be especially fun, but newbies need to pay much more attention to what they are doing and those around them are doing in order to stay safe.