Motorcycling For Dummies book cover

Motorcycling For Dummies

Overview

A practical guide that gets you geared up with proper riding techniques, safety gear, indispensable items for long trips, and handling characteristics of various motorcycle types

Few activities offer more fun and excitement than motorcycling, but to get the most out of it, there's a lot you need to know, and that’s where this informative motorcycle guide written in plain English comes in. From buying and maintaining a bike, to riding safely, to finding great places to ride, Motorcycling For Dummies puts you on the road with savvy and style, whether you're new to riding or an experienced motorcyclist.

You'll get plenty of help in selecting the right bike and step-by-step instructions on performing routine maintenance tasks. You'll also find out how to develop safe riding habits and, maybe most important of all, you’ll learn more about motorcycling organizations and how to fit in with the biker crowd. Plus, this hands-on resource shows you advanced riding techniques, offers travel tips for long-distance rides, and even helps you get your kids started in motorcycling. Discover how to:

  • Buy a new or used bike
  • Select safe, tough riding gear, from helmet and jacket to boots and pants
  • Get proper training and learn essential riding skills
  • Insure your bike
  • Pass even the toughest licensing test
  • Try your hand at cruising, touring, sports biking, and more
  • Get involved in motorcycle clubs and events
  • Deal with dangers on the road
  • Customize your bike to improve both style and performance

This comprehensive guide concludes with a motorcycling glossary, a guide to motorcycling laws by state, and an appendix with plenty of online resources. Complete with lists of can't-miss biking events, legendary motorcyclists, and must-see motorcycling movies, Motorcycling For Dummies gives a whole new meaning to the term "easy rider".

A practical guide that gets you geared up with proper riding techniques, safety gear, indispensable items for long trips, and handling characteristics of various motorcycle types

Few activities offer more fun and excitement than motorcycling, but to get the most out of it, there's a lot you need to know, and that’s where this informative motorcycle guide written in plain English comes in. From buying and maintaining a bike, to riding safely, to finding great places to ride, Motorcycling For Dummies puts you on the road with savvy and style, whether you're new to riding or an experienced motorcyclist.

You'll get plenty of help in selecting the right bike and step-by-step instructions on performing routine maintenance tasks. You'll also find out how to develop safe riding habits and, maybe most important of all, you’ll learn more about motorcycling organizations and how to fit in with the biker crowd. Plus, this hands-on resource shows you advanced

riding techniques, offers travel tips for long-distance rides, and even helps you get your kids started in motorcycling. Discover how to:

  • Buy a new or used bike
  • Select safe, tough riding gear, from helmet and jacket to boots and pants
  • Get proper training and learn essential riding skills
  • Insure your bike
  • Pass even the toughest licensing test
  • Try your hand at cruising, touring, sports biking, and more
  • Get involved in motorcycle clubs and events
  • Deal with dangers on the road
  • Customize your bike to improve both style and performance

This comprehensive guide concludes with a motorcycling glossary, a guide to motorcycling laws by state, and an appendix with plenty of online resources. Complete with lists of can't-miss biking events, legendary motorcyclists, and must-see motorcycling movies, Motorcycling For Dummies gives a whole new meaning to the term "easy rider".

Motorcycling For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’re ready to hit the open road on a motorcycle, make sure you wear a properly fitted helmet and jacket and give your bike a thorough pre-ride inspection for maximum safety. Before you decide to buy a used motorcycle, ask some key questions to get reliable information and ride home with the right bike for you.

Articles From The Book

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Motorcycles Articles

Performing a Motorcycle Pre-Ride Safety Check

To ensure a safe ride, you should examine your motorcycle every time you decide to hit the road. Doing an inspection only takes a few minutes and can point out little problems that can turn into some major ones through neglect.

Get into the routine of looking for the following things during a bike inspection:

  • Do the lights and turn signals operate properly?

  • Are the tires properly inflated and the tread good?

  • Are the wheel rims damaged? Are spokes loose or bent? If either is the case, don’t ride.

  • Do the throttle and clutch cables operate smoothly?

  • Does the bike have plenty of gas and the right amount of oil?

  • Are the sidestand and centerstand firmly held in place and operating smoothly?

  • Are the mirrors adjusted properly?

  • Is your license plate held securely in place?

Motorcycles Articles

What to Look For in a Protective Motorcycle Jacket

A motorcycling jacket is an important piece of safety equipment for a rider or a motorcycle passenger. To provide the best protection when riding, a jacket should be properly fitted. When you’re looking for a good motorcycle jacket, answer these questions:

  • Does it protect from abrasions? A tag on the jacket should say that it’s abrasion resistant.

  • Is it snug but not too tight? If it’s too tight it will be uncomfortable, and you won’t wear it. It shouldn’t bind at the shoulders when your arms are stretched out reaching for the handlebars.

  • If leather, is it competition-grade (1.1mm to 1.3mm thick) leather? If a tag on the jacket doesn’t give the thickness, just feel various jackets and hold them. Competition-grade leather jackets feel heavy, and the leather feels thick compared to lesser-quality jackets. Avoid thin leather jackets made for fashion and looks rather than protection.

  • Does it zip at the wrists for a snug fit? Zippers keep the sleeve in place and allow gloves to fit over the sleeve easily. If gloves are worn under the sleeve, the zipper keeps air from blowing up the sleeve as you ride.

  • Does it have built-in padding or armor for protection in the elbows and shoulders, at a minimum? Padding or hard-armor protection in the back is also useful.

  • Does it have as many pockets as you want? Some riders like two outside pockets, some like two outside pockets and an inside pocket, and some riders like five pockets. Decide how much stuff you might carry.

Motorcycles Articles

How to Get the Right Fit for a Motorcycle Helmet

A motorcycle helmet is a sign of a true motorcyclist. Even if you don’t want to wear one, you need one. It’s the single most important piece of safety equipment you can have. A helmet has to fit well to offer the most protection and comfort, so use these tips to get a great fit:

  • Is the helmet the right size? Measure your head in centimeters at about eyebrow level and find a helmet in that size. Strap the helmet on, and then shake your head left and right and up and down. Push back on the chin bar on a full-face helmet to be sure it won’t slide too much. Try to roll the helmet off your head forward. If you can, it’s too loose.

    Also be conscious of pressure points that could become painful while wearing the helmet — especially in the forehead. If possible, wear the helmet in the store for at least 10 to 15 minutes to see if pressure points develop.

  • Is it comfortable to wear? Try on a lot of different helmets, because each one will have a different feel.

  • Is the eye positioning good? Ideally, your eyes should be centered in a full-face helmet’s eyeport.

  • Does the helmet have a federal Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker that shows it passed stringent testing? If it doesn’t, it’s an illegal helmet and can’t be worn while riding on the street in states that require riders to wear DOT-approved helmets.