How to Begin
Now that you have decided to start riding there are a few legal obligations you need to get sorted out. You will need a motorcycle license (also called an endorsement) and motorcycle insurance if you plan to ride your bike on the street. One of the best ways to learn the basics of riding is to enroll in a beginner motorcycle class or motorcycle school. There are many options available in Washington State.
Any beginner should start out with these basic pieces of equipment: A good DOT-approved motorcycle helmet, riding gloves, a motorcycle jacket, a pair of boots that cover the ankle, and a pair of durable pants designed specifically for motorcycle riders. Ideally, you’ll get the best gear that you can afford.
Choosing Your Motorcycle
The first thing you need to identify is what type of riding you plan to do. Will you be on street, dirt, or both? Street-bikes include cruisers, sport-bikes, touring bikes, dual-sport, and adventure bikes, while off-road-specific motorcycles include dirt bikes.
You will also want to choose the bike that is easy and comfortable for you to ride. Everyone is different, so depending on your height, age, weight and experience, you should put some real effort into finding the bike that’s right for you.
Pro-tip: buy a used bike, ride it for a year, find out where your motorcycling interests really lie, all while developing your riding skills. Then when you’ve discovered what kind of riding best suites your needs, buy the bike that’s best for you.
Owning a motorcycle is just the beginning of the riding experience. After you’ve selected and purchased your bike, you can start to familiarize yourself with the parts and how to properly maintain them. Motorcycle maintenance begins with your manual. Remember to check the oil, tighten the chain, check tire pressure and more. Use this handy maintenance checklist to get started.
Pre and Post Ride Routine
Before you hit the road Check your tire pressure, twist the throttle, hop on the bike and check the brakes while rocking it back and forth. When you get back from the ride, make sure nothing is dripping, that you didn’t pick up a nail in your tire, and that your lights work. All of this can be intimidating, but once it becomes part of the routine it will make you a better motorcycle rider.