Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle Riding > Learning to Ride

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-01-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
kody
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 6
Default New rider-lacks confidence to deal with traffic

A friend of mine just took the MSF riders course. Did very well. Wanted to become an instructor. Came home and lost all confidence in riding skills. Will ride up and down street but won't wander out onto the road where there are more than the occasional car. Doesn't live in an area that has the quiet back roads for practice. I've given advice but I wanted to get more comments back to him. That's why I selected this forum so that others could share their thoughts.

He really wants to ride but will back down and I know he's frustrated and PO'd with himself. Any helpful thoughts? His bike is a medium sized, standard Yamaha.
kody is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 07-01-2010, 02:18 PM   #2
12er
Founding Member
 
12er's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: SF
Posts: 2,801
Default

That feeling of being completely vulnerable on a bike at first can be very powerful. Big parking lots after hours for practice is the best alternative along with all the protective gear. Granted someone may have to ride the bike to the parking lot and back. Otherwise, riding may not be for him.
12er is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2010, 02:36 PM   #3
jeff10236
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 124
Default

I live in an area with very dense traffic. It is intimidating, maybe even a little scary. I really wished when I started that I lived in a more suburban area where I could practice with less traffic.

How did I get over it? I just went out there and rode (no other way to do it). I did spend a LOT of time in parking lots which helped, but after those basic skills, it was just riding in traffic that got me used to riding in traffic.

There are a couple things he can do at first. Get up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, like 5 or 6am. Early on a weekend morning there will be some cars, but not nearly as many. It is a good way to get used to being on the bike while dealing with a minimum of cars. Similarly, riding at night may help- yes, it is dark (so he should wear bright colors- I got a construction orange traffic safety vest), but there won't be many cars out.
jeff10236 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2010, 03:37 PM   #4
redsavina
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Default

I totally remember what this was like for me. The week after I did the MSF course, I purchased a bike, and had to ride it home at 5:00pm on a Friday evening. My wife was following me, and the first street I turned onto, a car tried to cut me off! Then, the main road back to my house has a speed limit of 65, and it kind of freaked me out to ride over 55 because I didnt know what to expect. By the time I got home (30 minute ride) I was gaining enough confidence to take the bike out on Saturday and do an hour ride. I never got on the faster roads, nor the freeway, for about 2 weeks or so.

For me, I was trying to combine the things I learned from the MSF course, as well as the dexterity of manipulating the throttle, front brake, rear brake, shift lever, and clutch, as well as the turn signals. It can definitely be overwhelming for a new rider out there.

One thing that really helped me was that I had driven a car for 18 years, and have about 500,000 miles under my belt in a variety of driving conditions (I did most of those miles in Los Angeles). Although a bike is pretty different, there are many awareness issues, along with watching drivers behavior and predicting situations that assisted me with my motorcycle riding awareness and ability to maneuver through traffic as safely as possible.

Sometimes, when I drive my car, I think to myself "if I were riding my bike, what would I be doing or watching for right now?"

I also think that there is some perspectives about riding motorcycles that can be intimidating for a new rider. I remember the first time I rode opposite another biker, he extended his arm out and down, and I was afraid to let go of the left grip to reply.

I have also found a few good buddies who have helped me out, especially at first. When other good riders know you are new, and you ride with them, there is a lot you can learn by watching them (as long as they are cool with not showing off, or going fast, or telling you what to do all the time.) If they have similar kinds of bikes, you can get a better perspective for when to start braking, at what speed to take turns, and how to maneuver through traffic.

Hope that helps.
redsavina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2010, 08:48 PM   #5
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

Either he has to face the elephant and just do it and get through the initial fear or he'd better just give up. Some people (most actually) just aren't cut out for it. But he should just try small rides. Like trying going one mile out and back on Sunday morning. Then 2 miles, etc.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 05:53 AM   #6
korie
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: new hampshire
Posts: 25
Default

What I did was just go out in the morning for about 15 minutes and head back. After a couple of days I would go for longer. Got to the highway (10+ miles away) on about the third or fourth day and would turn around there. Two days of that and I went on the highway for a few exits and headed home. Rinse and repeat.

As you will read on here a lot: time and experience. That is all it takes. There is no secret forum to read off of, book to skim through or video to watch. It takes time and practice. And we must do these things ourselves.
korie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 06:38 AM   #7
Kenneth_Moore
Registered Member
 
Kenneth_Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: VIsiting the GIft Shop in the Pit of DIspair
Posts: 7,118
Default

Having a few drinks before riding will help him loosen up and boost his confidence. Not the hard liquor, beer is best. The carbohydrates will also give him some energy. If he wants to use the hard stuff, he should wait a few months till he's more comfortable on the bike.
__________________
www.kennethmoore.org
Kenneth_Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2010, 07:58 AM   #8
trenttheuncatchable
Founding Member
 
trenttheuncatchable's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 901
Default

He should find a friend that rides, and have his friend ride the bike to a less populated area, and then he can practice riding in less intimidating conditions. Where is he located? If he's close to one of the people on this forum, maybe someone here will help him out.
trenttheuncatchable is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2010, 04:50 AM   #9
korie
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: new hampshire
Posts: 25
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
Having a few drinks before riding will help him loosen up and boost his confidence. Not the hard liquor, beer is best. The carbohydrates will also give him some energy. If he wants to use the hard stuff, he should wait a few months till he's more comfortable on the bike.
That is awesome!
korie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2010, 08:16 AM   #10
kody
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 6
Default

Thanks for all replies. I will get his bike to a large practice area so he can spend the time. I'll get him out early and then he can ride back. Somehow, the carbs at 5 or 6 am don't sound really appealing so I'll avoid that part (not to mention the serious crackdown on drinking and riding here in Ohio)

Thanks to all-your understanding and insights will be of benefit.
Kody
kody is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off