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. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    I believe being able to read drivers minds is an essential skill to staying safe. Knowing that the car in the lane in front of you is likely to change lanes before it has even entered the consciousness of the driver (because your watching the traffic queues ahead at the next lights). That the car in front of you drifting back and forth toward your lane, he's thinking of changing lanes and he's drifting as he looks in his mirrors trying to look for a hole (and you just happen to be that 'hole'), etc, etc.

    Being able to read drivers minds (anticipate what they are likely to do based upon the surroundings and how they appear to be responding) is an essential skill worth developing whether you ride a bike or drive a car.
  2. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    I believe the same thing about spelling and grammar.
  3. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    And I like old dogs and children and watermelon wine.
  4. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    good luck with that.

    i try to anticipate what drivers are gonna do, too. but they are far from always predictable. i have had people look right at me, seem to wait, then pull out at the last second.

    yes, i look at more than just the wheels, too.

    my point, though, was that--for newbies who this thread is aimed at--eye contact should be secondary (or tertiary). if you get too wrapped up in making eye contact, you can end up staring in the driver's window waiting for them to look at you...and miss the fact that they are starting to creep out. in reality, eye contact doesn't buy you much. seeing them start creeping does.
  5. Toddv

    Toddv Been here awhile

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    Some people just like to argue, but a thread with the inention of helping keep people safe isn't the place for it. Let's focus of providing people with the tools they need to do just that. It never hurts to have too many tools in this reguard but don't use a hammer where a screwdriver is needed.

    Predicting what other are going to do is a great tool and over time you can get pretty darn good at it. Not only does it help you avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it keeps your head in the game right where it should be. Simply watching what a particular car is physically doing gives you a pretty limited amount of information to make a prediction from.
  6. TeSmSp

    TeSmSp Been here awhile

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    Don't follow SUVs, minivans, pickup trucks or trucks.
  7. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    ...too closely..

    fixed.

    Otherwise it's daft advice :evil

    Put another way, if you can't see the (at least) vehicle in front of the vehicle in front of you when you're under-way, you're almost certainly too close.
  8. RagerToo

    RagerToo vroom vroom

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    It took me a little more than an hour and a half of 70-80 mph freeway miles to realize my riding gear, jacket in this instance, needs to be a snug as it can be. I scored a super Mottarad (BMW) jacket from the flea market here, last year. Elbow, shoulder, and spine protection. Vents, and fits me fine.

    But .... all of the straps, waist and elbows, need to be tightened down to cut through the wind. Sailing is for water or ice. hehe
  9. RagerToo

    RagerToo vroom vroom

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    sailorninja, I had a similar thing happen to me yesterday. Running down the interstate, 70-75 to keep up with traffic, I had the throttle cranked open all the way. I readjusted my grip at least twice and wtf? I was losing speed.

    The above mentioned flapping jacket, a lot of headwind gusts, and perhaps the Bings on the bike need some new bits in them. I realized that Rte 71 S of Medina, (Oh) has a long gradual elevation change that must run for 2-3 miles.

    Dual fuel petcocks on the BMW, I reached over and opened the left one. I have a filter on the right one and the tank reline is two weeks old. -shrug- Once I topped the grade, everything was fine. And stayed for the rest of the day. I guess I reached the torque peak on the bike and that was all she had.
  10. Hazelfire

    Hazelfire Most Awesome Noob

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    I've made a habit of always assuming they'll do something stupid. If I see a car pull up to a stop sign ahead, I assume they'll pull out straight in front of me. They usually don't. But I've already avoided three or four accidents with that kind of thinking, and I've only been riding a year and a half.
  11. RagerToo

    RagerToo vroom vroom

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    Yeah. I had someone leaving work yesterday, looked at traffic, me and some cars and pulled out into traffic anyway. I own things that go BAM BAM! but I am hesitant to get tooo excited about A-holes.
  12. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

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    Is it possible you weren't asking for much throttle when leaned over, so it was only when you stood it up and cranked the throttle you notice the effect of being in too high a gear for the acceleration you wanted? Any guesses what RPM you were at? If you were in 6th, going uphill, at 30mph, you could pin the throttle on most bikes and only get subtle acceleration.

    Otherwise, possible that it was a fuel starvation issue. Maybe a sticky carb. But bets on just needed to click down a gear or three.
  13. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    You've got to make those little 250's scream to get any pull from them. If you were climbing at all, you've really got to get down a gear or two.
  14. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    I think you're probably one the money. For the benefit of the person with the problem, the right gear to be going into a corner is the right gear to be coming out of the corner. How do you know the right gear to come out of a corner you've never ridden? Experience, and being aware of current revs as you're braking and changing down approaching the corner is about the best advice I can offer.

    Regularly practicing on the same bit of twistie road with lots of variety is not a bad idea either. After a while you'll know the corners backwards and the correct gear to be in. When you riding somewhere completely new you'll just automatically relate each approaching corner to this 'mental database' you've built up.
  15. rustyx

    rustyx Been here awhile

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    Been on a dirt bike since I was 4. Been on the road for a few months now(I'm 22) cause I just bought a CA plated xr600r

    Few things I've learned about riding on the street are:

    If someone's on your ass and you're going the posted speed, let em pass, it's not worth letting some asshat push you to go faster.

    (Noticed this after I saw guy I was riding with down SH38 almost get taken out turning left when a driver behind us saw it necessary to pass on the left on a two lane highway just 'cause 55 wasn't fast enough for him)

    Screw the 2 second rule, i take 5.

    Always tap the brake to flash the brake light.

    Riding at night sucks.

    Choose good tires.

    Ride like you're invisible.
  16. Kodiakcarl

    Kodiakcarl hairy n00b

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    Always bag your helmet or put it out of reach of anything that crawls or swarms. I took a nap at a rest stop with my helmet sitting on a picnic table and rode the next 10 days with ants crawling across the inside of my visor and occasionally chewing on my ears to defend "their turf"! They finally all disappeared as I learned whenever they were on the visor to open it up and blow them off. Since then I have always been careful to never lay my helmet anywere it might get infested, or bag it.

    Imagine an arachnophobe at 70mph in traffic with a spider crawling across the inside of their visor! Not a welcome distraction for anyone and I would hate for someone to be taken to the hospital because a creepy crawly decided your helmet vents made a great home.
  17. snacks

    snacks King Bull Bucker

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    Any recommendations for helmet visors and rain? Even when I'm moving (albeit slowly) the rain doesn't seem to flow off my my visor like I would like and I end up just smearing it around with my glove. Would a little Rain-X do something evil to the plexi or would it help cure everything?

    Forgive my n00b-ness. Just did my MSR on Mon-Tues and trying to get everything sorted out :D
  18. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    Until you are very confident mechanically, find a good motorcycle mechanic and do what they say (usually the good motorcycle mechanic is an independent one not at a stealership).

    Some people should not ever work on their own motorcycle. If you are such a person, come to grips with it and move on, enjoying your working bike.

    In my opinion, read a lot of good motorcycle magazines like 'Dirt Rider', 'Motocross Action' and 'Dirt Bike' they have heaps of good how-to-ride editorials and good step by step writeups on how to ride certain obstacles safely. Years later I still remember and use what I've read from the pro riders.

    Be careful at all times, but balance that with confidence.

    If you are tired, hungry, diminished in any way (feeling ill, hung over, stressed, upset, in a bad mood, etc.), or 'pushing yourself too hard' (only oneself knows when this is) ... stop and get a good motel room to rest, get fed, get balanced ... the $100 and delay in time could prevent a fatal accident for yourself and others. I've personally done this and am really thankful when I find myself able to give myself a break. Programming in such options into a road trip is wise too. Keep safe and alive.

    Don't be fooled by the flashy hype motorcycle models. I have friends who ride first-generation dr's/xr's/kdx's/etc and for the 95% of us normal folks those bikes will never hold us back as riders.

    In my opinion, the best bikes come from Japan. Best in so many ways. In my opinion, you'll learn this fact one way or another. I recommend sooner as I've lost thousands of dollars, hundreds of work hours, and a few riding seasons trying to keep my BMW 1150GS working, and now have no such problems on bikes from Japan.

    Don't save money by riding worn parts like tires, sprockets, cables and other consumables. Get good stuff and keep it fresh and safe.

    Not riding at night seems wise overall.

    Never let another person ride your bike unless you trust him 100%, in which case such good friendships usually don't have your 'friends' asking to take your bike out because they respect you and don't want to foul up a friendship with a mishap.

    Ride a smaller-displacement bike than you would expect, the result will be happiness, fulfillment, better MPG's, a lighter bike, and an improvement in your riding skills over time with a less-powerful machine. The best riders I have seen can clear obstacles on a 100cc or 200cc than others need abour 200 more cc's to clear. Finesse and efficiency go far, learn it.

    Buying and selling extra parts on eBay will make motorcycling much more feasible for you, you will have much better riding gear, and have a better experince in this hobby -- just my experience.
  19. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    I use 'Pledge Wipes' that are sold at hardware stores for less than $5, and come in a re-sealable bag. Alaskan bush pilots use Pledge aerosol to keep water off their plastic aircraft windshields for the best anti-fog possible and bugs slide off much easier. I use it on the inside and outside of my helmet and windshield and could not be more happy with the results. Inexpensive too.

  20. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

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    That's true, but for those newbies who have zero mechanic skills, don't automatically assume you're the type who shouldn't DIY. You'll probably still need to find a mechanic, but you can grow progressively. Get used to the pre-flight checklist described in your owners manual and go from there.