Our goal is to provide great tips for new motorcycle riders based on the decades of experience from members of the Cycle World staff.

We will cover some of the best beginner motorcycles including both new and used bikes that will fit almost any budget. New riders find out quickly that it takes commitment to become a good motorcyclist, and that's why we're aiming to provide motorcycle safety tips, insight into the type of maintenance you can expect to perform, as well as some great ways to learn how to become a better rider.

Checklist For New Motorcyclist

Now that you have decided to start riding there are a few legal obligations you are going to need to get sorted out. You will need a motorcycle license (also called an endorsement) and motorcycle insurance if you plan to ride your bike on the street. Be prepared to pony up a little cash and put some time into studying for your motorcycle permit and license.

One of the best ways to learn the basics of riding is to enroll in a beginner motorcycle class or motorcycle school. There are many options available including the universally accepted Motorcycle Safety Foundation class or one of the many regional rider training classes offered by each individual state. Remember that riding is a progressive sport. You will always be learning to ride a motorcycle, experiencing new situations, dealing with unusual predicaments, and riding in conditions you may not have planned for. For that reason, the best way to expand your skill set and keep your skills sharp is through continued rider education.

Beginner Motorcycle Gear

One of the most polarizing topics is what types of protective motorcycle gear is most important. The easy answer is: all of it. We are not recommending that you cram yourself into so much gear you look like Ralphie's little brother in A Christmas Story, but you want to get the best gear you can afford.

Any beginner should start out with these basic bits of equipment. A good motorcycle helmet should be the priority followed by a good set of riding gloves, a nice motorcycle jacket, along with a pair of boots that cover the ankle and a pair of durable pants designed specifically for motorcycle riders. When you are trying to justify spending your money on gear, just ask yourself this question: What is that body part worth? And then spend accordingly.

Types of Beginner Motorcycles

Choosing the right motorcycle to suit your needs as a new rider will play a critical role in having a great experience or a constant struggle to figure it all out. The key is to choose a bike that fits your specific needs. Everyone is different, so depending on your height, age, experience, and weight, you should put some real effort into finding the bike that is right for you.

There are so many options you might have a tough time choosing only one, so the first thing you need to know is what type of riding you plan to do. Will you be on street, dirt, or both? Streetbikes include cruisers, sportbikes, touring bikes, dual-sport, and adventure bikes. Off-road-specific motorcycles include both enduro and dirt bikes. All of them will be a blast but whether you are choosing the best beginner cruiser or best beginner sportbike you will want to choose the bike that is easy and comfortable for you to ride.

Motorcycle Riding Tips And Safety

There are a million motorcycle riding tips and motorcycle safety tips floating around the web and being espoused as gospel at the local hangouts, but we want to focus on the ones that help new riders get through their first few years safely. Learning to safely make your way down a curvy road, deal with the congestion of urban sprawl, or simply how to use your brakes are all important topics we will cover in detail.

We will also provide insight on the nuances of navigating a motorcycle through unforgiving conditions like riding in the rain, riding at night, riding on dirty roads, dealing with panic situations, and, most important of all, watching out for the other people on the street with you. We may not have all the answers but we promise to provide the tips that our team believes will help you become the safest beginner motorcycle rider you can possibly be.

Motorcycle Parts And Maintenance

Owning a motorcycle is just the beginning of the riding experience. Now that your new machine is nestled neatly in your garage you can start planning to familiarize yourself with all the moving parts and how to properly maintain them. Motorcycle maintenance begins with your manual. Use the OEM maintenance checklist to help guide you through the process of checking your oil, tightening your chain, checking tire pressure, bleeding your brakes, or prepping your bike for storage in the off-season.

It is important to visibly inspect your bike before and after every ride to make sure that nothing dangerous has occurred with your bike along the way. Think of it as your pre-ride routine. Check your tire pressure, twist the throttle, hop on the bike and check the brakes while rocking it back and forth. Oh yeah—make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. When you get back from the ride, it is a good time to make sure nothing is dripping, that you didn’t pick up a nail in your tire, and that your lights work.

All of this can be intimidating, but once it becomes part of the routine it will make you a better motorcycle rider.