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12 Essential Riding Tips for New Motorcyclists

12 Essential Riding Tips for New Motorcyclists

Some are attracted by fuel efficiency and the traffic slipping ability, for others, it’s the pure thrill of the open road on two wheels. Either way, owning and riding a motorcycle is a fantastic experience.

But there’s also serious tradeoff, your body is far more exposed to the physical forces, especially in the case of an accident! The dangers are compounded by the fact you are less visible to other road users.

For most motorcycle enthusiasts, these risks will not deter you. Instead, focus on increasing your awareness and road safety with these 12 tips for new motorcycles.

1. Always Gear Up

Even in the case of a slight spill, you’ll be truly thankful you wore all your safety gear! On top of physical impact and road rash protection, it also protects you from the wind, debris and weather.

Motorcycle safety gear is health investment, consider this, how much is your head worth?

2. Ride Like a Ghost

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    One of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents is not speeding or losing control of the bike, it’s other road users. Due to their size, motorcycles are much harder to see and more easily hidden in blind spots.

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    Collisions are always far more severe for motorcyclists, so don’t any chances by assuming you’ve been seen. So start riding as if you were invisible, this will help you anticipate problems and react quickly.

    3. Cornering 101: Look Where You Want to Go

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      Motorcycles are highly sensitive to the rider’s inputs, even looking in a direction will cause you to subtly steer towards it.

      Whilst cornering, focus on the exit or as far around the corner as possible. Don’t make the mistake of panicking and staring down an obstacle or verge!

      4. You Have The Power – So Use it!

      Motorcycles have excellent power to weight ratios and can often accelerate quicker than cars.

      Use this to your advantage, quickly accelerate to speed match when joining motorways. When it comes to overtaking, a fast, efficient overtake gets you out of the danger zone quicker.

      Don’t be afraid to open up that throttle!

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      5. Keep Your Brake Covered

      In certain riding situations, your reaction time needs to be doubled. For example, busy sections of town or fast twisting back roads.

      At these times, get into the habit of covering the brake with a finger or two. This posed position allows for quicker reactions, it could be a lifesaver!

      6. Squeeze Don’t Yank

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        Your front brake has the most stopping power, the back brake is more suited to scrubbing speed, especially at lower speeds. Focus 75% of your slowing and stopping power on the front brake.

        But quickly stabbing or yanking either brake will cause a loss of traction and control. Apply the brakes in a progressive squeezing manner, you can stop quickly without having an accident!

        7. Be Cautious While Filtering

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          One huge benefit of riding a motorcycle is the ability to filter through traffic jams. It’s perfectly legal so long as you comply with traffic signs and markings on the road.

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          But don’t let your newfound confidence overtake you, always proceed with caution. Stay in a low gear and have a finger covering the brake. Remain vigilant for signs of vehicles about to side-swipe you, especially at junctions.

          8. Watch for Warning Signs

          Riding safely is all about anticipating other road users. Don’t rely on logic or reason, look for warning signs and then proceed with caution.

          For example, if you see vehicle wheels turning and peeping out across your path, or even an indicator, always assume may pull out without seeing you.

          9. Never Forget Your Lifesavers

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            Mirrors are great for a quick glance but don’t rely on them solely. Before you make your move, always check your blind spot with an over-shoulder lifesaver.

            Follow this process every time are about to change your road position or perform a manoeuvre:

            1. Glance at mirror
            2. Quickly check your blind spot
            3. Perform action

            10. Always Have an Escape Route

            Motorcycles are at a distinct advantage to larger vehicles when it comes to accident avoidance. They are lighter, thinner, more manoeuvrable and can slip through tighter gaps

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            Always leave a little wiggle room for quick escapes. Instead of simply hammering the brakes whilst heading straight for an obstacle, a quick swerve may be the best option.

            11. Survey the Road for Hazards

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              Motorcyclists have more to worry about than cars. With less rubber contact with the tarmac, traction can be more easily overwhelmed causing a dangerous slide.

              You need to quickly identify hazards such as sand, wet patches, leaves, gravel or stones. Also, watch out for bumps and potholes, they can destabilize the bike.

              In most cases, you may be able to carefully swerve and avoid them. Otherwise, scrub off as much speed as you can safely, then keep steering/throttle/brake inputs and lean angle to a minimum as you pass over it.

              12. Practice Scanning

              Motorcycle safety can be greatly enhanced through situational awareness. Scanning is used to stay aware without letting your attention linger from the road ahead for too long!

              Quickly take in information from your instruments, speedo, mirrors, blind spots etc. This will allow you identify and react to rising road situations faster.

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              Last Updated on June 20, 2019

              Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

              Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

              There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

              More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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              Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

              You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

              During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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              Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

              Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

              The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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              This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

              Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

              The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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              This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

              This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

              Conclusion

              While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

              More About Music Playing

              Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

              Reference

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