So you’ve just ridden off the Ruhnke’s Xtreme Cycles lot on a brand new (or new-to-you) bike. You’re experiencing the unique rush of mind-numbing excitement tempered by gut-wrenching fear. On the way home, you decide to take the scenic route, and at a stoplight in the middle of nowhere, a dusty truck pulls up alongside you and notes that your blinker has been on for the last five miles.
Yes, being a new rider is a challenging and exhilarating experience. The fact is, you’ll make mistakes, but you can avoid them, or at least prepare for them if you know what they are. Check out the most common mistakes that new riders make.
Buying Too Much Motorcycle
Look, let’s be honest. Most of us ride a motorcycle because it’s just plain cool. You feel like a genuine, grade-A boss when you hop onto your bike and roar away from an intersection. But don’t let the appeal of looking cool lead you to make a poor purchase.
It’s best for new riders to start on a smaller bike and work their way up to something larger. You don’t need 1,200 ccs of power between your legs the first time you twist the throttle. Instead, look for something in the 250-500 cc range. Those bikes are lightweight, have great gas mileage, and are cheap to buy and insure. Start on a smaller bike, refine your skills, and then upgrade to that monstrous 2,294 cc engine in the Triumph Rocket 3.
Taking Too Long a Ride
If you got into riding because of something like Ted Simmon’s Jupiter’s Travels, you might be raring to go on a multi-day road trip as soon as you settle onto your bike. But a long ride isn’t always the right thing for a new rider. The fact is, the longer the ride, the further you are from home, your tools, and your mechanic. Plus, a long ride can expose you to different riding conditions and weather events that you’re not familiar with. Driving a car in the rain is much different than riding a motorcycle, and learning how to do it on your first long ride is not a great idea.
When we drive a car, we command a certain section of the road. For the most part, other drivers are trained to be aware of us and the rules of the road are predictable enough that many of us will go our entire lives without issue on the road.
This can translate into false confidence for new riders. On a motorcycle, you are a much smaller presence, and many drivers are not trained to look for you on the road. This makes it imperative that you drive as if you are invisible and make yourself noticeable. You can do this by wearing bright or reflective riding gear, and making conscious riding decisions. By being aware of your surroundings, and always look up ahead, you can often predict traffic patterns and identify problematic drivers.
Not Riding Enough
It’s a motorcycle, it’s meant to be ridden! As a new rider, you’ll only develop your skills by getting out and practicing. There’s no shame in spending hours in a nearby parking lot practicing your turns and braking. It’s a great way to keep yourself safe and develop your confidence. Deliberately set time aside to go practice or just ride around when you first get your motorcycle.
Find Great Deals at Our Motorcycle Shop in Odessa
As a new rider, you’ll want to get the most for your money. That’s why we offer competitive pricing at Ruhnke’s Xtreme Cycles. We carry leading brands like Honda, BMW, and Harley Davidson, so you’re sure to find a ride that catches your imagination. Come and visit us today to find your new ride!