5. Mountain passes in Italy

DISCOVER EPIC MOUNTAIN ROADS IN BEAUTIFUL ITALY WITH THE MOTORCYCLE

DISCOVER EPIC MOUNTAIN ROADS

IN BEAUTIFUL ITALY WITH THE MOTORCYCLE

Discover epic mountain roads in beautiful Italy with the motorcycle

Italy is famous for tourism, arts, architecture, and, of course, delicious pizza. If you are planning to visit Italy, there are probably several things on your bucket list already. You must have included the main ones like The Renaissance, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Amalfi Coast, etc. But one thing that is genuinely underrated about Italy is its beautiful mountains in the country’s North.

Those mountains and the roads leading to them are packed with scenic views. A motorbike ride through the mountain roads of Italy will leave you spellbound. Here are 3 of the most famous mountain passes in Italy that are just the right pick for your next motorbike trip across the scenic mountains in Italy.

1. San Boldo Pass

San Boldo is a short mountain pass that covers an area of 17 km. It is ideal if you want to enjoy it to the fullest in a short time or do not want to ride the motorbike for too long. The favorite part of most motorcyclists in San Boldo is riding through the tunnels.

The pass has five tunnels in total, riding through it counts as one of the most exciting things due to the echoing sound of your bike’s engine. Five tunnels cover 17 kilometers of distance, and the echo of the engine produced inside them is genuinely a symphony to the ears. The road surface is not as smooth as one expects for a bike ride. Also, keep in mind that you can travel at a speed of 30 kph only.

2. Maloja pass

Maloja pass is located at a geographically peculiar location. It lies on the Swiss/Italian border. A plus point of this pass is that it is open year around. It is ideal for visiting on bicycles too.

There are many tourist attraction points in the neighborhood of Maloja Pass, such as Lago del Cavloc, and the Tower of Belvedere. If you are flexible to expand your radius just a bit, you can get even more options.

While on the bike to Maloja Pass, you should be careful about a few things. Firstly, the road mainly comprises ascent/descent, so drive with full precautions. Secondly, although the pass is open around the year while traveling on a motorbike, you should consider the summer season for your journey.

3. Gardena Pass

The Gardena Pass is also known as Grödner Joch. Located in South Tyrol, Gardena Pass presents a breathtaking view. The road is located at an elevation of over 2000 m and is relatively smooth until the end. Due to this, it is a favorite among many tourists, but expect it to be a little crowdy in the peak season. Although the road is smooth, you need to be an experienced rider.

Things to remember

It is always a wise idea to keep a few things in your mind before you embark on your journey. First, your bike and gear should be up to the mark. On such risky passes and roads, it is better to stay safe and not take any risks. Talking about potential risks, the curve warning and hazard warning feature of the Motobit APP is a great way to ride safely while being fully focused on controlling your bike. Also, consider the weather conditions and humidity before setting off your motorbike. One thing people often neglect is selecting the right accommodation. Failing to do so may influence the vacation heavily. So, make a wise choice regarding your destination that matches your needs. And lastly, don’t forget to have lots of fun and make as many memories as possible!
4. Mountain passes in Switzerland

THE BEST MOUNTAIN PASSES TO VISIT IN SWITZERLAND WITH THE MOTORCYCLE

THE BEST MOUNTAIN PASSES

TO VISIT IN SWITZERLAND WITH THE MOTORCYCLE

The best mountain passes to visit in Switzerland with the motorcycle

When it comes to breathtaking views, there’s almost no match for Switzerland. People from all over the world visit Switzerland mainly for beautiful views and a memorable vacation. The country is blessed with many beautiful landscapes and many alpine terrains.

Switzerland is the right vacation spot for you if you are a mountain lover and a motorcyclist. And if you are thinking about a trip to Switzerland anytime soon, here is a list of a few breathtaking mountain passes in Switzerland.

1. The Great St. Bernard Pass

The Great St. Bernard Pass truly lives to its name; it is magnificent. The elevation there is 2469 m and the history of the Great St. Bernard Pass dates back to ancient Romans, who used it for commercial trade. It is a tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of people every year.

It is an ideal route for motorcyclists because the pass has such beautiful and scenic views that a slow ride across them will let you soak in the calmness of the place. If you plan to stay, the famous Great St. Bernard Hospice is the perfect pick. It also holds historical significance that dates back to Napolean’s era.

A tunnel through the mountain also aids travelers in the winter. However, you should avoid traveling in winter due to harsh weather conditions. The journey to the Great St. Bernard Pass starts in Zurich, Switzerland, and ends in Milan, Italy.

2. The Furka Pass

The magnificence of Furka Pass can be estimated from the fact that “Goldfinger” from the James Bond movie was filmed here. thanks to the dramatic scenes and views of glaciers, mountain tops, and forested areas.

Furka Pass is located at a height of 2429 m. The main attraction of Furka Pass, which attracts many tourists, is the Rhone Glacier. You can book a tour and walk the 100 m tunnel through the glacier if you are brave enough. It would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience since it takes almost one and a half hours to traverse without a break.

3. The Simplon Pass

The Simplon Pass is ideal if you are not experienced enough in motorcycling through mountain passes. The ride to it is pretty smooth and does not have many hindrances compared to other mountain passes in the country.

The roads curve around and cover the mountain. When you ride on these roads, you will have a one-of-its-kind experience that will stay with you forever. Ganter Bridge which is 150 m above the valley, is the main tourist attraction. Other than that, you can visit Simplon Hospice. Without any stops, your ride will total one hour through the pass on Route 9.

Things to keep in mind

One thing that many bikers often forget is comfortable gear. They often focus on the right equipment, but comfort is equally important for such a long bike journey. Since speeding is rather expensive in Switzerland, make sure to activate the hazard notification feature while tracking your ride with the Motobit APP. By doing this you can be warned of speed cameras and save big on gas money. Apart from that, an essential factor to consider is the weather, especially in the mountains where weather conditions can change rather quickly. So make sure you check the weather before traveling and look for landslides etc. to enjoy an unforgettable journey!
3. Mountain passes in Austria

MOUNTAIN ROADS NOT TO MISS IN AUSTRIA ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE

MOUNTAIN ROADS NOT TO MISS

IN AUSTRIA ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE

Mountain roads not to miss in Austria on your motorcycle

Austria is home to one of the best scenic mountains in Europe. The breathtaking roads with stellar and panoramic views are worth visiting. A road trip to the magnificent mountain passes in Austria should be on every rider’s bucket list. If you are visiting these places in Europe anytime soon, plan and check the weather forecast. For road trips, summers are the perfect season of choice. Plus, in summer, you can choose various activities such as hiking, rafting, paragliding, etc. Now the main question that arises is what mountain passes to visit.

Places to visit

Since Austria is full of worth-visiting scenic places and mountain passes, it isn’t accessible to short-list a few. If you also face the same difficulty, here is a complete guide to making your trip across the Austrian mountain ranges memorable.

1. Gerlos Alpine Road

Gerlos Alpine Road is a 12-km road in the high Tauern National Park. The route extends from Krimml to Pinzgau. It’s a motorist’s pleasure to drive on the Gerlos Alpine Road, and being on a bike ride is the cherry on top. It provides you with matchless views.

The road has nine major turns with a 9% gradient and is located 1628 m in height. The main attraction on this road is Wasser Welten Krimml at 380 m height. It is a spectacular waterfall that is a true must to visit. Besides that, a marked hiking trail encompasses 400 km of area. You can also visit an amazing exhibition space and Aquapark there. The ideal time to visit Gerlos Alpine Road is in summer, especially between May and October.

2. Goldeck Panoramic Road

Next on the list is the Goldeck Panoramic Road, which covers 14.5 km. The road has ten turns and is at 1895m. the main attraction on this road is Lake Millstatt and its scenic views. You can enjoy hiking there too. Other attractions on this road are mountain inns and cool picnic spots. The ideal time to visit Goldeck Panoramic Road is in the summer as well.

3. Nockalm Road

Nockalm Road expands to 32km connecting Ebene Reichenau in the North to Innerkrems in the South. It has 52 major turns and lies at a higher altitude of 2042 m. People come here mainly to visit the largest larch and stone pine forests in the Eastern Alps.

Nockalm Road is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve aiming at preserving alpine habitats. You will love the exhibition area and the alpine farming museum if this intrigues you. On Nockalm Road are animal displays, 3D cinemas, and eight adventure playgrounds for children. So, if you visit with family, you don’t have to worry about them having fun.

Things to remember

Apart from these three mountain passes, Austria is full of scenic mountain roads. It is just the proper motorbike and gear that can take you to places. One thing to keep in mind about bike riding at mountain passes is to observe your speed limit. A great way to check your actual riding speed without having to trust your odometer which may be a little off is by using the Dashboard view of the Motobit APP. This way you have all the needed trip information at a glance including your riding speed so you can fully focus on the road. And with Motobit PREMIUM you can even plan longer tours that will keep you busy your entire trip which is only one of many Premium features that you can upgrade to. And speaking of the speed limit, prioritize your safety by wearing a good helmet and proper safety gear. Many bikers often do not consider keeping a handy toolkit with them unless they are hit by an unfortunate incident that they learn to complete their gear. Do not make this mistake, and ensure you hit the road all set to be ready to conquer these magnificent Austrian mountain roads!
2. Mountain passes in Germany

STUNNING MOUNTAIN PASSES TO VISIT IN GERMANY WITH THE MOTORCYCLE

STUNNING MOUNTAIN PASSES

TO VISIT IN GERMANY WITH THE MOTORCYCLE

Stunning mountain passes to visit in Germany with the motorcycle

Germany is full of bucket-list destinations when it comes to a proper road trip. Mountain passes are every biker’s dream destination due to the scenic mountain roads that lead you to your destination. If you are also planning a road trip on your motorbike across amazing mountain roads of Germany, here is all you need to know about it.

What places to visit?

There is no shortage of stunning mountain passes in Germany that can keep you hooked throughout your journey. For your ease, we have listed a few worth-visiting ones here.

1. German Alpine Road

Also known as The Deutsche Alpen Strasse, the German Alpine Road stretches across the Austrian border. The stellar Alpine landscapes are the main attraction on this road from the Bodensee to the Königssee. Beer gardens and a proper lederhosen spirit further increase the beauty of this road. It takes almost 9 hours to cross this beautiful 515 km road. However, due to breathtaking castles, scenic mountain lakes, and health resorts located on it, your travel time is bound to increase. A reliable motorbike with sufficient gear is essential for traveling across the German Alpine Road by a motorbike. Road conditions are generally smooth across the road, so opting for a decent average speed would be excellent, keeping in mind safety and time. At this point the route planning feature of the Motobit APP comes in handy. Extend your tour over your favourite mountain passes with additional waypoints of use the round trip feature to get started quickly. You must be cautious about keeping a close eye on gas-filling stations. Monitor your fuel gauge and take precautions before you run out of fuel.

2. Rossfeld Panorama Street

Another breathtaking place to visit on your motorbike is Rossfeld Panorama Street in Germany. The road is scenic and beautiful. It may only spread over 55 km and will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes across it, but the route offers amazing alpine pastures and magnificent views. If you are looking for something short yet worth remembering in the future, Panorama Street is the answer. It is even ideal for exploring it by foot if you’re up for a good hike.

3. Sudelfeld Pass

Also known as Bavaria’s Alpine patch, Sudelfeld Pass connects Bayrischzell and Oberaudorf. It is located at a height of 1123 m. Sudelfeld Pass is also part of Sudefeld Strasse and the Mangfall Mountain Range covers the road. When traveling on the German Alpine Road, you will encounter Sudefeld Pass too.

Things to keep in mind

Apart from the three destinations mentioned, there are many other majestic mountain roads in Germany that you can opt for. No matter what route you choose, one thing is guaranteed: the destination will be beautiful. Touring Germany is ideal in Spring and Autumn. Like all other road trips, your route should be clear to you before you depart for your journey. Furthermore, it is always a wise idea to keep a record of the food spots you will have during your trip. Food spots are not as crucial as fuel stops to your journey, so keep track of filling stations first. One crucial thing a biker often forgets on road trips to mountains is that you need to ensure the motorbike’s road safety before you leave. So make sure that the curve hazard and hazard warning feature of the Motobit APP is active so that you can enjoy your trip without any hazzle. If you have rented out a bike, checking the safety of the bike becomes even more crucial since you need to rely on it throughout the entire tour. Have a great ride!
1. How to store and prep the motorcycle for the winter

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR MOTORCYCLE FOR THE OFF-SEASON

HOW TO PREPARE

YOUR MOTORCYCLE FOR THE OFF-SEASON

How to prepare your motorcycle for the off-season

It’s the time of the year for us motorcyclists to bid a temporary farewell to our not-so-interim love, their motorcycle. If you are also in this boat, here are all the points you need to check off the list to ensure secure winter storage of your bike.

Cleaning the bike

You must have had a pretty adventurous summer with your bike. It’s time to get rid of all the season’s dirt in one thorough wash. Use good soap and a sponge to reach all washable parts of your bike.

Oil change

After your last season ride, make sure to change your motorcycle’s oil if needed. Do it right before the winter storage so that when you take it out in spring, it’s ready for action.

Gas tank level

Half-filled gas tanks may lead to technical issues if kept for the long term. Such problems are often quite heavy on the pocket, so fill it up properly to be better safe than sorry.

Tire pressure

To avoid flat spots in your motorcycle’s tires, take the weight off them. An effective way of ensuring no flat areas is using a motorcycle stand. If you don’t have a motorcycle stand, try to keep the motorcycle in such a position that alleviates the weight from the back tire. For this, you should also check the tires every few weeks to avoid flat spots on your tires.

Battery

Removing the battery is a wiser decision as compared to keeping it during the storage period. Once removed, clean the electrodes, and connect the battery to a charger for the entire storage period. If your storage period is short or you don’t have a charger, you can choose not to remove the battery. However, in that case, you should charge the battery once every month by turning on your motorbike.

Exhaust pipe

Stuffing your bike’s exhaust pipes and other open sections is essential, as you don’t want rats taking up residence there. Use special muffler plugs that fit your exhaust or plastic bags for this purpose. Ensure you thoroughly remove all the stuffing at the storage season’s end.

Storage space

Safe and reliable storage space is essential. If you don’t have one right at your home, you can rent a space for the off-season. It may add to the cost, but you need safe storage space to keep your beloved bike away from thieves. People often opt for slots like a barn etc., but the storage space should not pose a potential threat to your bike.

Motorcycle cover

Lastly, when you are done with all the prepping steps, cover your motorcycle with a fitted cover that covers your model. Another protective step before storing your bike is sealing the entire metal surface with wax. It protects against rust on the metal frame of the motorcycle. Following all these steps before storing your motorcycle means that you won’t need to worry about anything. Make sure to use the winter break and plan your next tour with the Motobit APP so you can start looking forward to having a great time with your adventure buddy right away and be ready to hit the road next season the right way!
14

READING TIP – THE PERFECT MOTORCYCLE TOUR BY OSKAR STÜBINGER

READING TIP

THE PERFECT MOTORCYCLE TOUR BY OSKAR STÜBINGER

Reading tip - The perfect motorcycle tour by Oskar Stübinger

Whether it’s a short trip, a weekend excursion, or a longer journey. The current book “The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!” by Oskar Stübinger aims to explain all the necessary safety aspects that are important when motorcycling.

This article shows whether and how the author has succeeded.

Motorcycling safety is first and foremost

Motorcycling is a passion. So that the fun does not become too serious, the subject of safety should not be forgotten when riding a motorbike; regardless of whether you are a beginner or an old hand. Oskar Stübinger has written this book to offer support for one’s own riding technique and to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

The perfect motorcycle tour - This is what the content promises

A motorbike tour does not begin with starting the engine. Even when planning and packing, there are many safety-relevant aspects that should be taken into account. The book is logically structured, richly illustrated, and conveys everything necessary in a comprehensible form and language. After all, you want to return home in good health.

1. Travel planning and preparation: these two chapters are entirely devoted to planning and organization before the actual trip. In addition, you will receive important information such as tips on equipment and the correct loading of the bike.

2. The maxims of motorbike touring: where are the dangers when riding, how do I behave safely in traffic and how can you increase safety for yourself and other road users?

3. Riding in the Alps: “Aufi aufn Berg!” is the German-speaking motto in this chapter. Here everything revolves around driving at lofty heights. Cornering techniques, hairpin bends, special dangers in the alpine area, weather influences, and appropriate behavior as well as riding in the sun, at night, and with a pillion passenger. 

4. Riding in a group: What is important when riding in a group? This chapter provides information on safety-relevant behavior, tips, and hand signals for easy communication with each other.

5. In case of an emergency: breakdown, accident, or roll over. Bikers are not immune to critical situations. Here Oskar Stübinger talks about this unpleasant topic and at the same time motivates how to behave safely.

Tips for the perfect motorcycle tour at a glance

  • Conscientious planning and loading
  • Knowing your own performance limits
  • Correct cornering and driving behavior
  • Respectful interaction with other road users
  • Staying focused and on the road at all times
  • Wear the appropriate motorbike clothing
  • Wearing an optimal motorbike helmet
  • Having a technically sound motorbike and tires
  • Undergoing regular riding safety training

Who is Oskar Stübinger?

Oskar Stübinger, author of “The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!” is a native of Nuremberg, Germany. As an enthusiastic motorcyclist, he offers guided tours throughout Europe as a tour guide. The special thing about his tours is the combination of touring and practical riding training.

How can I plan a great tour in only a few steps?

That’s super easy! With the Motobit APP you can not only create great tours that will take your breath away, but it also helps you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as of bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure you not only plan your next tour ahead but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

Conclusion

The book “The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!” is aimed specifically at beginners. But “old hands” will also find a lot of useful input in it. The content describes in detail trip planning as well as proper packing, important safety aspects during the tour (hazard recognition, alpine tours, group riding) and helpful support in case of breakdowns or accidents.

With his book, the author has managed to write a detailed compendium about motorcycling. It is easy to read, very informative and richly illustrated. Again and again, he addresses the topic of safety and thus raises awareness for conscious motorcycling. So that you arrive home healthy again after the tour. A motorbike book that should not be missing from any bookshelf.

Reference

The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!
Oskar Stübinger
ISBN: 978-3-96664-001-5
EUR 20,60

 

Many thanks to Micha from @michaslifestyle for this blog post!

13

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO START RIDING A MOTORCYCLE

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST

TO START RIDING A MOTORCYCLE?

How much does it cost to start riding a motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle is a passion for many and a dream for some of us. Many people might even want to get into motorcycling but are pulled back by thinking about the costs involved from getting a license to buying and maintaining a motorcycle. If you are one of such people, and are looking to start motorcycle riding and want to know what would be the cost to start riding, you came to the right place.

Although you will need money to start riding a motorcycle, you don’t need to put all your life savings into it. The exact costs vary owing to a few factors like your location. This guide will give you a clearer picture of how much money you’ll need to invest for one of the best decisions of your life.

Cost to get a license​

To get a driving license you need to meet certain minimum age requirements. However, in some European countries, these limits may be higher or lower or there may be some additional requirements. There are no upper age limits for holding a driving license. Starting from the age of 16 you can apply for the class of AM (mopeds)light motorcycles (A1), and quadricycles (B1), whereas at 18 years of age you can switch to more powerful (standard) motorcycles in the so-called A2 class and start riding motorcycles that are limited to a power of up to 23kW (48HP) with a minimum experience of 2 years in A1. Finally, you can join the “big boys club” and start riding heavy motorcycles in the A category from age 21.

Within the UK a CBT (compulsory basic training) test enables you to ride a moped or scooter with L plates on. The best part about this is, that you can get this done in one day and it usually costs between £99-£140. In short, you don’t have to get a full license to start riding. If you want to ride your scooter with a passenger, you might need to qualify further. To get the full A license, the prices change between European countries and also showed quite an increase over the last decades. In Germany, it was quite common to pay around 1500€ around the year 2000, while now you need to face costs of around 2000 to 3250 €. Note, that these numbers only apply in case you pass your test on the first attempt. If you also make your driver’s license for a passenger car at a later stage (starting at 21 years of age) you can get better deals when you apply for both licenses at the same time.

Cost to purchase a motorbike​

If you are buying a motorcycle for the first time, we suggest you go for a used bike than a new one. There are many advantages like lower buying costs and less to no regrets about minor scratches to the bike. We all know that second-hand bikes come in cheap and can go a long way too. They’ve once been someone’s first love and still want to give all the love they have. New motorcycles can easily cost between 5000 € to 30000 € while a good condition used motorcycle will cost you around 2500 €.

Cost to get your bike insured​

The type of insurance your bike needs basically depends on the type of bike you own, the engine displacement of the bike that correlates to power to some extent, and the place where you live. For young and first-time motorbike riders, the insurance cost can be a serious topic of discussion. After the motorcycle purchasing cost, taking a look at insurance might be the next big thing on your list. If you own a bike with excessive bodywork and luggage, it is recommended to get a comprehensive insurance plan to cover the costs of those rather expensive repairs in case something bad happens like getting kicked over.

Frankly, the cost of insurance can hover around the 400 to 800 € mark for a year. Another way to look at this is by breaking the cost down into monthly payments.

Cost for protective gear​

One thing is for sure you need protective gear if you want to start riding a motorcycle. They are truly essential as they can save your life. You can get good quality protective gear for a few hundred Euros and as high as thousands of Euros without finding satisfaction. It depends on what you are looking for. Some people want everything to be ‘cheap and best’ while others want to spend heavily in search of ‘the Best’.

Like many things, also motorcycle riding gear comes in both these forms so it is for you to decide which way you want to go. What you can also do is try a third option of trying what you like and then do some research online. Most of the time, the expensive items can be found much cheaper in retail dealerships or online at the end of the riding season.

Other costs

  • Road tax may apply for highways, tolls or certain mountain passes with varying costs depending on your location and the plan.
  • Fuel costs may be something a lot of us do not pay attention to initially, but it is a very important cost considering it is a recurring cost. Just like the purchasing cost of a motorcycle might be a one-time cost and insurance maybe once a year, fuel costs are continuous costs that showed quite an increase over the last years and are depending on how much you ride your bike. There is no fixed fuel cost, but you can certainly figure out a budget window for your fuel costs by breaking down your average fuel consumption and how many kilometers or miles you want to ride.
  • Your overall cost to start riding a motorcycle will be around 4000 € to 5000 €, with a second-hand motorcycle included. These costs are very reasonable if you just want to start riding a motorcycle. Once you get accustomed to it, you can always upgrade. It is noted that bike costs tend to go down instead of going up once you start riding regularly. This is mainly because you don’t have to pay too many costs after a while. All you will be spending are the running and maintenance costs of the motorcycle. The insurance costs will also go down eventually after a certain point if there are no major incidents.

There is a completely different way to go about the whole ‘starting to ride a motorcycle business and the costs involved with it, which is by getting a used dirt bike that will cost you half the cost of any other motorcycle. They are cheaper and offer a different spectrum of fun. You can learn and enjoy off-roading and this experience will not just be cost-friendly, but one to savor for a lifetime. Something you can share with your grandkids with pride in the future. You will need good quality off-road riding gear though and bring along some physical fitness.

The final verdict will be that you go economical by picking your motorcycle as a mean of transport instead of a car wherever you can and save up to get a good motorcycle for yourself at a later stage.

If you are uncertain about picking a motorcycle or a car and the cost question keeps popping up in your mind, then do not worry! A motorcycle is a better option any time of the day, any day of the week, any week of the month, and any month of the year. It is cool, the costs are comparatively cheaper and the sense of freedom and enjoyment that you get while riding a motorcycle is just incomparable with anything else!

I'm on a budget but want to have fun on my motorcycle while being safe. But how?

Actually, there is a great way to do so! Motobit helps you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas. It’s easy: More safety = more fun!

So make sure you not only maintain your motorcycle properly, but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

12

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE FOR THE FIRST TIME

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE

FOR THE FIRST TIME

How to ride a motorcycle for the first time

Alright then! You’ve decided you want to take your motorcycle out for a spin. Hold on for a second though. This might not be as easy or as difficult as it seems. Motorcycling is all about hitting that sweet spot between control and balance!

If you hit that sweet spot right, you can enjoy a smooth and long ride on a motorcycle. For those of you who do need some advice on how to take that bike for a ride for your first time, here are some tips that will surely help you out.

Get the Gear

Before you jump on that bike, the most important point for any rider, be it a professional, a beginner, or even a first-timer, is to have proper safety gear. For those who are beginning to learn motorcycle riding, it becomes even more important to have protective gear which includes a helmet, gloves, and boots at least. Remember, you are not riding a bicycle. It is a big boy you are thinking of riding and that is why you need big boy gear.

If you get the chance, it is recommended that you get a high-quality jacket with protectors too. All this equipment combined assures a great deal of safety. You don’t need to go for high-end products in the gear department at the beginning. Basic priced items could also fit the bill which could go a long way in adding safety.

Inspect the motorcycle​

At this point when you are learning to ride your motorcycle for the first time, everything will be a bit new for you. The riding comes afterward. First comes the motorbike itself! Have you checked it yet? How is the condition? If you haven’t checked it, that should be one of your top priorities before you even think of starting it. A painter checks all the colors, brushes, and canvases first before he paints a single stroke. A musician checks and tunes his instruments first before entering a show.

Likewise, you need to check the condition of your motorcycle before you start it up and ride it for the very first time. Inspect to see if all the basics are okay. Check the condition of the tires and pressure. Change the oil before riding when your bike was in the shed for too long. Even if your motorcycle already has oil, you might not know how old that is and if it is too old, that could pose a problem. Check all the lights, as for a rider, headlights and turn signals play a huge role in a smooth and safe ride. Check the cables as well making sure that the brakes and throttle are working smoothly without getting stuck.

If you’ve decided to ride a motorcycle for the first time, you probably already have a new or used motorcycle. Maybe you are looking to get a new or used one now. When you go to get a motorcycle, it is quite standard to do a walk-around or a test ride. A walk-around would do well if you already know a little bit about the specific bike you’re about to buy and its flaws, but if you do a test ride, it will be best to check the condition of the motorcycle yourself first before you put your hands around it.

Starting it up​

You probably learned motorcycle riding in a driving school or with your friend or relative in a more private environment. That is how a lot of riders start. The most recommended way of learning after getting your license is to take a proper motorcycle training course. It helps you learn everything in a step-by-step way, with full protective gear, ensuring better safety.

No matter which way you’ve learned it, the time has come for you to start and ride it. Here is a small step-by-step guide to starting and riding a motorcycle:

  1. Inset the key to the ignition and rotate it to the on position to turn the motorcycle on.
  2. Turn on the choke and also the fuel petcock in some bikes.
  3. Make sure the bike is in neutral and set the killswitch.
  4. Squeeze and hold the clutch while you press the ignition button. With old bikes having a Kickstarter, pull it out and push it down swiftly to generate a kick enough to start the engine
  5. In both ways, once your engine fires, congratulations, you’ve started your motorcycle successfully.
  6. Once the engine is up and running, slowly push down the choke if there is one and you are good to go.

Once you are riding it and you want to stop, let go of the throttle to turn it off and pull the clutch lever in. Squeeze the rear and front brake simultaneously and gradually with a focus on the front while you’re pulling the clutch. This will slowly activate the brakes and bring the motorcycle to a smooth stop.

Controls are the key​

Balancing a motorcycle is probably the most important aspect of riding a motorcycle. Balance is actually the biggest difference between riding a motorcycle and a car. A car is already balanced on the road while being still or even moving as it stands as it moves on four wheels. A motorcycle on the other hand is sleek and has two wheels, making it difficult to stand still with balance. Riding it means balancing it at all times on 2 wheels, which may be quite a challenge for new riders.

However, it is not so difficult once you get used to it. Surprisingly, getting used to it has more to do with controls than balancing. You never learn to balance it. You learn to control it and the balance comes along. Remember when you started learning to ride your bicycle? How you always wanted to stay aware to hit the brakes and paddles at the correct time and maintain balance while doing so. Riding a motorcycle is similar, the only difference it can go a lot faster and very quickly. This is also one of the reasons why people who’ve had bicycle riding experience learn motorcycle riding easily and quickly.

Learn the controls quickly and thoroughly​

Every motorcycle manufacturer has its own set of controls. Still, few controls are commonly found on all types of motorcycles. The controls of most bikes include:

  • Throttle, located on the ride side of the handlebar to speed up and down your bike.
  • The front brake, located in front of the handle, activates the front brake, generally but not necessarily used in an emergency braking situation.
  • The clutch lever located on the left side of the handlebar plays a pivotal role in controlling the motorcycle.
  • Rear brake, is located near the right foot to activate the rear brake.
  • Shift Lever, located near the left foot to shift gears.

Please note: Some older motorbikes have mirror-inverted gear and rear brake arrangements.

Getting familiarized with these 5 basic controls is essential in learning to ride a motorcycle. There are other controls as well like the buttons and the dashboard which you can and should get to know. Learning and practicing is the best way to go, and the road ahead should not be too difficult.

You cannot learn to ride a motorcycle after reading about it on the internet alone. (Touché!) However, if you’re already learning it, practicing it, and want to ride it independently for the first time, the above tips will come in handy. Once you have learned how to ride it successfully, keep practicing and improving!

Are there any additional tips?

For sure! Motobit supports you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure not only to take extra care when you begin to start riding a motorcyle, but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

11

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE WITH A PASSENGER

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE

WITH A PASSENGER

How to ride a motorcycle with a passenger

For those of us who don’t want to ride or are more interested in just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the ride, the passenger or pillion seat is the best place to be. Those of us who want to ride a motorcycle and share the fun and enjoyment with the passenger while doing so might prefer the front seat. Riding with a passenger is not the same as riding solo. When you are riding solo, all you need to focus is mainly on balance and control. If you are riding with a passenger, the weight on the bike changes and it causes the center of gravity to change. This in turn makes you change the way you handle your bike. All of a sudden, you are needed to exhibit different skills you know about motorcycle riding.

Here are a few pointers you can take to make sure a smooth and safe ride for you and the passenger. Not to forget, when you are riding with someone, they are putting their life in your hands.

Gear up as a team

Your pillion rider should use the protective gear of a similar quality as you. If they are not wearing a helmet, jacket, or any protective gear, and god forbid you to get into an accident; you might walk away without a scratch while your passenger might have to pay a heavy price just to sit behind you on a motorcycle. When you think about all the adventurers when riding together, you need to think about the risks and safety together too.

Start with a small briefing​

It is always recommended to have a briefing with your bike partner. If it is the very first time you are taking a ride with a passenger, it would be great for you if your riding companion is an experienced motorcyclist. Knowing that the pillion knows a thing or two about riding safely with a passenger behind, will certainly give your confidence a boost. Moreover, during the initial part of the ride when you are still learning your way to ride with a pillion, they can anticipate the way you ride and support you better than an inexperienced pillion rider.

Hand signals or taps are better than calling out if you want to communicate while riding. There will be instances when they want you to pull over for different reasons. Having 2 variations of hand signals is more than enough to start with. One could be to get down and the other to slow down. A Helmet-to-helmet intercom system is another great way to communicate when riding, especially on longer tours.

If the passenger is not a rider themselves, you should brief the passenger to keep their feet on the footpegs or floorboards at all times instead of hanging them in the air, touching the ground, or touching anywhere else on the motorcycle. Brief them about sitting close to you and hanging on to you by the waist tightly as it would make it easier for you to steer the motorcycle. Once you get a bit of experience you can have the pillion hold on to seat grips if available. Such a briefing significantly eradicates the chances of an accident or injury.

Master the turns​

When you start learning to ride a motorcycle, ‘the last hurdle’ as you would call it is the turning. With a passenger sitting behind you, turning becomes even more difficult. To safely navigate and control your motorcycle while turning you can consider adding a few skills to your skillset and a few more pointers for your passenger.

For instance, when you turn left, an inexperienced pillion would tend to lean towards the right due to the nature of gravity. This makes it difficult for you to corner the bike safely. Instructing the pillion to keep their eyes on the back of your helmet might certainly help to keep both your bodies in line while cornering. The pillion can even keep looking over your shoulder to know which way you are going to turn and adjust accordingly.

Brake like a pro​

When you know how to stop a bike while riding solo is great, but when riding with a passenger, it is not that simple. With the extra weight on top, the motorcycle might need a little more distance, time, and effort to brake. Immediate braking is not recommended if you’re a beginner. When stopping the bike, you should immediately put your foot down to find balance for your stationery motorcycle.

Some pillion riders might want to do the same by nature, as they might tend to find supportive balance too. You can make this clear with the pillion that they don’t need to put their feet down unless they want to get off the bike, and that too after letting you know. The reason for this is that it could disturb the balance of the motorcycle immediately, and if you are about the start the motorbike again just after stopping, the pillions grounded foot can cause a lot of misbalance if not pulled back up at the right time.

Make sure there is clear communication when pulling over, as well as getting on or off the bike. There should be no sudden movements from you or the pillion whatsoever.

Important tips to remember

Some important tips to remember while riding with a passenger:

  • Avoid going fast and leaning too much on angles.
  • Developing comprehensive cornering skills first may be very useful to ensure safety and comfort for both you and the passenger.
  • Brief your pillion and define a clear communication strategy.
  • Make sure the passenger is following all the safety procedures and instructions.
  • Strong wind can affect your riding, so be prepared to encounter any weather conditions.
  • Do not make any sudden movements and ask the pillion as well. Sudden movements can disrupt your balance and cause safety concerns.

All in all, keep it slow, simple, and safe. Having said that, enjoy the fun of riding together and share the experience with as many people as possible and let them become a part of motorcycling as well. Ride safe!

What else can support me to increase my motorcycle safety?

Motobit can support you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure you not only take care when riding with a friend but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

10

AM I TOO OLD TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE?

AM I TOO OLD

TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE?

AM I TOO OLD TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE?

Am I too old to ride a motorcycle? Have you been asking yourself this question? No worries! No rider in this world hasn’t at some point asked himself some tough questions like these. Even though the questions seem to be tough, the answers don’t need to be!

In this guide, we will cover important questions concerning the old-age factor when it comes to motorcycle riding. These questions have clouded a lot of riders’ minds when they reach a certain age.

What is the last age to ride a motorcycle?

To be honest, there is no specific last age to retire as a motorcycle rider. People in their 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s ride without any problems. The only difference is that they don’t ride to compete, but just to have some fun and go from point A to point B. The only thing which can probably stop someone from riding in old age is if they have any physical disability of any sort. We have even seen physically disabled people go out for a ride as motorcycles don’t require a lot of effort from the body.

However, it is highly advisable to seek safety before fun. Consult a doctor if you have any problems physically or mentally.

Is there a different range of motorcycles for older people?

Yes. If you are a motorcycle rider and have been for some time, you might know that there is a bike for everyone. One bike-fits-all has never been a thing and will never be. The weight handling, controls, and balance of each bike suit a certain type of rider. Be it a woman rider, a male rider, a first-time rider, a beginner, an experienced, a commuter, or an older rider, there is a different type of motorcycle for every type of rider.

Adults and especially adults above the age of 60 often do not need to go fast. They have probably lived the young years of their lives they wanted, and if they are still riding at this age, it is better to just sit back, hit the throttle but not that hard, and enjoy the soft breeze hitting their faces. There can be physical and mental problems that can hinder their sense of control over the motorcycle. That is the reason some motorcycles suit them better than most bikes. These motorcycles are light, and easy to balance and control, and also the controls are not that complicated, ensuring a safe and simple ride for older motorcyclists. We also recommend that these motorcyclists better ride motorcycles with engine displacement in the range of 100cc to 500cc or a lower center of gravity.

Recommended motorcycles for elderly bike riders are for instance:

  • Honda CBF600
  • Suzuki SV650
  • Kawasaki Versys 650 LT
  • Yamaha Tracer 900 GT
  • BMW F650, F800

What are the dangers of riding a motorcycle an old age?

Common sense applies here! Older people are more susceptible to injuries and accidents and in case they do get into one, they will take a relatively longer time than a younger rider to recover. This is because people above 60 have weaker bones, and poorer vision and they are more vulnerable to physical disabilities. So, yes there are several dangers concerned if you are aged and riding. But that doesn’t mean you should not do it. There are different types of adults. Some are even stronger than others when it comes to vision, strength, and endurance.

At the end of the day, it depends on how you feel about yourself and how confident you are about riding that motorcycle.

Can an old age rider race or go wherever they like?

You can participate in a race at any age between 50-90 but only if you have a good amount of experience to back you up. If you don’t have racing or motorcycle riding experience and still want to participate, you can go for a race with a speed limit. The reason we say you should not qualify for a proper race if you aren’t an experience holder is that you will have to go fast and that is not at all recommended at your age. Lastly, you need to wear complete safety gear first before taking on any race or ride.

Generally speaking: An adult riders should never go wherever they like. Period. They might want to go to the mountains, dunes, snowy places, and rocky or muddy places, but all these places are a huge no-no for adult riders. As mentioned before, aged riders do not have the reflexes as young riders. The above-mentioned places are great to ride motorcycles but only for young motorcyclists who can be in full control riding on such tough and uneven terrains. For older riders, places like paved roads, grasslands, forests, and parks are the go-to places for a lovely ride.

What is the importance of safety for adults and how to ride safely?

The above questions and answers have mostly covered the many safety aspects an older rider must follow. If you are aging and still want to ride, there is no harm in it. But we would suggest you get high-quality safety gear which you should wear at all times while riding. It is worth pointing out, that you should pick only gear that truly fits you to have the needed flexibility to control your motorcycle at all times. Driving slowly goes without saying at your age.

Taking a safety course will be a great help as it may eradicate any common mistake you might make.

Am I too old to ride a motorcycle? What can support me?

So, to answer the big question, no person is too old to ride a motorcycle, given that he believes in himself and his riding. Also, if you are following all the safety protocols, there is no need to hang up those riding boots just yet! Make sure you ride in stable places and also invest some time in exercising to keep you fit and ready for a ride at any time. If you feel unsure about exploring new and unfamiliar roads, it is very helpful to plan the route first. The Motobit App can help you find out if there are any challenging curves or obstacles along your route. For the best possible support, Motobit Sentinel will inform you if there is a road hazard on the route ahead. So make sure you always have both Curve Assist and Hazard Notification enabled in the Motobit App, so you can be alerted via your Sentinel or headset to what you should be paying extra attention to. Last but not least: Invest in a motorbike that suits you and your riding style, and you’ll be able to enjoy your hobby well into old age!