My first bike! [Archive] - Glock Talk

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thisaway
09-02-2004, 15:40
I bought an '84 Honda VT500 Ascot recently. It is my first motorcycle. I found it at a friend's cycle shop for $1000, and decided to get it, even if I might have been paying more than it's "book value". It has a tad less than 16000 miles on it. I have only been riding it around my hometown, but am enjoying it so far.

Wish me luck! ;Y

BrianM_G21
09-03-2004, 09:58
That's a great bike... actually, you have the bottom end of the Honda Hawk (and thus can easily upgrade should that be something you're interested in down the line).

Hope you've taken a class like the MSF (www.msf-usa.org) and you're wearing gear. Most new riders crash at least a couple times in their first season... be it tip-overs in parking lots or full on 55mph crashes on the highway. It pays to be prepared.. (certainly cheaper than the alternative medical bills).

Enjoy!

chevrofreak
09-03-2004, 10:18
One of the best looking 80's bikes as far as I'm concerned.

quinch
09-03-2004, 21:38
Cool! Nice bike. My first road bike was a CX500.
I hadn't seen the VT500 before, I had to google it.

Eyespy
09-04-2004, 23:41
That's an excellent choice for a first bike. Now I would stress obtaining as much formal rider training as you can get, and proper gear.

Short Cut
09-04-2004, 23:51
I think you chose wisely. You can ride that bike, improve your skills and if you decide to move up down the road you won't get hurt financially. Sure makes a heck of lot more sense than the folks I see who's first bike is a full size hog or repli-racer.

Check this out:

clic pic

http://www.msf-usa.org/images/logo.gif (http://www.msf-usa.org/)

RKC2000
09-05-2004, 00:55
Great way to start - congrats and have fun. My first bike was a Honda C110 -50cc back in 1966 when I was 14.

Eyespy
09-05-2004, 00:57
Originally posted by RKC2000
Great way to start - congrats and have fun. My first bike was a Honda C110 -50cc back in 1966 when I was 14.

Don't you wish you still had it in the garage! :)

BNSF
09-11-2004, 22:51
My first one is an R1!

Short Cut
09-11-2004, 23:02
Originally posted by BNSF
My first one is an R1!

That's your first motorcycle of any kind? How long have you had it?

BNSF
09-11-2004, 23:13
Two months. Why?

Short Cut
09-11-2004, 23:39
Just curious how much riding experience you have. Depending on how you look at it racer replicas can be very safe bikes. They accelerate fast and stop fast too. I typically use acceleration to stay out of bad spots on a motorcycle more than I use the brakes.

What makes them not as safe, for a new rider, are also the accelertion and good brakes. The acceleration of a bike like the R1 can overwhelm the space, speed, time senses of rookie riders. One of the more common crashes I've seen is a rider braking too late and going straight off a corner. Many times the speed could have been carried through the corner with the right technique, but many times too the rear brake gets locked up in a panic situation causing the inexperienced to lose control.

An R1 requires more finesse with the throttle and front brake too. Many drivers have no concept of throttle control because their vehicles don't have enough power to get out of shape even when the throttle is slammed wide open. This obviously isn't the case with high performance bikes or cars for that matter.

The front brakes on an R1 are terrific, however any bike requires that during a braking event the weight is transfered to the front wheel before the full force of the brakes can be utilized. Immediately grabing a handful of front brakes can put someone on the ground faster than they can say WTF.

Another challenging characteristic of a superbike is their stubby clip on handlebars and steeply angled front forks. This makes them less manueverable in city traffic. Something like an enduro with wide handle bars and forks that have a more relaxed angle are much easier and better at swerving and evasive manuevers.

This isn't to say that you can't safely learn to ride on your R1 just that there are different issues to contend with on such a high performance machine. Personally I have over 200,000 miles on motorcycles and I have many friends with more miles under their belts. We all have one thing in common, we always wear protective gear. I hope that you do the same and that you have many safe years of riding ahead of you. If you haven't taken an MSF course I recommend that highly, click on the MSF logo above for more information.

Whew, that was a much longer response than I had planned. :)

BNSF
09-11-2004, 23:46
Thanks for the kind reply. I know the R1 is a lot of bike. I will keep it forever. I am mature and old enough. I think safety all the time. I am not like some of those nuts or young punks that because it is an R1, they they think I want to race. I do not race. I ride like if I was riding on a sports car. I like to have fun in a safe manner.

Eyespy
09-11-2004, 23:52
Unfortunately, the MSF is not what it once was, and a lot of people in the industry have noticed this and are not happy about it....

Short Cut
09-12-2004, 00:08
Originally posted by Eyespy
Unfortunately, the MSF is not what it once was, and a lot of people in the industry have noticed this and are not happy about it....

Well I've got to admit it has been many years since I took the experienced rider course. I took it after I had been riding for 20 years and still felt it was worthwhile.

Only two things stuck out as techniques I personally disagreed with. The first was when your rear wheel locks up to stay on the rear brake and ride out the skid. I could see where they were coming from, but I wasn't about to adopt that practice. The other was less objectionable, they wanted us to always use all four fingers for braking. I got reprimanded several times for not doing this because I had been two finger braking for so many years it was an ingrained habit.

What is it about the MSF that isn't as good? Is there another street/traffic oriented riding school that you recommend in place of the MSF?

Eyespy
09-12-2004, 00:25
Short cut, it is too convoluted a problem to easily boil down to a few words here, but I would refer you to an excellent 2-Part essay on the subject written by David L. Hough entitled "Trouble in Rider training", which was published in Motorcycle Consumer News, with particular emphasis on Part II, appearing in the June 2004 issue.

Short Cut
09-12-2004, 08:05
I'm glad you mentioned David Hough. He wrote a great book about rider training, that I'd kinda forgotten about. I met David at a BMW National Rally in Missoula, MT in 1998 and we talked for quite awhile about sidecars. ^c

clic pic

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1889540536.01._PE32_PIdp-schmoo2,TopRight,7,-26_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1889540536/qid=1094997418/sr=ka-1/ref=pd_ka_1/103-2784140-8761449)

Eyespy
09-12-2004, 09:13
Originally posted by Short Cut
I'm glad you mentioned David Hough. He wrote a great book about rider training, that I'd kinda forgotten about. I met David at a BMW National Rally in Missoula, MT in 1998 and we talked for quite awhile about sidecars. ^c



I'm sure that meeting and speaking with him was memorable. He wrote a recent follow-up to Proficient Motorcycling titled More Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride . These are excellent books for the street rider. There are a number of other educational books on rider training that I highly recommend. They include:



Sport Riding Techniques: How To Develop Real World Skills for Speed, Safety, and Confidence on the Street and Track by Nick Ienatsch

Total Control: High-Performance Street Riding Techniques by Lee Parks

The Soft Science of Road Racing Motorcycles by Keith Code

Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code

Twist of the Wrist II by Keith Code

And a couple of books not on rider training, but on the technical and mechanical aspects of motorcycle design and function:

Sportbike Performance Handbook by Kevin Cameron

Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design, The Art and Science by Tony Foale. This last one is pricey, but worth every penny for technically oriented riders who want to really understand the theory and science of motorcycle chassis and suspension.

Eyespy
09-12-2004, 09:27
Originally posted by BNSF
Thanks for the kind reply. I know the R1 is a lot of bike. I will keep it forever. I am mature and old enough. I think safety all the time. I am not like some of those nuts or young punks that because it is an R1, they they think I want to race. I do not race. I ride like if I was riding on a sports car. I like to have fun in a safe manner.

I won't lecture you about how exceptionally unsuitable the R1 (as well as every current liter-class sportbike and 600SS class sportbike) is as a first sportbike, let alone a first street bike. But in case you weren't aware of its existance, I wanted to bring to your attention the R1 Forum (http://www.r1-forum.com/), which I help to moderate, since I don't recall your user name over there. There is a great wealth of information available from a number of very experienced and accomplished riders and industry insiders on all aspects of R1 design, modifications, maintenance, and riding. Just be aware that when you register there, you will get a tonque lashing from the more mature and experienced members regarding your choice of the R1 as a beginner bike, but after that, you should derive a lot of added benefit in other ways. You might consider lurking around a short while there to see if you'd like to register and jump in. :)

biker
09-13-2004, 10:50
Originally posted by Eyespy
Unfortunately, the MSF is not what it once was, and a lot of people in the industry have noticed this and are not happy about it....


I would like to hear more on this from yourself if you wouldn't mind. I am curious as I recently became an MSF Certified Instructor/RiderCoach.

I can definately understand wanting to use 4 fingers on the brake lever. My old goldwing requires me to do so in order to do a quick stop. Some bikes stop fine with only two fingers queezing the front brake but alot don't. It is part of reinforcing safer habits. What if you have to stop suddenly and your two fingers just can't queeze that brake hard enoguht to do it. Maybe 4 could have....

As for not releasing the rear brake ina rear wheel skid I a have a project for you. Head down the road. Maybe even a crowned road and push on the rear brake lever/pedal till it locks then cause the rear end to swerve in either direction and then let go of the brake.

PS Wear some protective gear while you do it. It might hurt.



PSS Im not attacking but since I am new to teaching this stuff I like to see many different points of view and reasoning so i can weed out the good and bad for myself.

Short Cut
09-13-2004, 13:07
Originally posted by biker
I can definately understand wanting to use 4 fingers on the brake lever. My old goldwing requires me to do so in order to do a quick stop. Some bikes stop fine with only two fingers queezing the front brake but alot don't. It is part of reinforcing safer habits. What if you have to stop suddenly and your two fingers just can't queeze that brake hard enoguht to do it. Maybe 4 could have....

Well I'm not riding an old Gold Wing. If you can generate enough strength with two fingers to accurately modulate and lock the front wheel if desired what's the benefit of using four fingers? If you can't lock the front wheel with two fingers perhaps you should look into improving your brakes or moving up to a more modern motorcycle.

Now what if your best evasive manuever is to brake hard and then swerve left then right? Granted, this isn't your everyday scenario riding street bikes, however it is pretty common riding dirt bikes and can be a life saver on the street too (in fact I've used it to avoid the closest call I've ever had on the street). I feel I have better control when I leave two fingers on the grip, and that's what's most important for me. However I wouldn't be so pompously arrogant as to require another skilled rider to do things my way. Suggestions are fine, but don't get out of shape if the suggestion isn't adopted.

Originally posted by biker
As for not releasing the rear brake ina rear wheel skid I a have a project for you. Head down the road. Maybe even a crowned road and push on the rear brake lever/pedal till it locks then cause the rear end to swerve in either direction and then let go of the brake.

PS Wear some protective gear while you do it. It might hurt.

Biker if you read my post you'll see that I can understand why this is taught to rookies, and it makes sense considering how little time there is in an MSF class. I've been riding for many years and learned riding dirt bikes. In the dirt this is actually a technique that is purposely used.

My suggestion would be to take the necessary time to teach a student what it feels like to lock their rear brake. It would be best to teach this in the dirt, although I'm confident it could be taught on a street bike too. When they learned to recognize that I'd train them to release the rear brake immediately before reapplying the rear brake. It's my opinion that you don't have to be a world class racer to acquire this skill.

Are you of the opionion that if one has developed the skill to recognize rear wheel lockup, release then reapply the rear brake, they would still be better off by just keeping the rear wheel locked up?

On the street why would I want to do something as stupid as purposely inducing a high-side as you've suggested? You say you're not attacking, however it is pretty irresponsible for a motorcyle safety trainer to advocate something that is so blatantly unsafe.

I know enough to feel when the rear brake has locked so why would I then WAIT and then CAUSE the rear wheel to swerve, well I can only think of one reason and that is "backing it into a corner" supermoto style by slewing the rear end in the opposite direction of the corner before corner entry, however this too is not a typical street riding manuever and far beyond the scope of a MSF class.

Eyespy
09-14-2004, 01:17
Originally posted by biker
I would like to hear more on this from yourself if you wouldn't mind. I am curious as I recently became an MSF Certified Instructor/RiderCoach.

I can definately understand wanting to use 4 fingers on the brake lever. My old goldwing requires me to do so in order to do a quick stop. Some bikes stop fine with only two fingers queezing the front brake but alot don't. It is part of reinforcing safer habits. What if you have to stop suddenly and your two fingers just can't queeze that brake hard enoguht to do it. Maybe 4 could have....

As for not releasing the rear brake ina rear wheel skid I a have a project for you. Head down the road. Maybe even a crowned road and push on the rear brake lever/pedal till it locks then cause the rear end to swerve in either direction and then let go of the brake.

PS Wear some protective gear while you do it. It might hurt.



PSS Im not attacking but since I am new to teaching this stuff I like to see many different points of view and reasoning so i can weed out the good and bad for myself.

Read Mr. Hough's essay if you really are interested in learning about the problems associated with the current MSF political, organizational, and educational landscape. I would thank you not to insult me with your silly challenges. I also know what I am doing....

biker
09-14-2004, 05:01
Insult? Silly challenges? I am very sorry to waste you time with anything then kind Sir. I must have missed the insult.... Rough crowd in here I guess.


BAck to the brakes. i simply can't use only two fingers. I just don't feel comfortable doing so. If you do then more power to you. I have absolute control with four fingers on my brake. If i were to brake hard and then swerve I am not worried since by the time I swerve I would even be touching the brake lever.. that is a whole other issue that I think i don't want to get into.

I am not trying to get you to high side just merely making sure you know the consequences of releasing the rear brake in a skid. the MSF used to teach controlling a rear wheel skid but now only talk about it. Even though you may be able to release the brake we can't by any means begin to have the time teach when and when not to do so. So many factors come in to play. isnt it just easier and much safer to keep it locked. If you know the bike well enough then locking should'nt be an issue.

I am not trying to bend your will to the exact ways of others but just curious as to why you see this way. I do not wish to be called irresponsible and insulting. If simply asking questions has done so then you guys need to lighten up a little and i won't bother post in this peticular topic again. I can be irresposible silly and insluting somewhere else.

Eyespy
09-14-2004, 08:33
The fact that Tim Buche is now president of not only the MSF, but also the MIC and the SVIA, all three of which are supposedly technically and legally separate entities, and yet they all are operated out of a single location in So Cal and the same individual serves as president of all three, permits some shady political lobbying activities under a thin veil of propriety....and this is only the surface of the problems.

The new BRC is inferior to the MRC:RSS, and I think you even recognize that to some extent or another.

Again, if you are wanting to find out more about the faults associated with the current MSF operation, I have given you a good reference to start with.

The individual rider coaches (formerly MSF instructors) are not to blame...

Regarding your suggestion that I lock up my rear wheel and then release it out of line with the front wheel track, what were hoping to accomplish? At least you suggested I wear some gear, since it "might hurt" ;Q I have a few eye opening braking control exercises for you to try if I may return the favor in kind.

The number of fingers you use to apply the front brake, is not the the point of contention....

My own interest with the entire fiasco stems from, among other things, my capacity as a track staff rider and technical inspector for The Motorcycle Training Center.

quinch
09-23-2004, 23:53
<-----uses 2 fingers

;f