How long to feel confident on bike?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by tennyis, May 26, 2013.

  1. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the great post koolbreeze!

    and for the record my MSF instructors all said push, "push left turn left, push right turn right" is what they said over and over.

    Push or press though, who cares... Just have a beer and relax guys :)
    #81
  2. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    Yes, loving the bike now! Not nearly as nervous as I was before. There was actually 2 mistakes that I made that all related to my helmet that was causing me stress on the bike.

    When I traded my atv for the bike, I had a dual sport style HJC helmet. It was the cheapest helmet I could find for my atv, I think I paid around 70 for it. The sun visor on it was pushing my head all around, for someone used to riding it may not be a big deal but to me it made me feel extremely unstable in the wind and anything over 55mph. I took it off a week ago and I couldn't believe the difference. Without my head being pushed around I realized that the rest of me was actually pretty stable. That sun visor/beek was acting like a big sail on my head haha.

    The 2nd issue was that I was not wearing ear plugs. The helmet is VERY loud, putting in the ear plugs really took me down another notch.

    I still have a lot of learning to do and issues that I know I have. My main one right now is getting better at cornering and not slowing down for turns. My instinct is to let off the gas when coming up to a turn, even slight ones.

    I have about 2400km of riding now, still not much at all but I tend to only have time to do 30-50km rides. I have yet to go on the freeway, the thought of it makes me nervous but from what I have heard it's nothing to worry about. I also have very little time riding at night (license restrictions that are now lifted after 2 months of riding)

    August 17th I am doing a 2 day 800km ride with my neighbor. Going to go to Algonquin Park and a county fair. Should be a lot of fun!
    #82
  3. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    haha! I do plan on buying a new bike next year. If budget it allows it I will get a V-Strom 650 (brand new). If that does not work out, I will go with a used Katana 750. I think a bike that will fit me much better then my current one.
    #83
  4. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    any tips for my first 2 day bike ride? things to bring, etc?
    #84
  5. KoolBreeze

    KoolBreeze Been here awhile

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    credit card.


    seriously though... for an overnighter all I ever really care about is a small extra msr bottle with 1/4 gallon of fuel (which I carry everyday anyway) clothing layers, change of basics (socks, underwear) and sleeping arrangements. (sleeping bag and tent or bivy sack) keep a small flashlight in the pocket of my jacket and lighter in my pocket as well a folding knife... usuals.

    glad to see you survived the MSF course!!!

    oh yea, means to charge your electronics if that matters to you. i've done it the "turn off electronics while riding" method to save battery power until I rigged up usb charging under the seat.
    #85
  6. KoolBreeze

    KoolBreeze Been here awhile

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    fyi items I typically carry

    on the bike: usb charging ability and cables. basic tool kit customized to this bike. 1/4 gallon of gas. tire patch kit. tire pump. registration/insurance info. ipad2. spare phone (hey, i have one so...) spare mini-light. spare key hidden. (you'd have to take bike apart to find it if you didn't know where it was)

    on me: zipka light. lighter. knife. wallet. phone.
    #86
  7. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Being a MSF instructor for 20+ years means I have heard the push/press forever. I use the terms the MSF says to use. But, I qualify it by explaining it is just more palm pressure of one hand against the grip than the other grip, in the direction you want the bike to go.

    If you like push, fine.

    If you like press, fine.

    Just don't confuse it by saying "press down" on the grip. That really only applies to sportbikes when you are sitting upright versus the track crouch. Press down is useless if you ride with ape-hangers, or a dirt bike, unless you are standing on the pegs. Then its almost as much footpeg loading as grip push/press.

    OH CRAP! I'm trapped into explaining CS again!!!
    #87
  8. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    thanks Koolbreeze! It turned into a 2 night trip now! Distance stayed the same we are just heading up the night before to a friends trailer. I'm really looking forward to it!
    #88
  9. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    trip was amazing! did 850km (little over 500 miles) and had a lot of good times and sight seeing. Already thinking of Lake Placid trip next month :)

    The bike is a bit on the cramped side for me though, I think a V-Strom will be in my driveway next year. Possibly a KLR but the V-Strom just seems like its worth the extra money.
    #89
  10. KoolBreeze

    KoolBreeze Been here awhile

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    Good start on a hopefully long future of riding no doubt.

    Guess time wil tell which bike will best represent your preference of riding. I think both are good, I know I spend a LOT of miles and enjoy a bit of spirited road and recognize the strom as right up at the top of fitting this. In the meantime you'll still be enjoying the experience!
    #90
  11. SxyRdr

    SxyRdr Been here awhile

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    Glad you had a great trip. :clap


    FWIW, my son had a KLR650 and recently acquired a V-Strom 650. He liked the KLR... he LOVES the Wee.
    #91
  12. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    Thanks wound up buying one now, good deal came along so I figured why wait until spring :)

    I am the proud new owner of a 2004 dl650 v-strom!
    #92
  13. KoolBreeze

    KoolBreeze Been here awhile

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    sweet, congrats! this is good. more comfort and capability with plenty of room to grow. I'm thinking there is some riding in your future for sure. today just hopped back on my bike for the first time in a few weeks... had broke my foot and doctor was making a big issue out of not riding the bike. (ok so I snuck a couple short rides in just don't tell the doc) I have a clear go now and am back on and thinking I need to get a couple more miles out... perhaps a long weekend trip to Colorado is in order. :deal

    edit: yet another nice aspect of this is the mpg... even at $4 a gallon you can ride without feeling too guilty about it. I think your vstrom must get in the high 50's at least.
    #93
  14. InsideThePerimeter

    InsideThePerimeter North GA bound

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    Congrats on the V-Strom.

    The day you feel totally comfortable on a motorcyle and have no fear is the day you need to sell it.
    #94
  15. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    If I had to ride every day scared and uncomfortable, I wouldn't be riding. You're just projecting your own feelings onto other people.

    There's a way around all that. It's known as "proficiency". :deal
    #95
  16. Red9

    Red9 Been here awhile

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    Wow...

    I can't believe some of the people here advocating not to ride until you have taken "the course."

    Makes me wonder how us old folks survived! Believe it or not junior, many of us here took up motorcycling long before there were any courses to take.

    Throw a leg over the damn thing and go on out into the country and ride.
    Don't head out into heavy traffic or down any super twisty roads but dammit man, ride! Even if it's in an empty parking lot or up and down an empty street.
    Learn how to operate and get a feel for the controls, the brakes and throttle. How to balance at a stop etc.

    And don't listen to the pussies who didn't throw a leg over until somebody ran alongside and held their hand. They'll tell you you're going to learn bad habits and blah blah blah....

    I strongly recommend you do take a riding course but did you take a course to learn how to ride your first bicycle?:D
    #96
  17. marty_uiuc

    marty_uiuc moran

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    i've been riding for almost 10 years, have done track days, track schools, race schools, BRC, ARC (in that order), and still do not always feel 100% confident on the bike. i'll still occasionally lock-up when something unexpected happens, although with what i've learned i can recover a lot faster than i used to be able to. at first i would lock-up, target fixate and sometimes crash, whereas now the training usually will kick in and i can fix the problem, then sort of shake my head at making a newbie mistake when i get in a little over my head.

    one thing that i have found is that my feel for a bike is very tire pressure sensitive. a change of 3 or 4 psi seems to have a huge impact on my confidence on a bike. too low and i can feel the bike sort of hunting for a line and not taking a set mid corner, while too high and the bike seems to flop over on entry which kind of ruins the rest of the corner for me.


    to be honest, the BRC was probably the least helpful training i've received due to the slow speeds and dogmatic teaching. conversely, the ARC was the most revealing in terms of what a rider can "get away with" in terms of control inputs to the bike.
    #97
  18. marty_uiuc

    marty_uiuc moran

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    i have advocated this method in the past, and this is how i learned. however, a buddy of mine recently lost his spleen and a kidney because he followed my advice on how to learn. he rode for an hour or so in a parking lot getting used to the feel of his new to him monster 750, then rode to the gas station to fill the tank. upon exiting the gas station he managed to completely lose control of the bike and ram in to a concrete wall.

    i am no longer sure that the 'throw a leg over and ride' method is a good one. maybe it depends on the person.
    #98
  19. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    :eek1:eek1:eek1
    #99
  20. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Yup, taught myself, back in the mid 1950s. Started with Cushman scooters because we had a scooter law that allowed 14 yo kids to operate anything 5 hp or less. Back then, kids got out of the house and DID things, because there was no Internet and daytime TV sucked. There was one phone in the back hall, and we were on a party line. I rode a bicycle to school year round and it was my main transport. Times were different, and most of the guys could ride and drive by the time they got a license.