Motorcycling is a unique experience; the rider is an active participant in negotiating curves, playing along with the rhythm of the road, shifting, accelerating and braking with precision. Whether you ride to and from work, prefer the camaraderie of a group ride on the weekend or enjoy the vistas of an off-pavement excursion, motorcycling engages all your senses and creates an exhilarating sense of freedom.
Along with that freedom comes responsibility. All states require some form of license to ride on the street to demonstrate a minimum level of riding skill and knowledge, and liability insurance is required. If your state does not require a hands-on training course before applying for a license, consider taking one anyway to learn basic riding skills and how to stay safe in traffic.
Riding a motorcycle requires a heightened sense of awareness, and more strength and coordination than driving a car. Riding also involves some risks not encountered when driving other vehicles. Motorcycle riders require more maneuvering skill and are more vulnerable in a crash. Motorcycles are not as easily seen as cars or trucks because of their narrow profile. Other motorists, particularly those who don’t ride a motorcycle, may not be looking for motorcycles in traffic. This places the motorcyclist at risk, particularly at intersections.
All these risks can be managed through training and education. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a wide variety of tips and videos on general riding safety, as well as on specific aspects of motorcycling.