Motorcycle Safety Class

Bicycles vs. Motorcycles: Which one is best for you?

Shari Ives Instruction

Bicycle vs. motorcycle: both have 2 wheels, and both need momentum to stay balanced. Leaning and turning principles are exactly the same, except stuff happens much faster on a motorcycle because you are going faster. Riding either machine is basically the same because you’re riding on 2 wheels, you have to maintain your balance, and you’re having a ton of fun!


Let’s discuss the differences between these two vehicles first. The big difference is the engine. Bicycles don’t have one; you’re the so-called engine and we, as humans, cannot put out the horsepower of gas or electric powered engine or motor.  Other differences are the weight, speeds attainable, cost, and proper operation.   In both categories, most of the vehicles are equipped with gears for speed changes, and most MCs have 4-6 gears, whereas bicycles can have 1-21+. How do you stay upright on either? Well, to ride a motorcycle you must know how to ride a bicycle. The common denominator is power to the rear wheel, whether it’s the engine or your legs. Another difference is that bicyclists tend to disregard common traffic laws, which do apply to them as well such as disregarding of red lights, riding against oncoming traffic, and more others. Motorcyclists also disregard traffic laws, such as speeding, lane splitting, and DUI to name a few.



Now let’s talk about the similarities. Let’s start with cornering. Going around curves can be a deadly task on a motorcycle if you corner improperly. Remember, when you ride a bicycle you’re usually in a park or riding on a sidewalk where there is little to no threat to your safety. On a motorcycle we do not have that luxury. We are always at risk with other vehicles. Sometimes they even cross there double yellow line and come into your lane. If you don’t corner properly on a motorcycle you could crash into a guardrail or go off a mountain. Either way, that is what we call a single vehicle accident, and it is ALWAYS your fault. These single vehicle accidents are also the main reason for fatalities.  Speed really separates riding a motorcycle from a bicycle, but technique is the same. Also, both vehicles require you to look ahead to where you want to go. Looking down at the ground is not good and you will end up on the ground because you go where you look. Turning is also the same. When you turn either machine, you press on the handlebar or handgrip in the direction that you want to go. Look left, press left, go left. Both machines have brakes and gears. They are just in different spots, which you would get familiar with. Both should be operated safely and legally, and proper gear such as a helmet should be worn, although helmet laws vary from state to state. The difference in turning and cornering is that cornering is done at speeds higher than 10mph.


The main thing is to have fun and be safe riding either type of vehicle. The only way to do that on a motorcycle is to take the safety class. We discuss this as well as many other things that you might not realize. Transitioning to a motorcycle is usually not hard if you ride a bicycle on a regular basis. The bottom line is, if you want to ride a motorcycle and do not know how to ride a bicycle I suggest you ask a kid in your neighborhood to teach you to ride the bicycle. Kids are good at that!


I hope to see you in a safety class to learn the proper techniques to ride safely.