Tips, Tricks and Skills
See how UpRight encourage riders to get the right gear, training and attire in our interactive All Things Upright toolkit.
When riding, consider what clothing you are wearing. Your helmet, leathers, boots and gloves could save your life if you are ever unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision.
Invest in yourself and buy all relevant clothing required for riding.
As with any vehicle, we advise that you ride to the weather conditions facing you on a daily basis.
In summer, layering up into your leathers is the last thing you'll want to do, but you need to be prepared. Don't ever go out in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops.
Inspect your tyres before you head out, and check the motorbike's fluids too. Plan your route, and stop for plenty of breaks. Drink lots of water, and when you do stop, try and park your bike in the shade, as the seat, paints and plastics will suffer if you leave it in the sun for too long.
In the winter months, keeping warm is crucial. Padded riding gear is available, but if you can't afford it then be sure to wear extra layers and make the external layer a waterproof one. Keep several pairs of gloves to hand, as if one pair get wet it will ruin your riding experience for the day, and try to put your helmet on inside to avoid it fogging up.
When riding in cold weather, Do all your work in a straight line and be smooth with the controls – avoid braking and accelerating hard with lean angle. ABS and traction control will stop you slipping and sliding in a straight line. When cornering, move your head and shoulders into the corner with your inside arm bent to maximise grip and feel. When exiting corners, tap the throttle gently and wait for the weight to transfer to the rear end, then wind the throttle on progressively.
Familiarity with areas
The more times you drive, ride, walk or cycle a route, the more familiar you become with the area. You'll expect a car to be parked at a certain place, or a lot of traffic at a certain time, and the more you use these routes, the more comfortable you'll feel travelling on them.
This only means you need to be on high alert when travelling. Don't presume that everything will be as it is everyday. All it takes is for a cyclist to ride that way, an emergency service vehicle to have it's blue lights on, or for a child to walk into the road. You need to be alert at all times.
Pillion Passenger Riding
There's a real art to carrying a passenger on a motorbike. The first step is to make sure they are wearing the correct clothing - At least a properly-fitting helmet, armoured jacket, proper gloves and high-top boots along with a pair of sturdy jeans.
Give them a briefing, and explain what they are going to feel and how the bike will react to your moves. Tell them how they should hold on while the bike is in motion, either reaching behind to hold the pillion grab handles, or wrapping their hands around the rider's waist.
For more safety tips, please visit the Motorcycle News website.