Five Simple Tips to Ride Motorcycles Faster, Safer And Better – For the Everyday Rider

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If you are here, reading this, there is a very good chance that you love, or at least like riding motorcycles. And while biking aficionados like you and us always want to ride faster, safer and generally better, some of us do some very basic things wrong. We are not talking advanced riding here, where we deliberate on how to shave off that fraction of a second from your lap times. Here in this piece, we talk about some very basic aspects of riding which are often ignored by many riders. You’d be surprised how much of a difference these five simple things, when followed correctly, can make to your ability to being in control and riding in a faster, yet safer way. Let’s quickly go through this list comprising some very simple but effective tips

Loosen up : To ensure that your movement on the motorcycle is as natural and free-flowing as possible, you need to avoid sitting too stiff on your machine. Grip the handlebars of your motorcycle in a tactile manner, without grabbing them too tightly. Your wrist, elbow and shoulder joints shouldn’t be stiff at any point. Your arms shouldn’t be straight, there has to be an angle at your elbows.

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Loosen up your back and neck to a fair extent. Put your feet on the pegs such that it’s always possible for you to move fore and aft, as well as from side to side. You should also be able to stand and ride the pegs at any given point.  Ensuring that your body, controlling the movements of the motorcycle sits as a fluid, flexible and adaptive unit atop that saddle would help you enormously. Sit too stiff, and you won’t be able to rein in the bike effectively when there is a need for it.

Look where you want to be : This is one of the simplest and the most effective tips for a biker to follow, and yet, you would find a large majority of riders doing the exact opposite. While riding a motorcycle at a fair speed, especially on a winding course, constantly looking at a point fairly away where you wish to place your bike improves your control over the bike tremendously.

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Only by looking a little far on the road, keeping your head stable and scanning the road ahead constantly, you subconsciously control the speed, position and lean angle of your bike in a much more optimized manner. What you don’t need to do is look at the patch of the road too close ahead of the front wheel. What you also need to avoid is to look around while riding and not focusing on the road ahead. If you don’t already do this, try practicing it and you’ll instantly see a difference in the level of control you have over your bike.

Counter Steering Works, Practice it: Believe it or not, you do counter steer you motorcycle – knowingly or unknowingly. Whenever you take those fast middling-to-wide corners with the bike leaned over, you are actually turning your bike’s front wheel outwards to turn in. It’s just that if you are more aware about the phenomenon, you’d probably be able to control the line of your motorcycle more effectively.

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You would probably not believe it, but while leaned over, pushing the inner handlebar of your bike actually helps you turn in tighter. This might sound a little surreal, but we promise you that once you realize how it works, you would have a newfound confidence in yourself while carving corners. So next time you hit those twisties, while leaned over, try pushing the inner handlebar while taking a turn, and you’ll see that you are able to take a tighter line without much effort.

Use engine braking effectively : Some of us have the habit of riding in the low revs most of the times. Truth is, even at slow speeds, keeping the bike in a healthy rev band enhances your control over the bike enormously. You can control the direction of the motorcycle to a fair extent by rolling off or getting on the throttle if you are in a healthy power band.

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While rolling down a ghat, while sieving your way through the city traffic or even while slicing your way through those winding roads, dropping a cog is a very effective way for not just shedding speed, but also to control the behaviour of the motorcycle. Learn how to stay in the rev band which is out of the lame zone, and you’d see how effective it is.

Don’t jump the gun, ride easy and ride a lot : The tendency to hop on the bike saddle, and trying to go faster than your skill levels allow is often the reason for many a crash. Riding a motorcycle well is a complex process. It takes time for your body and mind to train itself to perform certain moves while aboard a motorcycle in a natural way, as a reflex. And it takes a lot of training, which in turn can be achieved only by riding extensively.

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So ride a lot, while clearly knowing the limits of your skill level and always keep a generous safety buffer while riding on the street. While at it, try to learn the technicalities, upgrade your skills with practice and you’d soon realize that you are much more in control, and safer while still being faster than before. Never ever try to showboat, for that’s the single biggest cause behind some of the nastiest crashes.

Finally, always remember that learning never ends. Even the best riders in the world have scope for improvement, and accidents could happen with everyone. So always keep a cool head over your shoulders, ride responsibly and work your way up the skill ladder in a methodical, reassuring manner.

Hope this article was useful to some of you. If you think you could add a few suggestions of your own to the list, do share your thoughts via one of our social channels, and we would be happy to share the same with the rest of the biking community

Ride safe!

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