I can’t wait to get on my motorcycle for the first time. I bought a 2017 Harley-Davidson Iron 883. It was the first Wisconsin snowstorm of the 2016-2017 winter when I walked into the dealership to chat about buying a motorcycle. With the snow falling, it was difficult to imagine me riding a motorcycle. That did not quell my kid-like excitement to get on the bike. Alas, I had to wait at least until April to get the motorcycle (more on why below).
As I headed home with the same can’t-wait excitement (that hasn’t waned in the four months since), I thought about what I need to know as a new motorcyclist. I guess this should be titled what I don’t yet know, but hope to after I become a skilled rider. That’s not so catchy now is it? My hope here is to come back after gaing some experience and skill and see if my assumptions are correct. The disclaimer here is I’m coming from the bicycling world and this may impact my thoughts, but this leads to the first item on this guide:
Riding a Motorcycle is nothing like riding a bicycle In some respects, it is like riding a bicycle, isn’t it? I’m guessing speed, bike weight, and areas of travel will play major factors here in making this true.
Safety is the most import factor while riding a motorcycle I’m guessing fun will be part of it, but a tragic crash will put a damper on that.
Every Motorist is out to kill you Hey, it feels like this while riding a bicycle, why not equally as true while riding a motorcycle? I feel pretty invisible to motorists as a cyclist, I’m guessing this will be equally as true while on a motorcycle.
Rain is going to hurt at high speeds
Rain at 15 mph on a bicycle doesn’t feel like a warm shower, especial in near freezing temps. I’m guessing at greater speeds on a motorcyle isn’t going to tickle.
Laying down the bike is not a matter of if, but when
I’ll take every measure to prevent this, but I know very well that I’m not invincible. Even more so as a new rider.
It’s going to be a shit-ton of fun
Of this, I have no doubt
I learned how to ride a bike at a very young age. I’ve had forays into other activities (some quite healthy and others not so), but ever since I was able to pedal without falling over, the bicycle has been the solution to every conundrum I’ve ever had. It took far too long for me to make that connection.
The bicycle is a means of transportation. It got me to the corner candy store when I was 8 years old and later, when I was 17 and without a car, to my girlfriend’s house. Now I ride my bicycle to and from work about 50 miles per week (soon to be 65 miles when I move next month).
The bicycle also saved me a ton of money. My daily commutes to work and trips to the grocery store save me on insurance, gas, expensive car repairs and the unmeasurable health benefits that kept me from spending money on doctors and the latest exercise gimmick (I’m looking at you Vibro-belt).
That’s not what this blog is about though. This blog is about adventure. That and learning to ride a motorbike after a lifetime of cycling.
The bicycle has has taken me on numerous adventures from ocean shores to 6000-foot mountain passes. When I buy a motorcycle this March, I’ll kick my two wheel adventure up a notch with a bit of motorcycle fun between my legs.
Why am I making this transition? Well, simply, for adventure. I’ll never stop riding a bicycle. It’s my first and true two wheel love. The motorcycle is an extension of my love for all two-wheeled transportation.
This blog will touch on why I chose a certain motorcycle to ride, learning to ride a motorcycle, how to safely ride a motorcycle, the differences and similarities between cycling and motorcycle riding, and, most importantly, all the adventures along the way. What I hope you’ll see in early post on this blog is a ton of cycling adventure-related images and posts. As my motorbike adventures increase, I hope to have a balance of the two. Maybe one will overtake the other at times, but there will many adventures along the way.