Anyone who rides motorcycles knows every ride is a quest for the perfect experience. You should constantly hone your skills and practice them every time you ride. Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, there’s always room for improvement. There are many things to practice, but here are five of the most important ones, brought to you by Altra Insurance, the leading providers of affordable motorcycle insurance San Diego bikers know they can rely on.
1. Scan Your Surroundings
Scanning your surroundings is an important skill to practice during every ride. Use your mirrors to look behind you and to the sides while keeping an eye out for hazards. When leaning or turning your head in the direction you want to turn, remember to keep scanning your surroundings. Target fixation can be a deadly mistake while riding. Use your brain’s ability to create a short-term mental map by finding road debris and focusing past it.
2. Use Your Speed to Create Space
You need to keep in mind that slowing down won’t always be the best option. Accelerating your motorcycle is sometimes the better choice. You can accelerate faster than the cars on the road, especially on urban roads. After every traffic light, you should be looking for spaces for yourself and ways to create spaces. On the highway, keep clear of other vehicles’ blind spots. Use your speed to get out of uncomfortably tight areas.
3. Cover Your Brakes at Intersections
Intersections pose tricky situations for all motorists. You’re relying on everyone else to follow the rules of the road. Motorcyclists trust other drivers to obey the law, and one mistake could be fatal. To add some extra protection, it’s good to practice covering your brakes at intersections, as this can reduce your reaction time and give you the extra split second you may need. Practice this skill so you’ll be ready if you ever need it.
4. Position Your Body Properly when Turning
First, slide your backside off the seat toward your turn. Second, set up the turn with the bike. Finally, lean your body in the turn’s direction to help with the cornering. If you’re nervous about turning, practice at a slow speed in a parking lot to get used to it.
5. Make Proper Adjustments to the Bike & Wear the Proper Gear
The science of ergonomics is simple on a motorcycle. If your bike fits your body, the ride will be smoother. Most stock handlebars can be adjusted, and certain manufacturers also offer adjustable hand controls. Foot pegs and seats can be adjusted or moved. Once the bike feels right to you, make sure you have the proper gear. Remember ATGATT—All the Gear, All the Time. Dress for the weather and the nature of your trip. Rain gear helps with safety. Summer clothes won’t help when it gets cooler, and your summer gloves will be useless when the weather gets colder.
It’s essential to continue improving your riding skills, and another important aspect of owning a motorcycle is having adequate insurance. If you need affordable, reliable motorcycle insurance, reach out to the experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services. We also offer several other types of coverage, including homeowners, renters, and auto insurance. San Diego residents should call us today at 619-474-6666.