A lot of riding action has happened at BSM in the last couple of months. Most of them were long-ish rides involving three or more motorcycles, and that has been just the thing I needed to brush up on my largely agricultural riding skills. See, I'm fast and I know which side of the motorcycle I'd rather be on, but in the process I've turned out to be a bit too close to the red zone and not surprisingly, have tasted tarmac a bit too often. Both Kartik and ex-BSMer Joshua Crasto pointed out a sizeable list of errors I made, all of which are pretty elementary.
Here's that list:
1. Too much rear brake usage. Now, I do have this habit of tapping the rear brake a little too often. I think it's a motocross hangover I'm suffering from or maybe it's just indisciplined acceleration. Kartik says I'm a bit too hot (no, don't get him wrong, you dirty mind!) in certain situations and to counter that I'm always on the brakes. Supplementary to that is...
2. Modulating the throttle rather than using it as a switch. Again, on tarmac, I'm a bit of a point and squirt rider. Off the road, I completely understand the concept of modulation but on tarmac, it comes through to a lesser degree. Cracking the throttle open is not optimal usage in Joshua speak and I agree.
3. Riding all over the place. With the state of our highways, it's impossible, on a 150cc motorcycle at least, to stick to overtaking only from the right. While JC says that's okay, I wasn't making too much of a good job of it. Plus, I switch lanes a bit too often and while that can cause sufficient damage on our 150s, it can be properly punishing on a 200+kph machine.
4. Not looking far enough. If I need to see 100 metres ahead, i'm only seeing about 30 now. On the clock, it means if I could plan 5 seconds in advance, I'm only thinking 2 seconds in advance, making my motorcycle and me more vulnerable to the many variables on the road.
PS. I'm in the midst of unlearning my odd habits and incorporating JC and KW's inputs. It's already making me 'look' more gentle and has indeed made me faster, though i'm nowhere close to the duo. Fortunately, I have a month in hand before the monsoons arrive so there's just about enough time to practice. If you can tick affirmative on any of these points, well, nip it in the bud. Ride hard and enjoy, but be safe!