How To Ride A Motorcycle For The Very First Time

People who want to get involved in motorcycle riding often start out by wondering how difficult it is to learn.

The answer, of course, is that it varies. For some people it is easier than for others.

People who are good at riding a bicycle find it easier to learn, because they are already familiar with steering and balance that will be applicable to motorcycle riding.

People who are good at driving a car with a manual transmission will also find aspects of motorcycle riding easier.

If they have learned how to properly use a clutch and shift gears smoothly.

Ultimately, learning to ride a motorcycle isn't that difficult, if the learner is engaged and interested and ready to learn.


How To Learn To Ride A Motorcycle Without Owning One

Many reputable motorcycle schools will include the cost of use of a motorcycle in the cost of the lessons, or will provide one during lessons for a reasonable fee.

For example, many Harley-Davidson dealerships offer motorcycle riding classes and loan learners a motorcycle for use during classes. 

The same is true for classes certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, with providers across the United States.

MSF certified classes also include the loan of a helmet, to make learning even easier.

It is best to search for a motorcycle driving school that includes the loan of a bike.

This is a good idea in order to learn to ride and learn what type of motorcycle best suits the rider's needs before investing in one.


How To Start​​​​ A Motorcycle

Starting a motorcycle depends on whether the model requires kickstarting or not.

Most modern motorcycles do not require a kickstart, and are therefore easier for the beginner. For a modern motorcycle:

  • check
    Get on the motorcycle and insert the key in the ignition
  • check
    Some motorcycles require the rider to turn on the fuel petcock.
  • check
    Pull the choke all the way out unless the bike is already warm
  • check
    Turn the key to the on position
  • check
    Set the killswitch to run and make sure the bike is in neutral
  • check
    Squeeze the clutch completely, and press the start button
  • check
    Hold the start button until the engine fires
  • check
    Allow the engine to warm up while slowly pushing the choke in

 To kickstart a motorcycle:

  • check
    Straddle a dirt bike or stand beside a motorcycle
  • check
    Put the bike in neutral
  • check
    Turn on the fuel petcock
  • check
    Turn on the choke
  • check
    Pull out the kickstarter and push down with a swift, smooth movement using the rider's whole bodyweight
  • check
    Rev the engine while it warms up
  • check
    Push in the choke

How To Get On and Off A motorcycle

Remember that it is the rider's responsibility to control the motorcycle at all times.

When the bike is off the kickstand, it is unstable. Make sure that the motorcycle is not so heavy that the rider cannot control it.

To get on a motorcycle, face it from the left side or curb side (out of the path of traffic).

With the left foot on the ground, grab the left handlebar and swing the right leg over the seat.

Do not stand on the foot peg to lift the leg over the motorcycle.

Stand firmly straddling the motorcycle with both feet flat on the ground before lifting the kickstand.

To get off a motorcycle, stand firmly with both feet on the ground.

Lean the torso forward and swing one leg toward the rear over the seat, until both feet are on the ground on the curb side of the bike.  

How To Practice Motorcycle Riding