Scooters are increasingly popular these days. They’re just like your regular motorcycle, but they’re lighter, easier to drive, and more cost-efficient as they don’t use up much gas.
In line with this, most of the people who use scooters aren’t really professional riders as they’re commonly average joes who just ride one to go to the office, school, or at their local neighborhood without burning up too much gas (or money).
If this is the case, then most scooter riders lack the skills to ride on a variety of surfaces or terrains, one of the most common ones being downhills.
So, how do you ride a scooter downhill?
We’ve come up with the best and most effective tips to help you ride a scooter downhill in the safest and most proper way possible.
Shift your Weight
The first thing you need to do if you’d like to ride downhill with your scooter is to get your weight back. This means that you need to slide back a bit to the back portion of your scooter’s seat.
This way, you equalize the balance of your scooter, knowing that most of the force will go forward as gravity pulls you down. To prevent you from getting pulled down that much by gravity, you simply put your weight back.
This also removes weight on the bars, which then gives you better control and maneuverability. You can easily remember this by pushing away, just like you’re pushing the bars away from you.
Grip the Frame
Use your thighs or legs to grip the frame of your scooter. This way, you lock on with your bike and avoid your weight from going forward.
But remember to not grip it too tight as you can stress yourself that much that you end up getting fatigued, which could then compromise your riding capabilities.
Gripping the frame or the area of your scooter near the tank also gets rid of the pressure and weight on your wrists, thus making it easier for you to control your scooter.
You also won’t get the feeling of falling down or out of the bike on downhills because you’re in a locked position. In fact, you’ll feel more comfortable.
Set your Sights in Advance
Looking ahead and not near you is another tip to help you ride a scooter downhill. Look as far ahead as you can so that you get the needed balance to tackle any kind of terrain, whether the downhill is rocky or on paved roads.
You don’t want to look down because this means that you’re most likely to look on your front wheel, which could then lead you to crash. Look at the area where you’re heading to.
If you’ll pass through the right corner, then look right. The area that you’re looking at is where you’ll be heading to because your vision is directly connected to your hands and body in general, without you even thinking about it.
It’s all about target fixation. Knowing this skill makes you a better rider and also improves your focus.
Modulate Your Acceleration Speed
Know that your speed is going to be much faster on downhills because gravity pulls on you much harder. By simply anticipating faster speeds, you ride in a safer way because you’ll be in better control of your scooter.
Don’t twist the throttle all the way because you want to be fast. Take note that you can just twist it up and accelerate a bit and just let gravity take hold of you. Riding downhill isn’t just about your scooter, but it’s also about taking into consideration the effects of gravity.
Brake Before Turns
Braking before turns is a basic and crucial tip to keep in mind always. This is important because braking before a turn or corner modulates your speed and gets rid of excessive force that can send you spiraling onto the pavement.
The danger of braking on a turn or corner is that your tires can skid because they lock while you’re turning and maneuvering. What happens when the tires lock and stop turning while they’re on a slanted position is that you can skid and worse, turn over sideways.
This is one of the most common reasons why many scooter and motorcycle riders get injured because they don’t brake ahead.
It might seem scary and odd to know that you don’t need to brake on a corner unless it’s necessary. But that’s just how the rules of physics go.
As you’re approaching a turn or corner, you want to brake slowly. You then want to release the brakes once you’re in the corner. It might seem a bit challenging at first, but you’ll get the hang of it later on.
Modulated braking is another necessary skill to consider. What this means is that you don’t need to be too hard on your brakes. Never pull the brake levers abruptly as this can send you spiraling out of control and even throw you out of your scooter.
Instead of abruptly pulling the brakes, you want to slowly pull it nearer you in several squashes. Don’t go all out when braking. It might seem like you’re compromising stability, but that’s alright because you won’t lose balance as long as you modulate the braking correctly.
This gets rid of the unnecessary stress that your wheels get because they don’t abruptly stop turning, thus providing you with a better grip.
Also, keep in mind to not brake hard on your front brakes as you can get thrown out of your scooter. Just use your front brakes as a support to your rear brakes, with the latter needing more effort and braking power from you.
Spread your Arms
Spreading your arms wide gives you better control when you ride a scooter downhill. Instead of maintaining a straight arm position as you’re holding your handlebars, you want to spread your arms wider with your elbows pointing outward.
Stay Within your Comfort Zone.
And last but not the least is to not force things out. Never go beyond your comfort zone. If you’re still new to riding a scooter, don’t force yourself into going through the downhill, especially if you’ve got fear of heights.
It’s normal to feel scared seeing a steep downhill path that you need to go through. And if you feel like you still can’t do it, then just stop and try another route instead.
It’s better to travel longer than to risk your safety. Just make sure that you do your best to learn how to ride a scooter downhill.
Well, there’s no problem about that as long as you follow correctly all the tips we’ve mentioned in this article. See to it that you maintain proper body positioning, modulate your speed and braking, look ahead, and believe in yourself.
When you do, then you surely will have a safe and fun time riding your scooter downhill.