Yamaha conducts Riding Academy, teaches safe motorcycle riding
Yamaha Motor Philippines extended an invitation through CAGI (Car Awards Group, Inc.) to join them as they conduct their Riding Academy — an event that teaches and encourages riders safe practices and habits on motorcycles. It was held at their head office in Lima Technology Center, Malvar, Batangas.
The day-long seminar started with a general introduction from everyone and later on moved to the facilitators explaining the scope of activities that awaited us. There was a film showing that highlighted important tips when riding motorcycles. Some of this includes:
Always wearing a helmet
The company couldn’t stress enough how important wearing a helmet is when you ride. They played a video showing what their helmets are made of and what happens when it is subjected to extreme stress — like when you’re involved in an accident. After all the technical explanation and using an egg to represent our fragile skulls, in the end, it showed that wearing a helmet could really save a life by providing added cushion and support for the head.
Always doing your best to be noticed
When riding a motorcycle, it is imperative that you make yourself and your bike seen by other motorists. Cars have a blind spot and staying right beside them while moving is not the best thing to do. For example, during a red light, a rider should stop past the driver’s window for him/her to see you. Staying at the driver’s blind spot becomes a hazard when the car makes a turn to your direction once it moves, possibly side-swiping you doing so.
Always turning your headlights on
Whether you’re riding at night or noon time, you should always turn your headlight on for extra visibility on the road. Not for you, but for other drivers to easily see you as well — supporting the above tip of always being noticed.
Always being extra alert
When plying the roads of EDSA, or anywhere in Manila in general, you should know by now that there will be either cars, buses, or other motorcycles that will swerve into your lane. To help give time to either stop or maneuver your way out of the danger zone, do not tailgate and give an ample space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Always checking before riding
Although not shown in the video but learned from one of the facilitators, you should always check everything before you ride. Go around the motorcycle and check the tires, tire pressure, chain or belt, and even the oil. Basically, do an inspection of your bike just to make sure things are in tip-top shape. It doesn’t have to be a tedious check up, but even just a few minutes of making sure things are tight and in place.
A big chunk of the day was also spent out on the field, testing Yamaha’s bikes and performing a series of exercises. The first was to brush up on how to properly brake by targeting specific “braking points” along the course that stretches about 100 meters long. The riders were made to pick up speed from the starting point and come to a halt inside the specified area using both the front and rear brakes simultaneously.
Next was taking on the slalom course. Riders attempted to weave through the cones not by solely relying on turning the handlebars, but also putting a bit of hip action in the process — shifting their weight from side to side and understanding the machine better to make it work more for the rider’s advantage.
Our balance and control were also put to the test with the steel ramp. Basically, we had to cross the slightly elevated platform and make it to the other end without falling off to the sides. The key here is to just look forward and not down at your front tire. You would also need a nice balance by shifting your weight while you slowly advance your way throughout the metal plank.
The last activity involved a technical course with numerous turns that could be conquered with ease by combining all the things learned from the previous exercises. Called the Chidori, the rider must apply the right balance, momentum, and body coordination in order to take on laps on the said course.
Additionally, Yamaha had their Tricity up for testing so I hopped on without hesitation and took it for a spin. For the unfamiliar, Tricity is the company’s offering for the daily commuters around Metro Manila. What makes it unique is the use of dual front wheels that make it the first of its kind in the Philippines.
What defines it as a unique tool for transportation is the use of exclusive technologies aiming to give its rider a smoother and more stable performance. During our brief time riding it, we did feel that it doesn’t need a lot of balance to keep it running straight. Even during tight turns, the dual wheels didn’t require me to lean on one side too much. Uneven surfaces and small bumps aren’t something you feel a lot thanks to its dual independent suspensions.
Riding the Tricity, uneven surfaces and small bumps aren’t something you significantly feel thanks to its dual independent suspensions. However, coming to a stop, it takes more effort to keep the bike balanced in place due to its hefty body.
At the end of the day, all the participants were recognized to have attended the Safety Riding Course of Yamaha and we all went home with better knowledge and understanding of riding motorcycles.
Yamaha Philippines’ Riding Academy is also open to the public (for a fee) to give lessons on riding a motor bike even for the first time. By making them familiar with the proper ways of riding, Yamaha looks forward to safer roads for everyone. Those interested may visit their official page for details.