Bike Basics: Five Steps to Riding a Motorcycle

This article offers motorcycle basics, including licensing, safety, practice and more.

When you’re ready to embark on the exciting new adventure of motorcycle riding, don’t simply jump on your bike and take off. A lack of preparedness can lead to disaster. To make sure you’re a safe and capable rider, follow these five basic steps.

1. Get to Know Your Bike

Whether you are borrowing a motorcycle or using your own, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the vehicle you will be operating. Review the location of the motorcycle’s controls, because you’ll need to find them without looking. That way, you can be sure to keep your eyes safely fixed on the road. If you aren’t acquainted with operating a clutch, practicing on a car can give you an idea of how it works.

2. Educate Yourself

Find a friend who already knows how to ride a motorcycle, or get training from an organization such as NFL Motorcycle A2 in Birmingham. Your motorcycle coach can lead you step-by-step through the process. A motorcycle class or coach can also help you familiarize yourself with the laws regarding motorcycles. Before you get on the road, make sure you know the traffic laws. Study this information and memorize it, so you can make appropriate driving decisions and avoid unwanted tickets.

3. Safety First

Motorcycle riding requires a variety of safety gear. The safe motorcyclist needs not only a helmet, but also eye-protection and gloves. Additionally, you’ll need to wear over-the-ankle shoes anytime you are riding a motorcycle. Don’t overlook any of these important items, including the correct shoes. Make sure you deck yourself out in all your safety gear before you mount your bike. When it comes time to practice, choose an open area, such as a parking lot or a motorcycle course. If this is your first time riding, have an experienced rider transport your bike to the designated practice location.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice using your motorcycle-step-by step. That means getting familiar with the clutch. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to attempt to power walk your motorcycle. Let the clutch out slowly. When the motorcycle starts to pull forward, walk it using only the clutch and steady it with your feet. Straight-line riding is another useful exercise to practice. After you let the clutch out, you can gradually pick up speed by rolling the throttle back. With your feet on the pegs, practice keeping the bike in a straight line. When you’ve mastered these practice exercises, it will be time to attempt a left turn. Don’t forget to look through the turn and slow down. Most people will drop the bike on its side at some point while learning, so hopefully the paint job on your first bike isn’t too nice.

5. Get Licensed

Obviously, before you can legally ride your bike on the road, you’ll need to obtain a motorcycle license. If you’ve followed steps one through four, however, getting licensed should be a breeze.

Follow these five steps as you learn to work your new ride. Remember to familiarize yourself with the control locations, practice easing off the clutch as you gently pull on the throttle, use proper protective gear, and, if necessary, get lessons from an instructor. Once you’ve completed these five basic steps, you’ll be ready to roll.

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