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How To Get Your Motorcycle License
Tom Baker · May 21, 2018
Riding a motorcycle for the first time is easier - and safer - than you might think - So, why not get your motorcycle licence?
One barrier that often gets in the way when looking to learn to ride Is friends and family telling you it's a bad idea so we have a look through four ways to convince your family and friends that motorcycling Is safe and sensible.
There are two things that will happen once you’ve decided that you quite fancy learning to ride a motorcycle; Firstly, everyone will tell you that you’re crazy and that motorcycles are really dangerous; and we can almost guarantee that one by one, members of your close family will pull you to one side once your secret is out and ask you to ‘think about what an accident will do to your mother/father/partner’ etc.
Then, secondly - and because of everyone’s sudden concern for you - you’ll be forced to either give up the dream of getting on two wheels forever because you hate the idea of making everybody that you love unhappy, or you’ll have to double down on your decision and start to make a vain attempt to persuade every man, woman and child you know that learning to ride is actually a sensible, measured choice for you and your lifestyle.
Hopefully, if you’re reading this then you’re at least close to moving into phase two of the
‘Riding Is Definitely Emotional’ process and you’re looking to get armed with knowledge in order to satisfy your friend’s concerns and also to begin to take care of yourself when out on your bike.
With that in mind, here’s three, hastily written tips as to how to begin thinking about getting into two wheels and hopefully convince you that getting your motorcycle licence is an awesome decision.
1 - Arm yourself with data! Did you know that riding a horse is statistically more dangerous than riding bikes? True story.
So here’s the thing… Using any vehicle on a public road is dangerous and it doesn’t matter if it has two, three or four wheels. But did you know that riding a HORSE is actually more dangerous than riding a motorcycle? Yes, you read that right… Studies have shown that whilst on average a motorcycle is involved in an accident every 7,000 hours or so, a serious horse-riding accident happens once just every 350 hours of riding.
That still means that you’re going to have to expect an accident of some sort at some stage during your riding career (just as you would when driving a car), but hopefully a little bit of context helps to quell some of the noise from the naysayers at the back of the room.
2 - Investing in the right gear now will show everyone you mean business.
Now, we can pretty much be certain that - most probably during the Olympics - not a single member of your friend or family circle has ever expressed any concern over the lack of protective clothing or full-face helmets being worn by ‘that posh bloke on the horse with braids’, but when it comes to motorcycling it’s a given that you should be aiming to get the right kit. And by doing so you’re automatically proving to those people around you that you’re being safe, sensible and serious about taking up biking as a mode of transport. Even if you do just go out and buy the most ridiculous neon leather jacket and trouser combination! Check out the gear we recommend at our RideTo Store.
Most people will start with a helmet - mainly because even after years of riding it still feels ridiculously cool when you pull the lid over your head and click the visor down in front of your face - but also because if you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, it’s that jelly-life organ inside of your skull that you’re going to want to know you’re taking the greatest care of.
There is already a load of advice about helmet ratings and how best to choose a suitable lid - and we’d always recommend getting one that’s passed the SHARP tests (not all helmets are equal) - but we’d also suggest that price isn’t anywhere near as important to you when riding as fit.
You can spend hundreds of pounds on the latest style helmet from an exotic Italian manufacturer, but if it doesn’t fit and feel comfortable then you’ve almost certainly wasted your money, so find a local store that has a range of styles, brands and sizes in stock and spend a good hour just seeing what feels more comfortable to you.
And - believe us when we say we’re being super serious here - walk around for a while with the helmet on your head. For the cost of a few minutes of looking like a numpty in the store, you’ll have discovered any pressure points or uncomfy elements of a helmet and probably saved yourself an embarrassing conversation later when you try to return a sweaty, used helmet on the grounds that it ‘rubs your ears a bit funny’.
Then take it home and walk around the house in it. Annoy your boyfriend or missus by wearing it at the dinner table, or whilst watching Love Island. They’ll think you’re an idiot, sure! But they’ll also see that you’re investing in your safety and that you’re genuinely excited about the thought of getting on two wheels.
3 - Every master needs an apprentice: Find the right motorcycle training school for you.
Once you’ve got all the gear, you’re going to want to get on a bike. And choosing a riding school is as easy as typing your hometown name plus ‘motorcycle training’ into Google. But as with all things in life, don’t always go for the first one you stumble across.
Naturally here at RideTo we’d like to think that we’ve done a lot of the hard work for you by removing a lot of the hurdles and hoops you have to jump through, but the truth is that you need to be comfortable with the advice you’re being given and the relationship between yourself and your tutor could well be the difference between passing and failing. So don’t be afraid to shop around a little and look for that ‘perfect partner’. Contact several schools within your area and see who seems the most friendly and welcoming; you’re going to be spending at least a day with them for your CBT training, so it’s best to find the right fit for you now, before you’re on a motorcycle in the middle of the town centre wondering why you got yourself into this mess!
4 - Be excited and others will be excited for you: Because getting your motorcycle licence is awesome!
Okay, so we spoke earlier about how being sensible is the best approach, but let’s be honest for a second; even if you’re just looking at getting a 125cc machine to save parking charges after your commute to work, you’re probably investigating getting a scooter or motorbike because it looks fun (and a little cool!).
And it is. It really is. Honestly, it’s genuinely the best thing that any of us here at RideTo have done and our passion for biking is why we started this whole company in the first place. And if there is one thing we’ve learned here it’s that sharing in a passion for something can be infectious. If your family members or friends are still nervous about you attacking the roads on a new scooter then just let them know how excited you are, and just how much you want it.
We’re fairly certain that after a while - and after proving to them that you’re serious about your intentions by wearing your helmet to bed - they’ll be as supportive of your choice for getting on two wheels as we are!
If you're looking to get onto two wheels but not sure where to start, why not take our getting started survey