Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle with NO prior Experience
4.4 (65 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle with NO prior Experience

Everything you need to know from buying your first bike to riding ANY motorcycle with Confidence.
4.4 (65 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
916 students enrolled
Created by Matthew Laidlaw
Last updated 3/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $50 Discount: 80% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Ride a Motorcycle
  • Learn proper turning, braking, and throttle management techniques
  • Learn how to be safe and how to gradually progress your abilities
  • Buy the Right bike for you and be Cost Effective
  • Choose the Proper Equipment
  • Know how to Handle a Motorcycle's basic Maintenance Needs
  • Learn the lingo and culture of Riding motorcycles
View Curriculum
  • You'll need $1,000 - $3,000 to buy a reliable Entry-Level motorcycle if you don't already have one or have access to one
  • In Section 6 I will show you how to locate and purchase a beginner motorcycle in a cost-effective manner.

This course is all about learning how to ride a motorcycle! If you have ever thought about learning to ride and didn't know where to start, then you have come to the right place. I start off in my first section teaching you have to "take off" on the bike for the first time. You will learn exercises to learn the controls in a safe progressive manner. As the course progresses I get more technical and teach the finer points of riding so you can develop skills that I've learned over a life-time of riding.

In this course I will take you from a "bike-less dreamer" to a motorcycle owning, confident rider! I show you how to choose a first motorcycle that fits you, places to buy it, and what to watch out for.

You'll learn how to choose the proper riding gear to keep you safe and comfortable. I use very detailed video and language to help you take off for the first time and advance gradually in a safe progression to becoming a well-rounded rider.

The course materials are filled with tons of lingo, culture, and key motorcycle information that will make you knowledgeable in various facets of being a motorcycle enthusiast. Your first step to riding with Confidence!

All Riding videos are shot 100% with the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed for people who have never ridden a motorcycle before or are beginners and want to advance their abilities to intermediate.
  • If you've ever wondered what the first step to getting into Motorcycle riding is and needed direction
  • This Course isn't for you if you've been riding for several years and have a strong grasp on the basics
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Curriculum For This Course
44 Lectures
Intro to Riding a Motorcycle
3 Lectures 07:30

A brief overview of who I am and my experience in the motorcycle world. Also, a few key points of what to expect from the course.

Preview 02:03

Do you think that riding a motorcycle is beyond your ability? Most people don't realize it, but it's not difficult and almost anyone can learn. Ask yourself these simple questions.

Preview 02:20

I'm too short, I'm too small, I'm not strong enough, Riding is too dangerous, I don't have enough money!

These are all excuses I hear every day. I will crush these excuses.

Common Fears, Concerns, and Barriers to Riding - Crush them!
Let's Get on the Bike and Start Riding!
11 Lectures 28:53

My introduction to the most important Section in the course if you're a new motorcycle rider.

This first section is filmed on a Harley-Davidson Sportster Seventy-Two

Welcome to your First Lesson

The controls on a motorcycle are very unique and are different than any other vehicle. Knowing their location is a simple yet vital step to learning how to ride.

Familiarize yourself with the Controls of the Motorcycle

Introduction of the Motorcycle and how to start it up!

Learn a good habit to get into when you're starting motorcycles that will get you safe.

How to Start the Motorcycle

Be sure to ready this for more details on alternate starting procedures for non-fuel-injected (carburetor) motorcycles. Learn about kick-starters if your bike isn't equipped with an electric starter.

Different Starting Methods for Different Motorcycles

Learn and understand the finer details of the "friction zone" before my first exercise. If you have never driven a manual transmission car or motorcycle this is extremely important and probably the steepest part of the learning curve.

What is the Friction Zone?

This is the very first technique you will want to practice when you are learning to ride for the first time. It's important to spend as much time as you need on this before you move onto the next step. Practice this in a large, low traffic area like an empty parking lot etc.

Friction Zone Exercise

Because this step to learning is so important for beginners, I wanted to give my students another perspective of exactly what I'm doing with my hands and feet.

Bird's Eye View of the First Exercise

A crucial technique that, once mastered, will give you a ton of confidence when riding. Something that you will ALWAYS use and a key part of riding a motorcycle.

"Feathering the Clutch"

A common problem that I see new riders get very frustrated with. The solution is very simple yet so many people don't understand it.

I Can't Find Neutral! Help me!

Practicing this lecture repeatedly will be crucial. Spend as much time as needed on this technique and make you you practice on a road that isn't busy or in a large parking lot.

Time to Fully take off in First Gear

Learn how to sift gears for the first time. You can only stay in first for so long before you need to go FASTER! I go over proper clutch and sifting techniques.

Preview 02:04

Review the basics of taking off on a Motorcycle

Section 2 Review
2 questions
More Details on TURNING
7 Lectures 37:59

I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to a more detailed look at enhancing your turning abilities.

Intro to the "Turning Section"

You would be surprised at how much technique can be derived from riding a bicycle. There are a lot of parallels, that I go over in this lecture.

"It's Just like Ridin' a Bicycle"

As a new motorcycle rider, this is the very best method to stay in absolute control of the bike during a turn.

Entering and Exiting a Turn

A more advanced topic on turning that most riders are doing and don't even know it. It's important to know what you're doing though because knowledge is power and knowing the mechanics behind this concept will make you a better motorcycle rider!

Counter Steering

How to shift your weight properly in a turn to maximize your bike's performance in the "twisties."

Leaning and Weight Shifting

The throttle on a motorcycle needs to be managed within a millimeter's accuracy in turns. Learn how to navigate your bike's path successfully through a turn like a pro.

Throttle Management in a Turn

An advanced body weight technique to use when road conditions are bad.

Body Position to Overcome Bad Road Conditions
How to BRAKE Properly
6 Lectures 23:05

You can't just rely on one brake! Learn the strengths & weaknesses of each.

Some basic information about how Motorcycle Brakes Work

An overview on the mechanics on motorcycle's independent front/rear braking system.

Application of Best Braking Practices

A good Habit often found among great riders that never really surfaces in discussion much

Preview 03:49

Improper braking in a turn is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Learn these rules and avoid these common errors. Stay safe.

Braking in a Turn

Everyone will eventually need to stop in a panic situation. Know how to do it safely.

Panic Stop! How to Handle an Emergency Stop

A common practice in a motorcycle rider's repertoire. Use on continuous declines like mountain road etc.

What is Engine Braking?
Good Gear Usage - More on SHIFTING
5 Lectures 17:24

How do I know if I'm in the Right Gear? Stick around as I introduce this next section.

Staying in an Optimal RPM Range

A rudimentary concept that sometimes experienced riders take for granted. Watch and listen as I go over the mechanics of proper/safe downsifting when coming to a stop.

Down Shifting and Coming to a Stop

Use your engine's power wisely. Know what RPM ranges to be in during different riding situations and road conditions.

Going up Hills VS Crusin' for those MPG's

Muscle memory will take over and eventually and shifting gears will turn into one fluid motion.

Make Shifting one fluid Natural Motion

A not-so-common device that is sometimes found on heavy cruiser bikes. Learn how to use it and save the toe of your boots!

Heel Shifter: Everything you need to know
How to Find and Buy your First Motorcycle
2 Lectures 23:46

I leave nothing to ambiguity. If you want to take all the guess work out of the equation, check out some of these proven beginner bikes.

Specific Make/Model of good entry-level bikes

A detailed look at how I purchase used bikes. I go over criteria to look for when choosing a first bike and some things to watch out for. If you're in need of your first bike to learn how to ride - then you must watch this lecture. Even if you don't find your bike online there are some concepts discussed that will help you reduce your risk of getting a bad "learner bike". Following this criteria will also maximize your ability to sell your first bike and get close to what you paid for it.

Best Resource for Finding Used Bikes and How to use it
Riding Gear you'll need for comfort and Safety
4 Lectures 19:25

Get a helmet that fits properly. I'll go over different types of Helmets and the Pro's and Con's of each

Choosing the right Helmet

A needed piece of equipment when riding. Learn to pick the best foot wear for you and the bike you're riding.

Proper Foot Wear

I never ride without gloves - you shouldn't either. Protect your hands from the elements.

Proper Gloves

If you can't see then you can't ride. There is "good, better, best" when protecting your eyes.

Eye Protection
Basic Maintenance
6 Lectures 14:45

Learn these basic maintenance points to keep your bike running right and reduce your risk to certain equipment failures.

Introduction to Basic Maintenance

The most important equipment check you can make. Don't let your tire pressure run low!

Tire Pressure

Oil is the life blood of your engine. Don't neglect it or your engine will fail. Learn how to check your oil and know when to take it in to be changed.

Preview 03:51

Get a Pig Tail, AKA a battery lead and a trickle charger. Maintaining a battery on a motorcycle takes more effort than a car. You can't just let it sit.


Simple but important point when you're deciding what kind of fuel to put into your baby.


You need to be seen to stay safe on the road. Perform this check before you ride every time.

Check your Lights
About the Instructor
Matthew Laidlaw
4.4 Average rating
65 Reviews
916 Students
1 Course
Sales Manager at Laidlaw's Harley-Davidson

Matt was born into a family where riding Motorcycles is a way of life. At a very young age his father had him riding motorcycles out in the deserts of Southern California. His Grandfather, Bob Laidlaw, is the notorious founder of Laidlaw's Harley-Davidson (1958) located in the Greater Los Angeles area. Laidlaw's H-D is now one of the oldest and largest Harley-Davidson Dealers in California. After being brought up around motorcycles and working at the dealership off-and-on his whole life, Matt has settled into selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles full time for the last 8 years.

Aside from working in the motorcycle industry, "riding" has been a favorite hobby and pastime for Matt. Whether it be riding off-road or on-road, he enjoys "throwing a leg over" anything with two wheels.

After years of riding and selling motorcycles, Matt found himself constantly giving out riding advice to friends and customers. He discovered that there are thousands of people that wish they could ride but just don't know where to start and learn. Since then, he has become involved in developing instructional videos to teach students "How to Ride!"

Aside from selling motorcycles, Matt has been Licensed in the state of CA as a Personal-Lines insurance broker for the past 8 years. During this time he has sold and managed hundreds of motorcycle insurance polices. He is also a certified Notary Public in CA.

Matt has done work has a stunt rider in a public service announcement, TV ad, sponsored by the California Highway Patrol. The ad promotes safe riding between cars, motorcycles, and trucks.

When he's not riding or working Matt is an advocate and student of heath & fitness with an emphasis in weight training. His other interests include WakeBoarding, Snowboarding, and YouTube content creation.