How Long Does it Take to Learn to Ride a Bike?
A lot of people are scared to ride motorbikes. It is understandable with most of the news articles surrounding motorbikes are either because of traffic accidents or hardened criminals getting away from a police chase.
However, that is not all there is to it. Bikers are just regular people trying to get by in a world that treats them a little differently. Motorbikes are safe, so long as the riders themselves are safe. Accidents still happen, but they are preventable.
There is no age limit to learning to ride a bike, much like every other skill in life. You can start at any time you are comfortable with and surrounded by people you can trust and count on for support. It’s hard to learn a new skill when you are constantly bombarded with unsupportive statements.
Once you are ready to take on the challenge of riding a motorbike, you have to gather a few protective gears, most notably the helmet, gloves, and knee pads. Other accessories include a jacket and reflective vests.
- Finding your balance. Knowing how to ride a bicycle is an advantage, but it’s not necessary. The balancing practice from riding a bike is nearly the same as the one in a motorbike, but with less pedaling and more gasoline. You can balance yourself by tightening your core muscles and finding your center of gravity. It is a stance that feels the most solid even if you are not in one boxed or straight position.
- Locate the clutch, throttle, and brakes. Once you find your balance, you may turn your engine on and locate the clutch, throttle, and brakes. This controls your pace on the road. These three must be mastered before even thinking about cruising down the highway. I have seen so many accidents that are caused by the misuse of these controls.
- Learn about the clutch. The clutch is the one that drives the part of the engine responsible for moving the rear wheel. It disengages the power from the engine. It is also used in shifting gears. Without this, a motorbike may be moved even when it is idle.
- Feel the throttle. The throttle controls the air going into the carburetor, which in turn controls the amount of fuel going into the engine. There are many theories as to how to hold your throttle to avoid accidents. The primary method is to hold the throttle with four fingers. However, many experienced riders advocate the Two Finger Method, which eliminates the split-second needed to reach for one’s brakes.
- Brakes are your best friend. Finally, the brakes help bring your motorbike to a full stop. Brake is perhaps the most crucial component in any vehicle, most especially in motorbikes. The fast-paced nature of riding a motorbike requires the versatility of brakes and braking techniques. Prevention is still the best cure for anything and everything, even accidents.
- Practice makes perfect. Once you get the basics down, you may now start practicing riding the motorbike. It is preferable to do so in an empty parking lot or open space. This way, the risk of hurting yourself or anyone is lessened. All you have to watch out for are properties that you may still be liable for should you accidentally hit them.
- Pacing or Slow Speed. The necessary skills for driving a motorbike are pacing and turning. Pacing is the slow speed ideal for beginners. It gives you a feel of the motorbike and how it works. At this stage, you get a grasp of the motorbike’s build-up. You can also practice the three basic controls we discussed earlier. Learn your limitations and timing.
- Brakes are important. It would help if you also learned the force of the brakes. Many riders get dizzy because of how they control their brakes during their first few times riding. This stage is a learning process. It’s easy to get frustrated at this stage and wish for a faster speed. However, it is a crucial stage for you to get to know your vehicle and yourself. Be patient.
- Turning or Countersteering. When you have sufficiently practiced pacing with brakes, you may now speed up and practice turning. In motorbike practice, it is called countersteering. This is the act of steering your motorbike away from the direction you intend to go. You push left to turn to the left, while you push right to turn right. What happens is the motorbike shifts ever so slightly to the direction where you are pushing and eventually make a turn in the correct direction.
- How to turn. Keep your eyes on the road while making your turn. Decrease your speed and lean slightly towards the direction of your turn. You have to keep in mind that balance is always essential when making a turn. Increase your speed as you recover from your turn.
- Turning in tight places. It would help if you were careful in turning tight curves or corners. This is usually where accidents happen, unfortunate as they are. You have to be alert when riding along unfamiliar roads. A split-second is all it takes for the unthinkable to happen.
- Light indicators. If you are not a racer, one last thing to keep in mind is the small switch called the indicator lights. Even if you are a racer, if you are not driving along a racetrack, this simple flick is a huge help to you and your fellow drivers. A lot of people often dismiss it, but if you read through statistics and news articles, a lot of these accidents could have been prevented if only the indicator lights were used.
It isn’t too hard to learn how to ride a motorbike and is not time-consuming at all. These lessons may be learned in one afternoon. Once you have mastered the necessary balance, control, and skill set, you are good to go.
It’s the practice and patience that makes riding a motorbike time-consuming. Patience goes both ways, in practicing and in actual riding. It should extend from you to your fellow drivers and riders. Courtesy is a luxury nowadays. Let’s make it common.