We are pretty sure that you have spent some time riding by now and there first thing that is going to cross your mind is It’s time to ride like a pro!. Therefore, we decided to release the 3rd (and last part) of the “How to ride a motorcycle” guide in order to share with you some useful safety tips to achieve that.
The most common things that professional riders do (and you will probably air for) are the wheelies, cornering, and hitting high-speed milestones. Here in this guide, we will take you through some tips that you need to follow if you are planning on not ending up in the hospital.
Ride Like a Pro while Performing Wheelies.
The moment you master riding on two wheels, the first thing that crosses your mind is driving on a single one (the rear one for starters). Whether you are looking forward to impressing other folks by showing off your skills or you just enjoy the adrenaline rush, you should keep the following in mind.
Power Wheelies or Clutch Ones?
There are two main ways to pop off your front wheel riding. The first is by simply squeezing the throttle hard enough to “take off”. Even though this method is way easier than using the clutch, however, it’s more aggressive and gives the rider instant power.
It’s recommended to study your motorcycle power and your weight thoroughly before going for the power wheelies. Usually, motorcycles with more powerful engines and high torque can perform that type of wheelies.
On the other hand, clutch wheelies are relatively safer. You get more control during the “take off” over your bike and somehow can limit the pop off the height of the front wheel. You simply hold down the clutch while riding, squeeze the throttle a little, pop off the clutch and squeeze the throttle more (viola your front wheel is in the sky).
Keep in mind that the previously mentioned steps should take place in a matter of milliseconds. Don’t push it too far with the clutch to keep your motorcycle engine running smoothly.
Both wheelies need squeezing the throttle while riding at the correct gear and RPM. There isn’t a specific rule (gear or RPM number) where you should pop your people, as motorcycles and riders’ features are different. Yet, avoid popping the wheelie with low gear/high RPM (you will probably flip over) and a high gear/ Low RPM won’t make the wheel pop (unless you are that good!).
The “Take Off”.
If you are planning to ride like a pro, then you need to know your limits. While popping a wheelie there is a balance point that you should never overcome while lifting your nose. This is the point where you will either flip back or will keep things balanced.
It’s interesting to say that some Pro bikers are able to cross the balance point while raising the nose (sometimes hitting the 90 degrees) and succeed in making their way down with a smooth landing. Yet, if you are not willing to join the stunt championship we recommend keeping it below the balance point.
This is the part that differentiates the amateurs from others who ride like a pro; nearly everyone can life their front wheel, but not everyone can land it smoothly and safely. Again depending on your motorcycle weight (and yours of course) you should give your babe a little speed while landing.
Removing your hand off the throttle suddenly and leaving your motorcycle to land under its own weight will probably lead to an unfortunate crash. If you are lucky enough to overcome the crash than you are literally torturing your front motorcycle suspension.
Treat your babe nicely my friend. Give your motorcycle a little throttle squeeze while landing to keep things smooth and safe!
Moving on to the next Pro Biker’s move, the cornering.
Corner like a Boss!
Similarly, as the wheelies, there are two types of cornering, depending on your motorcycle riding style. You can either go under your bike while leaning (Sup racers and street fighters?!) or you can stay still and lean your motorcycle itself (depend on more on the counter steering).
The leaning under your motorcycle style while allow you to corner at high speeds. This method screams “I can ride like a pro”! On the other hand, it’s more dangerous since you’re literally grabbing knees to the road and almost of your motorcycle.
What should I do to make this safer?
First of all, make sure you are approaching the curve with the right speed. Excessive speed will make you go off track (or outside the cornering imaginary line that you are following) and low speed will make you simply fall off your motorcycle (and look like a complete jerk!).
A Pro biker will enter the curve with an imaginary drawn line for cornering to follow and the correct speed. But, since unexpected situations may happen, you may need to brake while cornering or follow another cornering line while leaning.
In that case, make sure to use both brakes (front and rear) slightly to reach the desired speed or avoid a crash. Keep the balance while pressing the brakes as hard rear braking will result in skidding and front ones may result in an unpleasant rollover.
If you ride like a pro then we are pretty sure that you have also heard about accelerating (rationally) while going out of the curve to increase the grip and handling.
Don’t Chicken Out!
We do understand the fear of getting close to the ground (and under your motorcycle) at high speeds while cornering. Yet, if you do chicken out while doing so, there’s a 200% possibility to crash at the corner.
Make sure to be in the right position while leaning and nothing will go wrong (we hope so). Both feet tips are on the foot pegs, the inner knee (and elbow) is pointed outside towards the road (hopefully looking forward to spark) and the other is pushed tight against the motorcycle tank.
Also, you should place your hips a little off the seat towards the corner and ALWAYS look to where you want to go (following the imaginary line) and not through the motorcycle visor. Your helmet should be near the side mirror totally outside the motorcycle itself.
Now, let’s talk more about how to ride at high speeds (safely).
How to Ride like a Pro on High Speeds.
You want to get the adrenaline rush of the high speed, we get it. But, you need to do it as safely as possible. Every Pro biker crash, that’s a fact. Yet, crashing at high speeds is usually fatal. That’s why you need to memorize the following tips by heart .
Know Your Motorcycle Limit!
It’s weight, braking power, maneuvering agility, top speed and many others. Yes, it’s really cool trying to intimidate an online video for a Kawasaki H2 (click here to check it) hitting the 400 KM/Hr. But you shouldn’t try to aim for that with your 600 cc motorcycle. If you are planning to go full speed, be rational while doing so.
Draw Multiple Exit Scenarios.
Assess each and every vehicle while overtaking it. Draw multiple exit scenarios for unexpected situations and make sure you have the time to perform your maneuver. If a driver changed lanes suddenly without using the turn signals, it’s his fault, but you’re the one who is going to pay for it.
Response Time and Visibility.
Your response time (for breaking and maneuvering) will be lowered the higher your speed is. Identifying the threat, deciding to break (or maneuver), then taking an action while you are riding at 60 KM/ Hr is not the same at 200 KM/Hr.
You can reach a point where your visibility will be nothing but a small clear focal point and the rest of the road is totally blurred due to high speed. Always keep those two factors in mind while riding at high speeds.
Before going on a full speed ride, always check your motorcycle. The brakes, suspension, tires, fairings, the engines,…etc. If you are willing to ride at high speeds, then you better make sure that your babe is in its prime condition.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking about right now, we missed talking about the Stoppies. No, we didn’t we just decided to talk about this one separately as it needs getting into more details, and it needs some very special skills.
Hopefully, this article was beneficial and we wish that it added value. The Two Wheelers Team always encourages its readers to follow their local traffic laws, to ride safely and enjoy their rides!
Disclaimer: All riders should follow the rules of regulations of their country. This guide is to make sure you perform this acts safely if they are allowed in your country, or if you wish to do them in a safe and closed track.