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. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    I agree 100%, but it's not just the usually slower pace of riding offroad, but that the rear tire and, hell, even the front tire, will lose traction / kick out once in a while, and it's being used to those skills that make for a much better road rider. (Sure, it can be at a lower pace, too, but it's the frequency that I favor more). Same goes for riding the edge of traction through a turn, locking up a brake, riding over minor obstacles, etc.

    The guys and gals who approach motorcycling (or get turned off by it when they learn that it will happen) with the attitude that "Hey, but I don't want to fall, and I don't want to have my rear tire kick out!" really aren't even ready to start riding street IMHO. Many do, but they seem to make for poor riders. It's not that the rest of us want it to happen, it's that it will happen, and you best have the skills to handle the loss of traction with either tire or know how to roll out a common tip-over / low-side (all much more safe to learn in the dirt).

    It's the toughest subject I've had to try to get over with all the black girls who used to see my cruiser and tell me they want to learn to ride up there in Riviera Beach. I'd tell them that while it was easy and fun, that the dirt was safer to learn on, to expect minor falls, and that we all tip one over eventually... and they'd be turned off from riding almost immediately.

    Maybe I should just start lying about that part? After all, we all got through it.
  2. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    ^^^^^ +1

    Anytime someone asks me about getting a two wheeled anything (scooters too), I tell them bad idea. All the n00bs only see the romance/adventure of riding, none of the perils. My retirement buddy wants a Harley; I told him he'd be dead before he got out of the parking lot. :huh

    Riding is for thrill seekers (not talking about squids). If you think it's safe, you're delusional.

    I've ridden for 25 years, the first 15 on the dirt only. No way I wanted to be planted by a soccer mom. I know the risks but the over 40 crowd just wanting something faster than golf, should look elsewhere. :deal
  3. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Why would you tell him that?

    :topes

    :1drink
  4. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    Because I know him, he's an accident looking for a place to happen; something you'd never know. I want someone to go to lunch with, not someone's funeral to go to. And I don't want his kids and grandkids blaming me for getting him interested in riding. You're a dealer/seller, you need new customers; I don't need friends (old guys) thinking riding is 'safe'.

    Yesterday, Sunday, I put myself in a postion where threshold braking + muscle memory kept me from sticking myself into the back of an SUV. Did I make a mistake? Yes. Did the SUV decide to brake and hang a left as I was setting up for a pass? Yes. How many of us are mind readers? :beer
  5. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    According to the people here who want to see cripples among newbies, the solution is to start people out on dirt. That way they're crippled before they're finally killed.

    Seriously, though, why not let your buddy decide? He's an old guy, right? So he's not like 18 and full of himself & too much juice. Let him take the Harley New Riders' Course and he'll see for himself if he's got what it takes.

    The key to safety is to ride within yourself - not to ride on dirt. In the case you cite, your buddy probably would not try that pass so the danger wouldn't even be there.

    I'm also baffled by this 'set up to...'. I hear Harley riders talking about setting up to pass or make a turn or stop or whatever. What is setting up? I just do it.
  6. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    This guy has never done anything mixing balance and machinery. No bicycling anything that isn't flat, water skiing, snowmobile riding, wind surfing. All the things that teach balance and muscle control for a lifetime.

    The setting up: SUV driving 40 in a 45 and a double yellow line. We have short passing zones in the mountains, you need to be ready for your opportunity. I was just closing the gap between us as he was spotting his turn because I was following at a safe distance before deciding to pass.

    I agree with starting in the dirt, it was my first 15 years of riding; no pavement. My falls were slow and mostly painless, there was never the possibility of a 'thump, thump' following my mistakes.

    :freaky
  7. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    Riding in dirt is a young man's game - not a guy ready for retirement with the brittle bones, etc.

    Like I said, why not let the guy take that excellent New Riders' Course. I've spoken to several old folks who tried and based on their own assessment, decided against that Harley.
  8. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    me i have been on the road for nearly 9years and have never ridden on any proper mx tracks ect and found it made no difference to my road riding as i found it easy to cornner a bike / ridding a bike came naturally to me.
  9. RevBill

    RevBill Irreverent Reverend

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    .. boy this thread went WAY off course .. yeah .. it now un-officially sucks ..

    .. hey noobs .. after reading all this (if you made it this far) .. just clear your minds and stop thinking/worrying about how dead you'll be for not following everyone's path to righteousness and road safety ..

    .. go take an MSF course .. then the advanced course (if you can score one in your area) .. they will teach you the basic (and advanced) survival skills ..

    .. go read the books on "Proficient Motorcycling" .. last time I checked there are two out, "Proficient Motorcycling" and "More Proficient Motorcycling".. I think you can even get them for your Kindle now .. anyway, they are loaded with damn-good life-saving information ..

    .. and practice ..

    .. there are no guarantees in life or on the road ..

    .. best of luck .. ride your ride ..


    EDIT - just checked .. the author has another book out too .. though I have not read it (downloading it now, yeah, I gots me a Kindle) I'm betting I will learn something new, or be reminded of something I forgot ..
  10. Jon_PDX

    Jon_PDX Long timer

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    I kind of wondered why you said that too until I read your replies as to why. So I understand your reasoning.

    My approach lately, like the last few years, has been to tell the person if they really think they want to try riding then they should take a new rider class because it's a lot cheaper than buying a bike and finding out it's not something they want to do after all.

    It does help that in my state new riders are now required to take the class before they can get licensed. And when they learn they take the test at the end of the class instead of going to the motor vehicles like they did when they got their car license, that seem to encourage them more.

    Jon...
  11. Jon_PDX

    Jon_PDX Long timer

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    Rev,

    I agree those are good books. I read the first one before returning to riding. I learned a lot and recognized a few bad habits I had held onto from the past because when I started riding there were no classes.

    Heck the first time I heard the term "counter steering" was from the guy at the DMV when I took my riding test. He said I passed but suggested I run through the course again after explaining counter steering to me. I did and was shocked how much easier it was to run the course :eek1

    He then told me I should take it easy and practice in low traffic areas as much as I could. That was over 30 years ago but I've never forgot that first lesson and advice.

    Jon...
  12. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    stop with that BS already.

    seriously. just stop.

    the real world proves you wrong every single day.
  13. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    that is certainly one very important key to safety.

    another very important key to safety is to be able to instinctively and skillfully react to unexpected and rapidly changing circumstances. dirt riding gives you those instincts and skills...and, contrary to the BS you keep spreading, it can be done without seriously injuring yourself...even after retirement.

    you have basically two options for learning to deal with, for example, loss of traction.

    1. wait until it happens to you on the street and hope you somehow magically deal with it successfully.

    2. experience it in a controlled setting at lower speeds on a more forgiving surface without moving cars all around you so that dealing with it becomes instinctive.


    (BTW, this is not off topic. this right on point for things newbies should know/learn.)
  14. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    I'm fully accountable for my actions, when I hurt myself, I don't point at someone else; I hobble off and figure out what went wrong. Something lost in today's litigious society.

    If anyone in my circle wanted to ride, they'd have started decades ago and didn't need my experience to make those decisions. And that's probably where I met them.

    I raced anything dirt in the early 70's and I'm comfortable with my skills in traffic today because of what I learned then, like threshold braking. How many cruiser riders are afraid of their front brake? Lots of them.
    I couldn't do what you do, recommending riding to the naive; so I don't. :freaky
  15. IrishWheelee

    IrishWheelee n00b

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    As my Dad always said "The brakes stop the Wheels not the bike"!

    If you are tired Stop drink 2 cups of coffee and take a power nap for 15/20 mins. You should drink the coffee first as it takes 15 minutes to kick in.

    Trust you instinct, this has saved my life many, many times. If it does not feel right slow down, if it still feels wrong stop or go home. (Irish people are very superstitious)
  16. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    Noob question


    Today I was working between my home and my homestead (about 40 miles apart) and I came across some roads Ive always took as a farm path or drive way . I was on my work van and said what the hell and took them and found I could ride them about a third of the 40 some mile distance to the home place but I have never encountered gavel wash boards on a bike before , are they as bad on a bike as a 4 wheeled vehicle ? This gravel road is very typical for this area , deep gravel middle , one lane , wash board tracks in corners and hills with very loose outer . back in my younger days I lived at the end of a 6 mile long dirt road and could run most of them 60-70 mph on a jacked up 4x4 ..... Looking at it I dont think I would last long on the bike at any considerable speed.



    Oh, thanks for this thread it has been right helpfull , Betweeen some things here and in my MSF book Im improving on my bike daily on the road .
  17. duck

    duck Banned

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    What a crock of shit. Though I do defintely agree that riding dirt gives you some experience with loss of traction that can help on the street it is not the only way to learn how to ride and someone who works on their riding doing only street can become a good rider. If somebody chooses to just ride around on a cruiser at 5 mph under then yeah, their riding will probably suck eggs. But somebody who actually works on their street riding skills CAN actually become a good rider.
  18. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    +100

    The only thing dirt riding can surely teach an adult newbie is how to work a wheelchair.
  19. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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  20. ezo

    ezo Ezo

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    Excellent!!