Much like driving regular vehicles with four wheels and above, much of the skills necessary in safe and proper motorcycle riding is learned through experience. Some good habits can only be developed over time. And one of the things every beginner motorcycle enthusiast needs to learn is how to position themselves in a lane.
Knowing the proper positioning of your motorcycle in whatever circumstance is key to making sure you are safe from injuries and collisions. If you are a beginner motorcycle enthusiast, read on. These tips and tricks might just be the thing that prevents an accident and keeps you alive and well.
Dry weather and rain
Riding normally in dry weather means you should be riding in the center or right of the center in your lane. This creates a sizable buffer between you and oncoming traffic. However, it is important to remember that the center of the lane becomes more slippery in rainy conditions. Oil and grime will settle in the centers of lanes because care tires are less likely to wear them off.
If it has rained enough such that water has settled on the roads, avoid the specialized lanes for heavier vehicles and the lanes closest to the curb, as water is likely to settle in that part of the road.
It is also advisable never to ride on the edges of lanes, as this is where debris, such as dirt and pebbles, are likely to settle. This debris can make your ride dangerous and slippery and might cause life-threatening flat tires at high speeds.
Riding near parked vehicles
The center-right position is appropriate when you are close to a lane of oncoming traffic, but if you happen to be riding closer to the curb, it might do you well to drive to the center-left of that lane. This will keep you safe from the sudden opening of car doors and unseen pedestrians emerging from behind larger vehicles.
Stay in the center-left position when you are being overtaken. If it is raining, prepare yourself for the possibility of water spray, which could throw you off balance, depending on the speed you are traveling. If being overtaken by a larger vehicle, the sudden emergence of its shadow and the crosswind being blown right into you could throw you off-balance, so it is important to be aware of these possible effects.
If you are doing the overtaking, you should be in the center or the center-right of the lane you are overtaking in. Make sure the driver of the vehicle you are overtaking is aware of your presence. A quick flash of the high beams or a small honk can help them notice you better. This can prevent them from attempting to overtake another vehicle in front of them while you are already in the adjacent lane.
If you are following a larger vehicle, give yourself enough distance to see more of the road ahead. Doing so will allow the driver to see you in their side mirrors if there is no rearview.
For other vehicles, it is important to drive within the line of sight of the driver. Stay in their rearview mirror or make sure you are visible in their side mirrors should you decide to overtake them.
Riding a smaller vehicle like a motorcycle comes with its own concerns and set of skills. Knowing how to properly position your motorcycle can be taught with motorcycle lessons, but only honed with experience.
If you’re looking for resources on riding motorcycles for beginners, send us at Beginner Riders a message. We have everything you need to become an expert rider in no time.