Many people considering learning to ride a motorbike often ask themselves if experience cycling will make them a safer motorcyclist. The answer to that question is most certainly yes, and probably no!
Here the team at Bikesure consider how your experience riding a bicycle will help as you become a safer motorcyclist, and how it may hinder you.
Bike v Motorbike, the same but different?
Two wheels, handlebars, saddles — bikes and motorbikes share similar characteristics but there are significant differences too and differences in the way they’re ridden.
Here’s what will help to make you a safer motorcyclist if you are an experienced cyclist.
A question of balance
Cyclists tend to develop an enhanced sense of balance when travelling on their very thin tyres, this comes in very handy when you get on a motorbike for the first time, especially if you are maneuvering your motorbike or riding at very low speeds. Good balance will certainly help you become a safer motorcyclist.
An experienced cyclist will probably have had years of feeling very vulnerable and lonely on the road. That will mean they have developed some great defensive riding techniques that could help them become a safer motorcyclist.
As a cyclist or motorcyclist, you should never assume other road users will be as cautious or considerate as you are. Drivers are generally looking out for vehicles of four wheels or more, cars, trucks and buses, rather than two wheeled bikes and motorbikes.
You should always ride with the worst case scenario in mind. It probably won’t happen, but if it does, be ready for it.
Reading the road
Cyclists will have already got in the habit of reading the road in front of them. You need to read the road ahead and act quickly to stay safe, no matter what fate throws your way. That could mean anything from avoiding a dangerously deep pothole to negotiating a car pulling out from a side road without seeing you.
Braking on a motorcycle and bicycle are very similar, though, of course, the motorbike will be travelling considerably faster and is much heavier than a bicycle.
On both, you should apply at least 70% of your braking effort to the front wheel and the rest to the rear wheel. This is because the weight transfer shifts the bicycle or motorcycle’s balance from the rear to the front wheel, putting it under much more stress. If you don’t use your rear brake in tandem with the front, you run the risk of losing control and taking a fall.
The differences: accelerating, cornering
Here’s what won’t help make a safer motorcyclist out of experienced cyclist.
It can be hard and slow going on a bicycle, especially if you’re going uphill or riding in inclement weather. Unless you are going downhill, you can only go as fast as your little legs will pedal, but motorbikes have very powerful engines to do the hard work for you.
The instant and aggressive surge from a motorbike engine can take quite a bit of getting used to if you have had years rolling off from standstill on a bicycle.
Cornering with care
Motorcycles are far heavier than bicycles and because of that they are more difficult to steer. If you’re riding through a bend on your motorcycle, you’ll need to lean your body without moving the handlebars too much. This will maintain your weight over the bike and keep you stable. If you lean into the turn too much, you might end up tipping over.
Train to become a safer motorcyclist
If you want to become a safer motorcyclist you really need to get yourself on a decent training course and qualify for your CBT (compulsory basic training certificate). Find your nearest motorcycle training schools running the CBT courses for motorcycles and mopeds.
As well as a good training course you will need the right level of insurance cover. That’s where the team at Bikesure comes in handy with a wide selection of motorbike insurance deals for learners and experienced riders.
Call 0808 503 4624 for an immediate quote or book a call-back at a time that suits you.Motorbikes