The first month of motorcycle riding is the most important period for every motorcycle rider because it will have an enormous impact on how you’ll drive in the future. That’s why it’s critical to set the foundations from the beginning because this will ensure that you’ll stay safe and avoid newbie mistakes. From street motorcycles to scooters, the fundamental principles of riding, maintaining the bike, and other factors that we’ll mention in this post are universal for all types of motorcycles, and they are best learned from the experts. That’s why we asked the experts for pieces of advice and came up with the top six tips for your first month of riding a motorcycle.
Since you’re new to motorcycle riding, chances are that you aren’t familiar with this term. T-CLOCS stands for tires and wheels, controls, lights and electronics, oil and other fluids, chassis, and stands. The idea of T-CLOCS is to get into the habit of inspecting your bike before each ride, to ensure that things always go smoothly. This will allow you to notice any potential issues your bike could have, and learn more about motorcycle repair and maintenance. Always start the T-CLOCS inspection in the order we described above, and check your bike’s condition thoroughly to stay safe at all times.
Wear Appropriate Motorcycle Gear
From the moment you start riding, get into the habit of wearing the motorcycle gear whenever you’re on the motorcycle. This will decrease the risk of potential injuries in case of an accident, which can happen even to the most skilled bikers. Every riding outfit needs to include at least:
- Motorcycle helmet
- Over the ankle boots
- Motorcycle jacket
- Motorcycle gloves
- Thick motorcycle pants
Ride Like You’re Invisible
Data from the insurance companies showed that there is the highest possibility for motorcycle accidents during the first month of riding. That’s because, during this period, riders are still developing their skills and are probably not riding defensively. But this is a massive mistake, and every experienced rider will tell you that the key to a safe ride is to drive like you’re invisible and don’t assume that other drivers will notice you. This is because most of the other drivers are used to looking for cars and other bigger vehicles, but not motorcycles. Even if they see you, they probably won’t notice you simply because they aren’t looking for motorcycles, and their brains are focused on other things. Keep this in mind each time you go out for a ride and you won’t have any troubles.
Practice Slow Speed Maneuvering
Slow speed maneuvering is a very significant skill, which takes lots of time, patience, and practice. Many newbie riders neglect this because they don’t realize how useful slow-speed maneuvering is. As you keep riding, you’ll find yourself in confined areas very often, and that’s when the slow-speed maneuvering comes in. The first month from the moment of obtaining your motorcycle license, find an empty parking lot and practice. If possible, take someone more experienced with you and you’ll learn faster. Learn how to do smooth starts and stops, turns, u-turns, and figure eights, but at a walking pace. Once you get better, you’ll become more confident in riding and you’ll avoid damaging your bike too.
Examine The Road Ahead You
Since you have much more to worry about than someone who drives a car, you need to pay extra attention to the road ahead of you. This is done by practicing scanning and situational awareness, so always examine the road for potential hazards like leaves, sand, potholes, gravel, or anything else that might be dangerous. The main goal is to get used to riding carefully, and avoid those hazards on time, so you can drive as safely as you can.
Don’t Ride In Poor Weather Conditions
If possible, don’t ride in poor weather conditions at all, during your first month of riding a motorcycle. The rain will decrease your visibility and make a huge impact on steering, braking, and reacting. If you really must ride in those conditions, make sure to avoid any sudden moves and full speed and pay extra attention to the wind which can push you from the sides of the road.