What do I need to know if I’m thinking of riding a motorcycle?

Shari Ives Beginner, Instruction, Instructor Tips, News

So you’re thinking of riding a motorcycle? There are actually a couple of things to consider. The first thing is cost. What is it actually going to cost me to get started? The first year of riding could be costly. You have to buy a motorcycle, you have to buy all the gear, and you need to take your safety class. But what exactly is a safety class?
A safety class varies in price depending upon the state you are in. In New Jersey the price ranges from $330-$450 for a two day class. The reason for taking this class is twofold. First, you need to learn to operate the motorcycle in the safest way you can. Second, it will tell you if you really are meant to ride a motorcycle. Please don’t consider buying a motorcycle before taking a class. It always looks easy to ride when you were following someone down the road who knows what they’re doing. Or when you rode dirt bikes when you were younger. On-road motorcycling is not for everyone.
So let’s say you pass the motorcycle class. You love riding and now it’s time to buy a motorcycle. Once you pass the class you need to go out and start practicing the skills. We always suggest that your first motorcycle be something small, used, and inexpensive. The reasoning behind this is, you are really not sure what your riding style is going to be.

Before riding, everyone always says that they are not going to go too far… or they are not going to go out in the rain… Trust me, that only lasts so long.

Once you gain skills and confidence you will want to venture out further. At that point you will know the things that you want in a motorcycle, and the things you do not want. That is when you should go out and buy your dream motorcycle.

What if you buy an expensive motorcycle as your first bike and you start riding it and it is not comfortable? You could potentially lose a lot of money by trading it in to get the bike that is comfortable for you. We always suggest that you spend around $5000 for your first motorcycle.
Finally, you will need to buy gear. This is the one thing you should not be cheap about.

You get what you pay for with gear and it’s the only protection while you ride the motorcycle. First things first, get a good helmet! A quality helmet will cost you between $250-$1000. Remember when buying a motorcycle helmet, try it on in the store and walk around with it on your head for at least 15 minutes. That will tell you if the helmet is comfortable.

Next is your jacket. Invest in a jacket that has armor in it. You probably will need 2 jackets: a mesh jacket for the summer, and a jacket you can wear in spring/fall/winter – probably leather. A mesh jacket will cost you around $200 and a leather jacket can cost over $500.

Next is full finger gloves. Invest in a good pair of gloves. There are two things that are guaranteed in a crash, your hands and your head will hit the ground. So make sure those two things are protected the best.
You will also need to wear long pants and over the ankle boots. Or shoes with rubber soles. Whatever is most comfortable for you. Do not wear sneakers! They do not give your foot and ankle enough protection.
Let’s add everything up that you will need to purchase when you start riding:

$350    Safety class
$5000 motorcycle
$500.   Helmet – needs to be replaced every 5 yrs.
$500 leather jacket
$200 mesh jacket
$100 gloves
$200 boots

Total around $6800.

Please consider all these things if you want to learn to ride the correct way. The safe way. Our safety class covers all the basics that you will need to know about physically riding the motorcycle, and what to look for while you are riding.

Before you can even consider taking a safety class, you should consider your own safety. Motorcycling, like driving, flying, or sailing, does carry some increased risk.  If you are a fast, or reckless type of person motorcycling probably is not going to work out well for you. The class will be a good indication for you. We want you to have a great experience and enjoy motorcycling every time you ride!

See you on the road.