You earned your motorcycle license, chose an insurance plan, found the perfect bike, and registered it too. You couldn’t be more ready to hit the road – or could you? As a new rider, there can be a lot of information to take in to help keep you, and everyone else on the road, safe. We’ve boiled it down to a few essential tips for new riders:

Gear up
Rain or shine, long ride or short – if you’ve got these layers, you’re ready to rumble.

  • Helmet with Eye Protection. According to NHTSA, riders with helmets are 37% more likely to survive a crash than those without. These days, helmets are lighter and stronger, and wearing a visor or goggles is a must to keep wind, bugs, and UV radiation away.
  • Gloves and Boots. These two necessary items will keep you protected from road debris, wind chill, and road rash.
  • Full-Leg Pants. Shorts, dress pants, and jeans won’t hold up against pavement if you skid out. Wear riding pants or leather covers over your regular clothes to prevent road rash.
  • Protective Jacket. Like full-leg pants, think about how well your jacket will stand up to a slide on the pavement. Choose bright colors to increase your visibility to everyone on the road.

Tame the Beast
Motorcycles differ in how they’re handled and how responsive they are, so make sure to find a safe area to take yours for a practice spin and get used to how it feels. Experiment with different weather conditions and obstacles, like debris or potholes. It’s worth making sure you’re comfortable on your bike before taking off into traffic. Like anything else, practice makes perfect.

Ride Defensively
It’s an unfortunate reality that many people drive distracted. Even though they should be aware, drivers often say they don’t see or expect motorcycles on the road, and loud pipes don’t save lives either. The key to riding safely is remembering that vehicles around you are unpredictable; and while you can’t control the conditions of the road, you can control how you ride by mastering the art of defensive riding.

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 events, rides, clubs, gear, safety, and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.