This one is for all you inexperienced riders out there – people like me who like to ride their motorcycle, but are still not familiar with the beast.
If you read our blog regularly, you know we own a Bajaj Avenger; the bike was an impulse buy. That’s really not what this article is about, it’s about learning to ride it. I would like to share my experience here. I learnt to ride in about 3 hours and hence. A couple of things for people who are thinking how the hell did he do that? A) I knew how to ride a bicycle and B) I have been driving a car for about 20 years now. Now I have of you thinking again, “How the hell does that help?” Let me explain. The bicycle clears the balancing bit, you don’t need to learn how to balance on a motorcycle if you have mastered a cycle, once that fear is out, it’s fairly simple. Point B is about applying the transmission logic from driving a car to the motorcycle, accelerate, once the engine revs enough press down the clutch and change gears, only difference the hand and leg movement is reversed.
If you are like me, and know how to ride a bicycle and drive a car, rest assured you will pick up the bike in 3 hours or even less. So what about people who don’t know either? I would recommend learning the balancing bit on a bicycle – it’s much much lighter and you can also add training wheels. The changing gears and all may take a little more time, but you will eventually get it, but if balance is an issue you need to get over that fear first. Moving on, assuming you have started riding, the first thing you will notice is the accelerator is insanely loose, just turn it a little and the bike flies. To start off, learn to control the same while the bike is in neutral (That’s the N on your indicator panel); your first few rides should only be in the first gear, even if the bike revs up do not move up a gear, once you can ride about 100 meters, move up a gear. If a car comes behind, stop on the side, do not let go of the handle bar to give way, etc. To start, master the handle brake. You can move onto the foot brake later. That’s pretty much it..
My trials and tribulations, now that I have been riding for 2 months, I still have trouble getting the bike moving from a stationary position. I do believe I have mastered the first three gears, but I still get confused when I hit the 4th one, I think I am in 3rd and try pressing down on the clutch before realizing the error. Turnings, especially around South Bombay, is a challenge; I tend to slow down then quickly change gears and then get out of the turn in 1st or 2nd gear. That being said, I do believe I am getting better with every ride. Oh! forgot to mention the faster you get falling out of the way the better. Please note this does not mean you go and fall, just try and lock the fear of falling out your head. To all the inexperienced riders out there, keep at it, it does get easier and a whole lot more fun.