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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 September 25, 2019

              How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

              How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

              As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

              When we were still children, our thoughts seemed to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

              Just imagine then, how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power!

              We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities.

              We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

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              We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb.

              We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits.

              And we’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head…

              But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

              So, how can we tap into the power of positivity?

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              “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

              It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are 4 simple yet powerful ideas on how you can get started.

              1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

              Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

              Just take a look at these 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

              2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

              This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

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              You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty.

              If you seek it, you will find it.

              3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

              This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what really is important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

              Here’re 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life that can inspire you.

              4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

              How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking.

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              Instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

              Learn from this article how to change your mental images: How to Think Positive and Eliminate Negative Thoughts

              If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

              And remember:

              You are (or will become) what you think you are.

              This is reasonable enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

              More About Staying Positive

              Featured photo credit: Lauren Richmond via unsplash.com

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