Motorcycling, whether as a hobby or as a practicle means of transportation, can be an enjoyable, money-saving endeavor. However, it can also lead to expensive, life-altering mistakes.Whether you are a motorcycle veteran or a relative newcomer it is good to remember that on the road you are vulnerable. In a recent article, American Motorcyclist outlined the 50 Things New Riders Should Know (and Experienced Riders Shouldn’t Forget).
1) Be Legal/Get Licensed: A piece of paper will not make you a better driver, but the attitude with which you approach motorcycling will. Get serious, get a license.
2) Passengers Second: Learn how to drive your motorcyle alone before adding a passenger. Remember, you are responsbile for your passenger’s safety, so make sure you are comfortable on the road before you take on that responsbility.
3) Don’t be Proud: Get training. Negotiating traffic on a motorcycle will be different from any other driving experience you have ever had. You may have ridden a dirt bike and you have probably been driving cars for years, but that doesn’t make you an expert. Bottom Line: it’s better to be safe.
a. Do It Yourself- become familiar with your bike and whenever possible figure it out yourself. That way you will know when something isn’t quite right.
b. Check your tire pressure regularly and often.
c. For those problems that you just can’t fix yourself find a local mechanic. Strike up a rapport. Get comfortable asking questions. It is always better to ask a question then to be unsure.
5) Seek Local Knowledge: If you are just getting started riding in the Bay Area and San Francisco (or anywhere new) look for bike shops and events and talk to people. Seek out advice and suggestions. You might be suprised by what you find out and it will save you a lot of time and stress in the future.
Check back soon for more tips/suggestions in Part 2!
Kardas, Jeff. “50 Things New Riders Should Know (And Experienced Riders Shouldn’t Forget).” American Motorcyclist 66.8 (August 2012): 46-48. Print.