[Beginners Guide] Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle
Step by Step Advice, Videos, & Guides

No online instruction will ever replace what you will learn from hands-on experience. However, you can’t always just hop on a bike and ride.

We work with experienced riders and motorcycle riding instructors to create content for beginners and those new to motorcycling. Our goal is to help people make good decisions by being a source that you can trust.

We strongly recommend that all new riders take motorcycle riding classes. The skills you will develop in said class will empower the rest of your riding, help you gain confidence, and teach you fundamental techniques that will keep you safe on the road.

Motorcycle Riding Instructors, Mechanics, & Experienced Riders

Guide Contributors

Robert Gabbin, Motorcycle Riding Instructor

Robert Gabbin

I am an avid rider and love being able to introduce others to my passion. I have worked as an instructor for the SAIT Motorcycle Operation & Safety classes for the past four years (I was an instructor with the Calgary Safety Council for five years prior to that). Through this course, I have helped dozens of new riders learn how to safely ride.

My hope is to help new riders from all over the world build the essential skills and competencies needed to safely ride a motorcycle. Enjoy the content we have created, and as always, make sure you’re riding safely!


Jim Pruner

Jim Pruner

  • I Ride: 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2SX SE, 2019 KTM 790 Adventure
  • Years Riding: 20+ Years
  • Experience: Heavy Duty Mechanic and genuine motorcycle nut

By day, I’m a heavy-duty mechanic working on monster machines in Alberta’s oil patch. By night, I’m a budding motorcycle journalist.

I wasn’t actually born on a motorcycle, but you probably wouldn’t know that. I’ve spent most of my life riding and obsessing over these machines, and over the years I’ve had some really memorable experiences while riding a motorcycle.

I’ve ridden a motorcycle up the Dempster Highway to Tuktoyaktuk, reviewed Ducati’s in the French Riviera, and sampled everything from 200 horsepower land rockets to the most exciting entry-level bikes on the market.

Learn the Fundamentals Before Sitting on the Bike Seat

Preliminary Reading: Start Here First

The Basic Parts on a Motorcycle

The Basic Components & Parts Of A Motorcycle

  • Written By: Robert Gabbin, Riding Instructor
  • Reading Time: Estimated 15 minutes

Summary

In this article, I will be creating a reference guide on the majority of basic/common components & parts of a motorcycle along with a brief description of what the device does and where it may be found on a motorcycle. I will also include varying technologies that can be associated with many of the parts and components in this guide.

Read Now: The Basic Parts of a Motorcycle


Before Getting on a Motorcycle

Before Getting on a Motorcycle

  • Written By: Robert Gabbin, Riding Instructor
  • Reading Time: Estimated 15 minutes

Summary

What does it mean to ride a motorcycle, and how should you get started? This article outlines a high-level of what you need to know before you even get on a bike.

Robert discusses the importance of riding ATGATT, physical and mental challenges you’ll encounter while learning, and important philosophies you’ll need to stay safe while on the road.

Read Now: Before Getting Onto a Motorcycle


Pre-Ride Checks

Pre-Ride Checks

  • Written By: Robbert Gabbin, Riding Instructor
  • Reading Time: Estimated 10 minutes

Summary

Okay, so now you know a bit about why we ride and what parts on your bike you need to pay attention to. You’re ready to ride, right? Not quite…

In this article, Robert outlines important pre-ride checks to conduct prior to every ride and prior to every riding season. No rider was ever harmed by being prepared, so dive in and see what to check before you ride!

Read Now: Pre-Ride Checks

It's Time to Get Your Foot Pegs Wet!

Essential Riding Skills

How to Properly Get on a Motorcycle

Mounting, Dismounting, & Walking Your Motorcycle

  • Written By: Robert Gabbin
  • Reading Time: Estimated 12 minutes

Summary

Robert walks you through how to safely and easily get on and off your bike. This might sound simple, but if you’ve never manipulated a 400lb+ machine before, learning the ropes will likely save you an embarrassing parking-lot accident!

Learn how to pick up, walk, and mount your motorcycle in this informative article (with video step by steps).

Read Now: Mounting, Dismounting, & Walking Your Motorcycle


How to Use Motorcycle Clutch & Brakes

How to Operate Your Motorcycle’s Clutch & Brakes

  • Written By: Robert Gabbin
  • Reading Time: Estimated 9 minutes

Summary

For many new riders, the biggest initial challenge is managing the clutch and brakes and their motorcycle. The clutch, in particular, is challenging for some people.

This article outlines how to use your brakes and clutch, including finding the friction point and the basics of threshold braking.

This is an essential article for anyone considering hopping on a motorcycle.

Read Now: How to Operate the Clutch & Brakes on a Motorcycle


How to Start Your Motorcycle

Starting a Motorcycle & Assuming the Ready / Riding Positions

  • Written By: Robert Gabbin
  • Reading Time: Estimated 8 minutes

Summary

There’s surprising nuance to getting on your bike and starting it. Sure, you may do it a million times, but it’s the small things – like checking the position of the petcock valve – that can come back to surprise you.

In this post, Robert walks through exactly how to start your bike (and what to look for if it doesn’t start).

Read Now: How to Start a Motorcycle

Other Articles for New Riders

More: Learn to Ride & Beginner Basics

Can You Safely Ride a Motorcycle in the Rain? Let’s call a spade a spade: when the rain hits, the riding gets a bit more complicated. The thing is, despite the risks that rain represents, there are many riders that enjoy riding through light rain. I’ll never forget the first time I hit the rockies on …

How to Tow Your Motorcycle on a Flatbed

Every Motorcycle Rider Experiences the Roadside Pickup + Tow at Some Point in Their Riding Career At some point in your riding career, your bike is going to leave you stranded. I was reminded of this fact in June, when a Saturday morning ride with my wife on the back got sidetracked when I lost …

The Basic Parts on a Motorcycle

In this article, I will be creating a reference guide on the majority of basic/common components & parts of a motorcycle along with a brief description of what the device does and where it may be found on a motorcycle. I will also include varying technologies that can be associated with many of the parts …

Rider exhibiting clutch control on motorcycle

What is the Clutch & How Does it Work? In simplistic terms, the clutch is the part of the motorcycle that connects the engine and gearbox to the rear wheel and tells the bike to go forward or not. When the clutch lever is all the way out, this is supposed to be a full …

Riding in slow motion

Why Ride Slow? Before we get into anything more complicated, we’re going to take a quick dive into slow motion riding. Riding a motorcycle at slow speeds can be way more technical and difficult than opening the throttle and going fast. Most of the time on a motorcycle, we’re moving or going at least the …

Several factors come into play when choosing a motorcycle to fit you the best. Most of them are fairly obvious. If you’re quite tall you’ll be looking at ones that are taller and longer while smaller riders will lean towards ones with a shorter overall length and seat height. Knowing your personal limitations and preferences …

Many young people express a want, or a need, to get a motorcycle early in their lives. As with any type of driving, there are a number of stages to pass first, alongside your motorcycle training – here’s what you need to do to get out on the saddle: CBT The first stage in getting …

Many of my fondest, most happiest moments have occurred while aboard a two wheeled steed, moving at speed down a smooth sheet of blacktop asphalt.  Warm air flowing past my face as the rising growl, “braaap”, or buzz of the engine drowns out all usual woes and cares.  The dotted, yellow center lines appearing to …

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