Riding a Motorcycle

There are many reasons that people ride motorcycles. High cost of fuel has compelled many people in recent years to use a motorcycle as a primary form of transportation, as motorcycles can usually travel many more miles on one gallon of gasoline than other vehicles. Motorcycles are also known as an adventurous mode of transportation, making it more appealing to some. Motorcycles can be quite a bit less expensive to initially purchase than other vehicles, as well.

Learning to Ride

There are two main ways that a person can learn to ride a motorcycle. Friends and family members that own and ride motorcycles are often a person’s first introduction to riding a motorcycle. While this can be a more inexpensive and less stressful way to learn to ride, safety precautions may not be taken as seriously in this type of setting. New riders may also miss some of the legal instruction that would be provided in a classroom setting.

Motorcycle Introduction Courses

Motorcycle classes are available in every state and many other countries, as well. Motorcycle classes often have different options depending on the skill level of the rider. If a person has never ridden a motorcycle, a beginner class may be a good way to gain experience. Motorcycle classes will provide instruction on safety, rules of the road, tips on safe handling in weather conditions, and instructions about state specific motorcycle requirements while in the classroom setting. Students will also receive hands-on instruction about how to operate a motorcycle. Students will learn the proper way to start a motorcycle, shift gears and increase speed, navigate around obstacles, and stop the motorcycle safely.

Motorcycle Licenses

Every state requires some form of motorcycle license to ride. Some states require that a rider carry a permit for a specified amount of time, after which a test must be taken to acquire a motorcycle license. The test will ensure that a rider is able to perform basic maneuvers with a motorcycle that will be necessary for navigation through traffic and in different weather conditions.

State Motorcycle Requirements

Although some states do not require motorcyclists to carry a permit prior to taking the test, the test itself is a requirement in all states for continued operation of a motorcycle. Some states will inscribe a driver’s license with an additional motorcycle endorsement, while other states will provide a separate motorcycle license.

It is important for any new motorcyclist to look into state requirements before taking a motorcycle out on the road. Some states require any person riding a motorcycle to wear a helmet. Insurance is another requirement that varies from state to state. Registration is a necessary requirement in all states, and riders should be sure to carry proof of registration. Emissions tests are also required in some states.


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Saks, Kat. “Ride By the Rules: Requirements for Legally Riding a Motorcycle.” DMV.org The DMV Made Simple. DMV.org, 03 Jul 2012. Web. 29 Aug 2013. <http://www.dmv.org/articles/ride-by-the-rules-requirements-for-legally-riding-a-motorcycle/>.

“State Motorcycle Laws.” AMA American Motorcyclist Association Rights. Riding. Racing.. American Motorcyclist Association, n.d. Web. 29 Aug 2013. <http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/State-Laws.aspx.>