First Time Rider Tricks and Tips

a picture of Ari who is the owner of Tyreman M/C
Ari Kypuros Owner & Founder of Tyreman M/C
10 mins August 26, 2022
a motorcycle helmet and goggles sitting on top of a motorbike

How hard is it to learn to ride a motorcycle? The answer to this differs for everyone, and it can take you a few months to be comfortable on your bike after riding regularly.

The expert team at Tyreman MC has compiled some helpful tips to prepare you for when you first start riding. While this information will help you avoid some, you should expect a few scares and stupid mistakes at first; it’s all part of learning.

Always remember, motorcycles are a lot of fun, but can also be much riskier than cars, so avoid needless risks, always be alert and put safety first whenever you are out on the road.

a person wearing a motorbike helmet

Start by gathering the correct gear

Proper motorcycle gear is crucial when riding and essential to ensuring your safety. You should consider all of the following before getting on your bike:

  • Protective clothing (jacket and riding pants)
  • Gloves
  • Helmets (preferably full-face)
  • Boots that cover the ankles

The proper clothing will protect you in the unfortunate event of a crash or road debris while riding. In addition, you’ll be shielded from onrushing wind, insects, and rain while also having a barrier to cushion your fall and lessen burns and scrapes.

Biking gloves protect your hands and help you get a better grip on the handles, and you can add a pair of lightweight goggles under your helmet to protect your eyes.

Riding without a helmet significantly increases the risk of a fatal injury or long-term brain damage. Therefore, you must always wear a helmet; it will also help reduce noise and fatigue. You can find further information on the gear to wear when riding a motorcycle here.

A mechanic inspecting a motorbike

Always do a pre-ride inspection

Always check your motorcycle before riding to ensure everything is mechanically sound. The things you should look out for before going for a ride include:

  • Adequately inflated tyres: Both wheels must sit at the proper air pressure. This will be listed in your owner manual, online, or on the side of the tyre itself. Proper inflation allows you to maneuver correctly, especially when turning.
  • Check your tyre tread: Make sure there is enough tread for a safe ride. Wear bars are present on all tyres, and you should always look for cracked rubber.
  • Oil: Does your motorcycle have enough oil? Always do a quick check to confirm this.
  • Lights: Ensure all turn signals, headlights, and brake lights work.
  • Cables: Check the cables on the throttle and brake levers to confirm they are in working order.

If you do find that your tyres are not in good condition, we can help you out directly at Tyreman MC. In addition, we have articles listed on our website for Tyre Pressure Safety Tips and Top Signs Your Motorcycle Tyres Need Changing for further information.

a woman riding a motorbike along the road

Getting on the road!

If you are a new rider, getting used to your bike will take some time, and it is important not to be overconfident. Riding is different from driving a car; you will be riding alone and will not have someone to guide you through your learning phase.

An essential rule of thumb when riding a motorcycle is to assume you are invisible on the road. The instant acceleration of your motorcycle can be a significant advantage, and you can throttle your way out of some risky situations you may find yourself in.

It is most certainly worth considering lessons as proper training will mean that you will be better equipped and a safer rider on the roads. Start in quieter backstreets before working your way up to busier areas and main roads. Most city streets require low speed making them an excellent place to practice in traffic.

As your skills and confidence grow, get on a freeway or highway to get used to high-speed situations. Things may be scary at first, but the feeling of vulnerability will quickly turn to one of freedom, and you won’t be able to wait for the next time you are on your bike!

a cafe racer motorcycle sitting on the road

Choose a bike you can handle

Always ensure you can handle the bike you plan to ride on the road. Readily mount your motorcycle of choice with both feet flattened on the ground and ensure the grip levers and handlebars are easily reachable. If the bike feels like it may be too heavy, it is likely the wrong choice for you.

If you are a beginner, a smaller Twin-block engine (up to 300 cc) is a good choice, thanks to the smooth power delivery. However, an engine of up to 750 cc will be better suited if you are riding on highways.

The primary things that you may want to take into consideration when choosing your bike can be:

  • Speed
  • Power
  • Weight
  • Size

For more information, check out our guide on different motorcycle types here.

a green motorcycle turning a corner

Braking and turning

Turning and braking on a motorcycle is very different from turning in a car. You will have to take leaning, speed, and weight into consideration. Never brake during a turn. The bike will start to straighten if you are leaned over in a corner, and if you hit the brakes before the turn’s apex, you will most certainly come off your bike.

Always brake before you take a turn, and once you are leaned over, roll on the throttle, then accelerate through.

An image of a motorcycle in traffic in a sideview mirror

Ride defensively

Accidents happen more frequently to unaware riders. If you neglect the dangers of the road, you place yourself at a higher risk. Never rely on the competence and attention of other drivers, and ensure you are constantly alert and on the lookout.

  • Always keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead
  • You need a few seconds of reaction time and braking distance
  • Spotting and anticipating the things ahead of you increases your chances of escaping an accident

Defensive riding is always the best option, which relates to our earlier point of assuming you are invisible on the road. Your awareness could save your life.

A parked motorcycle in the snow

Be cautious of weather conditions

In poor weather conditions, riding can become considerably more dangerous as it is easier to slip. Slippery or dark roads increase the chances of mistakes and accidents. Riding in pouring rain with low visibility or wet areas that lessen your grip can be difficult.

If you can avoid riding in poor weather, do so, but if you need to, be sure to avoid quick moves or being too heavy on the throttle. In windy conditions, be aware of significant gusts that can push you from the side. Shift your path sideways against them to increase your maneuvering room.

a cruiser motorcycle parked beside a brick wall

Storing your bike

Motorcycles are very easy to steal! Make sure it is locked up safely at night, and try to park under cover or in the shade to protect your bike. Insurance is also a must, not only in cases of theft but also to protect your vehicle should you have an accident.

Motorcycle damage can be expensive to repair, so consider a policy that covers all potential situations.

a man sitting beside a motorcycle bike in a field looking out to the view

Being safe and having fun

While the information above can sound daunting, as with any new skill, practice makes perfect. Your confidence and skills will grow over time, and you’ll be able to relax and have a lot of fun on your bike (while still being aware of what’s happening around you).

Just remember, hold the frame with your thighs and knees, and use your hands to steer throttle and brake. Loose up the top and secure down the bottom, stay safe and enjoy the freedom of motorcycle riding! If you need any extra help or advice, speak to the expert team at Tyreman MC!