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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Baby steps

I got a Vulcan 750 this past Tuesday. My first motorcycle ever. I rode dirt bikes once in a while when I was a kid but never a street bike.

The first couple days I only rode it in my neighborhood. Yesterday I finally left my hood and rode down to a store a couple miles away. No street lights or anything just a stop sign along the way.

This weekend I rode to another town about 5 miles away. I took the scenic route [I live near farm land/small towns] and spent about 40 minutes away from home.

I'm still nervous about riding in real traffic with lights and lots if distractions. Am I being paranoid? I don't feel like I am but maybe I'm just playing it a little safe until I feel more comfortable.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 05:21 PM
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Not at all just wait till you are comfortable on the bike. I tought my son to ride and thought he was ready to get out on the open road and we had been riding for about 3hr when we came up on a sharp 35mph curve and a car was coming. He got nervous and let off the gas and the bike stood up in the curve ans he hit the ditch, he was fine just a sprung wrist, but I pushed him into that ride. I waited for a couple more weeks and he came to me and asked to go for that ride again and he has been riding ever sience. Just wait till you feel ready you will know the time.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 06:20 PM
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A safety course would be good idea if you havent already. Dont let anyone push you past your comfort zone. As you ride, you will become more familiar with how your bike and you handle different situations.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 06:33 PM
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+1 to Ricks advice.
Get into a MSF course.
Get some gear; at least some boots a motorcycle jacket and a DOT helmet.

After that, get out there and enjoy those backroads.
You don't have to take on any road that you don't feel ready too.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargaze View Post
I got a Vulcan 750 this past Tuesday. My first motorcycle ever. I rode dirt bikes once in a while when I was a kid but never a street bike.

The first couple days I only rode it in my neighborhood. Yesterday I finally left my hood and rode down to a store a couple miles away. No street lights or anything just a stop sign along the way.

This weekend I rode to another town about 5 miles away. I took the scenic route [I live near farm land/small towns] and spent about 40 minutes away from home.

I'm still nervous about riding in real traffic with lights and lots if distractions. Am I being paranoid? I don't feel like I am but maybe I'm just playing it a little safe until I feel more comfortable.
Like the others have said, the MSF course will do wonders for your skill and confidence. Also, as stated by others, stay within your comfort zone and you will do fine -- you seem sensible.

I myself just started riding a year and a half ago and I will never forget how nervous I was the first time I saw a car coming at me in the opposite direction but you will get used to it soon enough.

Good luck...

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 07:12 PM
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Staying within your comfort zone is the most important.
As my MSF instructor said, do it one street, one highway exit at the time.

I myself started riding one year ago. And believe me lots of things are still intimidating to me. Only last week I finally worked myself up to take 12 mile highway run during evening rush hour. Stayed in the right lane all the way through and kept it between 60-65




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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 07:40 PM
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I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I took the course at the beginning of last summer but didn't get a bike until the end of last season. I'm out in the country so we just took rides on the highway and back roads. Like you, I'm nervous about going into the city and won't until I'm comfortable. I figure I'll go off by myself this summer to the small town by us, then up to a bigger one and then the city. I seemed to get more comfortable with each ride but feel like I'll be starting right from the beginning again this summer (although that might be in July ... we're still getting snow here). Enjoy!!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback! I forgot to mention about taking the motorcycle course, I took the MSF course at a harley davidson shop a month ago.

I don't know how people who live in the city get started lol. I figured I'll head into town when I never stall the bike [don't do it often but I did it yesterday] and when I can turn onto a new road w/o having to focus so hard.

The one thing I've noticed is that you really get beat up when it's windy. I parked my bike on Friday because I didn't feel safe with the wind pushing me around [I think the gusts were around 25 or 30mph].
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 07:46 AM
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Even though you are done with the MSF, you can still spend some time in a parking lot.

Even after you are comfortable riding in town; it isn't a bad idea to practice some U-turns and Emergency stops in an empty Parking lot.

Scott

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 08:16 AM
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Hey man, I was in the same position as you!

I got my bike, took the course, and (I, too, live in a very rural area) started putting around my house, doing a mile or two here. Gradually worked up to faster roads, rode into town and tackled a tiny bit of traffic, just little by little. No need to rush. Lots of people get hurt thinking they have to impress everyone by just how quickly they can learn to ride and push themselves well beyond their abilities!

No need to rush, you'll get there! You're doing the right thing taking it little by little. Scott suggestion about gear is one I'd heed too. It doesn't have to be motorcycle specific, but over the ankle boots, gloves, good strong pants and a good strong jacket (and of course, a good helmet) will go a long way in case you get off the bike before you wanted to... When you've ridden more you might decide to stop wearing your gear and that's up to you (I still wear mine, all year round. I like it!), but new riders should seriously consider beefing up protection.

Here's a fun statistic for you, there are two groups most likely to be in an accident. Riders who have ridden for less than 6 months, and riders who have ridden for 24-30 months (2 to 2 1/2 years). Why? Well, riders less than 6 months have less experience of course, and many of them overestimate their experience. Riders who have been riding for 2 years, there's a sudden spike in accidents. Why? Because they think, with two years under their belt they are experts, let their guard down, stop being vigilant, stop practicing, stop trying to hone their skills, and suddenly encounter a situation (like a left turner) that they hadn't encountered in real life for, and.. uh oh!

So, don't quit practicing, ever! Once every few weeks I'll find myself on a long straight stretch with nobody behind me and I'll practice hard braking. I keep myself fresh and comfortable with my brakes, confident that I can apply both quickly, strongly, confidently, and get the bike stopped QUICK. I practice swerving, I'll even see a parking lot with a 2x4 laying in it now and then and, after checking it for nails, will ride over it a few times at various angles to practice going over obstacles. Bottom line is, you can either encounter a situation for the first time (or the first time in a long time) out on the road where your life depends on it, OR, you can make it so when someone DOES pull out, or a small animal (i.e. obstacle) or car part DOES sneak up on you, or whatever else happens happens, is a routine thing you've practiced for so many times it's just instinct.

That HAS happened to me. Minivan pulled out, I wouldn't say in front of me, more like was going to T-Bone me. Saw it out of the corner of my eye, and it was like I was on autopilot, without thinking I was swerving, braking HARD without locking anything up, and checking my blind spot to see if I had room to move over into the other lane. (And holding onto the horn button for a minute or five.... hehehe)

Good luck!

-John

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

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