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12 Tips to Better Riding | Motorcycle Basics

Motorcycle Basics to Make You a Better Rider on the Street

Riding a motorcycle is a very rewarding experience, but it can also be very dangerous if you are not prepared. No matter if you are starting out or a vet rider, there is always something to learn about riding motorcycles. We have compiled 12 tips to better riding that you should think about every time you throw a leg over your ride.  Aside from the right motorcycle gear, thinking about they way you ride will make you a better prepared and safer rider.


The 12 Tips:


Riding takes all of your concentration. Be sure you are focused on riding when you twist the throttle. If you have drifting thoughts as you ride and not on the road,  it’s safer for you to park the bike, get a cup of coffee and get your mind right.


If you have never twisted the throttle on dirt, find a friend and go ride a motocross bike. Nothing teaches you about traction and body positioning like a dirt bike. You’ll also learn what to do when you encounter water or sand on paved roads. Plus, you might become addicted to the dirt just as much as the pavement!


Following a better rider in your group will show you what you need to learn.


Every group has a few.  Ride behind a better rider.  Why? A better rider will show you just how much you can still learn. From proper entry speed to body positioning,  riding with someone better will show you what you need to work on to better your skills. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as well.

Try and find a local racing group and enter a race, on dirt or the asphalt. Competition at any level makes you focus and try harder, even if you never make it to the podium. Don’t worry about winning, focus on technique and total concentration.


Riding a motorcycle you have to be well aware of your surroundings. The best thing you can do is look farther ahead so you know what is coming up.  Looking down at the road in front of you won’t do you any good.  By the time you see the danger, you have already hit it. Lift your chin and look ahead. In turns, look where you want to go: through the turn, not just into the entrance. You will be surprised at how much more confidence you will have through the corners with this tip.


Sitting like a couch potato on your motorcycle is dangerous. Motorcycles are dynamic vehicles and react to your body position. If you don’t have good riding position, your motorcycle will be harder to control and will react differently than expected.


Just like driving a car, making sure your hand and feet controls are in the proper spot is crucial.  Always check your controls, handlebars, and footpegs. Also make sure your side mirrors are properly adjusted to see what’s behind you.


Cleaning your ride is a very important maintenance tip. As you clean your bike, you can spot problems before they become dangerous. Buy a service manual and learn to work on your bike.Not only is this more rewarding, but you get to know your motorcycle inside and out.


Riding in bad weather makes you focus on traction, lean angle, steering input, braking, and overall smoothness. Assess the riding conditions properly and don’t over-ride the conditions.


Every bike has a different personality. Try to ride different bikes to sharpen your riding skills.  Different skills are needed for different bikes and keeps you riding skills sharp. It’s easy to get complacent when riding the same bike day in and day out.


Look ahead and proper body position will aid in riding smooth and safe.


Pick a day of the week and forget about everything else but being smooth. It’ll make you anticipate the road or trail and all of your inputs, and that builds awareness.


Don’t wait for when the situation arises.  Spend some time practicing hard stops with both the front and rear brakes in a safe area.  Not only will this make you more experienced with the brakes, but what you should do during an altercation.




Thinking about these 12 tips every time you take to the street will make you a more skillful rider. Having the best motorcycle helmet and gear won’t do anything for you are not a safe rider.  If you have any tips and tricks that you use when you are riding your motorcycle, share with  us in the comments below.



Chris Chris Chris
Social Media Editor at BTO Sports
Known as "Doc" around the industry, Chris has been around the motocross/mountain bike industry for over 15 years. When not writing articles of excellence, he can be found riding his CRF450R at the many Southern California motocross tracks and local MTB trails around the Ventura County area.