We all know how to ride a motorcycle. But, only knowing is not enough to protect ourselves on the road. Riding motorcycle on road is a very risky task which some of us never understand clearly. But, truth is there is no shame to improve your skills and learn few techniques which can really improve your ability to ride more safely and comfortably.
You must know about Gumperson’s Law which stated simply, is “The Contradictory of a welcome probability will assert itself whenever such an event is likely to be most frustrating.” Or another version: The Outcome of a given desired probability will be inverse of the degree of desirability.
In simpler language, it means, the worst possible thing that can happen, will happen – but only at the worst possible time.
Point is, you must always prepare for the worse when you are riding on a road. To reduce such chances of any mishappening, you must learn the science behind riding a motorcycle with more comfortably and safely.
So, follow the fundamental premise: Ride as if you’re invisible.
Controls & Adjustments
Well, it is simple to understand that if you are planning to go for a ride then you must test your bike first. Make sure to check all the control adjustments to see if those are fit and working well or not. It would give you confidence and ability to ride your bike accordingly. This way you can do something against Gumperson’s law by adjusting the controls of your bike.
Handlebars are varying with motorcycles. If you notice, motocross bikes have wide and flat bars which give the riders broad grip to control the bike. However, the racers have low bars, it because to attain higher speed which needs low crouches in a horizontal direction. Such riding style needs low flat bars. When handlebars come attached with a bike, they have a standard size which either suits you or not. So, it is important to do some adjustments in the handlebar to maintain your ideal position while riding.
You can easily adjust handlebars accordingly. All you have to do is loosen the clampdown bolts which are located in the center of the bar and rotate the bars to change the position. You can select your required position and tighten the bolts after them. Just make sure, you don’t rotate the bar carelessly otherwise the wires which are coming from the center of the bars will damage. If you are intending to change the handlebars make sure to purchase the ideal length cable to position the control levers at the end of the bars.
It is important to have a full control over the brake and clutch levers. So, you can adjust control levers at the position where you feel more comfortable and close enough to reach when required. Many people who have small hands have some problems reaching both the clutch and brake levers. So, if you also have small hands and have trouble reaching control levers then you can do a little trick of using Faucet to adjust the levers closer to the handlebar.
You can buy a faucet washer from any hardware store and slip it over the exposed inner cable. But, I will remind you that these faucets tend to wear out. So make sure you purchased enough to use anytime when these fall off.
If you need to adjust your shifter then you can do two types of adjustments in a shifter. But, make sure you avoid extremes otherwise, you may damage your shifter.
If your shifter needs position adjustment then make sure it is not too high or low. Because in both cases you will face a problem. If your shifter positioned so high that your foot leaves the peg to reach out to change the gear then it may affect the stability. On the other hand, if the shifter adjusted too low then it will be in the way of obstacles and may cause some serious problems like damage the transmission in the event of any crash or strong vibration.
Now, if you need adjustment in length then remember, “Don’t extend or shorten a shifter by more than one-third of its original length.”
A small shifter can damage your motorcycle boots and will be difficult to operate. And an extended shifter will be easy to damage since you will have the mechanical advantage.
Follow the same rule of one-third of the original length in the adjustment of Rear Brake Pedal. Just make sure to check the pedal before installing. You can also use some reinforced rubber cover to make sure it won’t bend or break.
Tire Pressure may not seem crucial adjustment to you. But, it is. If you give a little attention to Tire pressure then it is most easily adjusted variable of your motorcycle. So, if you are a daily rider then don’t forget to check the air in your tires regularly at Gas stations. If you are riding with your buddy then don’t forget to put a little air in and remove after your dropping your buddy.
Clothing & Equipment
Clothing and equipment are also very important for a motorcycle rider to ride safely on a road. In fact, every sport or extreme activity require suitable protective gear and Motorcycle riding is no different than any sports activity. Full Protective riding gear means safety helmet certified with the safety standard, full-sleeves motorcycle jacket, over the ankle boots, and motorcycle gloves etc. Here we study all one by one.
A helmet is not a “cure-all” for motorcycle safety but it can help you to protect your brain, face, and even can save your life. If you wear helmet combined with rest of the motorcycle gear then it can reduce several injuries during any accident. Wearing a helmet shows that motorcyclists are responsible people; plus wearing a helmet no matter what other people says, is a projection of your attitude towards riding. So, let’s discuss few things about the helmet.
There are three basic styles of helmet each has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Advantages – Half helmets are lightweight which provide excellent ventilation, cooling to the rider, better comfort level, and protection to the top part of your head.
- Disadvantages – No chin bar to protect your chin and no slot to attach face shield to the front.
- Advantages – Open-Face Helmets has face shield to block direct air. It provides excellent ventilation to the rider, and also very comfortable which also protect the rider’s face and rear neck area.
- Disadvantages – Little heavy and no chin bar to protect lower face area and neck.
- Advantages – Full-face helmets provide ultimate protection to the rider, higher comfort level, and safety from obstacles and dust particles etc.
- Disadvantages – It limits the lateral vision, less ventilation compared to open face & half, and limit the neck movement too.
So, figure out which helmet will be suitable for you and pick the safety helmet of the right size to wear while riding. After all, fit of the helmet is also the main concern here otherwise if it too loses or too tight helmet will distract you while riding an on road which may cause some mishap. To learn about the Best Motorcycle Helmets and “How to Choose the Right Size Helmet?” You can visit nearby helmet store or go through online stores to explore safety helmets.
Eye Protection is also very important point to concern about while riding a motorcycle on the road. However, for many people it is just a personal preference.
Well, I think it is not entirely false. Anyways, you must get whatever seems to enable you to see best and be comfortable. Whether you wear Sunglasses, Bubble shields, or Flat face shields etc.
Motorcycle Gloves are best known for providing abrasion protection and weather protection. So, if you travel in cold weather then you need insulated mittens or full-grain large leather gloves. But, if you are riding in hot summer then you need modern light fabric gloves which also provide ventilation to your hands.
There are different types of motorcycle gloves which help you in different riding conditions.
Anyone who has had an accident resulting in an ankle or leg injury will always emphasize to wear Motorcycle Boots to you. So, if someone say such thing to you, heed.
Motorcycle Boots provide crash and abrasion protection to your legs and ankles in a case of an accident. Choosing right motorcycle boots is not an easy task. But, you must have a decent right pair of motorcycle shoes which match your riding style and give protection to your foot and ankle in case of any mishap.
Whether you believe or not. But, Motorcycle Jacket is a very important piece of a riding gear which also provide weather protection the rider in harsh weathers. Nowadays, many motorcycle jackets come with additional armor padding in chest, elbows, and shoulder areas. These jackets are designed for extreme conditions, off-road racers, GP racers, and to ride in hot summer. You can also choose the classic leather jackets which are highly known for their natural protection and now these leather jackets are designed and come in bright colors which ensure your visibility.
So, if you are looking for a motorcycle jacket then make sure you choose the right fit.
To be continued..