Top 10 Riding Tips for Noobs

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8. Keep The Balls Of Your Feet On The Pegs

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Action

Not only does placing the balls of your feet on the pegs reduce the chances of dragging toes while cornering, it also allows you to transfer power from your legs to the motorcycle more efficiently.

We often see new (and even experienced) riders with their heels on the pegs. This is one of the most common rookie mistakes we see, and correcting it has a big impact on handling dynamics. Your legs can produce a lot of force, but how efficiently this force is applied to the bike is key.

Try standing with the majority of your weight on your heels. Now jump as high as you can. Then try the same thing again, only with your weight on the balls of your feet. Big difference.

With your feet correctly placed on the pegs, you can place much more weight on the inside peg while cornering. Side benefit: you’ll scrape your toes a lot less, too. Being on the balls of your feet allows your legs to take load off the seat, with the benefit being the ability to smoothly alter body position and to reduce the shock of hitting a big bump.

This technique is effective on all motorcycles, though cruisers with floorboards instead of pegs won’t notice as much of a difference.

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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.