What is the hardest part of riding a motorcycle?
Is It Hard To Ride A Motorcycle? Here is My Experience
Humans are designed to overcome challenges, adapt to our surroundings, and learn new skills to improve our quality of life. This primitive survival skill has evolved and can now be applied to modern situations with the same effect on our individual improvement. This certainly applies to motorcycling. Is it hard to ride a motorcycle? It is only hard to ride a motorcycle the first time you try. Our cognitive abilities and muscle memory quickly adapt to the new situation and riders find themselves quickly transitioning from practicing in a parking lot to freely riding on open roads. Here we will go over who can ride a motorcycle, what some of the difficulties might be, and how the weight of the motorcycle is a factor in our ability to ride.
Can Anyone Ride A Motorcycle?
The short answer is, yes, anyone can ride a motorcycle. If you want to learn how to ride, there is no reason you cannot. I have taught several of my friends how to ride and they had absolutely no experience around motorcycles beforehand. There is an adage that says “Practice makes perfect.” If you are just entertaining the idea of learning to ride, the idea of perfection can seem daunting. However, practicing will yield improvement, especially when practicing deliberately, consistently, and correctly. Developing good habits will make a good rider. Don’t be intimidated by it being hard because it really isn’t. It’s simply a heavier bicycle that you don’t have to pedal. Focus on the fact that it is possible to overcome challenges and gain new experiences. Having a good learning strategy is key. It is wise to have someone who can coach you through the steps of riding. If you are learning, you will want to get help from someone you trust who has some experience with motorcycles. If you don’t have anyone with experience to help teach you feel free to reach out to the owner of this website on Instagram @moab.kyle. He would be happy to give you some pointers. Additionally, there are many online resources to reference for additional tips and tricks. In developing countries, especially in Asian countries, motorcycling is the most affordable and utilitarian means of transportation. More often than not, two or more family members will ride together on one motorcycle as they go about their daily business. In the United States, motorcycling is typically more for recreation, but can still be very family-centric, as motorcycles come in many different sizes, from tiny toddler bikes to full-size, high horsepower adult motorcycles. No matter what your purpose is, there is no reason you can’t do it. Essentially anyone can ride a motorcycle. And for those with any physical disabilities who might be missing an arm or leg, or both, they make three-wheeled motorcycles that are easier to balance and have custom hand controls for easier control. Anyone can ride!
What Is Easy About Riding A Motorcycle?
Let’s start with some positive, exciting aspects of riding, which is probably why you wanted to get into riding in the first place. First of all, you look cool while riding! Motorcycling has a ton of subcultures and whatever style you pick, you will be sure to impress. Secondly and similarly, it is super easy to have fun while riding. Once you gain some confidence in the basics, like starting from a stop, shifting up and down, and bringing it safely home, it’s so fun to stab the throttle and feel the wind as your bike takes off. The exhaust blaring as you go is just icing on the cake. Third, it’s easy to get good fuel mileage. Compared to cars, motorcycles have smaller engines that require less fuel by volume. With a single rider or an occasional second rider, the motorcycle is a very efficient way to travel. That money that would have been spent on extra fuel can be put towards something else, like maybe a motorcycle for your significant other, which would only compound the fun. It is actually pretty easy to learn about motorcycles. There are so many resources available to learn from and most of them are free. Online forums, blogs, and YouTube videos are great places to enhance your motorcycle knowledge.
What Is Difficult About Riding A Motorcycle?
If you are willing to learn this new skill, there are some common obstacles every rider faces. First off, it can be hard to know where to start. With a broad selection of styles, brands, sizes, and so on, it can be overwhelming to get into motorcycling. This can be remedied by reading blogs (like this one) as well as other online sources to gather information. Friends and neighbors who are knowledgeable can also be a good resource for learning. Along with that, it can be a bit difficult finding a good place to ride. While motorcycles are street legal, getting caught in traffic is always the worst. Perhaps start out trying some back roads and alternate routes with less traffic. In doing so, you may discover cool aspects in the area in which you live as you gain confidence in your abilities. Secondly, it can be difficult to feel safe when first starting out. Have someone take you to an empty parking lot or less-busy areas to get a feel for things before braving the flow of traffic. Make sure to wear the right equipment and follow traffic laws to minimize the chance of an accident. Trust in yourself, your safety equipment, and drive defensively. Third is that pesky clutch. If you are unfamiliar with operating a manual clutch, it can be frustrating to learn. Even if you have operated a manual clutch, such as in a car with a manual transmission, a motorcycle clutch has a bit of a different feel, which will be a new mental challenge as you learn new muscle memory. Increasing your knowledge about transmissions is beneficial. Practice slowly letting the clutch lever off and finding the sweet spot on your particular motorcycle until you can get it every time. Additionally, it can be difficult to get a good feel for what type of motorcycle you want as well as what size. There are things to consider when buying a motorcycle that’s the right fit for you.
Why Motorcycle Weight Is Key To Riding
- Ride height. This includes how comfortably you can reach the ground when stopped.
- Handlebar and seat position. You are going to want a bike that you can maintain a comfortable posture while riding.
- Additional features or accessories. Things you should think about for your own riding style range from lights, graphics, windshields, mirrors, riding gear, etc.
- Weight/engine size, as will be discussed below.
For an inexperienced rider, more power might not be the best idea as it takes experience to handle. But a small engine not only will make for an underwhelming experience, but it can also make for an uncomfortable ride as the frame is likely to be smaller.
It’s also critical to consider the type of riding you are interested in as different styles of motorcycles have different weights. For example, an off-road bike will be lighter for better maneuverability and performance. A touring bike is built for long trips and though it weighs more than a dirt bike, it has a bigger engine designed for highway speeds and blocks the wind for you.
A sportbike will have a higher-powered engine but quite light, making for fast acceleration. There are many entry level motorcycles that have the sporty look but quite small engines, so if that’s the style you like then look for something with 500cc or less.
The weight of the rider is also a factor to consider. As mentioned above, there are motorcycles sized to fit toddlers to adults. Your body weight will be a factor in the handling of your motorcycle, and so you should find something that fits you.
Getting a motorcycle that is balanced between enough power and size to fit your ability will make for the best experience. There are a ton of options covering all price ranges. The right one is out there waiting for you!
To review, there are some challenges to riding a motorcycle, especially when first learning. However, with the right strategy, learning to ride can be a very rewarding experience. It is important to find a motorcycle that will fit your needs and abilities. Doing so is only going to improve your ride quality and maximize the enjoyment you can get out of it.
These 10 Motorcycles Were Notoriously Difficult To Ride
These motorcycles were so notoriously difficult to ride, they really deserved to be called widowmakers.
There are a few cheap and cheerful Chinese bikes on the market that are not all that easy to ride, but we are going to ignore their existence for now. We are also going to ignore the biggest killers of them all: scooters, which are responsible for more deaths than all other bikes combined.
We want to focus on some bikes that were downright dangerous in the wrong hands. These are pain inflictors and widow makers; some have more power than mere mortals could handle, while others have problems that can and have caused violent crashes. Bikes that have now become infamous for how difficult they are to ride.
10 Kawasaki H1 500
Larger displacement 2-stroke bikes have a powerband that makes 80s turbo-lag look tame.
Although the newer fuel-injected bikes have found ways to mitigate that to some extent, this relatively mild 60 horsepower machine will give you all those horses at precisely the moment you get your knee down in a corner. No matter how experienced you are, this usually won’t end well.
9 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade
When it first came out in the early ’90s, it was one of the most groundbreaking motorcycles of the time; it only weighed a fraction more than the 600cc, and made more power than most liter-bikes.
This combination of power and weight advantages made it superior in every way to its peers, and a mighty track machine in the right hands. It was also made in a time before electronic aids, and was deadly in the wrong hands.
8 Vincent Black Shadow
The Black Shadow was one of the first bikes to use the engine as an integral part of the frame, a revolutionary design when it first came out. Decades later, motorcycle design has come a long way, this design we now know has a fatal flaw; it has far too much bend and flex in the wrong areas.
This wasn’t the only problem with this bike. The brakes were also shocking, even for the period, so getting up to speed was not a problem, but stopping was near impossible.
7 Suzuki TL1000S
Suzuki wanted to make something of a statement with their rear shock. Instead of a regular coil-over, they fitted a separate spring and rotary damper with push-rods inspired by F1.
Although the ambition was admirable on this otherwise solid bike, the execution was found wanting as the oil would overheat with really aggressive riding on tight bends, gradually the rear would get increasingly vague until you suddenly become part of the foliage.
6 Yamaha TZ750 Flat Tracker
Back in the ’70s, flat-track racing was bonkers, with deaths becoming all too common. One of the most dangerous, of these already dangerous machines, was the TZ750.
It was capable of making 125 horsepower from a big bore 2-stroke and had no front brakes. Three-time GP champion Kenny Roberts was famously quoted as saying, “they don’t pay me enough to ride that thing.”
5 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R
In a straight line, this is one of the fastest, cheapest bikes you can buy. It has an absurd amount of power considering how affordable it is.
To keep it planted when going at hyper-speed the bike is long, and also very heavy, making it dangerous at lower speeds and very awkward to handle.
4 Maico/ATK 700
Maico or ATK in North America, had a solid frame and suspension and was relatively light considering its large displacement, weighing in at 238 pounds. Few modern dirt bikes make as much as 78 horsepower, and that makes for an impressive power to weight ratio for something ridden on dirt.
This bike will eat you for breakfast if you don’t know what you are doing, Maico is back at it too, making a new version of the 685cc beast.
3 Ducati Desmosedici RR
After winning their first-ever MotoGP championship, Ducati decided to celebrate it by creating this street-legal version. It was a trendsetter, with many rivals following their lead, creating track replicas of their own, some of which are certainly cheaper, but few get as close to GP machinery as this.
No rider aids, and 170 horsepower at the wheel make it something of a handful. This one is strictly for the experienced racers out there.
2 Suzuki TM400
With a rudimentary frame and suspension, the TM400 had too much power for its own good. Lest we mention the powerband that would inevitably hit as you go into a corner.
Some bikes are hard for novices to ride, but this is a bike that’s hard to ride for anyone, no matter their skill level.
1 Honda ATC 250R
What made this so dangerous was two crucial issues. Firstly, taking corners is the most counterintuitive thing imaginable; most people would want to take a corner slowly and cautiously. However that, more often than not, would lead to a crash. Powerslide the thing, or ride it fast through a corner, and it is actually safer, some would even argue stable.
The other factor was that companies indiscriminately marketed this thing as a toy for teens; this was a weird marketing decision if you consider these bikes are hard enough to ride for experienced riders. Let alone children.