The decision has been made – you want to ride a motorcycle. If you don’t know where to start and what first steps to take in the adventure with the motorcycles – I invite you to read it.
Motorcycle clothing and equipment
You cannot start any activity on a motorcycle without having the necessary minimum, i.e., a motorcycle helmet. First of all, you are obliged to do so by law, and secondly – by common sense. A motorcycle helmet is the most important element of a motorcyclist’s equipment. When buying a helmet, make sure that it’s certified, it protects you properly, it fits your head, it’s comfortable, and it provides you with an appropriate field of vision. Remember that it protects the most important part of your body – your head – so choosing the best motorcycle helmet you can afford is essential when starting your adventure with motorcycles.
Next one – motorcycle gloves. In the event of a fall, even if it’s not dangerous, you will appreciate the fact that you have them on your hands. They will also protect you from adverse weather conditions.
As far as motorcycle clothing is concerned, the law does not impose any restrictions in this respect. However, if you are convinced that a motorcycle will not be a one-time attempt and you intend to take the subject seriously – think about buying moto-clothes, i.e., jackets, trousers, and shoes. Not only will they provide you with protection, but they will also give you more confidence when taking your first or second steps on the track.
You don’t have to spend a fortune right away. Of course, it’s not worth saving too much, especially on the helmet – after all, these are the elements of equipment that directly affect your safety, health or even life. However you will surely find something for a lighter pocket as well.
Learning to ride a motorcycle
The first step is to learn to ride a motorcycle through a motorcycle course. First of all, you will learn some theory from it, and secondly, you will learn the practical aspect of a motorcycle riding. You will, of course, need to develop this knowledge further on your own, as a few hours of training will not replace regular practice in any way. Nevertheless, you will get to know the basics under the guidance of professionals.
You may have friends who are motorcyclists and who will be able to give you knowledge about riding a motorcycle and who will be able to help you take your first steps in mastering the theory and the practice (and especially practice).
You can also search the internet for tips and tutorials on how to start learning to ride a motorcycle. YouTube and other websites of this type are full of instructional videos. Although they don’t replace learning with a “live” instructor, the more knowledge, the better.
Read specialist literature – as a complement to a motorcycle course, learning under the guidance of a friend and to taking your own steps. I can recommend the so-called bible of motorcyclists – the “Excellent Motorcyclist” of David Hough. This book will not only introduce you to the theory of, among others, motorcycle construction but it will also allow you to understand the principle of motorcycles, and thus better master the motorcycle and riding it. The book also explains specific situations on the road, so that you can better prepare for the first rides in different conditions and circumstances.
Buying the motorcycle
You already have a helmet and clothing, but you are missing two wheels from the set. Don’t you know what kind of motorcycle will be suitable for your needs? It’s best to get to know the different the types of motorcycles and their intended use. By being better equipped with this knowledge, it will be easier to choose the right bike.
If you have never had to deal with a motorcycle or you had only as a passenger (as I did at the beginning), a naked bike would be a good choice. Personally, I don’t have a comparison with another type of motorcycle, because I was only driving my Yamaha Bandit, but the naked bikes are recommended to beginners due to the fact that they are:
– easier to maneuver,
– easier to master.
Don’t choose for your first motorcycle something that will be difficult for you to master. In my opinion, it’s better to take your first steps on something easier, something that will forgive you more possible mistakes.
When you buy your first motorcycle, don’t spend a lot of money on it. Many beginners experience mistakes and tipping – why should you worry too much when something bad happens to your bike? The first bike is supposed to be a motorcycle mainly for learning. And if you enjoy riding a motorcycle and your skills are already some level higher than the ones of a “newcomer,” your appetite will surely grow, and you will start looking for something else, as long as there is a budget for it. Maybe after some time, you will find out that your 125ccm bike stops giving you so much fun and you will decide to change it to something stronger.
With regard to the purchase of a used motorcycle, or rather with regard to what to watch out for and how to prepare for it – I could write a separate entry. For now, you can use the information from Google. I will just add that you need to be vigilant even if you buy a used motor from an authorized dealer. I experienced it on my own, and now I’m litigating in court. Not the best way to start your moto adventure.
Once you have mastered the basics of starting, shifting, accelerating, braking, etc., it’s time for your first ride. For the first trip, it’s best to choose a little frequented and easy road, so that you can focus on the technique of riding a motorcycle, instead of being stressed by traffic, possible situations on the road or by the difficulty of the route. Unfortunately, when choosing such a lateral route, you have to take into account inconveniences such as uneven surface, holes or sand lying on the road. For the first ride, choose a day with good weather conditions, i.e., no big wind or rain. Once you feel more confident, go for a ride on a more busy route or in the city.
To sum up: when starting the adventure with a motorcycle, there is no point in getting on a motorbike that is difficult to control. Common sense is the most important thing, and a bit of stress will not harm you. But not too much of it, because stress can easily turn into panic, and then there’s no pleasure from riding, and it’s definitely not safe. Unfortunately, there are no magic means to get rid of stress. The only solution is practice, practice and once again practice. You have to drive as much as possible, and after some time the fear that something will not come out right or you will not be able to cope with it will disappear altogether.