Does the warmer weather have you dreaming motorcycle dreams? If you’re thinking joining the ranks of motorcycle riders across Central Ontario, here are a few things you need to know before taking the plunge.
This Rock 95 feature is presented with St Onge Recreation.
Take A Class
In Ontario, motorcycle licences are graduated the same way regular licences are. But don’t just think you can write the M1 test, practice a bunch and then pass the M2. We highly recommend taking a motorcycle course before you hit the open road, for your safety and everyone elses!
Buy An Affordable Bike
We get it – you want a bike that looks cool. The thing is cool bikes are usually expensive and powerful, which are not what new riders need. 50% of motorcycle wrecks happen within a riders first 6 months. But even if you don’t have a wreck in the first 6 months, a bike that’s good for beginners will get old quickly and you’ll want to upgrade anyway. If you spend a lot of cash on your first bike and wreck it, you just wasted a lot of money. If you spend a lot of money on a bike only to sell it soon after you won’t get what you paid for it and you just wasted a lot of money.
Learn All The Ins And Outs Of Your Bike
This may seem like it goes without saying, but riding a bike is not like driving a car. Some bikes have fuel gauges, some don’t. Some bike mirrors can be adjusted easily, some can’t. Some have a fuel valve, some don’t. Take time to know and understand all the different unique features of your bike before you hit the road, and save yourself trouble later.
Wear Safety Gear
Again, this should go without saying but seriously – wear it! Unlike your first bike, your first set of safety gear should not be cheap or disposable. A bike is replaceable – you are not. At the very minimum, you should wear a helmet, jacket, and gloves every time you ride. Remember – a t-shirt and jeans won’t protect you when you fall.
Ride More Defensively Than You Drive
When you’re out riding your motorcycle, just assume that everyone and everything on the road is out to hit you. Is that a little over the top? Maybe. But the fact is, a lot of people don’t look out for motorcycles on the road they way they should. Something that would just be an inconvenience if you’re in a car can a life or death situation on a bike. We’re not trying to scare you – but take your safety in to your own hands and you’ll be able to keep riding for years to come.
Learn The Lingo
Do you know what a cager is? How about a back-warmer? Avid bikers have their own lingo for just about everything and you better learn it if you want to a) know what they’re talking about and b) sound like you know what you’re talking about
Enjoy The Ride
We know – this one’s kind of cheesy. But there is truly no feeling quite like being on your bike with the open road in front of you. So once you take care of the rest, just enjoy the ride. Motorcycle season in Canada is short and we need to make the most of it!