Lets start at the beginning… I want to ride – or at least I think I want to. What do I do first? What is the best way to go about it.
1) Get educated
Well, the best way to start is to decide you want to try it. You should definitely sign up for a basic rider course at an approved school. In the class we will talk about safety, controls, gear, and street strategies. The course will give you a good idea if it is something you are good at and will like. It’ll also let you know if it’s not for you. Remember school is the first step before you even buy any gear or even a bike.
2) Then buy a bike
I hate when students buy bikes and gear before they know if this is something they like. There are so many choices. During the course we go over the different types of bikes and styles of riding. Yes, there are different styles of riding! There are long distance (touring), short distance and just around town. There are many types of bikes such as: scooters, sport bikes, touring bikes, cruisers, and dirt bikes. The only way to figure that out is to sit on different bikes.
How should a motorcycle fit you ask? Well, when you sit on a motorcycle your feet should be flat on the ground with a bend in your knees. Flat footed! You should also be able to pick the bike up off the side stand. Your arms should be relaxed with a bend in them – not stiff armed. The bike should “feel right” to you. Its like a pair of shoes… the shoe might be pretty but if when you put it on it hurts, then you don’t buy it (hopefully!). The bike should feel like a pair of slippers. It should be comfortable and practical for what you want to use it for. Make sense?
3) Find your style
Figure out what kind of riding you want to do. At the beginning it’s usually short distances around your neighborhood. Then, as you gain confidence and skills, you’ll venture further and further away from your home. The fact is that accidents usually happen within 5 miles of your home. So getting familiar with your neighborhood is a good thing!
I know for me that I like to ride longer distances, I like my back straight and legs comfortable. So a touring bike is what I ride. Everyone is different so don’t listen to your friends when they tell you what to get. It is a personal choice and that’s up to you to decide whats right for you!
Til next time…