Riding a motorcycle is a fun, physically involved activity, particularly if you’re one who enjoys riding their bike for sport. Just like many other sports and skills out there, it can be all too easy to pick up a few bad habits along the way. As the saying goes, old habits die hard, so it’s important we develop our good habits while at the same time stopping the bad habits we have become accustomed to.
It doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been riding, chances are if you’ve developed a bad habit from your early days of riding you’re still guilty of it to this day. That being said here are 5 very common bad habits which we should all stop today.
Texting while riding
The first one is a bit of a no-brainer. We all know that riding a motorcycle is a very physically involved task, and requires 100% of our attention. However, seeing a motorcycle rider checking his or her mobile phone while on the road is all too common sight. Unfortunately, this can lead to accidents and untoward incidents, something we would very much like to avoid at all costs.
The same goes for when you are stopped at a red light. Just because you aren’t moving doesn’t mean that there are no dangers surrounding you. When on your motorcycle, it’s always best to be 100% alert and completely aware of your surroundings. Who knows, you may need to make an emergency maneuver while you’re waiting at a red light due to a distracted driver?
Disobeying traffic rules
Contrary to popular belief, traffic rules and regulations are there to spoil our fun. Instead, these rules and regulations are meant to keep everybody on the road safe. This includes drivers, motorcycle riders, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Having said that, disobeying traffic rules on your motorcycle is an all too easy temptation to come to.
This rings particularly true for small, lightweight scooters which are very easy to maneuver around traffic. Pulling a U-turn at a pedestrian crossing is not just dangerous, it’s outright irresponsible and disrespectful to those obeying traffic rules and regulations. To top it all off, getting caught disobeying traffic rules and regulations comes with a hefty fine as well as quite a hassle to settle these fines.
Not wearing the proper gear
Just like traffic rules and regulations, the reason why minimum safety gear is required when riding a motorcycle is not to ruin our fun, but rather to ensure that we are all adhering to the minimum standards of safety and on the road. Naturally, motorcycles are a lot more exposed and prone to accidents than our four-wheeled counterparts. As such, it’s always a good idea to wear a high quality set of riding gear every time we hit the road, regardless of where we are going.
Waddling at low speeds
Now this is a very common practice being done particularly beginner riders who are still learning how to balance their motorcycles. Waddling at low speeds, contrary to popular belief, actually makes the motorcycle more unstable as opposed to writing with your feet on the pegs. This is because, as your legs are dangling, they cause some weight to be shifted fore and aft, thereby altering the overall balance of the motorcycle at low speeds.
Instead, once you’ve picked up enough speed, put both feet back up on the pegs, squeeze the tank with your knees, and feather the rear brake. You will find that this is a much more effective technique in stabilizing the bike, and gaining more balance as you pick up speed. This also eliminates the hazard of having your feet run over by vehicles in close proximity, or being snagged on the curb and other obstacles.
Thinking you're invinsible
Our last entry on this list is more of a psychological element of riding a motorcycle. Naturally, riding a motorcycle is an adrenaline-pumping activity. As such, you may find that it can be very easy to ride well beyond your skill level. This poses quite a danger particularly to newbies, as it can lead to the deadly notion that you are invincible. The harsh reality of it all is that things can change in a split second, and it isn’t always going to be your fault.
As such, it is always a good idea to think ahead, ride smart, and approach everything with a level head.Yes, motorcycling is meant to be a fun and exciting activity, but it’s also meant to be enjoyed for many years to come. With that, learn how to ride within your skill level and develop your skills in the process, so as to continue enjoying this amazing hobby of ours.