What bike do I get and what do I wear? Getting that
You want to start off with a simple, cheap, standard motorcycle
and be prepared to see it fall over a few times while you
get used to riding it.
Just be sure that the bike runs well, has good tires and brakes,
and is insured. After you've taken the MSF course, you'll
need to get lots of practice riding. Find an experienced motorcyclist
to go out with you and act as your mentor for a couple of
months. Ride around in your local area first avoiding busy
roads and heavy traffic. Gradually ride on the country roads,
the highways, and then the high-speed roads as you gain experience.
Try to be aware of all you learned in your MSF training and
put it into practice. You may have a few spills as you ride
your motorcycle. Most of these should be at low speeds or
parking lot situations and will not injure you.
Your motorcycle may suffer some cosmetic damage but that's
why you bought an inexpensive bike to learn on. At some point
in this training, if you haven't already done so, you'll have
to take a motorcycle road test offered by your local Dept
of Motor Vehicles. After passing this test, your driver's
license will be endorsed. You are now motorcycle-legal.
If you're lucky, you'll get through your practice sessions
successfully without damage of any kind. You may suddenly
feel that the bike you bought and thought was so huge at the
time, now appears tiny and you want something bigger. It happens
to everyone. Probably you will be able to sell your starter
motorcycle for what you paid for it. I did.
You will see a variety of attire for people who ride motorcycles.
Some non-riders object to the black leather image as being
too outlaw. They've seen too many bad biker movies. Whether
you want to believe it or not, there are certain predominate
styles of attire depending on the brand of motorcycle. I'll
let you observe these for yourself.
Clothing is for comfort, protection, and safety. Every rider
wears either a T-shirt (buy direct) or turtleneck sweatshirt.
These are usually emblazoned with pictures, sayings, or other
The first thing you have to protect is your head. Now I know
this is a controversial subject and that many groups have
expended great effort to lobby states and other governmental
agencies for the right to choose whether they want to wear
a helmet. I choose to wear a helmet and I recommend that you
wear a helmet at least for the first year while you are learning
You should wear gloves specially made for riding. If you fall
and hit the road, most likely, your hands will hit first.
Let the road rash be on your gloves, not your hands.
You should wear hard full-length motorcycle boots. Sneakers
are not a good thing. Boots limit foot and leg injuries should
I prefer a leather jacket with vents. During the summer, I
open the vents to allow air circulation. During the winter,
I put in a liner to retain body heat. Riding down the road
in the summer in the 90 degree heat will dry your skin quickly.
A jacket will retain skin moisture and cool you. If you go
down, you will thank the day you decided to wear leather and
save your skin.
Leather pants or chaps are great if you want further protection.
I prefer chaps when it starts to get cold. Many riders like
full riding suits either of leather or synthetic material.
If you like winter riding, I recommend heated vests, heated
gloves, and possibly heated socks if it really gets cold.
Also, a full bib-style suit such as you might use for skiing
The reality is that riders will ride with almost anything
on, sometimes offering practically no protection at all. It's
your call but I hope you'll think about what I've recommended
here and make an informed decision.