Motorcycling is an excellent hobby and not all that hard to get into with a little time and money. However, you do not want to jump onto a hog until you are fully prepared for the exciting new adventure of motorcycling! So, as a soon-to-be-new motorcyclist, what do you need to need to know? Here are a few motorcycle tips for beginners.
Before you attempt to go out and ride your motorcycle, get comfortable with it. Practice sitting on it, getting a feel for the gears and the clutch and make sure that you can hold it up at a stop light.
Learning how to balance the motorcycle is one of the most challenging aspects of learning how to operate a motorcycle, especially if you are a smaller person. A good way to practice this is to put the bike on its kickstand, get on and then hold it up. Having the kickstand down offers a little bit of security in case you can't handle the bike (but if you drop it, it's going down). Once you're comfortable holding the bike up, see if you can walk it forward and backward.
Starting the motorcycle is one of the most exciting things that you'll do. When you start the motorcycle, make sure it is in neutral. Turn the power switch, then the fuel switch and the ignition to on, pull out the choke and push the ignition button. Holding in the clutch, shift it into first gear. Let the motorcycle run for a few minutes to warm up.
Now you're ready to move on your bike. You can slowly release the clutch while you give the bike gas, finding that delicate balance where the motorcycle will move without either popping a wheelie or stalling.
Once you're familiar with how much gas your bike needs to move, you can get going and practice switching gears. You'll be able to feel when it is necessary for your motorcycle to switch gears by how hard the engine is working. If it's revving hard, it's time to shift.
Make sure you always wear a helmet when you're riding a motorcycle, even in states that don't require it. Even if you're an experienced rider or you follow most safety precautions, you never know if somebody else on the road isn't paying attention.
Safety First, Kick Butt Second
As a first time rider, safety is much more important than looking cool. This is why you want to be sure to wear the correct safety gear. You want to cover your skin in leather and not denim: leather gloves, pants (or chaps), a jacket, and boots. It may seem like the difference is negligible between leather and denim, but this is a misconception. Leather will give you drastically more protection in case of a fall and skid, while denim will tear to shreds within the first few feet of the slide.
You also want to always ride with a helmet, preferably a full-face helmet. If you do not have a full-face helmet, you still want to wear protective sunglasses to shield your eyes from debris. If you have any friend riding with you, be sure to have the proper safety gear for him or her too!
Even as you get better and more comfortable on the bike you should always wear your safety gear. Experienced riders are probably more inclined to wear the proper gear because they know that accidents happen—if they haven’t been in one themselves, they know someone who has been! The important thing is to remember while you learn all about the new world of motorcycling that you have fun, but always be safe.