While most people do experience motorcycle riding at some point in their life, many develop a passion for two wheels and this is often in the form of an off-road machine that enables the rider to traverse a range of environments. If you live in the UK, for example, you are never far from stunning trails that can be found in all parts of the British Isles and the Internet can help you source great riding venues. If you have decided that 2021 is going to be the year you take the plunge and buy an off-road motorcycle, here are a few tips.
- Buying a Bike – The ideal bike for a novice rider is the Honda CRF250L, which is lightweight and offers raw power and great handling. Think about the type of riding you are planning to do and this will help you make the right choice; if you will mainly be touring roads, you will want something different to exclusively riding dirt trails, so do spend some time thinking about where you plan to ride. Your first bike could be a used model and after a year or two, you would be in a good position to choose a bigger, more powerful bike, plus the dealer has competitive finance to spread the payment over a couple of years.
- Riding Tuition – Riding a bike off road is very different to normal riding and if you search online for a nearby quad and off-road bike venue, you can book a half-day course covering the basics of off-road riding. You will learn how to brake safely, how to manage your weight distribution and cornering techniques and once you start riding, you can apply these techniques to improve your riding skills.
- Winter Storage – Once you have decided that you are done for the summer, drain the fuel from the carburettors and cover the bike with a tarpaulin until the beginning of next spring. Don’t forget to disconnect the battery, which could cause corrosion if it leaked. Click here for safe ways to travel, which is a recommended read for all who like to travel.
- Wearing Protective Clothing – It is critical that you are suitably attired when bike riding; a leather motorcycle jacket and leather pants are ideal, along with a good pair of hiking boots and a pair of motorcycle gloves. While you would normally wear a full-face helmet, this is far from ideal if you’re riding trails. An open face helmet and decent goggles are a good choice, as you must protect your eyes and wear layered clothing in cold weather, which really does help. Most riders garage their off-road bike at the end of September, as this is the time when the cold weather arrives. There are some riders who do brave the winter and if you are well-wrapped up, you should be fine. April signals it’s time to get the bike out of storage and prepare it for a season of riding, while the last week of September is the time to call it a day.
- Motorcycle Licence – If you are going to ride on the UK roads, you will need to obtain the correct type of bike licence for the machine you are riding. Click here for further reading on motorcycle licence categories and requirements in the UK. It will take a couple of years to get the Class A licence that does not restrict you with the bikes you ride and aside from the licence, the bike must be taxed, insured and have a valid MOT Certificate if over 3 years old. You should also take out suitable bike insurance, which would cover theft and accidental damage.
Search online for suppliers of off-road biking equipment and accessories and kit yourself out, as you are just in time for the 2021 spring and summer months here in the UK. Book your basic riding course and you can become familiar with riding and explore many of the great riding trails we have in the UK and as you become more proficient, you can think about upgrading to a more powerful bike.
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