Position when riding
Grip the motorcycle! Do this with your knees
and inner thighs. Push down firmly on the footpegs with the ball
of your feet. Force the bike to stay directly beneath you. This
is especially important the worse the road surface becomes. Thus
you can keep control of the bike with your whole body rather than
simply being a loose weight perched on the saddle, just waiting
to fall off.
Do not support your body weight on the handlebars. Take the weight
off them thus allowing your arms to move freely backwards and
The worst/steeper the road/track surface, the more important it
is to get as much weight as possible onto the front wheel. Move
your weight, as far forward as possible - if necessary jam your
pelvis against the tank.
Grip the bike with your knees and inner thighs.
2) Push down firmly on the pegs
3) Arms bent and relaxed - even when braking hard.
When leaving on a day trip on your motorcycle there are a few accessories you
should not leave behind. These items can be stored in a day bag, pannier, top
box or tank bag.
Cell phone. Store this where it cannot be easily broken should you come off
the motorbike. Do not forget to store the AAs telephone number.
ID and motorcycle drivers licence
AA or towing club, emergency services membership card. Note: The AA membership
card does not have their telephone number on it so you should write it on yourself
with a permanent pen and store it in your cell phone.
Two light weight, easy to store tie-downs for your bike (without steel hooks
or ratchets etc) Should you break down and a farmer dude with a bakkie (pickup
truck) offers you and your motorcycle a lift, you can then safely tie down your
A can of instant tyre repair foam. For tubeless tyres only! (they do not work
well with tubes and once the tube has been patched the patch will not stick properly)
Your medical aid membership card.
Your bikes tool bag
Some spare cash (I take R100-00) hidden somewhere on the motorbike.
A water bottle. Maybe one that can attach to your handle bars and thus be easily
accessible. Riding in Africa with the correct protective gear is a hot process
and you will loose more liquids than you expect. If you experience a headache
after a days outing it could be the sign of dehydration.
Faults you must fight!!
A motorcycle is a different animal and our survival instincts work against us
when we get into trouble
We snap off the power when things go wrong usually resulting in loss of control
e.g. when we loose traction. Opening up the throttle slightly, which is usually
the correct reaction, is very difficult.
When a situation develops we recoil backwards on the motorbike, arms stiff and
straight. Doing the correct thing i.e. leaning forward, arms bent and relaxed
to steer out and through the situation is very difficult.
When we lean into a fast curve and the bend becomes tighter and tighter we forget
to counter steer. Our arms straighten in horror and we push on the bar nearest
to us. The bike straightens up, getting us deeper into trouble!!
When there is a problem in front of us, our eyes and attention is drawn to it
like a rabbit to a bright light. Looking through and beyond the problem allowing
our attention to work through the solution is very difficult.
Drill yourself every time you ride to fight against these four erroneous survival
instincts mentioned above. Make a habit of doing the right thing when things are
easy, so that when the chips are down you will automatically know what to do!!