Riding a motorcycle has been one of the most important aspects of my life. It’s outlasted many romantic relationships and led to some of my greatest friendships. I also have made some amazing memories from vacations and adventures taken on my motorcycle. With that said, there are somethings I wish I knew about before I started riding. I’m not saying that it would have deterred me from getting a motorcycle but I do believe that it would have made me a better rider.
Small bikes are a ton of fun
When I was shopping my first bike I wanted a sportbike with 600-700cc’s because I wanted something “fun”. I had many friends and family members who were longtime riders telling me to get something much smaller for my first bike and that annoyed me. I ended up finding a deal on a Honda CBR250, and I quickly fell in love with that bike. Eventually, I upgraded to a bigger bike but I never forgot how much fun that “small” bike was.
Ear plugs are handy
I ended up doing a lot of highway driving on my motorcycle to get to work and I always found it deafening. I ended up having a friend recommend some ear plugs and I haven’t looked back since.
Don’t cheap out on tires
Look motorcycle tires are very different from car tires. You can sometimes cheap out on car tires and either get away with it or the experience will be forgiving on you. Motorcycle tires are the only thing keeping you on the road, so don’t cheap out on them. Cheap tires will most likely lead to a crappy ride and a ton of headaches.
Mastering the brakes is the most important skill
When you are trying to learn how to ride a motorcycle for the first time everyone instantly starts showing you how to work the clutch. This is understandable, if you can’t work the clutch you can’t move forward. However, mastering the brakes is the most important skill on a motorcycle and it can literally save your life. Slow, progressive and linear brake squeezing is the best way to stop quickly and safely. Just grabbing your brakes and squeezing them will most certainly cause you to fall or worse.
Full-face helmets with a dark smoke visor are the best
There are a ton of different helmets out on the market and I realize that some can be considered cooler than others. With that said, there is not a safer choice out there other than a full-face helmet. It is easily the most comfortable helmet too, if you don’t believe me just try one. If you want to make sure the sun isn’t blinding you then also grab a dark smoke visor to ensure you don’t get any surprises on the road!
Group rides aren’t all that they are hyped to be
This one is going to be up to personal preference but I can tell you that I honestly avoid pretty much all group rides. In my experience they can be slow, unsafe and a general nuisance. Since everyone is trying to stay in a group they all huddle together, usually much slower than the speed limit giving very little room to one another. All it takes is for one rider to go down to cause a bigger collision.