The perfect time to get a motorcycle permit is before you get a bike. Yes, it’s true: you should have a motorcycle permit before you get your first motorcycle. The process of getting your license will help you learn more about motorcycles and help you prepare to purchase one.
How to Get a Motorcycle Permit
There are many benefits to owning a motorcycle: they are economical, offering far more miles to the gallon than other vehicles, they are a lot of fun, and they come with membership in a lifestyle that embraces freedom. Whether you have dreamt of riding a motorcycle all your life or just recently caught the bug, your first step should be acquiring your motorcycle license.
Before you get a motorcycle license, you must complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider Course. The cost of the course varies depending on where you live but ranges from $25 to $300. This 2-3 day class is comprised of a classroom portion and an on-the-bike portion completed on a practice range. When you visit the MSF website, you can find a location offering the course in your area. Contact the location and determine if you need a motorcycle learner’s permit in your state prior to taking the class. Also, you must be able to ride a bicycle in order to take the class, so if you haven’t ridden one in years, you may want to brush up on your skills.
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When you are working towards getting your motorcycle permit, you should begin investing in gear. Depending on your preferences, gear can be (relatively) inexpensive or quite pricey. Whether you opt for high end or more economical, you must wear appropriate gear. In most states, helmets are required. Even if a helmet is not required in your state, studies have shown that helmets go a long way towards preventing skull injuries, concussions, and traumatic brain injury in motorcycle crashes. Helmets have come a long way, too. New designs are comfortable, fit securely, and some are downright cool!
Once you get on the bike, practice as much as you possibly can. Begin by traveling on low-traffic roads that are familiar to you. Once you become comfortable, you can begin to ride through more congested areas. Try to ride on a variety of different roads and locales to give you a feel for what you will experience. But don’t push yourself too far. If you are riding and you become uncomfortable, remember you can always pull off. If the wind begins to gust or it starts to rain heavily, simply pull off and wait for it to pass. It’s best not to challenge yourself too much at once.
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Once you have become comfortable riding, you can consider shopping for your first bike. By now you should understand your desires and your riding skills. But save the fancy, expensive bike for a few years when you have more experience under your belt. Go with a used bike that has been well maintained. Shop around for quality insurance as well. You may want to consider calling your insurance company prior to purchasing your bike, as policy prices can vary based on the bike itself.
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Don’t assume that because you have passed your basic learners course and have a license that you are done learning. Bikers should complete safety courses regularly. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers both beginner and advanced courses, as well refresher courses. Pick up a few books or read motorcycle websites and blogs, too. They are an excellent source of information and will help you improve your skills even when you aren’t on your bike.
Take getting a motorcycle license seriously, as motorcycle crashes can be life-changing. If you are ever involved in a crash, contact 1-800-MOTORCYCLE and speak with a motorcycle crash attorney. Motorcycle crashes often result in severe injuries, and the insurance company will not want to pay out what you deserve in compensation. Our attorneys will work to get you what you deserve and help you get back on your bike again.