This week on RideApart‘s Essential Riding Tip we ask ICON’s General Manager and all around awesome dude Justin Knauer for his best riding advice.

What’s the one tip you found most helpful when you began riding and how did you learn it?

“The best piece of riding advice I've ever received was to wear a full face helmet. Growing up in the Midwest with access to many 2 wheeled, and occasionally 3 wheeled (ATC anyone?), motor vehicles put me right in the high risk category of entry-level riders. No helmet, or helmets without a chin bar, was the norm and I watched people literally eat pavement/dirt on more than one occasion. It only takes seeing someone spit out there teeth once to make you thankful for heeding an experienced rider’s advice.”

“What troubles me today is the new crop of riders hitting the streets who either have not heard the full face words of wisdom, or just choose to ignore them for the sake of fashion or a perceived factor of coolness. I see them everyday, either on the streets of Portland, or on the Internet. They've subscribed to the fashion side of the motorcycle lifestyle but haven't tuned-in to the fact that even a CB350 can put you on your face."

“The picture above is of myself and three of the ICON helmets I've crashed in. I've had get-offs both on the track and on the street. My street incidents were short rides where, by some people’s standards, it would have been totally acceptable to be riding in an open face helmet. We were, "Just riding a short distance to a lunch spot not even going fast.... what could happen?!"

“Note the heavy chin-bar and shield damage. Yes, I wore a pink helmet at the track.” — Justin Knauer

RideApart’s Essential Riding Tip is a new series featuring real world riding tips from notable riders.

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