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late to this party as i am new to the forums. One thing i see constantly is not to buy too big of a bike.

I had a boss that rode. He told me the same, but he pointed out that you can buy a bike that is too small also. I am a bigger guy, but at the time of buying my first bike i was 6'2'' and 200LBS. smaller cruisers were too small for me and made things euqally difficult had i stepped into a big bike first. Instead, my second bike, the ST1300 was a perfect fit and feel. I learned to be a good rider on that bike. When i traded that in for my HD RGU it was an adjustment to get used to the larger bike but the leraning curve was smaller and I had the confidence built from first having a bike i could grow into... the ST1300.

beyond all the good advice on a thread like this... use common sense and RESPECT the machine. It will take care of you... if you take care of it and respect the beast you are on.
 

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Watch where you put your feet when you're coming to a stop. True story, after 40+ years of riding, I was down in San Jose, CA on my '88 Goldwing trying to make a U-Turn. I put my left foot down and I don't know if the asphalt was soft or there was sand there but, next thing I know, I was laying on my back. with my Goldwing holding me down by the left side crash bar. I'd heard the story many times about Gold Wing Rallys where they pick the smallest female and teach her to stand a goldwing back up after it's fallen over, that popped in my head. What didn't take was the part where I was pinned down by it.

About 30 seconds of trying to move my foot out and the bike was lifted by a passerby that stopped to help. I slid out, stood up and was brushing myself off when I heard this Asian guy said "This bike is heavy, come help or I have to put it back down." I'd have to guess he didn't weigh more than a buck twenty and here he was with an 800+ pound bike about 2' off the ground. I grabbed the bike and stood it up and he jumped back in his car and left.

One other lesson I learned that I never thought of, I learned in an Advanced Motorcycle Safety class and that was, when you're in traffic and coming to a busy intersection, get right beside a car going your way until you're through the intersection. Busy traffic makes drivers take more chances. If it's just you on your bike coming, they may not see you, pull out, and next thing, you're hoping a little Chinese man will stop to help you get that bike off your leg but, this time with a good bit more damage. Use the cars as buffers, that way, when they run the light, they hit the buffer car which quickly slows their momentum giving you time to get out of the way.

Head on a swivel, all the time.. Be safe, wear a helmet and good gloves at least.
 

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I read a statistic a while back that said a high percentage of accidents for new riders happens within a few miles from home. Take the time to get very familiar with how your bike handles, especially in turns. Find and empty parking lot and practice stopping on a mark from various speeds (lower than 20 mph of course), and doing slow turns in both directions.
 
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