5 Common Mistakes Made By Beginner Motorcycle Riders
All experienced motorcycle riders were once beginners, we have all made mistakes and taken different steps to prevent them from happening again. Here are a few common mistakes of many first time riders:
# 1 Buying a bike first
Some new riders are so excited to get going on their moto journey that they buy a bike before learning to ride. They also attempt to buy big as to not waste money on a bike they will only want to ride for a season or so. We recommend you take your time, take a rider course where you can get an idea of how certain bikes maneuver and fit you, then start test riding some bikes to see what makes you smile the most :)
# 2 Poor clutch control
Clutch control is one of the biggest things people struggle with. Its all about small gentle adjustements and not treating it like an on/off switch.
One of the reasons some new riders struggle is they try treating a motorcycle clutch like a car clutch. Cars have a dry clutch. It is more about getting the clutch disengaged as quickly as possible as staying in the friction zone in a car is damaging and will wear out your clutch. Most motorcycles have a wet clutch, meaning it is encased in oil. With a motorcycle, slipping the clutch and using the friction zone provides smoother riding and greater balance thus less wobbling as we pull away.
# 3 Stopping with the bars turned
Context: you are about to stop at a red light and you are making a right hand turn. As you approach your stop point you are looking left as to check for a safe gap in traffic, however you apply the front brake as your bars are slightly turned right in ready for your turn and... Surprise! Your bike magically gains 10,000lbs and you struggle to hold it upright or, sadly, you may even drop your motorcycle.
The best recommendation we can give, and something definitely reinforced in your MSF class, is to always straighten the bars by the time the bike is fully stopped. This will help keep the weight of the motorcycle balanced and happy and dent free!
# 4 Forgetting to Cancel/Use Your Turn Signals
Forgetting to cancel or use your turn signals is a common beginner motorcycle rider mistake. Once you start riding you'll start seeing it happen to beginners and long-term riders alike. Some motorcycles are equipped with self-cancelling signals, though this isn't common. In a car the turn signal is automatically cancelled once the turn is complete. This isn't the case with motorcycles where you have manual turn it off. Be sure to use and cancel your signals, allowing you to send the correct signals to the traffic around you.
# 5 Not Practicing
Practice makes better! Even if you did not take our riders course, it is so important to find a safe place and practice your emergency skills! Braking, swerving, turning from a stop and curve technique are the main skills you should practice regularly in an open parking lot with decent asphalt. Of course, we would definitely recommend taking a BRC2 or Advanced course to get feedback and tips from certified rider coaches and help improve your skills every riding season.
About Us: We have provided the highest quality MSF certified motorcycle rider education in Utah since 1985. We focus on helping riders develop and improve skills with the belief that skilled riders are safer, and get more enjoyment from the ride.