Riding is an art, which is as difficult to master as it is easy to learn. A lot of people can ride, but not a lot can “really ride”. It takes a lot of time and practice to be able to ride like a pro. If you develop the right habits early on, in your journey as a rider, things are going to be a lot easier and a lot better for you! Here are 8 such habits you should develop right from the beginning!
1. Keep Heels In
Ever noticed that diamond-shaped plate near the foot pegs? That’s where you’re supposed to rest your heels at. When riding a sportsbike, foot position, such that your heels are in and toes point outward, is going to put you in better control and lend more stability.
2. Loose On Top, Tight On Bottom
This essentially means that while riding your body should be loose from the waist up, while your legs should be tight. Your thighs should “grip” the tank. One test several riders use to determine if their upper body is lose enough t see if they can wiggle their elbows like a chicken. If they can, they’re all set!
3. Outside, Inside, Outside
When approaching a turn, move to the “outside” of your lane, while you’re in the turn, move to the “inside”, and again move back to the “outside”. This helps you navigate a turn with the most stability.
4. No Breaking/Accelerating Through Turns
Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t have an inherent balance. Their speed, your angle, and your lean are the things that determine whether they stay upright on the road. Even the slightest imbalance can topple a motorcycle and have the rider skidding through the road. Increasing or decreasing the speed while making a turn disturbs this critical balance, and thus, shall be avoided at all costs.
5. Look Through Turns
Only looking straight and not having a peripheral vision is the worst habit a rider can develop as a beginner. Its one that once set is almost impossible to change. So, be very vary of it, and not let yourself be one of those riders who don’t look at the sides. Looking at the sides would not only let you take safer turns but also take them faster!
6. Visor Closed
Dust, rocks, bugs, cups, milk, water are just some of the things that can come flying towards your face when you’re riding down a road. You don’t want any of it to smack you right in the nose, or worse, in the eyes. So, better have your visor down. And if you can’t, at least wear a set of goggles.
7. The Invisible Machine
Bikers who’ve been on the road long enough realize this one thing. For a lot of the other motorists, we’re pretty much ghosts. Invisible and inexistent in their world of cages, stereos, and talking on the phone. So, always drive like that cager ahead, the one behind, the ones by the side, like nobody, can see that you’re there on the road. Sometimes you’ll just go invisible in their blind spots. And other times they’ll just look at you and then forget you’re there. Better be safe, than sorry.
8. Always Have An Escape Plan
An extension of Point No. 7. Wherever you’re riding, whatever’s near you, always assume that the driver next to you might be out to get you. Always be prepared with an escape plan. Whether it’s standing at the signal on the side of the lane to escape from being narrow-ended or being extra-cautious when changing lanes, always have an escape plan ready.