Many of you know people who have decided that this is the year they are buying a motorcycle. I think it's timely, therefore, to discuss what I think are the most common mistakes of a new rider.
1.Buying too big of a bike.
You'll get there. But not on your first bike! The important thing is to learn how to ride! You need a bike that's easy to handle, stop and maneuver. Don't start with a Harley Road King.
2. Too eager to get out on the highway
I always think, and I remember doing this over 30 years ago, riding side streets is the best. Riding in your neighborhood. Riding in other neighborhoods. Get so that you're comfortable with the bike and riding, before you venture out in traffic
3. Not believing that you are INVISIBLE to cars....you are.
They're not looking for a motorcycle, they're looking for other cars. They flat out don't see you most of the time. I've lost count on how many clients have told me "I came up to the traffic light, I looked at the guy waiting to make the left turn, he looked at me.....and then as soon as I got to the intersection, he turned!! He was looking right at me! No he wasn't. He was looking through you. He never saw you. He was looking for a car, and you're not a car, so you didn't register in his brain. Always, always, ride like you're invisible. Because most of the time, to car drivers, you are.
4. Riding with a passenger.
Now that you've got yourself a motorcycle, you can't wait to take someone out for a ride on the back of your new bike. Understand that a motorcycle handles different, brakes different, even accelerates different with a passenger on the back. I remember a number of years ago a buddy of mine who was a fairly new rider, couldn't wait to go to Sturgis on his new Harley and take his girlfriend riding. I met up with him out there at Mt Rushmore. He's got his new girlfriend and his new motorcycle. We ride off to some scenic switchbacks and don't get too far before he negotiates a curve wrong, with the extra weight on the back, and goes down. Neither he nor the girlfriend were hurt too badly. Some road rash. But it ruined the trip for him. She wouldn't get back on. Didn't trust his riding, and he then had to hang out with her the whole time, while we rode to Deadwood, Devil's Tower, Custer's Park and all the other beautiful places to ride out there.
Riding a motorcycle is a skill. Like a lot of things we like to do. But it takes practice. If you put in the time you'll be rewarded a hundred fold, and you'll enjoy riding motorcycles the rest of your life.
If you or someone you love has been injured, call me. As a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer who rides, I can help.