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I was under the impression that merely riding a bicycle would prepare me to ride a motorcycle. I recently read about certain things you should know before you start riding a motorcycle.

" Familiarity with a bicycle does not imply experience with a motorbike (they both have two wheels but are handled quite differently, according to the ride's weight and speed). I overestimated the weight of the bike and leaned too far forward while standing motionless, **** is it heavy. Also, I was pushing the bike for the first time... looking at other people, it appeared so simple, but it is a beast.
However, as a cyclist, I was aware of what not to do, or at least what to avoid, while going on two wheels.
For example, pressing the front brakes too hard, twisting the handle too much, not leaning sufficiently in a turn, and so on.
I'm not sure if it's due to my bike expertise, but I found it extremely simple to stay straight and balanced.
This, I feel, is due to the weight and speed/traction of the motorbike, and has nothing to do with my past bicycle riding. "

I'm curious what others think about this. And whether you recall your first time riding a bicycle or motorbike. Does everyone ride a bicycle first, then a motorcycle?

Thanks
 

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We rode bicycles from as far back as I can remember. And then when I was 8 years old, my father bought us the motorcycle. We rode that thing to death! The only reason that we stopped riding it, is because one of my other brothers decided to tear it all to pieces and left it that way. :facepalm:
Then my older brother bought a Puch motorcycle, and he rode that thing and crashed it a number of times. I eventually graduated to the CB350, on which I got my license and only recently sold it.
I'd have to say that riding a bicycle is very important practice before motorcycling. It doesn't teach you everything, but it teaches you many of the basics. I started with the smaller bikes, went to much bigger ones, and now I just love this Rebel.
As far as pushing it, I find it pushes just like a bicycle. But of course, I am so used to pushing motorcycles for so many years, that the Rebel feels like nothing.
 

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I hadn't ridden a bicycle for many years before I tried a motorcycle for the first time, but it's true that you never really forget. I was, like the quote said, absolutely shocked by the weight of the Harley we were using in the first class I took and it quickly sapped all of my confidence. Once I got on a smaller bike, though, I got over the jitters (it took a little while) and with the Rebel it does feel familiar, like riding a bicycle. But yeah, motorcycles are heavy and do not want to stay upright when not moving, very important lesson learned 😅
 

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I was under the impression that merely riding a bicycle would prepare me to ride a motorcycle. I recently read about certain things you should know before you start riding a motorcycle.

" Familiarity with a bicycle does not imply experience with a motorbike (they both have two wheels but are handled quite differently, according to the ride's weight and speed). I overestimated the weight of the bike and leaned too far forward while standing motionless, **** is it heavy. Also, I was pushing the bike for the first time... looking at other people, it appeared so simple, but it is a beast.
However, as a cyclist, I was aware of what not to do, or at least what to avoid, while going on two wheels.
For example, pressing the front brakes too hard, twisting the handle too much, not leaning sufficiently in a turn, and so on.
I'm not sure if it's due to my bike expertise, but I found it extremely simple to stay straight and balanced.
This, I feel, is due to the weight and speed/traction of the motorbike, and has nothing to do with my past bicycle riding. "

I'm curious what others think about this. And whether you recall your first time riding a bicycle or motorbike. Does everyone ride a bicycle first, then a motorcycle?

Thanks
Being able to ride a bicycle is the only prerequisite to taking the MSF basic rider course. If you haven't taken such a course, I strongly urge you to do so as it will help keep you safer on the road. Self/family/friend trained riders have more crashes than professionally trained riders, and their injuries are more serious. A motorcycle doesn't need a rider to remain upright when moving. Motorcycle Is Determined To Win Race Even Without Rider - YouTube
 

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Cyclist turned motorcyclist here as well. Some things from the bike world certainly transfer over, such as picking a line, balance, etc. The weight and much quicker acceleration were what surprised me, haha. I'd definitely say riding bikes for years makes me a safer motorcyclist though. Having been hit by a car on a bike, I'm definitely paying more attention to vehicles around me, too.
 

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I too was an avid cyclist back in the 60s & 70s. I remember when the 3 speed, then eventually the 10 speed came out. Wow! What a difference! I took a hill & was timed at 60 mph, that was crazy back then. Those skills & the things learned from the mistakes made, do correlate.
Back then other drivers cared much more about you than any distraction. Now... The devil may care, seems to be the common attitude.
'Watch your 6' used to be used a lot. Now you need to watch the person in front, the one to your right, the one to your left, & the one behind you. But, most importantly! The one on top of you coming from nowhere!
 

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I was not riding bicycle as a teen, only in my years as a child.
At the age of sixteen, I made my driver's license for 50cc Motorcycles.
That license I made on a scooter.
Bought myself a 50cc Motorbike from 1967 (Hercules)
Tried it first on a Parking lot, messed up the shifting( on a scooter there's no shifting or clutch)
drove into a fence and ripped my front tire.
Had to push the bike 9 Kilometers to where I lived.
So, that was my first ride😂
 

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I was riding a bicycle when I was 5 years old. I've been riding a motorcycle for over 60 years. The only thing about riding a bicycle which helps in riding a motorcycle is learning to balance. Otherwise it's totally different. Actually riding a motorcycle is much easier and safer than riding a bicycle. That's my opinion anyway.
 

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Being able to ride a bicycle is the only prerequisite to taking the MSF basic rider course. If you haven't taken such a course, I strongly urge you to do so as it will help keep you safer on the road. Self/family/friend trained riders have more crashes than professionally trained riders, and their injuries are more serious. A motorcycle doesn't need a rider to remain upright when moving. Motorcycle Is Determined To Win Race Even Without Rider - YouTube
I can not stress this enough. I went into the BRC training course thinking I knew quite a bit having rode for a few months prior and previous experience. (I have about several years of BMX / MTB background as well) Upon completing the 2 day course and passing, while not super challenging, changed the way I ride far beyond what I would have spent the time to learn on my own. And even if I would have tried to learn on my own, there are so many myths and how-to's out there from people who have little to no experience that its a crapshoot on what the right things to do actually are. I felt so much more confident walking out of that class because I had answers AND I had someone with years of training confirm/correct how I was riding.

Some items I learned during the on-bike practice in no particular order:
  • Parts of the bike and how to safely mount and dismount the bike.
  • Understanding the clutch and friction zone and how to use effectively in different scenarios.
  • How to work the shifter
  • When and how to use front and rear brakes safely and efficiently on both corners, straightaways and emergencies.
  • How to serve around obstacles
  • How to plan for escape routes
  • Techniques for turning at low and high speed.
  • Low speed control and balance
  • How to safety ride over obstacles
  • How to use turn signals and safe procedure for switching lanes.
  • U-Turns (A brief moment of silence for those that went outside the box, lol)
  • Where to look when riding (seems simple, but look where you want to go and not where your bike is going... Instructure kept on me about that.)
  • And just straight one on one questions/answers with the instructor. (They are down to earth and easy talk to if you have questions)
  • The online portion while not as exhilarating, still provides a ton of good information about how to ride in bad weather, how to assess risk in different scenarios and ultimately prepares you for riding with a wealth of information. Some of the course is free.

    You can check out some the resources on this channel.
In my experience, riding a bike gives you the experience of balancing two wheels and not much more. If you learn the basics of good motorcycling, you can definitely practice motorcycle technique on a bike, but it's not a substitute for training on a motorcycle. The motorcycle is much heavier than a bike. The environment you ride a motorcycle in is much different and more aggressive than that of a bike. Awareness is much different and requires you to judge stopping distance, blind spots, people not seeing you, road conditions, obstacles, weather and a variety of other input while doing all the basics like using the clutch, shifting, braking etc, etc... If you tip on a bike, you get an abrasion and can usually get back up. If your motorcycle goes down on a freeway, not only do you have to worry about the wipeout with a 500lbs bike... BUT there are cars right behind you going 70mph or faster... Every motorcycle is different and will require different technique so even if you have experience, take time to get to know the bike before going on a trip and always assess risk as you ride.

Making a split second decision could mean life or death for a motorcyclist. The more knowledge you have, the quicker you can make a life saving decision.

Ride safe everyone!
 

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Well said. Good video. Another good source of riding knowledge are David Hough's books, Proficient Motorcycling and More Proficient Motorcycling. Read them, then read them again in six months and periodically thereafter. You'll be surprised at how many more nuggets of wisdom you'll find in subsequent readings.
 
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I’ll second the safety course thing. I also didn’t think I’d learn too much from the class. Not because I had ridden for months, but decades. When I bought my Goldwing in 97 Honda had a deal going where they paid for the class and would knock off 2 months of payments if you passed the class. It was a no brainer for mead I started riding in 73 with my Z50. Well, I learned a lot and it for sure made me a safer and better rider.
 

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^^ Others with similar levels of experience have said the same thing. Got my first bike, a Rebel, in 2008. Couldn't wait to begin riding even though the next MSF course was only a couple of months away. In that short period of time, I taught myself several bad habits that took a year or more to break. In the immortal words of the late forum member Duckster, wait until you've taken the course before riding.
 
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At 43, my first experience on a motorcycle was a couple of weeks ago, when I rode my newly acquired motorcycle around my yard. Does previous bicycle experience provide any value? No clue. I'm still green as it gets, with this thing.
 

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Being able to ride a bicycle is the only prerequisite for taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) basic rider course. I urge every new rider to take the course. It teaches all the basics and helps keep you safer on the road.
 

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Being able to ride a bicycle is the only prerequisite for taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) basic rider course. I urge every new rider to take the course. It teaches all the basics and helps keep you safer on the road.
I'll have to look into that. I expect that it will be very beneficial to me, and also my wife (who played around with dirt bikes as a teen, but hasn't been on a bike in decades. ) I imagine a refresher would be useful to her, especially with her primary motorcycle experience being offroad!

Thank you 👍
 

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Pretty sure basic rider courses are offered in every state, most put on by the MSF. I never rode offroad before getting my first Rebel, but while some things are transferrable, you don't have to deal with inattentive drivers, just stationary hazards, which are usually more easily avoided. We've had many old time riders, who began riding before there were courses available, say they learned things they weren't aware of in the course.

Ride like you're invisible because to many drivers, you are!
 

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Out of interest:
Is there not such a thing as an education or a test to get the driving license for motorcycles?
Are there different licenses for different Bikes?
Like License A : max HP or CC, License B: More HP or CC?
Or can anybody at a certain Age just get a license and ride a Bike with 200 HP, without any education and qualifications ?
 

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In the USA, anybody who passes the test can get a driver's license for any motorcycle. At the present time there is just one motorcycle operators license. There has been some talk in separating into two classes.
If one takes the motorcycle safety Foundation course, you can just go get your license. That is a training course for motorcycles.
 
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