How Did You Learn To Ride?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by DR Donk, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. DR Donk

    DR Donk Been here awhile

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    In reading a thread in face plant where a man purchased a new bike but didn't know how to ride and subsequently was killed in heavy traffic as he left the dealership. There was a lot of discussion on the lack of training, which brought up memories of how I learned to ride back in '81.
    My older brothers has motorcycles back in the '70's but crashed so often, that my parents banned me from getting a bike until I was 18. So, as I was approaching that age, I read every book I could find on how to ride. I could already drive a manual shift transmission car and had spent years riding bicycles so I felt comfortable in my abilities to actually ride. The first bike I bought was a brand new TS125 2 stroke Suzuki that we brought home, from the dealership, in a van. I spent a couple of joyful hours just riding around the house, I grew up in a house with a big back yard. I later ventured up to a church parking lot and after a while there went out onto the streets. I don't remember if there was a MSF Riding Course back then, if there was I probably would have taken it. So, what is your story? :ear
    #1
  2. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Trials bike. Slow and off pavement. Learned balance and momentum (physics). I recommend it to anyone asking. Besides, trials bikes are very good at absorbing abuse. Most of the time you bend/break peripherals but not enough to hinder your ability to get home.
    #2
  3. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    I learned on a friends 70 something Kawasaki....I think it was a 350 or something around that size....don't remember...rode around a parking lot for a few minutes....then off onto the road.....road it around town for one summer then didn't touch a bike for probably 5 years after that.....bought a new 94 Suzuki GS500E and took the MSF class.....Have had a few close calls but never been down....that's not to say I haven't dropped a bike but who hasn't:lol3
    #3
  4. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    MSF.

    Then lots and lots practice on quiet streets and in parking lots before venturing into traffic. I remember how incredibly nervous and excited I was the night before my first real planned ride over just a few miles. I barely slept and was up checking the bike super early. LOL. Good times.

    I still get a tinge of that nervousness and excitement before going on a ride though. I hope that never goes away.
    #4
  5. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    Who says I have? :slurp:ricky
    #5
  6. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    I learned how to gear change stop go on a mx bike before I did my CBT then got my L plates and my clapped out 125cc bike on the road before I did my test then got my restricted r100gs

    I found riding a bike so easy and never got a problem on my 1st big bend on my honda xl125rc.

    I had a trail bike 1st but found it boring so got a trail bike and found it more fun
    #6
  7. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

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    Chinese copy of a Honda mini trail...back yard when I was 7, the next year I got a TM 75 Suzuki..the next an RM 80...and so it began..
    #7
  8. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Don't remember... Have always done it...

    How did you learn to walk? :ear
    #8
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    I learned in the alley behind the Honda dealership while my soon-to-be riding buddy did the paperwork for his bike. Man, it was awesome being indestructible.

    As a note, I didn't really learn to ride until I started doing track days. I thought I knew how to ride before that, but I didn't
    #9
  10. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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  11. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    1970. Walked into Alameda Honda and bought a CL450. Rode it home to Hayward, which included a few miles on the Nimitz freeway. I had a few 'moments' in traffic, but pretty uneventful once I got the feel of the clutch and power delivery.

    I traded that for a Yamaha 360 enduro a few months later. I actually learned how to ride with it. Within another few months it was stripped and use for D36 enduro events. It taught me all about tank slappers coming off of jumps when the forks bottomed. It ended up a basket case and I gave it to a mechanic plus some cash for a Penton Six Days 125. That was my first real motorcycle. :deal Thing was awesome and so much faster than the 125's of the day (pre Elsinore and RM).

    My next streetbike was a Ducati Superlight 900SS in the 90's. It was after a long layoff. It took me at least two years to get comfortable riding in the street. I did a few track days too, which helped. Since then it's been KTM dual sports.
    #11
  12. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

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    1977.

    Graduated college. Doing laborer work for the summer, living in Connecticut at my older sister's house.

    Spent the previous 2 years reading every MC magazine I could find and decided on a new 1977 Yamaha XS500D (twin, 4 stroke)

    Went to a Yamaha dealer, plunked down $1398. and rode home on it. No MC experience but lots of bicycle miles. Arrived back at my sister's house w/o incident.

    Took the road test a month later. In Ct it was a joke back then- ride around a few cones then around the DMV building once- don't fall off and they give you an endorsement.

    No drama in the entire learning process, fortunately.
    #12
  13. devo55

    devo55 Adventurer

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    This was back in 1974, no MSF as far as I am aware. My buddy who had a bike rode my new Honda home from the dealer. I then climbed on and under his "instruction", began riding around my neighborhood. His instruction lasted all of 30 minutes. After that I went further and further from home.

    Didn't know crap about riding though. And don't touch that front brake! It will catapult you over the bars if you do. Not sure how I survived.
    #13
  14. Future ten

    Future ten Been here awhile

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    Honda QA 50
    #14
  15. higear

    higear Adventurer

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    Tennessee, by God.
    Took the BRC, went to the dealership, bought the bike, and rode it home 100 miles in the rain.
    #15
  16. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    1964, Honda C110, 50cc, 4-speed.
    Got on it & started riding. Already had 'manual shifting'/friction zone/clutch feathering basics down, thanks to my '57 VW and Dad's pickup truck.
    Finally got the MSF course done in '08...
    #16
  17. dirtrulz

    dirtrulz Been here awhile

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    I learned to ride on a late 70's 175, I think that was what it was. I was too short to reach the pegs so my dad would stand and balance it and put it in first gear for me then I would run the gas and clutch and he would make sure i was going ok and then let me go. I would ride around until I wanted to stop and then do a couple of laps around the house so he would come out and I would pull in the clutch and he would catch the bike. Put a lot of miles sitting in front of him on his street bike with him running the rear brake and shifter and me doing everything else. The good old days.
    #17
  18. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    Bicycles progressed to lawn mower engine powered mini-bikes back in the 60's. Those progressed into dirt bikes in the 70's. Those had progressed into dual sports by the 80's. The first real motorcycle I can remember riding and when I learned to shift was on a Harley Davidson (Aermacchi) enduro. Somewhere along the way I figured out counter steering, threshold braking and all the other crap we need to know.
    #18
  19. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

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    Growing up we were always pedaling around town. Day,night,summer,winter-didn't matter.Always on our bikes.

    Eventually a few of the guys got minibikes and small MX bikes-DS80, YZ80,etc which we all took turns riding on an abandoned railbed, in an old gravel pit as well as around fields and local dirt roads. Next, one of my buddies got a Yahama 125 enduro, the MX bikes became 125s and our dirt road excursions increased in frequency & distance.

    I, of course, was not allowed to have my own...

    At 15 I got my first actual job,one year later I bought a new, 0 mile, Suzuki GS450t for $1700, cash! Had my boss take me to the dealership to pick it up, rode it home to let the folks know what was up, been riding(mostly) ever since. Eventually, I even got my self the mc endorsement!

    Yup, rebel without a clue.
    #19
  20. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked

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    I had only been on a couple Honda 50cc bikes before I bought my first BMW R75/5 at the dealership in Germany. I rode up and down the block a few times and practiced turns in a parking lot before I got on the Autobahn... ( cue sound of someone crapping their pants ), but I didn't die. Three months in European city traffic and alpine twisties taught me a bunch. Then I rode that thing 24/7 for 3 years, before loaning to a friend who crashed it...
    #20