There are few things that evoke freedom quite like riding a motorbike. If you’re used to driving cars, the removal of that metal cage does something quite peculiar; it makes you feel like you’re on top of the world as you ride. Obviously, there are still myriad safety concerns and checks to undertake on a minute-to-minute basis as you ride, but the two experiences – riding a motorcycle versus driving a car – are as different as night and day. Here’s everything you need to know about riding a motorcycle in 2019, whether you’re a beginner who’s never been in a vehicle before or an expert looking to learn more.
You need good gear
Driving a car is unlike riding a motorcycle in many ways, but one of the most crucial differences is that you’ll need good gear. There really isn’t an official uniform for driving; sensible shoes and no mascot costumes seem to be the driving (no pun intended) principles. For riding a bike, however, you’ll need good leathers, a great-quality helmet, and more. Your equipment journey starts with a little tip: for boots click here. You’ll thank us when you’re strapping yourself into some of the finest motorcycling gear there is. Try to wear it in before you hit the road, because it will probably feel a little strange at first.
It’s safer than you might think – if you ride well
According to the NHTSA (the American traffic safety administration), in 2015 alone, around 33 percent of riders killed in motorcycle accidents died as a direct result of their own speeding. 40 percent of those accidents involved riders that weren’t wearing helmets. Motorcycles carry more inherent risk than cars – there’s less overall protection for you if you crash, after all – but a heightened level of vigilance and consummate skill behind the handlebars mean that you shouldn’t crash if you ride well and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
You can burn calories
Believe it or not, riding a motorcycle actually counts as pretty decent exercise. Since you always need to control the direction of the vehicle itself – rather than using a steering wheel to direct a car – you’re engaging in constant low-impact activity. This means you’ll be consistently burning fat while you ride. Of course, this shouldn’t serve as a complete replacement to your usual exercise regime; you won’t be able to shed the pounds quickly or efficiently just through motorcycle riding. Still, it’s not bad as a bonus over cars, eh?
Filtering is a revelation
You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the joy of filtering through traffic. Naturally, you should check your location’s laws about this before you attempt it, but in a nutshell, filtering is what motorcyclists are doing when they weave through stationary traffic in order to attain a more advantageous position. It’s legal in most places, provided you do it safely and without any risk to either yourself or to other drivers. No more getting stuck in constant traffic – just move your bike between cars and watch as you leave the big metal cages behind.
Riding a motorcycle has positive effects on your mental health
Around one in four people in the UK have been diagnosed with a mental illness or with mental health issues. If you’re one of them, there is, of course, absolutely no shame in this. One way you can improve your mental health is to ride a motorcycle. Doing so causes adrenaline to course through your veins, which in turn releases endorphins that will raise your mood and improve your mental health. Besides that, there’s just no substitute for riding through the countryside without metal walls to hem you in. Freedom feels good, after all.
You can improve your mental acuity
When you’re driving a car, you’re simply sitting in the seat and (eventually) mindlessly pulling levers, pushing buttons, and turning wheels. Your brain will soon start to perform the necessary driving actions completely on autopilot. When you’re on a bike, however, you’re working hard at making sure the vehicle goes where you want it to. Concentrating on your technique, as well as watching the road in front of you and accommodating other drivers, means you’re always using your grey matter when you ride a bike. It’s a mental workout in and of itself.
Of course, it’s entirely possible to find peace if you’re driving a car, but there’s just something special about a motorbike that invites a feeling of zen. When you’re riding out in the country or the desert with nobody’s thoughts to keep you company but your own, there are few feelings comparable. Riding a motorbike is great for dealing with anger, too; although you absolutely shouldn’t ride without being emotionally stable, if you do find yourself struggling with anger then getting on your bike and going for a ride is a tremendous help. Just be safe.
It’s environmentally friendly
Although there are some bikes which do consume fuel at a faster rate than cars do, you’ll generally find that due to their size, motorbikes are better for the environment. It’s not just about fuel consumption, but also how many resources the bike costs to construct, how many can be made in the same space of time as cars, et cetera. Eco-friendly motorbikes are also being produced and will greatly increase the efficiency and environmentally-friendly quality of the vehicle. If you care about the environment, drop your gas-guzzler and go bike instead.