While learning to ride a motorcycle isn't too hard, FMS
strongly believes that there is a huge difference between learning to
ride a motorcycle and being taught to ride a motorcycle properly!
MSF is a non-profit organization committed to motorcycle safety,
training, and education. For more information , visit them on the web at
www.msf-usa.org APEX covers riders from those new to the sport, to
refreshers, & advanced riders. They also cover topics for
motorcycles, scooters, and trikes!
Thinking about taking a class with APEX? If you are, you can earn a
DMV Waiver(s) (waives BOTH written and riding tests for VA; riding test
for DC.) web at APEX Cycle Education
Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you've just made eye contact. Try to remain out of people blind spots. If you can't see their face in the mirrors, they can't see you.
Much like about, your placement on the road & how you ride in traffic makes a huge difference. Use signals to move through traffic and avoid cutting folks off or diving in/out cruisers, dirt bikes, street bikes, scooters. Remember rule 1, people already have a hard time seeing you.
Dress For The Crash
While we're all tempted to head to the store wearing only T-shirt and shorts, neither provides enough coverage to protect your body from the pavement! There is plenty of really nice gear on the market that looks good, breathes well, and will reduce your risk of injury.
Be Aware/Pay Attention
Keep Focused! There is very little between you and others, so focus on what's around you and what they are doing rather than letting your mind wander. Fact! Mind Set Most accidents happen during the first 15 minutes or few miles of your home, typically at speeds below 40 mph, and almost always near an intersection or driveway.
Look Where You Want To Go/ Scanning ahead
Sounds simple enough, but far too often people riding motorcycles get themselves in trouble focusing on the wrong things. When riding a motorcycle, where your eyes are focused is where you tend to go, so next time you see a pothole an animal or whatever. Look past it at a slightly different line and you'll likely miss it. Always scan 10-12 seconds ahead of where you currently are on the road.
Where you have new tires, riding in the rain, or out for a ride on the perfect day. Keep acceleration and braking as smooth as possible and you're likely to always come out ahead. Remember, "In Slow, Out Fast." While most of your braking is done on the front brakes, learning to use the rear brake "trailing the brake" becomes more important as you start hitting the curves by allowing the chassis & suspension to remain more settled.
Get to know slow
It's often easier to maneuver a motorcycle at speed than moving around a parking lot or driveway. Practicing slow speed figure 8's, stopping, etc is a key ingredient to keeping you upright! Practice, practice, practice.
Remain calm & don't make any sudden moves. Ease back the throttle, brake gradually apply pressure to the brakes while heading towards a shoulder or the roadside.
The 1st 5 minutes of rain are usually the most dangerous because it's actually more slippery than completely soaked pavement. It's important to remain calm, be cautious, and give yourself extra time for braking distances, and be a gradual on your acceleration.
Riding in the dark
Just like riding on new tires or in the rain, allow yourself extra distance between you and others to make sure you have room to react. It's also no fun getting caught out in the dark with a tinted faceshield, so if you are planning day trips, carry along clear faceshield or use sunglasses instead of a tinted visor. For added safety, consider buying gear with reflective properties/markings/pin-striping or vest.