Do you find yourself thinking back to days gone by spent in the saddle of your trusty motorcycle? Back then, there was nothing more satisfying than winding down country lanes and darting through traffic. But those days are gone. Maybe you sold your bike to pay off some student loans or had a few kids, or maybe you got into an accident that changed your appreciation for riding. 

Whatever it was that separated you from your bike, it clearly wasn’t enough to keep you from wanting more. But if you’ve taken time off from riding, getting started again can be challenging sometimes. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to do if you’re aware of a few things. Join Ruhnke’s Xtreme Cycles as we outline how to get back in the saddle.

Safety First

Whether it’s been four years or 40, the world of motorcycling has changed since you last rode. That shouldn’t deter you from throwing your leg over a bike and riding, however. It just means that you need to refresh your skills and your knowledge of how to stay safe.

First off, taking a rider safety course is probably the best way to get back into riding. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers basic and advanced rider courses throughout the Odessa area. These courses are very affordable and can be completed in just a weekend. We think they’re the most fun you can ever have while in “school,” and are a great way to see how much rust you need to knock off before you start riding again.

Next, take time to familiarize yourself with the latest and greatest in riding gear. While you might have rocked nothing more than a bandana, leather jacket, and some oil-soaked jeans the last time you rode, it’s in your best interest to wear more gear now. We’re big fans of the “ATGATT” philosophy, or “All the Gear, All the Time.” We strongly encourage you to wear a full-face helmet, as they are infinitely safer than half or three-quarter style lids. We also encourage riders of all skill levels to wear armored gloves, pants, and jackets. New advances in safety technology have made armored textiles, like Kevlar®, and even armored plates, lightweight and pliable. They may shift and twist in your hand, but as soon as they hit the ground, they go rigid, protecting your body. Remember, dress for the slide, not the ride.

Get a Smaller Motorcycle

For those who last rode a powerful, heavy bike like an HD Street Glide, you might chafe at this idea. After all, half the appeal of riding is to be behind the controls of something with more power than most cars on the road.

But a big bike is probably more than you’re capable of managing safely and effectively. A small bike is a great way to get back into riding, and they cost less to purchase and insure. Plus, a smaller motorcycle can be a lot of fun when you really wring its neck. Lightweight and maneuverable, you’ll be able to flit through traffic or dart through obstacle courses without issue. Smaller bikes tend to hold their value well, so after you’ve really ridden that little bike to death, you can sell it for nearly what you paid for it and then upgrade to something bigger. You’ll have relearned the basics of riding and regained your confidence in riding by then.

Check Your Attitude at the Door and Say Goodbye to Bad Myths

One of the biggest mistakes we see returning riders make is thinking that they have the same skills as they did when they last rode. The fact is, riding a motorcycle is a perishable skill and the way that motorcycles are designed now has necessitated a change in the way we ride. Approaching riding with a learner’s mindset and a humble demeanor means you’ll learn fast and get back to enjoying the ride sooner.

Also, it’s important to push old myths and fables about riding out of your head. For instance, the idea that “loud pipes save lives” is hokum. You’re safer by properly lighting your bike, wearing reflective clothing and gear, and being selective in where and how you ride.

Enjoy the Ride

This is why you’re here, isn’t it? The best way to reacquaint yourself with motorcycle riding is to simply enjoy the experience. It’s a great way to reconnect with the ideas and passions that first drew you to motorcycles and a fun way to relieve some of those early experiences. For instance, you’ll remember the first time you dropped your bike in vivid detail when you do it again this time around. Don’t despair. Revel in the process, and you’ll enjoy it all the more.

Buy the Best Bikes in Odessa at Ruhnke’s

Whether you’re brand new to motorcycles or a seasoned veteran, you’ll love the prices and selection of rides at Ruhnke’s Xtreme Cycles. Serving the greater Odessa area, we’ve got leading brands like Honda, Harley Davidson, BMW, and more. Stop by and see us today!