Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Waldorf, MD 20603
I learned how to ride a motorcycle before I learned how to drive a car, and have always had a bike, even if I didn't have a car. So the transition for me was from motorcycle to car, which explains why I probably still prefer motorcycles to this day. I rode my motorcycle all through college, unless it was just too damn cold or snowy (Univ of Nebraska). There are a number of ways to learn to ride, but the best way I know is to get an older bike and, with an experienced friend advising, practice in a large empty parking lot, or get an older dirt bike and practice in the woods. Some people love riding motorcycles, and others hate them...there is no accounting for taste. After you have your license you should consider taking the MSF beginner's course which will teach you some basic safety and riding techinques. Read the books Twist of the Wrist I and II, available on-line at Amazon.com. As stated earlier, you shift the same as you do a car, that is by engaging the clutch and then shifting up or down. The clutch is engaged by squeezing the left hand lever on the handlebars. The shift pattern for some bikes may be different, but for most today it is one down and four or five up, depending on the number of gears. The shift lever is on the left side of the bike and is operated by the left foot, obviously. So to go into 1st gear from neutral, you engage the clutch, step down on the shift lever (you'll hear the bike shift into gear), and then while slowly releasing the clutch give the trottle a little twist and you're off. From there you simply shift up or down based on the engine RPM, using the clutch as described and lifting the shift lever up or down with your toe. Now having said that, it should be remembered that there is a certain amount of technique to releasing the clutch and giving the engine enough gas to move the bike without stalling or doing a standing wheelie. Yes, motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cages, to the tune of about 9 times as dangerous, according to National Highway Safety Board statistics. You are 9 times more likely to be in a motorcycle accident per 100,000 miles driven on a bike than you would in a car, and 9 times more likely to be injured per 100,000 accidents than in a car. Consequently, it is advisable to always wear a DOT approved motorcycle helmet, leathers, gloves, and shoes. There are only two kinds of riders...those who have dropped their bikes, and those who will. Still, I'd rather be riding than almost anything else I can think of.
Last edited by MFFJM2; 04-19-2001 at 04:21 PM.