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Old 03-13-2002, 05:39 AM   #21
SeanAlexander
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

Not that it's worth .02c but I'll add my endorsement to the "learn to ride in the dirt" group, as well as the "MSF, before being released onto public roads group".
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Old 03-13-2002, 05:40 AM   #22
FalcoSurfer
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

I'm 50 and have been riding since I was 16 (Honda S90 = first bike). My wife and I do trips on our H-D Eglide and I also have a Aprilia Falco for spirited riding and track days. No accidents, (dare I put that in print?) No bike tickets.



The new bike selection idea is very good, start reasonable and ease up the ranks into the bikes that the mag's drool over......much later.



I think new riders and experienced one's alike should have a Road Hazard section. Another comment was submitted on this and I was thinking the same thing. We all can contribute about close calls or accidients, what led up to it, and what we did or could have done to avoid the situation. There are constantly lots of threats and don't forget we are invisible to cage drivers, they will pull out and will cut you off......expect it. It's a big step beyond defensive driving.



Safe & fun riding to all,



falcosurfer
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Old 03-13-2002, 05:42 AM   #23
me_and_the_chicken
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

HOW TO THINK!




It seems like so many never think about things like HOW to use the brakes, why thinking about lines is important, why differing approaches work in different situations, throttle control, body position, and so on and so on. Even differences in the behaviour of differing brands of tires. Why do some people prefer the behaviour at the limit of Dunlops or Metzlers over Michelins?




These are the things that would prolly go a long ways to keeping a good number of tossers from getting tossed.




Another thing that may sound warm and fuzzy, but even KR practiced it, is rehearsing in your head what you would do in certain situations. It saved my butt on a couple of occasions. Once while heading into this down hill sweeper on an FJ1100 about nine years ago. The corner had a point in it where it tightened up real good. After going into brain lock for a moment, I just stayed to the outside for the first part of the corner than late apexed the sweeper where it tightened up. If I hadn't read or heard that somewhere and thought about it, I would've binned that bike as well. Better than striking out looking.




Oh well,

BDKR
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Old 03-13-2002, 05:52 AM   #24
jamesohoh7
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Default You bike tends to follow your nose...

... for good, bad or otherwise.



That is one of the better gems I was told when starting out. More or less covers all the bits about "look through the turn to your exit", and "don't just look right down on your front-tire"... which I suppose isn't terribly different than advice you'd give someone trying to learn to dance as well! ( don't look at your feet ).



-James

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Old 03-13-2002, 05:59 AM   #25
das
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

A few things (in order):



1) CHOOSING A BIKE - Unless they already have friends that all ride a certain type of bike, most newbies are a confused about what kind of bike to get. They just don't understand what differentiates one bike (or type/style of bike) from another. In my mind, they look nothing alike, but I've had non-riders look at my wife and I on our bikes (a Bandit 600 and a VFR) and ask if they are the same model. An un-biased description of the types of bikes and how to choose which bikes fit your anticipated riding style would be very helpful. As others have pointed out, this must necessarily provide an introduction to much of the jargon.



2) CHOOSING GEAR - It's a controversial subject, to be sure, but newbies in particular should be presented with (or at least have easy access to) the information, and allowed to choose for themselves. Cover the basics (helmet, gloves, boots, jacket, pants, etc.) at first, including things like estimated prices and links to manufactures and retailers. Explain why they are important, but refrain from shoving the safetycrat mindset down their throats. Similar to the problems with bikes, most non-riders think helmets differ only in the paint jobs. For each kind of gear, start with a high-level description of the various types and attributes to look for. Include fitting and buying tips. Perhaps even include 'recommended' models, brands and retailers, if you're up for it. Then cover the less obvious but still important gear, like ear plugs, rainsuits, luggage, toolkits, etc.



3) HOW TO BUY - How-to's, tips and techniques for actually buying the bike (new or used, from a dealer or an individual). Don't forget insurance and licensing issues.



4) HOW TO RIDE - Obviously, this starts with info about the MSF and other newbie riding schools, but also includes tips and techniques (many good ones listed in previous posts... countersteering, braking, throttle control, body positioning, etc.).



5) OTHER RESOURCES - One of the most valuable things that you can give a newbie is easy access to more information. Give them a chance to explore on their own; the spoon-feeding must end, and they have to be released into the wild, but if you've done it right, they'll come back. Become their motorcycle portal. Include links to mailing lists, clubs, manufacturers, retailers, safety studies, riding schools, other websites, etc. Things like 'how to do stoppies' and 'general bike maintenance' are probably out of place in the newbies section, but they should be only a couple clicks away.



Well, that's how I'd do it, anyway.

Dave
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:15 AM   #26
Jimmm
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

I have to echo The other post here. I am an experienced rider coming back after 15 years. I started back on a 250!! I now have a 500. I test rode cbr600's, early 90's versions at that, and the power is amazing to me. I just didn't think it would be much fun going around corners on public roads always holding back.



Really. Get a smaller bike to start. You will live longer and have a hell of a lot more fun. My vtr250 is a blast to ride in winding roads, and a good tool to learn to lean and corner.



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Old 03-13-2002, 06:27 AM   #27
das
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

I'll second the 'swingarm' comment. That and 'fairing' confused me for weeks, along with 'triple clamp' and 'pet*****' and 'clip-ons' and 'pillion' and 'steering head' and 'highway pegs' and 'dual-sport' and ...



Perhaps a full-fledged glossary is in order (in addition to an article that describes what a bike is and all it's parts and controls).
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:30 AM   #28
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

I've been riding for over ten years and one thing that I think is very important and do not ever hear enough about is Lane Position. Especially with all the SUVs out there that can block the view of a motorcyclist. A section on lane position and where a rider should be would be great since most of us get whacked by drivers pulling out in front of us. Just the other day I was sitting at a light and saw a motorcyclist pass the car ahead of him and fly through a busy intersection. Big bone-head move. A car turning across the lane would never had known he was coming. Also one other thing you don't hear enough is the distance it takes stop at speed. I think it takes almost twice the distance to stop from 80mph as it does from 60mph. I'm not saying new riders should putt along and not enjoy the thrill of speed but just reserve those triple digits for the isolated back roads and don't surpass your skill level. Small things like knowing where to be so you're seen and how much room you need between you and the car in front are helpful tools to keep a new rider on the road for years to come.
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:35 AM   #29
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Default You WILL Drop It

Buying a new bike for a first bike is a questionalbe idea. You will drop it. You will have to get used to how it balances, what it does at a stop light, how to get on and off, what happens when you find a little patch of sand in a parking lot, what manhole covers really do, etc.



I don't think the chances of falling off at high speed are that great right away, but you WILL lay it down at least once because it did something you don't expect until it happens to you once. As your confidence grows, the chances of higher speed problems will increase until you really know what to expect from your bike and how to handle different situations. You will have to learn that the throttle response, especially on a fuel injected Honda supersport, is a little different and a little harder to control and predict than a car or even a well tuned carburetted bike. If you break the rear wheel loose in a corner, you will likely go down especially if you are just learning to ride.



I would NOT buy a new bike to learn on. My first (street) bike was a '79 CB650. It had marginal brakes, marginal power, and marginal handling. It did not tempt me to push it very hard. It was very cheap, and I rode it for a year to find out whether I really wanted to keep riding on the street or not. Several of my friends called it the "crash bike of choice," because it had no plastic to break off and the engine cases were very thick aluminum and not likely to break open if you dropped it.



Many years of daily street riding and several bikes later, I ride a 600 supersport bike. Cheap SOB that I am, I bought it used, too, but when it was six months old instead of over a decade. It is not as unforgiving as a seriously fast machine built twenty years ago, but it is still pretty unforgiving at the ragged edge. Some new riders do just fine on a 600 supersport. I am glad I started on dirt bikes and then went through a few other bikes before I jumped on one.
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:40 AM   #30
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Default Just Remember...

You have to apply the knowledge the MSF class gives you. Also remember that the MSF beginning class is taught on 125s and 250s. Just because you took an MSF class does not make you an experienced rider! Take the class- it is invaluable- but remember your own limitations and work on overcoming them safely.
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