First-time Motorcycle Rider? Read this post
Have you always wanted to ride a motorcycle? Maybe you’ve been dreaming of zooming down the highway, passing traffic and actually enjoying your morning commute for a change?
The idea of owning and riding a motorcycle can be a little intimidating at first, but once you get started you’re likely to find it simple, enjoyable, and safe. However it does pay to know exactly what to expect before you actually take the plunge.
A lot of the time when people get started with riding, they don’t know anyone who they can ask for guidance and advice. For this reason, we have some top tips that will help you get an idea of what you’ll need to expect and how to get started.
Firstly, it’s important to take a class. If you’ve ever ridden a dirt bike you may assume that you’ll be fine, but while the concept is similar, the actual experience is very different, considering road bikes are usually far more powerful. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers classes that will teach you to become competent at basic riding, including taking a corner correctly and handling the bike when you’re driving at low speeds. You’ll be able to ask questions and learn in a safe, non-judgemental environment.
When it comes to actually buying a bike, you should understand that around half of motorcycle accidents will happen within your first six months of owning a bike. This means that if you spend a large amount of cash on a bike and wreck it (or yourself), you’ve wasted a ton of money. While you may be looking for a bike that looks cool, these are usually both powerful and expensive- two things that are wasted on beginner riders. Instead, consider buying a cheap bike that you can ride for six months while you get used to driving, and you can upgrade later on if you need to.
Safety gear is inconvenient. That’s the truth. It may not feel great to put on all your gear in the middle of summer, but it will also keep your skin on your body and your brain in your head- both good things. While laws about helmet vary between states, you should always be wearing a good helmet, some protective gloves (check out Icon Gloves), a motorcycle jacket, and some good boots.
While you can afford to spend less on your motorcycle than you were probably imagining, this isn’t the case with your safety gear, which should be high-quality.
You can also find a lot of great motorcycle gear online, including Harley Davidson parts, and even Kawasaki Accessories– this can make it easier to justify spending more on quality protective gear, since you’re likely to save money elsewhere.
One last thing to remember: You need insurance. It’s generally not expensive to insure your motorcycle, and it will give you extra coverage if you do happen to have an accident and need medical care, or the bike needs to be fixed.