Riding a motorcycle on mountain roads and riding on flat surfaces are a lot different. The conditions on flat surfaces are pretty normal. You ride, brake, and turn accordingly. However, in the mountain regions like the Black Forest, the Alps, the Picos Europa, and the Apennines, you have to be very careful.
For example, how you use the brakes when you’re riding up and how you use the brakes when you’re riding down? Most importantly, how do you corner the motorcycle?
Some riders have a fear of heights. Well, if you know the techniques of riding in the mountains, then you are very lucky and must be a professional. But there are many motorcyclists who are still unaware of how to do this. That’s why we are here today, to give you some tips about what’s different between riding in the mountains and riding on flat country road surfaces.
Lines Through a Corner
Mountain areas have many tight corners that limit your visibility to oncoming vehicles. These corners are often really tight. So, it is better to start on the right-hand side of a corner that turns to the left and in a corner that turns to the right, you start on the left-hand side.
In that way, you can see the oncoming traffic and look through the corner.
The best way of safe riding on mountain roads is to always be looking ahead for oncoming traffic. One condition that will make it safer is when there is traffic but very few trees in the region. That allows you to see far ahead. You will know what you are going to encounter long before it happens.
Most importantly, whenever you are going to corner the motorcycle always look ahead or down.
Use of throttle
Make sure to use throttle properly. Always try to keep it open. If you do that, then cornering will become easier for you.
Use of brakes
Here comes the main question, how to use the brakes when riding up or down the mountainside?
First, we will talk about riding uphill. As we mentioned above in the throttling category, keep the throttle open. When you ride uphill, try to use the rear brake. It will help you with two things: 1. stabilize your motorcycle and 2. allows you to keep the throttle open.
Second, when we are riding downhill. Use the front brake to control your motorcycle. The rear brake has no use while riding downhill because it won’t be enough to hold the weight back while riding down.
Fear of Heights
If you do have a fear of heights and on top of that you get dizzy, then stop looking down. On the contrary, concentrate on the road ahead and move forward.
If you have come to a standstill while riding uphill, don’t worry!
Keep your motorcycle in first gear and your foot on the rear brake just in case. Don’t open the throttle carelessly. Especially, when you are loaded with luggage in the back. Remember, if you open the throttle carelessly than you might pull out a wheelie.
We hope you don’t want that to happen. After all, you are not in the mountain regions just to pull some stunts.
Just use the front brake and hold the throttle gently when it comes to a standstill situation.
It would be better if you remain wary of your surroundings at the top. Whenever you park your motorcycle to enjoy the view, make sure you park at the right place and you are not in the way of passing vehicles and can be easily seen from both sides.
Sometimes, you notice that you are on a sloping surface when you are about to park.
Because all you have to do is to stand still and understand the direction of the slope. Moreover, if you stop while riding uphill, then it would be good if you park with your bike’s front pointing upwards; otherwise, it might fall off the side stand. On the other hand, if you are riding downhill then never park your motorcycle with the front of the bike pointing downwards. Your bike could fall even when parked in gear.
In the mountain regions, the weather can change drastically. From snow to fog or summer to winter, it changes so suddenly that you may be unable to recover if you are caught in it. So, always carry warm clothing or jackets, which can keep rain and cold winds out while riding.
See Also: How to Ride Better at Night?
Not all tunnels have lights. In many mountain areas, you may find some tunnels that are completely dark with tight turns and a wet surface. So, if you are going to enter a tunnel such as this, then you need to be very careful.
Make sure your signal indicators and headlights work fine. Just be sure you don’t open the throttle in the tunnels. Narrow curves in a dark tunnel can become the cause of a crash.
When you ride in a new place or a new region where you are not aware of tight corners and turns, your speed will probably be much lower than the speed of motorcyclists who live there. It is because they know the roads very well and have a lot of experience of cornering the motorcycles on tight turns.
I’ve been told, they can even maneuver certain passes blindfolded. So, give some respect to those riders. You may be a pro at city motorcycling but we are talking about mountainous landscapes and sudden turns at various points. So, don’t open the throttle to match those guys. On the contrary, let the motorcyclists who are faster than you in corners pass by.
Don’t try to keep up with those guys. The same thing applied to oncoming traffic.
When you reach a certain height, the quantity of oxygen becomes less. This affects the engine condition. However, the amount of fuel will remain the same, but the air becomes thinner and your motorcycle receives less oxygen.
So, don’t fumble. Just take off the air filter so that the amount of passing air increases, which provides more oxygen to your motorcycle. This will help to compensate for the decreased amount of oxygen.
I believe these tips will surely help you to ride safely on the mountain roads. So, if you have any questions, then don’t forget to ask them in the comment section below.