Rookie rider Any tips for riding on the freeways(highways)?? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Rookie rider Any tips for riding on the freeways(highways)??

So just got my cruiser about 2 months ago, passed my MSF course and got my M1 license (California). I have taken her out on the streets maybe total of 5 miles (been busy working overtime), worried about taking her out on the freeways/highways here in cali. any tips.
thanks.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:06 AM
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I have a few,

1. Since you just only gotten your license i suggest you try and ride with others first at least 2 or 3 riders.
2. Never become complacent, always be on the ball.
3. Dont do foolish things and always ride to your limitation.
Most important
4. Go to YouTube and watch and follow MCRider vid's

Thats about it really, just have run riding.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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oh yeah I'm a definite subscriber to mcrider. Have watched most of his videos not to mention many others. and bout the motorman video lol and the twist of the wrist. funny when I use to ride dirt bikes I would open up that throttle with little to no fear (that I could remember) but something about the freeway that makes me nervous lol.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvmontoya View Post
oh yeah I'm a definite subscriber to mcrider. Have watched most of his videos not to mention many others. and bout the motorman video lol and the twist of the wrist. funny when I use to ride dirt bikes I would open up that throttle with little to no fear (that I could remember) but something about the freeway that makes me nervous lol.
Well if thats ur bike that vulcan 900, then you shouldnt have any problems on the freeway. Mine sits fairly solid to the ground and cross winds hardly bother you.
Comparing my 900 vulc to my yammy 650 sports tour bike, night and day. I would get blown around a bit by winds and trucks, but not now with the kawa vulc 900.

You will find because the bike is heavier, it wont move alot if at all whilst on the freeway, so dont worry too much, as thats what cruisers were made for.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Combat Killer View Post
Well if thats ur bike that vulcan 900, then you shouldnt have any problems on the freeway. Mine sits fairly solid to the ground and cross winds hardly bother you.
Comparing my 900 vulc to my yammy 650 sports tour bike, night and day. I would get blown around a bit by winds and trucks, but not now with the kawa vulc 900.

You will find because the bike is heavier, it wont move alot if at all whilst on the freeway, so dont worry too much, as thats what cruisers were made for.
yeah that's my bike. cool I'm going to start off slow get on than go down a few ramps and exit slowly progress. a lot of my friends at work wait on me so we can all go ride.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 07:04 AM
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The first thing is "Don't Rush"

The second is that you have no business being on a freeway until you develop your skills, judgement, and reflexes a bit.

Practice on surface streets and neighborhoods. Practice turns. Left, and Right.
Practice stop signs, when it is quiet, and when it is busy.
Practice reading the road in front of your front tire. Tar snakes, bumps, concrete seams, manhole covers, and the like.
Practice uphill and downhill riding... with turns.

Get good at 30mph and 40 will come.
Get good at 40mph and 50 will come
Get good at 50mph and 60 will come.
At that point the freeway will not matter so much. it is just a road and you will be competent and safe.

Stay safe and enjoy the new bike.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by westcoastkevin View Post
The first thing is "Don't Rush"

The second is that you have no business being on a freeway until you develop your skills, judgement, and reflexes a bit.

Practice on surface streets and neighborhoods. Practice turns. Left, and Right.
Practice stop signs, when it is quiet, and when it is busy.
Practice reading the road in front of your front tire. Tar snakes, bumps, concrete seams, manhole covers, and the like.
Practice uphill and downhill riding... with turns.

Get good at 30mph and 40 will come.
Get good at 40mph and 50 will come
Get good at 50mph and 60 will come.
At that point the freeway will not matter so much. it is just a road and you will be competent and safe.

Stay safe and enjoy the new bike.
Thanks for the information definitely will continue practicing. And definitely taking my time progressing. Every ride I go on is getting progressively longer, adding new encounters. What is different about uphill and downhill riding? I don't have many hills near me unless I go far lol..
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 08:09 AM
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Donít attempt freeways until you have about 500miles of surface streets/maneuvers under your belt, you need to learn to react to the unexpected. Things happen in less time at 70mph, if possible take feeder roads once you get comfortable. Become very familiar with countersteering, and emergency stops. Learn how to lean the bike, and how to make proper turns and slow down in a straight line.
Learn how to straighten up in a turn and emergency stop.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 08:51 AM
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Some great advice already posted!

I second the need to practice turning maneuvers and stopping! I can't stress enough how important these skills are for safety in emergency situations.

Something that we all hate doing is dropping our bike. I'm talking about dropping when handling/pushing your bike. Nothing more embarrassing than dropping your bike when all you were doing was trying to back it into a parking place at the downtown fair while a group of hot girls were watching after you rode up on your cool bike. I watched a rider do this last year!

Take time to learn how to push your bike around. As a biker you'll find this is something you will do a lot! It's not as easy as many people think it is. You only need to come off that balance point slightly and you aren't going to stop a heavy cruiser from going down!

I'm going to disagree with the advice to ride with others. Riding with other bikers adds riding and maneuver decisions that increase the already inherent danger of riding. Riding with others require that you be aware of how to ride in formation. These are skills that are better learned after you become comfortable with how to ride the bike your sitting on.

Other riders can teach you a lot about riding. If you are invited to ride with others you should make sure you ride in the rear position/non-staggered. This way you can learn how bikes maneuver when riding grouped without making mistakes that could take other bikers down. When you feel comfortable, then move up in the formation.

Since you are learning and adding skills, it's also important to develop good safety habits and practice now! That means ATGATT. (All The Gear All The Time) There really isn't a reason not to wear the proper gear. With all the great riding equipment/clothing available today you can be safe and still look very cool!

Remember all the skills you learned in the MSF course and start consciously applying them each time you ride.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 06:26 PM
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Maybe 5 or 6 years back an old friend's ex-wife was killed on a bike. As the story was told to me, she was trying to keep up with her new husband, who was up ahead (but I don't know by how much). They were in some twisties and essentially she ran flat into a cliff. Killed instantly.

The first thing that came to my mind was that she was riding beyond what she was competent at or probably comfortable with. It killed her.

So, as the above advice says, gain your confidence by doing smaller stuff first and stair-step your experience/ability upwards. Take as long as you NEED to at each step. Despite how much fun bike riding is, its not a game.

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