ABC’s of Motorcycling
By Staff Writer
Motorcycling is one of the most interesting hobbies anyone can ever get into. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s functional and there’s no finish line in learning. There’s always a new model or a new riding technique to learn about. No wonder why more and more people are buying their first bikes, upgrading, collecting or simply becoming silent motorcycling enthusiasts (those who like bikes but may not necessarily own one as of yet).
If you are just about to enter the exciting world of motorcycles, here are a few pointers on where to start learning about them:
If your only knowledge of the motorcycle is that it’s “a 2-wheeled automotive vehicle having one or two saddles,” which is Webster’s definition, by the way, you’d be surprised as to how much more you need to learn about these machines.
Believe it or not, there are different kinds of motorcycles designed for various riding conditions. There are street motorcycles, which are intended for everyday riding in public roads and highways, off-road motorcycles, which have big, knobby tires for increased traction and bikes for racing, which are especially designed for that purpose. The specs, parts and even materials used would differ from one bike to another depending on its type. So don’t expect all motorcycles to have the same parts or have the same parts on the same places. Apart from the kind, these may also very depending on the maker or brand.
As a beginner, you may want to focus on one kind first so you can familiarize yourself with its parts and features. Study the basic parts of a motorcycle, it’s function and how they work together or affect each other. Remember, it’s easy to further your knowledge once you’ve started and learning the basics is always a good place to start.
Learn about safety
Each and every state and country may have different laws and regulations pertaining to motorcycles. Be sure to learn about these, especially if you do intend to buy your first bike anytime soon. Enroll to a riding and safety course and eventually get a license.
Aside from these, also research on various ways of keeping yourself safe while riding, particularly if you’re most likely to have a passenger with you. Learn about protective gears like helmets, and actually buy them! Don’t limit your choice based on what looks cool, but consider quality and visibility as well.
Most of all, be a responsible rider. As a beginner, be sure that you’re “trained” enough to hit the public roads. Even as an advanced rider, don’t do anything that may risk, not only your own safety, but that of other riders as well.
Find the right bike for you
Now that you’ve learned a relatively significant amount of information about motorcycles and riding, you’ve finally decided that you actually want to own one. As a beginner, choose a bike that’s not too powerful. This can be very dangerous and can actually kill you. Learning how to ride is a continuous process. Whether you admit it or not, you are yet to possess the skills of seasoned riders when it comes to controlling a bike, so start with something less powerful and easier for you to handle.
Also, standard or naked bikes make an excellent choice for novice riders. It has no or very little plastic to break if you every drop one – not that you intend to, but as a beginner accept it as a possibility. Don’t rush into buying sport bikes, which are small, light, fast and covered with shiny, expensive plastic. Save this for later, when you’re experienced enough to upgrade.
Another concern may be your height. If you feel you’re too small or simply having a hard time handling a tall bike, don’t fret. There are smaller or lower bikes available in the market. You may also try adjusting the seat height. Again, depending on your mileage, you can always upgrade to a bigger, taller motorcycle depending on your height, as long as you’re comfortable with it.