Riding a motorcycle can be very liberating. The feeling of the wind and elements as you drive through traffic is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. It was definitely on my list of things I must do. They don’t use much gas, invigorating and fun! Driving on the freeway often reminds me of skydiving because of the amount of wind you pass through. But with all things, you need to learn and start safe. Here are the 6 essential tips i’d recommend before you hit the road.
Step 1) Take Training Courses
Though it’s common practice to experience your first ride in a parking lot, leave motorcycle training to the pros and take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. The skills you’ll learn will last you a lifetime, and MSF instructors will educate you with fundamental skills that will make you a better, more competent rider. They will also usually give you a neat little card at the end of it that will get you discounts on motorcycle gear and stuff.
It’s also important to take these classes to see if you even enjoy riding a motorcycle. They will usually provide a learning motorcycle (such as a 250cc) and gear. Much better than trying to borrow a friend’s motorcycle and sweat the whole time thinking you’ll drop it.
Step 2) Learn The Rules of the Road
Traffic laws are different for motorcycles, and each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has online manuals for motorcyclists. Download one, and educate yourself on the laws that govern motorcycling.
Usually they will also teach you this stuff in the MSF courses.
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Step 3) Get Licensed
There’s no excuse for riding on public roads without a license. Once you’ve taken a MSF course and learned the basics, schedule an appointment at your local DMV office and take the test.
Step 4) Get Safety Gear
Motorcycling is a high-risk activity, and the most vulnerable riders are new ones. Protecting yourself with proper safety gear is an easy way to save yourself from injury, but the cost of gear adds up, and you’ll want to add this to your biking budget. At the very least, invest in a quality DOT approved motorcycle helmet, a motorcycle jacket and gloves. Once you have the funds, get some pants and boots. This stuff will save your life and skin, don’t skimp.
Step 5) Consider Your Bike Options
Will you be borrowing a bike? Are you considering buying your first bike? Plan ahead by either borrowing, renting, or buying a bike, and you’ll be more committed to following through with your path to motorcycling. You can usually pick up a used 250cc motorcycle for pretty cheap. It’s good because you won’t break the bank, you might drop the bike and you won’t feel guilty. Start small and start safe. You’ll probably grow out of the bike pretty quick, but it’s great to learn and get comfortable on a smaller bike.
Step 6) Start Slow
As a newbie, you’re most likely to make potentially dangerous mistakes. Relax, take it easy, and learn at your own pace; motorcycling is an acquired skill that takes plenty of practice, and it’s important that you keep that in mind while you learn.