Learning to Ride a Motorcycle at 31

This is my first post in nearly three months. Nearly all my free time lately has gone into achieving a long-term goal: becoming a motorcyclist!

I had tried motorcycling once before in my mid-20s, but found it intimidating due to lack of experience. At that time I hadn't even ridden a bicycle since I was a kid, so learning to maneuver a 150+ kg motorcycle was more challenging than anticipated.

Now at 31 I decided it was time to give it another shot. The rising cost of petrol was a major factor1, and next best option, riding an escooter, is so heavily restricted in Australia that it's barely worth considering.

To make things as easy as possible, I decided to buy a bike in advance of my Pre-Learner training so I could get some practice in my backyard. After looking at the options, I settled on a third-generation Honda Grom. Lightweight at 105 kg, small, and dirt cheap—I got one of the last ever new Groms in Australia2 for just $4,800 AUD ride-away at my local dealership.

Buying a bike to practice in advance paid off. I was able to get fairly comfortable with low speed maneuvers in my backyard, and breezed through the Pre-Learner training. Then I spent a month practicing on the road under a friend's supervision3 before completing the Learner to Restricted training. I was now able to ride unsupervised!

Learning to ride has been one of the best things I've ever done, and feels far more rewarding than driving a car ever did. The satisfaction of carving up corners, and feeling the wind in your hair. The Honda Grom is pretty gutless as far as motorcycles go, but I think its small weight and size perfectly capture the feeling of riding a bicycle, but without the sweat and sunburn. A lot of people seem to advise against starting out with such a small bike lest you quickly outgrow it, but I'm stoked with the Grom and looking forward to riding it for a good while.

1 Motorcycling isn't necessarily cheaper that driving a car by the time you factor in protective gear and the more-frequent service intervals. But I'll be damned if it doesn't feel good to pay $10 for a full tank of petrol.

2 The Honda Grom, like many other 125 cc bikes, are discontinued indefinitely in Australia due to not meeting new safety legislation that requires dual-channel ABS in all new bikes.

3 In the state of Queensland, Learner riders must be supervised at all times by another rider with an Open license.

Do you have any thoughts or feedback? Let me know via email!