Riding a motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating feelings you can have. There is just something about having the wind in your face as you challenge the elements. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or new to the experience, there are a few basic elements that you need to understand when riding a bike.
Of course it’s important to be aware of the basic maintenance tasks that keep your bike on the road and what style of riding you hope to do. You’ll need to think about these things before you visit this site and choose your bike.
But one thing that is often overlooked is steering a motorbike.
You might look at the bike and see that it has handlebars, these turn so surely these are how you steer? However, it’s not that simple!
In fact, turning the handlebars is only good for very low speed manoeuvres. Once you get going you need to lean the bike to guide it round corners. In fact you need to know these 4 methods of steering your motorcycle:
This is when you push on the inside bar or pull o the outside one to make the bike start the corner. In effect you are pushing in the opposite direction to where you want to go.
What this does is moves the wheel slightly in the wrong direction before you start to lean the bike; the result is more contact with the road and a smoother corner.
However, this is an approach that requires strength; you are physically manhandling the bike and will tire quickly.
Your bike wants to keep moving and usually in the same direction as it is currently going. This leans as you approach a corner you’re travelling in a straight line and your bike wants to keep doing that.
To override this you use the pegs as controls. Push your foot and body weight against one foot peg and the bike will move that way, but you need to do it at the right time.
The good news is that this will help your arms to be relaxed, improving your feedback from the road and improving the smoothness of your ride as well as your control.
When you brake the load of the bike is shifted to the front, reducing your ability to steer. This is why you can’t brake and steer like you can in a car. However, this loading does shorten your rake allowing your bike to turn faster.
You can then load the throttle to increase the lean angle and sharpen your cornering. The weight will shift to the back allowing you to accelerate smoothly out of the corner.
You’ll have seen professional riders putting their knee against the tank and their other knee on the floor. This is a great technique to minimize the weight on your hands, allowing you to have maximum control and feedback.
This will improve cornering and your ride in general.
With a little practice you can mix these techniques and have your bike behaving perfectly every time!