Learning to ride a motorcycle is quite exciting. When I learned to ride, it was tons and tons of practice day after day and not to mention exhilarating. I remember the rush, the feeling of freedom that came along when I first roared the engine to life. I had just bought “the one” from a local motorcycle trader; a second hand Honda CBR 250 and boy, it was a beast! Well, at least for a newbie like me.
Enough about that. Let’s cut to the chase. Through my training, I learned a few vital steps that every beginner ought to know. However, it is best for one to enrol in a training course to get certified and issued a license. Although if you’re like me and prefer to do it the street way, enjoy the read!
These steps include:
1. Safety Gear
As always, safety comes first. Before any training, wear safety gear to protect the head and joints from avoidable injuries and cold. These include a helmet, a motorcycle jacket, gloves, and boots. For convenience, I had mine purchased from my local trader together with my bike.
2. Learn the controls
This was the first thing I mastered when I got on my bike. I got to know where the hand clutch lever is, the gear shifter, the throttle, the handbrake, and the rear brake. This step is necessary for impulse riding required by any biker on the road. The reason I said my Honda was perfect at the time was that I could feel and carry the weight of the bike beneath me. Therefore, positioning my body and using the controls was no problem.
3. Get a feel for the clutch
The clutch changes the gears. As I got acquitted for my bike, gear controls on the left side and braking and acceleration controls on the right became an automatic gesture. I learned to pull and release the clutch smoothly to prevent stalling and shift the gears.
4. Start the engine
Hearing the engine coming to life was – and still is as thrilling as ever. But before flipping on the kill switch, one needs to pull the clutch lever in and release slowly at intervals as the bike pulls forward.
5. “Power walk” the bike and start riding
This helped me get a good sense of balance on my bike, followed by pulling my feet off the ground and shifting to gear one.