Riding Right: Is Your Bike Ready to Roll?

The only way to be sure your motorcycle is road ready is by performing a pre-ride inspection before every ride. It only takes a few minutes to look things over and check things out. A pre-ride inspection should become as automatic as watching the weather forecast or grabbing your gear.

Riding Right: Press, Lean, Repeat

Most riders say cornering is the one aspect of motorcycling that is different than driving a car. This is at the core of what differentiates motorcyclists from four-wheeled motorists. Going around a curve on a motorcycle is unique. As a single-track vehicle, it turns by leaning. A skilled rider on a late model sportbike might tell you that riding through curves on a twisty road is more like banking an airplane than driving a car.

Riding Right: Finding the Best Riding Position for You

To ride a motorcycle, youre going to have to do some posturing. Riding postures are dictated by two main factors—the design of your bike and the build of your body—both of which can be modified, but only to a point. Sit on as many bikes as possible to find the right combination to fit your needs.

One Way to Avoid Dropping Your Bike

One of the most embarrassing times for a motorcyclist is the moment when he or she drops their bike. In my 18 years in the saddle, I can lay claim to this embarrassment twice. I wont bore you with the same old story of how befuddled I was when it happened…what I will share with you is something I learned to avoid dropping the bike in the future.

Riding Right: Lane Positioning

So you know you and your bike belong on the road, but do you know where? A lane designed for trucks and cars gives you lots of room to ride. Choosing the correct lane position increases your visibility, allows others to see you more readily, and maximizes your space cushion when riding on the street.

Riding Right: You Flunked! Now What?

Congratulations! You flunked the MSF Basic RiderCourse. No, really, this is great news. Why? Because you have some experience, a really good idea of what youre getting yourself into, and a clear assessment of your basic skills at this point.

Never In A Hurry

When I took my motorcycle rider safety course years ago, the instructor told us within the first 15 minutes that hed been riding for 20 years without any accidents. He attributed that to practicing the many safety rules we were about to learn, and to one other personal creed he lived by: “Im NEVER in a hurry when Im on my bike.” He added, “If you remember nothing else in this class, remember that.”

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