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How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Riding a Motorcycle?

If you are here, you are probably a beginner, or maybe just considering if getting into motorcycling is going to be a tough venture, so to speak.

Well, worry, not. I have been asked how long it takes to get good at riding a motorcycle before, and here is the simple answer.

To get the basics of riding a motorcycle, it takes a few hours. To learn how to ride a motorcycle takes between three to five days of practice, and to get good at riding a motorcycle takes between one to two years. However, this is a life-long process.

Being good at riding a motorcycle is a relatively vague concept, and there are a lot of caveats to it. This is why below, I get into more detail about everything you need to know.

If you are interested in reading more about motorcycles, I recommend checking out the best motorcycle riding books on Amazon—especially Proficient Motorcycling and the Twist of the Wrist book series—just click here.

An experienced person riding a motorcycle.

How long does it take to learn to ride a motorcycle?

You can learn to ride a motorcycle in less than a week. In fact, many motorcycle riders can learn to ride a motorcycle in as much as a few hours.

Usually, the easiest things to learn are the basics of moving on a motorcycle and moving on two-wheels, in general. (And if you already know how to ride a bicycle, you are good to go.)

Following that, you will have to learn where the controls are and how to use them. Some people may have trouble if they have never used manual shift cars before, but it usually takes between a quarter of an hour up to a few hours to get used to how the controls work.

The controls are fairly standardized across the different motorcycles. So once you learn the basics, you can ride different motorcycles without having to relearn everything.

Some of the things that may take you longer to learn are the low-speed maneuvers, the tighter curves, the u-turns, and figure eights.

Some aspects of riding a motorcycle may sound more complicated than they actually are, like countersteering, for example, which is not that hard once you get the basics of riding a motorcycle down.

One of the things that takes a lot of time to learn is developing a certain level of mental resilience and discipline. A lot of things do happen on the road constantly, which will require tough skin, so to speak.

Situational awareness is another aspect of motorcycle riding that may take a longer time to develop. Although it does not sound like it, it is harder than one may expect.

And lastly, some motorcycles may be easier to ride than others. For example, dirt bikes can be a lot more forgiving if you make some minor mistakes compared to sports bikes.

Now let me tell you something quite bluntly. Anyone that tells you they are good at riding a motorcycle will be lying to you. This is a process that literally takes a lifetime and then some. It is a never ending learning process. You will always keep finding yourself in new situations, and you just need to keep an open mind and be able to think on your feet.

How long does it take to get comfortable riding a motorcycle?

After learning the basics, it usually takes a few months of frequent riding to start feeling more comfortable with your ability to control and maneuver the motorcycle. 

However, this process can also take up to one or two years, depending on how often you go for a ride.

Bigger and more powerful motorcycles may be a little more intimidating and require more time for the rider to get comfortable riding them.

How long does it take to get really good at riding a motorcycle?

There is almost no such thing as being really good at riding a motorcycle. It literally is a learning process that never ends throughout the whole life span of the person.

Almost every time you go for a ride, you may find yourself in new situations, which will add to your overall knowledge of how to ride a motorcycle. In other words, to get really good at riding a motorcycle—it takes years. And then again, different motorcycles will feel and react differently so no one can really say they have truly mastered motorcycle riding.

How long does it take to learn to ride a motorcycle for adults

On average, adults will take between a week to a month to learn to ride a motorcycle. How long it will take an adult—that has never ridden a motorcycle before—to learn to ride a motorcycle will depend on their experience, physical condition, the motorcycle they are riding, and more.

Usually, there is no significant difference between somebody learning to ride a motorcycle while in their teens or twenties versus somebody who is older.

Can everyone get good at riding a motorcycle?

Not everyone will be born with the same natural skills and capabilities; this is why some people may find it easier to get good at riding a motorcycle while others will struggle quite a bit.

If you are new and still struggling, do not lose motivation, watch videos, take training courses, buy books, and educate yourself as much as possible. Understand that this is a learning process that will never end.

Don’t do anything you are still not comfortable with. One of the mistakes many beginners make is to try to compete with other more experienced riders.

Get some good comfortable gear and exercise extra caution while being on the road.

Practice, be responsible, and eventually, you will start feeling less nervous and more in control.

That being said, not everyone is born a natural rider. Riding a motorcycle takes a lot. It takes a lot of learning, coordination, focus, and skill. And the fact is, not everybody may end up being a good or even a decent rider after all.

How long does it take to learn how to do a wheelie?

Different people will have different ideas of what being good at riding a motorcycle means. For some, it will be staying accident-free for as long as possible, while for others being good will be represented by what you can do with your motorcycle.

One such thing is knowing how to do a wheelie.

How long it will take for a person to learn how to make a wheelie will depend on their skill, type of motorcycle, consistency, and determination. On average, to learn how to do a wheelie can take anywhere between six months and two years.

How hard is it to learn to ride a motorcycle?

Usually, people that know how to ride a bicycle and have experience with riding a manual shift car will have an easier time learning how to ride a motorcycle.

The people who find it hard are usually the ones that do not know how to ride a bicycle or have never driven a manual shift car. They may find it harder to focus and control the motorcycle and use both their feet and hands at the same time.

See article: Can you ride a motorcycle if you can’t ride a bike?

Oftentimes the problem will be the lack of confidence of beginner riders and them not knowing where to look. You have to trust your motorcycle and watch in the direction where you want to go.

At first, you will probably be shaky and scared that you will drop the motorcycle. Being worried like that is normal, and you just need to know what you need to do and build your confidence.

If you are too nervous about riding a motorcycle, I recommend going over the tips I share in my article about how to overcome the fear of riding a motorcycle.

Overall, learning how to ride a motorcycle is not an easy thing to do and should not be underestimated. But nonetheless, it is not as hard as it seems to be. In fact, some motorcycle riders have taught themselves how to ride a motorcycle.

See article: Can you teach yourself to ride a motorcycle?

Learning to ride a motorcycle is a process that never ends. Every day you will be learning something new. 

Ask around, and even older motorcycle rides with more than 40 years of experience under their belt will confirm it. You may have been riding your motorcycle for more than 40 years, and you will still be learning.

What is the hardest part of learning to ride a motorcycle?

Every person is different. Where one may struggle, the others may excel.

Different people will find different things difficult.

One of the things that some people may struggle with is situational awareness. For many people riding a motorcycle will be a completely new experience filled with many new mechanics and techniques. Now, top that with the need to be exercising extra attention and stay constantly focused, and you have a recipe for some very difficult times.

Many new motorcycle riders may need a week up to a few months to get comfortable with the motorcycle before being able to get out in the traffic. It is also worth noting that heavier motorcycles are harder to ride.

Some riders may also find some of the finer-touch techniques of riding a motorcycle more difficult, like properly rev-matching, for example.

Others may struggle even if they have experience riding scooters and manual gear cars—the extra weight of the motorcycle, the balancing, and maneuvering, working with the clutch and gears, and at the same time maintaining one’s focus can prove very challenging, indeed.

What is the fastest way to learn how to ride a motorcycle?

The fastest and by far, the best way to learn how to ride a motorcycle is by taking an MSF class to get your license.

Your instructor’s ability to teach and explain, skill and overall personality will play a major role in how effective your MSF course will be and how fast you will be able to learn.

An MSF course is irreplaceable even for more experienced riders that need to brush up on their skills. If you are considering the idea, I’d recommend checking out my article about whether MSF courses are worth it.

In combination with that, it is worth reading books, watching videos, and overall getting more educated on the topic. Reading books and watching videos will not necessarily make you better at riding a motorcycle; however, they can serve a valuable role in widening your knowledge and understanding of what happens on the road and what you can do.

But all your efforts will be fruitless if you do not ride your motorcycle often. If you don’t ride often, you will eventually start to lose your skills and reaction times.

You will not forget how to ride a motorcycle, the odds of this happening are pretty much nonexistent, but you will not feel comfortable while riding, and you will need some time to refamiliarize yourself with the motorcycle.

Simon Dufour

Meet Simon, the 46-year-old aficionado behind YourMotoBro. With a lifelong passion ignited by motocross dreams and a Canadian Tire bicycle, Simon’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. From coaching underwater hockey to mastering muddy terrains, he’s an authority in thrill and adventure. Certified as an Off-Road Vehicle Excursion Guide and trained in Wilderness First Aid, Simon’s love for bikes is as diverse as his collection—from a robust BMW GSA R1200 to the memories of a Harley Davidson Night Train. By day a respected telephony consultant, by night a motorcycle maestro, Simon’s tales are a blend of expertise, resilience, and undying passion. ?️✨