Common Mistakes Novice Bikers Make
StallingIt’s an embarrassing thing and we’ve all done it at least once before. The thing is, it takes stalling in the first place to know how it feels, what to expect and what you should do when it happens. It’s about mastering the clutch lever, as long as you have it pulled in you don’t need to worry about stalling. You need to learn how to let the clutch out slowly, listen to the engine and you’ll start to hear when the bike is at ‘bite point’. Once you feel comfortable and confident, you can start to apply a little throttle. This is an absolute basic when learning how to ride a motorcycle, and something you will have covered repeatedly in lessons. However it's different when you’re out on the road and starting to ride on your own, even something you know as well as clutch control can go to pot. So, you will stall at some point, but its remaining calm and getting rolling again that you’ll master. The main thing is it’ll happen less and less as you become more experienced. This is a common problem newbie riders face, so get your practice in before you hit the road and give yourselves better chances.
First GearForgetting to click into first gear is one of the main reasons why riders stall. First is the launch gear, so most riders while cruising to a stop get changing gears and make sure they are first ready for set off. This is something a lot of novice riders forget about. Then when a set of traffic lights go green they are all in a fluster. So if you are a new rider, you should consciously think about making your way down the gears when you’re preparing for a stop. It’s all about time and space in your early biking days, give yourself time to think about what you need to do next and enough space to be able to put it into action!
Thinking Too BigWhen you first get your licence, it’s the best feeling in the world. You can finally ride wherever you want and are as free as a bird! And there’s nothing wrong with this feeling. In fact, it’s what motorcycling is all about. However, new riders can sometimes get carried away. Before they know it they are knackered and miles away from home. Try and build up to big rides, going more miles each ride so you know your limits. When people get tired they become dangerous on road so don’t push yourself too far to start with and take your time on the road less travelled.
Lever ActionA common mistake new riders make is not covering the brake and clutch levels. Both of these levels help you stop quickly and regain control. The clutch is a direct line to the power so by pulling that in quickly you are able to take control of the bike again, as with the brake lever which obviously brings you to a halt. Accidents take seconds to happen. Having your fingers covering these levers gives you the advantage over those seconds, and therefore could save you from being involved in an incident. So cover the levers, however, feels natural, with two fingers or even one, whatever works for you.
SignalsThis is something that always gets me. Some bikes have self-cancelling indicators, if you have one then that lucky, I’m jealous! If not then this is a habit you’ll need to get into. In a car you can hear your indicator clicking which is a great reminder; however, on a bike, you can’t hear anything with the wind noise. There is, of course, the light flashing on your dashboard which is good but can be missed. So it’s just getting into the habit of knocking the indicator off once you’re around the corner. As with the other things mentioned, this comes with time but if you have it highlighted in your mind as something to be watched out for, you might just pay extra attention to it.
AssumptionsThis is definitely something that comes with time and experience on the road. People who have been riding for a long time have learnt that riding like you are invisible on the road. They believe it is the best possible thing you can do. This experience generally is gained by a few close calls and if you’ve been unlucky accidents. If you are a new rider and at a T junction for example. Even if it is your right of way. Assume the other motorists can’t see you and therefore will pull out on you. We’re not suggesting you become a quivering wreck on the road. But your safety is the most important thing to being a little conscious is a good thing. The thing to remember is that learning is all about trial and error, so mistakes will be made. However being aware of the above common errors might help you focus your training. We hope you found this article interesting, and if you’ve missed anything please add it to the below comments. Good luck out there everyone, ride safe!
20 Oct 2017