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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

New Rider, New Bike. After drooling over it all summer I got a 2010 VN 900 Custom SE. I get to pick it up next week.

As a rookie to the bike and riding in general what do you think I should know that I wouldn't have learned at the riding course?
Any tips or tricks jump to mind that you think all newbs should know?
 

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A) Have the bike delivered to your home or have an experienced friend ride it home for you.

B) Find a close by parking lot and practice, practice, practice until you are very comfortable with the new bike before you venture out into traffic.

C) Assume everyone who possibly can cut you off, turn in front of you, stop short or otherwise interfere with your right-of way WILL.

D) Wear ATGATT

E) While doing all of the above, enjoy your new ride.
 

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Well, i have to say, although having it delivered to your house or getting an experienced rider to bring it to you is sound advice, it's probably not something i'd follow. I'd be too excited about taking my brand new first bike out for a ride and bringing it home myself.

Ride carefully and believe that you're invisible; no one can see you and the "(C)" advice comes into full force.

Congratulations on your purchase, you're going to love that bike. Ride safe, and have fun!
 

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1) Remember what you learned in the riding course. They're very thorough!

2) Read about all the "ticks" and such in advance.

3) Have fun! ;)
 

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Im sure its redundant but whatever you do when you go into a corner remember to look ahead the bike will follow you. Hope that makes sense , go on youtube and watch a few bike crashes it will keep you thinkin ahead. Especially the Harley guy that drives his bagger straight off of a very steep hill when he shoulda been turnin.. I also recomend to my buddies just startin out to take the Balance Dynamics course if there is one in your area, amazing what they will teach ya.. Good luck, Bulldozer still dodgin stuff in S. Amer.
 

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ride safe, ride safe, ride safe.. on the vulcan you already look cooooollllll
 

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Hey everyone,

New Rider, New Bike. After drooling over it all summer I got a 2010 VN 900 Custom SE. I get to pick it up next week.

As a rookie to the bike and riding in general what do you think I should know that I wouldn't have learned at the riding course?
Any tips or tricks jump to mind that you think all newbs should know?
I ride with a retired NYPD motor officer. His advice to new riders is to stay within what you are comfortable with - don't exceed your own personal comfort zone. It will take time for you to get more comfortable in certain situations (high wind, freeway traffic, rain, etc.). Err on the side of caution until you gain more experience. Don't let others in a group setting encourage you to do things that you don't want to do.

One of the ladies that we ride with did NOT follow this advice. She bought a Honda 750 and went out to ride with a friend of hers on a sport bike who said "follow me" and took off. The lady on the 750 followed him into a curve at too high a rate of speed for her skills, crashed and broke her shoulder so severely that she needed a helicopter medevac. She did not ride again for a long time. Don't make this mistake!
 

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School the rookie

All good advice for a new rider I see on the posts here. As a fellow Canadian welcome to the fold!! Not sure what the "lid law" is in Alberta but here in Manitoba we have to wear a helmet. I would certainly highly recommend that for any new rider. That and remember that you are "invisible" to most other people on the road so drive defensively. That's what keeps me alive on 2 wheels when I am surrounded by texting/smoking/eating/inattentive people on 4 wheels.
 

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Remember, it's not a question of IF you will get hit, but WHEN.

• Keeping that in mind, ride like everyone else on the road can't see you and is trying to kill you.
• Buy the best gear you can afford. It is worth it.
• Don't get over-confident. If you get that little twinge in the back of your head that something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Take it easy and keep your awareness up.
• Keep your head on a swivel!
• When you find a couple of guys to go riding with, understand that you're a novice and they more than likely aren't. Don't feel like you need to keep up. Just enjoy the ride :)

And most importantly...

• Have fun!
 

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My wife started riding this spring. We bought her a bike she felt comfortable on (1986 454). At first she would ride on the back of it with me to the nearest parking lot ( a Jr. High school). It is built on a hill so the parking lot has all the challenges you'll find on the roads. She practiced there for about a week. Her biggest challenge was turning the bike while starting from a dead stop, which is quite useful at an intersection as you all know! From there we moved on the the neighborhood and finally the open road. We even hit a portion of the super slab although it was on a Sunday so there was very little traffic. She is still not comfortable riding at night, maybe never will be. The point is like others have said, go at your own pace and do not let others talk you into doing what you are not comfortable with. You don't want any mishaps, but if they come your way it's best to hold them off until the biking hook is firmly set!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again to everyone for the tips.

I ended up picking up my bike a few weeks ago. I couldn't resist picking it up myself, but I did spend a couple of hours getting used to it in a pretty deserted industrial area before taking it home.

I've had it for 3 weeks now and have just about 1000k on it.
No need to worry about biking hooks setting in, they are firmly entrenched :)

I'm still taking it really easy, getting comfortable and all. The things I've found are the hardest to get used to are cloverleafs off the freeway and parking the bike. Cloverleafs I just take slower then I need to, its not that I can't make the turn but just feel uneasy doing it with much speed. As for parking its seems silly to me that I have so much trouble backing it in to stalls or up to curbs. Anyone else have that issue? Any trick to it?
 

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New Rider help?

You said it best when you mentioned the rider safety course. TAKE IT. The other really great advice mentioned is to ride in a parking lot until you are REALLY comfortable with the bike. Use the lines in the parking lot as a tool to learn to how the bike handles in turns and SLOW mode. I know this really late in the season for us is almost over. (North Dakota) If you get caught in the rain try and stay away from the middle of the road.....oil slick and when wet LOOK out. Always ride defensively.......even when you don't think there is anyone else out with you...expect the unexpected. I've been riding for 36 years and never been hit or have I ever dumped the bike at speed....always slow and doing something stupid......have a great year!

Chuck
2008 Nomad 1600
 

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One more thing......when Spring gets here and the bugs bites you.....take it very easy. Most Northern tier roads will be covered with sand. Take the turns easy.

Backing up isn't easy for any bike. Reverse being your legs and all....keep your center of gravity over the middle of the bike it will help.

Did you take the safety course?
 

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Some wisdom imparted to me by my father - painted speedbumps and manhole covers become slick as snot in the rain, just like railroad tracks. As stated by others, EVERYONE is out to kill you by not seeing you. Anything you can do to increase your visibility will help - reflective pannels, extra illumination, etc. Don't try to hide your bike in parking lots - there will always be some yutz that assumes that space is empty as he's whizzing into your shiny ride. Lastly, something I've done to assist reverse 'gear' - get a little forward momentum to help you compress the forward suspension under braking, as it rocks back to normal, release the brake and use that momentum to help send her backwards! It sounds harder that it is, of course I'm assuming clear asphalt under your rubber.

'Goon
 

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Welcome aboard and congrats on your first bike, you made a excellent choice. Take your time ride slow and learn. Practice, practice. practice!!!!!!!!! Stay alive and gain experience and always remember THEY ARE OUT TO GET YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because they are. Good luck, enjoy, and God bless.
 

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Nice thread there, I particularly find it usefull for myself.
Kuddos for all the great advices!
I will apply them for me too,

... I will also check to get this dvd too (Ride like a pro...)

G.Bear
 

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Congrats on your new bike. I have the same one and love it!!!!

Some advise someone here gave me.... Always check your mirrors especially when breaking. Some car drivers come up fast on you without noticing you.

RandomGoon said it right too. Don't park in a blind spot. Cars dont have time to stop and will crush your new baby.

Good luck be safe and most of all HAVE FUN!
 
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