Tips for first time motorcycle learners!

Smartchoice Editorial
April 30, 2021

Once you have done it and made an absolute decision that you want to learn to ride a motorbike. Well well! Congratulations, you are in for quite an adventure (haha! Oh I believe you would love the ride).

This article is to prepare you for riding for the first time. We know from experiences that during the first month when you just start learning to ride a motorbike there are many scares, many stupid mistakes and flops. This article will positively prepare you and help you avoid some of the errors that generally first-time riders make.

Important Tips for First Time Learners:

Keep the right attitude for learning

When you are learning to ride a motorbike, your attitude plays an important role. one thing to remember is not to be too scared or confident. keep complete faith in yourself and the person who is training. Believe that with some proper practise and pieces of training you would be a safe bike rider on the road.

Research for the best beginner motorcycle

We understand that you might be excited to find the best motorbike available in the market, you have to remember that it’s you’re your learning phase. Just give it a thought: what car were you given to drive when you just started driving? The same attitude applies to while you’re on the lookout for a good starter motorbike.
On the other hand, being more concerned about cost doesn’t mean you can’t find amazing options for beginner motorbikes, and buying a secondhand motorbike is often better than buying a brand-new one. Just be heedful of the potential signals, scratches, and dents that the motorbike will be enduring. To be honest! You won’t nearly sweat much for a denting a PKR25000 bike than you would a PKR 250,000 bike one, that’s a guarantee.

Buy your first motorbike used

Since we just discussed the importance of buying a cheaper motorbike. Sometimes you get a “used bike” at a very reasonable price, which not only fits your budget but also fulfils your needs. There are certain benefits to buying a used bike
• You can get a bike at half the price of the new bike price
• Negotiations are possible
• Easy on maintenance. Etc.

Avoid highways and interstate driving till you have learned hands-on

A word of advice is as you first start riding a motorbike it’s possibly best to start riding it in a parking lot or the empty and secluded streets in your neighbourhood. Find places where you can ride at relatively low speed as they are a good place to practice the abilities you have learned in your riding course. Over time as your skills and confidence grow, you can start expanding your riding ground and start travelling down longer routes.

In due course, you can easily get on a highway. The highways are high-speed roads and can be somewhat nerve-wracking the first time you drive on one. Driving 65mph on a motorcycle is MUCH not the same as driving a car at that speed. You will feel the wind, the road noise, the bumps, and how unprotected you feel being out in the open while riding a bike. Though this feeling is scary at first, it soon feels natural and you begin to enjoy it. The feeling of exposure you experience from being “out in the open” while riding will change into a pleasurable feeling of freedom that you will experience!

Don’t carry passengers until you gain confidence

An idiomatic phrase that we often hear is “ Neem Hakeem Khatraye Jaan” taking forward from there you really shouldn’t put the safety of your loved ones at risk until you, yourself, are at ease with riding a motorbike. Adding a passenger to your motorbike means you’ll have to make modifications and tunings to the motorbike’s suspension. Not to forget, you would have to account for the extra weight that you carry on your motorbike when you brake and or take sharp turns etc.
If having a passenger is a must, choose someone who is sat on a motorbike before, or who themselves rides. A familiar person would be much easier to ride with since they’ll have some impression of what to expect of the ride and how to react in different circumstances. Plus, an experienced passenger can extend some constructive exchange of ideas that will further improve your riding skills and will help you learn quicker.

Procure high-quality safety gear

It’s imperative to wear the appropriate motorbike gear when riding a bike. Let’s Think this way, the clothes you are wearing right now. Would you be comfortable running as fast as you can and then jumping/diving headfirst onto the pavement? If your answer is NO, then you probably aren’t wearing enough gear to ride a motorcycle because on a bike you will be riding MUCH faster than you can run.
We recommend that everyone is wearing a full-face helmet, a motorbike jacket, riding gloves, and robust boots covering the rider’s ankles. That is the bare minimum required to keep you safe! I also commend checking out different riding pants. There are also over-pants available that one can easily slip on over its normal clothes and there are also jeans that come with Kevlar sewn into the impact zones of the body. Many people have had a couple of crashes at low to mid-speed and people have been thankfully been fully geared up every time for the crash. If they hadn’t been, they would be missing parts of the face and parts of hands and knees!
Gearing up before riding is always doesn’t have to be costly, either. One can buy a jacket, gloves, and helmet for around just PKR5000 in total. They won’t be the best and top of the line, but they will keep the rider safe and save them a lot of money in hospital bills if one ever gets into an accident. That is very important because most riders get into a misfortune at some point during their riding.

Motorbike part and maintenance

There are Chances that if you are a beginner your first bike would be a used motorbike. That is because used motorbikes are MUCH cheaper than brand new motorbikes. This benefit of being economical comes with a few oddities. It’s best to give the new-to-you bike a once over to make sure everything is mechanically working well. It’s even better if one can have an acquaintance who is an experienced person/rider to go over it with you. Maybe have that person test ride the motorbike to ensure nothing is broken or mechanically dangerous.

Some typical things you should look out for that could affect your riding experience:

Properly inflated tires: Since you are now on two wheels instead of four, both wheels must have the proper air pressures. You can find the precise air pressure of the tires either in the manufacturer handbook or by looking at your bike information online or looking on the side of the tire for the proper pressures it may require. Why Proper inflation is crucial is because while riding because it allows the rider to manoeuvre the motorbike properly, otherwise it may feel slow-moving when turning.

Tire tread: it needs to be assured that the bike has enough tire tread to keep it safe. There are wear bars on all tires that will indicate to you when they need to be replaced. One should also look for cracked rubber if the motorbike tires are old. Old tires don’t stick/have the grip to the road as well and are more prospective to get damaged and lose air.

Oil: Make sure the motorbike has the prescribed oil, and ideally change it right when the motorbike is purchased. As one cannot be sure about the last oil change until intimated by the previous owner. Even then, it’s still a good idea to change it when you purchase the motorbike.

Lights: Make sure all lights on the motorbike work. Turn signals, headlights, and brake lights! They all are extremely important once riding on the road.

Cables: It’s important to check that the cables on the throttle and brake levers are in proper working order. Either of these getting stuck can be recipe for disaster. Which could result in breaking the motorbike! No one wants, or an unanticipated jolt in speed!

Proper training

There are multiple ways to learn to ride a motorbike. You can let your friend explain and clarify it to you, you can take a motorbike training course from a recognized organization. Statistically, one can be in a serious motorbike accident if the training has only come from a friend or family member and not an appropriate institution. A person can be much safer and better prepared if you take a training course to ride a motorbike properly.
So! Take a class. It would enable you can operate a motorcycle safely and confidently.

Get your insurance, license, and registration

While no one likes the idea of spending two hours standing in line at the DMV, it’s part of getting licensed to ride a motorcycle. But getting a license is imperative to be on the road. Last but not least, apply and procure motorbike insurance. Being protected while riding a motorbike is incredibly important bearing in mind how susceptible a person riding a motorbike to road accidents, and don’t let anyone convince or tell you otherwise.
There are people on the road who shouldn’t be on the road, and then there’s you. Much as you want to, you can never be sure that everyone around you is following the law or being mindful of their environments. This is especially true if you’re commuting during high-traffic times.

Always be conscious and responsive to your surroundings. For the first six months or so of riding a bike, take some alternative route to avoid high-traffic areas and drive slowly. This way, you can focus solely on riding a motorbike without having to react to every Tom who breaks check you at a traffic light. Once you’ve really perfected your skills, you can endeavour along the roads that are more travelled.

Perform a pre-check before you saddle up

Ever made it halfway anywhere only to realize you have a flat tyre? Many people have, which is why the rider needs to give a motorbike a thorough once-over before hitting the road.

Perform motorcycle pre-check

Not only do you need to test your tires, though, you also need to examine the engine oil and check for leaks. And when you turn the bike on, make sure all the lights are functioning correctly (headlight, tail lights, blinkers), your clutch isn’t sticking, and that the tank has enough gas to get you past where you need to go.
Though some of these precautions may seem obvious, it never hurts to be reminded. Whether you already have a bike and have been riding for a few months, or you just bought your first set of wheels, take this advice to heart because it will help you in the long run!

Some common mistakes that you might make

Releasing clutch too fast and killing the motorbike. Most of the riders have done this, especially as new riders. The key to remember is not to panic, calmly restart the bike, and try again calmly. It’s embarrassing, but an experience you will laugh about later.
Shoelaces catching on motorcycle pegs “I learned this one from my personal experience, but worst of all I learned it while riding a friend’s bike. I pulled up to a red light and when I slowed down and tried to put my foot down, my shoelace was caught and so the bike and I tipped over.” That is why it is now recommended to wear motorcycle specific boots that don’t have laces, which can be caught (wink, wink). If anyone does have laces on their boots, make sure they are placed in so they won’t catch on a peg and prevent you from putting your foot down.

Shifting into neutral instead of 2nd gear: You will discover this happens when your engine begins to accelerate really high for no reason and you aren’t going any faster. Just another simple click upon the shifter will firmly place you in 2nd gear.

Running out of fuel while riding:  Newer bikes will have a low-fuel indicator light. In the older bikes, there may be no such light. Instead, they will have a reserve fuel tank. You will know to switch to the reserve tank when your bike starts loosing power and starts to die. If you are quick, you can reach down to the fuel reserve and switch it to reserve before it dies completely. Then you have about 20-30 kilometres before the reserve tank runs out. Try that your reserve tank should never run out completely. The best would be to reset your odometer when you have to switch to the reserve tank, then have a friend follow you in their car with a gallon of petrol and ride until the bike dies. You will then know exactly how long you have when you switch to reserve. To be on the safe side, always head to a petrol station right whenever you switch from your main tank!

At the end of your first month and New Beginnings

Congratulations! We sincerely mean it! If you have survived the first month with both your body and motorbike intact, then you are ahead of the game. Many people get into an accident or collision in their first month by riding above their proficiency level, getting a motorbike that is too powerful for them to handle, or by not having the proper training, going too fast on the roads, opting for roads that are too crowded or highways all these and some other reasons can be a recipe for some misfortunate event.

A motorbike can be a fantastic way to enjoy your weekends and an amazing way to meet new people. Keep riding safe, and keep the rubber side down. It should be done properly and never be my way or highway!

Keep Riding, Keep enjoying, Don’t forget……

Speed thrills but kills….so while you are a beginner a learner, use more clutch than the accelerator and maintain safety protocols religiously…

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