Advice and Tips for New Motorcycle Riders
If you are considering buying your first ride or researching to find out how to get your license, there can be a lot of information to take in. Riding a motorcycle is like opening up a whole new world, putting a never-ending road at your fingertips. But, in the interest of keeping all you beginner motorcycle riders safe on the road, before you decide to go all WFO, here are some tips you should know.
When it comes down to it, the specially trained instructors with the MSF Basic RiderCourse can teach you how to ride a motorcycle much better than a blog can. And, while completing the course doesn’t guarantee your safety, it provides the basics that allow you to continue to practice your skills on the road.
Wear a helmet. It should go without saying exactly why your headgear is a critical piece of equipment. On that note, wear gloves. It may seem like they're for fashion only, but motorcycle gloves serve a very important purpose. Just picture what happens when you trip and fall while walking, how do you catch yourself? It’s an instinctive human reaction to put your hands out and break your fall. Not to say that a pair of leather gloves will ultimately catch you, but they will help your hands fare better against asphalt at high speeds than without.
One of the most important motorcycle gear tips is to get some that you will want to wear, that way, you will actually wear it. Go for comfort as well as functionality here, not just what looks cool.
If you’ve never had to learn how to ride a motorcycle before, don’t expect to be able to flog it your first time around — no way. You’ll just have to make peace with the fact that it might be a while before you let loose.
Instead, find a big, safe area to ride around and get the hang of it. Parking lots are perfect for this and give you a wide area to introduce yourself to your new ride and get a feel for its weight and balance.
Ugh. There’s nothing more dangerous than a distracted and irresponsible cage driver. As much as it sucks, it’s really up to us to make sure they don’t kill us on the road and brushing up on your safety is a good idea. A trick to this is to act like no one has mirrors on their cars; that they can only see straight ahead.
Avoid blind spots at all costs and always, always maintain proper spacing. Learn to predict the movements of cars, always look both ways at intersections (maybe even twice), and never get distracted. Riding recklessly with big, honkin’ vehicles beside you may have you riding on the big road in the sky. Stay safe.
The road is wide, and you and your bike are itching for long-distance journeys, but I’m gonna need you to calm down. While a cross-country road trip seems like a great idea right now, you need to remember your limits. New riders can find lengthy journeys pretty tiring, so it’s a good idea to take short trips at first. Then, as you get used to your bike’s demands as you ride, you can expand your journey radius and make further trips. Be patient, don’t burn yourself out and miss out on a whole world of adventure. That’s definitely not a good thing.
Yes, I mean it! The only way to get fully used to your new motorcycle is to ride it. Don’t park it and be a weekend warrior. Ride that baby everywhere! (As if you need more convincing.)
Everyone has to start from scratch. Believe it or not, even the most seasoned of bikers have had their fair share of “oops” moments and mess-ups. Don’t lose heart, the only way you’ll catch on is with practice.
While it may seem like a tiresome learning process with a lot of homework, remember to relax, take it easy, and enjoy the ride. When you buy a motorcycle, you have taken a step into a new way of life. So, welcome! Enjoy.
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