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Old 02-10-2011, 10:17 AM   #31
trenttheuncatchable
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The GZ250 is a great starter bike. But take the MSF Beginning Rider Course before you get a bike. And buy used, so when you drop it the first time it won't be so traumatic.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:37 PM   #32
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The GZ250 is a great starter bike. But take the MSF Beginning Rider Course before you get a bike. And buy used, so when you drop it the first time it won't be so traumatic.
What bike promotes the fastest learning? I started 3 years ago on a bike that was bigger than I have the skills to use. I can ride it, I could ride an even bigger bike, but the skills come slower. Would she be better off with something like a TW200 that can also get off the pavement, which is good for learning. (I suppose any bike can be ridden off-road to some degree.)

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Old 02-11-2011, 08:10 AM   #33
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TW200's are great little bikes. They use them a lot in the MSF BRC courses. Light bikes are obviously much easier to learn on than the heavier bikes, though some of the under-600-pound cruisers with a low center of gravity are really easy to ride also.

You need to figure out how you're going to use the bike (just around town, or some expressway/freeway use, or some off-road) and then buy the right bike for that purpose.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:49 AM   #34
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TW200's are great little bikes. They use them a lot in the MSF BRC courses. Light bikes are obviously much easier to learn on than the heavier bikes, though some of the under-600-pound cruisers with a low center of gravity are really easy to ride also.

You need to figure out how you're going to use the bike (just around town, or some expressway/freeway use, or some off-road) and then buy the right bike for that purpose.
How does a new rider know when they have the skills to ride in fast traffic? Anybody can ride any bike with a little bit of practice but how long before they can brake and maneuver comparable to what they can do in a car? I've been working towards that for three years and can't reliably do it yet. Isn't some practice on more slippery surfaces like dirt necessary to learn to feel traction changes?
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:04 AM   #35
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How does a new rider know when they have the skills to ride in fast traffic?
I don't think there's a formula or specific answer to that. Everybody learns and gets in the zone at their own pace. Honestly, it took me years of regular street riding before I knew I'd seen and handled pretty much all the scenarios that we see out there.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:05 PM   #36
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I don't think there's a formula or specific answer to that. Everybody learns and gets in the zone at their own pace. Honestly, it took me years of regular street riding before I knew I'd seen and handled pretty much all the scenarios that we see out there.
I started as an adult and realized in the first couple days the short coming of that. The way to start is at 8-10 years old. Dad buys you a little dirt bike, mom makes the rules. You're stuck in the backyard for 10 years and have to make the best of it. That 10 years of safe riding represents a lot of skills you didn't have to risk your life to get.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:38 PM   #37
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I started as an adult and realized in the first couple days the short coming of that. The way to start is at 8-10 years old. Dad buys you a little dirt bike, mom makes the rules. You're stuck in the backyard for 10 years and have to make the best of it. That 10 years of safe riding represents a lot of skills you didn't have to risk your life to get.
You need to try and make every ride a learning experience. Observation, reaction, riding technique and discipline should improve steadily.

If you scare yourself (or get surprised), figure out why and avoid/prevent it from that point on.

When you find yourself calm and relaxed after a ride more than finishing a ride shaken and sweaty, you've improved.

There is nothing special about riding 'in fast traffic.' You need to have the perception and reaction skills to keep up.

Frankly, 'fast traffic' is less dangerous, IMO, because everyone is going the same direction. It's in town that is a real killing field.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:09 PM   #38
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You need to try and make every ride a learning experience. Observation, reaction, riding technique and discipline should improve steadily. If you scare yourself (or get surprised), figure out why and avoid/prevent it from that point on. When you find yourself calm and relaxed after a ride more than finishing a ride shaken and sweaty, you've improved.There is nothing special about riding 'in fast traffic.' You need to have the perception and reaction skills to keep up.Frankly, 'fast traffic' is less dangerous, IMO, because everyone is going the same direction. It's in town that is a real killing field.
I think may be there's more to it than that. The important difference between me and more skilled riders is their superior abilities to control lean angles and feel traction changes. It takes years before a rider can ride anywhere near the traction limits with confidence. That's important because it's what determines how much of the bike's ability to swerve and brake that you're going to be able to use in a tight situation or how well a rider will cope with going into a turn faster than he intended.

The way to make lean and traction skills less important is to ride in low risk places at reletively low speeds, which can be fun too. Otherwise I think being qualified for the road needs skills that take some years to get.

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Old 02-12-2011, 07:41 PM   #39
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There are a lot of 'skilled riders' out there that are really sh*tty motorcyclists. There are a lot of them pushing daisies, too.

"Superior" street riders know better than to lean too much or push the traction limits of their tires.

Riding that close to the 'edge' is best left to the track.

Even if you are really, really good at handling the bike, you never know when a vehicle has puked something slippery on the pavement, or there is sand or leaves.

So, for the road, 'lean' expertise isn't very important. Heck, most cruisers and touring bikes can't lean!

Traction is ALWAYS important! If your fetish for sliding gets to be too much to bear, buy a cheap dirt bike and go play off-road.

And when you learn more, you'll realize that your "ride in low risk places at reletively low speed" is a fallacy, unless you are in the forest.

The only bike I know of that us useful for learning when you've used up all your traction, and not busting you and the bike up in the process, is Code's lean/slide bike. Described here: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufactur...ike-16110.html
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:43 PM   #40
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A motorcycle is much more maneuverable than a car. Especially when it comes to swerving and braking. And sportbikes and standards are much more maneuverable than cruisers.

The most important thing in terms of ability and skill is what's going on in your head. The MSF's "search, evaluate, execute" recipe. See http://msf-usa.org/Downloads/Prepari...esentation.pdf

Skill is important, but you don't have to be able to touch a knee puck to the ground to be a safe rider.
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