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Some Of The Basics Of Motorcycling For Those Unfamiliar With Biking

Aug 17, 2007
It is essential to understand how a motorcycle works before you take it out on the road. Lack of preparation and knowledge can lead to serious tragedies.

How does a bike stay upright?

This is a common question. Think back to riding a bicycle. Everyone knows that a stationary bike is going to tip over. However, when the bike is in motion it never tips. This baffles many people.

The answer lies within the realm of gravity and physics. Motion creates friction. Friction applied with subtle balancing techniques of the rider's body help maintain a balanced bike.

Take a simpler example. Balancing a stick upright in your hand is a guarantee that the stick will tip over. If you move your hand, however, the stick will stay upright. The trick is to keep the object in motion.

How does a motorcycle operate?

Throughout the twentieth century, motorcycles have seen some changes. In the end, however, the motorcycles are all operated in the same manner. First things first, you have to turn the motorcycle on. Motorcycles come with either a key ignition with a push button start or a kick starter that turns the engine on.

The throttle increases the flow of gas to the engine resulting in increased speed. This throttle is your right handle grip. To move forward, the engine needs that gas.

Meanwhile, the clutch helps change gears. The left hand grip houses the clutch level. You pull it in to change gears and then release at a consistent and slow speed.

The pedal under your left foot is the gearshift. You use this pedal with the clutch to change gears, either up or down. The higher the gear, the faster you are moving.

The right handle grip also houses the lever for the front brakes. The front brakes contain up to 80% of your braking power. Pulling the lever towards you provides you with friction needed to slow and eventually stop your motorcycle. Again, you must pull the lever slowly and fluidly or you can brake too suddenly and flip.

A pedal on the right side under the foot contains the brakes for the rear tire. You should use the front and rear brakes together to prevent excessive brake wear.

A few higher priced motorcycle models have linked brakes. Here the brakes work in tandem by pressing the brake pedal under the right foot. They utilize disc brakes for all stopping and can create a smoother stop by gently using the disc to put pressure on the tires.

Almost all motorcycles have a kill switch. In certain cases, turning off the key from the seat can cause the motorcycle to go off balance and tip. Another example of kill switch use would be if you fall from your bike and need to turn the engine off to prevent further damage. In both cases, the kill switch prevents additional injury.

Other items that can be installed to increase performance include the mileage gauges, suspension, GPS tracking, and defogging mirrors. Not every bike will have these items, but many do.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as motorcycle gear at http://www.motorcycleaccessoriesplus.com
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