Well, the hardest things for me to learn are also the things that have saved me from crashing. They are as follows:
1. Look where you want to go – The motorcycles goes where you are looking, so if you are taking a turn too fast and you see that guard rail (or oncoming car) coming at you at light speed you have to remember NOT to look at it. It usually takes all my brain power, but I have to force myself to not look at the thing I might crash into, and instead look through the turn to where I want to be.
2. Trust the Lean – This is especially true for beginner motorcyclists. The motorcycle can safely lean a lot farther than you think it can, so if you are once again taking a turn too hot and you think that you might lowside if you lean any farther, chances are you won’t. Just trust the lean and look where you want to go.
3. Don’t brake in a turn – This isn’t a completely hard and fast rule, but in general if you brake while leaned over the motorcycle will have a tendency to abort the lean and stand up straight. Sometimes you can sort of drag your rear brake a little bit, but in reality you should brake before the turn, and then accelerate through the turn.
There have been probably a dozen times in my riding career where those three things have saved my ass. In fact about 3 weeks ago I was going to work and I took a 3 lane offramp a lot faster than I normally would, and in a lane I hadn’t ridden before. Little did I know that lane had a huge dip right at the apex of the curve. My thought process went something like this:
Ok, I’m going to take this turn really fast.
Crap this might be too fast
*Thud as the motorcycle hits the dip mid lean*
Oh god i’m going to crash.
Thank god i’m wearing my gear. Hopefully I won’t hit that guardrail. (No joke, I actually thought that!)
Don’t brake in the turn.
Do NOT look at the guardrail that i’m about to run into.
Slowly ease off the gas.
I made it!!! woo woo!
All of that took place in the space of about 1, maybe 2 seconds. If I hadn’t followed those rules I mentioned then chances are I would have froze up, ran straight into the guardrail and totaled my bike. I think the hardest things to learn are stuff you have to remember when you are under pressure.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin