Ride is a motorcycle racing simulation that aims to recreate a realistic racing experience without any arcade elements. At the start the player designs a character and gets to choose between three bikes from the slowest category (under 700 CC). The main game modes are World Tour, Quick Mode (quick races and time trials) and Online. Most of the content is unlocked through the World Tour. By participating in different events, ‘reputation’ is earned to buy new bikes and accessories. Bikes can be fully customized based on the appearance, brakes and suspensions, engine, transmission and wheels. Every main category is further split up in different components. For the engine for instance the player can determine the air filter, cylinder head porting, electronic control unit, exhaust and oil type. Components and bikes come from licensed manufacturers, both historic and modern. The general statistics for bikes are acceleration, braking power, handling and top speed.
The world tour events consists of leagues such as naked bikes (middleweight and heavyweight groups), supersports, historic superbikes, modern superbikes, pro circuit, premium events (extremely limited bikes) and open races. Most of them only become available after acquiring the right type of bike. There are about 100 bikes in total, with displacements ranging from 250 to 1,299 cc and manufactured between 1987 and 2015. Each league is further split up in multiple groups of events. Racing events include single races, championships, drag races, endurance, head-to-head, time attack, track day (overtake a number of riders) on circuits inspired by real ones (GP tracks) and more general, open terrain races (city, country etc.). The Team Race game mode requires a team mate as the results of both riders combined determines the final standing. The team mate is a character that can be chosen, but is also possible to download the rider profile and appearance of a friend.
The game contains three simulation levels: Semi Pro, Standard and Pro. They influence the handling of the bike and sometimes lock guides at higher levels. Physics elements include auto brakes, joint brakes, an anti wheelie option, tuck-in, different settings for following the ideal trajectory (shown through coloured arrows on the track to show the best line and recommended speed), the type of transmission and influence over TCS (traction). The game also takes into account how the track evolves over multiple laps with rubbered in black marks that offer better grip. At lower levels it is possible to use multiple rewinds, allowing the player to rewind time after a mistake. Before each race the settings of the bike can be adjusted, based on the suspension (preload, spring stiffness, compression damping, rebound damping), handlebars and gears. While racing the player controls acceleration and braking (front and rear brake), shifting gears, steering, shifting weight, adjusting TCS and tuck-in. There are different camera options and it is possible to look to the sides or behind to keep an eye on the other racers.
Multiplayer includes split-screen for two players, single races for up to twelve players and championships with multiple races in succession..