To start riding a motorcycle, it is important
to first familiarize yourself with the clutch and its friction
zone. Most motorcycles have a "wet clutch" or a clutch bathed
in oil. Because of this, it is a viable technique to use
the clutch partially engaged without causing as much wear
as with a traditional clutch. "Feathering" the clutch, or
riding with the clutch in the friction zone can be useful
for controlling the bike in low speed maneuvers.
First, get on the motorcycle and turn the vehicle on. Once
you are comfortable with the motorcycle running underneath
you, squeeze in the clutch lever with your left hand. With
the front brake firmly engaged with your right hand, press
down and release the gearshift lever with your left toe.
The motorcycle is now in first gear. Release the brake and
plant both feet on the ground. Slowly let out the clutch
lever until you feel the clutch engage and the bike first
start to roll. Squeeze the clutch lever again to stop the
motion. You can practice this for a bit to become familiar
with the clutch friction zone. Once you feel comfortable
with the friction zone and feel in control of the motorcycle,
you can start riding in first gear. With the motorcycle
in first gear, slowly ease out the clutch. As you feel the
clutch enter the friction zone, slowly and smoothly roll
on the throttle as you let the clutch lever out all the
way. If you release the clutch too quickly with too little
throttle the motorcycle will stall and the engine will die.
Using too much throttle will cause the motorcycle to quickly
lurch forward (potentially dangerously so). Take your first
starts slowly, it isn't a race and if you stall it once
or twice, it isn't the end of the world. Before you know
it, you'll be on the move.