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I have never ridden a motorcycle and I am looking for some tips on getting into riding. I plan on taking a Motorcycle Safety Class to get some saftey tips and get my License endorsement, but there are always those little things that help as you get started riding.


If you can remember back to when you first started riding or something you learned just last week that made a world of difference in your riding, please post on this thread. This would mean the world to me and probably help others in the same position.


Thank you for anything you can add!!


;)Safety doesn't happen by accident.;)
 

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You will go where you look so, if you don't want to go there don't be looking that direction.
Create a routine that you faithfully follow everytime you take the bike out IN ORDER every time.

Example:

1. Check: tires,oil, cables, brakes, lights, horn,air in suspension, mirrors.

2. Warm up engine

3. Stand up bike and immediately put the side stand up. It is truely unbelievable the number of people that forget to put the side stand up, for what ever excuse they have, and fall over as a result.



Pay attention to your surroundings at ALL TIMES. Forget about the radio, passenger, or any other distractions for a while.



Try to find someone that is an experienced and COMPETENT rider near you that would be willing to go out a few times to watch, critique, and provide example to you.


My favorite is Don't fall down. :brokedown:
 

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Take the MSF beginner rider course first BEFORE YOU BUY A BIKE. After this course you will have a much better idea of what you really want to ride.

Don't buy a bike that is too big for a first time rider, the bigger the bike, the more difficult your mistakes will be to control.

I love my GL1200 wing, but even though I had been riding for many years it was a whole new learning curve as all of the little things that I did wrong were a lot more obvious on the wing.

Good luck, and please read up, practice regularly, and take those classes so that you can learn to ride correctly and safely.
 

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Take the course then come back and ask that question again.

You are invisible, no one is looking for you, always expect them to pull out in front of you or turn left in front of you or hit you from behind when you stop.

Always have an escape route....When you stop make sure you have a place to pull into if the car behind you does not stop.

For the first few months of practicing do not turn on your radio, do not play with any controls except for the turn signals, do not have any one ride on the bike with you. No distractions!!

As some one pointed out above you will go where you are looking. This is called target fixation. When entering a curve don't look down into the curve to make sure you are not going off of the pavement, look to the point where you want to come out of the curve and keep looking past that as you come out. Watch a motorcycle race and concentrate on the riders as they are entering a curve. You will notice their chins are up, and their heads are turned toward where they want to come out of the curve.

As stated previously find a riding buddy and practice with them. Have them follow you and don't take it hard when they critique your riding. They are there to help keep you alive and well.

You will drop your bike at some time. Try not to panic when it happens. Most likely it will happen when you are practicing slow speed turns your first time. If the bike is going down let it go, don't try to stop it because you can't. Watch the videos on this site and you tube on how to pick up your bike. They will make it a lot easier for you.

Wear your helmet, gloves, jacket, boots etc all the time....some people will take exception to this but you are just learning and you will drop the bike. You want as much protection as you can get for now.

Allow more stopping room that you think you need, you are still new at the controls and you may need that extra time to react.

Work up to longer rides slowly. Don't just decide you want to take a 500 mile trip to see the inlaws and then ride back the next day. You'll be worn out and inattentive - thats dangerous.

As Lil Pete said check the bike every time before you ride it. You have only 2 wheels beneath you, if one goes flat you will have a lot of problems not dropping the bike.

According to your avatar you have a 1100. That a large bike to start out on. I would have suggested you get a beater that you can thrash till you get better then switch up.

One of the hardest things to learn is to not panic when you are not quite in control of the situation, you must learn to let go of the throttle otherwise the bike will keep picking up speed right up to the point you crash into something.

Pay very close attention to the instructor when they talk about countersteering. It is not intuitive but by using countersteering instead of trying to force the bike to lean you will enter and exit your turns much better at speed.

There are guys on here who teach the MSF courses and they are much better at giving you the basics that I am so wait a bit and they will chime in.

Good luck with the bike and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine!!

Henry
 

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The best advice I can give a new rider is that after you've taken the course, and you've bought a bike, find a nice, large, empty parking lot and spend hour upon hour upon hour upon hour challenging yourself to do things like:

Ride straight down the center parking lot line at idle without wavering. Work to do it while slipping the clutch and barely moving.

Slalom between parking stall lines as slowly as you possibly can. At idle, or slipping the clutch. Work to tighten the slalom up. Start with every other stall, and work to every single stall...then work to ride every single line.

Slow circles. Work to where you can have the bike moving as slowly as possible while the bars are turned clear to the stop.

Bar stop to bar stop figure 8's. Same thing as above.

I tell you to practice this way often and alot for a reason.

The more confident and proficient you become at near stop speeds, and the more you practice, the less likely you will be to "clutch up" when something happens on the road. Those reactions will have become reflex actions that do not need to be thought about.

I've been riding street bikes for almost 30 years, and I still go find an empty parking lot to play in for an hour or three no less than 4 times per riding season
 

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Welcome to the world of motorcycle rider's. The skill and level of attention required to safely operate a motorcycle can seem daunting at first, so take it slow, take a safety course and head on over to 'msgroup.org'. It is the best motorcycle safety forum on the net!

http://www.msgroup.org/default.aspx
 

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Some great riding tips being put out here. :applause:



#1 in my book is as follows.



Someone already mentioned this in a roundabout way "You are invisible" NEVER EVERassume that other people see you, even when they are looking in your direction. Just when you think someone see's you is whenthey will pull out in front of you!!



Don't buy a bike bigger than your experience, buy a smaller one to learn on IE: Honda rebel.



Good luck and enjoy the riding experience.
 

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-- take a class...
-- start small, and I'd suggest a 250 to 400 dual sport. Dual sports are great learning bikes, forgiving, easy to handle, take punishment well.....
-- don't drink, don't speed, don't ride angry....
-- your first miles should be on relatively uninhabited roads....
-- don't try and look like something out of the Sons of Anarchy...wear all the gear all the time, and bright colors...full-face helmet, armored jacket and pants....
-- limit your "pack" riding at first, no matter what your level of experience, if you ride with others you will ride faster than you would if alone.
-- It's a great world out there on a bike, have fun (from my wife!)
 

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rmiller

I always tell people to buy a dirt bike, or a small road worthy 250cc (approx) to learn on. The MC you have is not for a beginner.

Take a riding class before you take that 1100 out for any real ride. It will help you and maybe even save you in the long run.

Please be careful:action:
 

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Put the sidestand down before you get off of the bike. Don't ask me how I know.

Brian
 

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Combine all the responses above into an attitude.

Your attitude before you get on the bike will affect your riding habits and skills. Learn it the right way the first time so you don't have to unlearn bad habits.

Each time you go out, go the same routine. Develop your own routine but make sure it's inclusive of all the recommended items above and add in some of what you like too.

I clean my windscreen and face shield each time I ride with pledge and a micro fiber cloth. That's the last thing I do, right after my butler cup, lol My wife thinks I'm insane for the method but it works for me.

Of course I start off with things like tire pressure checks, oil/antifreeze checks. Warm up engine while checking lights and inspecting the tires for debris that doesn't belong or cuts. Verifying my gear is all there, in good working order and packed where I want it. I always carry a tool kit, rain suit, map and first aid kit. Usually some spare cash and a spare key for the bike.

Good luck, ride safe and be defensive at all times. Make sure you have a way out at all times, even at traffic lights or stop signs. One foot down, bike in 1st gear and ready to launch if the need arises.

Mike
 

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You and others may not like whatI have to say, but you asked.



If you have never ridden before, you have no business on an 1100. Learn on a small bike. Ride in the dirt. Thereare so many things that cannot be taught. I've been riding for 50 years and have had dozens of close calls that were only avoided by instantly reacting with instinct and experience. Many of these incidents would not havebeen survivable if I had had to think about what to do. I am oftenasked for advice by middle aged or older guys who just have to have a Harley and most often I discourage them from making the purchase.

NOT EVERYONESHOULD BE RIDING A MOTORCYCLE!
 

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Anyone can make a cycle go faster, all you have to do is twist the throttle. Only a person that has practiced the routine can make a cycle STOP QUICKLY. Go into a parking lot and practice stopping, then practice some more, and more and more.
I have saved my own butt and my passenger more than once by practicing for the all to often occurance of some jerk pulling out in front of me.
Make you bike as visible as possible. I have a headlight modulator, tail light modulator, extra LED tail lights,& air horn on my Wing.
Ride like everyone is trying their hardest to kill you. You may be paranoid but it does not mean that you are wrong.
 

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FeButter has a good point. Motorcycles are not for everyone. Find a cheap 250 to 450 bike that you can learn to ride on. Find a friend that has YEARS of experience and that you can trust to help you into riding safely. Take a riders coarse and PAY ATTENTION to what is taught. Get into a safe routine and stay with it. Practice in traffic when you have mastered the parking lots and back roads. Riding is the best when you are confident, experienced, and knowledgeable. People will tell you that if you take it easy, you can learn of the wing. Don't believe it. You may be able to ride it and get to where you want to go but all it takes is for one cager that is texting to end your riding career in a blink of an eye if you are not properly prepared to ride a 780 pound mass of machine. The older we get, the longer it takes to heal and the more it hurts.
 

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AS with the above few posts. Take the class, which is really too short if you ask me, and the bikes they supply are small, and won't help much in transferring that experience to your 1100. Practice around home and the parking lots. Try to find a friend that rides that could help you out. I had about 10 years experience with the smaller bikes, most of it on the dirt. I commuted 60 miles for work on the 350 for 3 years on the Los Angeles freeways then quit riding for the kids. 25 years later this 1000 fell into my lap and I can tell you It was like learning how to ride all over again. It did come back fairly quick but I didn't feel relaxed for a month or so. having fun in the twisties now, still pull over if some clown is too close behind me or closing the gap way to fast.
 

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"You will go where you look" is by far the greatest truism in biking. They will mention it in MSF but won't give it the prominence it deserves. Keep it in the forefront of your mind until it becomes second nature. It's easy from there.
 

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From a near-newbie (Aug 2010) to a newbie, take the MSF course and practice on a non-goldwing. I bought a 750 spirit and took the course. I don't recommend larger than 750 to start - it was about right size for me. When my wife rode on back, it took more effort to control the bike at slower speeds. I went out and bought a new Goldwing in February and she came along for the ride. My gut said no, but she said yes. I ended up dropping (hard) the bike leaving the stop sign. So I'm back to practicing without her right now and feeling more confident and in control of the bike. Maybe in another month she'll join me for a good ride. :letsplay:
 

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When you've learnt to balance, used the controls smoothly, and have confidence in your ability....Head out on the highway and enjoy....Oh, one more thing...Trust nobody else using the same road as you....And watch out for the nut holding the handlebars....He's your biggest threat!....:D :D :D
 
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