Motorcycling Basics – Lessons # 13 and 14

Lesson # 13 – It is probably not a good idea to ride your motorcycle while hung over from the night before

Lesson # 14 – It is usually a good idea to keep track of which gear you are in

On a recent Saturday morning, following a very heavy drinking night on Friday, I woke up on minimal sleep and decided I needed a haircut. What better way to travel to accomplish this goal than on my motorcycle? Of course, the fact that I was nowhere near 100% didn’t seem all that important at the time. Neither did the fact that I was too out of it to keep track of which gear I was in. I just had a general sense of whether I was in the high, middle or low gears. Arriving at my destination, I started downshifting for the turn into the parking lot and decided that I had time to make the left turn before a large truck that was barreling down the road reached me. I released the clutch and the back tire immediately started to slide out from underneath me. You see, in my failure to keep track of gears, I had downshifted all the way to 1st gear and so when I released the clutch, the motorcycle was traveling faster than the rear tire was able to rotate (as a result of the bike now being in 1st gear). Fortunately, a rear skid is not difficult to recover from and I did not lay the bike down or get kissed by the truck’s front bumper, but the experience did serve as something of a wake-up call. Hence, Lessons #13 and #14 as outlined above…

One thought on “Motorcycling Basics – Lessons # 13 and 14

  1. I got a Suzuki 110, it’s got a gear meter that used to work when the bike was new(2009)… Later I’ve been riding it without breaks, relying solely on gears and good luck for speed control :p

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