Choosing the motorcycle and protective gear
Once you have taken your category A driving licence, you are in the position to make some decisions without having the slightest experience, so you will have to rely on the recommendations of more experienced or less experienced fellow motorcyclists. We, after more than 10 years of driving, have an opinion that we will share with those who want to listen to us. You have to keep in mind that we are oriented on long trips and adventure riding so the tips will be a little in this direction.
The choice of motorcycle.
I will not talk about power, torque and cylindrical capacity, it is obvious that you have to start with something softer and as you gain experience move to something more powerful. Or if you are a calm man and you think you can easily get on a more “nervous” motorcycle, you can risk it. I think the most difficult part when it comes to choosing a motorcycle is what type? because there are many types of motorcycles each specialized on a certain type of ride: we have cruises, speed, enduro, adventure, tourer, etc.
The problem is, you can’t know what you’re going to like until you try it. Or, you have an idea about what you would like but this idea is made up from what you have seen so far on the streets or in movies and is somewhat irrelevant because you have to really try, travel, go around the city, to see if you like it or not. I saw that there are a lot of people who immediately after getting their licence, they want a “speedbike” and that’s because they have seen motogp races or they like what the motorcycles look like and they find it cool. But what do you do if you enjoy riding a few hundred kilometer trips? you will see that it is the most uncomfortable motorcycle type you can ride.
And then how to find out what suits you? no one is going to give you a motorcycle of any kind for a few weeks so you can decide on whether it is in your style or not. Because there is another problem: if you are a beginner you can not get the filling on how it suits you so quickly.. At the beginning you focus on the actual motorcycle ride: you are stressed by traffic, by all the motorcycle controls, it is very difficult to get a filling on how the motorcycle behaves in a few days.
And then I think the solution is to start with a used motorcycle, not a very old one, in order to resell it if necessary if you donțt like it. If you get a very old one, you may have problems with it and then all the pleasure of riding a motorcycle is gone. There are more and more companies that bring used motorcycles from the outside with relatively few kilometers or you can go to a new motorcycle dealer who also has used motorcycles for sale. The advantage to the last option is that you have the certainty that the motorcycle is checked and sometimes you also receive a warranty on it.
Choosing the equipment
Protective equipment is just as important, if not more important, than choosing a motorcycle because it is the only one that protects you from the outside weather and protects you in the event of an accident. No matter how small the accident may be, chances are high that you will suffer injuries if you do not wear the equipment. So it is very important to try to invest in a complete and high quality equipment.
This is the only part of a motorcyclist’s equipment that is also required by law. There are several types of helmets: full face, flip-up or open helmets. Depending on how you will ride your motorcycle, you can decide on one of these types. I personally prefer the flip-up hemets because they offer the highest degree of sound insulation due to the fact that they are more tight around the neck area and at low speeds, through the city, they can be used opened and the sunglasses incorporated in the helmet can be used for eye protection. Full face helmets offer the highest degree of protection in the event of an accident and they also have the advantage that they are lighter weight compared to flip-ups. The open helmets, I would not recommend to motorcyclists except for short rides through the city, otherwise at high speeds they are very loud and do not offer much protection.
From the budget point of view, the best helmets start at 350-400 Euro and depending on the type and the materials from which it is made can reach 1000 Euro or even more. You can find good quality helmets at 200-300 Euros, but unfortunately there are also very cheap helmets which are of extremely low quality, some motorcyclists are attracted by these prices and buy them without realizing that they actually realize I put their life in danger.
What is very important to remember for helmets is the fact that you will need to try it first. Even if you take your measurements and these fit perfectly into the helmet’s specifications, you should actually check if the head shape matches the helmet’s shape. I have heard from many motorcyclists who ordered their helmet off the internet without trying and found that their helmet does not fit.
Jacket, trousers and gloves
I will not go into much detail about each piece here. The idea is that, ideally, you should invest in all the pieces of equipment. I know that most people, when they go around the city they only use jackets and gloves, especially for comfort, but now you can find a lot of variants of casual clothes that have included protection and wear them without problems at work or in daily activities.
For the long trips it is very important to have the right equipment for the weather conditions you will encounter. After more than 10 years of having all kinds of equipment and protections I have found that it is best not to save your money when it comes to equipment. And here I am not necessarily talking about impact protection, as much as protection against water and cold. Expensive equipment is not expensive for nothing, expensive because it uses quality materials on the one hand and the price on the other hand covers hundreds of tests done on the equipment components.
I learned on my own that there is no fully waterproof equipment, but, depending on the quality, it takes more or less time until the water starts to enter inside your suit. But in most cases, good equipment will protect you from any normal rainfall.
When it comes to temperature, there are a number of solutions that can help you go on low or even negative temperatures, but also at very high temperatures, there are jackets with electric heating system that attach to the lighter socket or there are vests that they soak in water and wear them in the summer under the equipment to cool off, there are suits with all kinds of vents or with several layers that you can put on or remove depending on the weather conditions.
The main idea is that in addition to the necessary protection provided by a good equipment, it is very important to feel comfortable in any conditions when you go with the motorcycle. If you are not comfortable, all the pleasure of a two-wheel trip disappears.
Choosing the first routes with the motorcycle
Ok, you got your motorcycle, you got your gear, now you can enjoy riding your motorcycle. Everything is to take it gradually. It helps a lot if you have been traveling through urban traffic or out of town by car or bicycle because you are used to the traffic and you will know what to expect. If not, you will need to take it easy, avoid maneuvering between cars, until you get used to all the motorcycle controls, or until you reflexively make sure you always look in the mirror. Compared to driving, you have two major disadvantages: you are much less visible and you are obviously more exposed in the event of an accident. And then you have to be extremely careful and attentive, or as a friend used to say, to ride as if you are invisible to the rest of the traffic participants.
Along the way, it would be best if you have motorcycle friends and you can go in a group. The best thing is that these friends are patient enough, to go one in front and one in the back and to go at your own pace. If they have no patience and go faster, it is better to go alone. Along the way at the beginning there are a few tricks that will help you go safer. For example, it is good not to go right in the middle of the lane because there are usually higher chances of getting over oil stains and the grip is lower than on the sides of the lane where the wheels of cars go. Another thing that is important to know how to approach corners, you have to keep your eyes on the exit of the turn, not a few meters in front of the motorcycle because otherwise you will take a more difficult turn.
Regarding the of road I would start with secondary roads, less traveled, with wider corners and after you start to feel more at ease you can try a motorway or some roads with serpentines and steep slopes in the mountains.
There are many tips you will receive as a beginner, the idea is not to take them all for good, pass them through the filter of thought and apply the ones that suits you. Riding a motorcycle should be fun and relaxing and at the end of the day you will reach your destination well.
So choose a road, possibly from our website, equip yourself and go on the road!
Explore the open road to freedom!