To be fast and safe – this is what most motorcycle riders would like to accomplish while they are on the road. Unfortunately, these two things do not always go hand in hand. Some drivers, with the intent to be swift, compromise their safety. Others, however, are too careful on the road and they end up being too slow.
If you want to become a faster and safer rider, there is no magic formula you can follow. Nonetheless, it will help to keep in mind the things that will be mentioned in the rest of this post.
Maintain your Bike
This is the most important if you want your bike to be fast and safe. Maintaining the bike in its tip-top shape should be on the top of the to-do list of any rider. You have to spend time on inspecting your ride and determining possible problems. When there is an issue, you should have it addressed as soon as possible before riding.
You will need to have fresh tires and brake pads. You also have to make sure that all the required fluids will be on the right level. Lubricating the moving parts is necessary so that your ride will end up being smooth and safe. Take a look at the brake fluid and see to it that it is still clear instead of being murky. There should be no leaks. The chains should also be in their best condition. There should be no awkward or unwanted noise from any part.
Assume the Proper Position
It is also critical to learn the proper position when you are riding your motorbike. You should assume a good grip of the handlebars. However, you should not be too tight or too firm. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing fine motor control. The other parts of the body will get stiff, making it more difficult to be responsive to what the situation requires.
Aside from your hands, the legs should also have the right position and should be as relaxed as possible. At its most basic, it is similar to riding a horse. You will squeeze your knees and legs against the gas tank. This is where you should be tighter and not in the upper body. When the pressure is in the lower body, it frees up the upper body, which will make it easy to steer the motorcycle to the intended direction.
Do Not Make the Goal Faster
It is important that you do not go faster beyond what you are comfortable with. You should know your limit. Remember, speed is a byproduct. If your goal is to be faster than anyone else, you will most probably just end up twisting the throttle. It is easy to do that, but the consequences can be serious, especially if you are not prepared for it.
In most instances, because of the desire to be ahead of anyone on the road, riding technique is compromised. You might be too competitive at times, being too focused on speeding. Some riders feel as if they are on the race track, even if the truth is they are on a highway. The ego of some riders can get the better of them. Remember, you are not in a hurry. There is no price if you are ahead of other riders. Better be safe than sorry!
Enter with a Plan
Riding an actual motorbike is a lot different than what you can play in a video game. In a video game, there are lines that will guide you. There are lights on the side of the track that would tell you whether to go faster or slow down. In real life, yes, there can be lines, but they are not always helpful. You need to have a plan all the time. Presence of mind is important to be fast and safe.
When you are riding in a place with curves and turns, there are generally three parts – entrance, apex, and exit. You need to slow down when reaching the apex and you have to be wide. At this point, you should be slowing down. Once the exit is in sight, this is the only time that you can begin accelerating. You already have a full view of what is ahead.
Stay on your Seat
In the old days, a lot of racers would ride with their ass off the seat. At first, it seems like this is nothing but a douchey maneuver. However, there is actually a reason for this. Among others, it will be helpful in terms of improving their balance. However, in these modern times, it is no longer necessary. It would be best to stay on your seat so as not to compromise your safety. New technologies have reimagined the frame design, so there is no need to take your ass off the seat.
If you take your seat off the motorcycle, there is a risk that your body will be disconnected from the ride. What follows next is that you will most likely end up losing control. Your body will end up rolling off the motorbike.
Let the Corner Come to You
Riding faster and safer also entails the need to learn how you will approach the corner. As a basic rule, you do not come to the corner. Instead, it is the other way around and you let the corner come to you. You should never attack or dominate a corner.
You need to know when you have to use the brakes when you are approaching a corner. You should not do it at the last second of the approach. This will demonstrate unpreparedness. You need to push the brake lightly and early on. If you brake early and if turns out that the corner is tighter than what you have initially thought, all that you have to do is to apply a little more pressure to slow down or stop the motorcycle. If it is not too tight, on the other hand, you can loosen the brake a bit.
Slow Hands Make Fast Riders
When your hands are slower, your rides will be smoother. This ultimately makes it safer as well. Do not look at the ground. When you do so, you will have a high sense of speed, as well as anxiety. Instead, you should look forward. This way, your anxiety and sense of speed will be lower. You can see what is ahead of you and it gives your hands better control of the motorbike.
When your hands are slow, your inputs will also be slow. Consequently, this will have minimal impact on the chassis or the tire. If you think that slow hands will make your speed slower, you are wrong. It still makes you fast, but the only difference is that you are safer because you think first before you twist the throttle and accelerate.
In sum, for a safer and faster ride, take note of the tips that have been mentioned above. Do not treat every ride as a race! There is no trophy waiting at your destination! Your safety should be the most important concern.