Riding a Motorcycle

Riding a Motorcycle: The First Steps

Whether you need a new means of transportation, or it’s just something that you always wanted to do; when you want to ride a motorcycle, don’t think you can just buy a bike and start cruising around.

Here is what you need to do before you can enjoy being a motorcycle rider.

Learning how to Ride

Depending on where you live, there are different laws concerning riding certain vehicles. Check the requirements for legally riding a motorcycle in your location before you proceed.

Whether it is mandatory or not, we recommend you take a training class regardless. Riding a motorcycle is risky, even for veterans. In the US, you can take courses from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) in all states, which is a very straightforward and proven method for learning how to ride.

Permit & License

Again, depending on the state/country you live in, there are different things to consider. Sometimes you must get a permit (before or after training), take a beginner course, and get licensed.

You will find the necessary information online. Alternatively, a driving instructor will know what to do.

Buy a Motorcycle

Training courses are also great for getting a feel for a motorcycle. Some courses have a variety of bikes on hand, so you can get to know several. Additionally, a vendor will let you test ride a bike before buying. Alternatively, buying a used bike allows you to try a motorcycle with less of an initial financial burden.

For in-depth advice on which bike to choose, there are plenty of motorcycle communities with great information online.

In general, there are two typical 250cc beginner models to choose from:

  • a cruiser style bike: the cruiser gives you a more laid-back riding position
  • a sport style bike: the sports bike makes you sit forward more aggressively

Buy Motorcycle Gear

Typically, a training course lends you some gear. Again, you can use the experience you made there to figure out what you like and what is needed. This time, it’s not the best idea to buy used. When it comes to protective gear, you want to make sure it has the best quality it can have.

This is especially important when it comes to helmets. A motorcycle helmet uses multiple layers of foam under the hard shell. They are both essential for lessening the impact force reaching your head. Once the hard shell got in an impact, it can crack or get invisible hairline fissures, leaving it less effective. And after five years, the foam and glue start to deteriorate.

When you buy a new helmet, you should replace it every five years or after every impact. When you buy your helmet used, you cannot be sure of the age and condition of a helmet.

To reduce the cost, order Motorcycle clothing online for the best prices. Most websites have sizing information and let you send stuff back for free.

For both helmets and clothes, buy certified motorcycle gear with good safety standards. Make sure the protective gear fits, meaning it is neither restrictive nor loose. Armor plates should cover the respective body parts they were made for, like elbows, hips, or shoulders.

Get Insurance

Several insurances will be handy to have. Don’t ride without motorcycle insurance. Motorcycle insurance can cover different things, depending on the provider. For example, some typical coverage options are:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: When you cause an accident, this helps to cover the costs for medical expenses and/or lost wages for the other driver.
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: When you cause an accident, this helps to cover the costs for repairs and replacements for the other driver.
  • Medical Payments Coverage: Helps to pay for medical expenses when you were injured.
  • Collision Coverage: Covers damage to your motorcycle after a collision.

Considering how expensive medical treatment can be, motorcycle insurance with the right coverage can save you from financial ruin.

Get a Buddy and get Riding

When you are finally ready to start riding, it is best to first find a “mentor”. An experienced motorcycle rider, if you have none in your immediate environment, can be found in local motorcycle clubs. In the beginning, it is safer to ride with a buddy system. They will help you when you first drive on interstates, in the rain, and so on. Plus, even off the motorcycle, you can learn a lot from their experience as a biker.

The one thing left to do is to practice. The more you ride and the more you experience different scenarios, the more confident you will become.

Conclusion

If you want to ride a motorcycle, you first must learn how to ride. Your place of living dictates the right order of getting permits, licenses, and training courses. Even if it is not necessary, don’t skip out on the basic training. You learn how to handle bike-specific situations and can get a feel for the right bike and equipment before you invest in them yourself.

Afterward, make sure to get good insurance and protect yourself from financial catastrophes. With the right bike, gear, and insurance, you can look for a buddy and start riding.