• Riding position. Sit on the seat so
that your arms are slightly bent and not
tense when you hold the hand grips.
This will allow you to steer without
stretching or moving your shoulders.
• Right hand position. Hold the
hand grip lightly but firmly. Start with
your right wrist positioned with a slight
bend down and no higher than flat.
This hand position will prevent you from
using too much throttle (accelerator),
and will give you access to the front
brake and controls.
• Left hand position. Use a light but
firm hand grip that will allow you to
access the clutch lever easily and
to reach the signal and headlight
switches, and the horn.
• Knees. Press your knees lightly against
the motorcycle to help you keep your
balance when the motorcycle is moving.
• Feet. Keep your feet firmly on the foot
pegs at all times when the motorcycle
is moving. The foot pegs are behind the
brake pedal on the right side and the
gear shift lever on the left side. Do not
point your feet down as they can get
caught between the road and the foot
pegs. Your feet need to be in the correct
position for effective braking, gear
selection, and balance. Do not drag
your feet on the ground or rest them on
the gear selector or brake pedal.
• Eyes. Keep your eyes looking well
ahead in the direction you want to go.
Do not look down.
It is best for new riders of manual shift and
automatic shift motorcycles to practice
starting and stopping in a safe, trafficfree
area. Other skills that you need to
practice in a safe place are turning and
lane changing, steering, accelerating,
and braking at slow speeds. Looking well
ahead and along your intended path will
help you develop these basic riding skills.
If you ride a manual shift motorcycle you
will also have to practice proper gear shifting
to acquire smooth coordination between the
clutch lever, brake, and throttle. Too much
throttle can cause a rider to lose control; too
little can cause the engine to stall.
To prepare your motorcycle for riding,
do the following:
• If the motorcycle is equipped with an
anti-theft lock, be sure it is released.
This will allow the handle bars to move
freely for steering.
• Sit on the seat with a leg on each side
of the motorcycle.
• While holding the hand grips, move
the motorcycle upright and retract the
sidestand. Always check that your
footing is secure so that you do not
lose your balance.
• Continue to keep your feet firmly on