Six Biggest Mistakes New Motorcyclists Make

As a new motorcyclist, chances are your excited to take your new “toy” for a spin on the road. You’ve probably already started investing in a few motorcycle accessories. Getting on the road for the first time can be exhilarating, but like most new things, chances are you’ll make a few mistakes. Riding a bike takes some time to get used to, but when you understand some of the more common mistakes, you’re more likely to prevent them. If you make smart decisions during this adjustment period, you’ll keep yourself safe and others safe. 

Not Paying Attention to the Gas

Your journey can take a turn for the worse if you don’t pay extra attention to your gas. As a first-timer, you should know that it’s pretty easy to run out of gas on the road. This is especially true when you’re accustomed to relying on your car to tell you exactly how much gas is left, down to the mile. 

If your bike doesn’t have a fuel gauge, understanding your gas is even more important, and you should take some extra gas with you on the road before you head out. And even when you do have gauges, it’s best to exercise caution. Even modern onboard technology can be slightly off, and there are plenty of occasions where bikes have sputtered out before the gauge said it was empty. 

Riding Without Safety 

No matter how close your destination is, always ride with protective gear. This is true even for states that have loose rules on what’s acceptable on a motorcycle. For instance, in Florida, motorcyclists with health insurance who are over the age of 21 are permitted to ride without a helmet. Yet riding without one, even at low speeds, could be disastrous. Studies have shown that in situations that could prove fatal to motorcyclists, a helmet could be 37% effective at preventing death. 

Forgetting to Turn Off Your Turn Signal 

As you may already know, in a car your turn signals will turn off automatically after you make a turn. And while some bikes do have self-cancelling turn signals, the majority of them do not. While this isn’t a major safety issue, it could easily create confusion for other people around you. Everyone on the road needs to have an understanding of what’s happening around them in order to make the best decisions. Make mental checks to always turn off your signal. 

Not Using the Right Tires

Tires are an integral part of any vehicle, and this of course applies to motorcycles. In the majority of cases, you’ll leave your motorcycle with the tires it came with—assuming it’s new. If you’ve purchased a used motorcycle, perhaps you’ll want to invest in new tires. However, it’s important that you don’t make a novice mistake here. 

For example, if you’ve purchased a Harley, then it’s best you stick to Harley Davidson motorcycle tires produced by approved manufacturers. Additionally, it’s important that you consider what your primary use case for your bike will be. If you plan to travel and embark on long-distance ride, you need tires with longevity. If you plan on traveling on rough terrain, you need strong tires with grip.  

Making Fast Turns

It’s important that when you’re just starting out, you learn your bike before you take a turn at full speed. There’s a term called “pro steering” and this is when you turn the handlebar you want to go. Doing this allows you to turn the motorcycle at a slower speed. As you become accustomed to the way your bike moves and handles grip and gravity, you’ll understand more about how to make different types of turns at various speeds. 

Being Too “Cool” for Lessons

You might feel like motorcycle lessons aren’t cool enough, but the truth is, you could benefit greatly from a few motorcycle lessons. After all, as you can see, there’s plenty that you need to get adjusted to. Learning how to leave yourself enough room, understanding counter-steering, and learning how to work the kickstand jive are all practicalities that you can get adjusted to if you took a lesson. 

Motorcycle safety courses also help improve the reputation of riding motorcycles as a hobby. These courses are designed for novice riders, and you’ll benefit from the detailed instruction provided by individuals who have extensive experience riding and proper certifications to teach. 

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