Passing Tips for Road Riding

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Most riders feel that passing on a motorcycle is simply a matter of opening up the throttle and zooming past the vehicle in front. But depending on horsepower alone while passing can be quite dangerous. Most bike accidents occur while passing, especially when riders try to blunder through depending on speed alone. With better technique, not only will you be able to pass more safely in a variety of situations, but you will be able to do it with much less acceleration.

To develop a better passing technique, it’s important to focus on:

  • See

Many riders make the mistake of riding too close to the vehicle in front, thinking that it would be the fastest way to get around it. However, when you are too close to the vehicle in front, your view is obstructed – especially if the vehicle in front is tall. Keeping your distance will allow you to clearly see oncoming traffic, especially when you are behind a tall truck. The next step is to ride to the far left or right of the road. Try both positions to see which one works best in your situation.

  • Act

While taking the run-up, you will be opening up your throttle and building speed. Deciding on a speed will depend on the situation and speed of oncoming traffic. If you have a bike will a lower cc, you might have to downshift in order to accelerate faster. You want to minimize the amount of time you spend in the lane of oncoming traffic while passing. Once you have accelerated, keep your speed constant; as the noise of acceleration might invoke a panic response from the driver of the vehicle you are passing.

  • React

After the run-up is the time to make the crucial decision of continuing or aborting the overtake. If during the run-up you notice new oncoming traffic at increased speeds, you simply let go of the throttle and abort. If there is no change, you can continue at the same speed of your run-up and go past the vehicle in front. Hesitating in making a decision at this point can be dangerous. If you are not sure, it is always better to abort the attempt to pass, rather than risk a head on with incoming traffic. While making the decision, glance at the indicators of the vehicle in front of you, and see whether the driver is trying to turn to the left or right. Drivers who are looking for a street sign or parking spot can be quite unpredictable, so you need to be extra careful (particularly if they are slowing down)

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