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. Schickmeister

    Schickmeister Youngin'

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,682
    Location:
    Your Mom's House
    Don't accidentally hit the engine kill switch when pulling away from cute girl... :lol3
  2. NEVERLOST

    NEVERLOST Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    949
    Location:
    Broomfield, CO and Venice Beach, FL
    dont text while you are driving
    check your tire pressures before every ride
    check you brakelights and turn signal lights
    white helmets are more visable
    be careful at dawn and dusk for critters
  3. Sink

    Sink Stay Off The Slab

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    910
    Location:
    Pittsfield, Me
    None taken. Just trying to help out the n00b who started the thread. He did not mention that he wanted generalizations


    Just saying maintain a safe cushion does not help if a cager is 3 lanes over and decides to cross all 3 lanes at once. If you are riding 3 lanes over that is a large cushion.


    If your just starting out you might not realize what the hazards are.:evil

    Not expecting him to remember them all at once.

    The same as I would not expect him to remember a complete book on riding. That does not mean it should not be read. Or that it should only be read once.
  4. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,368
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA
    ???? :huh
  5. WhistlingFool

    WhistlingFool Dixie!? I know a Dixie...

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    BRP early morning with no traffic
    I only started riding at 44.. very late.. .but ducks and water...

    I like to compare riding well to being in a first person shooter game... what is needed to really suceed is a 360 degree sense of awareness and the ability to anticipate the next encounter... on a bike this means knowing about ALL thr traffic in your sphere... all the lanes behind and ahead of you and the ability to track those targets and scan for and aquire new ones. .. there was a comment about cages darting in front of you on the freeway to get to thier exit... if that catches you by surprise then you aren't really doing all you can.

    Always expect people to run red lights, pull out in front of you, doors to pop open on parked cars.. regardless... almost any "event" can be avoided by understanding the environment and what that means to your space on the road... little stuff means a lot... Night time visibility is poor but you also face increases in animal encounters as so many nocturnal ones are out and about...

    I highly recommend a basic and then advanced training courses .. also pick a up and or borrow a few MC books.. I am a fan of Total Control by Keith Parks...
  6. WhistlingFool

    WhistlingFool Dixie!? I know a Dixie...

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    BRP early morning with no traffic
    By putting wieght on the inside peg you shift the center of gravity to the inside, this allows the bike to corner sharper with less lean. As the bike enters a corner, the bike drops to the sidewall of the tire and starts the turn. If the bike didn't lean into the corner, it would slide off, the lean opposes the centrifugal force. by shifting any weight to the inside of a corner, the bike can make the corner with less lean, meaning less time to get back up straight where full throttle can be applied. The faster a bike goes through a corner the farther it has to lean. By hanging way off the inside racers have increased the speed at which they can traverse a corner, whichs wins them races. . This *is* mostly a racing maneuver, but also adds to stability on road riding. You will see racers shifting their entire bodies to one side or the other as they attack corners. When I use this technique in a corner I am always amazed at how much less lean is needed when I shift my self to the inside. ... (to be redundant the Total Control book goes over this in a clearly understood way)....
  7. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,368
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA
    Yes, but, um.

    Weight to inside to get the bike to start a turn, then you shift the weight to the outside through the apex. So, you can certainly argue that the 'weight' is on the outside when you are actually in the turn.

    On Dirt, you weight the outside, the bike naturally wants to fall down and you control that with your weight on both pegs actually but the outside predominantly.

    At any rate this is not some important piece of wisdom for a "noob." It's a nuanced thing to become far more advanced.
  8. redge

    redge Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    226
    Location:
    Currently NYC
    My understanding is that this idea, which has a lot of currency on the internet, is based on a New Zealand study. One of the authors of the study delivered a paper which is available on the internet. The finding is not entirely consistent with what other studies have found about colour in relation to emergency vehicles. In the paper, she says that what they found in New Zealand may be the result of the fact that police officers there are associated with white - can't remember right now whether it's that police cars are white or that they use white helmets. She raised the possibility that in the absence of that kind of social conditioning/recognition, yellow or orange may be equally or more visible.

    Shoei (but not Arai or Shark for some reason) makes helmets in solid white, orange and yellow. Having read the paper and a couple on emergency vehicles/school buses, and thinking about the geographic colours where I live, I decided to go with yellow. My bike is white :)
  9. WhistlingFool

    WhistlingFool Dixie!? I know a Dixie...

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    BRP early morning with no traffic
    Uhm no.. .watch a asphalt race.. the weight stays on the inside until the bike starts to straighten up... in fact in the turn their feet are likely not even touching the outside peg and their entire bnofy (body)is shifted to the inside.....

    and yes.. over kill for a noob thread.
  10. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,147
    Location:
    Finland-Australia
    You can actually test this on a straight bit of road by putting your weight on either peg,and feel the bike change direction.
  11. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    You can learn a lot about hazards and mistakes by reading the Face Plant forum here.
  12. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    Parking:

    a) In a normal parking lot, park your bike towards the rear of the parking space. If you pull all of the way forward then someone might assume the space is empty and try whipping into the "empty" parking space, not seeing your bike until it's too late.

    b) Try to avoid parallel parking behind another vehicle. A motorcycle is harder to see and people will back over your bike.

    c) Pay attention to where your wheels are and don't let them sit in puddles of oil/anti-freeze. From my experience this seems to be most prevalent at 7-11s and auto parts stores.

    d) Try to avoid parking your bike pointing downhill. It's a pain if you have to back it up to get it out of the parking spot.

    e) Always leave your bike in gear when parked, especially on downhill inclines.
  13. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,757
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Learn your bikes limits. Find out how much acceleration/braking will get you on one wheel, find out how wet it needs to be to change that into a skid. You want to be able to instinctively and instantly adjust your throttle or brakes
    to get out of these situtuations.

    Keep in mind your position on the seat will change everything, and so will tyres.
  14. NEVERLOST

    NEVERLOST Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    949
    Location:
    Broomfield, CO and Venice Beach, FL
    without a doubt. I mentioned white, but any hi vis makes more sense than a matte black lid...
  15. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,368
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA
    Not just for safety either. I had (have) a flat black helmet, because it was too good a deal to pass up. While I've never actually noticed it once you get riding and air in it, it has gotten so hot you literally could not touch it when I've stopped places.

    I'm 100% positive it has to be hotter inside as well, but I can't really prove that theory, maybe cuz it's already fried my brain.
  16. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,368
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA
    Shaddup you. :poser
  17. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,939
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    I thought someone did a test on that, and a black helmet with airflow was the same temp inside as a white one. Maybe the shell gets hotter at stops. Then again, a helmet has at least the same level of insulation as a picnic cooler. :dunno

    I've never let it bother me; I wear an AC-12 Carbon because- well, if I have to explain naked carbon fiber to you, you probably won't get it. When I'm wearing my helmet is as sexy as my head gets! (and with the mohawk on it, it's also as much "hair" as I've had in decades...)
  18. kimel

    kimel I hit what?

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    212
    Location:
    The Palouse, Washington State
    Excellent thread!

    As a sometimes driver of emergency vehicles with all manner of bright colors, flashing lights, sirens and the like I can tell you that the cagers are so freaking oblivious that more often than not they do not see emergency vehicles either. I do not care how much hi-viz you are wearing you aren't as big, bright and loud as an ambulance running code so you have no prayer of being seen.

    If your bike has a reserve feature, remember to return the petcock to the non-reserve setting BEFORE fueling. Otherwise there is a very good chance you will forget after fueling and next time you need the reserve you won't have it. Been there, done that...twice.
  19. Rider2205

    Rider2205 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    These are going to sound dumb and obvious, but taking myself back 31 years ago, this is some of the advice I needed:

    1. Riding with no shirt and no helmet isn't cool. Buy the gear and wear it all the time.
    2. Check your tires' air pressure regularly (ideally every ride). Replace your tires while they still have some tread.
    3. Jersey barriers + construction = sand and gravel spots on highways
    4. Watch out for dogs, deer, and other critters.
    5. Learn about countersteering and practice it.
    6. Get some professional rider training (Your friend's stoner older brother teaching you to do wheelies does not count as professional rider training.)
    8. Wet leaves and steel plates are really slippery.
    9. If you can't ride at your own pace, don't ride with others.
    10. Don't drink and ride, period.
  20. Blue&Yellow

    Blue&Yellow but orange inside...

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    754
    Location:
    Sweden
    Lots of good advice :clap

    Some more on how to get a feel for a bike more quickly:

    1. Get a feel for the engine and gears: with a warm engine don't use full throttle but s-l-o-w-l-y rev it out in first gear, then in second. Then shift up and down and feel how the engine behaves and responds at different rpm and different gears. Try different gears while keeping a steady speed and so on. A common new rider mistake is to always shift to the highest gear possible since that's what you do in a car, with a motorcycle you will find that it often rides better in a lower gear and with less throttle. The engine will be more responsive and run smoother, don't worry about fuel consumption since bike engines are tuned for higher rpm than cars and sometimes higher rpm will actually improve the gas mileage!

    2. Get a feel for the chassis: This is a little exercise that I call "the snake". If you find yourself on a wide straight road with little traffic you want to wiggle the bike from side to side. Keep your vision fixed straight ahead (this is very important!) then start with start with slooowly going from one side of the lane to the other side and back, then do it a little faster, a little faster again, and then a little faster again. Don't ever stop and straighten the bike out just keep on turning back and forth, back and forth.

    You will find that to do it slowly you need not even turn the handlebars but merely think about it and you will move. But then the faster you wiggle from side to side the more force you will have to apply at the handlebars, and you are now counter-steering! If you do it really fast (only on good clean asphalt with warm tires) you will find that you are not moving your upper body at all but that your legs and the bike will swing beneath you. This technique of aggressive counter-steering is the fastest way to lean a bike over for a corner or to avoid an obstacle. It is profoundly useful!

    3. Get a feel for the brakes: While on an empty road and traveling at the speed limit try getting a feel for the front break. You should squeeze with your knees and straighten your arms and back while at the same time squeeeeeezing the front brake. I recommend also pulling the clutch at the same time if you feel you can manage it. It should take maybe 0.5 second to go from no front brake to maximum front brake, this will allow time for the weight to transfer to the front wheel.

    Start easy and then brake harder and harder, be prepared to release the brake if you feel that the front wheel locks up or the rear of the bike is coming up. During this exercise you don't need to use the rear brake at all, the rear brake is the good for small speed adjustments, works well at low speeds and on gravel and can also help stabilizing the bike in a corner. But the harder you need to brake the more front brake you need to dial in and the less rear brake you should use. Pro racers use the rear and front brake under maximum braking but for 99% of road riders it's safer to only rely on the front brake for emergency stops. This does however change a bit if you have a low slung cruiser, then you might have to use both brakes.... so essentially you need to practice braking with your motorcycle.

    These three things will help you to more quickly grasp how a motorcycle goes, turns and stops....:norton