Often, when we are on the road as riders, we tend to forget just how fragile a pile of meat on a piece of hot metal really is.
Recently, I have seen many riders take unnecessary risks and falls, be it whether they were riding casually or otherwise, and i would like to offer some pieces of advice, which may hopefully, be useful in your daily trips around.
1. Always be aware of what is around you.
When I took my license a couple of years back, one of the riding instructors taught me ‘Always be aware of what is around you’. It is sure easy to say, but it might be difficult to practice, most of us think we really know what is around us, but often, one is unaware of 70% of the things they perceive.
Think about it this way, you have your front, your sides and your rear, 4 spots in total to look at. Yes, it is rudimentary and kinda ‘silly’ to be showing you a blind spot diagram. Understand this, others on the road, have 4 spots to look at as well.
2. Take sides
Most motorcyclists often move in the center of the lane markings. Though, it often pays to take sides. Yes, you could say, that is horrible lane discipline, but hey, would you rather live or die bro?
When moving through traffic, your awareness of where the vehicles are, would decide, would you veer closer to the left of the lane or to the right, and trust me, most lanes are large enough for 4 bikes to be bar to bar in the same lane at once. so you have a choice of spot on center, left, extreme left, or right, extreme right. Adjust yourself in the lane so that there is always a 1 bike gap (more is better) to your sides to the car you are about to pass, or to the car driving next to you, at the same time, you have to be aware that there are vehicles coming from the rear, so adjust yourself accordingly.
Also, be aware of the driving orientation of where you are, it pays to sit on the right of the lane in Singapore because it is right-hand drive. The inverse applies.
3. Always leave ‘room’
Always leave room for error, never cut too close to the edge. Yes, you might be a very good rider with un-equalled response timings, but humans are prone to error. Leave room both in the physical sense and in the mental sense, never ride at 100%, always ride at 70%, hold back, what have you got to loose? Many riders often get hurt because they do not know when to hold back. They would push themselves beyond the limits, and the closer you get to the limits, the more likely you are to have an accident. Leaving room for corrections never hurt anyone. Also, leaving room, means you will live long enough to see improvements in your riding, such improvements will mean that even though you are riding at 70%, it might be other’s 100%. Whats the rush?
Check out this riding technique video, by Keith Code, the founder of Superbike School.