Motorcycle riders start out their motorcycling careers through a variety of paths. For example, many retirees take up motorcycling after they retire from a long career, and realize they want something they can enjoy and be passionate about in their golden years. Others realize they’ve been missing a passion and thrill in life that they discover one day by riding a motorcycle. Or maybe some people come across the sport in the midst of a mid-life crisis, only to have their lives changed forever for the better.
But however your entry into the exciting world of motorcycling, one fact remains clear. There is an overabundance of well-meaning but sometimes contradictory advice on how to best get started and how to learn the proper way to ride. Even the most naive rookie will quickly realize that there are many pitfalls when it comes to safety and finances when it comes to dealing with motorcycles.
You need to learn to cut through all the misinformed or simply unsafe information given by acquaintances or found on random websites, and focus on the fundamentals of safety and technique. First of all, do yourself and the world a favor, and get licensed.
Secondly, be safe by learning the proper skills from a licensed professional, and by wearing the appropriate safety gear at all times, especially a helmet (if there is only only thing you take away from this article, it is that you should always wear a helmet whenever you ride a motorcycle). There is a certain level of danger inherent in riding motorcycles that is simply not present when driving a car. You need to learn to accept these risks and learn to mitigate them with the proper skills and training, mindset, and protective apparel. To skimp on any of these areas will likely spell disaster. Employing them all will likely lead to a smooth, safe, comfortable and enjoyable ride, and a life-long hobby and fulfilling motorcycle career.
Third, even after you learn to ride, make it your life’s commitment to constantly further your skills and learn how to be a better rider. No one masters everything there is to learn about riding motorcycles, and most riders have a long way to go before they can come even close to claiming mastery of the fine art of motorcycling. Be humble and willing to learn from others, especially those more experienced than you. Bike gatherings are perfect for exchanging knowledge, skills, and techniques (not to mention entertaining stories) with fellow riders. You’ll probably make lifelong friends as well with enthusiastic and committed motorcyclists.
Once you try out motorcycling, there’s an extremely high probability you’ll get hooked, just like millions of other motorcycle riders have, and never look back. I just hope you’ll be smart enough, assertive enough, and committed enough to make sure your motorcycling career is a prudent and safe experience that brings you long years of passionate enjoyment. Ride safe out there, and enjoy the ride!