All motorcyclists, even the oldest ones, were once beginners. If we are not all in the same boat, there are certain milestones that we all go through one day. First Vs addressed to a group of bikers crossed on the road, first omissions of crutches, first shivers in a tunnel. Here we make an inventory of all the mistakes made by beginners on a motorcycle!
The kickstand, my worst enemy
I get on my motorcycle, I turn on the engine and I go into first gear. Rookie mistake! I’m sure you’ve guessed it, I didn’t remove my crutch. It's as if I’ve activated my circuit breaker, my motorcycle stalls. In itself, nothing serious, except that it is never very good for the engine. But it’s still a damn good rookie mistake and probably one of the most common.
Another rookie mistake attributable to this filthy kickstand: driving with it only partially raised. Yes, a slightly worn or seized up spring quickly keeps your kickstand in an intermediate position.
Note to all beginners who read this: remember to always check where your kickstand is before starting the engine of your motorcycle!
Stop on a slightly uneven road
Here too, we are dealing with a problem that only beginners will encounter. Why? Quite simply because once you have confronted it, you are no longer fooled so easily!
Context: here you are about to stop at a red light but the road is slightly inclined on the sides. By putting your foot on the ground, you are surprised by the difference in height and all the weight of your motorcycle is put on this same leg. Surprised and/or unaccustomed, you risk not managing the weight of your machine correctly. It is then very likely that you will drop your motorcycle. There is nothing to be ashamed of! It happens to a lot of new riders. At best, you're just a little ashamed of your clumsiness. At worst, you get away with a small scratch on your tank and damaged handles. Nothing serious!
Just remember: at a traffic light, stop in the middle of the lane and not on the side. If you have to stop on the side, pay attention to the shape of the road (look out for gutters, potholes and other sidewalks).
Braking in curves
The ultimate rookie mistake!
What biker has not one day braked stupidly in a curve believing (rightly or wrongly) that he was going too fast for this bend? Whether on small cliff roads or roundabouts, admit it: you too foolishly decided to grab your brake lever thinking it was the only solution to get out of it. In bends, if you think you are going too fast, the best attitude to adopt is to watch the exit of the bend and maintain a constant trickle of throttle. Easier said than done? Certainly. But the look is so lifesaving on a motorcycle! Don't underestimate the strength of your gaze. It directs your whole body in the direction you want to go. Your bike will just have to follow the movement and you will get through it without a hitch.
However, let's put things into perspective. We all did this straight one day which left us with a few cold sweats, especially when small gravel awaits you on the low side. A tracker who is a bit tired from his training can also lose focus and end up in the gravel pits because of a badly negotiated turn. Our advice will be the following: make your weapons, young padawan of the motorcycle! Avoid putting yourself in the heap to learn, but confronting yourself with the difficulties will allow you to identify them in order to better avoid them.
Manhole Covers and Other Floor Markings
Real biker traps, white markings, manhole covers and other plastic speed bumps have clearly not been designed for lovers of 2-wheelers. We can have all the dexterity in the world, brake or turn on one of them in wet weather, it's almost certain.
We have no advice to teach you how to manage these difficulties. The only solution: avoid them. Avoid them in all weathers but especially when it rains. There is no secret.
And in the case of huge zebras as we sometimes find to mark out bus locations? If you really can't avoid them, be extra careful, brake beforehand and keep your bike as straight as possible once on it.
Overconfidence in lineups
Every week at Liberty, we call injured bikers to hear from them. Half of the accidents are due to rising queues on expressways (motorways, ring roads and national roads during rush hour). Knowing that, we almost want to give up the ascent of the line on 2-wheelers… Almost! Because what makes the motorcycle's charm is also to be able to save time by sparing traffic jams. Also, to prevent us from calling you too, here are our tips:
limit your speed, look for motorists in the mirrors to make sure they have seen you, but above all… limit your speed! Really. This is what will allow you to react well in the event of an unforeseen dislocation.
Parking on a slope
Not dangerous but very annoying to get out of, parking on a slope is one of the worst situations a young motorcyclist can encounter. It disgusts you as an apprentice biker in less time than a trip in hail!
Parking on a slope is when, for example, you park on the low side thinking of backing up to start again, except that the road is on a slope. Motorcycles, you know, are quite heavy and especially not equipped with reverse gear (except for big road cars. But if you are a beginner, you certainly don't ride a big road car). You will have to push your bike backwards with the sole strength of your calves, without slipping or falling. After being fooled once or twice, you will probably prefer to park on a flat spot.
Our advice: if you are the dizzy type, never ride alone. Thus, your partner will be able to put his motorcycle on a stand and come and pull your motorcycle if you ever find yourself in a delicate position. If you are dizzy and have to ride alone, opt for shoes with good non-slip soles. Once parked on a slope, they will be your best allies to get you out of this misstep.
Fichu disc lock
Who has never forgotten their disc lock before leaving? So, we are talking here about the mistakes made by motorcycle beginners but it can happen to all bikers. Whether they have 5 months or 5 years of experience, the disc lock is the enemy of all bikers. Unless you use the small neon yellow plastic cord which will visually remind you that you have locked your wheel. That saved more than one motorcycle! One does not go without the other, know that.
Ride to music
It's not really one of the mistakes made by beginners on a motorcycle, it's more of a mistake you make until you realize it's a mistake. In music, we do not perceive the surrounding noise. You will tell us, it is the same as a motorist driving with the sound system on full blast. But the vulnerability of the biker logically leads to excessive caution. It's pretty cool to hear what's going on around us to avoid risky situations. And then hearing the nice sound of your bike, it's still more fun, isn't it?
These are just some of the mistakes a beginner can make but if you have any question on something you’d like to know, be sure to pop into the CMW shop or send us an email!