In the Wisconsin summer, it is not difficult to dream about riding a motorcycle. Some of you already have a bike that is piling up dust in the garage, and you can't wait for the weekend. Those of you who don't yet own a motorcycle may be looking with envy at the dealer showrooms and websites, wondering if this might not be the right time to buy.
Before you reach a decision about buying your first motorcycle, you should take a few moments to make sure you are really the right person to become a motorcycle rider.
After all, motorcycle riding requires some unique physical and mental skills. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have the physical ability to ride a bike? Motorcycles are not recommended for people who are overweight or suffering from stiffness or back pain. Also, if you are a naturally nervous person or have trouble coordinating movements, a motorcycle may not be a reasonable choice for you. Check your sense of balance by doing exercises with eyes closed, and check your vision. Both are essential for a good rider.
- Can you focus? If you drive a car with cruise control on a highway, you can afford to relax a little. On mountain roads or in rush-hour traffic on your bike, you can't be distracted for even one second, and you should keep your eyes on what is before and around you at all times. Biking gets tiring after a couple of hours, and your focus should remain sharp until you have safely arrived.
- Do you understand anything about mechanics? Motorcycle parts, engine, brakes, transmission, gearshifts, etc., are all exposed and can get dirty and damaged. A regular inspection is required before hitting the road. You should know how to detect and replace damaged or deficient parts.
- Can you drive a stick shift car? Knowing how to handle a manual transmission helps you in the first phase of training and learning. You should master the art of engaging and depressing the clutch before you do anything else.
- Are you a risk taker? If you tend to be aggressive or reckless in a car, or if you like driving fast and are not afraid of tailgating and swerving, then motorcycles are not for you. You may get away with speed and risk-taking in a car, but you are likely to get killed or end up in a wheelchair doing the same on a bike.
- Are you willing to invest in a rider course? Do not for one moment believe that motorcycle riding can be an inborn or inherited talent. It is a matter of training and practice. Trained and experienced motorcyclists have a much lower accident rate than novice and occasional riders.
If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois motorcycle accident, contact Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send us an e-mail with your questions. Hupy & Abraham has offices in Milwaukee, Madison, and Appleton in Wisconsin, and Gurnee and Bloomington in Illinois.