There’s no such thing as having too much information when it comes to safe, responsible off-road riding. And between your Owner’s Manual, Honda’s Tips & Practice Guide (which comes with every Honda dirtbike and ATV), and our Honda's Rider Education Centers, there’s certainly no shortage. Here are a handful of general guidelines for helping you ride better and smarter.
How do I know when a bike or scooter is the right size?
When it comes to choosing an appropriate-size bike or scooter, the best rule of thumb is simply to go into your dealer and sit on a variety of machines. If it feels too big, it probably is. Get a feel for the various models on the floor, and then discuss your needs with a knowledgeable Honda sales rep.
How should the bike or scooter fit me?
You should always make sure that: 1) your feet can touch the ground, and 2) you can easily and comfortably reach all controls (brakes, throttle, clutch, turn indicators).
What sort of model should I buy?
Honda makes a wide array of street machines, from the 49cc Metropolitan and Ruckus scooters to the 999cc CBR1000RR sportbike and 1795cc VTX1800 V-twin cruiser. Again, what you need to ask yourself is: 1) what type of riding you intend to do; and 2) how much bike or scooter you really need.
Where can I learn more about choosing the right bike or scooter?
Beyond simply strolling into your nearest Honda dealer and asking, you might want to check out the various streetbike and scooter enthusiast magazines, industry buyers' guides, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's (MSF) website at www.msf-usa.org. Also hit up your friends who ride for their advice and opinions. There's no shortage of information easily at hand to help guide you through your purchase. And remember: Motorcycling's a lot of fun, and there's no reason why your buying experience shouldn't be too.
Are there dedicated resources for specific types of riders, like re-entry owners, women or commuters?
The quick answer to this is a resounding “yes” — there are numerous groups, clubs and/or training centers out there for pretty much every rider type, skill/experience level, and gender. The best bet would be to 1) consult your local Honda dealer for organizations in your area; and 2) search online for the specific group/club that suits your needs.
I really want my buddy to buy a Honda so he can ride with me. He's somewhat hesitant, however, so how can I convince him?
Have you taken your buddy for a ride on your bike? If not, start there and introduce him to the thrill and excitement of motorcycling. Next, take him down to your nearest Honda dealer and show him how many different models are available, explaining that somewhere on that showroom floor is the perfect bike for him. You might also have him chat with your other riding buddies, and let them expound on how fun it is to ride.
I'm meeting resistance from certain friends on purchasing a motorcycle. How do I counter their arguments against riding?
Each case like this is different, and those who object have their reasons. That said, you could put their minds at ease by explaining that you have taken or will take a rider safety training course, and that you intend to follow all rules of the road safely and intelligently. A proper rider is a defensive rider, and there are no better weapons than awareness and caution when it comes to avoiding accidents. And given today's gas prices, you could also point out the cost-efficiency of riding a motorcycle, and how much money you will save at the pump.
General Safe Riding Tips
- Always use the “buddy system” and never ride alone.
- Stay on the trail. This is more than just a safety issue; riding off a designated trail also impacts the environment.
- Most public trails have two-way traffic, so take it easy around corners and leave plenty of room for oncoming riders to pass.
- Get to know your surroundings. Learn to “read” the terrain as you ride, and always look well ahead of where you’re going.
- Never ride double. Dirtbikes and ATVs are designed for a single rider.
- Stay with your kids. New riders need to be supervised.
- Always wear your helmet.
- Give your bike or ATV a good visual inspection before each ride. Check out our Pre-Ride Inspection or owner’s manual for more details.
- Be a responsible rider. Always use common sense and respect the rights of others when you ride.