Motorcycling (beginner): 13 steps (with pictures)

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Motorcycling (beginner): 13 steps (with pictures)
Motorcycling (beginner): 13 steps (with pictures)

Learning to ride a motorcycle can be a lot of fun. The best way to learn it properly is to do it safely and in a controlled manner. Always ensure proper safety and safety equipment that is appropriate for the type of motorcycling you will be doing. Beginners can take a motorcyclist safety course that teaches them to be a good rider.


Part 1 of 3: Getting the right gear

Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 1
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 1

Step 1. Buy a helmet

The motorcycle helmet is the most important piece of equipment for the motorcyclist. It protects your head from injury if you crash with your motorcycle. The helmet should fit snugly and leave your field of view intact. What is the best helmet for you is something personal.

  • To be well protected, take a motorcycle helmet that meets the applicable safety standards. It doesn't have to be the most expensive helmet to properly protect your head. Any motorcycle helmet that meets the DOT (U. S. Department of Transportation) or ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) standard is designed to protect your head in the event of an accident. These two standards have been extensively tested for the required safety standards for driving on public roads. Other safety features further increase your protection and comfort. Some motorcyclists like to wear Snell helmets because they meet even higher safety requirements (as established by the non-profit Snell Memorial Foundation), including functioning at higher speeds and on rougher surfaces.
  • To find the right size, have a helmet fitted at a shop that specializes in motorcycle equipment. You can also measure yourself with a tape measure by measuring about an inch above your eyebrows around your head. Compare your measurement with the size chart of the brand you want to buy. Note that each brand measures differently, so look at the chart for each brand you are considering.
  • Try on the helmet to find the right size. With the right size, the opening for the eyes is just above your eyebrows and just a finger fits between your head and the helmet. Your helmet must fit snugly to properly protect your head. Different helmets fit different heads. If your helmet is the right size, but still doesn't fit, you should consider a different one. For the best protection, look to integral or modular helmets.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 2
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 2

Step 2. Buy a jacket

A motorcycle jacket protects your torso, including your vital organs, in the event of an accident. Motorcycle jackets are made of leather or synthetic material such as Kevlar. Look for a jacket with armor that can also take a hit. If the jacket has a CE (Certified European) mark, it meets the certification standards for sale in Europe.

  • A motorcycle jacket fits well if it fits snugly around the torso and your arms can move freely. Decide in what weather conditions you will be using the jacket on the bike so that the weight and features meet your needs. Warmer weather jackets, for example, have more zippers and ventilation to control airflow around the body.
  • If you're going for a leather jacket, make sure it's motorcycle-specific. Ordinary leather jackets are not made to protect you.
  • In addition to protection, jackets also offer protection against the weather, such as sun, wind, rain and cold. Comfort keeps you sharp and makes the ride more enjoyable.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 3
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 3

Step 3. Buy motorcycle boots, gloves and other gear

Both provide more safety and comfort during a ride. Boots protect your feet and ankles. Gloves protect your hands. Pants protect your hips and legs.

  • Your feet can take a lot of damage during a ride, so protect them well. Good motorcycle boots fall over your ankles and have non-slip soles and a metal toecap. Take the pack-heel-and-toe-and-turn test to see how your boot fare in an accident. The harder it is to turn, the more protection the boot offers in the event of an accident.
  • The purpose of gloves is to reduce injury from getting hit by insects and flying debris, as well as keep your fingers warm. Buy a pair that gives maximum grip. Look out for the wrist-locking type. This is designed to keep the gloves on your hands in an accident. Kevlar gloves keep your fingers mobile while being strong and absorbent at the same time.
  • Pants are often overlooked. Jeans are mainly made for style and not for functionality; that's why they usually break when dropped. It is better to choose pants that are made of the same material as your jacket. They are designed to withstand the destructive forces of an accident.

Part 2 of 3: Learning to drive

Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 4
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 4

Step 1. Take a motorcycle lesson

A course gives you the best instruction to learn good and safe driving technique. It is a good starting point for all novice motorcyclists.

  • Novice motorcyclists with little or no experience can take basic lessons. The government does not offer basic lessons, but private driving schools do.
  • If you take lessons, you will be given a motorbike if you do not have one yourself. On the motorcycle driving course you also learn the first principles of handling the motorcycle and about safety.
  • Many courses consist of a theoretical and practical part, with the driving test for your driving license as the final piece.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 5
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 5

Step 2. Handling the controls

Before driving, make sure you are familiar with the controls. Once you drive you will have to think fast, and if you are not familiar with the controls it can be dangerous.

  • The manual clutch is normally located on the left handlebar and is used to take power from the rear wheel during gear changes.
  • The gearshift pedal is usually located near your left foot and is used to move up or down a gear while pulling in the clutch.
  • The throttle is on the right handlebar and is used to accelerate and accelerate. The handbrake, with which the front wheel is braked, is located near the right handle.
  • The pedal on the right side of the bike near your foot operates the rear brake.
  • Usually, the rule is that the left side of your motorcycle controls the gearbox and the right side makes it faster or slower.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 6
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 6

Step 3. Sit on the bike

To sit properly on your motorcycle, stand left in front of it. Grab the left handle and swing your right leg over the seat. Put your feet firmly on the ground.

  • The best way to understand how an engine works is to sit on it and walk through all of its functions before starting it.
  • Get a feel for how you sit on the bike. Grab the grips, clutch and brake levers. Make sure you have easy access to these levers. Your arms should be slightly bent at the elbow as you grab the handles. Switches should also be within easy reach.
  • Make sure you can easily put your feet on the floor. Feel the weight of the engine beneath you. You should also be able to shift without having to take your foot off the support.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 7
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 7

Step 4. Practice the clutch to get a feel for it

The clutch is used when shifting. When you squeeze the clutch, the engine runs free from the gearbox, allowing you to change gears.

  • Think of your link as a dimmer for the light. It's not an on/off switch, but you gradually squeeze it or let it come back on so your engine doesn't stall.
  • When starting, put the engine into first gear by squeezing the clutch and pushing down the shifter pedal with your left foot. You may have to push a few times. You know you're in 1st gear when you don't feel any resistance anymore and you've gone through all the gears.
  • Most engines have a '1 down, 5 up' pattern of gears. This pattern means 1st gear, neutral, 2nd gear, 3rd gear etc. As you shift you will see the corresponding number light up on your dashboard.
  • Shift while driving by first pulling in the clutch with your left hand to release the rear wheel. Release the gas while squeezing the clutch. Without gas, your engine won't buck when you release the clutch. Shift with your left foot. Take it easy with the throttle to make the transition smooth. Finally, release the clutch so that the rear wheel is driven again.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 8
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 8

Step 5. Start the engine

Squeeze the clutch and see where the power switch is located. This is usually a red switch on the right handle. Put it in the 'on' position. You don't have to kick start most modern motorcycles, but if you have an older model you may have to. The kickstarter, if you have one, is located behind the footpeg on the right side of your bike.

  • Turn your key to 'start' position and make sure all lights and gauges are working.
  • Put your engine in neutral. The easiest way to do this is to shift down to 1st gear first and then up once. See if the 'N' on your meter is lit.
  • Press the start button with your right thumb. It is usually located under the power switch. Start buttons often have a round arrow with a lightning bolt in the middle.
  • Once it starts, let your engine warm up for about 45 seconds to get it running properly.
  • Squeeze the clutch with your feet flat on the floor. Roll your feet back onto your heels and repeat until you get a good feel for the clutch.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 9
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 9

Step 6. Try power walking with the motor

Start with your feet on the floor in front of you. Release the clutch slowly until the engine begins to pull itself forward.

  • Using the clutch only, run the bike forward and keep it balanced with your feet.
  • Repeat until you can keep the bike upright when you take your feet off the ground. You want to have a good balance on your bike.

Part 3 of 3: Riding your motorcycle

Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 10
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 10

Step 1. Ride your motorcycle

Once the engine is running and warmed up, you can drive. You do this by shifting to 1st gear and releasing the clutch while you accelerate.

  • Make sure the sidestand is not turned off.
  • Release the clutch slowly until the engine starts to roll forward.
  • You may need to give it a little throttle to keep your engine from stalling while you're releasing the clutch.
  • As soon as you move forward, accelerate a little and put your feet on the footrests.
  • Try to drive in a straight line. If you let the clutch out and give it a little throttle to go a little faster, you'll stay in a straight line. When you're ready to stop, squeeze the clutch and brake gently with both the front and rear brakes. Use your left foot to balance the bike when you stop. When standing still, put your right foot on the ground as well.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 11
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 11

Step 2. Practice shifting

If you can drive in a straight line, try to get feeling when shifting. Find the 'friction zone'. That is the area of resistance that arises when the clutch comes up. This piece ensures that the power is transferred from the engine to the rear wheel. Gearboxes on motorcycles are sequential, meaning you shift through the gears in a set order, whether that's up or down. It takes a little practice to feel and hear when it's time to switch. The engine turns more rpm when it comes time to shift.

  • With your engine running, shift all the way down to 1st gear. You know you're in 1st gear when the pedal no longer clicks down. You should hear a click when you shift to 1.
  • Release the clutch slowly until the engine starts moving forward. If you want to go faster, accelerate while your clutch is releasing.
  • To get into 2nd, squeeze the clutch, let go of the throttle and click your gear shifter up firmly to go through neutral. Make sure the neutral light is not lit. Release the clutch and accelerate. Do the same to shift to higher gears.
  • You don't have to click up so hard after 2nd gear, because you no longer have to go through neutral.
  • To shift down, let go of the gas and apply the brakes a little. Squeeze the clutch and push the shifter pedal down. Then you let the link come up.
  • Once you get the hang of downshifting, you can stop while in 2nd. When you then come to a standstill, shift down to 1.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 12
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 12

Step 3. Practice bends

Just like on a bicycle, a motorcycle is steered from about 15 km per hour by countersteering. Push down the handle on the side you want to turn on. Look ahead and around the bend.

  • Remember to reduce speed when entering the bend. Do not brake in the bend. Release the throttle and brake if necessary before entering the bend.
  • Look ahead and look through the bend. Push the handle on the side you want to go on. Gently hold the throttle to keep going as you slide around the bend.
  • As you slow down, look toward the end of the turn. Your bike will follow your eyes. Find a point at the end of the turn to aim for and keep your eyes on it. Never look at the ground in a bend. Although it feels weird and you actually want to look at the turn, this is very dangerous and can prevent you from completing the turn properly.
  • Push on the side you want to go. To turn left, push yourself away from the right side of the handlebars. This causes the motor to hang to the left. Hang on and give it a little throttle to speed things up a bit. When you come out of the corner, hold the throttle and give a little bit as you sit up again. Let the engine erect itself and do not pull on the handlebars.
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 13
Ride a Motorcycle (Beginners) Step 13

Step 4. Practice slowing down and stopping

Finally, now that you've practiced starting, shifting and cornering, it's time to learn how to slow down and stop. Remember that the lever on the right side of the handlebars operates the front brake and the pedal on your right foot operates the brake on the rear wheel. Normally you start with your front brake and use the rear brake to hit the brakes and stop.

  • If you want to stop completely, it's best to start with your front brake and apply the brakes with your rear brake as you slow down.
  • Make sure you shift down as you slow down. You don't always have to go all the way to 1. You can also shift down to 2nd gear and stop before shifting to 1.
  • Squeeze the clutch when you brake and shift down.
  • Keep pressure on both your front and rear brakes as you slow down and begin to brake. Be careful not to give gas. This can easily happen because you have to roll your hand forward to reach the front brake.
  • Increase the pressure on the brakes slowly and do not brake fully as this may cause the engine to stop too quickly and jerk.
  • Once you have stopped, hold the front brake and place your feet firmly on the ground. First your left foot, then your right foot.


  • Find a friend who can already drive. He or she can help you what to do.
  • Get to know your motorcycle. Make sure you can find all the controls and that you can reach everything without having to look down. This is very important. You can't take your eyes off the road every time you shift gears.
  • Always wear protective clothing. Helmet, gloves, eye protection, high shoes.
  • Find an open space to practice. Empty parking lots work well.
  • If you're just starting out, don't practice in busy areas with traffic. Put cones on the street so you can practice stopping in front of them.


  • Never ride a motorcycle while under the influence.
  • Never ride a motorcycle without proper protection.
  • Most motorcyclists will experience a fall at some point. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous and can cause serious injury. Always use the correct technique.

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