The Road to Getting on the Road With Your New Motorcycle

By: John Daniele

Before committing to a big purchase such as a new motorcycle, do your homework. There are literally hundreds of different makes and models on the market and you'll want to be as informed as possible, as well as having a good idea what sort of motorcycle you want. From small off-road bikes meant for trails to large street bikes, there are a lot of options, and a lot of research to be done. Your local library and of course, the internet are both good sources for gathering the necessary information, as are motorcycle dealerships themselves. Make some inquiries to get an idea of prices and what models may be the best for you.

Your local DMV can give you information and instructional materials about motorcycle drivers licensing. You'll learn much about riding a motorcycle and of course, taking your motorcycle driving test as well. There will generally be a written exam (though in this day and age, this portion of the testing may well be taken on a computer) along with a road test where you will have to demonstrate your understanding of the rules and regulations to a tester. Some locales require obtaining a learner's permit prior to taking the test for a motorcycle drivers license.

Completing a motorcycle safety course could be one of the best things you could ever do, and may even save your life someday. You'll learn things that the DMV materials won't cover, and have a chance to learn from the pros. Inquire with your area dealerships as to when classes are being held; they are generally knowledgeable about schedules for such classes. Failing that, your state DNR may offer motorcycle and four wheel drive safety courses. Community colleges and university extensions are also good places to ask, they sometimes offer classes and seminars on motorcycle safety.

Appropriate protective gear is a must. Helmet, gloves, jacket, pants and steel toed boots are all important to your safety on the road. Most vital is your helmet. Be certain to do some research on helmets and talk about it with the salesperson at your bike shop; which type of helmet you need depends in part on what sort of bike you'll be riding. This lifesaving piece of equipment should fit snugly, yet not pinch you and have no gaps. The sales staff at your shop can help you find a helmet that fits you like a glove.

Lastly, insure your motorcycle. Rates and plans vary by location, as do laws on how much insurance you are required to purchase for your motorcycle. Your insurance agent can help you navigate the intricacies of local motorcycle insurance regulations.

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