How to Ride a Motorcycle - a Step by Step Tutorial on How to Ride a Motorcycle
By Basem Wasef
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The Waiting Game
An age old motorcycling ritual: waiting for the engine to warm up.
Photo © Basem Wasef
Any internal combustion engine will reach its optimum performance when it's warmed up, but the practice of warming up car engines has largely become obsolete. Riding a motorcycle, however, requires the rider to trust that the engine will produce predictable power when needed, so warming a motorcycle engine is still a crucial part of the riding ritual-- particularly when a bike is carbureted, as opposed to fuel-injected.
Once the engine has turned over, allow it to idle for anywhere between 45 seconds to several minutes, and avoid revving the engine during this crucial time, since oil might not be properly distributed across moving parts. The actual time required for engine warmup will vary on a number of factors, including ambient temperature, engine displacement, and engine oil capacity, to name a few. Use the temperature gauge as a general guide, and only proceed when you're confident your engine won't sputter or fail because it's not properly warmed up.