At least once. It doesn’t matter what it is. Dirt bike, cruiser, sport bike, or maybe one of those fancy ADV bikes. Just do it.
There are numerous benefits to gearheads who are willing to ditch half of their wheels and the comfort of having a big windshield. All the same principles as found with cars apply when it comes to motorcycles. There can be a lot of things learned by picking up the bike. Sometimes literally.
It’s the ultimate convertible
Miata’s got nothing on this. Wanna cool down on a hot day? Just zip down your jacket and flip up your visor. There’s nothing like taking in all the sights and smells of the road and its environment with no barrier. You’ll also avoid the nasty convertible sunburn with all your gear on, not to mention looking awesome at the same time. Connection with the road was never this good in the cabin of your car. Just make sure you wear all of the necessary gear, and don’t go cheap on it.
You’ll increase your wrenching skill
Parts are cheap, but maintenance is more frequent. The cost of tires will offset the fuel savings when compared to a car, so don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s a super economical decision. There are options for high mileage tires but they usually go around 20,000 miles. Valves will need to be adjusted, especially if you’re riding a four-stroke dirt bike. Frequent oil changes. Fork/shock rebuilds. 2-stroke oil mixing. Chain maintenance. I could keep going. You’ll learn all of it! You will be happy you did, too. It will save you loads on labor and keep your bike in safe and fun riding condition.
Dirt cheap insurance
It depends on your plan, of course. Insurance is generally priced out by how much damage your vehicle can to do someone else’s person or property. Grab some basic insurance and learn how to ride. If you don’t act like a jerk on the road you’ll be saving those bucks. I insure two motorcycles for under $30/month and I’m a mid-twenties male.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where it’s legal, lane splitting is a massive benefit to riders. It has the potential to cut commute time in half and reduce congestion for drivers. It’s safer for riders since they can perceive threats in front of them more easily than those behind or to either side.
Dank wheelies and fast turnies
How many off-the-showroom cars can you pop a wheelie in? A massive benefit of motorcycles is the performance value they offer. It’s rather easy to find a bike under $10,000 that can out accelerate some supercars. Also, manual transmissions are the norm in the bike underworld. In your car, you’ll learn the art of the slip angle. It’s great and all, but the car will always be working against you in some way. On your bike, the machine flows with your body through the turns. Braking is separated between the wheels. Your body positioning informs the suspension how to react to certain circumstances. In a way, it’s an adrenaline-filled dance.
Where do I start?
I bought a 450 dirt bike before touching anything besides a quad. I made mistakes, though I never got hurt. My recommendation is to watch a few videos on basic riding technique. Hold off on looking at bikes until you know what kind of riding you’d like to do. There are several businesses that will train you on a bike for a weekend and help you get your license. They’ll help you learn the function of the machine and low-speed technique. Low-speed maneuvers are where most injuries can occur.
Don’t be intimidated! There are plenty of people in the motorcycle community that will be happy to help out someone who’s genuinely interested. So get out there and ride.