Are you guilty of making these mistakes while riding a motorcycle? Take a step back and try and change these habits, which will make a world of difference to your riding skills.
Motorcycle riding is a skill that one learns by practice, and many times, one can end up practicing a bad riding habit so many times that it becomes a problem. These habits affect most motorcycle riders in the world and take time, patience, and practice to do away with.
Looking in the wrong place - This one is basically about one’s vision when on a motorcycle. Most of us have heard about this rule, and it is one of the most difficult habits to correct. The phenomenon is called hand-eye coordination, and basically, where you look in the direction towards which your hands will steer the motorcycle. This is not as applicable at slow speeds, but once you pick up speed, looking where you want to go is very important. Everything in the near vicinity is meant to be covered by your peripheral vision. And the concept of vision does not apply to straights. In fact, it is quite crucial in the corners too.
Being rigid on the motorcycle - This is another mistake that is majorly made by rookie or amateur riders. As they have nothing to protect themselves in case of a crash, unlike a car where one is enclosed in a cabin, most riders cling onto the handlebars with all their strength. This adversely affects the handling of your motorcycle. The handlebars are very sensitive and take the slightest of inputs into account, and while this might not reflect on the straights, it is quite evident through the corners. Instead of holding onto the handlebars tightly, one must grip the tank with our legs to stay on the motorcycle.
Not covering controls - This is one area that can be the difference between having a close call and having a bad crash. You see, most riders will sacrifice covering their controls, such as the front brake, rear brake, and clutch to be comfortable. While this is okay to an extent on the highway (the front brake must always be covered), this habit can spell disaster in the city, where the traffic is closer together, thus reducing your reaction time. If you have your controls covered, you save that previous half-a-second, which could make all the difference in the world.
Staying close to the vehicle in front - This is just all kinds of wrong. If the vehicle in front brakes, you will have less time and space to react in. Then, if you want to pull out from behind the said vehicle, your visibility will be zero, which means you will be pulling out blindly into what could be the oncoming lane. Don’t wait to brake till the last minute and get stuck behind a larger vehicle. Instead, if you see a large vehicle braking in front of you, brake in a progressive fashion and match its speed while keeping your distance. This will give you a clear vision of the vehicles in the lane next to it, and if it is the oncoming lane, you can plan your overtake better.
Neglecting basic motorcycle maintenance - This one is more about bad maintenance habits that will affect your riding. A motorcycle requires basic upkeep, such as cleaning the chain, checking tyre pressure, and topping up the oils. These are small activities which need to be carried out even in between services, to keep the motorcycle running in an optimum state. Many people are often guilty of riding with a dirty or loose chain, which will decrease its performance output, and even introduce jerks in the drivetrain. This will, in turn, make your motorcycle feel jerky when accelerating hard and changing gears for no fault in your technique. Thus, it is quite imperative to put your bike through basic maintenance such as checking the tyre pressure, checking the condition of the chain, and checking the oil levels.