I Am A New Biker, What Is Some Good Advice For Me?

Aleks

Wannabie Member
Feb 29, 2016
76
7
8
I ride a
Honda Varadero XL125 (53 plate)
So I am 16 and I am currently on a moped, I have only been riding for 7 months so I am obviously very inexperienced. I am just wondering if I could get some advice on anything that would help me out please? Safety tips, gear/bike essentials, etc. and I am very interested what everybody has to say :)

Cheers!
 
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RiderSquad

Wannabie Member
Feb 27, 2016
28
3
8
27
I ride a
Kawasaki KLX
Welcome alex..hope you enjoy the forum..i'm new like you, so i can't give you any advice..
 

Pigs

Wannabie Member
Dec 4, 2015
174
71
28
22
Portland, OR
I ride a
zx6r
Welcome to the forum! Don't have any advice for you as I have never rode a moped nor drove in the UK.
 

jthomas

jthomas1310
Jan 9, 2016
795
176
43
Australia
I ride a
2015 Yamaha YZF-R3
Welcome. Best tip for being on the road is that you should always consider that another person on the road has not seen you. Never assume they have until you have made eye contact with them. Other than that, keep the rubber side down ;)
 

Lurch

Administrator
May 5, 2014
5,534
2,060
113
Yorkshire
I ride a
2016 Street Triple R and a 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
Wear decent gear with protection, buy stuff you've heard of from a shop you've heard of. J&S do some good priced stuff for the budget conscious rider. Make sure your helmet is a really good fit. A well fitting £50 Nitro lid is going to do you better than a poor fitting £600 Schuberth.

As for riding, remember your training, dominate your road position when you need to ans don't be bullied by other road users to yield if they want to pass. If you get a prick, pull over some where safe and let them go.

Keep up observations, lifesavers, shoulder checks etc, but make them count, also many leave it to the last second to look round, look a little earlier as you'll have time to react more.

If you feel you're struggling with any aspect of riding, try and find a friend who has done some further training and get advice. Do watch out for friends who might have a lot of experience but might not be best suited to give you advice. I got told before to forget what the riding school taught me as it's nonsense. It's not, it's the building blocks that you start from, not substitute later on. Or call your CBT place and ask for a half day with an instructor to go over anything you're not sure on.

Where are you based? Someone on here might be local and happy to go with you if you wanted any advice or reassurances.
 

MiGlyRides

Geordie-Aussie
Jan 5, 2016
396
128
43
Gold Coast, Queensland
I ride a
Honda CBR 500 RA & Honda MSX 125 (GROM)
Welcome! I've not got a ton of experience the only recommendations I feel comfortable giving are quite basic.. always know what's around you at all times and like Lurch said
look a little earlier as you'll have time to react more.
Also I used to only look at a car's tyre positioning and inductors at junctions, this lead to a few close calls, I was advised to look at the driver as well as the tyres & indicators, which way they're looking, for example if you're following a car down a 2 lane road and there's a car turning right onto your road, you see them looking left and right, then as the car in front of you is about to pass the junction, the driver that's turning right stops checking left and is only looking right there's a good chance they've looked but failed to see then you can anticipate the car pulling out in front of you. Also lane positioning is a bit part of increasing visibility & reducing vulnerability.

Stay safe, calm, and if you're asking yourself "Will I make that ........." the answer's already NO.
 

SwissMotard

The Swiss Motard
Sep 19, 2014
3,284
916
113
I ride a
Triumph Street Triple
Watch "Twist of the wrist abridged" on YouTube when you're ready to get into the more advanced stuff.

Oh, and welcome to the community!
 

Clint Love

It doesn't say CUNT, dammit!
Jun 17, 2015
613
285
63
Dallas, Texas
www.therealclintlove.com
I ride a
2007 Ducati 1098s
Learn to look at the people, not just the cars. You can see them through their rear window and their mirrors. What they do with their head and body is an indicator of what they are about to do in traffic. Suddenly change lanes or slam on their brakes, for example.

Look way ahead of you in traffic to identify problems that could affect you. Impatient drivers, things falling out of the back of a truck, a whole lot of people swerving to avoid an obstacle or a whole lot of people suddenly braking hard.

Wear good safety gear.

Don't look at the ground or at an obstacle in your way, look where you want to go instead.

Watch out for oncoming cars making an illegal turn in front of you at stop lights. In the States, it's cars making a left turn against the light. In the UK, I'm guessing it's the opposite. It may not be as much of a problem there, since you have roundabouts, though. You always have the possibility of someone merging onto the roundabout in front of you since they aren't looking for bikes, however.

Stay out of the blind spots of cars. Get ahead of them or far enough behind that they can see you.
 
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Aleks

Wannabie Member
Feb 29, 2016
76
7
8
I ride a
Honda Varadero XL125 (53 plate)
Welcome alex..hope you enjoy the forum..i'm new like you, so i can't give you any advice..
Thanks for the welcome, I guess maybe we can both learn from what others post then ;)
 

Aleks

Wannabie Member
Feb 29, 2016
76
7
8
I ride a
Honda Varadero XL125 (53 plate)
Welcome. Best tip for being on the road is that you should always consider that another person on the road has not seen you. Never assume they have until you have made eye contact with them. Other than that, keep the rubber side down ;)
I have been talking to other drivers/riders as well and they have nearly all said "assume everyone else on the road are idiots", however, no one has said make eye contact with them which I have never thought of either and this seems very useful! One question though: what if you are in a scenario where you don't make eye contact with them or your not sure if you have?

Thanks! :)
 

Aleks

Wannabie Member
Feb 29, 2016
76
7
8
I ride a
Honda Varadero XL125 (53 plate)
Watch "Twist of the wrist abridged" on YouTube when you're ready to get into the more advanced stuff.

Oh, and welcome to the community!
I'll definitely be watching it when I get a chance. Thanks :)
 

Aleks

Wannabie Member
Feb 29, 2016
76
7
8
I ride a
Honda Varadero XL125 (53 plate)
Wear decent gear with protection, buy stuff you've heard of from a shop you've heard of. J&S do some good priced stuff for the budget conscious rider. Make sure your helmet is a really good fit. A well fitting £50 Nitro lid is going to do you better than a poor fitting £600 Schuberth.

As for riding, remember your training, dominate your road position when you need to ans don't be bullied by other road users to yield if they want to pass. If you get a prick, pull over some where safe and let them go.

Keep up observations, lifesavers, shoulder checks etc, but make them count, also many leave it to the last second to look round, look a little earlier as you'll have time to react more.

If you feel you're struggling with any aspect of riding, try and find a friend who has done some further training and get advice. Do watch out for friends who might have a lot of experience but might not be best suited to give you advice. I got told before to forget what the riding school taught me as it's nonsense. It's not, it's the building blocks that you start from, not substitute later on. Or call your CBT place and ask for a half day with an instructor to go over anything you're not sure on.

Where are you based? Someone on here might be local and happy to go with you if you wanted any advice or reassurances.
The first helmet I bought was way to big for me which I didn't realise at the time because I was in a rush, but when I did I had to fork out even more money to get the right size and I got some professional advice. I definitely won't be making that mistake again :D Unfortunately the 'L plates' on my bike mean that I do get bullied on the road quite a bit. What I generally do is go into 'position 1' on the road if I'm being tail-gated in the hope that they pass sooner and safer. Could that be potentially dangerous?

Also, I'm based in Chesterfield, North Derbyshire and I'm hoping to do a CBT Plus when I turn 17 to get me used to a geared bike as well.

Thanks! :)
 

Lurch

Administrator
May 5, 2014
5,534
2,060
113
Yorkshire
I ride a
2016 Street Triple R and a 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
...what if you are in a scenario where you don't make eye contact with them or your not sure if you have?

Thanks! :)
Looking in your direction and seeing you are two very different things. Don't assume because they're looking your way they've seen you.

Always have a plan B, if that car pulls out, what will you do - can you brake, swerve, accelerate out of danger? Will the speed you're at allow you to do any of those things safely? Are you travelling at a speed appropriate to the conditions and able to carry out avoidance at that speed?

Be a thinking rider, not a reactive one. Have the plan B ready all the time.

And all those exercises before you went on the road on your CBT - keep up the practice in an empty car park. Try and turn your bike within the space of 2 parking spots. Walk the bike on full lock starting on one of the white lines, and work on riding that line confidently. Also emergency stops. If you're apprehensive work up to full braking.
 

Aleks

Wannabie Member
Feb 29, 2016
76
7
8
I ride a
Honda Varadero XL125 (53 plate)
Learn to look at the people, not just the cars. You can see them through their rear window and their mirrors. What they do with their head and body is an indicator of what they are about to do in traffic. Suddenly change lanes or slam on their brakes, for example.

Look way ahead of you in traffic to identify problems that could affect you. Impatient drivers, things falling out of the back of a truck, a whole lot of people swerving to avoid an obstacle or a whole lot of people suddenly braking hard.

Wear good safety gear.

Don't look at the ground or at an obstacle in your way, look where you want to go instead.

Watch out for oncoming cars making an illegal turn in front of you at stop lights. In the States, it's cars making a left turn against the light. In the UK, I'm guessing it's the opposite. It may not be as much of a problem there, since you have roundabouts, though. You always have the possibility of someone merging onto the roundabout in front of you since they aren't looking for bikes, however.

Stay out of the blind spots of cars. Get ahead of them or far enough behind that they can see you.
When you say "Learn to look at the people", do you mean that as in if they look to their right there is a chance they will manoeuvre right into another lane for example? I have tried looking before but I have always struggled to understand what people will do, (which I believe is due to lack of experience).
I have only every seen one person make a U-turn which was when I was filtering, but I just managed to avoid it because I was only doing about 15mph. I have also found that I am quite often cut off at roundabouts and a lot cars suddenly merge into my lane on bigger roundabouts or change lane last second, but I always assume that the driver will probably cut me off so I always try to be prepared which has saved me a couple of times.

Last question: how do you know if you are in the blind spot of a car?

Thanks! :)
 

Aleks

Wannabie Member
Feb 29, 2016
76
7
8
I ride a
Honda Varadero XL125 (53 plate)
Looking in your direction and seeing you are two very different things. Don't assume because they're looking your way they've seen you.

Always have a plan B, if that car pulls out, what will you do - can you brake, swerve, accelerate out of danger? Will the speed you're at allow you to do any of those things safely? Are you travelling at a speed appropriate to the conditions and able to carry out avoidance at that speed?

Be a thinking rider, not a reactive one. Have the plan B ready all the time.

And all those exercises before you went on the road on your CBT - keep up the practice in an empty car park. Try and turn your bike within the space of 2 parking spots. Walk the bike on full lock starting on one of the white lines, and work on riding that line confidently. Also emergency stops. If you're apprehensive work up to full braking.
Thanks for the reply. I have been practising my emergency braking a lot on my moped which I believe has saved me a couple of times. I can also turn my bike on full lock without too much trouble as well. What do you mean by "full braking" though?
 

Clint Love

It doesn't say CUNT, dammit!
Jun 17, 2015
613
285
63
Dallas, Texas
www.therealclintlove.com
I ride a
2007 Ducati 1098s
When you say "Learn to look at the people", do you mean that as in if they look to their right there is a chance they will manoeuvre right into another lane for example? I have tried looking before but I have always struggled to understand what people will do, (which I believe is due to lack of experience).
I have only every seen one person make a U-turn which was when I was filtering, but I just managed to avoid it because I was only doing about 15mph. I have also found that I am quite often cut off at roundabouts and a lot cars suddenly merge into my lane on bigger roundabouts or change lane last second, but I always assume that the driver will probably cut me off so I always try to be prepared which has saved me a couple of times.

Last question: how do you know if you are in the blind spot of a car?

Thanks! :)
You will get used to it if you keep watching. Like if they keep snapping their head to one side, they are probably going to jump into that lane. If they are at a stop light and keep creeping forward and then stopping, they are probably on a cell phone. Or if you see them on a cell phone you know they aren't paying attention to shit and they are probably going to drift over the line, brake suddenly, and their speed will probably be erratic, so you just stay the hell away from them!

If you are oblique to a car and you can't see the driver's face in his side mirror or rear view mirror, you are probably in the blind spot.
 

Lurch

Administrator
May 5, 2014
5,534
2,060
113
Yorkshire
I ride a
2016 Street Triple R and a 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
Position 1 - never move there to hope people pass, hold a defensive position 2/3 to stop people passing. Let them pass at their own risk and as a proper overtake. If they then cut it close, you have 6-8' of lane to your left to escape to, rather than 6-8" until you get to a kerb. You own the bit of the road you're on, not the arsehole behind.

Full braking - basically very hard braking but without locking the wheels or dropping the bike, actually quite hard to do without practice. By builing up to it you may eventually feel the odd wheel beginning to lock, and that's max braking. Don't forget to be progressive with the brakes though. A fistful will put you on the floor.
 
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kuhlka

Wannabie Member
Jul 7, 2014
290
78
28
SoCal OC
youtube.com
I ride a
2011 Ducati Diavel Carbon Red, 2007 Ducati 1098
Learn to drag the rear brake for slow speed maneuvers and practice 'slow drags' to really get a feel for your bike. Main thing is you should be hammering away on skills drills and getting as much seat time in empty parking lots as possible until you can bring both brakes to near-lock without crashing juuuuust in case you get into an emergency situation.

Gear is good for low speed crashes that don't involve wrapping yourself around solid objects. The rest of the time you need to be making WISE decisions and practicing vision drills (looking for cars pulling out, driveways, blind corners, slow down and anticipate stupidity) to cover the rest. Your brain is your primary piece of safety gear. If that's malfunctioning, no amount of gear is going to save you. I've seen people in full race suits dead on the street because they got too aggressive on the street and lost it under a vehicle.

Looking at people is handy at a glance in your peripheral vision, but watching their wheels or the general attitude of their vehicle is much more indicative of their intent. Plenty of people turn their head to look at random crap all the time, including their damned ipad... I've gotten stuck behind people with an ipad on the steering wheel as they're cruising down the road at 50mph reading the latest news and ordering take-out for the night.

I'd have a lot more to say if you were in front of me, but another top tip would be learn as much about doing your own maintenance as possible and build up at least a basic tool kit for simple stuff. If you know how to do basic service it'll go a long way toward saving you gobs of dough when a shop tries to charge you double the labor rate or three times what a part actually costs... Not to mention saving yourself a fat stack not having to pay for an hour labor for a simple oil change. Often the labor costs much more than the parts. You could do 3-4 oil changes for how much most dealers would charge to do it.
 

HappyBiker

Wannabie Member
Feb 24, 2016
8
1
1
40
I ride a
Honda, BMW and KTM
Always keep a safe following distance. Saved my bacon a few times. Also always expect that other road users might do something silly and be ready for it, a lot of the time I found that they do something silly and it helped that I expected it.

Something else of use is where a road splits off and a vehicle suddenly realises he needs to be going the other way and is in the wrong lane and swerve without checking what is around them, keep your distance. Also never ride in someone's blind spot, make sure they see you.
 

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