How to overcome FEAR when learning to ride a motorcycle

Many beginner riders experience fear when learning to ride a motorcycle.

motorcycle_mentorHow do I know? Because I frequently receive emails asking about it, and because I experienced it myself.

Learning to ride a motorcycle

Every rider defines it differently. Most say it occurs when they’re riding. Some describe it as an uncomfortable feeling, while others say it’s closer to a panic attic. The most affected riders start doubting everything… including their decision to ride in the first place.

I vividly remember having this FEAR when I was riding. At times I felt anxious, awkward and overwhelmed. I questioned everything – including my abilities and my sanity.

  • What if I dropped it at a busy intersection?
  • What would it feel like if a car hit me?
  • Is this really a good decision?
  • Am I being selfish; my family/friends were against it?
  • Did I purchase the wrong motorcycle?
  • Do I even enjoy riding?

This uncomfortableness was so real that I made this promise to myself:
“David, if this doesn’t get better (fear goes down, enjoyment goes up)… I will stop riding a motorcycle.”

I gave myself two months.

When will this fear when learning to ride a motorcycle go away?

Every rider is different. For me, the fear subsided as my riding skills improved. It wasn’t immediate, but it was steady. After every new riding experience (rain, cold, traffic, interstate, left turns, right turns) I became more comfortable… and confident. As a beginner, I was using most of my cognitive skills to operate the motorcycle. I had no processing margin left to prepare for ‘what if’ scenarios… or to enjoy the ride. As my skills improved I devoted more of my attention to riding defensively and to enjoying the beauty around me.

I felt much better two months later when I reevaluated my feelings. I was prepared to follow through on the promise I made to myself… and you should be too.

Give us your feedback by leaving a Reply below.
Is this real? Did you experience ‘fear’ when you started riding? What are the best ways to work through them? When should a beginning rider quit?