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Discussion Starter #1
I have dealt with Carpal Tunnel in both my hands for the past 15yrs or so. For the longest time I would awake in the mornings with my hands locked in that claw position. They always loosened up by time I would get to work though so I could punish them some more lol. Well when I got my bike and began riding her, my hands would go numb within the first 5 miles, every time. Partly from me not knowing how to ride and trying to muscle the bike, partly nerves from those cars that don't know how to keep it in their lane. Yesterday was nice here in Dallas, and I had the day off. I shined up the bike and went for a ride through town. The mix master, the canyon, construction row on 635, over through Ft Worth, then back across 20. I wasn't paying attention to the mileage but I would guesstimate around 100 miles total. Well to my surprise, my hands didn't go numb not one time. My very first "enjoyable" ride. It was like I was a kid again riding my bicycle around my hometown in NC. I have been reading the book PROFICIENT MOTORCYCLING and doing the exercises in the nearby school parking lot and maybe my confidence level has risen a bit. I don't feel as if I am out there just winging it anymore. And guess what, I didn't have that Death Grip on the grips yesterday lol. Knowledge is power, but getting out there and Applying that knowledge, that's powerful. Plus it gives my Carpal Tunnel a break and keeps the blood flowing in my hands lol. I am still a new rider, but I am learning... My name is RobLaidBack and I'm becoming more proficient. Thanks for letting me share :)
 

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Gaining skill and confidence is great!
Just make sure it is in that order. LOL!

I have been riding just over a year now and have about 13k miles under my belt. I still consider myself wet behind the ears.
I have heard a lot of people warn about getting confident early and taking a few things for granted.
Every now and again I have a moment of that "This is EASY" feeling. Every time I get that; I purposely slow it down for a few days. If it is confidence based in skill then great! If it is misplaced confidence; then maybe the life I save is my own!
I still like to get out on the back roads and push myself a little though; just not around the cagers.:)


Scott
 

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There is nothing wrong with pushing your self. Just do it reasonably. If we did not push our ability we would not get any better just more confident it what we can do. Just like it dose not hurt to grab a foot board or 2 in a curve so that you know what it is and feels like so you don't freak out and lift the bike up and off the road but that will come later. You have to learn what you can handle before you learn what your bike can handle. I have been riding for about 9 years now and I keep learning stuff all the time. You just have to keep your mind open to good advise and keep a realistic view of your abilities.
 

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There is nothing wrong with pushing your self. Just do it reasonably. If we did not push our ability we would not get any better just more confident it what we can do. Just like it dose not hurt to grab a foot board or 2 in a curve so that you know what it is and feels like so you don't freak out and lift the bike up and off the road but that will come later. You have to learn what you can handle before you learn what your bike can handle. I have been riding for about 9 years now and I keep learning stuff all the time. You just have to keep your mind open to good advise and keep a realistic view of your abilities.
Absolutely. I avoid telling people, "Never ride outside your abilities!" because if you don't you'll never get any better. I'm not saying you should treat every road like a drag strip or a track, but you have to do some things that make you uncomfortable if you want to learn.

Shortly after getting licensed, I went on a group ride (my first), on rented bikes, somewhere I'd never been. I was nervous the whole time but I learned a lot about riding and group riding and I'm glad I did it.
 

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Absolutely. I avoid telling people, "Never ride outside your abilities!" because if you don't you'll never get any better. I'm not saying you should treat every road like a drag strip or a track, but you have to do some things that make you uncomfortable if you want to learn.

Shortly after getting licensed, I went on a group ride (my first), on rented bikes, somewhere I'd never been. I was nervous the whole time but I learned a lot about riding and group riding and I'm glad I did it.
I remember the first time I took a curve faster than what I THOUGHT I could handle. (And at that time it was not fast all) I went in to "survival mode" and leaned that bike down and took the curve and realized, "Wow that was not bad at all". Now in that same curve I ride faster in it now than I did that time but it was scary for me that time.

You just have to do those uncomfortable things in a controlled environment and don't go from learning to shift to riding 2up with a loaded trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gaining skill and confidence is great!
Just make sure it is in that order. LOL!

I have been riding just over a year now and have about 13k miles under my belt. I still consider myself wet behind the ears.
I have heard a lot of people warn about getting confident early and taking a few things for granted.
Every now and again I have a moment of that "This is EASY" feeling. Every time I get that; I purposely slow it down for a few days. If it is confidence based in skill then great! If it is misplaced confidence; then maybe the life I save is my own!
I still like to get out on the back roads and push myself a little though; just not around the cagers.:)


Scott
Scott i know what you mean, everything in it's own time. A wise man told me once "now you know enough to get yourself killed" lol, so i remain cautious. I just have a different understanding and awareness of the bike now. Now I feel, when the opportunity presents itself, that I can use what I am learning instead of the situation freaking me out
 

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Scott i know what you mean, everything in it's own time. A wise man told me once "now you know enough to get yourself killed" lol, so i remain cautious. I just have a different understanding and awareness of the bike now. Now I feel, when the opportunity presents itself, that I can use what I am learning instead of the situation freaking me out
Yep! Skill and confidence is a great thing.:)

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I remember the first time I took a curve faster than what I THOUGHT I could handle. (And at that time it was not fast all) I went in to "survival mode" and leaned that bike down and took the curve and realized, "Wow that was not bad at all". Now in that same curve I ride faster in it now than I did that time but it was scary for me that time.

You just have to do those uncomfortable things in a controlled environment and don't go from learning to shift to riding 2up with a loaded trailer.
Speaking of riding 2up... I had my 6yr old son with me. He had been asking and asking for a ride. Dad only had a couple weeks in the seat at this point, but I said ok lets ride. Was at a busy intersection and went to turn right on red, and almost dropped me AND him off in the middle of the turn. Talk about a Oh Shyt moment. I still don't know what other than the Man upstairs that kept that bike from falling because she was going down fast lol. Needless to say I rode solo for a while after that. I have gotten to the point I will ride him and Wifey around the neighborhood, but that's about it for now
 

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Speaking of riding 2up... I had my 6yr old son with me. He had been asking and asking for a ride. Dad only had a couple weeks in the seat at this point, but I said ok lets ride. Was at a busy intersection and went to turn right on red, and almost dropped me AND him off in the middle of the turn. Talk about a Oh Shyt moment. I still don't know what other than the Man upstairs that kept that bike from falling because she was going down fast lol. Needless to say I rode solo for a while after that. I have gotten to the point I will ride him and Wifey around the neighborhood, but that's about it for now
That is probably a good idea, got to know how to handle it by your self before you add another on it. Also if they are interested in riding with you (I have my wife the same speech) tell them to sit against the sissy bar and move with it. I am driving this bike and I do not need your help in doing so, so do lean for or against me. Keep your feet on the peg and your butt still. If you need to move ya butt or feet let me know first and I will tell you when it is ok. After a while you will be in tune with each other and it will become easier. Just don't make the passenger uneasy or tense you will be able to tell in the handling of the bike.

I take my 4 year old up the road and back but its just literally up a 1 lane dead end county back road and I am the next to last house on it.
 

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Gaining skill and confidence is great!
Just make sure it is in that order. LOL!

I have been riding just over a year now and have about 13k miles under my belt. I still consider myself wet behind the ears.
I have heard a lot of people warn about getting confident early and taking a few things for granted.
Every now and again I have a moment of that "This is EASY" feeling. Every time I get that; I purposely slow it down for a few days. If it is confidence based in skill then great! If it is misplaced confidence; then maybe the life I save is my own!
I still like to get out on the back roads and push myself a little though; just not around the cagers.:)


Scott
Wow Scott, 13000 in one year? That's logging a few miles. Riding is one of the best ways to get better. I would suggest to anyone looking to get better is to take a MSF foundation course.
 

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One of the things in that book that really jumped out at me was the riders with LESS than six months experience were SIGNIFICANTLY less dangerous with riders with more than six months, but less than (I think) two years experience. Basically, don't get overconfident. Learn new things, push yourself a little, improve your skills. BUT, don't push yourself into dangerous situations, and keep that head on a swivel! I firmly believe that the reason for that statistic is that 6-24 month riders are confident in their abilities, and thus are no longer looking for extra stopping distance and watching side streets like a hawk (when they were less confident in their braking and such). Remember your very first time on a public road? BUT, those riders have not yet had a 'pucker' moment to remind them that, even though they've started to hone their skills, they STILL have to keep their head on a swivel! Better to slow down and yield to a driver who you can tell isn't going to stop (because you were looking for such a thing), than to have to practice your maximum-effort stop with a couple tons of steel stuck in the road in front of you!

And Scott, I gotcha beat! I too have been riding for a year, but I put 15,000 on my bike this year :D

That is probably a good idea, got to know how to handle it by your self before you add another on it. Also if they are interested in riding with you (I have my wife the same speech) tell them to sit against the sissy bar and move with it. I am driving this bike and I do not need your help in doing so, so do lean for or against me. Keep your feet on the peg and your butt still. If you need to move ya butt or feet let me know first and I will tell you when it is ok. After a while you will be in tune with each other and it will become easier. Just don't make the passenger uneasy or tense you will be able to tell in the handling of the bike.

I take my 4 year old up the road and back but its just literally up a 1 lane dead end county back road and I am the next to last house on it.
+1. I AM a newbie (though I have more miles than some 10 year veterans I've known!), but I still firmly believe that if you cannot control the bike unless your passenger leans a certain way, or you won't be able to negotiate a curve if a passenger goofs and leans their body or shifts in their seat, then you do not have enough control of the bike to handle a passenger yet. I give the same speech to my passengers, but in the event that they screw up, it's still MY machine to control, and because I've practiced counter-steering techniques and I lean the bike with the bars, not manhandle it with my weight, I can easily overcome the weight of a mis-placed passenger. Once my wife was on the back and we went around a corner, and for some reason her foot slipped on the peg and she got scared and 'instinctively' leaned the opposite direction. I wasn't happy about that and told her so, but I was able to press harder on the bars and keep the bike going where I needed it to. The fact is, passengers can, will, and do make mistakes. If you are relying on them for your safety, and if you have to have them do something in order to remain in control of the bike (yes, I recognize certain things make it safer and easier, but they do screw up sometimes!) then you aren't in control enough for a passenger yet!
 

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One of the things in that book that really jumped out at me was the riders with LESS than six months experience were SIGNIFICANTLY less dangerous with riders with more than six months, but less than (I think) two years experience. Basically, don't get overconfident. Learn new things, push yourself a little, improve your skills. BUT, don't push yourself into dangerous situations, and keep that head on a swivel! I firmly believe that the reason for that statistic is that 6-24 month riders are confident in their abilities, and thus are no longer looking for extra stopping distance and watching side streets like a hawk (when they were less confident in their braking and such). Remember your very first time on a public road? BUT, those riders have not yet had a 'pucker' moment to remind them that, even though they've started to hone their skills, they STILL have to keep their head on a swivel! Better to slow down and yield to a driver who you can tell isn't going to stop (because you were looking for such a thing), than to have to practice your maximum-effort stop with a couple tons of steel stuck in the road in front of you!

And Scott, I gotcha beat! I too have been riding for a year, but I put 15,000 on my bike this year :D



+1. I AM a newbie (though I have more miles than some 10 year veterans I've known!), but I still firmly believe that if you cannot control the bike unless your passenger leans a certain way, or you won't be able to negotiate a curve if a passenger goofs and leans their body or shifts in their seat, then you do not have enough control of the bike to handle a passenger yet. I give the same speech to my passengers, but in the event that they screw up, it's still MY machine to control, and because I've practiced counter-steering techniques and I lean the bike with the bars, not manhandle it with my weight, I can easily overcome the weight of a mis-placed passenger. Once my wife was on the back and we went around a corner, and for some reason her foot slipped on the peg and she got scared and 'instinctively' leaned the opposite direction. I wasn't happy about that and told her so, but I was able to press harder on the bars and keep the bike going where I needed it to. The fact is, passengers can, will, and do make mistakes. If you are relying on them for your safety, and if you have to have them do something in order to remain in control of the bike (yes, I recognize certain things make it safer and easier, but they do screw up sometimes!) then you aren't in control enough for a passenger yet!
I agree 100%. But when first starting out with a passenger they need to stay on top of their game too so you can learn to handle the bike with the added weight. I remember the first time my wife had a little slip up. It almost took us down. We was pulling up to an intersection (2 land side road on to a 4 lane road) that had a lot of pea gravel. Well she saw some one she knew and turned around to look and wave as I was putting my feet down. Lucky enough it was there because after some "scoobie-doo" style foot work I kept control of the bike and told her not to do that again. But like you said this is your ship and you are the commander of said ship. It all comes in due time. I never had a problem with counter-steering I was doing it riding before I knew what it was.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One important safety tool of motoring that I have utilized for the past 15 plus years is the Smith System. And, knock on wood, I have accumulated 1.5 Million miles plus of safe accident free driving, while carrying some of the most dangerous Hazard Class Materials known. From the Black Hills of Montana, to Alligator Alley of Florida. From Bangor to San Diego... and any/everywhere in between. Whether its highways byways, backwoods or thru the woods, my driving habits remain the same...

1... aim high in steering) don't just look at whats immediately ahead of you, look at whats ahead of Them, as far as you can. if you wait until your front door reacts, you're too late.
2... get the big picture) having an accident and hoping you survive to tell the cops it isn't your fault is not good enough. Be aware of everything going on around you. Front back and side to side. The sooner you become aware of hazards, the more time you have to react. Always be aware of whats ahead, beside, and behind you at all times.
3...) Keep your eyes moving) kinda speaks for itself. Continually scan the road as well as the side walks and side roads. Will that car turn out of that side road? Will that kid walking his dog run out in your path? Will those road rage vehicles collide and end up in your path? If your eyes are always scanning, it greatly reduces your chance of being surprised by a situation.
4... leave yourself an out) you never want to be the guy who rear ends a soccer mom and her mini van full of kids, nor do you want to be the guy rear ended by the Mack truck. The more aware you are, the less likely you are to get yourself in situations where you have Nowhere to Go.

Its not foolproof, but it does work if you work it... but you gotta work it. But I have to warn you, once you start using it, once it becomes a part of your mental like second nature, you will catch yourself taking your time and enjoying the ride more no matter what you drive
 

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Wow Scott, 13000 in one year? That's logging a few miles. Riding is one of the best ways to get better. I would suggest to anyone looking to get better is to take a MSF foundation course.
I know this is kinda redundant on a motorcycle forum; but I like to ride.:)

I think riding in winter is what allowed me to put a few extra miles on.
When it got cold I wasn't ready to put her up. So, I bought some gear and kept riding; even when I was the only two wheeler on the street.
Mild winters in N. TX helps.:D

Hey John,
I get more miles than most people I know; but I don't expect to even place around here.:)
Is Big Toe the user name for the guy with 150k plus on a 900?

Scott
 

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I know this is kinda redundant on a motorcycle forum; but I like to ride.:)

I think riding in winter is what allowed me to put a few extra miles on.
When it got cold I wasn't ready to put her up. So, I bought some gear and kept riding; even when I was the only two wheeler on the street.
Mild winters in N. TX helps.:D


Scott
Same here Just bought my 900 I could not put her away, I just added some cold weather gear, Got to love TX for Mild weather.

Just got back in the saddle again and what kicks my butt every time is being over confident. The list here is a good list, Aways try to know what the other guy going to do helps a lot

Drive Safe!
 

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Same here Just bought my 900 I could not put her away, I just added some cold weather gear, Got to love TX for Mild weather.

Just got back in the saddle again and what kicks my butt every time is being over confident. The list here is a good list, Aways try to know what the other guy going to do helps a lot

Drive Safe!
It has been extra mild this year.:)

The two pieces of equipment that made the most difference on my 900 for cold weather riding were:

Hand wind deflectors. (kind of ugly, but with some cheap winter gloves I got about 30 minutes at 70 mph in 35F temps before my fingers hurt)
http://www.jpcycles.com/product/ZZ75585

Half chaps (less than a minute to put on less than 15 seconds to take off)
http://bikerbabesleathers.com/Leather-Half-Chaps-Motorcycle-Leggings_p_192.html

I liked my Kawasaki lowers too; but they were a distant 3rd for cold weather gear.

Scott
 
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