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How To Begin Training After You've Purchased Your First Bike

How To Begin Training After You've Purchased Your First Bike


For new motorcycle riders, practicing their skills is essential to becoming a safe and confident rider. However, with the inherent risks associated with motorcycle riding, it is important to practice in a structured and controlled environment to ensure safety. Here are three of the best ways for new motorcycle riders to practice their skills and become better riders:

  • Take a Motorcycle Safety Course

Motorcycle safety courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic RiderCourse, offer a comprehensive and structured way to learn and practice motorcycle riding skills. These courses provide classroom instruction and hands-on training, allowing new riders to develop the fundamental skills needed to ride safely. The course will typically cover topics such as basic motorcycle operation, turning, shifting, and braking, as well as more advanced topics like emergency braking, swerving, and collision avoidance. In addition to the hands-on training, the course also covers important safety concepts such as risk management, rider responsibility, and strategies for managing risk while riding. For those of you who don't have access to an in-person course or cannot afford them, click here to sign up for our self-guided online course and learn everything you would in the classroom!

  • Practice in a Controlled Environment

Practicing in a controlled environment, such as a parking lot or a quiet street, can help new riders build their confidence and develop their skills without the added pressure of navigating traffic. This allows riders to focus on basic skills such as clutch control, braking, and turning. Practicing in a controlled environment also allows riders to experiment with their motorcycle's handling and dynamics, such as braking and turning at different speeds and angles. Doing everything on your own can be a challenge, so we decided to offer cone kits and created a booklet with plenty of drills that you can use to practice all of your fundamentals in one place. Click here if you'd like to fast-track your training with a drill booklet!

  • Ride with Experienced Riders

Riding with more experienced riders can provide new riders with valuable tips and guidance on riding techniques and safety. Additionally, riding in a group can help new riders develop their situational awareness and learn how to ride in a group setting. Experienced riders can also provide guidance on topics such as motorcycle maintenance, gear selection, and safe riding practices. However, it is important for new riders to ride within their limits and not feel pressured to keep up with more experienced riders.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, there were 5,014 motorcycle fatalities, which is why it's crucial for new riders to develop their skills and practice in a controlled environment. By taking a motorcycle safety course, practicing in a controlled environment, and riding with experienced riders, new motorcycle riders can develop the skills and confidence needed to ride safely and enjoyably. Remember, practicing safe and effective motorcycle riding is an ongoing process, so never stop learning and practicing. It can be intimidating if you don't know any experienced riders or would like to join a community and don't know how. Join our Discord of over 10,000 like-minded riders to find or create a group in your area and start training! Ride safe, ride SMART!

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1 comment

  • On courses and finding other riders:

    Nothing substitutes in-person training with competent instructors. However, for many of us, there is not really an option within a reasonable distance, and the “why not just fly across the continent and rent a bike to train on when you get there?” advice isn’t so feasible, whether financially or logistically. There are also other higher-level training courses online besides the MTC Rider Academy, but the MTC Rider Academy tries to cover a lot of basics and fundamentals. It is entirely worth the time to spend on each technique.

    But don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all of motorcycle knowledge. It definitely is not. Always learn. Have a good foundation. And like any house, it is worth your while to inspect that foundation regularly to be sure you’ve got a solid base for the rest of your abilities.

    I recommend, especially once you find yourself connected with other local riders (especially from a more training- and skills-oriented community like this site fosters), trying to encourage training programs to come to your area, and trying to attend if possible.

    Local riders can be all types. Please, by all means, be picky about which group(s) you spend time around, and always be critical of mentalities. Don’t be afraid to depart a group over bad behaviors, over lackadaisical attitudes, and being dismissive of core skills for safe riding. You can’t dictate anyone else’s behavior, of course, only your own, but others’ actions in that group will reflect on you as well, and you’d be surprised what bad habits you pick up from it.

    As for finding groups, social media is the way to go. I don’t know anyone in person that I’d like to ride with. Two coworkers ride. One just commutes, and I don’t know his riding habits, and if he wanted to go ride together, I might. The other rides rarely, thinks how much he spends on the bike, the tires, his gear, actually matters over anything else. He’s the type posting doing wheelies weaving through dense interstate traffic at night on a busy holiday weekend. I’d say $%^& NO to riding with that guy.

    What does that have to do with finding local groups to ride with? A lot. Don’t just jump in. Don’t assume they have your same mentality. It’s something you can take advantage of on social media: Get to know the temperament of them. See how they ride, whether they mob, block intersections so they can all get through intersections together, attitudes about traffic. See what they enjoy about the rides, whether it was a good time out, whether they’re being safe or stupid. Watch for drama. While in-fighting gets tiring, also consider that not everyone gets along together, so there will be conflict. See what people argue about, how much argument there is. Do chicken strips matter to them? Are they vain about what brands of bikes or engine sizes? Do they push top speeds on tight roads? Are group members frequently crashing on rides?

    I see too many online groups of people who think being an idiot is the best way to have fun. I’d rather ride with someone else. Don’t hesitate to remove yourself from such groups as well.


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