If you’re planning to buy a motorbike, congratulations! You’ll be a part of a pretty cool club that gets to wear leather and zoom along the open highway. But before you go trading in your car for a Harley, here are a few things you need to know:
Look where you’re aiming
You know what can be a big problem when you first begin riding? Target fixation. For some reason it’s incredibly difficult when you’re a newbie, and the most important thing you can do is always look where you’re going- because this is where you’ll go.
That means that if you’re looking at the ground a little up ahead, that’s where you’ll end up. This is an especially important consideration when you’re turning around a corner. You want to tactually look through the corner, and certainly not at the ground or somewhere eels. Keep an eye out for hazards, but remember that riding a motorbike is mostly about looking ahead.
When you’re riding a motorcycle, you’ll simply need to be far more defensive than you usually are when you’re driving. Basically, you want to assume that everyone is a danger to your life, since a lot of people aren’t actively keeping their eyes out for motorcycles on the road. While they’ll easily see your car, often they won’t see your bike until it’s too late. For this reason, ensure you’re paying attention before every intersection, including alleys, driveways, parking lots, and more.
Inspect your ride
Each time before you ride, you’ll need to do a pre-ride inspection. That means checking your belt or chain, give your tires a quick look, keep an eye out for fluids or oil leaks, and give the bike a quick brush down if it’s been parked outside in case any bugs are hanging around to surprise you on the highway.
Buy your parts online
There’s often a much greater variety of motorcycle parts online, and you’re definitely likely to save money. Take some time checking out motorcycle apparel, parts, and accessories, and you’ll even be able to find Harley and Yamaha bike parts on many websites.
Take a class
Some people assume that if you’re able to ride a dirt bike, you can easily ride a motorcycle. While riding a motorbike is similar to riding a heavy bike, underestimating the learning curve is a good way to get yourself killed
Your best bet is to enroll in a class so you can learn everything you need to know. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has classes available, and since these guys know what they’re doing, you’ll quickly become competent at the basics and will have someone available when you need to ask some questions.
Safety gear is absolutely necessary, and while it may be hot and you may not feel like wearing it, but it will safe your life if you come off. That means a full-face helmet, gloves, and motorcycle jacket- no excuses.