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The Thrill Of Motorcycling - 5 Ways To Get Into Riding

Jun 12, 2008
Motorcycling is cool. Motorcycling is fast. Motorcycling gives you a rush. There is no doubt about it. I don't think anyone can dispute the fact that there is a certain breed of person out there that just loves the feeling of being out in the fresh air, cruising down the highway. I suspect there are a lot more people who would like to ride than we know about. The question is, how do they get going?

It's like a lot of things; take it one step at a time. Later on, I will give my 5 top ways to get into riding, but first, I am going to tell you about my own experience learning to love motorcycles.

I would say I was about 14 years old when I purchased my friend's tiny Honda Z50R. It was very small, but very fun. I used to ride it around the block and travel to friend's houses on it. I grew out of that bike fast, but I did learn a few things; how to balance and corner a motorcycle.

My next few motorcycles were all dirt bikes. They were a Suzuki RM80, Honda CR125 and a Suzuki RM125. These were bigger machines and worthwhile investments. They taught me how to ride taller motorcycles and how to ride on a dirt track.

There were many other smaller learning experiences that went along with owning and riding dirt bikes. Those came with time. Some of them included learning where the best dealerships were located, how to repair and maintain a motorcycle, how to purchase the right parts and where the best places to ride were. It was a lot of fun and I wouldn't give up those experiences for anything.

When I turned 17 years old, I purchased my first street bike. It was a Suzuki GR 650 Tempter. This was a big change for me, because I had never ridden a street motorcycle before. I have to say, it was a great learning bike. There was enough power, but not too much to do anything stupid or get in any trouble. The bike was smooth and just enough to get my feet wet on the streets.

There were a few years during college where I didn't own a motorcycle, but knew I would soon. After college, I went ahead and bought the bike I own today, a Suzuki GSXR 1100. This is one serious motorcycle, and yes, one I could easily get in trouble on. Sometimes I get shaken by its unexpected power. I would only recommend this type of motorcycle to the most mature and experienced rider.

I love my current motorcycle, but will admit that it does get on my nerves at times. I sometimes wish I owned a laid back highway cruiser. Now that I am getting older, I don't enjoy hunching over the gas tank as much as I used to. Style is not as important to me anymore and comfort is becoming more. Also, having a larger seat for a passenger is becoming a necessity. No passenger likes riding so high up and having to hold on for dear life.

With all the experience I have gained on a wide variety of motorcycles through the years, I feel that I am in a position to offer to some great tips on how to get into riding.

1. Visit a dealership. Yes, it seems so simple, but a huge hurdle to get past is deciding if you really can feel it in your blood. If you are like me, you will leave the dealership panting like a fool. If you leave still undecided, motorcycling might not be right for you.

2. Talk to people. If you have ever heard a group of riders talk about a trip they have taken or are about to take, chime in. Ask them questions and notice how easily they will include you in the ride. Some of them might even offer to take you as a passenger. The community is friendly and always welcoming to new riders.

3. Think about costs. Motorcycling can be an expensive hobby if you are just getting by already. You need to be ready for the financial side of things. You can expect the cost of the motorcycle, insurance, registration, maintenance, apparel and the cost of fuel. It's easy to get sucked in to buying every after market part available for your motorcycle, so be sure you can afford the hobby first.

4. Go for a ride. Try to find someone who owns a motorcycle and ask them if you can hop on the back during their next ride. Try to find someone with a larger motorcycle for this, especially if you are larger yourself. You'll know if motorcycling is the right thing to do once the wind hits your face.

5. Take a training course. I am one of those types of people who just want to get a bike and hop on, but friends of mine have told me how important a training course really is. They thought they knew all there was to know about motorcycling, but each day they came away with new knowledge. It's important to learn how to ride properly.

After considering and completing the tips above, you should be in a position to purchase your first motorcycle. Look through the motorcycle classifieds or visit your local dealer. Find the right motorcycle for you and make the purchase. Since you made some riding contacts and are somewhat familiar with motorcycling in general, you should be in good shape. Just remember, safety comes first and when it comes to riding, patience is a virtue.
About the Author
This article was written by Jay Gaulard on behalf of http://www.cycleclassifieds.us, a popular motorcycle classifieds website.
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