Slow your roll – just because you’ve bought a motorcycle, doesn’t mean you’re a true biker yet. All of us have to go through the various motorcycle rites of passage before you can be considered an experienced rider. Some of them are fun, some are not so fun. But if you ride – you’ll know what we’re talking about. Check out a few of the good, bad, and ugly “rides” of passage that all bikers go through.
Buying your first bike
This is the ultimate rite of passage. Once you’ve taken your courses and received your motorcycle license, there’s nothing like buying your first bike. It doesn’t matter if it’s new or used, cruising away on your first ride on your own bike is an exhilarating feeling. If you’re unsure of what type of bike to get, check out our tips on buying your first motorcycle.
Eating a bug/having a bug splatter on your helmet
You’re taking a long ride, the wind is blowing in your face, and you’re feeling free – then splat. One of the not so glamorous aspects of riding is the bugs we deal with on the road. Just laugh (or curse), wipe it off, and keep riding. There’s nothing else to do. Plus if you are on the latest Paleo or Keto diet, bugs are high protein and on your diet.
Getting stuck in the rain at least once
You can check the weather all you want, but rain can come out of nowhere. If you get stuck in the rain, know that we’ve all been there before. Check out a few of our tips, like stashing some rain gear or finding a dry line, on what to do when the rain hits.
Dropping Your Bike
Whether you care to admit it or not, just about every rider has dropped their bike at least once – these things are heavy. When it happens to you, just pick your bike back up (if it’s too heavy, you’ll need to ask for help), assess the damage, start your bike, and continue your ride. Scuffs and scrapes are going to happen to every bike – it’s a bummer, but you’ve got to move on.
Acknowledging others on the road
Waving to fellow riders is a motorcycle tradition and proper etiquette among bikers. There’s nothing like giving and receiving your first wave to a fellow rider – it feels like you’re finally part of the club. You’ll get so used to it that you might even attempt to throw up the peace sign to a biker when you’re driving a car.
Running out of gas
Alright, this one is kind of embarrassing, but it happens a lot in the early stages of riding because most bikes don’t have fuel gauges. Make sure to know your fuel range before heading out for a ride, and bring your fully-charged phone in case you need to call for roadside help. There are also awesome companies out there that will come fill up your tank for a fee should you run out of gas while riding. Check out Filld or Try Booster.
Going on a long distance ride
We’re all about hitting the open road any chance we get, but there’s really nothing like going on your first long distance ride. Whether you’re riding solo or with a group, the freedom and confidence you feel on a long ride is unexplainable.
Riding with someone on the back
After you feel extremely comfortable on your bike, taking another person for a ride for the first time is the ultimate confidence booster. You feel in control and sharing your newfound passion is always a huge bonus.
The 6th sense
Once you’ve been riding for a while, you’ll start to get a 6th sense about what other cars will do on the road. It’s an odd feeling to know what a car is about to do before they do it – but if you ride, you’ll start to know. It’s not just being an attentive rider (though you should be), we’re talking about a gut feeling here. This developed gift is golden while riding – always listen to your gut.
Making biker friends
Being a part of the biker community itself is one of the best parts of riding. Making biker friends is one of our favorite rites of passage because we’re all about building the riding community and welcoming other people into the motorcycle lifestyle.
Have you completed any of these rites of passage? Did you have any of your own when you started riding? If you’re looking to complete a few of these rites of passage and buy a motorcycle or upgrade your current model, check out Cycle Trader. With thousands of bikes on our site, you’ll be sure to find one that checks off all your boxes.