The Basics of Riding a Motorcycle
Motorcycles (also known as motorbikes or bikes) are powered by engines and have wheels and a frame. They’re used for both recreational and transportation purposes. Motorcyclists use a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing to reduce injuries in the event of an accident. They should also wear brightly colored clothing that makes them more visible to other drivers on the road.
The popularity of motorcycles exploded after World War II. Cheaper manufacturing and engineering processes combined with improved road networks to make them a popular mode of transportation. The 1969 road movie Easy Rider starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda added fuel to the fire, projecting a culture of rebellion and independence in young minds that still exists today.
There are many different types of motorcycles, each with a unique look, feel and purpose. When the specialized motorcycles first appeared in the 1970s, they were all so similar that people referred to them as universal Japanese motorcycles (UJMs).
Now, with a proliferation of chopper and bobber style machines, scooters that can do triple-digit gas mileage and small, dirt bikes with knobbly tires, the choice is nearly endless. For new riders, the options can be daunting.
It’s important for newer riders to know that a motorcycle is a dangerous machine that requires a lot of skill and attention to operate safely. People who ride motorcycles must be able to balance, shift gears, and control the throttle in order to keep the bike stable at high speeds. They should be completely sober before getting on a motorcycle and avoid using drugs or alcohol while riding, as they can negatively affect their judgment, balance, coordination, and ability to operate the controls.