Is Learning How to Ride a Motorcycle Hard? (Includes 9 Helpful Tips!)

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Riding a motorcycle is often associated with being cool, rebellious, or adventurous. But above all, the element of being free and hitting the open road.

Despite its risks, there are still many reasons why people enjoy this activity.

If you’re one of those fascinated with this vehicle, this article will explore whether learning to ride a motorcycle is easy or difficult.

Here’s Why Learning to Ride a Motorcycle Is Hard:

Learning to ride a motorcycle can be hard at first. As a beginner rider, you need to know how to balance yourself while adapting to your vehicle’s weight, controls, maneuverability, and the changing of gears.

With regular practice, riding a motorcycle becomes easier eventually. It is something that anyone can learn with enough time and dedication.

learning to ride a motorcycle

What Is the Hardest Part of Learning to Ride a Motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle involves different elements that first-time riders should learn. Some aspects may be challenging for you to grasp but not for others, and vice versa. While every individual is different, here are some of the hardest parts to learn as a beginner.

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Developing Situational Awareness

Riding a motorcycle for the first time is a totally new experience with many techniques and mechanics to keep in mind. Thus, many people may struggle with their situational awareness.

It involves staying focused and paying extra attention to your surroundings while riding a motorcycle. That’s why many first-time riders need to get comfortable with their vehicles first before hitting the road.

Working With the Clutch

The clutch is a component that engages and disengages the power from the engine to the transmission. It allows the rider to turn the power on or off to the rear wheel to change gears.

Although a motorcycle’s clutch levers are different from a car’s clutch pedal, the instinct to engage or disengage the clutch remains the same.

If you haven’t tried using the clutch on a manual car, it can be one of the challenging things to learn as a beginner motorcycle rider.

Shifting Gears

Unlike automatic transmission vehicles, many motorcycles include a manual gearbox that riders can operate with their left foot. To shift gears, the rider should know how to use the clutch and throttle with their hands while simultaneously managing the gears with their foot.

If you don’t know how to drive a manual car, you may have a hard time learning how to shift gears in your motorcycle.  

Learning to Countersteer

Countersteering is a technique that riders consciously or unconsciously apply to initiate a turn toward a particular direction. It involves momentarily turning the handlebar in the opposite of your desired direction.

You also use countersteering to turn when riding a bicycle. If you don’t know how to ride one yet, you may need to learn this skill first.

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Balancing Your Motorcycle

While balancing a motorcycle is similar to that of a bicycle, the motorcycle involves a lot more weight. This makes it harder to balance and ride, especially at higher speeds. However, it might be easier to balance a motorcycle than a bicycle at low speeds.

It can be helpful to learn how to ride a bicycle first since it teaches you the skill of balancing on two wheels.

What Are Good Ways to Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle?

Most beginners may find riding a motorcycle intimidating, but it doesn’t always have to be. It’s completely normal to feel nervous when you’re trying things for the first time.

Once you’ve nailed down the basics, you’ll soon find motorcycle riding an enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you speed up and improve your learning process.

Take a Motorcycle Class

Taking a motorcycle safety course is one of the best ways to learn how to ride a motorcycle and get your license. Classes are taught by qualified instructors who can show you the safe and proper ways of riding a motorcycle.

These instructors can educate you regarding local motorcycle laws. You’ll learn how to respond to the most common riding challenges while being in a controlled environment.

After the classes, you will have a better understanding of motorcycle riding to keep you safe on the road. Even many veteran riders take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course to brush up on their skills.

Choose the Right Motorcycle

Choosing the right kind of motorcycle can impact how fast you’ll learn. While there’s no particular bike for beginners, you need something lightweight and easy to handle.

Any motorcycle can work for you as long as it feels balanced and comfortable. The make and model don’t matter. As you become more experienced, you can proceed to heavier and more powerful motorcycles.

Have the Proper Safety Gear

Riding a motorcycle can be inherently dangerous. That’s why it is crucial to prevent that danger as much as possible. Safety should be your number one priority always.

Having proper motorcycle gear is a beneficial way to protect yourself in case of a crash. Wear a high-quality helmet, gloves, motorcycle pants, jacket, and sturdy boots. They can make a big difference if ever you find yourself in an accident.

Stay Alert All The Time

Always be alert and mindful of your surroundings. You can’t trust that people on the road are following the law, especially during high-traffic times.

During the first several months of motorcycle riding, consider taking some detours to avoid these busy, high-traffic areas. Drive slowly until you’ve honed your skills and find yourself getting more comfortable on the road or highway.

Keep Practicing

Like other skills, you need to practice riding a motorcycle regularly, or you’ll eventually start to forget or lose some of your skills. If you don’t ride your motorcycle often, all your effort learning it will go to waste.  

This is especially true for first-time riders. Getting enough practice allows you to master motorcycle riding in no time. If you’re planning to hit the roads and highways, be sure to take it slowly and navigate traffic safely.

Also, riding a motorcycle often enhances your muscle memory and awareness of your surroundings. This makes you feel more confident to deal with different kinds of road or traffic situations.

How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Riding a Motorcycle?

Every individual has their own learning pace, so there is no single answer to this question. Some people may learn how to ride a motorcycle within several weeks or months, while others may only take a day.

It will also depend on the skills you already have. If you know how to ride a bicycle or drive a manual car, learning how to ride a motorcycle can be faster and easier for you. In general, getting between two to eight weeks of daily practice allows you to learn how to ride safely.

Don’t feel pressured if you need to take more time or extra lessons. Motorcycle riding is a fun activity, so make sure that you enjoy the learning process.

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