By Nick Hilden at Thrillist.
There’s a mystical quality to motorcycling. Whether you’re weaving through urban traffic or blasting through some bucolic landscape, it’s not uncommon to experience the sensation that you’re one with your surroundings. Free of the constraints of a typical vehicle, wind blasting, you feel both exposed and invulnerable. And it’s cool. Really, really cool.
But you can’t just hop on a bike and go. Trust me. I was 18 the first time I attempted to drive a motorcycle… which I promptly crashed. I didn’t give it another go for 15 years. But when I finally hopped on a little semi-auto Honda to get around Vietnam, it kickstarted a still-burning love affair with biking.
Out of necessity, I had to train myself to ride through trial and error. But my addiction to two-wheel travel would have gone a lot smoother had I followed some basic steps and eased into motorcycles. Now, with more and more people hitting the road, learning the basics — from getting certified to gearing up and choosing the right roads — is more important than ever. For a primer, we spoke with expert road warriors to figure out how to go from newbie to one with the road in no time.