Bad habits are a part of being human. We know we shouldn’t do something, but gradually, over time, we might drift toward them. Or maybe we arrive at them through sheer ignorance. Whatever the reason, bad habits can lead to bad results. So, what do we do once we realize that we have some bad habits that need breaking? Before each ride, remind yourself of the proper technique you plan on practicing on the ride. Make it a positive instead of a negative. Say, “Today I will increase my following distance” instead of “Don’t tailgate.” By bringing the skills to the foreground before you ride, the bad habit you’re working on can gradually fade away and be replaced by a good habit.

  • Rocky Stonepebble

    Ride like me?

  • 12er

    I always say to the cost of gear, price a skin graft and only one day in the hospital then get back to me.

    • Born to Ride

      Aww, but look how cool that guy is on his 851. I want a pair of those high contrast shades. Notice how all the bikes in these pictures are old? I think someone is recycling stock photos…

    • W Donald

      Dress to crash not to ride

      • 12er

        “No matter what season, dress for the Fall.” Is my fav.

  • john phyyt

    Everywhere near a car is a “blind spot” . Try and stay in those gaps between cars on the freeway. Not always possible . But with lane splitting legal. Filter and out accelerate cars then stay in your own car free box

  • Kamohelo Mohudi

    Can we add number 11…TUCK IN YOUR SHIRTS…its bad enough we are always ahead of traffic https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7edc13cf521e26d64bd58d03e2f6670ed0e504b16f12461c4d8849092f0725b8.png its worse if the guys behind have to keep looking at your ass crack that screams screw you every time you open up the throttle

    • Mahatma

      That should be outlawed,and you should be banned from posting for the rest of the year 😛

    • therr850

      Oh man, I just up chucked!!

    • Patriot159

      Aw man, I can’t ‘un-see’ that now!

    • gjw1992

      Hey, handy bike rack

  • Mahatma

    If covering controls is the difference between disaster and saving it,you are riding with too small margins.IMO as always

    • Gruf Rude

      Always made me mad that MSF won’t allow instructors to cover the controls.

    • W Donald

      I used to explain to students that it is the difference between stopping a metre before the vehicle that pulled out in front of you or a metre past that vehicle , one is irritating the other painful or lethal . And this went for covering controls as well as practising hard braking on a regular basis .

  • brunssd

    Is that Bono’s big brother on that 851?

  • Douglas

    This can be distilled down to two things…..using plain ol’ common sense, and never riding in a hurry (as opposed to just riding fast, at least not much over the posted limit). Oh, and don’t “argue” with cagers, even if they’re driving like ninnies, ’cause no matter who’s at fault, they’ll come out on top (no pun intended).

  • Johnny Blue

    #9…”panic stop”. Please never panic. Instead of panic stops try emergency braking. Every time I hear of panic stop I see students practicing emergency stops and grabbing a handful of front brake, followed by sparks on the pavement, ripped jeans and bleeding knees…

    • Piglet (Lawrence of Bavaria)

      Or in the novice class at a Road America track day, panic grabbing the front brake at the end of the straight and going over the bars at ~150 mph (not sure what happened to the rider, but both the red and ambulance flags were out).

  • Johnny Blue

    “(Get ye to the track, young riders!)”… I say old(er) riders too…

  • Craig Hoffman

    Covering the controls is a good one. I admit to not always covering my front brake it if I am in rural or otherwise uncongested area, but if there is any chance of danger, the front brake has two fingers over it. This saved me from left turning cars more than once.

    When confronted with mortal and imminent severe injury and possibly death, a human being will clench their hands and butthole. The clenched butthole may be an evolutionary development to prevent the post mortem embarrassment of soiled undies, but it does not help survive the danger. Quickly clenching hands do help quite a bit when they happen to be clenching the front brake lever.

    I find that the trembling fear that can set in during these episodes works well as a poor mans ABS too 😛

    • kenneth_moore

      Perhaps an accessory “rear” brake lever that can be clenched between one’s buttcheeks would be the best way to leverage the evolutionary development you refer to.

    • Piglet (Lawrence of Bavaria)

      Most bikes have enough engine braking that one only really needs to use the brakes when coming to a complete stop or an emergency situation.

      Nothing quite like getting the throttle roll off/braking point wrong going into Turn 5 at Road America – at least there is a lot of grass to recover on.

  • BT

    “Not turning off turn signals” should be #1

  • Patriot159

    How about adding one more: Riding tires down to the cords like it’s some kind of badge of honor. Badge of stupidity it is!

  • motomoto

    good advice for all riders regardless of skill level, thanks for putting it out there….

  • Mad4TheCrest

    Emergency braking is a hard to thing to practice well. Its harder still when you have more than one bike and the brake feel/response isn’t the same between them. The last thing you want is to crash your ride while practicing to avoid crashing your ride.

  • JMDGT

    As the old saying goes. There are old riders. There are bold riders. But there aren’t many old bold riders. Or pilots. Heads up helmets on ride safe MOrons.

  • riding without proper gear is one of the worst ones.

  • Gary Webber

    The California Highway Patrol (motorycle CHP) had a training motto back in the 60’s: “Ride like you are a ghost”, meaning, you’re invisible, no one ever sees you, so maneuver accordingly. Thinking that way makes one fully responsible for whatever traffic situation you are in. It works.