Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Learning How To Ride A Motorcycle

It is very important to feel confident in your abilities as a motorcycle rider. Although many people have leaned on their own through trial and error, I recommend a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Certified Rider's Course www.msf-usa.org. They offer courses throughout the country, many are offered at community colleges or though different organizations. They offer a basic rider course for riders with little or no experience and provide training motorcycles to use, but you have to provide your own riding safety gear which they list what that consists of. They also offer an advanced rider course for riders with at least one year experience and their own motorcycle and riding safety gear. The instructors are certified and very knowledgeable and professional. They can recommend good training motorcycles to start off with, but for your first motorcycle I would recommend buying a good quality used or reasonably priced starter motorcycle with an engine of 600cc's or less until you feel comfortable enough in your riding abilities to upgrade to a larger or more powerful motorcycle. A lot of information concerning learning how to ride a motorcycle can be found online. Click Here! Click Here

Purchasing A Motorcycle

There are many ways to go about purchasing a motorcycle, but I recommend going to an authorized dealer for the style of motorcycle that you're interested in so that you can get expert advice and assistance, as well as taking a test ride so that you will know how the motorcycle feels. Buying from a dealer is also a good idea because of warranties and maintenance and storage services that may be needed and offered though the dealership. A dealership can be a good choice because of aftermarket parts and gear and accessories that are likely to be offered to purchase through the dealership.
Of course there are other ways to go about purchasing a motorcycles such as online auction sites such as eBay, and online or print want-ads. Click Here! If you purchase a motorcycle through these means it is good if you are able to take a look at and ride the motorcycle before you purchase it, or if this is not possible it is at least good to do some research to have some prior knowledge about motorcycles to know what you are looking for. Click Here!
Of course there are many quality brands of motorcycles, but the make that you decide on will be based on individual preferences. Also, depending on which style of riding you plan on doing, it will dictate which style of motorcycle is right for you, such as sport/street, cruiser/chopper, touring, dual-purpose, or off-road motorcycles.

Are You Ready To Ride?

Are you ready to ride? Before even starting out on a motorcycle, every time you ride you have to ask yourself this question. For safe riding practices you have to be sure that you are ready to ride both physically and mentally. You have to feel well and aleart enough both physically and mentally to engage in the safe operation of a motorcycle. Never ride after consuming alcohol or any other intoxicating substances. Always make sure your motorcycle is maintained well so that it is in good working order. If you ensure these thiings before you ride and dress properly to ride you should have a good riding experience!

Motorcycle Gear

Motorcycle riding can be a very enjoyable experience that provides a sense of exhilaration and freedom. It is important that you feel secure in your abilities as a rider, but with other motorists on the road and the lack of protection that a motorcycle provides one has to do all that they can to protect themselves as much as possible. From head to toe this consists of the proper riding gear, including the following:
  • First a DOT-certified helmet is a must (SNELL certification is good too). I recommend a full-face or modular (a full-face helmet with a shield that can open and flip up) helmet with a clear shield for eye protection. This style of helmet is most popular with sport/street bike riders. You can also get mirrored or tinted shields too, but they would not be good for night riding. Because it is also important to have eye protection from the sun, sunglasses can easily be worn with a helmet. There are also full-face and partial shield helmets that have sun shields built into them that can be lowered to cover the eyes when needed and raised up into the helmet when not needed. Partial shield and helmets with no shields are also popular, especially with cruiser/chopper riders, but they offer less protection so the use of certified riding goggles is a must to wear with these styles of helmets for proper eye protection. Most states have helmet laws, but there are a few states that do not. I strongly recommend always wearing a helmet for your protection regardless of your state's laws.
  • Second would be proper upper body protection with the use of an approved jacket. There are many styles, breathable lightweight, jackets with removable body armor are popular with sport/street bike riders, whereas leather jackets are more popular with cruiser/chopper riders. Whatever your preference, I strongly recommend always wearing a riding jacket for best protection.
  • Third is proper hand/finger protection with the use of gloves, which also provides protection from the elements during colder weather. There are many styles of gloves, but I recommend riding gloves with armor built into them that are breathable, lightweight, and thin, which are popular with sport/street bike riders, whereas leather gloves might be more popular with cruiser/chopper riders.
  • Fourth is proper lower body protection, which consists of full-length pants. Breathable, lightweight riding pants with removable body armor are popular with sport/street bike riders, whereas leather pants or chaps may be more popular with cruiser/chopper riders. Jean style pants with removable body armor are also available. Whichever your preference, it is always important to as least wear full-length sturdy pants like jeans that will offer protection.
  • Fifth is proper foot protection. The best would be a sturdy boot, but sturdy riding shoes are available which may be more popular with sport/street bike riders as opposed to boots which cruiser/chopper riders might prefer. It is important to at least have sturdy footwear that will provide enough ankle support and protection. A non-skid sole is good too to lessen the chances of slipping on oil, pavement markings, road debris, or water when putting the feet down to come to a stop or lifting them off the ground when starting up again.
  • Sixth would be mentioning rain gear. It is always a good idea to carry along a rain suit for riding in the elements. On cruisers or touring bikes they can easily be packed in saddle bags or motorcycle luggage, but on sport/street and other bikes that don't have them you can always carry some items like this along in a backpack.
  • Another item to consider if you're a hardcore rider and ride well into the colder months it's a good idea to wear an insulated riding suit that will keep you warm enough. It's always much colder riding on a motorcycle than the outside air temperature is.

There are many different styles of motorcycles for different styles of riding such as sport/racing, normal commuting, comfort/long distance riding, show, law-enforcement, off-road, etc., but no matter which style you ride it is always important to have the proper riding gear. In addition to riding gear there are many parts/accessories/customization items, luggage, protection/care/storage items, etc. that make nice additions to your ride that you can purchase.

Buell Motorcycle Company to stop production of motorcycles.

Sadly, back in October of 2009 Erik Buell announced that his Buell Motorcycle Company (which is the make of motorcycle that I own and recommend) will stop production of motorcycles after 2009. Harely Davidson/Buell dealerships will no doubt try to move out Buell inventory as quickly as possible, but I'm sure interested riders will still be able to find used Buell motorcycles around out there for sale and I would imagine that delaerships and suppliers will have aftermarket Buell parts available for years to come. One way or another, I'm sure that Erik Buell and his company will live on!