So, you’re thinking about buying a motorcycle? Riding is a risky (but rewarding) form of transportation that demands all of your attention. From a motorcycle endorsement to the pair of boots you pick out, there is a lot to think about when it comes to safe riding. While you begin your journey, one of the most important things to focus on is being prepared. Do your research and consider these five things while you explore the world of motorcycles:
- Join a Motorcycle Community
Whether you’re interacting online or with a group of friends that ride, joining a motorcycle community is a great (and low stakes) way to get your questions answered and become familiar with motorcycle safety and best practices. Once you get your motorcycle endorsement and are comfortable out on the road, these communities will continue to be a great resource for technical advice and maybe even a future group motorcycle ride!
- Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
During the Basic RiderCourse, you will focus on beginner skills training, street survival strategies, and more. This motorcycle training course includes both the written and skills tests. You must complete a total of 4 tests: 2 knowledge tests and 2 riding skills tests in order to move on and get a motorcycle endorsement. These tests measure how well you understand the rules of the road, and your ability to operate a motorcycle legally and safely.
- Get Endorsed and Insured
To legally ride in the state of Washington, you must have a 2-wheel motorcycle or 3-wheel sidecar/trike endorsement or have a current motorcycle instruction permit, and carry up to date motorcycle insurance. To apply for an endorsement or instruction permit you must have a valid WA State drivers license and pass the knowledge and riding skills tests.
- Gear Up for Safety
Riding a motorcycle leaves you exposed to elements you can’t control – the weather, and other vehicle and hazards on the road. Because of this, it is important to gear up to protect yourself from the unexpected. One of the most important pieces of motorcycle safety gear is your DOT approved helmet, but don’t let that stop you. Protect yourself against debris, the sun, and, in the unfortunate event, possibly the pavement by wearing gloves, boots, full-length riding pants, and a protective jacket. Do your research, reach out to your community and invest in your safety gear!
- Take an Advanced Training Course
Motorcycle training schools in Washington offer a variety of safety training courses for every skill level. These one-day intermediate and experienced rider courses focus on improving your street strategies, mental processing and motorcycle handling techniques. Consider attending a motorcycle track day in addition to advanced courses to gain confidence in a controlled environment that allows you to safely push the limits.
It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle safety, events, rides, clubs, gear and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.