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Old 06-21-2009, 10:34 PM   #21
newagetwotone
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cause that'd be really weird...
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:02 PM   #22
Lil'Red99
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I am a new (but ancient) motorcycle rider. I have had a scooter. DH and I bought a Honda Shadow Spirit and I promptly dumped it . I got back on and I'll continue to get back on until I get it . . . and I will get it. I am taking a new rider class next week. I love Lil'Red's moto. I am going to keep that in mind. DH has an older Honda 350 and I may use that until I get more comfortable with some of the essentials, like braking, shifting and turning but it feels much different than the Shadow and I am actually more comfortable on the shadow. My question: what is the one piece of advice or something you did or practiced that made the difference for you as a new rider?
Well Daisy Mae, My biggest motivation to get on my bike and learn to ride it is my husband's Dyna that sits next to in the garage at night. I want to ride with him.

If I had been smart, I would have bought a Honda Shadow first as this Harley is top heavy and not very user friendly for a beginner. But I remember what D. Hough says in "Proficient Motorcycling" and that is 'look, lean, roll' into corners, and look where you WANT to go, not where you might end up.

Happy riding,
Cindy
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:23 PM   #23
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Hi Gals,

I think I can safely say I'm "high miles". I've been riding and wrenching for around 40 years, give or take. Back in them thar days, the guys around me used to say, "If you can't make it run, don't ride it!'---their idea of help.

I've only owned one HD--a post-war ULH 80" flathead that really was way too big and I sold. I've ridden British most of my life, with nice interludes of Japanese and Euro bikes.

I've never taken the MSF--they didn't exist when I learned to ride. I highly suggest taking the course if you are new at it....bike and body repair are both expensive. I ride with a group of women who range from experienced to complete novices, and we look after one another. Sometimes that's all it takes---just having someone who has been there. I think--and this is just me--but I think that women ride differently than men. Men seem to want to make the bike do what they want, and women seem more willing to let the bike lead the way...go with the flow, so to speak. I've gotten some miles in on a friend's Sportster--her husband rides a FL-something-something--and I think that what was true in 1968 is still true: it really isn't a bike for a complete novice. In the '60's a Sportster was one of the most powerful bikes on Earth--what's different? Other bikes grew past it, but it remains plenty powerful--enough to really do some damage if it gets away from you. But, having said that, if you are physically able to control a Sportster, and have the sense to go very gently on the throttle for the first two or three thousand miles, it should be fine. Cornering? Well, it corners just like a Sporty corners--get used to it or find another bike. The modern ones have good brakes, and are reliable. Hard to ask for more. Having put in lots of years on Nortons and Triumphs, I like Sportsters: lots of low end torque and they carry a ton of camping gear!

So. Find or borrow a smaller bike if you want to. Get comfy on it, and ease into the Sporty. Ride in nice weather, and in light traffic. Build up the miles and the instinct for the bike. Everything will come with time and patience. (And it's *SO* worth it!!)
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:54 PM   #24
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In the '60's a Sportster was one of the most powerful bikes on Earth--what's different? Other bikes grew past it, but it remains plenty powerful--enough to really do some damage if it gets away from you.
That's probably the best capsule description of a Sportster I've read. There are so many 100+ hp bikes out there that people forget that 55hp is still plenty enough to get you in trouble in a big hurry. I'll never forget how impressed I was by the power of my first 650 twin. In many ways I think too much horsepower detracts from the real fun of motorcycling. My friend's Duck 696 is a hoot of a blast to ride in the mountains. The Duck 999 less so since I worry about flying off the cliffs more. Not to mention that redlining the bike in first gear can get you impounded.

When I hear someone say, "It's just a Sportster" it's scary like hearing someone say, "It's just a .22". Tragedy often follows.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:22 PM   #25
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"It's just a .22".
Yeah, 'cuz them'll onlyus kills you but a little >< bit...............
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:25 PM   #26
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Hi Gals,

Sometimes that's all it takes---just having someone who has been there. I think--and this is just me--but I think that women ride differently than men. Men seem to want to make the bike do what they want, and women seem more willing to let the bike lead the way...go with the flow, so to speak. I've gotten some miles in on a friend's Sportster--her husband rides a FL-something-something--and I think that what was true in 1968 is still true: it really isn't a bike for a complete novice. In the '60's a Sportster was one of the most powerful bikes on Earth--what's different? Other bikes grew past it, but it remains plenty powerful--enough to really do some damage if it gets away from you. But, having said that, if you are physically able to control a Sportster, and have the sense to go very gently on the throttle for the first two or three thousand miles, it should be fine. Cornering? Well, it corners just like a Sporty corners--get used to it or find another bike. The modern ones have good brakes, and are reliable. Hard to ask for more. Having put in lots of years on Nortons and Triumphs, I like Sportsters: lots of low end torque and they carry a ton of camping gear!

So. Find or borrow a smaller bike if you want to. Get comfy on it, and ease into the Sporty. Ride in nice weather, and in light traffic. Build up the miles and the instinct for the bike. Everything will come with time and patience. (And it's *SO* worth it!!)
Thank you so much for the words on the Sportster. I figured out real fast that this bike would take some getting used to. My MSF class had a nice Buell Blast that was so forgiving and so easy to ride. But.....I like my Sporty and I think for me it will be a fun bike after my break-in period. But why do so many people call it a beginers bike?
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:56 PM   #27
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Hi Lil' Red,

Honestly, the only reason I can see for calling a Sportster a beginners bike is if someone hadn't had to learn on a Sportster. It's fairly big, it's powerful, it wants things the way it wants them---not, in my opinion, a good beginner's bike.

I guess if someone were oozing testosterone and wanted to make someone with a Sporty feel small, they might call it a beginner's bike, but that's not a rational reason to believe it.....

I think a good beginner's bike would be a 250 Rebel, or even that 650 (or 600? I dunno.) single that I think Suzuki made. Low to the ground, enough pep to be comfy, and not overwhelming. Another really neat and civilized bike is the Yamaha Sr500 of a few years ago....quite a few years ago, now that I think about it.

Point is, they are out there. Riding a bike is about the ride, and the pleasure, not worry and fear of the bike. It's a partnership with the bike and the rider, and learning about riding is essential to making things good.

....and no matter which bike you ride, enjoy it. Always. (Even in the rain!)
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Big John the BSA
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:25 AM   #28
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Hi Lil' Red,


Point is, they are out there. Riding a bike is about the ride, and the pleasure, not worry and fear of the bike. It's a partnership with the bike and the rider, and learning about riding is essential to making things good.

....and no matter which bike you ride, enjoy it. Always. (Even in the rain!)
Well Barbara and Blu,
Took my Sporty out for a ride this morning in the neighborhood and I kept in mind everything everybody said about the Sportster while I was starting and stopping and cornering. The bike is doing more what I want it do in a manner that is enjoyable. Took it to 3rd gear with the wind in my face and that was fun!

Just keep trying.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:30 AM   #29
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Go, Girl!!!
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Britney the BSA
Big John the BSA
Baby B. the BSA
Gemini the BSA/Triumph
Pip the Triumph T140v--(I have "Great Expectations")
The unnamed 1979 XS 650
Jaelith the '77 XS650/sidecar
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:10 PM   #30
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They haven't has an actual entry level bike available since the mid-70s except for the Buell Blast, but good luck getting a Harley dealer to carry Buells.
.
Actually, most of the Harely dealers here in Missouri all have a ton of selection of Buells new & used A few of them have a ton of Buell blasts they collect from their beginner courses they offer, too.
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