How to Become a Better Rider Off the Saddle

How to Become a Better Rider Off the Saddle | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel

Riding motorcycles is a physical and mental activity. Like any sport, it requires a certain amount of ability, physical attributes, and mental conditioning.

The better shape you’re in, the more enjoyable and safer your riding experience will be. To attain an improved, even optimum riding shape isn’t just about clocking miles on the road, though.

Here are simple activities off the bike that can help you develop your balance and coordination and build your strength and stamina.


Motorcycling requires balancing on two wheels. The more adept you are, the more confidently you can ride.

To improve your riding balance, try these simple home or gym exercises:

  • Balance on one foot while holding the other for at least 10 seconds (work up to longer times).
  • Balance on one foot while putting on your socks.
  • Balance on a bosu ball, then squat and hold your arms up as though holding the handlebar.
  • Practice with a balancing board. It can be tough and embarrassing at first, but will reward you with increased finesse.
  • Do yoga to improve balance and stamina.

Reaction Time

Avoiding accidents and falls has a great deal to do with your reaction time.

To improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time, simply toss a tennis ball in the air and catch it. Repeat this for at least a minute at a time, altering hands. No time? Do this while watching TV.

Bounce a tennis ball against a wall and catch it, increasing the force and speed. Alter the angle of bounce to get the widest range of movement and unpredictability.

Any racquet sport is going to help you build stamina and hand-eye coordination. Playing tennis, badminton, or table tennis—aside from being fun, active sports—will help develop reaction reflexes.

Physical Fitness

Aside from reducing fatigue while riding, being physically fit can help immeasurably in a fall. Well-developed muscles and regularly stretched tendons are less susceptible to injury in a crash.

To achieve decent physical fitness, stay active, whether with regular exercise or by participating in sports. Almost any kind of regular movement is beneficial for us.

Walking, running, hiking, swimming, and bicycling all contribute to better health, both physical and mental. Bicycling is a great crossover sport with motorcycling since it shares the attributes of two-wheel balancing.

Lifting weights is always helpful for building your muscles, as well as flexibility. If you’re an adventure rider, you can benefit significantly from being strong enough to pick up your ADV bike by yourself.

Cardio workouts several times a week will deliver surprising results, especially if you’re new to it. There’s no sensation like the runner’s high when the endorphins kick in.


The better you can see, the better equipped you are to prepare for and assess what is happening up ahead, especially at high speeds. Your eyes are your most important asset for reading signs and anticipating other motorists moves.

Here are exercises you can do to improve your vision.

  • While sitting, find several focus points around you at different distances. Move your sight from one to the other and bring it into focus before moving on to the next point. Gradually increase speed.
  • Some supplements claim to help eye health, like beta carotene and vitamin A. Always check with your doctor before adding supplements to your daily routine.
  • Warm your eyes by rubbing your hands together and then gently laying them over your closed eyes for five minutes.
  • Blink! Regular conscious blinking keeps your eyes properly moistened and can help prevent damage.
  • Move your eyes in a figure-eight shape around an object roughly 10 feet away to improve your motion tracking abilities.
  • Consider wearing blue light glasses if you spend a lot of time at the computer.
  • Implement the 20/20/20 rule when working. Every 20 minutes look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.


Diet is an essential aspect of good health. The number one rule is to cut out the crap.

Stay away from fast food. Seek out healthy alternatives and you’ll feel a great deal better and have more energy.

It’s simple—eat less and eat better.

Although it’s tough when you’re on the road, I learned to avoid the ease of eating at fast food joints. Instead, I now find local markets to get fresh produce and water (no soft drinks).

As a result, I no longer suffer the indigestion that too often is the result of wolfing down greasy burgers and fries—regardless of how tempting they are.

Thankfully, America has developed a somewhat decent awareness about good, healthy food. You should be able to find like-minded, health-conscious establishments almost anywhere you happen to be riding.


Perhaps one of the most underrated practices for maintaining health is proper hydration. Doctors and scientists are increasingly finding out just how dehydrated we actually are.

I drink more water than what I feel I need. If I’m riding in hot temperatures, I force myself to take in more water than actually feels comfortable. Space it out if possible, sipping any time you think of it.

Being fully hydrated increases mental clarity, prevents mental agitation, and dramatically increases your stamina.


The exercises I’ve listed here are made up of simple tasks, but they’ll do nothing if you don’t practice them consistently. You should work them into your life deeply enough so as to become second-nature activities.

Do them enough and they will not seem like burdens. Rather, they’ll become an effortless routine that improves your riding, and your entire life.