At Riders Discount, spring is the greatest time of the year. Why? Because spring means the ice has melted, the sun has come back to us, and it’s finally time to ride. It also happens to be May, which has been designated Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. As motorcycle enthusiasts, we care about our customers new and old, so we want you to be safe on every ride. For all our new riders out there, and maybe some veterans who would like to brush up on their safety skills, follow the tips in our Beginner’s Guide to Ride:
- Get an endorsement. We want you to ride safe and ride smart, which means that you need a proper license to ride legally. The statistics alone should be reason enough, because they show that unlicensed riders are far more likely to be involved in a crash. Take a beginner’s course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation which includes classroom and field training. It not only helps you to pass the license exam but teaches you how to be safe and responsible for a lifetime of riding. Motorcycling can be the best time of your life and trust us, we want you to have a good time, but two wheels should be taken seriously. Learn to ride safely, legally, and always be sober. If taken seriously, you can improve your riding skills with every ride, keeping you alive and on the road for years to come.
- Pick a bike. So you’ve had your eye on a bike for years? It’s your dream bike that you just have to have. Hold up. Not so fast there newbie. Beginner riding is difficult and you don’t want to destroy the bike you’ve been dreaming about for years right out of the garage. Your best bet is to buy a smaller, inexpensive motorcycle for learning to ride. Odds are that since you’re still getting use to proper weight distribution, you will drop your bike a few times and that’s going to hurt your heart and your wallet, so make it easier on yourself and start with something practical that doesn’t exceed 500cc. Buy your dream bike a few years down the road when you’ve gained some experience and perspective on what exactly you want from your motorcycle. Plus, you’re dream bike could change during the time you’re learning to ride.
- Gear up. We know riding is a blast, but remember that part of that thrill comes from it being dangerous. Every time you rev up that engine there is the risk of an accident on that ride. None of us like to think about it, and you may be the most careful rider there ever was, but you still need proper gear. You should wear motorcycle specific gloves and boots as well as a helmet, jacket, and pants on every ride. You should also pack additional rain gear on your bike for when the skies turn gray, just follow our guide to finding the best motorcycle rain jacket. Remember that all your gear needs to be motorcycle specific in order to properly protect you and withstand the harsh elements of the road.
- Get to know your machine. Download or purchase a service manual. Then take the time to learn and understand the mechanics of a motorcycle. Not only will this help you tweak, fix, and maintain your bike down the road, but it also helps you to understand how to control the complex machine revving between your legs. You should make it a routine to do regular bike inspections, like checking your tire pressure, oil, and chain. Get to know the mechanics of your machine as well as its habits on the open road. The only way to become a better motorcyclist is experience, so continue to ride and study the specifics of your bike.
- Continue to learn. Just because you took a course, got your license, and gained some experience doesn’t mean you’re an expert. It takes time to adapt to heavy traffic, changing road conditions, and weather. Even when you do reach that expert level, you should continue to view riding as an ongoing learning process. Learning to lean and turn properly is all a part of that process and with continued practice you’ll learn to master those skills. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is thinking there is nothing left to learn. You should have confidence on your bike, but never forget how dangerous riding can be, and how exposed you are on the road. No matter how many years you get under your belt, an accident can happen at any time. You can’t control other cars, road conditions, or traffic, but you can control how you ride, so ride safely and responsibly. It’s not just continuing to learn how to ride, but learning more about your bike in general. Eventually you should know the ins and outs of your bike’s specifics in riding and maintenance.
Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to welcome all new riders to the motorcycling community. We’re glad to have you and hope you grow to love it just as much as we do—if possible!
Concerned about choosing your very first gear? Just give us a call! Our expert sales team is here to ease your every worry by helping you pick the best beginner motorcycle gear. Just give us a call M-F 10AM-6PM ET at 1-866-931-6644 or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to check back next week for Part 2 of Riders Discount’s Beginner’s Guide to Ride!