A step-by-step method that you can use to ensure you have everything you need before you get that first motorcycle. Before we even begin the list.
Sign up for the MSF course. Hear me out a lot of places that offer basic rider courses of seasons and therefore do not offer you around availability.
As you’re thinking about getting a motorcycle, at least sign up for the course. When it’s time to go in four or six weeks will have a guaranteed spot. While you’re waiting on taking your course. You can research riding gear or different motorcycles.
Before you get a motorcycle, the first thing you should do is buy a helmet. Don’t freak out over the four-figure price tag on some of the cool-looking helmets. You are going to look to buy yourself something that is D.O.T. and if it’s Snell certified, it is even better. If you’re feeling it, if it is sold in Canada, the D.O.T. approval is a requirement. The other is just a bonus. I would want a helmet that has at least D.O.T. And ECE approval.
You want something comfortable to use to complete the MSF course and your first couple of seasons. Your first helmet doesn’t have to be your forever one. I suggest not using the helmets offered at the course! Buy your own, make sure your helmet fits properly, and it is a minimum of a three-quarters design; I always recommend a full-face helmet, but that’s just me also. No one will judge you if you walk around your house wearing your helmet before you get your motorcycle.
You also need what we call minimal gear, which doesn’t equate to the safest riding gear, but it allows you to stay on the course. You need over-the-ankle boots, gloves, and a long sleeve shirt are all that’s required when you ride in the course, be prepared and don’t show up on day one wearing your slip-on vans, even if day two is when you start riding shirt instructions you’re prepared and dressed for riding even if it’s the first night or day of the class.
Minimal Riding Gear
- Over-the ankle boots
- Long Sleeve Shirt
- Riding Pants
Sit on some motorcycles now.
It’s probably, the most important part of your riding journey. Go to a dealership and sit on some motorcycles, don’t worry, they will let you. I mean, they won’t let you test-ride them just yet because you don’t have your endorsement, but you can sit on as many as you want. Look for the controls and, most importantly, see how the motorcycle fits.
Sitting on the motorcycle you’ve always dreamed about maybe it does not feel as comfortable in person as it looks on a computer screen. The step is essential because you may come to terms with the motorcycles you’ve always been eyeing for a couple of months.
Height is also a factor if you’re under 5’8” then getting a dual sport might be a challenge. The same for shorter riders and sport motorcycles that can be lowered, their suspensions adjusted. But this is something you need to know before you start buying motorcycles. As a side note, I don’t recommend that you lower or adjust the suspension on a motorcycle. You’re going to compromise that handling, and it’s not going to behave in the same way that you would expect a normal motorcycle. Comfort is critical. You two might discover that the idea of riding a GSX R on a 30-minute commute is a bit too much for you. You might opt for something more ergonomic like a naked or a standard. It’s ok to realize your dream motorcycle isn’t intended for the daily commute, including downpours and stop-and-go traffic.
Check out the Honda Rebels for sports motorcycles, and the Ninja 400 is always a great choice. Even though beginner motorcycles have a lot less forward, lean angle. Get on a motorcycle you really want and see if it’s going to work for you.
Take the MSF course now that you have a few solid ideas of what motorcycle you might like to buy. Go and take the MSF course after your 2.5 days of riding and instruction. You’ll know how to ride a motorcycle in a parking lot and the worst-case scenario, if you happen to fail the MSF course, don’t sweat it. One of my friends dropped his motorcycle during the exam, but that didn’t stop him from learning how to ride a motorcycle and buying his first motorcycle. He now has one year and over 4000 km of experience compared to his two days of experience when he originally failed the MSF course.
You at least learn how to ride a motorcycle on a motorcycle that was or is and will be dropped more times than a phone call. This is an opportunity for you to learn how to ride in a safe environment without worrying about dropping off your friend’s motorcycle. Hopefully, you’ll learn the fundamentals from the course that is now able to ride on the streets, both technically and legally. If the course had you ride a motorcycle you didn’t want to the cruiser as opposed to a sport motorcycle, it’s a safe environment for you to give it a try.
Did your mind change? You can always change the motorcycle you want to buy at any time.
Research motorcycles and insurance.
Here’s where the fun begins when you research a motorcycle, you’re always going to see mixed reviews. Stay with the reviews that best represent how you want to ride. Don’t listen to someone complaining about how slow a 650 is to a leader motorcycle, or how much better life would be on a turbo Busa, don’t listen to that guy. Figure out the motorcycle you’re most likely buying and research how it’s performed in the rain on commutes, on hot days, etcetera. Figure out the pros and cons and work from there. I know that many young people are doing that right now because you d m me recommendations on motorcycles you want to buy, and you’re asking precise questions about motorcycles that I’ve never heard about insurance.
If you pass the MSF, then your insurance rate will likely drop because you’re a safe read and a somewhat new rider. Now the fact about insurance is that if you finance a motorcycle it will be astronomical. If you own a motorcycle, the insurance costs can be substantially lower. Don’t borrow money from a loan shark to pay for your motorcycle. Just save on your insurance and buy it outright, in my opinion. But weigh your options, and save up cash if you need to. I’m not here to be your financial advisor. If the insurance for a brand new R6 is $450 per month, Maybe you shouldn’t finance the motorcycle, or maybe you shouldn’t get that motorcycle if you can’t afford it. You should wait until you can buy cash if you need to. If you need to ride now, get a 300 until you have the cash for another motorcycle. It’s much more fun being on two wheels than not being on two wheels.
Buy a used Motorcycle
If you’ve started your quest to buy a motorcycle always buy a used for your first one for all the learning. I hope you’ll be doing, and you’re most likely going to drop whatever motorcycle you purchase. Hey, it happens to all of us. I have dropped many a motorcycle. Get a good set of frame sliders, and be prepared for a few scratches and scuffs on your motorcycle. It’s no big deal to drop aside when you buy a used motorcycle. You’re not paying for the loss and equity. Let me tell you motorcycles lose almost half of their value within the first couple of years. You’re trying to get your hands-on a new ninja 400 with an M.S.R.P. Of 4999. You can pick up a used one with low miles for roughly half that. Seriously, buy used, there’s always someone that settled for an edge of 400 but outgrew it and moved on to another motorcycle in a short amount of time.
Let them pay for the loss. Your first motorcycle doesn’t and shouldn’t be your forever motorcycle unless it was gifted or will to you. And of course, you’re going to start on something else. It’s okay to start smaller and increase in engine displacement size as your skills increase.
Buy more motorcycle gear and tools
If you have a motorcycle picked out and you’re working on getting it road ready, now is the time for more gear. Come on, not another. If all you have is the gear you wore at the MSF, then you probably need something a bit better.
You should probably pick up a jacket with some padding, and some proper riding gloves and if you skipped and went with just a regular pair of pants, definitely do get yourself some riding pants. The speeds at that you practice the MSF course were low compared to the high speeds of riding on the freeway and in traffic your helmet can stay. But I would really recommend picking up a proper set of motorcycle boots as well. If you want to ride in jeans, go ahead and buy them. There are plenty of options out there that this isn’t about the specific gear that you need, but just the fact that riding on the street requires more of it than the rider course. Don’t sacrifice one piece of gear for another. I stand by what I said, helmet boots, gloves, and jacket first, a beginner rider is more than likely going to experience low-speed drops, and have impact protection on lower parts of your body, like your ankles and then a helmet is the most important part. Start riding with a course under your belt, a tiny M endorsement on your license, and a few pieces of new gear every year. You should be ready to ride.
Now assuming you did find a motorcycle to buy, now is the time to start riding. Are you ready? It’s finally time. Yes, it is. As you embark on your 1st 1st ride, it’s okay to feel intimidated and want to go to a parking lot. That’s where many riders stay for the first couple of hours, practice your low-speed maneuvers, get to a point where you don’t stop too much, and remember that you have mirror signals and a horn. There’s a lot of the MSF course that can’t integrate, but by the time you learn your motorcycle how to operate all your controls, you should be good.
You probably didn’t buy an S1000 RR. That means you need to use your turn signals. Remember to ride at your own pace. Your riding buddies should respect your need to gain experience in parking lots.
Take your time when you’re out there, it’s a process and you will get better every minute you are riding that motorcycle.