Knowing Nothing, Learning Something
I knew nothing about motorcycles.
I still know very little in the vast sea of history, innovation, art, and experience of motorcycles. My couple of years and only ten thousand miles makes me a novice at best in the eyes of the years, miles, and history of bikes in the world.
As overwhelming as that sounds, it is more of an opportunity than a discouragement to learn about them. I probably won't be worthy of being a scholar on motorcycles. Probably will focus on a small niche in the industry conducive to my lifestyle and taste.
The things you should know before the start though...
Everyone has an opinion. Really, everyone is opinionated. There's always someone who disagrees with what another person does or encourages it or hates it or likes it. My experience is that only the ones who are new into the hobby really have no or little opinion. But yeah, it's true. It's not a bad thing--just how this community goes. It is okay to like what you like but also know that probably will change with time and experience.
Always be honest about how much you know. Those opinionated people are the first ones to call out your shit. So... This certainly shouldn't be a thing to impress anyone because they're not impressed. I've been guilty of this--learned my lesson. Also learned why I'm doing all of this bike shit (for me FYI).
Even after riding and working on bikes forever, you still don't know it all. There is so much moto shit and experiences out there. Don't be the fool who thinks you know it all. That pretty much, in my opinion, kills your reason to get into bikes. It's supposed to be challenging and exciting always. If not, you don't love it or you're doing it wrong.
Things you should learn and know about motos or at least your bike in particular...
It's expensive. To own a bike is expensive. A good bike is expensive. An old bike is expensive. Appropriate gear is expensive. Maintaining your bike can be expensive. Insurance, inspections, storage--can be expensive. Traveling on a bike can be expensive. Be ready to spend money if this is what you want to do. Seriously.
It takes time to develop riding skills and experience even if you're a natural. And you continue to develop these always.
It is not glamorous. It might be glamorous if you're David Beckham or hella rich. But I repeat, it is not glamorous. Yes, we all can incorporate our personalities and style into what we wear and what we ride. But it is still risk taking, mind and body challenging, dirt and oil grit, and expensive.
Learn about maintaining your bike. It took me a little bit as I rode. Especially when people pointed out some things (thanks). Like tires, chain, oil--loose bolts and shit falling off from vibrations. I learn to check these things, I do what I can to maintain my bike, and I ask for help when I don't have the tools or knowledge to do it. I always carry basic tools for my bike on me. If you're not willing to learn and do basic maintenance on your bike, you're going to have to spend a lot of money or risk having it breakdown in a terrible way.
Riding a moto means you're going to take risks. If you get on a bike, you're going to have to accept the risks you are taking when you're riding. Some things people can't come back from when it happens. This applies to the environment you chose to ride in: places, people, weather, group rides, traffic, night or day. Oh, and cars. These are things to consider and be smart about. There's already so many factors, I don't get why people get fucked up and hop on their bikes. By the way, death isn't what I worry most about (it is a legitimate concern, I've heard) but being crippled and mangled is worse in my mind.
These all might be vague and I can give a million of my own personal experience examples but it would go on forever. I will probably write individual posts on each subject. I didn't know about any of this until I started to make it my lifestyle. But yeah, just some of my thoughts I wanted to share. If this is what you want, give it a spin and figure it out. I'm here as a supporter and peer.