Many automotive enthusiasts are well aware of how relaxing and enjoyable a simple drive can prove to be, and cruising has become a very popular pastime throughout the past century. While all excursions can’t be lengthy road trips, the open road can appeal even to individuals that are limited to a couple short hours. Few experiences are as thrilling as riding a motorcycle for the first time, but riders need to ensure that they have taken adequate steps to prepare to conduct their ride in a safe manner and with the proper training.
Deciding on the type of bike and style of desired riding is a critical step that must be completed before an individual can experience the joy of riding a motorcycle for the first time. Sport bikes and street bikes not only look very different from each other, but the riding experience is also varying. The skill level and instruction required will depend on the actual type of the motorcycle, so individuals should consider their options before deciding which one will be suitable. It is important to note that many riders find sport bikes fairly uncomfortable for longer rides, but will be more impressed with their performance in sharp turns and curves. Street bikes often are seen as a much more relaxing ride that can be enjoyed by multiple riders. Neither experience is going to be better for a consumer preparing to ride for the first time, but each type of motorcycle is very different and is going to depend on personal preference.
Before riding a motorcycle for the first time, a rider needs to ensure that they have all of the proper equipment that will help provide a safe experience. A helmet is one of the first items that comes to mind, but it certainly is not the only necessary piece of safety equipment. Depending on the type of helmet, goggles or a face shield may be required as well. Leather riding pants should be considered and can help immensely in the event that a fall or slide actually occurs. Proper shoe wear is critical as well, and riders should never wear anything that features an open toe design such as sandals or flip flops. No loose articles of clothing should be worn because they can become entangled. Any experienced rider or a qualified motorcycle safety instructor can provide more advice as to the dos and don’ts of equipment needed.
In addition to having the proper equipment, a first time motorcycle rider needs to also obtain a suitable level of training and instruction from a qualified provider. Taking advice from friends and other riders is certainly not a bad idea, but it is important to make sure that the correct techniques are learned. Many experienced riders may not be as comprehensive as a professional instructor and may take the basics for granted, so it’s a good idea to take an actual motorcycle safety class. Some MSF classes will even provide a full fletched operator’s license at the end of the class without mandating a skills exam.
Riding a motorcycle for the first time with a more experienced group of riders can sound like a lot of fun, but the simple fact of the matter is that most mistakes and accidents occur when a motorcyclist is attempting to keep up at a skill level that is higher than their current abilities. Beginners should understand their weaknesses and realize that it is going to take time to be confident and comfortable enough to ride with others. The opportunity to ride with other novices should be taken advantage of, and it is important to always avoid a competitive spirit when possible. When a rider focuses more on the actions of others than their own, tragedies are much more likely to happen.
Enthusiasts that enjoy riding a motorcycle for the first time will most likely become fans for life, and motorcycles are not near as dangerous as some people suggest. However, the largest responsibility lies on the shoulders of the operator. Individuals need to be responsible and take the necessary steps to prepare properly for their first and all subsequent riding experiences that will be enjoyed in the years to come.