Things You Should Not Do When Riding A Motorcycle

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts

According to NHTSA, the number of accidents and fatalities amongst motorcyclists continues to increase. In 2019, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all fatalities, with the most significant percentage doing things you should not do when riding a motorcycle. So what should you not do when riding a motorcycle?

You should not abuse substances, speed or ride someone’s pace, or go beyond your limits, among other things.  Of all the 4733 accidents in 2019, 1383 (29%) were attributed to drunkenness amongst riders.

Practicing caution and avoiding some practices when riding a motorcycle could save lives. But it’s easy to forget one of them and get in trouble.

Things You Should Not Do When Riding A Motorcycle

Ignoring The Side Mirror

Ignoring The Side Mirror

Ignoring your side mirror is one of the most important things you should not do when riding a motorcycle. You must check your blind spot before making any lane changes, and your side mirror is the best way to do that.

The side mirrors are there for a reason – to help you see what’s behind you. Make sure you take a glance at them every few seconds.

Leaning Too Much

Leaning Too Much

It’s essential to keep your weight balanced, upright, and centered when riding. When you bend, you shift the weight, which can cause the bike to tip over.

If you need to lean, do it slowly and carefully. And always lean into the turn, never out of it. If you lean too far to one side, you could lose control of the bike.

Misusing Indicators

Like side mirrors, indicators are there for a reason – to let other drivers know when you’re changing lanes or making a turn. You should use them to signal to other drivers when you’re stopping.

Before making any kind of move, use your indicators to avoid causing an accident. Misusing is one of the things you should not do when riding a motorcycle; it can be dangerous. For instance, leaving your turn signal on after you’ve already made a turn can confuse other drivers.

Push Your Limits

One of the most important things you should not do when riding a motorcycle is ride beyond your limits. Knowing your skills and abilities is essential, and riding within them is crucial.

Stick to roads and trails you know you can handle, and be careful not to push yourself too hard. If you try to do something beyond your skill level, you could quickly end up in an accident. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore new tricks! Just be sure to do so safely and when not on the road.

Lose Sight Of What’s Important

When you’re out riding, it’s essential to stay focused on the task at hand – operating your motorcycle. Therefore, no texting, no talking on the phone, and no fiddling with your music player. Do not let yourself be distracted by anything else.

It can be tempting to want to take your eyes off the road for just a second, but that’s all it takes for an accident to happen. So keep your eyes on the road and stay focused on riding. Even if you feel hydrated, take breaks!

Underestimate Braking

Many motorcycle accidents happen because the rider didn’t brake in time. Most riders panic when they realize they need to brake instantly. Instead, they redirect the bike to a nearby bush.

Instead of panicking, remain calm and apply the brakes gently but firmly. If you need to stop quickly, use both the front and rear brakes simultaneously. And be sure to give yourself plenty of space to brake.

Riding Someone’s Pace

Riding Someone's Pace on motorcycle

Last but not least, one of the worst things you can do when riding a motorcycle is to ride at someone else’s pace. Just because somebody else is comfortable going fast doesn’t mean you are.

Ride at a speed comfortable for you and within your skill level. Don’t let anyone pressure you into riding faster than you want. It’s not worth the risk; besides, you’ll enjoy the ride more if you’re not constantly worrying about crashing.

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Keeping Off Your Finger From The Clutch

One of the most important things to avoid when riding a motorcycle is taking away your finger from the clutch. Taking your finger off the clutch means losing control of the bike, which can be extremely dangerous.

You can never be sure when to break or shift the gear, especially when riding on a busy road.  What if you’re on an empty road and a  wild animal dashes before you?

Riding Too Close To Other Bikes Or Vehicles

Riding a motorcycle too close to other bikes or vehicles can be fatal. It exposes you more to a possible accident. For example, if the other person breaks instantly, you’re more likely to hit them. 

You are more likely to be affected by an unprecedented action that when keeping a little distance. Additionally, riding too close to two cars exposes you to being caught between them. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s also illegal in most states.

Abusing Substances

You should never abuse substances and ride; it is illegal. The commonly used substances include drugs, alcohol, and even prescription medications. In 2019, 29% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment.

Riding a motorcycle is risky enough without adding the dangers of impaired riding. Not only could you hurt yourself, but you could also hurt other people. So always ride sober and be aware of your surroundings.

Can You Stand Up While Riding A Motorcycle?

Yes, you can, but that doesn’t mean you should. Standing up while riding a motorcycle is a dangerous maneuver and a terrible idea. It’s called “wheeling” or “wheelstand”. It should have been number one on this list of the things you should not do when riding a motorcycle.

But why is it a bad idea while some of your peers are doing it? It’s hard to control a motorcycle when you’re standing up.  You don’t have as much contact with the bike, so it’s harder to keep it stable.  And if you hit a bump, you could quickly lose your balance and fall off.

Verdict: What Should You Not Do When Riding A Motorcycle?

Motorcycle riders often think about what to do when riding, such as wearing a helmet and using turn signals. However, knowing what you shouldn’t do while riding is also essential.

Some things you should not do when riding a motorcycle include abusing substances and riding at someone’s speed. Also, it would be best never to ignore the side mirror, misuse the indicators, and more. These practices may seem minor,  but they can save you and other riders from potential risk.


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