Preparation: Your key to smart riding
Whether you’re a novice motorcycle rider or an experienced road warrior, your best defense against surprises and potential distractions when riding is preparation… both mental and physical. Preparation strengthens your ability to anticipate and effectively deal with…
- Obstacles or changes in the road
- Changes in driving conditions
- Other vehicles and action around you
Six tips to help you prepare for every motorcycle ride
Before you take off for a ride, long or short, consider these six primary factors to make sure you and your bike are prepared…
Get mentally focused on your ride
Can you concentrate fully on your riding? Or are your thoughts elsewhere? If my mind is working overtime on a problem or I’m worrying over a heavy issue, chances are it will interfere with my riding. If I know I can’t concentrate fully on my driving, I’ll postpone my ride for when I’m in a better mood or otherwise less distracted.
Know your route
Sure, one of the great attractions of motorcycle riding is the freedom to “go where the road takes you.” However, if you are headed for a specific destination, try to get directions sorted out before you are on the road.
I don’t want to create a dangerous situation for myself or vehicles near me by driving indecisively or unpredictably. while I decide which way to turn or determine if I’m headed in the right direction.
Keep your motorcycle in good condition
When someones ride, nothing is quite as distracting as the nagging thought that a “small” or occasional annoyance such as a cold engine starting problem or an electrical glitch will get much worse while traveling. So you should try to avoid such kind of distractions by getting minor problems fixed before they blossom into a trip-stopping breakdown.
Prepare for bad weather
Getting caught riding into unanticipated cold temperatures or facing otherwise rotten weather when you don’t have the proper equipment can sap your strength and make you miserable. Just for peace of mind even if you don’t usually ride in nasty weather, you’ll do yourself a big favor by carrying a rain suit. And warm gloves, a “wind blocking” pullover or other types of protective clothing to help you deal with weather-related emergencies.
Prepare for motorcycle equipment problems
Some riders prepare big time for equipment problems by packing enough tools to do a minor engine overhaul in a highway rest stop. Others may carry only a cell phone, a charge card and a contact number for their roadside assistance providers. Such as the AMA (American Motorcycle Association), AAA (American Automobile Association) or their insurance company. I think most riders fit somewhere between those two extremes. It’s good for your peace of mind to carry a few well-chosen tools especially a tire repair kit to handle minor fixes. And it’s comforting to have some sort of emergency roadside assistance lined up in case you’re stranded.
Sharpen your driving skills
You can concentrate best on your driving when you have confidence in your ability to operate your bike safely and skilfully—especially when conditions are challenging. Being a skillful driver and having confidence in your motorcycle handling abilities is particularly important when you’re driving at night, in the rain or when the road is steep, narrow and twisty.
Driving in heavy, unpredictable traffic also requires skill and sharp awareness. You can build such skills and confidence through your own practice and experiences. You can also attend one or more motorcycle driving schools dedicated to teaching various aspects of operating a motorcycle. You can find a motorcycle driving school for virtually every skill level.
Taking specific steps to become a better rider, sharpen your motorcycle driving skills and increase your cycle travel know-how is a continuing process. It’s also an enjoyable and rewarding process you can continue whenever you get a chance.
Wear Helmets, ride Safely
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