Let me tell you a story of how I started riding motorcycles.
The very first time was at my best friend’s house up in Humbolt, California where he had a dirt-bike. Well, to cap the story short, I didn’t know how to ride, didn’t have a helmet on, ultimately did a superman and sorta chipped a part of my leg bones after flipping over about 3 times on the ground.
As ugly as that experience sounds, I got the courage to actually BUY a motorcycle couple years later in South Korea, where I was staying. The traffic was so bad, the only way to get around the city fast was with a motorcycle.
Now as weird as that sounds, I sorta had the idea of how to ride a motorcycle but didn’t really know and I just BOUGHT a bike!!! So, after BUYING the bike, I ask the bike shop merchant on how to ride a motorcycle.
I did couple practice runs around the red-light district (it was red-light district where I bought the bike), then headed over a big bridge and drove home. That was the scariest part of my life, riding a brand new motorcycle on the road, not knowing how to ride one and knowing I have wrecked on a friend’s dirt-bike.
Gladly, I haven’t done any superman and I have actually “survived” the brutal traffic in Seoul, Korea for 1 year. Trust me, driving in city traffic really helps you to not kill yourself on a motorcycle.
When I got back to the States, I took the motorcycle course and passed. (also learned couple more tricks)
If you are thinking about getting a bike too, here’s a couple tips I can tell you that has save my life over and over:
1. No matter what, keep your eyes on the road. Once your eyes are not, that’s when you put your life in risk.
2. Learn to use the front and back brakes. I’ve had about a dozen times where my brakes have saved me from crashing big.
3. Look where you want to go. One time, I was going too fast in a corner and almost hit the guard rail. Luckily, I barely got through the corner by looking where I wanted to go.
4. Learn to use your gears to slow down. You can easily brake without even using your brakes on a motorcycle by downshifting rapidly. This will help you avoid accidents by being able to stop quickly coupled with the front and rear brakes.
5. For first timers, I would highly suggest to buy a used bike with less horsepower. The chances are you are going to drop your bike the first time you ride, that better be a used bike, not your new $10,000 bike.
And here’s some more basic tips on mechanics of riding a bike:
1. Hold down your clutch (which is the lever on the left) then hit the start button to start the motorcycle.
2. Slowly engage your throttle (which is the handle on the right) while slowing releasing your clutch. This is something you need to practice a lot to get the feel for. If you drive a manual-transmission equipped car, you can get the idea.
3. You can always brake by pulling on your clutch, then hitting the front brakes (which is lever on the right) and also hitting the back brakes. (your right foot)
4. Learn to slowly accelerate into the corner. You always “accelerate” into a corner, that’s how the motorcycle stays balanced. Master this and you can go really fast around the corners.
Here’s a video on YouTube I found that will show you the basic mechanics of riding a motorcycle:
P.S. Lastly, riding a motorcycle can be safe only if you take pre-cautions. I know a lot of people who hurt themselves by trying too many things starting out. Just take it slow, it’s your life on the line when you ride a motorcycle, it’s LIFE and DEATH!!!