Practical riding hintsBecoming familiar with your BMW.
If this is your first big-engined motorcycle, and possibly also your first machine suitable for both on-and off-road use, try to become fully familiar with its performance and reactions before using full power or riding at high speeds
Remember: practice makes perfect.
Your BMW has a dry weight in standard trim of only app. 180 kg (397 lb.) and is therefore surprisingly easy to handle once speed has built up to app. 20km/h(12-13 mile/h). It takes rather more skill to steer it round bumps and obstacles at a walking pace. But even this will soon be learnt. Look for a few easy stretches of terrain on which to practice, preferably with a non-made-up surface, but one that is fairly firm. A garden, gravel pit, field or patch of woodland may prove suitable, provided that motor vehicles are not prohibited. Try at first to ride in circles and figures-of-eight, reducing their radius gradually and turning to the
left and right. Perform these maneuvers seated and then standing on the
pedals. When standing up, keep the body vertical and control the machine
by applying downward pressure through the body and arms
Remember: keep speeds right down at first. Turn the twistgrip smoothly and sensitively Whenever you are accelerating, the motorcycle will tend to move forwards and remain stable.
Next, tackle a not-too-steep slope and patches of sand, loose gravel, as well as crossing ditches. Don't worry if you drop the machine occasionally: nothing is likely to be damaged, and if you are wearing the proper clothing, a helmet and gloves you need not fear any minor injury. The BMW itself is adequately protected - as are your feet during all normal riding - by the rocker covers of the projecting cylinders (and by tubular cylinder guard bars if these are specified as an optional extra).
If you can find a few discarded cans, you can mark out a 'slalom' course
with gaps of varying size. Practice negotiating this course smoothly and at
increasing speed. you'll learn more about controlling a motorcycle in a short
time than the owner of a 50 cc roadgoing model will pick up in a year of average
journeys. The slower you can ride without taking your feet off the footrests,
the safer you will be in all circumstances
If the motorcycle becomes very dirty, follow the instructions headed 'Beauty care' on page 39.
It's no coincidence that many a famous road racing star began on an off-road machine as a novice trials or moto-cross rider.
When you take your BMW out on the public roads where the traffic may be fast and heavy, the following precautions are invaluable:
Leave the low (dipped) headlight beam on even in the daytime, provided that this is permitted by law. Wear the proper motorcycling clothing, which should stand out clearly. Always wear a helmet - this cannot be emphasized too often Remember that a minor dent on a car could mean a complete write-off