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Old 05-19-2013, 06:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viverrid View Post
Pssst... actually we CAN brake in turns. Think of it as an 'advanced maneuver', lol. Just don't grab a big handful (or footfull) while turning.
Right this mysterious "trail breaking" I hear of. Let's pretend that the "we" in my statement meant "beginning riders."
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:30 PM   #17
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Dont feel to bad, an instructor today ate it hard when trying to swerve to fast in a demonstration it was kinda wild.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:11 AM   #18
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Right this mysterious "trail braking" I hear of. Let's pretend that the "we" in my statement meant "beginning riders."
Fixt. We don't wanna be "breaking" in the corners , but once you've built your skills you'll learn that "braking" is just fine. I love watching MotoGP racing and seeing those guys riding just the front wheel into a corner, back tire skipping off the ground at 150+ mph, then powersliding around and out and accelerating toward 200 mph before grabbing the brakes again. It'll be a while before you have skills like that but yes, you can brake through corners.

So, did you finish the course? Pass it? We bought a little Suzuki TU250X like the one in your photo for my wife, sweet bike, but I imagine it was a bit small for you:



It fit her perfectly, but she's 5'1" and about 105 pounds with teeny little feet. You sound a bit bigger so I agree with the above post - when you decide to get a bike for yourself, sit on a bunch of them and you'll find one that just FITS. If you're comfortable on the bike and not struggling to get the proper foot location, arm reach, knee flex, view in the mirrors, etc. you'll have a lot more of your attention available to focus on what really matters, riding safely in traffic. The learning curve of operating the bike is steep and you need to practice, practice, practice, that's for certain. The real test, though, comes when you start riding in real-world conditions of traffic, changing road surface, rain, gravel, dogs, deaf-dumb-blind idiots in cars, and a million other hazards to pay attention to. When you hit the streets your operation of the bike needs to be habitual and routine, not foremost in your mind. Proper, well-fitted gear also allows you to take your mind off that aspect of it and focus on what's happening around you. Over the years I've developed what I call a "paranoid-aggressive" riding style - assume you're invisible to the surrounding traffic and be prepared to take aggressive action to avoid being sucked into a "situation" where your safety is compromised. I emphasize - don't be an aggressive rider, just be prepared to take aggressive action to keep yourself out of dangerous situations (merging traffic, blind spots, etc.). Remember, you are INVISIBLE regardless how many lights you have on the bike or what visually-toxic colors you're wearing. Keep your "situational awareness" radar on maximum all the time.

All that said, the concentration and focus required to ride safely is what I find so simultaneously exciting and relaxing. It is a dangerous sport and riding a bike is thrilling, but the required focus of doing it safely also takes my mind off all the other crap going on in my life and is very relaxing. Does that make sense? I remember from comic books when I was a kid, Superman would go to his Ice Fortress (whatever it was called) and he had a helmet that would clear his mind so he could relax, clear his mind of all the troubles that he was trying to help people deal with. That's what a motorcycle helmet does for me . That's my excuse, anyway, it's seriously therapeutic to go for a nice long ride.

Best wishes to you as you begin this sport, it's been a focal point in my life for over 50 years now (since I was 5) and I can't imagine ever NOT riding motorcycles. Wooot!!

Doug
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manfromthestix screwed with this post 05-20-2013 at 05:17 AM
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:49 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post

So, did you finish the course? Pass it? We bought a little Suzuki TU250X like the one in your photo for my wife, sweet bike, but I imagine it was a bit small for you:



It fit her perfectly, but she's 5'1" and about 105 pounds with teeny little feet. You sound a bit bigger so I agree with the above post - when you decide to get a bike for yourself, sit on a bunch of them and you'll find one that just FITS. If you're comfortable on the bike and not struggling to get the proper foot location, arm reach, knee flex, view in the mirrors, etc. you'll have a lot more of your attention available to focus on what really matters, riding safely in traffic.

Doug
Oddly enough, it actually fits me great (which is good, considering I bought one for a song a couple of weeks ago, before I knew how to ride at all), other than the fact that I haven't gotten used to hanging on with my knees. I would like to try and put in a slightly taller (flat) seat, to give myself a bit more play.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Yeps View Post

Ya' know- with the helmet and glasses you are looking like Robert Patrick- the guy who played the T-1000 in Terminator 2- right after he took the motorcycle from the policeman

Good work on the MSF class. Ride long and prosper......
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by TexaNate View Post
According to my instructor, every class has a different dynamic - sometimes no one drops in the whole class but sometimes every single person drops on a given exercise.

Frankly, I'm surprised they don't have students wear more gear for liability reasons - long sleeves, closed shoes and any helmet is all they asked for, as I recall. It's easy to forget but going down at 30mph on pavement with inadequate gear hurts and it can put you in the hospital from road rash alone.

Riding gloves are like twenty bucks and a good full-face helmet can be found for under a hundred. Get thee to a moto shop and get yourself some more gear - you know you have to eventually.

Also - on riding boots - it can be a pain to get used to bulkier boots (especially shifting) but you can usually rotate shift lever up on the splines to accommodate a bigger shoe, or you can buy a longer lever. The main time I get paranoid about protecting my feet is when I'm offroad with boulders and weeds and stuff but even on the street, it would suck to wreck and get skewered in the ankle by a footpeg on the way down...

Don't let your little spill get you down - is that MSF's bike you dropped? Always best to drop someone else's machine if possible

Last time I took a MSF class was last year for the ERC. The required gear was: over ankle boots, full fingered gloves, DOT helmet, long sleeve shirt, eye protection ($0.99 sunglasses count).

My friend was a firefighter for a town that was right next to the local community college where MSF classes are held and oh the stories he has of the fire dept responding to calls there. One of the worse ones was a person who's laces got caught in the chain. They are lucky there were plenty of riders on the fire dept and the took the bike apart right before they were about to just cut up the swing arm with the jaws.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by mngl1500 View Post
Last time I took a MSF class was last year for the ERC. The required gear was: over ankle boots, full fingered gloves, DOT helmet, long sleeve shirt, eye protection ($0.99 sunglasses count).

My friend was a firefighter for a town that was right next to the local community college where MSF classes are held and oh the stories he has of the fire dept responding to calls there. One of the worse ones was a person who's laces got caught in the chain. They are lucky there were plenty of riders on the fire dept and the took the bike apart right before they were about to just cut up the swing arm with the jaws.

That's why I am not terribly keen on these boots. They do have laces (although I have them well tucked and a sock folded over). Might have to switch to my regular ropers until I can get some actual MC boots.


BTW, took my first ride on my bike (also a TUX), and loved it. Riding at road speeds (30-40) is actually a lot easier, at least to me. Still not great at turning from a stop, but getting there. Also, shifting is a lot easier now that I have had a little practice. There just wasn't enough room to stretch out and practice shifting on the range, and I wasn't quite used to my left foot doing what I had trained my right hand to do in my old Jetta (RIP Jetta).
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:18 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by DC2wheels View Post
Ya' know- with the helmet and glasses you are looking like Robert Patrick- the guy who played the T-1000 in Terminator 2- right after he took the motorcycle from the policeman

Good work on the MSF class. Ride long and prosper......
One of the ridercoaches said the same thing, hence the picture he decided he had to take. For real life, I have a full face helmet (bought immediately after the class.)
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:44 AM   #24
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First thing I thought, too.

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Old 05-20-2013, 09:05 AM   #25
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In my class some idiot managed to dump the clutch with the throttle wide open on the exercise where you go around the loop starting and stopping cone to cone. Apparently when you do that on an XT225 it rears like a bucking bronco before throwing you off the back and bee lining for the Rider Coach.

Luckily she was pretty fast for her age and managed to avoid getting killed by the run away bike. They got the idiot back up on the bike and he learned to cover the clutch. He has since survived 10k miles of riding over several years.

Yours truly,

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Old 05-20-2013, 09:37 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by gbmaz View Post
In my class some idiot managed to dump the clutch with the throttle wide open on the exercise where you go around the loop starting and stopping cone to cone. Apparently when you do that on an XT225 it rears like a bucking bronco before throwing you off the back and bee lining for the Rider Coach.

Luckily she was pretty fast for her age and managed to avoid getting killed by the run away bike. They got the idiot back up on the bike and he learned to cover the clutch. He has since survived 10k miles of riding over several years.

Yours truly,

Some Idiot
Haha. Glad to know I'm in good company.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:50 AM   #27
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In my MSF course the only one to crash was one of the instructors.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:43 AM   #28
manfromthestix
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In my MSF course the only one to crash was one of the instructors.
I took the training to become an MSF rider coach and one of our instructors was grand-standing a bit and pulled a HUGE stoppie on an XT225, almost went over the bars, but landed it and tried to pretend he'd meant to do that. All the very experienced riders he was teaching were not fooled . Point is, even experienced riders fook it up sometimes.

Well I hope you enjoy your little TU250X! We've sold ours (the red 2009 like in your photo), but I rode it quite a bit and really liked it. It NEVER failed to start first push of the button and never had any mechanical issues. I enjoyed it but I am spoiled, I guess, and felt it was kind of small and underpowered for the open highway. I want something under me that can go faster than the surrounding traffic and get there in a hurry . The TU is a very capable bike with great brakes, and it's the proof of the old saying that riding a slow bike fast is more fun than riding a fast bike slow. It's a great first bike, congratulations! I felt naked with only one bike in the garage, so a week later I got a used WR250R (my 45th bike) that I am just loving! The TU will not be your last bike, heh heh.

A neighbor of mine recently sold his GSXR1000 at a yard sale and a 16 year old kid bought it as his first road bike. I hope he survives that thing, scary fast.

Anyway, be safe, practice, practice, practice, and I hope you find yourself loving this sport as much as I do.

Doug
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:47 AM   #29
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Might have to switch to my regular ropers until I can get some actual MC boots.
Be careful if you're going to ride wearing ropers:

a) The front sole is most likely smooth leather which can be slippery under certain conditions.

b) They probably have a right angle at the front of the heel that can catch on cracks or other irregularities in pavement. Motorcycle boots usually have a round front edge for the heel so they're less likely to catch in those situations.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:21 AM   #30
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When I took the MSF course it was full of people with a bunch of experience, there for the insurance discount, and maybe 10 noobs. I was 21 and had been dirt bike riding for 16 years at that point, my father told me I had to take it before I rode on the road. I told him , fine, I will take and so will you. He had been riding 40 some years at that point.

The instructors separated out the more experienced and we had all sorts of fun, doing weaves and figure 8's with 8 bikes in the 8 and timing the cross overs. Didn't even come close to crashing, but I did all of my crashing in the dirt.

I am a vehement disbeliever in "Everyone crashes at some point" Utter and complete B.S. case in point was my father who rode close to 55 years and never dropped a bike, except when parking it on grass his foot slipped. That wasn't a crash.
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