Why is riding a bicycle so important to learning to ride a motorcycle?

In the 8 years we have been teaching new riders, we’ve see a lot. Some riders take to motorcycles naturally, most learn it very well, and some really struggle. We would love to have a 100% success rate but we do not. What we have found to be a major factor is the students ability to ride a bicycle or how recently they have ridden a bicycle. These students struggle to learn to ride, maintain balance and are at a higher risk of hurting themselves. 

How come a bicycle is so important to learning to ride a motorcycle? Think of it this way. A motorcycle is a really heavy bicycle. If a student cannot manage to ride a 20lb/10kg bicycle then riding a 150kg/300lb (or heavier!) motorcycle is going to be a big challenge. A bicycle is two wheels, handle bars, hand levers, and balance. So is a motorcycle. The two compliment each other nicely. The students that learn the easiest are active bicycle riders, mountain bikers, or anything with two wheels requiring balance. 

We want everyone to be able to learn to ride motorcycles with ease. This is possible with bicycle riding. Think of it as an essential part to learning to ride motorcycles. Can you learn to ride without it? Yes… but it is highly likely the experience will be stressful, frustrating, and painful. You will have a higher risk of injury. 

Learning to ride a bicycle does not take long. Buying or renting a basic bicycle does not have to cost very much. A few hours on a flat trail through a park is all that is required. Nothing fancy. If you can ride a bicycle smoothly for 30 minutes without falling off. You are ready to learn to ride motorcycles.