Summer is upon us and I have had a lot of questions and heard a lot of fears around getting a motorcycle license - specifically walking into the rider course with zero experience.
I went from riding on the back of my dad's Honda Goldwing to taking the motorcycle class and getting my license. I didn't "study" ahead of time. I didn't try to get on someone else's bike ahead of time to know what side the clutch is on vs the brake. I just went for it and signed up for the class and let the skilled teachers do their job and teach me how to do it!!
I was nervous to take the class - thinking everyone else will already know how to ride, or they will know how to use a clutch, or that I would be the 'dumbest' one there and hold the rest of the class up. There were a few moments where I questioned what I was about to do, but yet I really wanted to ride my own someday, so I really had nothing to lose. Worse case, I don't pass the class. Either way, I will learn stuff and come out ahead. I was SUPER happy when I learned that regardless of skill, every single person in the class would do the same steps in the same order. From the book portion of the class to putting a key in the bike to turning it on. Didn't matter if you had ridden your whole life or never touched a bike key - we were all in it together. The class was 50-50. Half the people in the class had some sort of experience - whether it was riding a dirt bike to pushing a motorcycle out of the garage - I hadn't done even that much, but it didn't matter. We all started with walking the bike across the parking lot. I was also nervous that I wouldn't be able to handle the 125cc they put me on. Fears were quickly kicked aside when I realized the bike barely felt any heavier than my 1998 Trek mountain bike with no shocks. My BIGGEST fear going into the skills/hands on portion of the class was the dreaded clutch. I had tried to drive a stick shift a handful of times. I think 2 out of 4 people in the vehicle got whiplash each time I tried. It wasn't pretty and I envisioned using a clutch to be the same. But we spent a LOT of time on using the clutch. From pulling it in when the bike was off to intentionally killing it just to get the feel of it. I just remember going from "this is where I fail to learn a skill" to "holy crap I am doing it!!!! In a matter of 1 hour. Did I kill it? Heck yeah! Many times! But - so did the folks who had some experience riding dirt bikes. Different bikes have very different feeling clutches - its like hitting the brakes on a Toyota Corolla and hitting the brakes on a big dodge dually truck. Same 'part' of the vehicle (brakes), but very different feel. (And to this day, I kill the clutch here and there). The next biggest fear I had? Figure 8's.I can do one on my pedal bike. I can walk in a figure 8 - but ride a motorcycle in one? Also - after a couple of gnarly, WAY out of 'bounds' attempts - it just clicked. It seems crazy to me that I went from super nervous and not knowing how to turn on a motorcycle, to passing the class, and having my motorcycle license 3 days later. So for those of you talking yourself out of doing the class and getting your MC license because of anxiety/nerves - I assure you that the class offers hands down everything you need to learn and I guarantee you will not look as 'foolish' 'dumb' 'unskilled' (or whatever words are going through your mind to try to derail your mission) as you think you will!! DOOOOO IT!!!!! You will never regret pushing past the fear, taking the class, and getting your MC license!!! If you have specific questions about the class, the process, the fears I had.. please feel free to reach out!!!! I would love to help you kick your fears and reach your riding goals!!!!!
In Minnesota - you can find the class info here:
Next up: I got my license - now what? Tips for purchasing your own bike - advice for the ladies out there!