I recently completed my first motorcycle ride ever. And I’m here to tell you there’s an easy way for you to do the same.
I’ve been riding motorcycles for years… as a passenger. I’ve only had the slightest desire ever to be the one holding the handles and then the desire passed quickly. See, I’d like to live as long as possible and I know the risks of riding on two wheels. But I also know the rewards.
On a motorcycle, you get to feel the wind on your face. You feel the temperature difference just from going up and down a hill. And you can smell the wildflowers growing in the field next to you. You also experience a camaraderie with other riders on the road. It’s an unspoken fraternity.
Also, you can look pretty cool on a bike.
But you can do that as a passenger, so why ride?
Why Buy A Motorcycle
You have to have interest to even consider buying a motorcycle. Maybe they’re more than just the two-wheeled deathtrap your mother warned you about!
Motorcycles are eco-friendly.
Most motorcycles are more fuel efficient than cars, averaging 30-40 mpg at a minimum with some claiming to get over 90 mpg. Not many cars are able to claim anything in that range. And you’d be reducing your carbon footprint.
Want to get even more extreme? You can actually drive an electric motorcycle. While most motorcycle manufacturers have plans for an electric bike, Zero Motorcycles currently offer a 100% electric powertrain bike with a range of 223 miles per charge.
Motorcycles are cheap.
Or should I say relatively cheap when you’re comparing them to cars. Brand new motorcycles can start as low as $2000 but you can get them up to price of small car. As with cars, price varies by brand, size, and bells and whistles.
Just keep in mind that when buying a bike, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of a top quality helmet (it’s your head, people, spend some money) and protective gear like gloves and a jacket.
Motorcycles are fun to ride.
Even if you’ve only ever ridden on the back of a bike, you know they’re fun (and sometimes a little scary, depending on who’s driving). What does it take to feel confident enough to ride one yourself? You don’t want to buy a bike until you’re an experienced rider. But how do you become an experienced rider if you don’t have a bike?
There are lots of motorcycle safety classes that offer you a great introduction but before you even take that step, there’s an easier way to embrace your inner Dennis Hopper.
Getting Better Acquainted with Motorcycles
There’s a way to explore without feeling intimidated and to ride without commitment. I hadn’t planned to ride my first motorcycle a few weeks ago but when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t say no.
Visit the Progressive International Motorcycle Show
I attended my first motorcycle show this year when I visited the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Washington, DC. It’s a traveling show that visits many major cities (check the schedule to see if they’re visiting near you).
My husband was the one that pushed me to go – he of many motorcycles. I thought it would be fun to look around and I admittedly brought my husband as my “assistant.” I gave him media access but thought I’d put him to work capturing photos and videos for me and generally being my technical advisor.
Turns out that if your husband is a motorcycle nut, he’ll disappear every time you turn around. This show was like a candy store for him.
At the show, we were able to check out new bikes (and sit on them) from Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, Harley-Davidson, and a few other unexpected vendors. Several motorcycle accessory retailers were in attendance as well. We were even wowed by a professional driver stunt show that brought out the mom in me (I wish he would be more careful!).
But the highlight of the show for me and the reason that I think people with even a passing interest in motorcycles should attend is for the Discover the Ride Experience.
Discover the Ride Experience
I wanted to share in my husband’s excitement so when the opportunity arose to actually get on a motorcycle and take it for a spin, I said, resoundingly… MAYBE. Look, I’m a little chicken. I get scared of trying new things. I also don’t like the idea of crashing.
The experience is designed for people like me, though. They warm you up by having you ride a Yamaha Power Assist Electric Bicycle. As one guy put it, “it’s like you riding a bike on your best day.” The levels of power assist are variable so you can get a little bit of help from the bike or you can zoom and feel like you’re ready to head into the sky. Yes, I got a little too confident and almost crashed. Almost.
After the confidence boost of an e-bike, they outfitted us with a jacket, gloves, and helmet and put us on a Zero electric motorcycle.
The good news: no clutch, no shifting, no smell gas fumes, and a speed limiter of 12 mph.
The bad news: it’s a tall bike and made me feel a little nervous since I could have both feet touching the floor at the same time.
I pushed through though. This was about the safest, tamest motorcycle experience I could ever hope for. And I survived!
I can definitely tell that there would be a learning curve for me. I’m not a natural. But I do know that this experience got me over the hump, the FEAR, of riding on two wheels.
Video Proof of My First Motorcycle Ride!
If you want to get a better feel for what the Progressive International Motorcycle Show is like and see my Discover the Ride Experience, you’ll want to check out my video. I also fill you in on a few new bikes, show you a few stunts, including my husband popping a wheelie.
Finally, if you have kids that are interested in riding on two wheels, you’ll want out check out my interview with Kyle Wyman, a professional motorcycle racer. He started at a young age and has some good words of wisdom for parents.
Not ready for two wheels? Read about these motorcycle alternatives for all types of rides.
Need to convince someone in your family? Save this for later!