Congratulations to the dads out there who got a motorcycle for Christmas! This is a dream for a lot of men and while many wives aren't excited about the idea of us riding around with the wind whipping through our rapidly receding hairlines, this is more than just a fun gift ... it's also a lot of responsibility!
While it’s an exciting time, being a new owner of a motorcycle can be overwhelming and intimidating. Here are some tips and tricks for becoming an informed and safe rider to help you get off on the right foot with your new ride.
What You Need To Do Before Your First Ride
Some of this advice may be overly basic and frankly it is probably unlikely that you got a surprise gift like this without having prepared to become a motorcycle owner. However, let's cover the basics first, just to make sure you don't miss something important.
Legal and Insurance
First, ensure you are legally allowed to ride a motorcycle in your state or province. You may need to take a specific driving test or licensing course to make sure you are familiar with local laws governing motorcycle operations. You will also need to purchase the required level of insurance to get the appropriate registration for your new bike.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have an emergency plan in place should anything go wrong. This could include going for a motorcycle accident lawyer free consultation or having contact information for local police departments, lawyers, tow companies and roadside assistance services – all of which can help should something unexpected occur while away from home.
Familiarize Yourself With The New Ride
Next, educate yourself about all the parts of your new motorcycle. It is important to know exactly how your bike works so that you can stay up-to-date on maintenance and repairs as necessary. Do some research online or ask at local dealerships or hobby shops if there are step-by-step “owner’s manuals” available for your bike model.
Safety Gear Can Be A Lifesaver
Last but not least, make sure to purchase appropriate safety gear to protect your body from harm. Different states may have different requirements in terms of whether helmets are required or not, but don't forget about things like pads, jackets, pants, and appropriate shoes. While many of these items aren't required ... they may make your ride more comfortable and certainly, they will help you avoid scrapes and bruises. After all, as a new rider - you are almost certain to fall at least a couple times while getting used to your new ride!
Create A Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist
In addition to the basics above, it is also essential that you keep up with regular maintenance procedures such as changing oil, cleaning air filters and checking brake pads regularly - these small steps go a long way in ensuring optimal performance from your machine while also keeping costs down over time. Finally, review all local traffic laws so that comply with regulations when operating your bike in different locations (or countries!).
This Can Be An Expensive Adventure
Purchasing your first motorcycle is just the beginning of your financial investment. You'll quickly find that maintenance and upkeep cost significant amounts of money. Then there are all the fun discretionary expenses like mods, motorcycle trips, and even club dues if you decide to job a group to ride with.
Those expenses shouldn't be a surprise, so you should consider setting aside some money on a regular basis to help fund your new passion. That way, when you see an opportunity to get a cool new set of handlebars or repair a scratch, the money is there ready to be spent.
Start Slow But Have Fun With Your New Wheels!
Being a new motorcycle owner can be daunting at first – but with the right understanding and preparation, it is possible to make informed decisions and enjoy many years of safe riding ahead!
Remembering these few things will help you get off on the right track: Make sure you can legally own/drive a motorcycle; familiarize yourself with its components; invest in appropriate safety gear; purchase insurance; stay up-to-date on maintenance; and become well-versed in local traffic laws related to motorcycles. Best of luck out there!