Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 30 seconds
Every rider has certain fears when he/she initiates riding motorcycles. Fear is a normal part of riding, but the way you deal with it makes all the difference. As a motorcycle coaching company, we deal with beginner riders and their most common fears on a routine basis. Here, we address some of the most common ones.
1. Riding on the highway
Highway speeds can be overwhelming, specially for new riders. But one good thing about highway riding is – no cuts or interruptions, since everyone is following the same direction and nobody can appear out of the blue, since there are no/very less intersections.
The most important aspect which helps with highway riding is – situational awareness (the quality for which safe riders are most known). Awareness is a rider’s strength – be it the city or the highway. So, keep those rear view mirrors super clean and perfectly adjusted
So, the best approach for highway riding is to:
- Look far ahead
- Anticipate the situations that lie in front of you
- Be aware of your surroundings (front, back and sides)
2. Leaning too much while cornering
It’s all about traction – do your tires have sufficient traction? Does the road provide enough grip? Is the entry speed too high? Are you going too wide in the corner?
As discussed in the cornering section, there are 3 parts of a corner – entry, apex and exit.
Plan and anticipate: The more you plan for the corner, the safer you will be. Planning involves judging the correct entry speed as per the turn radius (and accordingly, gear position), entry position, turn-in point (apex) and exit position for every turn. In addition, you must also evaluate the road condition – is it good, is it wet or is it dry? This is the most important factor while evaluating any turn.
Avoid target fixation: Looking where you want to go is great but focusing where you don’t want to go is dangerous. Therefore, keep your head and eyes in the accurate direction.
You can find the same explained in detail in this book as well.
3. Riding in heavy traffic
Heavy traffic costs a lot to the economy, not to mention it wastes a lot of fuel due to the engine idling for a long time. Riding in such bumper-to-bumper traffic involves frequent clutch usage. Therefore, you need to know where the friction point of your motorcycle’s clutch lies – this is because the speeds are too low to necessitate completely letting out the clutch lever.
You need to master the use of the accelerator, rear brake (or light usage of the front brake) and clutch. Such situations call for a lot of start and stop maneuvers – the transition between the throttle opening, release of the clutch; usage of the rear brake to stop and simultaneously pulling the clutch should be quick and smooth.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.