ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

how to ride a HARLEY DAVIDSON motorcycle

Updated on July 3, 2013

Purchasing a Harley Davidson motorcycle is more than a choice of automotive transportation, it's a lifestyle change! With every mile under your wheels you experience the unparraled sense of freedom and enjoyment the Harley- Davidson brand has come to embody.

This article is aimed at giving the new Rider the neccasary skills to get up and get going!

1. Starting the bike

All late model H-D bikes are equipped with fuel injection, as well as an electric starter. After you've inserted the key, press the button on the right side handlebars from OFF to RUN. A yellow fuel light will appear inside your speedometer. When it goes off, press the button next to it, marked START. Your bike should crank on.

2. In the clutch

WHAT! It didn't start? or it went right off? Here we go with the one piece of equipment new riders have the most trouble with, the clutch.

All H-D bikes have manual transmissions. That means that, when changing gears, or starting the bike, the clutch must be deppresed. The clutch is the LEFT HAND BRAKE LEVER. Hold it in when you start the bike. Continue to hold it in.

3. Rolling out.

On the left hand side, there is a lever by your foot that is used to change gears. A green N should be showing inside your speedometer. While holding in on the clutch (the left hand brake) push down with your left foot. That puts the bike in first gear. 

Now, while still holding in the clutch, crank the throttle a little. The throttle is the grip on the right side handlebars. Slowly release the clutch. Your moving!

4. Stopping.

Whoops, too far, time to stop! But a bike isn't like a car. No brake pedal to stomp. Your going to have to get the hang of this. First, pull in the clutch, and let off the throttle. This should get the bike slowing down. There are two brakes on a H-D motorcycle. The front brake is the right hand brake lever, just like on a bicycle. The rear brake is the lever by your right foot. The rule is , 70% pressure from the rear brake, 30% from the front. This should bring you to a stop.

5. Grind the gears

Now its time to put it all together. After you roll out and accelerate, its time to learn about shifting. You've already put the bike into first gear to get it moving. Accelerate up to 20 mph. pull in on the clutch a little, and with your left foot, come under the lever and push it up. You should feel the gears catch, and be able to hear the bikes RPM's going down. Shifting on a bike is an art form. You have to listen and feel for the gears to change them at the right time. It takes practice. A good way to do this is to ride around a quiet neighborhood, with minimal traffic, and practice going from 1st gear to 2nd, and back.


Here's something I learned the hard way. The clutch on a Harley is considered a "wear and tear" item. Meaning, when it goes out, its not covered under the warranty. The way to prevent it from going out? As you deaccelerate, always remember to downshift. Try to get all the way down to first gear by the time you stop. This is an easy mistake for an unexperienced rider to make, because if you just hold in the clutch and slow down and brake, you CAN stop and go the bike in fifth gear, or whatever. Remember, your costing yourself an 800 buck repair.

Good luck, and keep the rubber side down!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • michyoung profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Harleys motorcycle are the best so driving them should be taken seriously. I guess this is a great hub to teach me about that. Thank you for writing this! Great job! Keep it up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)