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. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,747
    Location:
    OR

    But you will be "dropping" good money for a helmet that may have been dropped.

    A used helmet may look great. It will be better than not wearing one but if it has been dropped it may well be fractured and comprimised while showing no outward signs.

    Just last weekend the store where I work was very busy and we had a customer looking at helmets place one back on a shelf (not very well) about 6' up. They then bumped it when they grabbed the one next to it and it fell to the floor with a THUD. I was pleased to see one of our apparel gals go over and offer assistance with a smile and cut the straps off the dropped helmet.

    This is the reason I would NEVER buy a used lid. That and the fact that someone else has had their scanky head in it. :puke1 :lol3
  2. Coma

    Coma Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    The Emerald Coast
    RevBill,
    I think you make some really good points about used. I am adverse to buying used helmets for the mentioned reasons. Until I get a handle on how some of this stuff fits I will have to try it on. I also like to support local business, if I can. I am not a good shopper, but I love to smell new motorcycles while looking at gear. Online pricing for info and trying on for size will have to work for a while.
  3. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,329
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    I bought my last (new) helmet at CycleGear - they are the only retailer I know that will allow you to return a helmet if you don't like it. I talked to the store manager, whom I know pretty well, just to get a feel for how he felt (as in would this cause him any grief...) his answer was "Heck yeah I want you to order one ... I won't get to see a Shoei Qwest for months if you don't .... " :lol3

    Apparently the have a big sale of all the returned gear once a year at the corporate HQ and figure that the cost of any returns is worth it in terms of gathering more loyal customers ... I have to say it worked on me!
  4. Mike_drz

    Mike_drz Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    somewhere near the beach
    I would say get a helmet that really fits your head. I been riding with a helmet -1 size for years (they said motorcross rider do that), just realized I been too hard for my head :lol3
  5. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,298
    Location:
    dumfrie scotland

    just go to a motorbike shop and find the helmets thats in your price range and try it on and do this with load s of helmets til you get the right fit. all my 2rd hand lids get the straps cut off before i bin them.
  6. tiredofpushinpedals

    tiredofpushinpedals n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3
    woo hoo! I'm an adventurer! I guess that's a step-up from a "lurker"? I am in the process of getting my first bike- talking the wife into it, checking on bikes, insurance, gear, etc., and this place is an awesome resource. thanks to all of you who share your experience with those of us who have none, or less. One little thing I can add here about not focusing on what you want to miss and instead focusing on the line you want to take is a little rhyme I've used mountain biking for the past 12 years- "Pick it and Stick it!" That is, pick the line you want to take and get the bike there. Easy for a bone head like me to remember.

    Glad to be here and looking forward to... who the hell knows what! :wave
  7. woolsocks

    woolsocks Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Is this correct?

    I'm on a two lane road (two lanes one way, two lanes the other way). I'm in the right lane behind some cars, I will generally be in the left side of that lane so that the cars in front of me can see me in their mirrors (if they use them) and I can be seen by oncoming traffic attempting to turn left in front of me. Let's say I attempt to pass the cars in the right lane, so I move over to the left lane and start passing. Generally, what part of the lane should I be in? Should I be on the right side of the left lane near the cars that I'm passing in the right lane so they can see me in their mirrors (if they use them) or should I go towards the left side of the left lane and be near the center line of the road and hence be near oncoming traffic that could possibly cross the center line and hit me? I always apply lots of throttle when passing and get the hell out of there. I'm always about 5 to 10 miles an hour faster than traffic and throttle it if I need to get out of a blind spot or pass quickly. So, any advice?

    Thanks!
    :ear
  8. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    Lane positioning is always situational.

    In general I would stay to the left side of the lane just in case the car decides to start changing lanes without checking it's blind spot first.

    However, if there were a big-assed truck coming the other way in the opposing left lane then I'd probably stay more towards the middle.
  9. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,865
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    you'll get different opinions. mine is:

    i assume i have absolutely no influence on what any cars will do and that they will not see me no matter what i do.

    so, i position myself in such a ways as to make avoiding them if they do something stupid easiest.

    so, if there are no oncoming cars, i would be in the left of the left lane near the center line in the situation you describe. that gives the most cushion for them to wander into my lane and not hit me and, more importanly, gives me the most time to see that they are doing that and react.

    if there are cars in the oncoming lane, i will be in the middle of the lane so i have as much time and space as possible to react if the oncoming car crosses the center line while still having some time and space to react to the car i am passing.
  10. slide

    slide A nation in despair

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    21,122
    Location:
    NM, USA
    IMO, it's a situational thing and not amenable to a 'rule' of some sort. The only rule I have is pass as quickly as you can to return to a space where negligent behavior on the part of the cages can't affect you.
  11. mfgc2310

    mfgc2310 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Ottawa

    Your cog gets farther from the ground or from where the tires make contact with the ground. However your weight can now press down on either the left or right side creating a moment that can be used to keep the bike vertical while going around a corner.

    If you stand on both pegs equally at all times may as well just stay on the seat.

    The best way to do it is to stay just on the seat holding the bike with your legs and knees while all the weight is on the pegs using the balls of your feet.

    The main reason to stand is to move your weight far forward or backward and to accomodate extreme movement of the bike.

    It is incorrect to say standing lowers your cog.
  12. slide

    slide A nation in despair

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    21,122
    Location:
    NM, USA
    Ah, not really. When you stand on the pegs, the COG raises but the mass of the rider is bearing lower on the bike. This means the bike is significantly more 'tossable'. The difference in a light bike, is enormous.

    Try it on a lighter bike - say one weighing 350 lbs or less. Try quickly changing the bike along the longitudinal axis. Now stand with your ass slightly above the seat and do it again. You will see a difference for sure.

    The difference on a battleship bike will be less because the rider's weight is less a percentage than on a lighter bike. You will find that trials bikes have no real saddle because in that sort of event, you need a good deal of bike English (tossing).
  13. thistle66

    thistle66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    373
    Location:
    Scotland
    ...Aaaaaand, we're off!.....
  14. RevBill

    RevBill Irreverent Reverend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,168
    Location:
    Mayodan, NC
    .. lol .. yeah .. oil .. tires .. and physics ..

    .. all good for a rollicking good conversation ..
  15. RevBill

    RevBill Irreverent Reverend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,168
    Location:
    Mayodan, NC
    ROFL .. good point ..
  16. swann

    swann Just practicing...

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    273
    Location:
    "The noobie" Otsego, MN
    All right, I keep seeing advice to ride in the dirt first. I have no clue what to do on a dirt bike. I've seen a few of them on the atv trails but I wouldn't know how to go through those big puddles that block the trail or the really bumpy stuff. I'm 5'3" and not much of a wild rider :) so just looking at how high the dirt bike seats are is kind of intimidating.

    I just checked on craigslist and it looks like I could get a kids dirt bike 50-80cc for about $500. Would that be worth it, giving me the experience on dirt that would help me as a n00b, or would it only be worth the belly laughing to anyone who would see me? I'm assuming I shouldn't use my street bike gear because it would get very dirty.
  17. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    Maybe we could slip an oil thread in too while we're at it.....:evil
  18. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,207
    Location:
    Detroit mostly
    Something you're comfortable with. A kids' bike will be closer to your size, and if that's what it takes to get you confidently out and learning more technique, that's the way to go. You'll know later on if you are ready to go up to something bigger. Plus, the price sounds great.

    One of the strangest secrets of anything with motors is that a lot of times, the smallest ones are the most fun.

    BTW - good on you for gearing up and taking it all seriously. You'll have fun and being a chicken isn't the end of the world. Taking your personal risk threshhold seriously is a good way to have fun and still live as much as you can. It sounds like your hubby might have had a good scare once and never got over it. Keep safe and learn as much as you can and maybe he'll come around for you one of these days.
  19. slide

    slide A nation in despair

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    21,122
    Location:
    NM, USA
    Dirt riding if you are starting out as an adult is dangerous beyond belief. The guys who advise this all started out as kids or teens & have this odd belief they are better street riders due to that. Even if true, the many falls they took as flex boned children (needed to learn dirt) will leave an adult crippled and crippled quickly.

    It's not the size of the bike. It's when you bounce your body off a bunch of rocks at 30 mph is where the damage occurs.
  20. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,865
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    not true.

    i know a number of people who started dirt riding as adults and have suffered no injuries more serious than minor buises.

    just don't ride over your head.

    only if you insist on riding over your head.

    and, btw, there is absolutely no question that dirt riding makes one a better all around rider...including on the street.

    so don't do that. you shouldn't be riding 30mph over rocks until you are ready to ride 30mph over rocks.