When you are motorcycling and you are faced with an emergency you can either “PANIC” or “REACT”.

When you panic you give up control. You might hold your breath. You might close your eyes or target fixate on the problem. You will grab the grips so hard that you can’t roll off the throttle or use the brakes. You are headed for disaster.

Now replace the word panic with react. As in, “when I am faced with an emergency situation I PANIC REACT”!

Generally, there are a two ways to react. #1 is to brake. If someone turns left in front of you, react by braking hard. #2 is to swerve. If braking hard doesn’t work, try swerving around the problem.

You may also have to react to debris on the road by altering your line (swerving). Debris, sand & gravel should be approached when the bike is vertical with no lean angle. There should be no sudden inputs. There should be no sudden changes in throttle, brakes or direction when you’re riding through the debris. Once you are through the debris you can react again to resume your direction of travel.

When reacting it is important to note that a motorcycle will do one thing very well but not two things at the same time. Therefore, braking and swerving should not be combined at the same time. Brake hard, release the brakes, swerve and then brake hard again if necessary. You have a toolbox full of reactions, use the response that best suits the situation.

Replacing PANIC with REACT isn’t an immediate process. You must train your brain. Panicking is easy, reacting is a greater skill. The easiest way to learn to react is to take a course. Have a professional train your brain.

Once your brain has passed “Reaction 101” you need to practice until reacting becomes second nature. Once you replace “Panic” with “React” you can also replace “Aw Shoot” with “I got this”!

Check out our other GoMotorcycling blogs here to refine your riding skills.