Helpful and Little-Known Tips for Beginner Motorcyclists

Learning how to ride a motorcycle can be an exciting yet terrifying time for many people. It’s so different from driving a car that it’s as if you’re learning how to drive all over again. It can be a skill quickly learned if you’re willing to put in the right amount of practice time. Remember that each person is different regarding how much practice time is needed to feel comfortable and confident riding a motorcycle. Here are a few tips to help speed up that process.

Tips for Beginner Motorcyclists

Begin with an older motorcycle

While you practice riding your motorcycle, you may damage the motorcycle a little bit. This may happen from taking a turn a little too sharply or from dropping the motorcycle altogether.

This is quite common, and you may be surprised how many motorcycle owners do it. However, for this very reason, it’s best to begin your riding experience with an older, less expensive motorcycle. There’s no need to go out and buy the motorcycle of your dreams to practice with because you’ll most likely scratch it up one way or another.

Shop for insurance ahead of time

Before you consider getting on a motorcycle and start riding it, you must obtain motorcycle insurance. Insurance is normally provided when you at least have a permit to operate a motorcycle. Be sure to get your motorcycle permit to know you’re covered while on the road.

It’s a good idea to shop around to find the best deal. Like car insurance, you may be surprised at how much of a difference in premiums between insurance companies. Motorcycle insurance quotes can be quite easy to get. Ensure you receive several quotes to decide which is best for you and your budget.

While shopping for insurance, ensure you understand what motorcycle insurance is and what it does for you. Ask as many questions as necessary to help you understand.

Take a motorcycle riding course

A lot can be learned from a course, as it will help give a new rider more confidence. A safety riding course consists of several hours of in-classroom work as well as several hours of actually practicing riding a motorcycle with help from a qualified instructor.

Most beginners can find a course offered close enough to where they live, and the cost of such a course is well worth it.

Practice in an empty parking lot

Attempting to find the safest places to practice riding a motorcycle as a beginner rider can sometimes be a little frustrating. Having other drivers near you while you’re learning can sometimes become an intimidating feeling that can impact how you ride.

One of the best places to practice is in a large, empty parking lot. A few ideal places may include school and church parking lots. Do so after hours so you don’t have to worry about other vehicles coming in and out.

Parking lots are a good idea since they already have painted lines to practice riding around, and you don’t have to worry about other drivers causing you much stress.

Practice sharp maneuvering

Gaining the skill of maneuvering the motorcycle correctly can sometimes feel overwhelming. It may appear to be simple when you watch other motorcyclists do it, but it’s much more difficult than that and takes practice.

As a motorcycle rider, you may be caught in a few situations that require hard maneuvering and some sudden movements. During your practice time as a beginner rider, ensure you practice making sharp turns and tight circles. You should also practice making quick acceleration and hard braking because there will be a time when you’ll need to do that to avoid a collision or a risky situation.

Practicing these hard maneuvers may initially feel intimidating, but doing them repeatedly will allow you to become much more comfortable and confident about doing them instinctively. Be a little cautious at first, and try not to hurt yourself.

Low-speed practice

Learning how to handle the motorcycle when it’s going at low speeds is a good skill to practice. It’s not just about speed and hard maneuvers.

Balancing your motorcycle becomes much more difficult when you’re going slowly. It’s very similar to if you were riding a bicycle. The momentum of the motorcycle will help you keep your balance. 

One of the skills to practice is going low speeds without taking your feet off the foot pegs and determining how slow you can go without doing so. Be careful doing this, and don’t hurt yourself or go too slow that you lose your balance. Yes, dropping your bike can happen, but no one wants to make a habit of doing so.

Be cautious of other vehicles while stopped

Whether you’re a motorcycle rider or a car driver, you will always need to be aware of your surroundings, even if you’re at a complete stop. Pay particular attention to where you stop on the road, including if you’re at a stop sign, traffic light, within traffic, etc.

Some motorcyclists make the mistake of stopping in the middle of the lane while they wait until they can start moving again. The main problem is that if the car’s driver behind you doesn’t see you, you could be pinned between two cars.

To avoid this from happening, stop your motorcycle toward either the left or right side of the lane. If the driver behind you doesn’t see you and bumps into you, you would typically be pushed forward into space rather than into the car directly in front of you and get pinned by both vehicles.

Assume no one else can see you

One of beginner motorcycle riders’ most common mistakes is assuming that other drivers around them can see them. When people take driver training to learn how to operate a car, they often are not taught how to watch out for motorcyclists.

It would be a safe practice to assume that no one can see you while you’re out on the road. This will help make you a much better defensive rider and help you be aware of where you’re riding compared to other cars on the road.

Although there are a lot of other tips to consider, these tips can help you get started…and keep going while learning your new ride!

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