Motorcycle Riding First Steps

Learning to ride your new motorcycle requires a learning curve, but with a lot of patience and a lot of practice, you'll be well on your way to enjoy your new hobby. You want to master the basics before you attempt to own the road, so let's start!

Have a Valid License
Before you actually ride a motorcycle, there are a few steps you have to take to ensure that you're safe while you ride. Whether you're riding in Thailand or anywhere else, you'll need to have a valid license. Your license must be valid in your home country, or you'll need to have a valid Thailand license. However, it is important to note that if you don't have a valid International license, your license from your home county doesn't count, and you'll be driving illegally.

Buy the Proper Equipment
You want to be sure that you have the proper safety equipment before you ride, so you're protected if you have an accident. You want to buy a helmet, eye and face protection, thick boots, leather jacket and pants, gloves, and hearing protection. The leather will help to protect you should you fall or crash.

Learn Your Motorcycle's Controls
As soon as you have your motorcycle license or your international license and your protective equipment, you have to learn your motorcycle's controls. While your control location may vary depending on the brand and style of your bike, you should know what they do.

• Clutch Lever 
Your clutch lever is usually on the left side of your handlebar. Once you release it, the clutch engages power to your motorcycle's rear Tyre. When you press on your clutch level, it'll disengage power to your rear Tyre.

• Gearshift Lever
You'll usually find your gearshift lever on the left side of your motorcycle by the footrest. You'll change gears by shifting up or down one gear at a time as your speed increases or decreases.

• Choke Switch 
The choke switch is near your left handlebar grip, and this switch will help you start your bike if it has sat for a long period.

• High/Low Beam Switch
If you intend to ride after dusk or in unfavorable weather conditions, your high/low beam switch will adjust your headlight brightness.

• Turn Signals
If you look to the left of your handlebar grip, you'll find the lever for your turn signals.

• Front and Rear Brake
The front brake lever will engage the front brake, and you can find it on the right side of the handlebar. The rear brake foot pedal will engage the rear brake, and you can find it on the right side of your bike.

• Throttle
Your throttle will work like a car's accelerator to speed your bike up, and it's usually the right handlebar grip that turns to accelerate.

• Ignition and Kill Switches
If you look at the centre of your bike by the speedometer, you'll see your ignition switch, which you use to start your motorcycle. If you look by your left handlebar grip, you'll find your kill switch. Use this to shut off your bike in the event of an emergency.

• Kickstart
If your motorcycle has a kickstart, it'll be on the right side and look like a foot pedal.
Practicing Riding Your Motorcycle

Now that you know where everything is and what it does, you're ready to start practising. Read on to find out a few basic tips that will help you with your motorcycle's basic operation and control.

• Positioning
Make sure you're comfortable with your motorcycle's seat position, handlebar reach, knee position, and distance from the foot pedals.

• Shifting
To up-shift, roll off the throttle and squeeze your clutch lever. Put your foot under the gear lever and lift upwards to shift up. Once you've shifted up, slowly let off your clutch and ease into your throttle. Finally, release the gear lever. To down-shift, back off the throttle and squeeze your clutch. Press down on the gear lever and release the clutch slowly. Finally, roll slowly on the throttle.

• Braking
Every time you slow down, use both your front and your back brake. Before you enter a corner, slow down and reduce your speed. It's important to know that the more you lean on your bike, the less traction you'll have.

• Turning
When you're turning, slow down and look toward your turn's exit. Press your handgrips and lean your motorcycle slightly. When you're exiting your turn, roll your throttle because this will speed you up, help you with balancing, and help to return your motorcycle to a fully upright position.

When you're first starting to learn how to ride your motorcycle, you may want to practice in an empty parking lot or somewhere that you don't have to worry about traffic. You will have a learning curve, but with our tips you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of motorcycling.