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Old 09-30-2010, 11:53 PM   #1
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Default Tips for Looking ahead while riding a motorcycle

The most important aspect of riding a motorcycle is looking ahead. Being able to look ahead, being able to notice what's important, is a vital element of motorcycle riding.
It would seem that that's something everybody is capable of, but you will notice that there is much to learn about looking ahead.
You ride towards where you look, so to learn cornering well, you will have to look in the right direction. On traffic, you will have to learn to notice far more than you usually see.

ImagineThe road is just motorcycle heaven.
Two motorcyclists ride there, but they don't notice each other until they meet. Actually, they meet at the moment that one of them overtakes the other, in a corner. The overtaking motorcyclist waves his hand after having passed the other, to greet.
"How is that possible?", the other motorcyclist thinks, "My motorcycle is faster and more sporty than his, so he isn't suppose to be able to pass me, is he?"
Well, how comes? It is not always the case that the fastest bike is the fastest one in corners.
Is the overtaker just totally irresponsible, and was it only a matter of luck that he didn't finish against a tree? Possible, but not probable.
Did the overtaker just ride more miles than the one who is being passed? It could be the case, but not necessarily so.
Is it just luck than, being born with the right talents, the right genes? After all it is perfectly possible to be the owner of a fast motorcycle, and having done lots of miles, but still not be a really good motorcyclist.
Keep learningRiding a motorcycle means that you learn all your life. Everyone learns, after having passed the exam, by means of permanent self-study.
And like in the case of self-study, support can make the difference between gaining slowly, or passing in a corner.
There are a few basic techniques that everybody can train. Some people train them automatically; for others, it gets easier when the techniques are brought to their notice.

Motorcycle riding is about lookingIn the same way that the human body consists of water for more than 90%, riding a motorcycle consists of looking for more than 90%.
You probably heard it many times during your lessons: "Look where you want to go."
The negative implication can be seen when a lonely motorcyclist doesn't feel secure in a corner, and points his motorcycle exactly in the direction of the one lonely tree in the long and clear corner.
During your lessons, you probably learned to look in the direction where you want to go when practising small circles and figures of eight: the farther you look into the circle, the sooner you look to the next cone (or the one after the next, or even one after that one), the easier it is not to make mistakes.
But looking ahead is not only important when riding in small circles. Looking ahead is the basic ingredient of motorcycle riding.
TrainingTraining your capabilities to look ahead probably is the most effective way to enhance your riding capability.
Visor and glassesIn the first place, make sure that the circumstances are right: a clean visor, sunglasses when the sun shines, yellow glasses in the mist or when it's dark. And always keep your head upright, also when cornering and the bike is inclined.

Developing a sixth senseSo you should learn to foresee every crazy action of the rest of the traffic, so that you are prepared.
As you will see, you will develop some sort of a sixth sense for these situations: just before someone hits you by doing something very stupid, you "know" what is going to happen, and you are able to escape from the situation safely.
You will develop a sort of internal list of mistakes that occur often. When somebody makes such a mistake, you will have seen it before he makes the mistake.
The longer you ride, the more kilometers or miles you have ridden, the bigger your list of possible stupid actions gets, and the less often you will be taken in surprise.
Practise on the highwayOn the highway, you can train yourself in looking by checking whether you had "foreseen" everyone who passes you. If that happens without having foreseen it, you should have checked your mirrors more often, or you should have been better in calculating and remembering. (The best country to practice, is of course Germany
Off the highway you practice by telling yourself everything you notice.
And here too: actions that you didn't foresee mean that you should get better in looking and thinking.

Last edited by seruzawa; 10-01-2010 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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That sure is a lot of info for simply trying to get people to keep their eyes open. Thanks.
"Slack" - a state of being in which everything flows smoothly.....a frame of mind so at ease that the universe naturally cooperates.
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