Today I want to write to a specific group of people. Newbies. Don’t worry, it’s not a degrading term. We all start out as a Newbie and in my opinion the title should be worn proudly as a badge of honor! Those of us that have been doing this for a while sometimes can forget just how exhilarating the experience of the ride can be and it’s thanks to you that we get those all important reminders that only a Newbie can bring. But before we get to twist the throttle there are a few very important steps that should be taken.
First things first; you need to make a decision that motorcycling is an activity that you want to take on! What inspires you to want to ride could be anything! Could be the brotherhood/sisterhood that I’ve referenced in previous blogs. Could be seeing someone else touring down the same highway you’re on but clearly in a state of bliss you can’t achieve in your cage. Could be anything really. But the point is you saw it and you want it! But where to start.
I recommend some time online. Take a look at the different brands and styles and get an idea of what you think you might like. Chances are when you close your eyes and visualize yourself on a bike an image appears. Something to keep in mind though is that your first bike is unlikely to be your forever bike so perhaps that image you have is something to work towards. Baby steps. Also spend some time speaking with people you know that ride. They’ll be able to offer some advise, share some knowledge and offer some direction based on their own experiences within the local motorcycling community. (a word of caution when asking to advice from friends & family that ride: please don’t let anyone tell you that you need to buy a motorcycle that can “keep up”. That is the absolute WORST advice you can get!! Presumably the people you’ll be trying to keep up with have been riding for some time now and as a result have the skill set [or so they think] to handle their bikes at much great rates of speed than you can or should attempt. Trying to “keep up” can result in some catastrophic results. Its your money, your bike and your life. Why risk any of it trying to keep up?).
During your online surfing and riding buddy querying you’ve likely stumbled upon a website for a local riding school. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a riding class! The instructors will take you from having never even sat on a motorcycle before all the way to your class 6. Your buddy that tells you he or she will teach you to ride likely has good intentions but the I assure you that a professional instructor will advance your skills, confidence and awareness dramatically better than your buddy. So do your own research, find a riding school and sign up! It’s worth the financial investment and in all likelihood your insurance company will give you a break with a passing grade.
So in a nutshell that’s the first step! You’ve made the decision that motorcycling is something you’d like to explore, you’ve spent some time online and asking friends about the differing bands, styles and trends and you’ve signed yourself up for professional riding lessons. Stick around readers because the next few blogs are going to be designed to walk you through the entire process aimed at getting you safely on the road. Welcome to motorcycling!!