101 Motorcycle Tips – Motorcycle Tips to Help New Riders

I’ve compiled a list of 101 motorcycle tips geared towards new motorcycle riders.  There are so many things a new motorcycle rider needs to know and, unfortunately, too few places to learn them.  The most important tip I can give is put safety first, and safety is so much more than just keeping your eyes open when riding.  I’ve broken this list down into several sections, each pertaining to a different aspect of motorcycle ownership and safety.  If you’re a new motorcycle rider read these motorcycle tips as I’m sure there are many things you didn’t know or didn’t consider that will most certainly help you ride safer and take care of your bike better.

motorcycle tips

If you own one of these some of these motorcycle tips will really help you

Motorcycle tips for safety – Your Gear

  1. Always wear a full face helmet, and I don’t consider a shorty, or half helmet a real helmet.
  2. Make sure your motorcycle helmet fits correctly.  A helmet that fly’s off your head is of no use to you.
  3. Don’t wear a dark helmet.  If you must at least put some reflective tape on it.
  4. Fasten your helmet correctly, see #2 above.
  5. Close the visor.  This isn’t a cool way to ride, it’s just stupid.  The first time a bug smashes into your face at 40mph you’ll know what I mean.
  6. Speaking of visors.  Use a darker visor when it’s bright out, most motorcycle helmets have interchangeable visors nowadays.
  7. Replace the dark visor with a normal one at night.
  8. Wear motorcycle boots, don’t be stupid and wear sneakers, they offer no ankle protection at all.
  9. Wear gloves designed for motorcycle safety, remember your hands hit the pavement first, followed by your face (see #1 above)
  10. Wear gloves in the summer.  Sweat on your hands can cause you to lose your grip.  I’m not kidding, this happened to me.
  11. Don’t wear shorts, wear pants.  I don’t care how hot it is, it won’t compare to the heat of the pipes when your leg accidentally touches it.
  12. Wear a jacket.  Yes, they do make summer motorcycle jackets that are actually cool, so there’s no excuse, even in the summer.
  13. Wear bright or reflective colors at night, orange, white and yellow are best.  With headlights in their eyes cagers often don’t see a dark motorcycle with headlights in their eyes.

Motorcycle tips for safety – Your training

  1. Don’t learn how to ride from your friends, their bad habits will become yours
  2. Take the motorcycle safety course, not only will you learn how to ride correctly but you’ll save some money on your motorcycle insurance too.
  3. Read proficient motorcycling, it’s a great book that WILL improve your riding skill and knowledge.
  4. Re-read proficient motorcycling at the start of riding season every year.
  5. Don’t learn how to ride from your friends, I know I said that already but that’s just a stupid way to learn how to ride.
  6. Practice how to swerve and do emergency stops, after a long winter.  When that Honda turns in front of you isn’t the time to ‘practice’ emergency stops’
  7. Never, if possible, lock the rear wheel while braking.  If you do, come to a complete stop before releasing the brake.  If the rear tire slides to the side and you release the brake you can, and often will, be thrown off the bike.
  8. Anyone, and I mean anyone can ride a motorcycle if it’s going 30mph.  A true test of your skill is if you can handle it at 10mph or even less.  Practice counterbalanced turns often.
new rider motorcycle tips

These are maneuverable but can be dangerous. Learn how to ride safely.

Motorcycle tips for safety – Riding in traffic

  1. Learn to watch the head and mirror of the driver next to you.  Often times you can predict when he’ll cut in front of you by his head movements.
  2. Remember, drivers NEVER check their blind spot, so don’t sit there.  Move ahead.
  3. Never tailgate the car in front of you.  I don’t care how good you think you are, his 4 wheels will stop way before your two wheels will.  Leave a gap.
  4. Spot dangerous drivers by the car they drive.  Here in NY any town car is a cab, and every riced up Honda is driven by a dumb ass.  Avoid these like the plague.
  5. Use the entire lane, move left, right and to the center to improve your forward visibility.
  6. Always place your hand over the brake when approaching an intersection.  If somebody cuts in front of you you’ll be ready with the brakes.  Remember, a bike can go 30 feet in the time it takes you to start squeezing the brakes.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings.  Use your mirrors.
  8. Don’t just use your mirrors, you have a neck, turn your head once in a while to look around.
  9. If there’s a gap in front of you somebody WILL move into your lane, without checking the blind spot.  Be ready for this.
  10. People like to change lanes when coming to a stop light.  If your lane has the fewest cars in front of the light somebody WILL cut in front of you.
  11. When approaching an intersection with a car waiting to make the left make sure you can be seen.  If there’s a car in front of you move to the left edge of the lane so you’re visible to the waiting car.
  12. Use high beams during the day to improve visibility.
  13. Plan ahead.  Check what’s happening 2 or even 3 blocks ahead.  If there are cars waiting behind some guy making a left turn get out of that lane.  Also expect some of those waiting cars to cut in front of you.
  14. Don’t ride in a blind spot.
  15. Use other cars as ‘blockers’ when approaching an intersection.  Let him get hit, not you.
  16. Have an escape route ready.  Sometimes slamming the brakes isn’t the way to go, especially if there’s a 16 wheeler behind you.  Plan to swerve when a large truck is behind you.
  17. Turn off your turn signal after you make that turn.  Not only do you look stupid with your turn signal going for 12 blocks, but you might give that SUV the green light to make that turn in front of you.
  18. If you can’t see ‘through’ the windshield of the car/van/truck in front of you change lanes or move to the side.  When you can’t see ahead you won’t be warned of braking situations.
  19. When riding on one way streets don’t ride next to the parked cars.
  20. Many riders have been hit by cars coming out of driveways.  See #19 above.
  21. Stay out of the center of the lane, that’s where oil and other fluids are.
  22. Use one gear lower than normal when riding in tense situations, you’ll be able to accelerate out of trouble easier and the higher revs might alert nearby drivers to your presence.
  23. Gently swerve left and right when approaching an intersection.  The flashing of your headlight will be more visible to cars waiting to turn.  This is especially true at night.
  24. Don’t ride between moving cars and parked cars where the light is red.  Somebody will open their door.  Check mirrors to see if the upcoming cars are occupied.  If the lights are off and somebody is inside they ARE getting out.  Take a guess when that door will open…
  25. Don’t ride on the right side of a bus.
  26. Don’t block an exit from drivers on the highway, there’s always some idiot who’ll cut across two lanes to make that exit or turn.
  27. Learn to use your rear brake and your front brake together.  You’ll get up to 30% more stopping power when you use both.
  28. Choose the proper speed when making turns.  Half way through the turn is not the place to have to slow down.
  29. Accelerate as you exit turns.  This will get the bike upright easier and sooner.
motorcycle safety tips

Learn how to ride in traffic safely

Motorcycle tips for safety – Bad weather
  1. The road is more slippery the first few minutes it starts raining due to oil lifting off the pavement.  Wait a few minutes before you ride.
  2. Seriously, don’t ride if you don’t have to.
  3. Don’t accelerate too fast from a stop, you will slip.
  4. Leave extra space to stop.
  5. Painted lines on the road become more slippery in wet weather, be aware of this.
  6. Wet leaves on the pavement are quite slippery.
  7. Manhole covers and those metal plates that are put on the road during construction are especially slippery.
  8. Wear dedicated motorcycle boots for extra traction at a stop.
  9. Wipe your mirror and visors off as often as possible.
  10. Cars have a harder time seeing you.  Don’t be afraid to use your horn to let drivers know you’re there.
  11. Pedestrians are dumb.  They run across the street when it rains, often times not even looking.
  12. Treat your helmet visor with Rain X before it starts raining.
  13. Put some anti fog spray on the inside of your visor.

Motorcycle tips for safety – Your bike

  1. Make sure your bike is in good running condition
  2. Check the tires and make sure the air pressure is correct
  3. Check the brake fluid reservoirs and make sure they are at the proper level.
  4. Adjust your mirrors properly
  5. Adjust your mirrors appropriately when the sun is low in the sky.
  6. Don’t put that glossy crap on your tires.  I don’t care how good it looks, you’ll slide everywhere for quite a while after applying that stuff.
  7. Check your brakes before you ride off.
  8. Check your throttle and clutch to make sure they aren’t binding anywhere.
  9. Make sure you do the scheduled maintenance on your bike.
  10. Don’t smoke when gassing up.  Seriously, I actually saw some idiot do this.
  11. Test all your lights before riding off, replace any that are burnt out.
  12. Keep your bike clean.  A clean bike is a safe bike.
Wear a summer motorcycle jacket in warm weather

Wear a summer motorcycle jacket in warm weather

Motorcycle maintenance and security tips

  1. If you own a popular bike make sure you have lo jack installed.
  2. Use a disc brake lock with a warning line so you don’t bust up your own bike.
  3. Install an alarm.
  4. If you have an alarm installed invest in a battery tender to keep your battery charged.
  5. If you park your bike on the street make sure you can chain it to something.  Sometimes thieves will just pick up a lighter bike and throw it into the back of a van.
  6. Invest in a bike barn or some other shed to store your bike in the winter.
  7. Run the fuel out of your bike before putting it into winter storage.
  8. Invest in a tire pressure gauge so you can check the air pressure in your tires.  Remember this will fluctuate according to the temperature outside.
  9. Carry a rag with you at all times so you can wipe spilled fuel of your bike after fill ups.
  10. Put a battery tender on your bike if you won’t be riding for a while.
  11. When parking on the street try not to park behind a van or truck.  They won’t see your bike when they back up.
  12. Try to park between a fire hydrant and the end of the block.  The guy next to the hydrant will have plenty of room to pull up or back.
  13. Don’t box a car in when parking, we both know who’ll lose in this situation.
  14. If you have a valuable or popular bike put a cover on it to make it hard for thieves driving by to see what it is.
  15. Put a cover on your bike to prevent dumb asses from sitting on it or fiddling with the controls.
  16. Know where your battery is and how to get to it, just in case.
  17. Change the oil when you’re supposed to.  Seriously, keep track of this and for god sakes use the right oil.
  18. Carry a motorcycle tire repair and inflation kit with you.  Unlike a car, a bike with a flat aint goin no where.
  19. Replace your tires when the tread has worn low.

Motorcycle ownership tips

  1. Take care of your bike and keep it clean.
  2. Make sure you actually have all the schedules maintenance done.
  3. Cover the bike when not in use.
  4. Use a battery tender.
  5. Install Lo Jack.
  6. Check your fluids and air pressure especially ofter big temperature changes.
  7. If your bike gets wet dry it off asap.
  8. Shop around before you buy motorcycle insurance and don’t assume the big boys will have the best rates.

Some recommended items..
Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well

Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger

Jaws – Quick Spit antifog / Mask Defog – 1 oz. Spray Pump

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About the Author

Hi there!, My name is Norm. I am a college grad, a veteran, a pet owner and a family man. I started writing articles both to make a little extra money, and to share my knowledge with others. I currently work in the IT department of a major NY hospital.
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