Most Important Things to Know For a Motorcycling n00b.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MotoMusicMark, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Mollygrubber

    Mollygrubber Eschew obfuscation

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    Interestingly, the O.P. (having made this 1 post) vanished as well...

    +1 on "Ride your own ride". I'm still learning that one.
  2. RFP52IA

    RFP52IA Adventurer

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    This is my first post here hello.

    As a MSF Coach and Coach Trainer it felt very good reading through this thread and seeing so many refer back to their training. It is hard to explain how rewarding it is to have previous students come back and say, " I got into trouble but remembered what you said and got out of it." A few people maybe missed a couple things. You definitely have to shift in curves, on ramps and off ramps would be an example, but you shouldn't squeeze in the clutch and coast through turns.

    I do, and probably always will, consider myself a beginner. My advice would be to be a lifelong learner. Learning doesn't end with the completion of any class or with any period of time in the seat it's a life long process but you have to remain open to that.

    I taught an Experienced Rider Course a few years ago. We had a old school "biker" in the class. His wife had taken our BRC and refused to co-sign the papers for him to get a new bike unless he took a class and got licensed. He came in with a MAJOR attitude and the day started rough. At lunch he stood up in front of everyone, apologized, and said he felt humble because he had no idea how much he didn't know. It took 30 years but he got it.

    I will also throw out another remark. In almost every crash with VERY few exceptions, no matter who got the ticket or the blame, the motorcyclist did something wrong that lead to that crash. Drivers do not want to hit you. Every time you raise the side stand it is your skill and ability that is tested. Drivers are just one of many hazards you need to be aware of.
  3. *Gravy*

    *Gravy* Jedi Loser

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    You had me till this. It's a nice bag of wind and helps a noob keep on their toes but it's simply not true, especially from a legality standpoint.

    Here's how I would personally re-word it and get the same point across:
    Anytime a motorcyclist is involved in any type of "accident" (or any unexpected situation) he/she should take a long hard look at what could have been done to avoid it.

    If you read the faceplant section of this forum it's filled with armchair cyclists. I've often thought that if a rider was struck and killed by a meteor someone here would say they should have checked the forecast closer :lol3
    It is very good to analyze how you can be more prepared for situations in the future but always "blaming" the motorcyclist is a trend we are seeing more and more of.
  4. IceBikeDave

    IceBikeDave Been here awhile

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    When someone pulls out in front of you, or when any kind of "other person" caused incident occurs, try this. Go to your happy place for about 5 seconds.
    Let me explain. When the bad thing happens (like an oncoming left turn almost getting you) you have about 3 seconds before the adrenalin starts pumping for about 10 seconds. You need to learn how to stop this from happening. For me, I immediately think about something else. Usually I focus on the traffic and plan all my next 15 seconds of defensive riding, ie looking for escape paths, vehicles that can be used as blockers, other bad things that could happen etc. I attempt to put the "incident" out of my immediate mental focus. After doing this for a while some people have told me that they also can stop the adrenalin rush.
    The adrenalin dose you no good. Thinking about what just took place might make you do something that you will regret, and will most likely ruin your day even if you don't act.
    Later in the day mentally go over the incident and try to think of a way to lessen the probability of it happening again. Flash your head light, "cover" the brake, change lanes or whatever.
    Next day think, Did I learn anything useful, or, just another street fight?
  5. ULY-RPG

    ULY-RPG cool hands adv

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    +1 on controlling the rage,thank you! It's so easy to forget staying focused is so important and life saving.
  6. Tforbess

    Tforbess n00b

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    Being a noob, myself, I get in a car and drive to my bike and the area in which I ride. And when I'm done for the day, I get in the car and drive back home. But that's not the point. The point is that, sometimes, transitioning from 4wheels to 2wheels and then back again gets confusing. Different rules and techniques apply, obviously (cornering, braking, etc...). So the best advice I can give, from one noob to another, is this: Until it comes naturally, consciously enter "motorcycle mode" when you get on your bike, and consciously enter "car mode" when you get in the car. Maybe even say it to yourself. That's what I do, and it helps.*
  7. JML

    JML n00b

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    first post on a great thread. thanks for taking the time to share!
  8. daq7

    daq7 Been here awhile

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    I frequently have a moment of cognitive dissonance when I get on the bike and my instinct wants to put on seat belts.
  9. esblow

    esblow Adventurer

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    I've been riding along time and have to say that I'm really impressed with the advice given in this thread. That being said I'd like to chip in my thoughts to help out the Newbies if they're still reading this thread and are willing to listen and learn.

    Every single time I get on my bike and ride around the streets surrounded by cagers, I still remember three things from the motorcycle saftey course I took 20 years ago.

    1) COUNTER STEERING!!!
    The best and fastest way to turn a bike of any size is to PUSH the grip of the direction you want the bike to go! For example: if you need/want the bike to turn to the right, PUSH the right grip away from you. Depending on your speed and force you apply to the grip, it'll put the bike into a lean in the direction you want to go. Its a good idea to practice this at low speeds on an empty street while you alternate pushing left and right to make the bike slalom down the street. I also find this to be a good excercise after a new bike purchase to find the center of gravity of the bike with you on the back. Try it while riding 2-up or with gear loaded on the bike and notice the difference.

    2) LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, NOT AT WHAT YOU WANT TO AVOID.
    This is especially important in a turn. When making a turn, any turn, adjust your speed accordingly before entering the turn and putting the bike into a lean, keep your eye on the apex of the turn, keep a steady throttle through the turn, then accelerate as you exit the turn.

    3) HOPE AND POKE
    In a pre-accident traffic setting surrounded by cagers, "HOPE there's a hole, and POKE through it". The lesson to learn here is: while driving the streets full of oblivious cagers, always plan an escape route in case an accident or some other brake slamming event occurs.

    In my experience there are two types of motorcycle collisions. 'In Traffic', and 'Single Vehicle'. These three simple things have keep me in one piece (though not without scars) for a long time. Hope they work for you.

    Oh, and I almost forgot. Welcome! Have fun! Ride safe! After 20 years in the saddle I still wear a shit-eating grin under my helmet.
  10. JML

    JML n00b

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    Thanks to all for the tips...this new rider appreciates all the input. Im already an avid ADV fan.


    Question, when doing the intermedium course, I practiced and enjoyed a lot counter steering, and I noticed it comes naturally when at cruising speeds, but at low speeds its not that "natural".

    Thanks for sharing guys!
  11. duck

    duck Banned

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    Don't read any threads with more than 500 posts.
  12. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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  13. IceBikeDave

    IceBikeDave Been here awhile

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    Learn how fast and hard you can stop!
    Go to a parking lot and practice stopping. Start at a low speed 10 mph and work up to 30 or 40. How hard must you squeeze the front to lift the rear tire? How hard can you squeeze the front and still have some back wheel breaking?
    Don't worry about burning up the brakes or wearing out the tire. Your first panic, slam on the brakes, wow I didn't hit the kid stop experience will make the brakes and tire wear issue seem trivial.
  14. ®êšïš†ø®

    ®êšïš†ø® Crash-Resistant

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    Heh. I still get that. I also keep looking up for the rearview mirror. :rofl
  15. xtrapl8

    xtrapl8 n00b

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    Don't be afraid to take a little detour when faced with a quick last minute exit-no exit decision en route. Slow is good!
  16. 8thdwarf

    8thdwarf perfect,just perfect

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    when in doubt..... GAS IT...:hair
  17. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    "If in doubt, go flat out" means the same and rhymes better. :D

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    Never underestimate the stupidity of other road users. And if you do, certainly never post about it on messageboards. It doesn't matter how stupid and impossible to pre-empt their manoeuvre was: You should have spotted it and it's all your fault.

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    Use hard luggage for business travel.

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    Pack lighter.

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    Compression bags are your friend.

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    Most mechanical work is nowhere near as hard as you think it is. Get stuck in, it's the best way to learn.

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    If you do serious mileage don't bother cleaning your bike all the time. It's pointless. Don't believe the hype that cleaning the bike will make you spot something that is about to fail and avert an accident. Unless it's caked in 2" of mud, cleanliness doesn't matter. Periodic checks for safety/wear can be made irrespective of whether or not the bike has a thin film of road grime on the bodywork.

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    If you live somewhere where snow is sporadic and only covers some areas of your route, snow chains on sports touring tyres are the best compromise between grip and time to set up.

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    Don't worry about trying to get your knee down.

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    Tomtom mounts for their motorbike GPSes are inherently flawed and cannot stand up to offroading or high mileage. Garmin are not perfect, but are better.

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    Proper waterproof kit is worth its weight in gold.

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    As is good quality heated kit.
  18. Migs

    Migs Been here awhile

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    This is a good one. I have decided to do all mechanical add on and maintenance work myself. That way I can confidently resolve problems out in the bush. Plus my rider buddies know they have a "ride along tire patcher!" -Migs
  19. duck

    duck Banned

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    Most Americans don't know what that is.

    In American: "heated gear"

    (like an electric vest or jacket liner)
  20. smilin jack

    smilin jack Grandpa Adventurer

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    Look through the turn means:

    Look as far around the corner as you can see. The bike will just follow where you are looking, and you are suddenly a much smoother driver.

    Your brakes will also last longer, because you don't use them as much (no panic braking).

    Dave