Motorcycling is considered by some to be just a form of transportation. To others, it might seem dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible. But for many of us, motorcycles are a means to freedom. Being the proud owner of a motorcycle means living a life that breaks through the norms. We are living on the road, by ourselves with just our bike as our companion. We can go where we want and explore the world.
Whether you’re part of a motorcycle crew or are hoping to break into the scene, knowing the culture of motorcycling can greatly improve your ride. Here are the basics of becoming a biker, from the differences between cruisers, choppers, and sports bikes, to how to get the right gear and become part of the motorcycle community.
Step 1: The Bike
This is the first step of joining and truly understand motorcycle culture. It’s all about the bike. Now, there are so many different bikes these days that choosing the right one will take a bit of research. But this shouldn’t deter you, in fact, it should make you excited.
First, you want to decide what kind of cycle you’re going for. Are you going for a chopper, a cruiser, or a sports bike? This will determine what brands you look at and what price you’ll be paying.
These three categories can split into different sections. For sports bikes, there are a variety of bikes. Adventure touring bikes are designed to be your do-everything bike. You can go touring through streets or over dirt roads. Really, the world is yours. The brands that you should look at include Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Honda. These bikes are made to be fast and sleek. They’re great for urban centers but not particularly for long distance rides.
The chopper also has many different styles. These are stylized by their extremely raked forks, reclined seats, and chrome that pops out to the eyes. These bikes are known to be made extremely custom to fit whatever aesthetic you are going for. They are also called ‘easy riders’, which means that they are good riding the open highways for long distances.
Lastly, cruisers are like a mix between a sports bike and a chopper. They have a less extremely rake but aren’t designed as sleek as a sports bike. They are a happy medium. These bikes are designed for casual rides through town and over long distances (though not as long as choppers). They can be powered up to match more with sports bikes. If you are looking for a more aggressive and exhilarating ride experience, a power cruiser might be the bike for you.
Step 2: The Gear
Once you’ve got the bike, you need the right attire. Getting the right kind of gear is extremely important because although motorcycles exude freedom, they also come with extra risks.
It’s important to have good quality motorcycle helmets, clothing, jackets, gloves, boots & accessories when you are riding. The type of gear you need depends on the bike and type of riding you’ll be doing as well as the community you’ll be joining. You’ll notice as you get into a community the kind of motorcycles and fitting gear that are prevalent.
After finding the right bike and gear for you, it’s time to look in the local community for a bike club to ride with. Of course, you can always ride alone. Riding alone has perks of being able to go wherever you want and stop whenever you want. But, riding in a group can be a life-changing experience.
If you are riding with your bike gang, you are part of a community that fully accepts you. You make bonds and plus you have a group to talk shop with.
With the bike, the right gear, and a community to be a part of, you’ll soon find yourself fully immersed in motorcycle culture.