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. Z50R

    Z50R Not lost yet

    May 11, 2009
    Boston Mass.
    When you are riding behind another motorcycle, watch the road, not the other bike. You will make every mistake the other rider makes and more.

    My only semi serious accident was because I was using their line instead of choosing my own and followed them through gravel.

    Also, if you get any kind of chance, take your bike off road. I started on a 450 nighthawk. This is not a dirt bike but that didn't stop me from driving through road construction on the weekends/empty lots/dirty alleys. You learn a lot when you are forced to deal with low traction in an environment you have a bit of control over. Start slow and play around with intentionally losing traction under each of your wheels. It is easy for a motorcycle instructor to tell you what to do when your front wheel lets go but a lot more difficult to let go of the lever if you have never dealt with the issue.
  2. R-A-M-O-N

    R-A-M-O-N Been here awhile

    Mar 7, 2009
    Buenos aires, Argentina
    When you actually take your bike for a ride please be honest to tell us how you completely forgot about this thread and pushed your bike to 150mph on a heavy traffic freeway :wink: So we can tell you how a bad noob you are :lol3

    I always remember no matter how good the advice people gave me i just had to try things for myself first. I did many stupid things that way but learned the consecuences of that so now im less stupid i hope.

    Anyway dont be afraid to learn from your own mistakes no one can teach you that better than you.
    OKCRIDER likes this.
  3. brumbie13

    brumbie13 Born to be Mild

    Nov 30, 2009
    Don't try to be better than you are.

    I've never tried to be better than I am, yet I have continually gotten better.

    Remember how long it took you to get good at driving a car?
    Not just comfortable, I mean REALLY good.
    It wasn't a week, it wasn't a month, it was probably, at minimum, a year... in reality, probably longer.

    More experience will increase your skill.
    You've got nothing to gain by trying to be better than you really are.
  4. ralpfsbud

    ralpfsbud Semper Fi

    Oct 13, 2008
    seems like anywhere but home
    ive seen a couple of things that kicked my memory since my last post.

    #1 my rule is 2 WHEELS, 2 BEERS. thats it.....

    also watch the guy ahead of you if there is one, but keep your eyes on the road/trail. pick your own line and try them, just keep an eye out for clues; like hes slowing down , hes cutting in for a corner etc. he has even more forward site than you do, just dont follow his line because he rode it, use your advance knowledge, be using his indicators(like slowing or moving over) as a pre vision of whats coming, but ride what you can see, i dont think you can look far enough ahead, so if somebody is ahead of you use their reaction to whats coming around the bend, to GUIDE you , not LEAD you where you are going
    Stelvioscott likes this.
  5. ralpfsbud

    ralpfsbud Semper Fi

    Oct 13, 2008
    seems like anywhere but home
    oh yea,

    NOBODY can see you, thats what they say anyhow, flash that brake light as much as you can before you have to slow down or stop. WATCH all the vehicles around you when your on the hardball, and the trees when your on the dirt, they really sneak up on you. i got in a head on collision with a car my second year riding, kid came the wrong way out of a blind one way and hit me at a combined 45. i was fine(due to having my helmet etc, on and having a backpack full of laundry from the laundrymat, i almost ripped him out of the car and broke him in half, but alas, he was 15 with 3 girls in the car, ive been there. never hit a bike, but i sure could have. NOBODY is thinking about a bike coming at them or around them, there busy with all the crap cages have standard now. just pay attention, and most of all

    HAVE FUN(and stay on the back roads as much as possible)
  6. Todd-Squad

    Todd-Squad See Ya, Bye.

    Oct 19, 2004
    The great state of Utah
    I'm not sure why you think using BOTH brakes together is the wrong way? Using both brakes together is absolutely the best way. The majority of your stopping power is in your front brake. You also use the rear to keep the bike going straight, otherwise the back end is moving faster than the front and it will slide out on you. Conversely, if you only use your rear brake, the back end will skid out and one of two things will happen. If your lucky, it will just take longer to stop and you skid the back tire a bit side ways. If your not lucky, the bike gets sideways and catapults you in what is known as a high side.

    I'm teaching my 9 year old daughter to ride a dirt bike right now. The main thing I try to get into her head is to do most of her slowing down with both brakes before she gets to a corner. Once she starts turning, only use the bake brake in the corner.

    I'm sure someone will pipe up and say that you can use both brakes in a corner, which is technically correct. What your trying to avoid is locking up the front wheel in a corner. The instant you lock up the front wheel in a corner, the bike washes out from under you in what is known as a low side.

    Good luck, and have fun out there.

    citroenjunkie and Vallette like this.
  7. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Aug 19, 2008
    New(er) Mexico

    I didn't realize the back end of the bike slowed down at a different rate than the front...
    nk14zp likes this.

    DADODIRT Long timer

    Jun 25, 2004
    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
  9. oldairhd

    oldairhd Septugenarian

    Nov 16, 2009
    Jimbobway, State of Jefferson, USA
    I like that, too. But take it a bit further: It's always up to you, and never someone else's fault if you run out of traction, space, braking distance, physical stamina, visual or mental acuity.

    Otherwise, when you crash because it was the stupid driver, the deer, the gravel in the road, or whatever, it'll be just as painful but you'll never learn.

    My favorite practical tip is "always aim the front wheel for somewhere you want it to go." We get to feeling pretty invincible, driving over stuff in a car that will get you killed on a bike...
    GrayOwl likes this.
  10. Schickmeister

    Schickmeister Youngin'

    Mar 31, 2009
    Your Mom's House

    as a new rider...I'm going with 2 wheels, 0 beers.

    doesn't rhyme as well, but I think the end result is better.
    JohnnyP3, A_Vasiliev, GrayOwl and 7 others like this.
  11. eskimo

    eskimo gunga-galunga

    Feb 18, 2004
    Arizona Riviera
    -- When following a car or truck, stay in a line behind one if its wheels. Dead skunks and other debris often surprisingly emerge from under the center of four-wheeled vehicles.

    -- Painted lines on roads, especially turning arrows, are slippery. Especially when slightly wet.
    JohnnyP3 likes this.
  12. duck

    duck Banned

    Mar 19, 2004
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    Metal plates are slick when wet.

    When riding grooved pavement or metal bridge decks, relax and keep the front wheel pointed forward. Depending upon the tires and bike, different ones will tend to make the front wheel want to track to some extent. All you need to do is not fight it and keep the bike pointed in the general direction you want to go.
    GrayOwl likes this.
  13. ®êšïš†ø®

    ®êšïš†ø® Crash-Resistant

    Feb 28, 2010
    VA NRV

    I think he meant the back of the bike wants to go faster than the front if you dont use the back brake. If the back is going faster, you're already starting to spin.

    Anyway. n00b advice? Leave room in your budget for proper gear. It seems a lot of people start out with bare minimum, right at the time when they are (statistically) most likely to need it.

    You don't wanna get killed on this thing. Use some sense and take it slow. Enjoy the ride.
    ChuckTheRad likes this.
  14. Fishenough

    Fishenough Team Lurker

    Sep 18, 2009
    North of 56
    Great tips.

    Only ride when you at 100%, and if; your on medication for a head cold or such, emotional due to problems at work or home, or even just lacking on sleep and have had too many hours in the sun – park the bike, it’ll still be there when your back to being yourself. Have heard great, and not so great, biking advice over the years but if you’re not up to the ride don’t. Have seen friends go down hard with only a bad hangover and late night as an excuse. My only street off was due too much Sudafed and delayed reactions resulting in a minor low side. The good stuff is these times are few and far between.

    Didn't see this advice mentioned.
    GrayOwl and 2StrokesForever like this.
  15. Mobius Trip

    Mobius Trip Skeptic

    Oct 8, 2007
    Fergus, ON
    First - keep asking questions, it shows a real desire to stay healthy!

    Ride as though you are invisible

    At night don't overdrive your headlights even if you know the road, especially in deer and moose country.

    The paint used on streets is some kind o' slick when when it's raining and busy intersections are particularly greasy when wet.

    When slabbin' on a multilane highway try to get into a clear zone with minimal vehicles anywhere around - once saw a highway worker lose his grip on a 30' section of drainage pipe and it started rolling across the highway as I changed lanes easily and rode by. In my mirrors I witnessed the absolute chaotic shitestorm in the group of vehicles that were a few seconds back as they tried to avoid it :eek1
    GrayOwl and Mister+Venture like this.
  16. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

    Oct 29, 2009
    I dont know how much riding you do at night, i mean outside the build up area,no street lighting, it's a different ball game again, most bikes headllight's are fairly poor to say the least, if you have to ride at night, slow down! With all this information, your head must be spinning by now! Somebody was talking about braking in one of the post's before, i'll mention it again, practice using the front brake again and again, untill it comes a second nature, dont worry so much about the back, folks have gotten hurt and killed as they stomped on the back brake only, this, throttle is you friend, is true, but so is the front brake!
    2StrokesForever likes this.
  17. MustTourEurope

    MustTourEurope Adventurer

    Jan 24, 2010
    I guess he's referring that when you're braking your front without the back...obviously the rear tire will still be turning a bit stronger/faster than the front tire, thus, the skid. It usually happens when you're on a lean. Not much if you are riding VERY perpendicular to the road. Just look at the guys doing doughnuts with bikes. Hard front brake and a liitle lean...and it goes around:norton

    I use both brakes all the time regardless of speed. I may look like a twat(by braking both when slowing from 10kph to zero)to others...but it's the habit that counts.
    2StrokesForever likes this.
  18. BluegrassPicker

    BluegrassPicker Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Nov 1, 2006
    Rochester, MN
    :deal Drink today = done riding for the day.
    JohnnyP3, A_Vasiliev, GrayOwl and 8 others like this.
  19. StaticMotion

    StaticMotion Adventurer

    Jun 26, 2009
    Don't go sight seeing / get distracted on the bike. You might be missing that second you've just spent looking at something on the side of the road. DAMHIK.
    2StrokesForever likes this.
  20. Toddwmac

    Toddwmac ADV addict

    Jan 23, 2010
    1. Look where you want to go...not where where you want to avoid. This applies to just about everything in life but that is another thead
    2. If you can't see them, they can't see you....look at the mirror of those infront of you. Play the "I know where you are going to go before you do" game every time you tide with the cans.
    3. Learn to trust the counter bikes and in life. Just like you learn to lean down hill to better controll your skis, learn to trust your throttle and your rubber. Or in other words...when in doubt, gas it!
    4. The tire under your ass will save your ass
    5. You have $1.00 worth of attention (thanks Mr. Code I believe) Learn to spend it wisely
    6. If you road ride, get track time...regardless of your bike
    7. The limiting factor is between your ears