Five things you didn't know about owning a motorcycle

picture of a Centennial College Motorcycler and Powersports Product Repair Techniques program student riding on a motorcycle in a parking lot

It's an old, romantic dream to own a motorcycle, but if you've decided to make that into a reality and turn it into a profession, you'll quickly learn it's quite different from owning a car, and that includes repairs and maintenance. At Centennial College, you'll learn everything about repairing a motorcycle in our Motorcycle and Powersports Product Repair Techniques program. In this college certificate program, you'll gain practical mechanical skills by working on actual motorcycles in our transportation labs at Ashtonbee campus, and transition into the workforce with a paid field placement.

Here's some ownership tips, sourced from CheatSheet and Complex. This is just the basics! In our college transportation program, you'll be learning a lot more.

You need to your defensive driving game

Even if you're already a good, defensive driver, you need to be an even better one when you're riding a motorcycle, simply because, without a car surrounding you, you're way more vulnerable. This may sound a bit paranoid, but you need to think that everyone is out to hit you, especially since motorcycles are harder to see than cars. So, pay extra attention everywhere you go, and stay out of blind spots.

You should adjust your mirrors before riding

This sounds simple, but it's particularly important for motorcycles, simply because they're harder to adjust than car mirrors, and usually need a wrench, meaning you can't fix them mid-ride if you notice they're off.

Check your tire pressure way more often

Once again, this is way more important on a bike than it is with a car. When you're on two wheels instead of four, your performance and handling is way more dependent on how full of air those tires are. So, make sure they're full!

Dress properly

At the very least, you need a helmet, motorcycle jacket and gloves. Denim won't cut it if you take a spill, only leather or mesh will protect you. If it's hot out, it's even possible to get jackets that are entirely made of mesh, protecting you while still letting the air flow. Boots or shoes designed specifically for motorcycle riding are a must, too, because they feature increased traction.

When riding, beware of Target Fixation

A rule when you're biking is that you'll go where you're looking. Target Fixation is a phenomenon where you get tunnel vision, and only focus on one target, which, unfortunately, makes you more likely to hit it, because, as mentioned, you go where you look. Instead, you should look far into the distance, and observe where you'd actually like to go.

By Anthony Geremia

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