Pumped to ride out for the summer? It’s time to hit the road on your motorcycle and not look back.
Fist-bumps to those gracious Vancity Buzz readers who took the leap at becoming a first year motorcycle rider. This story is meant for you, though it doesn’t hurt anyone who has already been riding to re-ignite certain motorcycling concepts.
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Despite the scrupulous efforts coming from loved ones to deter you from engaging in a lifestyle of riding, the power of the open road continues to prevail. In motorcycling, you may find solace, a great sense of liberation and new found camaraderie with riders alike.
Any good rider can tell you, the power you get in your palms must be treated with respect, and responsibility. We go back to the basics on motorcycle topics from budgeting, educating riders to cruising down the path that works for you.
Set your budget
Spending the cash on motorcycle philosophy is essential to getting your bike started. The cost of things can high-rev faster than you know it, therefore, setting aside capital on a proper budget can ensure a greater return. Services like tune-ups, bike-mech 101 and storage (if you do not have one) are essential, but often avoided by any given rider because of the dollar figures.
Other items, such as bike locks, battery tender, motorcycle stand and chain lube should take priority over motorcycle performance upgrades. These items promote a safer riding experience, and reduce servicing costs.
Besides stating the mandatory and the obvious course of getting insured by ICBC, most riders opt for additional coverage. One place you may find reasonably priced comprehensive coverage is Beacon Underwriting LTD. The Ridesmart Motorcycle Program offers substantial discounts recognizing the benefits as a motorist.
Riding and Education
There are numerous motorcycle riding schools that serve Vancouver, none are as unique as Pacific Riding School (PRS). The headquarters is located in Surrey, and the classes are designed to be socially engaging. PRS offers its popular Motorcycle Skills Assessment Course (MSA) which systematically prepares their student riders to successfully meet ICBC requirements. The instructors at PRS are also champions who teach you more than the basics.
Located on Commercial Drive there is a place called Modern Motorcycling, as it is central to the Vancouver riding scene. Loyal customers of Modern will always find the owners on location to be helpful, and passionate about their personal safety. It is the kind of place where the employees try their best to remember your name and satisfy your mind. Here, you can get the right gear prescribed by the budget you’ve set.
Visitors of Modern may find it to be busy in the merchandising area, especially during peak hours. That is because the floor manager is always keen on asking the customer if the gear fits properly and comfortably. The staff will provide the customers with comparable products, and they are very knowledgeable in preventative measures against accidents.
There are more motorcycling boutiques close to Vancouver offering distinction in safety gear, and motorcycles. Be sure to make a trip to the shops as one of your riding sessions.
Ride Together, Not Die Together
Mentioned earlier, the sense of camaraderie a rider gets is paramount. Throughout your journeys as a rider, you might see another kindred rider signaling to you an upside-down peace sign. The initiating rider is sending a clear message that you are acknowledged.
It is always great to ride with a buddy, or in a pack. The best practice is to ride in a staggered formation with the leading rider in the left position of the lane – the rider following the leader should position in the right of the lane, leaving a sufficient gap for safety and reactionary measures. The staggered formation provides a greater sense of presence for other drivers on the road.
On a totally different topic, most advanced riders would opt to donate their organs in the unexpected event of a fatal accident. Once the licensed motorist has opted to donate to the Organ Donor Registry, it would be indicated on the driver’s license.
Seasoned Rider Advice
Not trying to be anyone’s mother with pointing out the obvious, but the tips below have proved to save lives.
- Don’t buy more bike than you can handle. You would be respected just the same on any C.C.
- All The Gear, All The Time. Beginner riders should take heed to ATGATT. This means think thrice before deciding to ride in shorts and sandals.
- Avoid bad weather. A hint of precipitation could make the roads treacherous and unpredictable.
- Ready to roll mentality. Routinely check the brakes and tire pressure.
- Watch the driver’s head. Instead of watching the car ahead of you, take notice of the movement of the driver’s head. This will help you predict which direction the vehicle would likely go.
- Know your power. Riders are not limited to braking to avoid obstacles, your bike is ready to sprint forward instantly at your whim. Higher RPMs means your bike sounds louder, and treat it as a reminder for drivers to take notice.
- Open your eyes. Constantly scan your entire environment while riding. Be wary of the pretty scenery and avoid dwelling on one area for too long.
- Find cover when approaching a busy intersection. Instructors at Pacific Riding School diligently shed light on intersection warfare. Riders should always try to approach an intersection with another vehicle beside them to act as additional barrier in case of emergency.
- Use your hand signals. Check to see if your motorcycle lights and turn signals are noticeable enough during daytime riding. Hand signals bring more attention and help create more space between you and the other vehicle.
Go on, be Free
Remind yourself that there are speed limits and the bike you are riding can easily go faster. True control over your motorcycle is knowing how to ride with ‘slow hands’ which means go easy on the throttle and clutch.
In conclusion, here are a few places close enough to Vancouver that can make you feel liberated and unabridged when riding your motorcycle.
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