Picture of Riding a Motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle is much more complex than driving a car. A rider must be very attentive to their surroundings and must have a level of physical coordination that is not required by a car. That being said, riding is a very enjoyable experience that I hope more people will discover. You will discover a sense of freedom when riding a motorcycle that a car, even a convertible, cannot offer. If you have ever ridden a jet ski, a motorcycle is almost like a jet ski on land.

This instructable aims to give you a step by step guide on how to ride a motorcycle. While riding a motorcycle is a skill that is continually developed and takes months to years to master, this instructable should have you familiar with a motorcycle in about an hour.
           Note: I recommend all riders take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course before getting their license.

The following tutorial will be demonstrated using a 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R motorcycle and a Scorpion EXO-1000 helmet.

In each step I assume you have already completed the previous step.

I also recommend that you learn to ride in a safe and open area such as a parking lot. Don't take to the roads until you are licensed and ready.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any injury or damage caused by following this instructable. You are doing this of your own free will. As stated, I recommend everyone should take a MSF approved course for proper, official training.

What you Need:
A motorcycle

What you Should Have:
Safety Gear
Amnesia Wes10 months ago

Although this 'scructable provides great advice, when taking a certified course, upon completion, a certificate eliminates the need to take a road test at the DMV to get a Motorcycle Endorsement on your Driver's License. A road test in front of a DMV employee is a very stressful event for most new riders.

The MSF Basic Rider course only grants an excemption for the raod test in certain states, check your local laws.

jklub made it!6 months ago
I got my license, yay!
myr110 months ago

Just take a class, most community colleges have a one for cheap and lowers your insurance when you finish. Most have their own bikes too.

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guy255903 years ago
it's too dangerous to learn it yourself. you should take a teacher, it's better not to ride on a motorcycle at all.
I taught myself on my dads 1500cc Vulcan. Started in the driveway. Ended up riding it for a year then bought my 440LTD, someone hit me, now have a Rebel. Just like riding a bicycle.
eeverett (author)  guy255903 years ago
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
it's really dangerous
just letting you know i taught myself to ride on a 50cc dirt bike when i was 12 i am now 21 and my only accident was caused by somebody that ran a red light, there was nothing any class or instructor could have taught me that would have stopped the other driver from hitting me. this being said the est thing you can do is be alert and wear your safety gear
just letting you know i taught myself to ride on a 50cc dirt bike when i was 12 i am now 21 and my only accident was caused by somebody that ran a red light, there was nothing any class or instructor could have taught me that would have stopped the other driver from hitting me. this being said the est thing you can do is be alert and wear your safety gear
dkfa guy255902 years ago
So is driving a car. Or walking down the street. Or smoking. Or cooking.

Also, if we're not here to learn something by ourselves, why are we on instructables in the first place?
Solid instructable. I had taken a MSF class a couple years ago and read up using your guide it was helpful getting the mental check list back in you head. Once you know how it feels / how to counter steer it stays with you forever.
abadfart2 years ago
thank you for going in to detail on the safety gear, i would not be hear today if i wasn't wearing mine. i live in a tropic climate where every day is ridding weather and i see guys ridding their motorcycles in shorts a t shirt and flip flops and it drives my crazy when i see somebody being that dumb
dreamberry3 years ago
I learned to ride on a big pile of sand near Corona. Sand is a good thing to fall on, better than grass or asphalt, if you're gonna fall, and you will likely fall. Then take a class or three. When you do get out on the road, ride like you are invisible, because you are, simply because you are not a car, and that's all most folks are looking out for.
robertmw3 years ago
Hey! I'm super glad you are promoting safe riding, and for the most part you are putting verbatim from your MSF class. But there needs to be a change to how you talk about high speed steering.

The way you put it, the wheel is actually going to turn the opposite way from where you want to turn. Someone back in my MSF class actually tried this at 20 mph. Leaning right, and FORCING his wheel left, instant high side. This is not what you do.

The push right, turn right is just that. By putting pressure on the inside handle bar, the gyroscopic forces of the front wheel will initiate the lean and turn. The more pressure you put, the harder your bike will lean. But if you pay close attention to your hands, as you push, the bars will push back, and your hands will move in the opposite direction you push.

My reccomendation, before you try and conciosly create counter steer, get to 15-20 and let your instincts take over. Look and lean into your turn, and the bike will follow. Once you're comfortable, then figure out exactly what is going on with the bars.
eeverett (author)  robertmw3 years ago
That is a good recommendation but counter-steering and leaning is initiated by the handlebars briefly turning in the opposite direction of the turn. It's a subtle turn of the handle-bars, nothing nearly as pronounced as in a low speed turn.

You are definitely right by saying the handlebars aren't completely turning like in a low speed turn though as that could lead to a nasty high side.
Twitcheth3 years ago
This is a good walkthrough. As a fellow rider I started only 6 months ago and have fallen in love with riding. My uncle taught me to ride around the back lane before taking me out on the open roads. But I will say many motorcycles handle differently i.e. A chopper or sled has a much wider turning circle compared to a sportsbike or dirt bike. Just take it slow and ease into it.
I learned on a cruiser and dirtbike, then bought a sportbike. The sportbike is a sail in the wind unless you get right down on the tank, the cruisers feel very top heavy and the dirtbikes have really twitchy throttles. Practice practice practice until you're comfortable!
Very good and detailed instructable! Wish I had this when I started out.
triumphman3 years ago
I have been riding since 1964 ! Many moons ago! Over the years, I have owned many motorcycles. I still ride and own four. It is the most free and rewarding thing to do on two wheels. But lately, due to the increase in driver distracting toys (GPS, Cell Phones, Cameras, video players, DVD players, TEXTING, etc...) in autos, there has been a great number of accidents (many deaths) with motorcycles getting run down! A few of my riding buddies have been victims ! I now get very cautious and concerned when I ride and see people that are not paying attention to the road and ME!! So now I ride less and worry more about my next ride! Will I live to see another day, because of someone being stupid? Think about this! Call and or email your state politicians, especially NEW YORK, to get them to pass the law that says: NO TALKING OR TEXTING ON PHONES! It will save your life,maybe! Thanks, Live to ride, ride to live! Triumphman
We've had those laws here for several years now, really anything that can distract a driver can earn you a ticket here. It doesn't help because there just aren't enough police to enforce it. I have a Kawi Ninja 636 and every single ride I go on I'm dodging people in cages not paying attention. Just yesterday a car packed with teenagers came 2 or 3 feet over the mustard at me and laughed their arses off as they passed me. Hours before that, going through an intersection someone who was paying attention didn't see me, then when he did see me he panicked and stopped dead right in front of me as I was leaning, it was close. Getting cut off and dumping your pretty new bike is not fun folks, you really have to watch for EVERYONE! Including the cop who suicidally ran out into the middle of the road to stop me...
RSV263 years ago
insted of ''gear up '' why not ''armor up''?
This is an awesome walkthrough! Lots of good tips.