If you’re bored by the few thrills cars offer, you may find motorcycles attractive for their high power-to-weight ratio, superb fuel economy and level of connectedness.
Longtime friend, Stephen Kovalsky does. He has been riding motorcycles from the age of 17 and can help get you on the road!
He began riding a 1986 Suzuki Savage LS 650. While learning, he found turning and understanding the “rhythm” of leaning most challenging.
As a motorcyclist himself, Kovalsky’s father taught him the basics of riding in an empty parking lot. “There’s no better way to learn than from an experienced rider,” Kovalsky said.
Getting a license is fairly simple. The DMV website outlines getting a permit, taking the test and getting your license.
Kovalsky recommends new riders find an underpowered (500cc or less), used bike at first for $2,000 or less. But you don’t even have to pay that much with bargains on eBay and Craigslist.
Prospective riders must realize “there are two motorcyclists: those who have gone down and those who will,” Kovalsky says, “Even professional riders crash regularly.”
Hence, he suggests riders start on an inexpensive, preowned and underpowered bike so a rider can get used to the feeling of riding. This way riders can focus on improving their skills as opposed to keeping their bike pristine. Learning is gradual, so a novice rider on a bike with excessive power can end badly.
“Depending on your location, you can use a motorcycle everyday.” During his freshman year in college at the University of Arizona, Kovalsky used his bike to get groceries. If you live in an area with poor weather, there are winter suits and bikes with heated grips.
With all the positives, Kovalsky asked friends why they don’t ride and they echoed the same response: "My parents would kill me."
“People think riding is expensive, [but] you can start on a cheap, used Craigslist bike, get a hundred dollars of gear. Insurance and gas are cheap after that.” Sportbike fuel economy mirrors, if not, beats that of a Prius.
Kovalsky’s favorite part of riding is feeling connected to the rest of the world and actively taking part in his transportation.
In addition, he likes the social aspect motorcycles provide. “You can easily find people who enjoy riding and talking about motorcycles. It brings people together.”
The only way you can find out is to grab a helmet and hit the road!
Michael Lenoch | Elite.