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     Even though proper lane management will help a motorcycle rider avoid many road hazards, some may be unavoidable. Crossing a small obstacle is a skill that all motorcycle riders should be familiar with. In the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, they have you practice by riding over a two-by-four piece of wood. In the written test that I took to qualify for my permit, they asked about the proper procedure for riding over a piece of pipe (just so you have some understanding of the size of the obstacle we are talking about).

     The first step to crossing an obstacle safely on a motorcycle is to identify the hazard early. Once you see the object in the road, slow as much as time and traffic allow. Try to line your motorcycle up at a 90° angle to prevent your front wheel from being jolted off course by the object. As you approach the hazard, rise off the motorcycle's seat slightly by standing on the foot pegs. This allows the rider's knees to absorb some of the shock. Grip the handgrips firmly before impact (without covering the clutch or the brake) to make sure you keep control of the bike. Just before the motorcycle's front tire reaches the object, the rider should roll on the throttle slightly. This acceleration causes weight to shift toward the rear of the motorcycle, allowing the front wheel to cross the obstacle smoothly. Immediately after the front wheel crosses the object, the rider should roll off the throttle and let the rear wheel coast over it. If you stay on the throttle, the rear driven wheel can slip because of the bump or it can throw the object and potentially cause damage or injury. Make sure the motorcycle has time to stabilize before sitting back down on the motorcycle's seat. Throughout the process try to avoid fixating on the object in the road. Continue to scan the road ahead watching for changes in traffic and for other potential hazards.

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