Are you ready to buy your first motorcycle? Do you want to make a good impression when you’re around seasoned riders?
If so, then it is important for you to be aware of mistakes that are often made by new riders. These errors are not only dangerous for the efficiency of your bike but harmful for your safety, as well.
Mistakes are part of any new experience, but knowing about them before you get started will allow you to start off on the right foot. With our knowledge of how motorcycles work, you will be able to get used to riding right away.
We aim to discuss motorcycle riding for beginners, and here are 15 common mistakes that new riders make.
1. Starting Too Big
Chances are that the motorcycles that you rode on during tests to get your license were smaller than the ones that you’ve seen on TV and in magazines. That is because they are designed to get you used to the basic functions of this vehicle.
If you go out and buy one of the larger and more powerful bikes on the market, then you will be making it harder for you to adjust to the riding experience. That is why one of our beginner motorcycle tips is to start with a small motorcycle.
With a mini-bike or a cruiser, you will have an easier time getting used to moving on the road and avoiding accidents. This will allow you to move up to the larger bikes when you’re ready, as well as when you can afford one.
2. Forgetting to Use Your Turn Signal
One of the most common motorcycle mistakes that newbies make at the beginning is forgetting when and how to use their turn signals. This is because of the assumption that it is not needed as much as those in cars because of how small motorcycles are in comparison.
However, forgetting to turn the signal on can lead to an accident with a car or truck behind you who may not know that you are about to turn or slow down. You must treat your signal the same way you would if you were driving your car.
It is also important to make sure you turn the signal off once you’ve made the turn. Your bike may not have the self-canceling signal that most cars do, so staying aware of your signal will help you avoid problems with other people on the road.
3. Leaving the Kickstand Down
Motorcycle riding tips for beginners also focus on how to handle your bikes once you’ve stopped. A prime example is with the kickstand, which should be left down when it should be.
Forgetting to bring the kickstand back up can lead to the metal wearing away from being exposed to the ground for too long. You could also have problems shifting and increase your chances of an accident when the stand is left down for too long.
When making short stops on the road, make sure that you don’t take too much time so that your stand remains in good condition. It might also help to bring pads to leave your stand on so that the gravel and concrete don’t cause any problems.
4. Not Wearing Protective Gear for Motorcycle Riding for Beginners
Some mistakes are made by rookies in the motorcycle world who are too arrogant or careless and want to show off to people around them. This negatively affects their safety, such as when they don’t wear the right protective gear or any at all.
A helmet isn’t enough to keep you from going to the hospital. Going out on the road in regular jeans, shirts, and footwear can increase your chances of suffering from cuts and broken bones if your bike flips over.
There are gloves, jackets, shirts, pants, and boots specifically designed for riding motorcycles. Wearing these items every time you are on your bike will prevent you from having to learn about the need for safe riding the hard way.
5. Revving the Engine Too Much
As much as you need to worry about keeping the outside of your motorcycle in shape, you must also focus on the inner workings. Part of that comes from when new motorcycle owners try to look cool.
One way new riders try to show off is by revving the engine at a red light. This might sound cool to other people on the road, but this puts pressure on the engine that can lead to long-term damage, which can affect how long you are able to use your bike.
Refrain from revving your engine as much as possible. You will be able to enjoy more rides on highways while keeping your engine in good enough shape to do so.
6. Losing Track of Fuel
One of the downsides of most motorcycles compared to cars is the lack of a fuel gauge. This can give new riders less of a reason to keep track of how much fuel they have, which can lead to running out of gas.
Keeping track of your fuel during your rides will help you avoid inconveniences such as running out of gas on a trip out of town to visit friends or family. Doing so will help you figure out how much farther you can go before you need to refill your tank.
Make sure to reset the odometer and write down how much you’ve traveled to make the right refueling move going forward. It also helps to know what kind of fuel you’ll need.
7. Forgetting Regular Maintenance
Our motorcycle beginner tips also focus on taking care of your bike when you are not on the road. The lack of care and check-ups that rookies provide leads to plenty of mechanical issues and dollars spent on repairs in their first months with their bikes.
Schedule regular maintenance checks with auto shops so that your bike avoids as many issues as possible. If you have a long trip planned, make sure that your go-to shop has other stores stationed along your route so that you put your bike in trustful hands.
This is also a chance to develop your own mechanic skills. Take time over the weekend to learn how different parts of your motorcycle work and how to keep them in shape, and education can come from expert mechanics, online instructional videos, and manuals.
8. Using the Wrong Cleaning Chemicals
In addition to knowing how to maintain your motorcycle yourself, knowing how to clean it is important for new riders. Understanding what to use to keep your bike looking as good as new will provide you pride as a new owner.
However, this is where many new riders make mistakes, as degreasers and cheap chemicals can lead to a variety of problems. Such issues range from damaged paint jobs to malfunctioning engines.
It is important to use chemicals that your bike will have a hard time absorbing into the surface. We also advice going to your local auto shops to see what material they use to keep bikes clean.
9. Commuting in the Wrong Conditions
Waking up to a sunny and warm day may motivate you to take your motorcycle out for a ride, especially on long roads. However, certain parts of the year come with obstacles that can get in the way of your experience.
Using your bike to commute in the summer can be an issue, especially if you run into traffic because air doesn’t go through the engine when it’s still, leading to wear on the bike. The winter makes it hard to use motorcycles not only because of ice roads but also cold air and ice that can get inside the bike.
During these situations, you will have to rely on your car to get to your destinations. Keep your bike protected and in a place with the right temperature so that it is ready for trips when you are.
10. Removing the Battery Too Much
Another way that you can affect the inner workings of your motorcycle is with the treatment of your bike’s battery. In this case, you need to be aware of how often you’re taking your battery out.
Removing the battery too much can cause wear and tear on the electrical components. This can also affect how long your battery runs, which can cost you more and sooner than you planned.
Only take the battery out of your bike during maintenance or when the battery has run its course and you need a new one. Leaving the battery alone will allow it to do its job.
Some mistakes made by new motorcycle owners lead more to inconvenience rather than mechanical or safety issues. Among them is stalling, which is common among both rookies and veterans.
Stalling usually occurs when riders don’t change gears the right way. As a result, riders aren’t able to move on time, which can especially be an annoyance to anyone behind them at a red light or stop sign.
You can avoid this error with the “stop and go” technique so that you can get used to stalling and respond quickly. This will help you and everyone else get on their way quickly.
12. Slipping Between Lanes
Riding motorcycles may seem like a more liberating experience than driving cars or trucks because of their speed and ability to squeeze between tight spaces. However, this temptation can lead to a variety of problems.
Slipping between lanes is a common practice among riders who want to get out of traffic, but this can lead to an accident if someone in a car decides to suddenly merge into another lane. Most states have also made this practice illegal, so you can face fines, as well.
Practice patience while on the road so that you can stay safe. You should also be aware of state laws so that you can keep your wallet full.
13. Riding on the Wrong Roads
Some of you may be looking for a motorcycle to take on highways, while others may prefer dirtbikes. Not knowing what roads your prospective bikes work best on can lead to problems in the long run.
The size and strength of popular bikes might make them look like they can handle off-road conditions. However, this can result in problems with the engine or debris getting inside the bike.
If you are not looking for a bike to take into the woods or desert, then keep it on the pavement. Their design for speed and commuting makes them more suited for the open road.
Safety is a priority when operating a motorcycle, and the speed that these bikes can achieve can make the temptation to race like they do in the movies too strong. However, this is where most rookies put themselves in danger.
Friendly competition can put you at a greater risk of getting into an accident, especially a deadly one. Races can tempt you to go over the speed limit, which can lead to fines and possible jail time.
Don’t fall prey to fellow motorcyclists next to you at a red light revving their engine. Doing so will keep your health, as well as that of your bike, intact.
15. Driving Aggressively
There are more ways to put yourself in danger while riding a motorcycle than just racing. Driving aggressively will not only show your lack of skills but also put you at greater risk of an accident.
The protective gear that you wear can only help you so much when you’re making sharp turns, speeding past cars, or popping wheelies. These actions take more control of the bike out of your hands.
If you feel like trying out tricks, take your bike to a test track or similar facility to see you how well you will do. Stick to driving safely and at proper speeds when you are on the road with other drivers.
Riding a motorcycle is a privilege because of the skill needed to use it safely and intelligently. Rookies need to consider the mistakes that motorcycle riding for beginners can help them avoid.
Paying attention to the inner workings of the bike, as well as their surroundings, while help riders stay out of harm’s way. By being aware of these mistakes, you can enjoy long and fun trips on your bike.
Check out more of our motorcycle expertise so that you know what you need to become an expert rider.