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Why take a motorcycle riding course

Posted by Martin Jones on Friday, March 8, 2019
Many more people are riding motorcycles today than ever before, especially women. Since I've been riding for 12 years now I have women ask me all the time about where they can start. They want to know if I took a Basic Motorcycle Course, and should they take one. They ask if I was afraid, and how did I know for sure that I wanted to ride. My advice to anyone, male or female, who is considering riding a motorcycle is simply this... take a basic course and you will know. I can't explain it, except to say, once you finish the class you will either feel comfortable and be excited about riding your own bike or your gut will tell you that it's just not for you. Whatever you decide is OK. Do it for you. To find out if you truly want to ride and are capable of doing so safely and comfortably.



So how can a basic riding course help you decide? Well first you will be taught about everything motorcycle related in a classroom setting, then they will put you on a small bike, without training wheels and you'll stay upright or you'll fall down. Now don't worry, a lot of people drop bikes during training... it's called learning for a reason. And as I always say, there are only two kinds of bikers... those that have dropped their bike and those that will drop their bike. It's better to get that "drop" out of the way in a safe classroom environment than out on the streets.

Back to the classroom portion though, you will be taught all you need to know about maintaining control and being safe on your motorcycle. After you've gone over all the topics in the classroom you will get a chance to test out your new knowledge on the parking lot course outside.

Some things you will learn throughout your course:

• Motorcycle controls (Clutch/Brakes) 
• How to start & stop your motorcycle 
• Pre-inspection of your bike 
• How to maneuver, swerve, avoid collisions, pass & change lanes 
• What to do about obstacles, animals & road debris 
• Where to cruise in your lane in traffic 
• Nighttime cruising 
• Riding with a passenger or luggage 
• What protective gear to wear 
• How to travel in groups 
• What hand signals to use

When you get out on the bike, you will be geared up (boots, jeans, helmet, jacket, gloves) and will start in first gear, slowly going in circles. You will master shifting gears, braking, swerving and leaning into a turn. And once again you will either get a feel for it, understand it & do it or you won't. In my class a lady decided she just didn't like it and left, which is OK. I'm glad she took the class, discovered that she didn't want to ride her own and figured that out before she was out on the streets, taking the risk of possibly hurting herself or someone else.

Lastly, you will have to pass a written test and a skills test at the end of your training to graduate, which will in turn hopefully make you feel safe and secure in your own abilities or make you walk away from riding your own. Again, I fully believe that either choice is OK. You must do what's right for you and taking a class is a great step in making that decision.

Good luck and keep the shiny side up.


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I have been riding motorcycles for over 30 years and still get a buzz every time I get on one. Enjoy the blog and ride safe. Howard.

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