New on two wheels?

New on Two Wheels

New on two wheels? The “Discover the Ride” introduction to the motorcycling experience.

By George Tranos
People attend motorcycle shows for many reasons. Sure, the shiny new models attract riders from around the region but there are many other reasons to attend a show. You can see the newest bikes, apparel, accessories and supplies. You can connect with like-minded motorcyclists, get information directly from the manufacturers and see and hear workshops and seminars about all aspects of motorcycling. There is, however, a new reason to attend a show and that is to “Discover the Ride.”
Back in the old days, those new to two wheels would try motorcycling by borrowing a bike from a friend. The motorcycle used might or might not be suitable for a beginner and the friend while well-meaning might not be the right person to help the fledgling rider. With minimal instruction, the newcomer would be free to make mistakes with possible catastrophic results. This could result in disaster. If nothing else, the beginner could be turned off from motorcycling.
Fast forward into the twenty-first century and the advent of “Discover the Ride.” Discover the Ride, by the Progressive® International’s Motorcycle Shows® (IMS), is a forward-thinking initiative designed to serve and support the entire motorsports industry. This approachable motorcycling experience is primarily designed for non-riders and is the only program in the market that allows a non-licensed motorcyclist to “Discover the Ride”. Participants are invited to immerse themselves in the world of motorcycling though an adult riding course, Kids Zone, New To 2, and more.

The New Rider Course gives non-licensed attendees the opportunity to ride a motorcycle for the first time and learn riding basics from expert instructors. The indoor demo course will host a fleet of speed-limited electric Zero Motorcycles to give participants the experience of riding a motorcycle in a safe and controlled environment. Zero Motorcycles have no transmission, feature ABS as standard equipment, and its zero emissions make an indoor experience on one of the most advanced motorcycles in the world a possibility.

Motorcycling requires coordination and balance. Most riding courses require a participant to have the ability to ride a bicycle prior to being allowed to try motorcycling. The “Discover the Ride” New Rider Course also has that requirement. Riders must first ride an electric pedal-assist bicycle before being allow to try an electric motorcycle. They are provided with basic riding apparel including a helmet, jacket and gloves. They will then be given instruction on the proper use of the throttle and brakes and sent off on a small indoor course to experience motorcycling for the first time.
After the experience, they are given more information on the next steps including the possibility of taking a basic riding class given by a local school. Having just ridden a motorcycle for the first time, the new rider now should have a better idea of what it takes to become a successful rider. They will realize they need more training and actively seek that out. They will look at motorcycling and motorcycles in a different way now that they have started their journey. They may even understand that the motorcycle they initially thought they wanted might not be their best choice for a first bike.
An entry level motorcycle showcase stands right next to the “Discover the Ride” area. A variety of suitable entry level motorcycles from Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki are on display. The idea is to showcase motorcycles that are a good choice for a beginner’s first bike.

This may be motorcycling’s best hope to grow the sport and introduce riding to a whole new group of people. While the New York show has now passed, there are future International Motorcycle Shows in Dallas, Washington D.C., Denver, Cleveland, Minneapolis and Chicago. Please see: for more information.

If you cannot attend the show, there is MUCH more information on the website!

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