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Tips to a smooth motorcycle ride

Bikers have been ignored for far too long and it’s high time we pushed some content for our friends on two-wheels. So, let’s start with the basics; you really want a motorcycle to an extent you can’t sleep, toss or turn in bed until morning. But before you fork out that money and ride off into the sunset, here are a few things to consider.

Your frame: Bikes have a frame; the specific frame dictates what the bike can do. In the same way, you have a frame that dictates what you can do and which bike you should ride. Take an honest assessment of your height, weight and general health. Riding is an exhausting affair and you need to understand what kind of bike best suits your body.

Skill level: If you have the money, it is very tempting to go out and buy the fastest and shiniest bike you can lay your hands on. However, riding is much more skill dependant than driving and therefore, get a bike that matches your skill level. There is no point in getting a cool bike you can’t completely extract the potential from. Work on your skills first on a smaller bike first, so you don’t crash and destroy a bike you can’t handle.

Know your options: Which bike do you want? Is it for commuting short distances or is it for hitting the trails on the weekend? Do you want a comfortable cruiser for long rides across continents or maybe a flashy superbike to lean into the turns like Marc Marquez? Whatever is your fancy, there’s an option out there for you. Take it for a test ride and feel it out. Know the type of engine you want and the maintenance it will need.

Budget: This is eerily deceptive for the uninitiated. Bikes are generally cheap to buy, especially if you’re getting a used one, but one must also consider the cost of riding gear, which can easily add up beyond the cost of the bike. Availability of parts is also an important factor, as if you have a Harley or chopper in Nairobi, it will be much harder and expensive to get the parts and get it fixed than say a Yamaha, Suzuki or Honda.

Plan your ride: There are two kinds of riders; those who ride alone and those who would rather ride with a partner. If you are a loner, get a bike with a single seat; they’re more stylish and you’ll feel comfortable. If you plan to ride with someone, get one with a longer pillion and foot pegs to place their feet on.

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