Top Tips for New Riders & Frequently Asked Questions
Tackling the road solo for the first time can be a nervous experience. Luckily for you, VRM Paint offer you more than high-quality professional motorcycle paint, but also excellent advice for your beginners.
Frequently Asked Questions from New Riders
I have recently passed my test, how can I prepare to ride on my own?
The first thing is to make sure you are free of stress, anxiety, and worry. Focus on the ride and be ready for any sudden circumstance. It is also important to practice. Use an empty parking lot or a quiet road to practice the skills you learnt during your training. Finally, make sure both you and your bike are fueled up!
What do I consider on my first time riding with others?
Peer pressure can be a risk when riding in groups. A new rider might ride above the speed limits and their abilities to impress a friend or simply to keep up with other, more experienced riders. We recommend going for your first group ride with someone you can trust to lead you and let you learn for yourself.
What are the common mistakes for beginners and how do I prepare for them?
One of the most common mistakes for beginners is to not appreciate their surroundings and situation. A country road is not the same as a city commuting and therefore neither should your riding. You need to be prepared for different risks and unexpected circumstances. For example, you may have an animal run across the road in a country lane or another driver not stopping for a red light in the city.
Each situation will have different risks, so be prepared for them.
How can I avert small mistakes, such as being in the wrong lane?
Unintentional mistakes will become less and less the more you practice. Familiarize yourself with the controls on your bike and be know how to respond in unexpected scenarios. Sticking with the wrong lane mistake, if you drive the same road regularly, you will soon find you no longer are in the wrong lane, because you learnt from your previous mistake.
Never be afraid to ask more experienced riders for help and advice either. We have all been through the learning process.
What top tips would you give a rider who has been riding less than 6 months?
Riding schools are there to teach you the basic skills and knowledge, but it is up to you to practice and perfect them. If you want to learn more skills, there are plenty of specialized schools which can teach you new skills as well as help you improve the ones you have.
Another top tip is to invest in the right gear. Make sure it fits comfortable, is appropriate for the weather where you live and conforms to safety standards.
How can I improve to stop stalling often?
Stalling happens when there is not enough power going from the engine to the rear wheel. Practice your clutch and throttle control in an empty parking lot or street to master your start. You need enough rpms with a slow clutch release to get a smooth start. Find the ‘biting point’ of your bike’s clutch, as this is key to a smooth start. Then become comfortable applying the throttle to begin moving. And remember, each bike is different so get to know yours.
Is it important to check your bike over before every ride?
Yes, it is important. Nobody expects you to do a full maintenance check before every ride but checking the essentials and safety checks are important. Check your headlight, brake lights and indicators, hoses for any visible damage and your fuel range (enough gas for the journey). These check not only help prevent personal risks, but also prevent you becoming a hazard to other road users and/or from breaking down.
I want to stop having my finger on both the break and the clutch levers, how can I change this?
Beginner rides will ride with a finger on the levers, and that is okay. But as you become more experienced, it is logical for you to want to stop doing this. The best advice is to be aware of the situation you are in. Going back to the example of different riding styles for country roads on inner cities, you may find that having your fingers on the levers in the city is easier and helps you react quicker to the unexpected risks of the city, whereas on a country road you feel more free to have no fingers on the levers.
Practice and gain experience, this way you can find what works for you, as we all ride with our own style.
Should I invest in motorcycle gear?
If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you will know that we at VRM advocate safety and the importance of high-quality gear.
Your riding gear doesn’t have to be the most expensive in the shop, but it does have to comply with safety regulations, feel comfortable and be able to keep you safe. Every rider should invest in a helmet, gloves, a jacket, boots and riding trousers. It must also be suitable for riding in different weathers. While looking cool on your ride is important, keeping yourself safe is more important. So, if you can’t afford a leather jacket with all the protective padding and reinforcements, buy a textile riding jacket and not a cheap leather jacket thinking it will do the same job. It won’t.
The best advice for beginner riders, regardless of what you are riding is to dress for the slide, not for the ride.
What is a safe distance between me and the vehicle ahead?
Following a vehicle to closely is a risk, as it leaves you with less time to respond should it suddenly brake, but also because it blocks your vision in front. The best distance to follow a vehicle is applying what is called the two second rule – to implement this rule simply pick a marker, say a sign on the side of the road, and count the time between the vehicle in front passing it and you passing it, if it is 2-seconds or above, you are at a safe distance.