Two motorcycle students learning how to ride a motorcycle on a training course.

Learn to Ride a Motorcycle

Updated April 3, 2017 . AmFam Team

Learning to ride your first motorcycle is an exciting time. Keep these 5 tips in mind to protect yourself, and look forward to a lifetime of smarter riding.

Whether you’ve put your dream of owning a bike into motion, or you’re looking for the perfect motorcycle to purchase, you’re about to enter an exciting new world of riding. Making smart choices during your early days on two wheels will make your safe riding dreams a reality.

From a Smart Buyer to a Smart Rider

Find the right bike. Your short and long-term goals for a motorcycle are likely very different. You know what your dream bike is, and your first bike is a stepping stone to that ideal ride.  When you’re choosing your first bike, be sure you can easily stand over it and get it on and off the center stand. When you’re seated, you should be able to rest both feet flat on the ground, and if the bike feels too heavy, it probably is.

Invest in anti-lock brakes. Just like in cars, anti-lock braking systems on motorcycles are known for playing a big role in reducing serious crashes. It’s a sound investment on any bike and one you may want to consider.

Wear your helmet. Modern helmets are stronger, lighter and more comfortable — all of which make it easier to wear when learning to ride a motorcycle. Getting in the habit of wearing your helmet early on makes it second nature in no time.

Wear the right gear. When you hit the open road on your new ride, you’re no longer surrounded by the steel and glass of a car. This is a freeing experience, but it also means the wind, bugs and road debris are coming right at you. The right clothing will make your ride much more safe and comfortable, and have you cruising down the highway in style. For tips on choosing the right gear, check out our motorcycle gear guide.

Get educated. You may know someone who can show you how to ride, but your friend probably isn’t the best teacher—especially when it comes to the fundamentals and laws of motorcycle riding. Taking a course is going to cover what you need to know as a new driver, what to expect, and extra tips to keep you safer on your ride. Your friend might get you on the road sooner, but taking a course will help you become a more informed and smart rider.

Organizations, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, offer more than 2,700 courses in the U.S. As an added bonus, completing a course allows you to skip some state’s road and written licensing tests. Good deal – right?

A Safer Start to the Open Road

Once you’ve got the bike and you’ve passed your driving tests, get out and ride. The more time you spend on your bike, the more experience you’ll gain, making you better prepared for any situation. Most importantly, you’ll be on the road to your dreams!

And when American Family is along for the ride, we’ll have your back no matter what. Your agent (Opens in a new tab) can help you build customized motorcycle coverage for whatever adventures await. 

Tools & Resources

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