New riders make mistakes. Well, actually, all riders make mistakes, but new riders more so than experienced ones. While there is a myriad of things new riders do wrong, there are a few that stand out to me: misjudging corners, not looking down the road far enough and riding into exhaustion
These three mistakes are the things that I most often caught myself doing wrong when I first go on a bike, and they're things I consistently hear about from other bikers. Here's some more details about each of these three mistakes and how to avoid them.
When you're first starting out, it can be difficult to know how fast to come into a corner and what line to take through that corner, especially if the road is new for you. Speed is probably one of the most important things to monitor. When you're starting out, you need to pick a speed that allows you to adjust your line through the turn should you need to. Don't go into a turn as fast as you can because you'll have little, if any, room to correct yourself and make it through the turn.
Once you become more comfortable on the bike, you can push the envelope a little bit and increase your speed. Start off by entering corners at a nice easy speed and work your way up to really carving up the road.
Not Looking Far Enough Ahead
Too many young riders get preoccupied with what's right in front of them. While what's in front of you is important, it's what's coming up that you should be worried about. By looking further ahead down the road, you can identify hazards and issues well in advance and adjust your speed and road position accordingly. If you fail to look down the road to see what's coming up, you run the risk of not being prepared for whatever obstacle arises.
Riding Into Exhaustion
Motorcycling is a physical activity. It may not be like fighting a 8 round boxing match, but you do get fatigued, especially if you've been on the bike for a long time or are traveling on a demanding and difficult road or terrain. It's easy to think you can keep going when you're tired, but you're always a better rider when well-rested. This doesn't mean you have to pull off and take a nap. Simply take a break at the nearest rest stop or gas station, grab a snack and a beverage (nonalcoholic please) and relax for 20 or 30 minutes. Once you're rested up get back on the road.
Exhaustion makes you sluggish, it has a negative impact on your good habits and increases the likelihood of an accident. Don't ride when you feel like crap. It's always better to pull off and take a load off for a little bit and then hit the road in the proper condition to ride.
Know of a mistake new riders commonly make? Leave a comment about it below.