Top 10 Riding Tips for Noobs

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9. Passenger Preparation

Honda Gold Wing Wheelie

It’s best to thoroughly communicate with your passenger what they should do when they’re back there. Especially if you’re going to pull something like this.

If you plan on taking a passenger along for a ride, make sure to give them a prep talk, especially if they’re inexperienced pillions. Some noob passengers get spooked by the sensation of a motorcycle leaning into corners and try to counter that effect by leaning in the opposite direction, which can cause the bike to behave unpredictably. The best advice for a passenger is to direct them to simply look over your shoulder as the bike is turning.

Adding the weight of a passenger high and rearward drastically alters the balance of a motorcycle, so be prepared to accommodate this. This is especially true at low speeds when the bike is less stable. If they want to wiggle around, tell them to do it only at higher speeds or while at a stop, not while you’re lane-splitting between a line of delivery vans. Assuming, of course, lane splitting is legal where you live.

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  • Jake

    My MSF course almost docked me a few points for covering the brake. But I still passed.

  • dm

    Same as Jake above, MSF instructors tried to break me of this old habit. I enjoyed the course, though.

  • nelson mariano

    very useful tips to us.
    please,keep sending them so we can avoid crashing and falls
    thanks
    nelson
    Brazil

  • Alvin Davenport

    A couple of suggestions I might add: On 2-lane roads, when approaching a string of on-coming traffic, I try to move to the right side of my lane. Not only does it reduce the impact of wind and debris from the passing vehicles, it also makes me more visible to drivers who may be planning an overtaking attempt. Also, I like to make passes on the freeway in two steps. First, I begin the pass and move near the center of the two lanes, check my mirror again, then complete the pass. Of course, traffic density and speed may make this difficult, but the second mirror check may find a vehicle you didn’t see before.

  • ricardo

    Good tips for the new riders, and for more experience ones as well, keep it up guys.

  • Lou V

    Two additional tips. Rarely do i hear bikers using their horns. First off replace the toot-toot factory horn with a louder sound and don’t be afraid to USE IT. Whenever a car is waiting to merge or pull out into my path i flash my lights and blow the horn. I want to engage as many of their 5 senses as possible to insure they know I am coming. Secondly, whenever making a left turn, glance in your rear view to insure an impatient cage is not passing you.

  • Steven H.

    If you own a motorcycle that has only one small low beam for your head lights – buy some LED’s for the front fork so you can be seen better. You’ll notice drivers won’t be pulling out of side streets into your path as much.

  • Brent Chronister

    Never ever never trust your mirrors when making a lane change or any maneuver that is going to change your position on the highway, even if staying in your own lane. a cager or one of your riding buddies may be crowding your space. ALWAYS LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER, it may just save your bacon. I can say this from experience.

  • Ken C.

    Another important addition:

    LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.

    I see newbies run wide in turns because they’re too fixated on where they don’t want to end up – in the oncoming lane – and sure enough, they usually end up there anyway. I was guilty of this when I first started riding too. Keeping your eyes looking ahead on the path you want to be riding on is absolutely crucial, and requires practice.