The most common mistakes for learner riders – Part 1

rider training ducati wide 700px

As is the case with anything in life, if it’s new to you, you’re going to make mistakes.

Whether it’s your first attempt at speaking a foreign language, playing a musical instrument or cooking a new dish, you’ll get better and better the more times you do it.

And the same goes for riding a motorcycle – the more you ride, in terms of miles and hours, the better you will become.

But that also means that when you start riding, you’re the worst you’ll ever be on two wheels and there are certain mistakes that are common among most new riders.

Mistake 1 – Thinking other road users care about you

When you’re new to riding on the road it’s easy to assume that other road users will care about you and accommodate you on the road. That is categorically not the case. Other road users will cut you up, ignore you and go about their daily business as if you weren’t there.

So, as a general rule, you should think of yourself as invisible to other road users; expect drivers to pull out in front of you and keep a finger over the brake lever at all times.

Mistake 2 – Too far too soon

Another common mistake among young riders is biting off more than they can chew and trying to ride too far too soon. Whilst this might sound contradictory to mistake number one (which essentially states that practice makes perfect) it’s not.

When new to the road you should take it slow and steady and gradually increase the time you spend on the road on two wheels.

Similarly, don’t target Spaghetti Junction on day one. Stick to basic roads and increase their complexity when you’re completely comfortable being out and about on your bike on your own.

Mistake 3 – Too big too soon

Harley-Davidson at the roadside in the States

Everyone wants the biggest and the best, whether they admit it or not, and in motorcycle terms that means the fastest and slickest bikes. It’s tempting for new riders to aim for the top of their licence range, getting the biggest capacity, highest output models available to them but that can complicate things.

It’s important to be realistic about your capabilities and experience. Don’t go all out and push your ability from day one, get a bike that you’re comfortable riding and you can cope with.

When you’re more experienced and have mastered being out on the road you can then look at upgrading your machine to something more powerful – it’s easier to learn and hone your skills on a smaller, slower bike than a bigger, faster one.

Follow the link to learn more about the ‘Most common mistakes for learner riders’ in part 2.

Next page: The most common mistakes for learner riders - Part 2