The freedom of riding a motorcycle is tempered by the fact that nearly 5,000 people are killed in motorcycle crashes each year. That makes riders about 28 times more likely to die in crashes than passengers of a car.
Learning to ride safely is of tantamount importance for those thinking of getting on a motorcycle for the first time.
Motorcycles are a great way to enjoy the open road, put some thrill in your commute, or enjoy time with friends and family. It’s one of the most popular pastimes not just in the United States but worldwide.
But the new rider needs to follow some basic precautions to get from the couch to zooming down the highway.
In the following article, we’ll explore some tips on riding a motorcycle for the first time.
Choose an Instructor
Many people learn how to ride a motorcycle on their own. They pick up the pamphlet at the local DMV, watch a couple of YouTube videos or episodes of “Sons of Anarchy,” and are off.
Others learn from a friend or family member in their driveway.
These riders are typically in for a rude awakening. Motorcycle riders need to be especially aware of their environment. The danger posed to yourself and others on a motorcycle, even at low speeds, is much greater than driving a car.
And after a crash is not the time you want to realize you could have used more instruction on motorcycle safety.
So the best way to learn basic riding skills is to take a safety course. Many of these are offered throughout the country, and some even come with bikes to practice on.
Many dealers also offer this course, which allows you to sample some of the motorcycles you may want to ride in the future.
The Right Bike
One mistake that beginning riders make is that they don’t get a bike they can handle. When choosing your first bike, make sure to reach the controls both when moving and stopped.
Struggling to reach the controls is a great way to get distracted on the bike — and get into trouble.
Another safety factor when selecting your bike is to make sure you can handle the machine when stopped and getting on and off.
You need to control the vehicle at all times, so having the strength to hold the bike upright without its kickstand is key. You should practice getting on and off your bike many times and familiarize yourself with the control locations before riding your bike on the open road.
Where to Ride
Before you get on the highway for the first time, make sure you are comfortable cruising at low speeds on secondary roads or even parking lots. Highways on a motorcycle is a much different ballgame than around the bloc. You’ll feel vulnerable and nervous with the increase in speed and traffic.
But once you get some experience on the highway, you’ll come to enjoy the longer rides and expansive views.
The Right Attire
Invest in more than a vest with a flaming skull on the back. To protect yourself and ride another day, wear gloves, a full helmet, long sleeves, and riding pants.
Many of this attire looks almost exactly like street clothes but is reinforced to help you survive a crash.
Unfortunately, owning a motorcycle means there’s a good chance you may have to put it down when you least want to, so be ready with the right clothes for safety.
Riding a Motorcycle for the First Time Is Exciting
One of the best things you can do when riding a motorcycle for the first time is not letting any frustrations get the best of you. Always try to remember that learning any new skill will have its moments of frustration and that, ultimately, you are on the path of an exciting new and potentially rewarding pastime.
A motorcycle is one of the best ways to see the world and experience the open road. If you remember to have fun, stay safe, and avoid risks, you should be riding for a long time to come.
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