Tips for New Riders
There's so much to consider when starting out on your two wheel journey - here are a few tips to help make it easier for you.
Tip #1: Don’t buy too much bike
Once you’ve passed your test (and we’re talking full licence here) its all to easy to be tempted by the big powerful bikes you see shining in dealer showrooms. As tempting as this is we hear so many stories of riders not progressing as quickly as they might, and not enjoying their riding simply because they are too scared of their machines.
With today’s designs and styles there will always be a bike that suits your experience and skill level meaning you can grow as a rider gaining confidence and enjoying yourself before moving up to the bigger bike a little way down the road!
Tip #2: Don’t do too much, too soon
Whereas some riders are able to handle the hustle and bustle of main road riding soon after passing their tests many will benefit from taking their time to become comfortable with the controls and riding generally.
Take your time to develop as a rider and choose roads which allow you to learn without having to constantly be looking for hazards in the form of other road users. If you stay safe early on it will build your confidence to tackle the busier roads quicker than you imagine.
Tip #3: Don’t lose focus
Riding in traffic is unavoidable. And beating that traffic is one of the best things about riding! However in traffic it’s vital to keep your concentration focused.
Watch for drivers applying make up, talking on phones or adjusting radios, look for passengers in parked cars about to open doors, watch the wheels of the car in the side street (you’ll notice the wheels moving far quicker than the bonnet) etc etc.
Keeping a 360 degree watch whilst in traffic is vital to ensure their inattentiveness is not an issue for you. Scan well ahead to anticipate potential issues and occasionally check your mirrors too.
Tip #4: Assume you're invisible
It’s possibly the best bit of advice ever given to a new rider – always assume you are invisible.
Bright lid? dayglow jacket? headlight on? It’s amazing what car drivers can miss. So even if it’s your right of way and you’ve made eye contact don’t assume they will have registered that you are there – plan an escape route and cover your brakes.
Tip #5: Determine your own safety
Try to spend as little time as possible in situations where your safety is determined by the actions of others. For example if a driver sitting in a parked car decides to open his door will it affect you? Are you too close?
If you ride so as not to be affected you’ll end up not having to avoid these issues all the time in the first place. Not always possible but if you try you’ll find things can happen around you which don’t affect you or the fun you are having out an about.
Tip #6: Don’t take a pillion too soon
New riders, especially those on smaller bikes, can be surprised by the changes to a bikes handling when adding the extra weight of a pillion. Steering and braking are both almost always compromised and cornering is more tricky as you try to balance both you and your passenger - especially if they are nervous and move about.
Get a little experience under your belt before you decide to take someone out. Their safety is in your hands and we’d like to encourage more people to ride so scaring them – and yourself - first time out isn’t a good idea.