Riding well is all about control. And the more precisely your controls are set up and operate, the better the experience. The basic idea is to position the controls where you can instantly and accurately use them. Your riding experience depends on this – and so may your health and safety in a moment of crisis. In almost all cases with motorcycles, there are five individual controls to consider – throttle, clutch, shift lever, front brake, and rear brake. We say “consider” instead of “adjust” here for a reason – not all may be fully adjustable on all machines. But in most cases, built-in adjustability should provide a reasonable accommodation for different rider sizes and riding postures. And fit is key.
Every human body comes in its own unique shape and size, but all motorcycles of a particular model are exactly the same when they roll off the assembly line. Unless you’re remarkably lucky, some aspect of your motorcycle’s dimensions will be less than optimum to suit your body type and riding style. Fortunately, you can take steps to customize your motorcycle’s fit to your dimensions and the type of riding you do. While some of these suggestions require altering or replacing parts, many can radically alter your riding experience for the better with only basic tools and a little elbow grease. Take a look at the photo below to see how changing the handlebar-to-seat and the peg-to-seat dimensions can alter the angles – and the comfort – of the rider’s appendages.
We all know we should perform a pre-ride check, but let’s be honest, we tend to skip them from time to time (or more frequently), don’t we? We’re only human, and that silly little check before we hit the road isn’t that important, is it? It’s not like we’re flying an airliner thousands of feet above the ground with hundreds of people on board. While we may think that only our lives are at stake when we ride, what happens to us can affect others both directly and indirectly.