What is the best way to learn how to ride a motorcycle?

We see this question a lot, and although only experience will make you a better rider, there is something that will help you tremendously. Most of us are offered the opportunity to learn things from friends or family members that are also riders, but you cannot honestly know if the information you are receiving is correct. it is also difficult to gauge how much of the information your “teacher” in this case remembers. What if they forget to tell you something that could save your life?

Learning how to ride a motorcycle properly is so much more than just learning the controls. There are finer points to all of it that are best taught by a specialist. Our industry is very unique in that we have an organization dedicated nothing but rider safety. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is entirely dedicated to teaching the proper way to ride, and react to situations on the road. There are basic and advanced courses that you can take to learn to ride, hone your skills and keep yourself safe. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also has a twitter where you can follow their news and read about other riders experiences @MSF__USA

You may think there is no reason to do such a thing, but I personally took the basic motorcycle safety course, reluctantly, to avoid taking a road test for my license. In most states, completing the basic course ¬†awards you a waiver so you do not have to take the standard DMV road test. This is a way to get out of taking your road test, take the road test in a low pressure environment, and do it on someone else’s bike; the bikes provided by the MSF specifically for the beginners coarse.

Beginner is a loaded word. it is NOT just for beginners. The basic course is for everyone. Being an experienced rider who decided to take the course I can attest to this myself. This course will show you ways to save your life, it has saved mine on more than one occasion. In fact I can think of four times it saved my life the first year. One of my instructors takes the advanced course every year himself just to “Work the winter bugs out.” as he explains.

The basic (beginner) course is designed to teach muscle memory, and if you have never been on a bike in your life you can go to this and learn everything necessary to start riding.

Any experienced rider that has taken the course, will tell you it is the BEST thing you can do for yourself as a rider. If you are an experienced rider, you will more than likely learn a few new tricks to stay alive during the training, I did. There is no way to properly stress how much this course helps you develop muscle memory, habits, and instinct that WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, not to mention, how to properly ride.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation website is an invaluable resource for tips, events, and motorcycle laws.

The following video is provided by the MSF and gives you highlights from the course.

I stumbled upon the youtube video where one rider walks you through some of what he learned while taking the basic course. while it is not complete, it will give you a basic understanding of what happens during the training.

Stay safe and keep riding every day you can. If you have any questions about my personal experiences taking the course, feel free to send me an e-mail. ~James

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