How To Improve Your Motorcycle Riding Skills During The Off-Season

How To -


Improve Motorcycle Riding Skills

Locked your bike away for the winter? You needn’t lose all the speed you earned this year over the off-season. With just a little effort, you can start riding again in the spring faster than ever. Here’s how to improve your motorcycle riding skills during the off-season.

One: Study
The single best way to become a better rider is to spend time in the off-season studying. RideApart highly recommends (and frequently gifts) Nick Lenatsch’s Sport Riding Techniques. Start there and, when you’re ready for something more advanced, move on to Techniques of Motorcycle Roadracing by none other than King Kenny Roberts. Need something more visual than the written word? The A Twist of the Wrist II DVD is good, if basic. Don’t just read (or watch) these once, treat studying for motorcycle riding just like you would a college course. Take notes, practice the theory, pursue further learning.

Two: Get In Shape
It might sound counterintuitive, but the holiday season and winter are the perfect times to get in shape. All those extra calories can help you pack on the pounds (of muscle) and going to the gym will help pass those long nights, while helping to combat seasonal affective disorder. Greater resistance to injury, greater stamina, improved flexibility and higher concentration are just some of the benefits you’ll be able to apply to riding in the spring. Start with RideApart staffer, Aakash Desai’s How To Stay In Riding Shape Over The Holidays.

Three: Improve Your Bike
All that time you’re not spending riding can be used to fit new tires, improve your suspension, tune your motor or even just performing basic service tasks like adjusting valves. Don’t know how to do that stuff? Well, you’ve got time to learn.

eBay Motorcycle Suit
On a budget? Last year’s high-end motorcycle gear is now available for cheap.

Four: Get New Riding Gear
The off-season is also the bargain season for buying riding gear. Look for closeout deals from major retails and search eBay and Craigslist for top-brand stuff that’s only been worn a single season.

Wilderness Collective
Wilderness Collective is just one of many great ways to have an epic adventure on two wheels.

Five: Plan Your Riding Season
Set goals, then plan how you’ll achieve them. Want to do your first track day? Ride on a different continent? Go motorcycle camping through The Sierra Nevada Mountains? Start putting together the pieces now; plan routes, sign up friends, save the money, buy the necessary gear and book the time off work.

What DVD and book recommendations do you have that can help with improved riding technique for next season?


  • metric_G

    This, road atlas, find the shortest way to the south of the Snowbelt (I see myself out…)

  • Piglet2010

    Ride a mountain bike in the snow.

  • Jack Meoph

    Total Control (High Performance Street Riding Techniques) by Lee Parks
    Smooth Riding: The Pridmore Way by Reg Pridmore
    The Upper Half of the Motorcycle (on the unity of rider and machine) by Bernt Spiegel

    I live in SoCal, so I don’t have a problem with not having days to ride for any extended period of time.

    • Dubknot

      Great list! I have 2 out of 3 of those with Smooth Riding on my Amazon list.

  • DrRideOrDie

    Live in the South so you can continue to ride year round. Continue to read your favorite motorcycle forums and rub it in the faces of everyone who was enjoying perfect riding weather in the summer when you were sweating your balls off. Ride more. Watch Isle of Man videos. Ride more. Watch Twist of the Wrist again. Ride more. take a Total Control course at your local MSF shop. Ride More.

  • JT

    This will be my first ‘off season’ I’m still under a year of riding and want to cry knowing my Bonnie’s stuck in a garage for a bit. Oh well, doing my first oil change tomorrow and new suspensions on the list of things to do!

  • Somebody_Had_To_Say_It

    Just add skis to your bike…

  • Somebody_Had_To_Say_It


  • eddi

    Anybody remember a kit that I saw advertised in motorcycle magazines in the 70s? They replaced the wheels with a single snowmobile ski up front and a track in the rear.