Riding a motorcycle is something almost everybody wants to do as a kid or while growing up. A few get the chance to learn how to ride one, while many don't even get a chance.
The freedom one gets on a motorcycle is something beyond words. There is a good old saying—You can look at the picture from a car, but you are a part of the picture when on a motorcycle.
For many who has never had a chance to swing their legs across a motorcycle, here is a quick guide to start riding one. For the ones who feel they are too old to start riding, it's never too late.
So once you have a two wheeler learners licence, just follow these easy steps:
1. Making up your mind:
The first and foremost thing before riding a motorcycle is to make up one's mind and work towards it. Many would have heard the dialogue, "It's all in the mind". That is very true. One has to be mentally prepared, which is a key element to learn.
2. Choosing the right motorcycle:
There is no point trying to learn on a motorcycle that has 100 plus horsepower when one hasn't mastered how to handle 20 horsepower. Choosing the right motorcycle is very important. A small displacement, light motorcycle will be easy to handle as well as to learn.
3. Protective gear:
Wearing protective gear is as important as the motorcycle itself. Wear a helmet and a pair of gloves. Riding trousers and upper body protectors are also important. Always wear a pair of shoes. Small falls are all part of the learning cycle and such a fall should not shatter one's dreams of riding a motorcycle forever.
4. Tips and guidelines:
Take tips and guidelines from sensible bikers. Taking tips from wrong people will only end up in you making mistakes that could sometimes cost you your own life.
5. Place to learn:
Learn and even before that, try starting to ride in an empty ground or parking lots that are not crowded. Learning to ride on public roads is very dangerous for beginners and is a big danger for you as well as other traffic.
6. Understanding the controls: Brakes
On a geared motorcycle, the front brake is on the right side of the handlebar and the rear brake is situated on the right foot, next to the foot pegs. Get well used to these controls and where they are situated.
7. Understanding the controls: Clutch
The clutch is located on the left side of the handlebar, operated using one's left hand. Press the clutch to understand at what point the clutch engages and disengages. Also, see if the clutch can be operated with ease and a minimum of two fingers are required to operate the clutch.
8. Understanding the controls: Gears
The gear shifter is placed on the left side and are operated using one's left foot. The general shift pattern will be 1 down, and the rest is up. Few motorcycles have just 4 gears but the newer ones will have either 5 or 6 gears. Some motorcycles have a shift pattern of all down or some even all up. So get used to the shift pattern of the motorcycle.
9. Here it goes:
Keeping the above 8 points in mind, now swing a leg over the motorcycle, take it off stand, make sure the gear is in the neutral position, pull in the clutch and fire it up. Now, slip it into first gear and slowly let go of the clutch and accelerate according to the power required to get the bike moving. It is your first time, so take it slow and steady.
Now, once you have successfully learnt to move the motorcycle, the next best thing is practice. Keep at it till you are comfortable and then start riding on public roads. Remember, the way to perfection is only through practice!