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Learning to Ride

So you wanna learn how to ride a motorcycle. Maybe a friend gave you a ride on his. Maybe you watched a motorcycle movie and wanted to give it a shot. Maybe your parents ride all the time and now you want to learn too.

Whatever the reason, here are the steps you need to ride a motorcycle.

Ride a motorcycle, KTM 950 Adventurer

1. Take a motorcycle course

Sounds obvious, right? But a lot of people think it is better to learn from a friend or parents. Just because the person who wants to teach you learned this way, doesn’t mean it is the best way! While your friend/parent may be the best rider, it doesn’t mean they are a good teacher. And a motorcycle is a dangerous toy and you should treat it as so.

If you are in Europe, usually each country has pretty good instructors in the driving schools.  The motorcycle I learned on in the Czech Republic actually had a break and clutch for my teacher who rode on the back!  It is a very reassuring way to learn.  So before you go on the motorcycle, just start the licensing course.

If you are in the USA, just spend the money to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. It is a 5 hour course that will teach you how to ride, both theory and practical. Depending on your state, you could even get a discount on your insurance if you take this course. And it could save your life.

You know you are going to love riding, why try dangerously before when you can try it out while getting your license? If you aren’t sure you are going to love it, then I’d say you probably aren’t. Be safe, take a course!

2. Read about Riding

While I had great practice while studying for my motorcycle license in the Czech Republic, I didn’t get much safety theory. Which is bad.  So I read the Motorcycle Safety Foundations (MSF) books on riding, and I can tell you it was extremely helpful. Not only do you learn how to ride a motorcycle, but you also learn how to ride safely! There are strategies in these books that can save your life. And it is a great project to do in the winter while you can’t ride.

Motorcycling Excellence is a great book for beginners. If you know nothing about motorcycles, it is a must read. If you know something but haven’t taken an MSF course, read the book, you will learn something.

Proficient Motorcycling, the Ultimate Guide to Riding Well is a great book for your first winter after riding, or for seasoned riders.  Reading is a great way to stay on target and prepare to ride your motorcycle safely.

These are truly the best methods to learn to ride a motorcycle safely. We have all heard the story of the guy trying to ride, makes a mistake (because he doesn’t know how to ride), crashes, and dies. Don’t let that be you. Be smart, take a course, and look forward to years of safe riding!