New to Riding? How to do it Right!
Have you been thinking about getting a motorcycle and/or learning to ride? Does the idea of riding free on two wheels make you smile? Have you seen bikers go by and wondered what you were missing? Or maybe you just want to save a little gas on your commute?
Whatever your reasons for wanting to ride, we want to help you with a few pointers. If you are a new rider there are some important things you should know before getting in that seat.
Step One: Take a class.
Maybe you’re thinking, ‘my husband/brother/boyfriend rides a motorcycle, he can teach me.’ Well, maybe he can, but it may not be a good idea. It’s better to find a teacher who’s not too intimately involved with you. He/she will be more impartial and less nervous about what you are doing.
I can’t say enough about the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Riding Course. I took it years ago, and when I married I insisted my husband take it, too (because *I* didn’t want to teach him!).
An added bonus to the course is that in most states, you can take the license exam at the conclusion of the course. In addition, in some states passing the MSF course qualifies you for discounts on insurance. AND the MSF course can be completed in one weekend.
You may be able to find other riding classes offered for free, but even if there’s a cost, it’s money well spent. Try google to search out classes offered in your area.
I believe so strongly in getting some basic training that you notice I listed this as Step ONE, and then...
Step Two: Do it right: Get licensed.
Does a motorcycle endorsement on the piece of plastic in your wallet make your riding skills sharper? Of course not.
The real reason licensed riders are less likely to crash is because of their attitude, not their license status. Riders who take motorcycling seriously, ride legally, ride sober, and try to continuously improve their riding skills are more likely to have long and happy riding careers. It's all about attitude.
In my next post, I’ll address finding the right bike - and riding gear - for you!
- Tracey Cramer