There are a lot of good reasons to use a motorcycle. They are cheaper both to buy and run than cars (in most cases – and if you are a beginner it is unlikely you will be opting for an expensive,powerful superbike!), they can make city travel easier, and riding can also be an exhilarating hobby. Of course, there is no secret to the fact that travelling by motorcycle is more dangerous than most other common forms of transport, with motorcyclists estimated to be around 30 times more likely to be killed in an accident than drivers and passengers in cars.
There are several ways you can prepare yourself to become a biker, and they are all pretty important if you want a safer and more enjoyable experience out of using your first bike. Here are some tips:
Photo by ebel
While the basic requirements for riding a motorbike legally are not that demanding, get some advanced training if you can, or at the very least do some practice on the safest roads you can find for a while before you try riding at speeds on very busy or more challenging roads. Learn as much as you can about bike safety and don’t take risks – if you don’t feel ready for a certain road or journey, keep practicing and use the bus until you are certain your skills are good enough!
Motorcycle gear can be expensive, but it can also literally save your skin. While some stuff can be bought second hand to save money, like leathers, helmets should always be bought new. This is because you need the exact right fit, and the chances of getting that right at a guess on something like eBay are slim. It is also for a less obvious reason – a helmet that has been in an accident may not show any visible signs of this and look perfect, but may no longer offer the proper protection. It is generally best to buy your gear new where possible as comfort and fit will make a huge difference, but if you are on a tight budget buying second hand on jackets before other more fitted things like gloves and riding boots is better.
As well as having the right skills and the gear to protect your body, you also need a good yet affordable motorbike insurance policy. Like car insurance, insurance for motorcycles comes at different levels, but generally it is best to get the best level of cover you can afford, particularly if your new bike will be your main mode of transport or is a significant financial investment for you. Nobody ever regrets being too well insured, after all!
Getting ready to become a new motorcyclist may seem daunting, but as long as you do your research and don’t skip out on practicing or investing in the right gear, you should soon be on your way to an exciting new life as a well informed, well protected biker.