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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Disclaimer: This is only personal information that I have found over these months and living in California so rule, laws and costs can be different this is just my point of view. I am still a new rider. I Ride a cruiser bike not a sport bike.

I was 19 when I decided to get a motorcycle with my dad already owning a bike but no experience other than what I have seen its defiantly not enough so before I decided to get my license I took the Motorcycle Safety Course just to learn how to ride a bike and what it feels like. I completed the course and than decided to go for my license... Here is what I did not know and looked all over the internet for and couldn't find:
  • Under 21 but over 18 you need to hold a permit for 6 months so I recommend start your permit while your in the safety course or you may have a long time before you get close to regular riding.
  • You need to take the Safety Course if your in this age range it is mandatory and it is cheaper for younger people under 21.
  • If you start your permit after you take the Motorcycle Safety Course (like I did) you need to go in to the DMV and take 2 short test pass them get your permit wait the 6 month and then go back to the DMV so they can issue your license. (This was something I was very unsure about the process so I hope this helps with people going through the same situation.)
  • Learn all about your bike parts before you really get started riding, BUY A USED BIKE!! Save some money clean the bike up don't blow all your cash fixing it up but make sure it can run fine: check your air filter, oil, forks (this is my problem right now), tires...
  • Safety Checks: Make sure everything is working before you leave.
  • Ask question from people who own bikes if you are confused on how your bike works do not try to act like you know how everything works. Personally I have already caught new riders pretending like they know what they are talking about its obvious.
For the next part I want to talk about the path I took just to help new riders look for similar mistakes.
  • I Recommend buying a go pro or something just incase something happens to you while your riding and when you make a mistake you can look back at it and see where it went wrong and where to correct it. The second time I dropped my bike I knew what happened but replaying the footage helped me understand better what to not do in the situation. (When I dropped my bike nobody asked if I was okay so be prepared for the fact that you might be on your own even thought theres many people around you.
I found my bike online on Facebook Marketplace, recommended to me by a motorcyclist, People recommend to start with a very simple bike, Honda Shadow being on the lower end and something like a Harley Iron on the higher end side. They said stay above like 250-300cc but below 1000cc...Price was something I took most in consideration as well as look but I need something I can afford and like many people say something your going to drop a few times. I found my bike for less than $3000 and it was a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom,This wasn't the first bike I looked at either I looked for awhile before stumbling on this bike. It was a great deal and in great condition so being on the market for less than 24 hours I took the Opportunity and went and looked at the bike which was 45 min drive away...because I am not familiar on what to look for on a bike my dad who has rode a bike since he was young came with me to ride and make sure the bike was sound.....Time has passed and now I have a motorcycle, a permit and some safe riding gear. Now its time to ride I would ride all day that I could between work and school and put roughly 1000 miles or more into it. the first time I dropped it I was moving it in neutral lost my balance on it and it started to tip to the right. My first mistake was try to prevent it from tipping over I tried to hold the bike up so it didn't touch the ground like the concrete was going to make it stop working. If it starts to tip with no return let it go and step away do not try to save it if it is already 30 degrees from the ground. The second time I dropped it was at a stop light I was breaking with my hand break as I was taught being the most important, use both breaks. Coming to the light I wasn't paying attention to the plastic on the road ran over it while trying to stop with only the front break which equal no actual breaking so it slipped and I have to drop it. Learning these lesson helped me learn more about my bike... In this time having my permit I learned how to split lanes at lights which seems to be much harder than on the freeway, I learned to ride on the freeway and I learned to ride at night. I do not recommend breaking the laws of your permit with going on the freeway or riding at night. Make Sure All Your Lights Work Before Driving At Night! My break light worked but my back light did not so seeing me from behind was very difficult at night until I started breaking.

There is so much to learn now that I have my license... I Hope I can teach people learning from my mistakes as I hope people in the process can teach the next generation of riders.

· Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
16,686 Posts
Good first post. The only thing I would add is that every state has their own requirements. Check with your DMV to get the correct information for your state like the OP did here.
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