What is the most important skill to master on my motorcycle?

Shari Ives Instruction Leave a Comment


Every skill you learn on a motorcycle is an important one. There are so many situations in every day riding where one or more of your skills will be put to the test. Whether it is merely parking your motorcycle on a hill or taking an off-ramp at 30 m.p.h. Technique is everything. However, in my opinion there are THREE equally important skills one should be proficient in.

  1. Beginning to move/start.

Not being able to move your bike quickly and without hesitation (move when you need to move) can put/keep you in a precarious situation. Example, a vehicle behind you didn’t see you stopped in front of him because they didn’t notice you among the rear lights of the other vehicles. If you notice this vehicle, you’re going to need to move fast. Any hesitation or fumbling around with gears can make the difference whether you avoid an accident or not.

  1. Cornering.

If you find yourself constantly using your brakes during a turn or cornering you are having difficulty judging your approach/entry speeds. All your slowing down should always be done PRIOR to the turn when you are straight. Then, all you have to do is maintain your speed through the turn, all the while pressing the corresponding side on your handlebar to complete the turn. Applying your rear brake during a turn can cause your motorcycle to lose traction and “wash out”. Applying your front brake during a turn can cause your motorcycle to quickly and violently crash the motorcycle onto the side of the direction of the turn. Slowing down, of all types: using front/rear brakes, holding in the clutch (gliding), or rolling off the throttle (engine braking) should be avoided entirely.


  1. Stopping.

I believe this one is self-explanatory. Not being able to stop when you need to stop is an obvious problem. When stopping, both brakes should always be used. If I’m riding at 2 m.p.h. or 20 m.p.h. I always use both brakes. It’s second nature to me now when I stop. Also, applying direct pressure to the handgrips when stopping minimizes handlebar movement, keeping the bike straight and in-line with the stop.

Become proficient in these skills and always strive to be a better rider. Remember, not everything is in your control on the road, but those things that are should be constantly practiced to improve. Happy riding!

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