You’ve taken your motorcycle course, gotten your license, and have miles of experience in your mirrors. You’ve read all of the how-tos, the motorcycle safety tips and even the scooter safety tips but when it comes to motorcycles, do you know what NOT to do?
1. Don’t neglect your motorcycle
Your tires can go bald, your brake pads can wear out, your fuel lines can clog, your engine can suffer damage. Any of the above can cause serious problems.
Keep your motorcycle in good repair: riding boots are not comfortable for walking.
2. Don’t ride beyond your limits
You must first know your limits. Most motorcycles can lean to 30-something degrees, ¼ mile in seconds, and brake far faster than the average car. Most motorcyclists will never reach the limits of their bikes.
Know your limits, ride within them.
3. Don’t neglect yourself
Part of the joy of riding is being out with the elements, but the elements will wear you down. Whether sun and or cold and wet, stay comfortable, hydrated, and fed.
Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.
4. Don’t mix substances with riding
If you want to drink, drink. If you want to do drugs, do drugs. Use it, don’t abuse it. Just motorcycling and substances don’t mix well.
There are old motorcyclists and there are drunk motorcyclists, but there are no drunk old motorcyclists.
5. Don’t lose sight of what’s important while riding, flyboy
You see that pretty girl (or boy)? She (or he) sees you riding by, on your freshly washed bike. As you ride by, staring in slow motion, she (or he) watches you rear end a truck.
Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t.
6. Don’t look down
Wondering if you’re going to crash? Thinking you won’t make the corner? Have a feeling you’re going down? If you look down you’ll get there quick.
Look where you want to go.
7. Don’t underestimate the importance of braking and positioning through corners
What’s proper lane position? When should you be braking? Here’s a visual:
8. Don’t ride someone else’s pace
Learn from the more experienced riders in the group, but don’t feel obliged to keep up the pace, particularly through corners, rough roads, or bad weather.Ride your own ride.
9. Don’t let your head grow faster than your skills
Riding a motorcycle can take you from zero to hero. The learning curve is sharp, and you’ll have no shortage of people asking you for a ride. There isn’t enough room in helmets for both sound judgement and a swollen ego.
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.
10. Don’t be afraid to say thanks
Be it to the driver who lets you cut ahead, or whatever power you choose to believe in as you arrive safely at home at the end of a long ride.
Being humble might just keep you alive.
What have you learned the hard way? Leave your comments below or check out the home page for more stories.