It often takes new motorcycle riders a little time to get used to their bikes. Rookie mistakes are inevitable, and while they can create great opportunities for learning and growth, they still pose a risk to the rider. Here are four common mistakes new motorcycle riders make, and how they can be avoided.
A motorcycle stalls when an insufficient amount of power is being fed to the bike’s rear wheel to get it moving. Avoiding stalling is all about understanding the clutch lever, which should be let out slowly as throttle is applied. Additionally, it’s important to remember to downshift and to have the clutch lever pulled all the way in as the bike comes to a stop.
Neglecting to Countersteer
In order to get the most out of a motorcycle’s turning ability, it’s essential to remember to countersteer. Countersteering is when a rider briefly steers in the opposite direction of an intended turn to create a lean in the right direction. Once mastered, countersteering easily becomes second nature, and new riders will wonder how they ever turned a corner without it.
Forgetting the Bike’s Fuel Range
Most motorcycles don’t come with fuel gauges, so it’s up to the rider to keep track of how much gas is left in the tank. For a new rider who doesn’t know his or her bike very well yet, running out of fuel somewhere out on the road is an unnerving possibility. Just remember to set the bike’s trip meter to zero after a fill-up and come up with the average fuel use so that it’s clear when the bike needs more gas.
Not Leaving Enough Room
One of the biggest safety precautions a rider can take is leaving enough room between the bike and other vehicles on the road. A minimum of a two-second gap is ideal in dry conditions, while a four-second gap is ideal for wet conditions. It’s also important to have an escape route in case other vehicles drive irresponsibly.