5 important tips youngsters should follow when riding a motorcycle

When riding through a sleepy village somewhere, or the lanes of your colony, go slow and try to be as quiet as possible.

BHPian RiderZone recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Sharing some important tips young bikers should follow when riding a motorcycle:

Be curious:

Motorcycles are nothing special, they’re just a means to an end. Their purpose can be getting to work, getting some adventure, or getting attention. There’s a whole subculture glorifying motorcycles, and cars for that matter, but don’t take it too seriously. The only people who really want you to believe in the whole “Ride or Die” nonsense are trying to sell you something.

Drive cars, yes they are fat and boring, but there’s something special about being in a cozy warm box on a cold rainy night up in the mountains. Cycle, it is 50% of a motorcycle, but a whole other universe. Jump on a chance to experience any other means of transport, I once drove a tractor and realized that these death machines don’t have any suspension, but do have cruise control.

Letting go of the controls can also be an interesting experience. The Delhi Airport Metro is a thing of beauty, the French TGV is actually quite boring for something at 320 kph. An Airbus A380 is much bigger than you imagined, catamarans are terrifyingly quick.

The primary purpose of life is to spend it experiencing different things, and when you find the experiences you really like, to experience them more. Don’t trap yourself with only motorcycles.

Be nice:

This may come as a shock to a large part of the automotive community, but nobody likes our loud machines. As someone with an aftermarket exhaust, I can tell you with complete confidence that when we go by someone doing our vroom thing, they find it annoying. The only group of people who enjoy our audio presentation are boys aged 8-12.

When riding through a sleepy village somewhere, or the lanes of your colony, go slow and try to be as quiet as possible. When overtaking someone on the highway, upshift to keep the revs down. Be nice, be invisible, do your thing but let others live their life.

Motorcycles are great at taking you places where even walking is difficult, but the reason you want to go there is because it’s serene and silent. It’s a bit silly to hunt for remote villages, and then ruin them with the noise pollution of your 2nd copy Akrapovic.

Because of how vulnerable you are on a motorcycle, there is a tendency to feel angry at everyone who makes even a tiny mistake, because even their tiny mistake can mean a serious injury for you. Try to control your emotions, you are not the main character on the road, people have their own problems to deal with, you are nobody. Your bike gives you the power to disappear even before someone notices you exist, use it.

You are free to do whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t affect the ability for someone else to do their thing. Don’t be an entitled rider.

Be consistent:

Start with smaller bikes, and upgrade slowly, even if you have the money. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of riding 150 – 200 cc bikes, they are simple, light weight, and so damn easy to live with. Moving to bigger bikes slowly is an immensely satisfying experience. It’s the difference between progressing honestly through a video game from start to finish, and playing the same game with only God Mode.

Develop good habits, slowly. I always use both the front and rear brake all the time, to make it into an instinct. When the emergency braking situation comes, I won’t have to remember to use the rear too. Perfect your downshift technique, slipping the clutch is nice sometimes, but rev-matching is an awesome feeling to get right. Riding in India demands immense focus, it’s almost like extreme meditation. Build your concentration, hone your instincts, learn to predict the future.

Ride often, not only will that slowly build your skills, but you’ll also get into the habit of maintaining your bike. Learn the basic stuff, adjusting your chain, throttle, clutch, these are very important things to know. Build your knowledge slowly, motorcycles are deceptively complex things, and it’s fun to know how stuff works.

Be smart:

Social media is a good slave, but a bad master. It’s perfectly fine to ride to a place with the aim of getting some good pictures for your Insta, motivation can be hard to come by sometimes. Don’t let the Insta likes be everything however, enjoy the journey, interact with locals, meet some new riders. Enjoy the real life, virtual fun will come automatically.

Live your own life, don’t become a keyboard warrior who hates on other people on Facebook. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s a meaningless, stupid activity, ruins someone’s day and leaves you frustrated. I know that controversy gets more likes, but don’t become an idiot for likes.

Don’t try to make money from social media, or motorcycles in general. Being an “influencer” might seem like fun, but behind the scenes it’s usually a hellhole of financial ruin and mental burnout. Working in the auto industry might sound exciting, but it’s usually extremely underpaid, because of course you’re passionate about automobiles, so it’s not exactly “work”. Get a boring 9 to 5, save money, buy bike, ride. “Make your passion your job” is bad advice.

Be safe:

Riding a motorcycle in India is extremely dangerous, statistically it’s nothing but a death wish. When your parents try to discourage you from buying that first bike, understand that they have a very good reason to stop you going on this path. For literally lacs of people, it ends in death.

When I used to tour thousands of kms on motorcycles, I did a lot of things which seem strange and horrific now that I think about them. I wore dog tags, with my name and blood group and father’s name on them, so if I’m found dead in a ditch somewhere somebody can at least tell my parents. I used to run a blog, and on that blog I always left a final post scheduled to auto-publish after 3 months unless rescheduled, so that If I die, at least that article will appear online and spook some people.

I have always believed that if you ride a lot in India, the fact that you’re still alive has nothing to do with your skill, and everything with luck. Going on a highway at 100 kph and hitting a dog that you never even saw spawn out of thin air is not a skill issue. I don’t tempt my luck too much anymore, and have reduced the length of my trips over time. It’s still fun, but I do miss the madness of 1000 km days.

What I’m trying to say is, buy a good helmet. Nowadays you can get a fantastic one for like 5000 bucks. Riding gear is costly, and hard to live with, buy it slowly. Don’t buy the cheap stuff, save, wait, and buy the medium stuff, you don’t need the premium stuff. But a jacket, pant, boots, and gloves can wait, helmet can’t. Helmets save lives, and they look bloody cool. The feeling of wind through your hair is overrated, the feeling of divider through your skull is not.

Chek out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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