There’s something about cruiser motorcycles that the average motorcycles lack. We’re not just talking about those alluring, alpha vibes they give off, but more like along the lines of leisurely and laid back long-distance rides. Everybody seems to enjoy riding a heavy cruiser motorcycle. Or at least, that’s what it looks like from the viewpoints of bystanders. It’s no secret that cruisers are on the heavy side. If some experienced riders still struggle sometimes in handling or slow-riding them, then all the more for beginners like yourself.
Riding these giant machines becomes even harder when you’re at slow speeds and in tight areas. Truth is, the firsthand experience is not as easy as those iconic scenes we see in movies. But hey, this is exactly what we are here for. Below are some tips to help new riders on how to handle heavy motorcycles like cruisers and touring bikes.
1. Use the corner efficiently when changing lines
Cruisers are huge and heavy compared to most bikes, not to mention the increase in rearward weight distribution. As such, it’s only natural for an amateur rider to have a hard time changing lines or even braking mid-turn than when riding a sports bike. This infamous nature of cruiser motorcycles compels you to do better, as in, maximizing the corner through good line selection. This way, you can enjoy the additional options and flexibility in case of unforeseen changes in road conditions.
2. Look for a good parking space
You’d eventually need to park your cruiser, so knowing how proper parking pans out is crucial in handling your big bike. Keep an eye out for a parking space that has a flat surface with no inclination and prominent bumps. If it’s not entirely flat, then it better be an uphill chamber. Because if not, you’ll feel like your motorbike weighs heavier than normal while you put if off the stand. Also, steer clear of the center stand, rather, use the side stand.
3. Keep that head up
When you’re at a slow speed because of the traffic, don’t look down. Always keep your vision straight with your head upfront so you can get a clear view and understanding of the nearby traffic and where your next stop will be. And oh, while you’re off to a chill-paced ride, don’t forget to wear a cruiser helmet, not wearing one is plain suicide, a blogger has reviewed here. Trust me, the ride will be sweeter and smoother if you’re geared up properly.
4. Go easy on throttle and clutch
Cruiser motorcycles are known for power, unlike sportbikes that are more on transmission. So, when riding your cruiser, try not to put to much pressure when clutching and throttling. Maneuver smoothly so you’ll have better control over speed and handling. Besides, when riding at low speeds, you won’t need front brakes anyway. Otherwise, it may throw you off-balance because all the weight will go on the front suspension. To slow down, use rear brakes and when you’re at zero, place your feet on the ground for more leverage.
5. Use the right foot when turning
It’s simple – your left foot when turning left and your right foot when turning right. This trick makes turns much smoother and less difficult. It may sound odd but anchoring your foot on the side where you are having a sharp turn helps adjust your riding posture, thus, making the execution of the turn easy.
6. Lean on the side and sit straight
Tight turns mean maneuvering then tilting the cruiser to one side. As you take a tight turn, steer and tilt your motorcycle on the side of the foot to begin turning, then stretch your leg in the direction of the turn. This tilting technique helps in turning straight away. Also, when turning, always sit up straight so you can control and lean the bike properly.