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Motorcycle Riding Tips for Urban Commuting

Day by day, our roads are getting chaotic, traffic snarls have become a routine. India can definitely boast of being the country with the highest number of motorcycles (mainly commuters).

I have been a motorcyclist all my life and trust me commuting on a motorcycle  in Bangalore  is an absolute ‘Pain in the Ass’.

What makes this blog post more important is the fact that – Riding a motorcycle in the city has to an extent become ‘Dangerous‘.

Experience is a great teacher but  I have had some narrow ones too. To help cut short the experience I have complied 6 tips  to ease your urban motorcycle commute and to have some fun :

Tip One: Taking off the Rear View Mirrors is UNCOOL

Come on taking off the mirrors wont make you a RACER ; don’t even think of any excuse of motorcycle weight reduction or that girls love motorcycles without mirrors.
Mirrors are your ‘EXTENDED EYES OF THE ROAD‘ ; so ride with them and never get rid of them.
FUN TIP: Mirrors are also helpful for that occasional glimpse at your girl in the pillion 😛

Tip Two: Look through the Wind Shield of the Car

Practice the habit of looking through the windshield of the car in-front to know ‘ Whats Happening Ahead ? ‘. Trust me this saves a lot of mental stress than honking incessantly at the slow moving car in front of you.

Tip Three: Avoid Parallel Tailing

‘Parallel Tailing’ is what I refer to all those motorcyclists who ride parallel or in the BLIND SPOT of other motorcycles and cars.  Identifying the BLIND SPOT is pretty easy, if your front wheel is more than 1/4th parallel to the adjacent car or motorcycle, then you are in that car or motorcycle’s ‘Blind Spot’.


Tip Four: Look at the body of the car in front

This is something I have picked up over years of city commuting. The Body of the car ahead is essentially a BIGGER REAR VIEW MIRROR, so take a quick look at the car-body to see the behavior of the traffic behind before making a move in bumper-t0-bumper traffic

Tip Five: Never tail the Big Boys

‘Big Boys’ are buses, trucks, tempos, goods carriers and even some SUVs.  You wont have a clue of what is in-front of them and most of time, THEIR ESSENTIALS (Brake Lights, Indicators, Reflective Strips) DON’T WORK.

So maintain distance from them and either overtake them swiftly or let a car take the spot behind them.

A motorcyclist is the last thing the ‘Biggies’ would look-out for or consider, so let them play in their league 🙂


Nothing helps if you cannot ANTICIPATE and OBSERVE the traffic behavior.

In simple words, most of our city commute is a regular route (to office or college or dance classes etc) so are the OTHER MOTORISTS on the same route at that PARTICULAR TIME OF THE DAY.

Hence observe the road conditions, the way people ride, regular spots where pedestrians cross, where BUSES stop at their OWN WILL etc and ANTICIPATE THEM.

With the growing number of motorcycles on the road, increased impatience and the hopeless system of procuring Riding Licenses, you got to look-out for yourself and for others on the road.


Practice the above tips and share it with your beloved biking friends and family.

Ride to Live and Love for Another Day.

16 responses to “Motorcycle Riding Tips for Urban Commuting”

  1. Sreekanth Avatar

    Good one man :). Tyres on your baby ready to be ripped now?? 🙂

    1. ajayananth Avatar

      Thanks Sree 🙂

  2. Ravi Avatar

    Excellent writeup, simple and clear. A Must follow guide for Motorcyclist and riders riding in India.

    1. ajayananth Avatar

      Thanks Ravi 🙂

  3. Manu Bhat Avatar

    Nice write up Ajay 🙂

    1. ajayananth Avatar

      Thank you Manu 🙂

  4. Sid Avatar

    I think the only thing left to add to these tips is… learn to predict the other guys moves and always keep an eye on all vehicles around you… one of them is bound to do something funny, which could land you in trouble!

    1. ajayananth Avatar

      Thanks Sid, I refer the same as ‘Anticipation’ and ‘Observation’. One can expect the Most Unexpected on crowded roads where everyone is in a hurry 🙂

  5. Shreyas Jayanna Avatar
    Shreyas Jayanna

    Very good tips Ajay.. I practice a few of them in my everyday commute.. But to get to know few more is always gud!!

    1. ajayananth Avatar

      Thanks Shreyu 🙂
      I will writing somemore in the upcoming posts, more number of tips on a single plate are likely to be missed and become boring.

  6. Angad Achappa Avatar

    Very nice.. I follow all this.. 😀 There is also one more very important tip: ‘use that damn thing called common sense while riding/driving’

    1. ajayananth Avatar

      Yes ‘Common Sense’ is very uncommon 😛

  7. HR Avatar

    I would also not tail Autos & Cabs…I’m in awe of their superior and absolutely random impulse to change direction.

    1. Ajay Ananth Avatar

      Hehe – absolutely :p

  8. vyasvivek2011vIVEK Avatar

    Is it right idea to use a bike for office when one side distance is about 80km?

    1. Ajay Ananth Avatar

      Hey Vivek – as long as you ride safe and the ride to office isnt very stressful, why not

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