Top 10 Tips For Motorcycle Riders - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 114 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Top 10 Tips For Motorcycle Riders

With all the new motorcycles flying off the dealer lots and the older models being rolled out of the corner garages around the country and dusted off, there are various points that all neophyte riders should understand about their alternate modes of transportation:

1) You don't drive a motorcycle, you ride it. Although it seems obvious to anyone who has watched a rider on their iron steed, most motonoobs are not aware that in order to turn left you not only lean into the turn but very gently turn the handlebars to the right, and vice versa! This action is extremely light and almost imperceptible, but is a technique which should be mastered by anyone wishing to safely operate their motorcycle. Learn to ride from an expert and ride defensively! The alternative is three months in traction or worse.


2) Keep your bike in just one part of the lane. The center of most lanes is slick with oil and grease that has deposited over the years. The part of the lane where the most traction is usually available is on the sides where the car tires go.

3) You won't necessarily get better mileage. If you're parking your Chevy Aveo and jumping on a Suzuki Hayabusa, you'll likely be losing MPG, not gaining them. The truly economical motorcycles are usually the 125 to 250 cc models which not only make superlative commuters and around-town bikes, but can return up to 90 MPG. If you have a lot of highway cruising that you want to do, then a 500 cc class motorcycle will take two adults anywhere they want to go and still return 50 MPG or more.

4) Don't blip the throttle at stops. It doesn't impress anyone, doesn't keep your bike from stalling out, and just makes a lot of useless noise and uses up fuel.

5) Maintain your ride. Motorcycles are far more finicky about being kept in good mechanical condition than cars. You can likely drive a car for 20,000 miles and do nothing but change the oil on it, while a chain driven motorcycle may need tensioning every 500 miles. Make sure that you are aware of the mechanical requirements of your motorcycles and that either you or your mechanic are equipped to perform that regular maintenance.

6) Look like a Xmas tree. Plunk on extra lights front and back, wear fluorescent clothing and do everything possible to make sure that the drowsy driver behind the wheel of that 1974 Coupe De Ville can see you.

7) Watch out for the sudden left turners. It's the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders.

8) Where should your bike be during heavy rain, wind, hail or snow? In the garage.

9) Where should you be after a couple of drinks? In a taxi.

10) Do you have a head? Put the best helmet you can buy on it and leave it there. 'Nuf said.
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post #2 of 114 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 01:31 PM
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8) Where should your bike be during heavy...wind...? In the garage.
So much for those of us who ride the Great Plains
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post #3 of 114 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 06:17 PM
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So much for those of us who ride the Great Plains
I will two up that one. Seen cow cookie's going horizontal a cross the road in Kansas
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post #4 of 114 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 01:24 PM
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bump .
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post #5 of 114 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 03:27 AM
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Thanks for the tips! Noted! I'm still trying to get the hang of counter-steering to turn more tightly. Any helpful suggestions for doing it more smoothly, other than just keep on practicing?

On a motorcycle, suddenly you comprehend the wrongness of speed..."We are running way too fast!" your primal brain screams. "How did this even happen?! ARE WE FALLING?"
And then your rational brain glances in the rear view mirror and says "Speed up, man, this is a school zone: You have to do at least 20 mph."
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post #6 of 114 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 09:36 AM
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Good idea to bump this one. There's been a whole lot of activity in the introductions section lately.

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post #7 of 114 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for the tips! Noted! I'm still trying to get the hang of counter-steering to turn more tightly. Any helpful suggestions for doing it more smoothly, other than just keep on practicing?
Did you take MSF yet? I think I saw in your intro post that you were scheduled to take it soon? They will cover this in the classroom portion and will coach you on it during the riding portion.

The first thing to understand is that it is the lean that is the important part, counter steering just happens to be a very good method for making a bike lean where and when you want it to.

As far as getting better at it, start with empty parking lots at low speed the way you will in the MSF class. As you get more confident, find an empty, wide piece of straight road and try it at higher speeds. When trying it at speed, just give a gentle press on one side of the bars. Not a lot, just a nice easy press until you feel the bike start to lean so that you get comfortable with how much effort it takes to move how far.
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post #8 of 114 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 01:08 PM
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this should make that top 10 list:

ALWAYS KNOW YOUR ESCAPE ROUTES


while you're riding, always be scanning the road for possible obstacles or objects that could interfere with your current path forcing you to make a quick quick decision to suddenly speed up, slow down, or dart to the left or right. so always know where you can put your bike if you have to suddenly move it this way or that. do you leave yourself plenty of room to move your bike in any of those directions or places in your lane?

some martial arts and military installations teach their people to always look for and know multiple exits and multiple objects or techniques to kill anyone in any room they're ever in. i think the same concept carries over. no matter if you're alone on the road or if you're surrounded by traffic, it's part of making you constantly more aware of yourself and your surroundings making you more prepared for any situation you happen to be in.
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post #9 of 114 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 02:12 PM
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this should make that top 10 list:

ALWAYS KNOW YOUR ESCAPE ROUTES
Absolutely.
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post #10 of 114 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 10:04 AM
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Absolutely.
Along with that...

Stay in gear at stop lights/signs
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