Learning how to ride a motorcycle is the fun part. Most of us will agree to that.
Find me someone who didn’t do a mistake while learning, I will wait! Some serious ones like, entering a corner at higher speed than than you can pull off, and some hilarious ones like, falling over with your bike while parked (Fortunately, I never had to deal with that much embarrassment).
But if you keep learning little lessons from each of your mistakes, and are not afraid to try something new, that is AAALL that matters!
If you are just starting out and are insecure about what you are doing wrong, I am gonna share some silly mistakes that I did as a beginner, AND how I corrected them. That might make you feel better.
Motorcycle Mistakes #1: Stalling the bike
Don’t tell me this has never happened with you. Everybody, I repeat everybody faces this when starting out.
When riding at slow speed, beginners tend to release the clutch a bit too fast, which makes the engine stall or shut down. It is particularly embarrassing in traffic situations. You know! When people behind you are honking at you and you feel this pressure of everybody looking at you.
Poor you at the middle of the road, trying to start your bike with twenty people looking at your amateurism. It took me a while to completely master it. And once you master it on your bike, you will be able to do it on any motorcycle.
How I got rid of this? The key is to find that sweet spot. Where the clutch engages with the transmission. You have to release the clutch very slow (don’t pop it), and while doing so, twist the throttle slightly(very). All this happens in one motion.
You will have to practice to master it. And always remember to practice in a safe environment, like a track or parking lot.
Motorcycle Mistakes #2: Not looking far enough
On Indian roads, more than oncoming vehicles, you have to watchout for potholes. That is why we sometimes forget to look ahead and look what is right beneath us. Yes, maneuvering potholes is important, but looking what is ahead is more important.
Second mistake that beginners tend to make is they fix their vision closer instead of looking at the road ahead. You must constantly keep scanning a good 50-80 metres ahead of you, for any kind of threat or potential threat. It is about taking in as much information as possible with your eyes.
To get rid of this, you should keep juggling between what is far ahead and near, and what is left and right. Constantly keep shifting your focus and take in as much information about your surrounding as possible.
Motorcycle Mistakes #3: Over-anticipating
While looking out for potential threats, sometimes we tend to over-anticipate.
Once I saw a man crossing the road. People in India don’t wait for vehicles to pass before crossing, neither they do it at a red signal. So, I saw the guy, I anticipated that by the time I reach there, he would have already crossed me, so I shifted my vision elsewhere. But that guy had other plans, he stopped on the middle of the road to check traffic coming from the other direction. My handlebars hit his back and we had an embarrassing fall. Nothing serious though.
Maybe I over-anticipated by assuming he would have crossed by the time reach there. You can get over it only by experience. As you ride more often, you will be able to foretell which can be a potential danger and which to ignore.
Motorcycle Mistakes #4: Aggressive shifting
Some noobs like to show-off. By accelerating hard and then braking abruptly. (I have never done it, its so silly)
You may want to impress some people by popping so wheelies, but it might damage your transmission. Shifting without applying clutch and frequent half-clutch is not good for your bike.
You might be a very good rider, but the riders around you might not be as good. Riding aggressive under such circumstances is never good. Some one could make a mistake and you may have to pay. Aggressive riding is a sign of poor riding awareness. Keep that talent hidden only for track days. Just don’t try to impress anyone. Keep your engine and transmission in mint condition.
Motorcycle Mistakes #5: Breaking traffic rules
How many of you have jumped a red light? Almost everyone. Sometimes it is a mistake, sometimes it is because the traffic cop is looking the other way. Everytime, it is a bad choice.
Other traffic rules that beginners tend to break are, not wearing a helmet, speeding and not having proper documents with you.
Excessive revving is also troublesome, it creates a lot of noise and attention. We know your bike got a nice grunt, stop flaunting every now and then.Buy Leather Jackets from Amazon.in
Sometimes even seasoned riders tend to forget to cancel our turn signals, although its not a traffic rule per se. But it does confuse the people behind you. Its better if you have a turn signal indicator, otherwise just keep this in mind. And also remember to disengage your side stand before you zoom off.
People who warn you about your side stands are divine intervention.
Be a responsible rider, use proper gears and be considerate about people on the road.
Motorcycle Mistakes #6: Not maintaining/servicing
Most of the beginners don’t know how to take care of their machine. From running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere to riding without proper tyre pressure. Also remember to keep the bike clean and shiny. Most beginner don’t care about cleaning their bike often.
Before every ride, check your tyre pressure, engine oil levels and keep your chain clean and lubricated.
That concludes our list of most common mistakes. If you know of or did any other mistake while you were learning, share it with us in the comments below. We would love to hear that.
And remember, “Age is just a number!”