There's nothing like experiencing the open road while riding a motorbike. You're closer to nature and feel freer to boot. It's no wonder that motorcycles have quite a cult following.
But motorcycling is full of pitfalls for the newbie. Many new motorcyclists believe that it won't be all that different from driving a car. But the truth is that there is a large difference between the two modes of transport. And it doesn't just involve the obvious things, like the fact that a motorbike only has two wheels instead of four.
That's why I've put together a guide for first-time motorcyclists. Here are some of the most important things you'll need to bear in mind if you want to stay safe and happy on the road.
Find The Location Of Your Fuel Valve
Having a fuel valve depends on whether your bike is carbureted or not. If it is, then the chances are that you'll have one.
But why are fuel valves necessary? The fuel valve is what controls the flow of gas from the tank to the motor. If the valve isn't turned to the on position, then no gas will flow to your engine, and you won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Fuel valves become important in situations where you find yourself low on fuel. Aside from on and off, there is usually another setting on the valve that says "res" for reserve. If the bike starts to splutter because you've run out of fuel while you are on the road, that can be potentially dangerous. It's, therefore, a good idea to practice reaching for the valve and turning it to "res" so that the bike can use gas from the reserve tank.
Choose The Right Course
Just like drivers, motorcyclists need to choose the right course to prepare them for their permit tests. Motorcycles come in different categories, and there are difference licenses for each.
It's worth going to a website where you can see more about the ins and outs of permit tests, and why you might want to spend some time practicing them.
One of the problems that motorcycles have is their small size. It means that other road users often put them in the same category that they would pedestrians and bikes. In other words, slow moving things.
Many drivers won't often clock motorcycles, even when they're approaching at speed. And so it means that in busy areas, motorcyclists need to act as if everyone is about to make a mistake. That car at the T-junction? Assume that it's going to pull out in front of you. That person at the crossing? Assume that they're suddenly going to jump across the road.
If you can anticipate the mistakes of other drivers, you'll be a much safer on the road.
Adjust Your Mirrors
Motorcycles aren't as sophisticated as cars. And so it's not always possible to adjust your mirrors after you've set off. Thus, if somebody else has used your bike since you last used it, check the mirrors are set up correctly before setting off.