Becoming a skilled biker: part 2

Cruizador Bon Motard

In the first part of this article, we asked ChatGPT to spill the beans on the best way of becoming a skilled biker. And what differentiates a talented biker from a beginner.

We were pretty stoked to see what the AI had to say. Surprisingly, it had some pretty solid insights.

But hey, we’re all about keeping it real, and even though AI is still in its baby steps, we thought it missed a few tricks and overlooked some crucial stuff.

In this 2nd part, we’re gonna break down ChatGPT’s criteria and throw in some extra spice.

So, did the AI really get what it means to be a rider? Let’s spill the beans below.

becoming a skilled biker

Becoming a skilled biker: Practical Tips to Guide You Through the Process

Introduction

ChatGPT’s take: Riding a motorcycle is not just a mode of transport; it’s an exciting adventure and a lifestyle statement.

Cruizador’s perspective: We couldn’t agree more. However, we believe that the motorcycle community has evolved significantly. The old-school rebel in a black leather jacket has given way to a diverse range of riders. And, just like the society we live in, the social and demographic characteristics of riders have also evolved. But no matter what, anyone who’s ever hopped on a bike can describe the absolute freedom that comes with it.

Verdict: correct

Safety First

ChatGPT’s take: Before diving into tips and techniques, let’s make one thing clear: safety comes first. A cool motorcycle hero always prioritizes safety.

Cruizador’s perspective: We’re on the same page here. There’s an old saying, “Don’t ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.” To us, a good rider is first and foremost a living rider!!

Wearing the right gear at all times and knowing how to maintain your bike, at least basic maintenance, are fundamental. Knowing how to check tire pressure, grease and adjust the chain, and monitor fluid levels – that’s the basics! Check out our article on essential tools to have at home.

becoming a skilled biker

becoming a skilled biker

Verdict: incomplete

Learn to Ride and Get Your License

ChatGPT’s take: To be a legal and cool motorcycle hero, you must obtain the necessary licenses and certificates. A cool move is to take an official training course, which will give you valuable skills and tips for a safe ride.

Cruizador’s perspective: We agree, but with a twist. Anyone with a learner’s permit in hand has the right to ride a motorcycle in Switzerland. However, they have a 4-month deadline to complete the mandatory basic training at a recognized motorcycle school (12 hours for an A license). If they don’t, their learner’s permit becomes invalid, and they’ll need to apply for a new one. Also, with a learner’s permit, riding outside the country’s borders is prohibited.

Verdict: incomplete

Master the Basics

ChatGPT’s take: Before hitting the road, spend time in a safe area practicing the basics like balance, acceleration, braking, and leaning in turns. Get to know your bike’s controls and make them as familiar as playing your favorite guitar.

Cruizador’s perspective: Many motorcycle schools offer introductions in closed and secure areas. This helps you grasp the fundamentals of riding without diving straight into traffic. Indeed, anyone with a learner’s permit has the right to ride on open roads, but is everyone ready for that from the get-go? Not so sure…

Verdict: correct

Understand Your Machine

ChatGPT’s take: every bike has its own vibe. Understand the power of your ride, weight distribution, and how it handles in turns. Get comfy with your bike by taking short rides in different conditions.

Cruizador’s perspective: before even understanding your own bike, you need to choose the right one for a beginner. Don’t have a clue? Check out our comprehensive guide to choosing your first ride.

becoming a skilled biker

becoming a skilled biker

But let’s put it simply. You need some humility and an upgrade plan. Since January 2021, due to new regulations, every motorcycle apprentice has their vehicle’s power limited to a maximum of 35 kW for a minimum of 2 years. That’s a good thing overall.

Before that, learners over 25 had access to the unlimited category right away. Many dealerships have said it wasn’t uncommon to see motorcycle apprentices start on 200+ horsepower super-sport bikes. You might say it’s about personal choice, but to us, it’s like learning to ski on a black diamond slope. It defies common sense. So, without being preachy, starting on small, lightweight, and manageable bikes and gradually moving up to more powerful machines is a recipe for safe learning.

Verdict: incomplete

Hone Your Riding Style – Braking, Turning, and Accelerating

ChatGPT’s take: Good riding posture is crucial to maintain a high style factor. Sit upright, with a straight back and slightly bent elbows. Keep your knees close to the tank for stability and look straight ahead, not at the road.

Braking Technique

Braking is a critical skill for any motorcycle hero. Practice progressive braking by gently and gradually applying the front and rear brakes to avoid locking up. And remember, most of the braking power comes from the front brake.

Stylish Turns

Mastering motorcycle turns requires skills and a touch of style. Start with easy turns and work your way up to tighter ones. Use the “late entry, early exit” technique, gently lean into the turn, and accelerate out.

Responsible Acceleration

Always assume that other road users don’t see you. Stay alert, avoid blind spots of other vehicles, and honk if necessary. Anticipate potential obstacles and maintain a safe distance.

Cruizador’s perspective: ChatGPT is on point here, although we’ll add a little nuance. First, following the previous paragraph, get to know your motorcycle. Some bikes are better equipped than others, especially with features derived from competition technology. ABS is almost standard on all new bikes, but many of them come with additional riding aids: quickshifters, wheelie control, traction control, cornering ABS, etc.

We’d recommend learning the basics without these aids to truly understand a motorcycle’s dynamic behavior, cornering techniques, weight distribution, and braking control. Second, an experienced rider can read the situation at a given moment: road conditions, tire temperature, the presence of debris, potholes, etc. So, more than style, safety should always be the priority.

Verdict: incomplete

Develop Your Riding Strategy

ChatGPT’s take: Carefully plan your routes, taking into account traffic, weather, and road conditions. Avoid riding in the rain, snow, or storms if possible, and gear up appropriately if you have to face uncertain conditions.

Cruizador’s perspective: As mentioned in the previous paragraph, being able to read a situation, understand your environment, and adapt your riding style accordingly is what separates a living rider from a dead one.

Verdict: correct

becoming a skilled biker
becoming a skilled biker 

Never Stop Learning

ChatGPT’s take: Riding a motorcycle is like an endless rock concert – there’s always something new to learn. Get riding lessons from professionals, join group rides, and read everything about motorcycles to stay up-to-date.

Cruizador’s perspective: We’re not entirely sure about the rock concert metaphor, or any other type of music for that matter. However, being curious and eager to learn is undoubtedly an excellent life philosophy to acquire new knowledge.

Verdict: correct

Respect the Rules, Dude!

ChatGPT’s take: A cool motorcycle hero always respects the rules. Follow the rules of the road, don’t ride recklessly, and leave the bad boy or girl at home.

Cruizador’s perspective: It seems pretty obvious that respecting road rules is essential. The fines and the proliferation of speed cameras along our roads should convince even the most resistant. However, respecting the rules is just the beginning; behaving appropriately in society is the continuation. More on that below.

Verdict: correct

Stay Focused, My Friend!

ChatGPT’s take: Distractions while riding can be seriously dangerous. Keep your phone in your pocket, don’t blast loud music with headphones, and don’t let other activities divert your attention from the ride.

Cruizador’s perspective: Staying focused is key to avoiding accidents and, more importantly, avoiding mistakes by other road users (cyclists, car drivers, etc.). Also, being able to anticipate potentially risky situations is an essential skill.

Verdict: correct

Conclusion

ChatGPT’s takeaway: Becoming an experienced rider is a process that combines skills, knowledge, and the right attitude. Safety always comes first, and learning and practicing basic riding techniques are the keys to success. Through ongoing training, rule compliance, and the right attitude toward your ride, you can enjoy motorcycle life to the fullest – all with maximum style and coolness. Don’t forget, being a good rider is not just about reaching your destination; it’s also about enjoying the ride itself.

Verdict: incomplete

Cruizador’s conclusion

ChatGPT is not entirely wrong here. However, it overlooks an important element. In an era where motorcycle riding is increasingly criticized for its environmental impact, noise, or the behavior of some riders, knowing how to behave in society is crucial so that we can continue pursuing our passion for as long as possible.

There is a saying that goes like this:

  1. In town, we recognise a biker’s manners.
  2. In a straight line, we recognise the bike’s performance.
  3. In curves, we recognise the rider’s skills.

Indeed, urban behavior says more about a rider’s behavior. Are you unnecessarily revving your engine? Are you riding without a muffler? Furthermore, many riders are tempted to modify their bikes, especially by fitting louder exhausts. BUT:

Motorcycles are optimized for stock exhaust systems. Modifying your exhaust without adjusting your bike’s mapping often means losing performance.

Additionally, we offen hear that loud pipes save lives…

However, this argument is unfounded. Noise travels in the opposite direction of the motorcycle’s movement,

so beyond 15 meters, it’s impossible to hear the noise, regardless of the modification.

Don’t believe us? Check out this study by MotoADN.

So, even though that rumbling sound can be music to your ears, it also tends to annoy neighbors and attract the attention of law enforcement more easily. And note that fines for non-street legal custom can be hefty and may even lead to vehicle confiscation.

Without getting preachy, remember that one person’s freedom ends where another’s begins.

In summary, adapting your riding to your environment also means adjusting your engine speed according to the context, not unnecessarily revving at a red light. And most importantly, not disturbing wildlife when riding off-road where it’s prohibited. Remember that in Switzerland, apart from a few small sections, off-road riding is prohibited.

And a smooth ride also means lower fuel consumption, which is good for your wallet, especially when gas prices are flirting with the stratosphere. Plus, it’s better for the environment. We’re just saying. 😉

In conclusion, ChatGPT’s advice is generally correct and sensible.

However, it forgets that being an experienced rider can also mean becoming a road ambassador – someone who respects other road users and residents. We’re well aware that there will always be exceptions to the rule, and generalizing is to be avoided. And of course, like any community, the motorcycle community reflects the society in which we live.

But why not have high hopes for Cruizador users and wish for them to become the best version of themselves? It’s always nice to stand out for the positive, not for shortcomings, whatever they may be.

What do you think? Have we missed anything? Feel free to share your thoughts for, who knows, the third part of this article.

Until then, ride on!

becoming a skilled biker

Cruizador

Hey, I'm the founder and Chief Biker Officer of Cruizador. I've been a motorcyclist and travel enthusiast for a long time, and it was in 2018 that I decided to launch this new service, hoping that it would speak to as many bikers as possible who share the same philosophy and the same thirst for the great outdoors. I'd be delighted to take note of your comments, ideas for improvement, etc. Ride on!

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