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. tigerboy

    tigerboy Tight as a Tiger

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    As a city slicker for the first 30 years of my life, more or less, I naturally thought the same thing. If I could do it over, I would have gotten out of the city, and taken a dirt bike school, then back home, gotten a light street legal dual sport like a XT225 or CR230 and learned the limits of a bike (most cities have rough areas to practise in), then graduate to a Motard (bike I NOW own).

    Anyway, that's my advice to someone who wants to learn how to ride but hasn't yet sat on a bike, and what I'd do if I could do it over.

    Well, ain't that the truth. This is why so many people are not paying attention when they drive, on the phone or texting. They figure the 6000 lbs of steel surrounding them are their safety factor. We don't have that, so we have to watch out for those nuts.
    #61
  2. Rottweiler

    Rottweiler I'm a Believer

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    Heber Springs, Arkansas, USA
    Stay in the moment, here and now. Don't let your mind wander.

    Focus on riding. Don't think about anything else.
    #62
  3. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I do sometimes fall prey to some complacency while driving because I feel so deprived off what is going around me at times -- locked away in a cage. I force myself to remember that I am making payments on the car and how much it will cost to get it fixed if somebody hits me/I hit somebody. I also focus on the fact that 90 percent of my driving is with my wife as my passenger and the last thing I want is for her to be hurt because I wasn't paying attention.
    #63
  4. Shakerattleandroll

    Shakerattleandroll Underacheiver

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    When I was learning to drive a cage many moons ago, my ole' man...God rest his soul, dropped something on the floor and as I turned to look at what he dropped he said "well we just hit that tree when you took your eyes off the road"...humm whatever crazy old man. I've never forgotten that lesson, in fact thats the same tactic I used on my kids.

    ALWAYS ride like that car is going to cut you off or that rock is going to be in the road around that corner or that deer will wait until you are right beside it before it jumps across the road.

    Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up:thumb
    #64
  5. SeanF

    SeanF -

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    There are lots, but I'll stick with two:

    1. Check your ego. Most of the hairy spots & close calls I've had were because my ego couldn't handle being passed, or a bonehead move by a thoughtless or aggressive cager. Let. It. Go.

    2. Strive for smoothness. Smooth is fast, smooth is safe, smooth is easier on motorcycle and you, and smooth just plain looks cool.

    ok, I lied, three:

    3. Never stop learning (great thread).

    :freaky Cheers to the n00bs and the geezers.
    #65
  6. Jeff_CA

    Jeff_CA Adventurer

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    - Plan to spend $1,000 on gear when you buy the bike &#8211; or before you buy it. Spend money on your safety, your comfort then farkles. In that order.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    - Practice.<o:p></o:p>
    - Helmet, then gloves.<o:p></o:p>
    - Wear ear plugs.<o:p></o:p>
    - Buy a center stand.<o:p></o:p>
    - Leaves on the ground are slippery. Wet leaves are evil.<o:p></o:p>
    - Practice<o:p></o:p>
    - Riding two-up can be fun. Don&#8217;t even think about it until you put a few thousand miles (at least) on the odometer solo.<o:p></o:p>
    - Park facing uphill, in first gear.<o:p></o:p>
    - Practice.<o:p></o:p>
    - Have fun.<o:p></o:p>
    #66
  7. softwaretool

    softwaretool n00b

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    "It's not the bike, it's the rider"
    I like this quote.
    #67
  8. BluegrassPicker

    BluegrassPicker Been here awhile

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    Rochester, MN


    PERFECT:thumb
    #68
  9. DRPhoenix

    DRPhoenix Viking

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    British Columbia
    Lot's of good info here so I won't repeat my faves already mentioned. However you only have two wheels between you and the ground, learn to do regular checks and maintenance of your ride, tire pressure etc. Nothing sucks more than a mishap due to mechanical failure.
    #69
  10. Respen

    Respen Permanent N00b

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    North Little Rock, Arkansas
    As a noob rider, I've learned quite a few things since I began riding in October.

    1. Every time I've felt confident in what I was doing, I was about to do something stupid.

    2. I still haven't learned to trust my tires while leaning, so I stay around the posted speed limit.

    3. Almost everyday I've ridden, I've been cut-off or almost run over. Stay alert and don't bother getting mad at the cagers, they're just idiots.

    4. Don't suddenly grab your front brake while the handlebars are turned. I did this three times before learning my lesson. They were zero speed drops, but still quite embarrassing.

    5. Patience! If I don't take my time, think and look before doing anything, I will do something stupid.

    Excellent post and wonderful website. I hope to be as awesome as the rest of you someday! :D
    #70
  11. phennliegh

    phennliegh Commuting, Adventurously

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    NoVA
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5Crfinley%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C07%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Lucida Console"; panose-1:2 11 6 9 4 5 4 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:modern; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:-2147482993 6144 0 0 31 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Lucida Console"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0pt 5.4pt 0pt 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0pt; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Learn to read: the pavement, obstacles and the future.
    - The pavement; more than just wet/dry or smooth/rough. Painted areas, the center oiled strip, dust, grit, gravel, general debris and so much more.
    - Obstacles; other vehicles, including motorcycles, intersections, lighting and glare, areas of light and dark can really change your view
    - The future; right now you are upright and things are fine, what about 2 seconds/minutes from now. Don't just watch the cager in front of you, watch the one ahead of him and the one ahead of that one too.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    These things are dynamic, they change instantly and damn near randomly, be ready for anything.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Someone else mentioned sightseeing, if that is what you want to do, let someone else drive who doesn't want to sightsee.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    All of the things mentioned in this thread are portable, they apply to many other venues.
    #71
  12. tigerboy

    tigerboy Tight as a Tiger

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    Fixed:


    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=1>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=1>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=1>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=1>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=1>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=1>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=2>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=3>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=4>Look through the turn</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=5>LOOK THRU THE TURN</font><br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size=6>LOOK THRU THE @$!#$ TURN</font><br>
    #72
  13. Midnightventure

    Midnightventure -

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    These bug me too. If they think they are going to get a jump their wrong because I always assume their coming and get on the brakes and they probably just ruined their chance to get out in traffic.
    #73
  14. Midnightventure

    Midnightventure -

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    Eldon,Mo
    To me the most dangerous times to ride are dawn and dusk. In this area the deer come out and the sun is low which can blind drivers.
    #74
  15. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Take a motorcycle riders safety course FIRST, unless you're too young and learning to ride on dirt, then tril and error like most of us?
    #75
  16. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
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    TURN YOUR HEAD
    A lot of riders- new, old, in between, get lazy with the neck and just track the line with their eyes. If they get distracted, they have to work to reacquire the target. Turn your head so your nose points where you want to go, then if you glance away (was that a deer?) it's easy to pick up your line again.

    Smoother is better.

    Practice doesn't make perfect- practice makes permanent. Make the effort to practice what you want to happen when it goes to shit, so you do the right thing automatically.

    Anticipate. Most people call this "ride like you're invisible / they're out to get you". Google up Hanlon's Razor.

    Practice some more. Operating the bike needs to be as automatic as walking, so what you think about is what's going on around you.

    Do some reading. David Hough is a good place to start. Lee Parks and a bunch of others when you've got a handle on that.

    Generalize. Some people will offer advice about what to do for the one in a million thing. ("Never ride beside a semi because a tire might blow.") Back off a little and see what general category that fits into ("be aware of dangerous things beside you"), so it's the one in a thousand or one in a hundred. Learn to recognizethat and prepare for it, because that's a useful thing to have and you'll use it. Otherwise you're trying to remember all of the millions of things that can go to shit... you won't be able to make up your mind.

    Did I mention practicing?
    #76
  17. redge

    redge Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
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    Location:
    Currently NYC
    I wish that someone had told me to first decide on what helmet, jacket, gloves, boots and pants to buy, and then, knowing the budget for riding gear, decide on what bike to buy. I was in shock when I found out what it was going to cost to outfit me for the level of protection I wanted. If I had less disposable income, it would have affected the amount that I could afford to spend on a bike. I wonder how many people buy the bike first, without a clear understanding of what the gear, motorcycle course and insurance are going to cost, and wind up short changing themselves on protection because they've spent just about all they have on the bike.

    Having just gone through this, I can tell you that it is very easy to spend upwards of $3,000 on protective gear (if you buy new) and a course, with insurance on top of that.
    #77
  18. Motopapillon

    Motopapillon Eppur si muove

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
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    SW OR USA
    Motorcycle lights aim where the chassis or the front wheel point, depending on how/where they are mounted. Where a turn is going is, by definition, somewhere else. This is why riding at night, outside of urbanations, is so dangerous, and feels so creepy; you cannot see through the turn and are just reacting to where you are instead of anticipating where you'll be. You're riding blind.

    Well, except maybe a warm desert night under a bright full moon....:rofl


    M-P
    #78
  19. Sink

    Sink Stay Off The Slab

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    910
    Location:
    Pittsfield, Me
    Great thread.

    This is for street riding.

    Keep two fingers covering the brake and clutch.

    Hold the bars like you are holding a bird in your hand. If you tense up the bike feels it.

    If your behind a car at a red light don't be on the bumper of the car in front. Stay a bit behind and to the side. Keep an eye on your mirrors. If someone is coming up fast you can move around the car in front of you and let him hit that

    Smooth is fast.

    Just keep leaning, you make the curve, at the worst you'll low side, better than going into the trees head on.

    If you go down push the bike away from you.

    On the interstate don't ride the right lane. Idiots that aren't paying attention will say, wow thats my exit and cut across the lanes sometimes,and people getting on usually just pull on withoutlooking, figuring other drivers will make way

    When raining don't ride in the middle of the lane. Thats where all the oil is.

    Put weight on your inside peg when cornering.

    Be careful when you pull off to the side of the road and keep wheel straight. If its soft or sandy its eassy to fall over.

    Have fun.

    Practise braking in an empty parking lot, and slow speed manuvers.

    When turning tightly at low speeds lightly ride the rear brake.

    :thumb

    Enjoy
    #79
  20. Sink

    Sink Stay Off The Slab

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    910
    Location:
    Pittsfield, Me
    Your from Ohio so remember in the spring and fall to watch out for ice.

    Power lines can tell you about upcoming corners.
    #80