Motorcycle Controls and Operation

Differences Between One Motorcycle and Another?
September 3, 2019
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Motorcycle Controls and Operation

by Stephen Meeks

It’s day one of the Basic Riders Course with Ride Arizona MTC. The paperwork has been signed, the house keeping material covered. All the introductions have been done, range rules have been discussed, now it’s time to head to the motorcycles to begin the day of having some serious fun. To start things off, riders can pick which motorcycle they would like to ride depending on size and fit. Once mounted and everyone is comfortable on their motorcycle, exercise one can begin. The riders are instructed to identify the controls and demonstrate proper operation of each control with the motorcycle turned off.  As a new rider once, my initial focus was to look down at everything while trying to follow along with the rider coaches’ instructions. (Quite daunting I might add.) By implementing repeated operation of each control, you will develop good muscle memory to start keeping your head and eyes up. Time to dismount the motorcycle and contemplate what just happened.

The next step is to manipulate the controls with the ignition switch on. This enables the controls on the left switch assembly to be operated, i.e. the headlights, turn signals, and yes, the horn. Now that the riders have shown sufficient progress with the controls, it’s time to start the motorcycle. You might be thinking “it’s about time!”  The riders are then quizzed for the correct acronym for starting the motorcycle and the procedure for shutting down. By using their FINE-C procedures they can start their motorcycles. After the required number of starts and shutdowns, which depends on how much fun we want have, it’s time to dismount once more. Back on the motorcycle again, this time to operate the controls for stopping. With successful completion of operating the controls, it is now time to set up for exercise two.  SO, why do we do this? The main adjust is to get students comfortable sitting on the motorcycle while operating the controls. Join us next time. Be safe and be smart!

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