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How To Ride A Motorcycle: 10 Steps To Make You A Better Rider

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After reading our previous article on how to start riding a motorcycle, it's now time one can move on a buy a motorcycle. Today's lesson is how to improve one's riding skills.

These 10 simple steps will teach a person how to develop their riding skills and what else is required to develop the newly learned skills riding a two-wheeler.

I would still suggest that one buys a decent, low displacement motorcycle because one progresses slowly and a big 1000 cc motorcycle will be of no use, or will rather teach you a nasty lesson that would haunt you for a lifetime.

Here are ten tips to improve riding skills:

1. Go through the owner’s manual:

It is as important as knowing the motorcycle itself. The owner's manual will give you all the details necessary about the motorcycle like switches, controls, gear shift pattern, the grade of oil used and also the service and maintenance intervals. Read it.

2. Riding in the city or in traffic:

The motorcycle will be one of the quickest modes of transport in the city, when ridden following traffic rules. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears as well. Maintain the motorcycle in a lower gear and keep the revs healthy. Ride on the left side of the lane, giving room on the right for faster vehicles to overtake. Warn other vehicles that you are shifting lanes or tuning and most important-do not dart in and out of traffic!

3. Riding on Highways:

Riding on the highway is relatively easier than riding in traffic because the roads are open compared to the city. But, is more dangerous because traffic is moving much faster. Look out as far as possible and keep the mirrors well focused to see what is behind you. Do not try to challenge bigger vehicles and give them way. Stick to the speed limit and also, stay very focused.

4. Riding around corners:

Tackling a corner is an art. But for a beginner, it will look like the worst place to be. Cornering on a motorcycle is simple, while approaching a corner, slow down, shift to a lower gear and look out as far as possible into the corner. Now, let go of the brakes and slowly accelerate around the curve. It takes a lot of practice but all that is absolutely worth it. Practice makes perfect.

5. Bad roads or gravel:

Okay, bad roads and gravel is a very common road hazard in India. Slow the motorcycle right down, shift to a lower gear and tackle it slowly. Maintain a healthy rev and do not try to make sharp turns, that will bring you down and hard. Be patient, cautious and don't let anything distract you.

6. Wet roads:

This is something that everybody struggles with, even pros. Avoid riding in the rain, but if the circumstances are such, the first thing to do is slow down. Wet roads are very dangerous and speed and wet tarmac are something that don't get along very well. Corners and stopping are when most people lose traction and crash. Slow down, dont lean too much while cornering and use the brakes gently-these are the three golden rules to remember.

7. Be aware of your surroundings:

Be well informed about your surroundings. Try to constantly watch out for traffic lights, road blocks, pedestrians, dogs, cows, parked vehicles, intersections, kids, cops, road signs and just about anything possible without losing concentration on your path and motorcycle. In course of time, this will become a natural instinct.

8. Basic self maintenance:

There are a few basic things about your motorcycle that you should be well aware of or educate yourself about. Checking the air pressure, oil level and tyre tread wear are few things that one must educate themselves about. The best way is asking biker buddies. They are your bike encyclopedias!

9. Riding with a pillion:

Riding with a pillion is generally harder than riding alone. If you are uncomfortable, do not take anyone behind you. But if you want to, make sure the pillion does not shift his weight, because you will end up losing control. The only way to do that is your pillion should trust you with his life. And make sure your pillion is wearing a helmet and protective gear as well.

10. Trustworthy mechanic:

Now, servicing your motorcycle is something very important. That will need a technician. So the best thing to is find out from your circle of friends and family, or research well yourself. There will be a lot of names, so the sensible thing to do is ask people around that area about the particular service outlet or the technician. If the reviews are good, go ahead.

Story first published: Saturday, March 21, 2015, 10:03 [IST]
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