The following tips, tricks, and techniques are things I have learned over the years: some have taught me, others I have learned by observing better and faster motorcyclists, still others I have simply learned from myself and I like to share them with others when I have the ability to do so. To some of you, some of these tips may seem basic or rudimentary, but too often I see riders sporting bad habits or a lack of basic skills that can potentially lead to thorny situations. We advise you to choose the best led headlight for Harley Davidson.
Riding a motorcycle is risky enough on its own, so let’s all do ourselves a favor and review together some techniques and skills listed here with the aim of becoming more conscientious and confident riders. Your mileage may vary depending on some of these, but I like to drive like that.
1. Two Fingers on the Clutch
Two fingers are all we actually need to modulate the clutch lever. Using all four fingers can be fine when standing still or if your clutch is particularly stiff, but once you’re off one or two fingers are perfect for modulating the clutch as you drive around town.
Granted, I learned this technique more by riding off-road, where the terrain is more challenging and requires you to have more grip for control of the bike, but no doubt the same technique also carries over to the road. By using just two fingers (or just one) on the clutch or brake, the rider undoubtedly has more control over the bikebecause both hands have a firm grip on the handlebar. If you need to use four fingers to push the clutch lever, you may need to give the cable a lubricate. Many new bikes, such as the Versys X 300, have a “slip assist” clutch with super light levers that encourage my one- or two-finger technique. Using four to hold the clutch back against the grip for an extended period of time is fine, but remember that your clutch is not an all-or-nothing command.
If you are a pilot who uses all four fingers for each shift, the next time you go out for a ride try to use only two. It may seem strange at first, but with a little patience and practice you will be able to do it like a real pro in no time. To speed up the process, I recommend that you get one of those grip-like gizmos to strengthen the grip to use at home while watching TV, reading or while driving – ha! But don’t get distracted, focus on the road. Most clutches today already have a very light grip, but it’s not uncommon for your wrists and forearms to get tired after a long day of driving, especially if you have to commute and find yourself using the clutch often. Using something to strengthen your grip will certainly relieve fatigue. And moreover,
In an ideal world, two fingers on the brake lever will always be enough to make the front wheel screech. In our world, it depends on the bike. Some of them will make you squeeze the brake lever over your ring finger and little finger when you have to brake hard, if you use two fingers, and it can be a very unpleasant thing. Know the limits of your vehicle and be prepared to crush with all four fingers if this is what your front brake needs to decelerate to the maximum.
2. Adjust the Clutch to Your Preferences
One way or another, all motorcycle clutches can be adjusted to the rider’s preference. Some are adjusted by the cable, others can be changed by the register on the strut, and hydraulic clutches with master cylinder have a knob or screw that you can turn to move the clutch back and forth. There is no right or wrong position, as long as the clutch works properly – that means it doesn’t have to slip or fully engage or disengage. For each motorcyclist the clutch area can be unique according to his personal preference.
For example, I squeeze the lever with my index and middle finger until it rests on my little finger and ring finger. I like that the clutch engages as soon as I start to release the lever. In that time range, I feel I have a direct and predictable connection with no distraction between the engine and transmission. The benefits of this technique are most evident at low or restricted speeds when clutch use is crucial. Also, keeping two fingers on the handlebar (three by counting the thumb) and two on the clutch or brake will help you steer and use the controls better and independently of each other, rather than just hooking the knob with your thumb and holding four fingers. on the levers.
If you prefer to keep the clutch area further away, where you can quickly ventilate the clutch, that’s fine anyway. The point here is more about being aware that a rider can adjust the clutch to his preference, rather than just leaving it as he finds it. Play it until you realize how you prefer to keep it.
3. Practice Turning Left and Right in a Circle
It may seem too basic or even silly, but this rudimentary exercise will help you immensely. Believe it or not, turning left is generally easier than turning right on a motorcycle. This happens for two specific reasons: first of all, people are used to using the right hand and it is therefore easy to remove the dumbbell with the dominant arm. (At high speed, of course, moving the right side away will make you rotate to the right). Second, and it’s the most significant reason, is that the rear brake lever is on the right, which means it’s much harder to brake and put one foot down if you’re turning right. This is the reason why in racing, motocross and especially supercross (where the riders slow down strongly at the first corner),
This exercise is best done in an empty parking lot where you can use the lines painted on the ground as a guide. Start by going left, making counterclockwise circles that get tighter and tighter. Then, do the same thing in reverse, to the right, clockwise. You will realize that this will be a little more difficult. This exercise will help you improve not only your balance, but also your low speed and confined space maneuvering skills.
4. Imagine the Eights
Same idea as above, but now let’s merge the right turn with the left one, one after the other. Same exercise – start as wide as possible and progressively tighten the trajectory. You have surely heard motorcyclists talking about motorcycle handling, i.e. the ability to move the bike from side to side and smoothly connect the right turn with the left one. Make sure you start slowly. Practicing slowly will help you improve quickly (we all crawl before learning to walk).
5. Practice Hard Braking
This exercise can be done in an empty parking lot or on open roads, just don’t do it anywhere on busy roads. The idea is to realize how fast your bike can brake, because you never know when you might need to brake like that. Practice braking as fast as possible by accelerating at different speeds to see how far your bike takes to be completely stationary. In fact, you definitely don’t have to “hit” your brake. You should initially squeeze it gently, increasing the pressure when necessary.
Getting to the stop from 40Km / h will certainly happen earlier and at a shorter distance than 60Km / h – obviously – but the bike will react and respond in different ways. Stopping quickly from a high speed will undulate and disturb the balance of the bike more and differently than at a lower speed, so it is good to familiarize yourself with the expectations and learn to modulate the lever for optimal braking. Also, this exercise will help you find the limits of your bike , hoping you don’t have to go beyond them.
In addition, if your bike is equipped with ABS, you should know how and when the system engages.
Some ABS systems engage earlier than others with varying levels of lever sensitivity. But remember that ABS is an aid to the rider, not a safety net.
6. Tiptoe Driving Tiptoe driving will help you to better control the bike.
The footpegs of the motorcycle are not just a place to rest your feet. Just like the inputs on the handlebars, balancing the weight of the feet has an effect on the handling of the bike. Squeezing both sides can not only help steer, but also keep your balance more stable as you bend.
Another benefit of driving on tiptoe is adding more suspension. Your body must react as if it were part of the suspension, not the frame. Moving your feet up and down can help you traverse bumps and curves with greater conviction and greater control. In addition, it will give you more ground clearance, meaning the footplates will touch the ground before your feet do.
But what about the milliseconds you might lose having to move your feet and brake lever in an emergency? As motorcyclists we can become someone’s ornament in no time, so it’s our job to constantly scan the road to find any possible danger. I always use the rear brake because it doesn’t upset the balance of the bike which causes falls as much as the front one. In congested circumstances, or especially when lanes divide, yes, the rear brake must be used. But under normal circumstances, try to stay on your toes.
7. Stick to the Tank
This is more applicable to standard or sport bikes and less to touring ones, however it is a good practice to sit as close to the gas tank as possible – you really have to stick to it. The main reason for doing this is that it will help you balance the bike by keeping the weight as centralized and distributed as possible. A balanced bike is easier to manage when you accelerate, turn or brake.
8. Don’t Look Where You Go, But Look Where You Want To Go We
hear often, but it is never enough, and it has a lot to do with road setting – a major cause of motorcycle accidents. In most cases it happens when a motorcyclist takes a bend too fast and rather than watching the road safely as it turns, he becomes fixated on the danger of taking it too wide, or worse still, the relentless fear of collision. Your bike tends to go where your gaze goes , so focus on where you want to go. Fixing your point of arrival with your eyes is a natural phenomenon but, if done with practice and repetition, you could become faster and more alert bikers, you just have to force yourself to do it.
9. Positioning Correctly in the Lane
Another practice that is always but commonly ignored is lane positioning. As a motorcyclist, you are vulnerable and you need to position yourself so that you are easily visible and give yourself as much space as possible for potential maneuvers. I will not list all the potential situations because they are infinite, however I will only mention the most common ones.
Whether you are riding alone or in a group, the first rider should be positioned on the left side of the lane. This way you will not only be more visible to others on the street, but you will also have more visibility for yourself.
When driving in a group, sway alternately between the right and left side of the lane, and don’t bump into each other. Give yourself enough space to maneuver when needed – there is nothing worse than having one of your friends bump into you because not enough space has been left.
Once again, always be certain of the changes happening around you and constantly scan the way for potential dangers. If you see a car that can potentially turn left, and by pure chance, it does not see you and proceed with the maneuver, you must be ready.
At the intersection, whether you find a stop or a traffic light, position yourself (again) on the left side of the lane and try to attract attention but without preventing traffic. Let yourself be seen and let the machines be aware of being around you. Motorcycles have the same right as cars to be on the street, but that’s not something you should ever insist on.
Ah, and don’t drive in the blind spots.
Apart from everything, the main purpose of riding should be to have fun. It is a bond between man and machine, a relationship that will only blossom with care, trust and patience. A motorcyclist needs to learn about the bike and how it works. Just like people, they are all different, each of them has unique strengths, weaknesses and characteristics.
Like anything on earth, motorcycles are subject to our own physical law. The bike will move around you, dance and move. Let them do it. Hold on, but avoid the death grip or putting yourself at risk. Once the bike is in motion, the gyroscopic effect of the wheels will help you maintain stability and follow a straight line. Small inputs can get big results, so play it and make yourself comfortable, learn to trust. But remember, regardless of whether you’ve been driving for days or decades, sometimes it happens. It is up to us to try and minimize the risk that comes with the road .
I hope these tips, tricks, and techniques that I have adopted over the years can somehow bring you some benefits. Even the best rider can always improve their skills, and for those just starting out, these exercises are a great way to develop their skills and build a trusting relationship with their bike.