So you wanna ride a motorcycle. Awesome! Here's how you get started.
Things you need:
Things you don't need, but will make it easier:
In the US, street riders are legally required to have an "M endorsement" added to their driver's license. If you don't already have a driver's license, get one. Then, you need to get an M endorsement. Part of the M endorsement process is to prove you have the practical skills to safely operate a motorcycle. There are usually two ways to do this:
A beginner riding course is strongly recommended. Courses are typically one weekend long and provide motorcycles and helmets (although you can also bring your own if you choose). The courses are designed for absolute beginners- personally, I never even touched a motorcycle before taking a course. It's also a great way to cheaply "dip your toes" into the hobby to see if you like motorcycling before you spend thousands of dollars.
Different states have different approved courses. As of 2021: