New rider, any words of wisdom? [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : New rider, any words of wisdom?


stooxie
04-06-2008, 11:23
Hey everyone!

So, after wanting a bike for 15 years now I finally went out and got one (wifey only mildly fuming, but she's ok). I got me an '08 Ninja 650R.

So, any words of wisdom re:staying alive? From what I hear and read, taking it easy on the throttle and laying off the booze (before riding) reduces the risks a good bit. I also hear the the biggest problem is more people running stop signs and stop lights as opposed to rider error. Obviously anything is possible.

I'm taking the VDOT approved rider safety course in May. I have my learner's permit but can't legally ride without "supervision" from an existing class M licensee. I've ridden up and down my driveway a few times, that's been fun!!

Seems like one of the biggest things to get used to is just the weight of the bike. To that end I've been spending time just getting used to it, tipping the bike from side to side, seeing how to best shift my weight to bring it back up. I've been driving a manual transmission for 17 years and I'm pretty good on a bicycle so I think I "get it" about leaning, not leaning when turning slow, etc.

I'm pretty confident in my abilities but I'm also smart enough to listen to those with experience! Help a new rider stay up!

Thanks!
-Stooxie

JimBianchi
04-06-2008, 11:28
Rice Rockets are fun.

My only advice:

No matter how good/carefull you are, everyone else is stupid or blind when you are on a bike. (This is why I no longer ride)

Be warned.

G23.40
04-06-2008, 12:03
Look for user name Peak_oil replied in the link.

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842549&page=2

I think every rider should read it.

stooxie
04-06-2008, 13:08
Look for user name Peak_oil replied in the link.

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842549&page=2

I think every rider should read it.

Read it, and the AVRider thread... yikes... :shocked:

Gives new urgency to the phrase "take it easy".

-Stooxie

BP44
04-06-2008, 18:30
go slow and dont push yourself to fast or let others push you out of your comfort zone. and good idea on the moto course as well:cool:

KYGlock23
04-06-2008, 19:32
Take a look at the list below. These are things that I have made note of over the years and they have served me well.

1. When cresting a blind hill or approaching a blind curve, NEVER be "riding" the center line. SUV's trailering boats, someone driving to fast, you get the
picture.

2. When riding always be aware of wildlife. It can appear out of nowhere and
at very inopportune times. Deer are only part of this equation as well.
Dogs, fowl, rabbits, I could go on.

3. Know your bike. Do not attempt traffic until you are VERY comfortable
with it.

4. When approaching cars coming out of streets, etc. Always "cover" your
front brake with at least two fingers. Have your brake foot ready as well.
People will pull out in a heartbeat.

5. Whenever possible, try to avoid being stuck behind a large vehicle that
obstructs your view. This can be of even more importance if someone is
behind you. If it requires a lane change or a pass, try to do so at your
first opportunity.

6. Your front brake is your friend and the bulk of your braking power resides
in your front brakes. There are caveats to this however, one being watch
for gravel in turns, etc. Too much front brake and there could be a
problem.

7. If you are approaching a car in the right lane and you are in several lanes
of traffic, position yourself so the car can see your headlight in their drivers
side mirror. It can help them to see you and possibly avoid a sudden lane
change into your lane.

8. They make nice safety glasses and sunglasses now in some pretty cool styles. The are inexpensive as well. Get yourself a pair of clear and a pair of the sunglass type unless you will be wearing a full face.

9. Watch out for pickups with the tailgate down - I have seen everything
from tools, 2X4 and metal scraps, beer cans, etc. come out of the back of
one. Get hit with something big enough, and there is a good chance that
you are coming off.

10. When riding at night, everything above is TWICE as important.

I will add a few more as I think of them. Just got in from a ride myself and
thought that I would provide you with a couple of quick tips. Sorry about the formatting but I am kinda wiped...


Mike

glocked_n_loade
04-06-2008, 19:57
one thing i have gotten into the habit of doing is to ride in far left or far right lane of highway, and keep an eye on the shoulder for a possible escape route, people change lanes into me at least twice a week and if you can keep your head about you and realize that when they change lanes they will not cross the yellow line, so this allows you room, even on small shoulders to avoid getting hit when they push you off the road. just ease off to the edge barely crossing the yellow, and dont dive way off the road into the grass in a panic situation. other than that just watch out for the other guy in all situations. ride often and keep the rubber side down.

whogasak47
04-07-2008, 01:38
Here is a nice list to read

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/howto/122_0608_50_ways/index.html

Good Luck and Ride Safe

fnfalman
04-07-2008, 11:08
Seems like one of the biggest things to get used to is just the weight of the bike. To that end I've been spending time just getting used to it, tipping the bike from side to side, seeing how to best shift my weight to bring it back up. I've been driving a manual transmission for 17 years and I'm pretty good on a bicycle so I think I "get it" about leaning, not leaning when turning slow, etc.

I'm pretty confident in my abilities but I'm also smart enough to listen to those with experience! Help a new rider stay up!

Thanks!
-Stooxie

Unless you have superhuman strength, even a "light" bike as a Ninja 650 will tip over beyond recovery after leaning over past a certain point.

BTW, it sounds like you REALLY need to take the course before riding any more. You don't turn a bike by "leaning". You turn the bike by countersteering. Leaning does nothing except changing the center of gravity of the bike and aids in turning, but the act of leaning itself will not make the bike turn.

stooxie
04-07-2008, 12:25
Unless you have superhuman strength, even a "light" bike as a Ninja 650 will tip over beyond recovery after leaning over past a certain point.

BTW, it sounds like you REALLY need to take the course before riding any more. You don't turn a bike by "leaning". You turn the bike by countersteering. Leaning does nothing except changing the center of gravity of the bike and aids in turning, but the act of leaning itself will not make the bike turn.

Right, I understand that simply leaning by itself won't do anything. I can ride a bicycle. ;)

That said, I appreciate your advice. The course should be good, it included all equipment and THEIR bikes! About 20 hours including riding.

-Stooxie

JimK
04-07-2008, 13:41
I highly suggest taking the MSF course . Even riders that have been riding for years will get something out of it. Here in Indiana it cost me $80 and about 2 days of my time . I had ridden for a few years before I ever took it and learned several new things . Also most any insurance company will give you a break on insurance with a MSF course completion . Also , A completed MSF course here will let you bypass a riding test at the DMV for the motorcycle endorsement on your liscense. #1 cause of accidents with another vehicle is people not seeing you and turning left in front of you, don`t take it for granted you are seen .

Halojumper
04-07-2008, 21:39
One suggestion MSF. From there you'll know what the next step is for you.

ndbullet500
04-08-2008, 02:01
My suggestion is to not become complacent. I rode in dirt...and slick red Carolina clay....for many years, but only started riding on the street about 5-6 years ago. I'm pretty safety conscious, but to be honest there was always that little voice in the back of my mind that said I could avoid almost any collision that was not of my own making. I knew it was not true intellectually, but I still felt like accidents happen to the other guy. One day last summer, I realized that to everyone else, I AM THE OTHER GUY! And to me, YOU are the other guy.
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j12/connell10/PICT0894.jpg
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j12/connell10/PICT0849-1.jpg
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j12/connell10/hand_wrist_arth_01.jpg

Take the MSF course, read quality texts such as Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough, and wear quality protective gear. Don't become complacent and think you have it all figured out. And with a little luck, you can live long and prosper.
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j12/connell10/PICT1041-1.jpg

Oh, yeah...I approve of your choice in motorcycles. Don't be dumb and underestimate it. It is a docile machine, but that friendly nature can lull you into some high speeds on challenging roads.
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j12/connell10/650RXmas.jpg

StudParker
04-08-2008, 13:42
All of the above are good recommendations. To add to the list, one compulsive practice on the bike that has saved my bacon more than once is to ALWAYS HEAD CHECK! Any lane change, any merges, any exit/entrance ramps....AHC!! Your mirrors are good for a quick sit rep, but don't trust 'em...take a good look over your shoulder before making any move.


Have fun, stay safe, don't get behind the bike, and remember YOU ARE INVISIBLE.

G23.40
04-08-2008, 17:58
I just wanna add one thing, as a rider, keep this in mind, if you can't see the other driver in their mirrors, they can't see you, so position yourself to be seen but never let your guard down, keep enough room for maneuver just in case.

Ride safe and have fun.

jack19512
04-08-2008, 22:32
Probably just mentioning things already covered but I have been riding for around 38 years and here are some of the things that I have experienced.

1. Be careful with the front brake and where, when, and how hard you apply it, used in the wrong place and/or time will get you put down.

2. Never, and I mean never take for granted that other people see you and know you are there.

3. Try to avoid blind spots.

4. Wear appropriate safety equipment.

5. Alcohol/drugs/speed will eventually catch up with you and take it's toll.

6. I ride in the center of my lane, if you get distracted for a split second you will either find yourself wandering into the oncoming traffic lane or find yourself going off the road on the right side.

7. Be extremely careful how fast you try to take a curve, sometimes with enough speed the bike wants to keep going in a straight line. Back in my younger days I almost lost a Harley on a four lane highway because of this.

8. Use extreme caution when carrying a passenger. There is a difference when riding solo and carrying a passenger.

stooxie
04-09-2008, 05:09
I learned me something yesterday: always make sure your wheel is straight when you stop. I was practicing low speed, tight turns, it's not easy!

So how tight is a bike supposed to turn with feet on pegs? If you're trying to turn very tight do people keep the feet out?

-Stooxie

Halojumper
04-09-2008, 07:19
I learned me something yesterday: always make sure your wheel is straight when you stop. I was practicing low speed, tight turns, it's not easy!

So how tight is a bike supposed to turn with feet on pegs? If you're trying to turn very tight do people keep the feet out?

-Stooxie

No, there's no need to put your feet out, even on the tightest turns. If you want to work on your tight turns, get a copy of the motorman video and do it's practice drills. Your progress will amaze you.

Guod
04-09-2008, 14:14
Well I just got into riding. I got a ninja 250, and have only rode it around my street since it makes a nice circle. I am taking my MSF course in a week and a half, and then will get my license and all that.

What I can recommend is just take it slow, don't rush into anything. I just sat on my bike for a few hours getting occustomed to the controls before I slowly rolled it down the driveway, and then rode.

I purchased a full face helmet. I would highly recommend it. I purchased a shoei rf-1000, which some sort of custom paint job, which ran me about $450 at a kawasaki dealer. The helmet fit me better than anything else in the shop. I know I probably could have got it cheaper, but I was getting the itch to just take the bike out for a spin. So it was either get a helmet ASAP, or I may be tempted to make the foolish decision of riding without a helmet. Even at 10mph, if you take a spill, you could crack your head and end up dead, or worse.

I also recommend getting full gear as soon as you actually start riding anywhere accept for less than 20mph on your neighborhood or driveway.

I also did not buy full bike boots yet, but I purchased a cheap pair of high ankle boots from walmart for $20 to ride around the neighborhood and the safety course, then I will get quality bike boots. I know that even though at slow speeds I am unlikely to need skin grafts, I could still easily break my ankle if I drop the bike.

I am super new, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but just sharing from one n00b to another.

Also, not to be critical of your decision, but just be careful on that bike, it has a lot of power and could get you into trouble FAST.

Guod
04-09-2008, 14:17
I learned me something yesterday: always make sure your wheel is straight when you stop. I was practicing low speed, tight turns, it's not easy!

So how tight is a bike supposed to turn with feet on pegs? If you're trying to turn very tight do people keep the feet out?

-Stooxie

You really need to do some more internet reading or wait until you MSF to ride anymore IMHO. One of the first things I learned is try to NEVER (especially as a new rider) use your brakes when turning. You brake BEFORE the turn, and then carry that speed into the turn, or else even accelerate a little, which is what I tend to do, but not too much.

StudParker
04-09-2008, 14:30
I learned me something yesterday: always make sure your wheel is straight when you stop. I was practicing low speed, tight turns, it's not easy!

So how tight is a bike supposed to turn with feet on pegs? If you're trying to turn very tight do people keep the feet out?

-Stooxie

Feet always on the pegs. Remember to look (turn your head) where you are going..look all the way through the turn, not directly in front of you. Don't be afraid to feather the clutch. Agree with some of the above, get some training videos and books..as they say at Faber..."Knowledge is Good". With practice (alot) you can turn circles dragging your pegs at a full lock on the handlebars. But I'd say to set your goals now on making a U turn well within the confines of two lane road space....in a vacant parking lot of course. :cool:

F14Scott
04-13-2008, 00:32
No kidding. Go find and buy an old bike like this:

http://i21.ebayimg.com/04/i/000/e8/62/67e8_1.JPG

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1979-Honda-CX-500_W0QQitemZ180231884096QQcmdZViewItem

It'll cost you about a grand, which is about how much one parking lot tip-over will cost you in plastic on your beautiful new Ninja.

Spend your first few months on it. You will drop it, probably forgetting to put the kickstand down, or maybe parking it wrong on a hill, or getting a little enthusiastic with the throttle or front brake. The beauty will be, you won't care. You'll learn your hard lessons on a cheap bike you don't care much about.

After you master the basics on it, sell it. If you haven't dropped it, you'll get what you paid minus fifty or a hundred bucks. Even if you have dropped it, you'll still lose less than a set of plastic, mirrors, and turn signals.

It will also be much more forgiving than the Ninja for a beginner. That bike's high horsepower and narrow power band will make learning slow-speed maneuvering difficult for you.

I learned on a beater and was able to quickly become a better rider than it was a bike. Now that I have a VFR, I'm glad I learned those lower limits and continue to try to find the upper ones on my current scoot.

gloxter
04-17-2008, 23:53
Buy the best gear you can afford from reputable manufacturers. The time to realize you bought crappy gear isn't when you're sliding down the asphalt at 65 mph.

And always, always wear it. Heat rash is better than road rash.

Edited to add: Get a full-face helmet! I can't tell you how many faceless motorcyclists I've tried to revive on scene. The skull-cap bowl helmets are only good for one thing...guacamole, and I'm talking about the green kind, not the kind your grey-matter will resemble when you crash in one.

BrushyBill
04-19-2008, 02:30
Right, I understand that simply leaning by itself won't do anything. I can ride a bicycle. ;)

That said, I appreciate your advice. The course should be good, it included all equipment and THEIR bikes! About 20 hours including riding.

-Stooxie

It's not clear from this if you got his point about countersteering... This is EXTREMELY important, and is sort of counter-intuitive. I find when I ride bicycles there's very little countersteering, as they're so light. On a motorcycle, you really need to put some actual effort into pushing the downside bar to initiate turns. Without mastering this, a road motorcycle will ALWAYS feel really heavy and slow to turn, which is of course bad.

Forgive me if you already know this, but at most speeds above a walk, if you push a motorcycle's bars say, on the right side, it'll turn the bike right. Vice versa with left. This is essentially what people do when they "lean", which applies (very light) pressure from outside peg to inside bar handle, thus pushing the inside handle. However, it's much more effective to really know what's going on and just simply do the push directly rather than indirectly via a lean.

This is one of the major things they go over in a course like the MSF. Once you know about it and remember to do it, you have MUCH greater control over your heavy beast.

Ride safe!

wallew
04-20-2008, 17:58
I'm a 35 year member of the motorcycle culture. You name it, I've probably ridden it. I've owned Japanese and American.

I was a freelance photojournalist for almost 15 years. Paid and published.

First and foremost, realize that as soon as you throw a leg over your motorcycle, both you AND IT become completely invisible. NO ONE WILL SEE YOU OR HEAR YOU.

Second, 90 days on your motorcycle. EVERY DAY. And if you survive without injury, you are above average.

Wear your leathers. YES, LEATHERS. Plus, helmet, gloves, jacket, chaps (or leather pants), boots. Do not forget your protection for your eyes. You only have two and generally speaking you will NOT be issued a new set if they are damaged. At least, in this day and age.

Maybe not this type, but leathers none the less. Much better to have a 1/4 inch of leather on the pavement instead of bare skin.

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=148700&stc=1&d=1208735592

stooxie
04-20-2008, 18:46
It's not clear from this if you got his point about countersteering... This is EXTREMELY important, and is sort of counter-intuitive. I find when I ride bicycles there's very little countersteering, as they're so light. On a motorcycle, you really need to put some actual effort into pushing the downside bar to initiate turns. Without mastering this, a road motorcycle will ALWAYS feel really heavy and slow to turn, which is of course bad.

Forgive me if you already know this, but at most speeds above a walk, if you push a motorcycle's bars say, on the right side, it'll turn the bike right. Vice versa with left. This is essentially what people do when they "lean", which applies (very light) pressure from outside peg to inside bar handle, thus pushing the inside handle. However, it's much more effective to really know what's going on and just simply do the push directly rather than indirectly via a lean.

This is one of the major things they go over in a course like the MSF. Once you know about it and remember to do it, you have MUCH greater control over your heavy beast.

Ride safe!

Hmmmm, maybe I am not familiar with this then. My bike IS feeling "lighter" as I toodle (very carefully) around my basically-zero-traffic neighborhood, but I can't claim to understand fully of what you are speaking.

I have been practicing slow speed turns in a big parking lot, using the back break, feathering the clutch to give me enough speed to stay stable, but I'm not sure I am using that technique.

Perhaps it's best if I wait for the MSF course so I don't have to unlearn any bad practices. These low speed maneuvers are way trickier than I imagined.

-Stooxie

wallew
04-21-2008, 18:17
Counter steering.

When you want to turn your bike in a specific direction, you pull that side of the handle bar to 'turn' your bike in a given direction. Counter steering is PUSHING the opposite handle bar to turn your bike INSTEAD of pull the handle bar that is the direction you go.

IT IS very handy, especially with a heavy road bike, which mine was. But with a little practice and proper tire inflation (ALWAYS A NECESSITY), you will find you can 'turn' your bike without pulling a handlebar, but by pushing it's OPPOSITE handlebar. The results are the same. Though pushing a handle bar IS much easier than pulling one.

Try it at a medium slow speed.

Oh, and if you REALLY want to learn how to handle your bike, practice what is called in the Harley world 'slow racing'. Mark off a 30 feet long, 6 feet wide area of concrete, asphalt or dirt. Then see HOW LONG it can take you to go those 30 feet WITHOUT putting your foot down OR going outside the lines. THE LONGER IT TAKES, THE MORE CONTROL YOU NEED OVER YOUR SCOOTER.

I've seen guys go well past thirty seconds. But they were the 'top' of the heap. My BEST time was about twenty two seconds. Which put me in the 'second tier' of riders.

Hope that helped.

stooxie
04-22-2008, 19:15
Wallew, what do you think of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countersteering

-Stooxie

PDude
04-23-2008, 14:02
Wear good protective gear.

Do a before ride checkover of your bike. I like to wipe it down with quick detailer. This gives you a little time to see small problems before you get in trouble. It helps you spot loose fasteners, low tire pressure, chain condition etc...

Drive defensively, like you are invisible. They often don't see you.

When you feel comfortable, like you have it mastered is the point you will get in trouble!

Ride your own pace, don't get sucked in over your head when riding with others.

Gonzoso
05-06-2008, 01:18
Everyone told me about how you steer left to go right, yata yata, and I never understood it. I have ridden dirtbikes a lot, but they are different. I got a Suzuki Marauder in February and rode it around my neighborhood for a half hour, then took it to the corner store. Then I rode it home. I started taking it a little further each time. I put 3k miles on it since Feb 2. I love it.

But anyway, I find that my bike turns by countersteering at 32-35 mph or so. I dunno if that is like a law of physics like the sound barrier is so many mph, or if it is dependent on the bike and what not. But I would think it would be a constant thing having to do with the gyroscopic action of the bike.

I am also taking a MSC soon. I still have not had anyone on my bike as I am not that dumb. But I did ride to Centralia!

stooxie
05-06-2008, 05:15
I took the MSF course this weekend and I passed.

Lemme just say one thing I learned: a "passing" grade does not mean you can ride a motorcycle! It was an excellent course but it was TOUGH! The coaches were awesome but you don't get much time to get the hang of anything before moving on to the next exercise.

Probably the best thing this class did for me was feed me a big old slice of humble pie. Just because you can tool around your neighboorhood doesn't mean you are ready for the streets.

I'll be practicing those drills for a while yet... :crying:

-Stooxie

fnfalman
05-06-2008, 14:54
I took the MSF course this weekend and I passed.

Lemme just say one thing I learned: a "passing" grade does not mean you can ride a motorcycle! It was an excellent course but it was TOUGH! The coaches were awesome but you don't get much time to get the hang of anything before moving on to the next exercise.

Probably the best thing this class did for me was feed me a big old slice of humble pie. Just because you can tool around your neighboorhood doesn't mean you are ready for the streets.

I'll be practicing those drills for a while yet... :crying:

-Stooxie


It seems like you're on your first step toward enlightenment. Congratulations.

Knuckler
05-12-2008, 01:10
I have been riding for 15 years. I have put at least 75k miles on varius bikes.
I ride in the rain, I ride when it is cold, and I ride all summer. Seriously,
during the summer months, I park my car.

Here are a few things you need to know....

- There are 2 types of riders. Those who have been down, and those who are
gonna go down. No exceptions.
- Good protective gear helps...alot.
- Loud pipes DO save lives. People are much more aware of you when you
sound obnoxious.
- Sport bikes make you feel much more confident. They are incredibly powerful,
phenomenally agile, and incredibly dangerous. You will NEVER be as good as
your sportbike. Never.
- Boots. Jeans. Leather. Even when it's hot. NO shorts, ever. No flip flops, ever.
That will keep you from getting burned by your pipe, and help you when
you go down. If you have body armor, wear it while riding. I do.
- Do not think that they will see you. They won't.
- Always look ahead, and think about what you will do if it gets hairy. It will.
- STUPID HURTS!! If you ride like an *******, you will get a ride in an ambulance.

I have totalled 2 sportbikes. Got hurt both times. I got hurt ALOT less when I was
wearing gear. A good helmet (Arai), good leather, jeans, good boots, and yes,
I will say it again, body armor (Like a cop wears) all contributed to much less injury.

I ride a Harley now. I tend to keep my speed sane that way.

Riding is the most fun I can have with my clothes on. Be safe. Live to ride another day.

sillymike
05-12-2008, 11:14
My two bits of advice...

1. All the gears, all the time... Sure, it might be a little sweaty in the summer... but I find it easier to deal sweat then road rash!

2. Keep The Rubber Side Down...

Mike.

ms1600
05-12-2008, 13:40
Dress to crash, not dress to ride. And what the experienced riders previously said.

Congrats

CraigR
05-12-2008, 14:44
New rider, any words of wisdom?

I've been riding for about 38 years. I began when I was 4. I have taught hundred's of people to ride both dirt bikes and street. I have taken the advanced MSF course and was a bit shocked at the lack of ability in the group.
Two riders for instance, dropped their full dress Harley's during the course just attempting to stop quickly.:faint: You have mentioned that you were taking some training, good for you, you have put yourself above about 80% of the people who crash typically.

Try to learn something new every time you ride. Don't hang out in blindspots, if you do, assume your going to get picked off.
Don't leave any opportunity for anyone to do something stupid.

In other words, it doesn't matter if their light is red, don't go until you check for cars.
If you see someone on a cell phone, get away asap.
Don't follow any vehicle carrying anything. I had a sofa and loveseat flip out of a pick up truck right in front of me coming out of Boston. Had I not been looking ahead far enough I would have hit one or both of them.

Next point see above also (sofa), look far enough ahead, and look through corners. Your sensation of speed is greatly diminished when doing so.

Slow down in corners, most single bike crashes are due to going to fast entering the corner, I hit a guardrail at 80 MPH, making just this mistake.

Stay towards the inside of all on and off ramps, reason being, junk and liquid get thrown out to the outside edge of corners due to centrifugal force.

Choose who you ride with very carefully, they can make a stupid move quickly and take you out. It happened on 2 groups rides I've been on.

Don't panic no matter what. I've seen to many people on bikes panic and do something stupid. Be very careful with your rear brake. A lot of people that ride bikes just don't know that 70% or more of the stopping power is in the front brake.

You really have to be hyper aware of your surrounding's at all times. If you let up for an instant, that's when you'll pay.

As you can see I have a lot to say about this. I'd like to take you riding with me but alas you are pretty far away. One of my biggest joys is teaching someone how to ride safely. Let me know if you have any other questions or need any input. There is a lot to learn, but I wouldn't trade riding for the world.

kengps
05-19-2008, 04:13
Everyone told me about how you steer left to go right, yata yata, and I never understood it. I have ridden dirtbikes a lot, but they are different. I got a Suzuki Marauder in February and rode it around my neighborhood for a half hour, then took it to the corner store. Then I rode it home. I started taking it a little further each time. I put 3k miles on it since Feb 2. I love it.

But anyway, I find that my bike turns by countersteering at 32-35 mph or so. I dunno if that is like a law of physics like the sound barrier is so many mph, or if it is dependent on the bike and what not. But I would think it would be a constant thing having to do with the gyroscopic action of the bike.


All bikes steer by counter-steering, it is just not noticable the lighter the bike is, especially bicycles. Forget about advise to pull or push the inside bar, outside bar, etc. Just turn the handlebars the opposite direction you want to go. You should both push AND pull the opposite bars. When you go really fast you will know the meaning of counter-steering. My old race bike would do 165 at Daytona. It takes a lot of upper body strength to haul a bike into a quick turn at those speeds.

PDude
05-19-2008, 20:29
Against my better judgment. Loud pipes save lives????????

The sound wave is behind the bike, all I know is some bike is in like a two block vicinity.
It does get you noticed, but I doubt the safety angle.

Loud pipes piss off the public, is this good for the motorcyclist image?
I know it attracts the law.

Drag pipes are for drag bikes at the track, big honking real high flowing heads racing at high RPM.

On 95% of bikes, Drag pipes lose HP, especially in the mid range. I watched the dyno guy stick a screwdriver in each pipe and gain back 7 HP in the midrange from the back pressure.

When riding in groups, the loud guys go to the back so I don't have to listen to them.

Don't get me wrong, I love the sound of a nice set of pipes. Sooner or later the man is going to outlaw aftermarket pipes, or at least mandate sound levels.

My neighbor blew out the woofers in his stereo playing a sounds of Ducati CD. LOL

I don't mean to sound like an old lady, three of my bikes have aftermarket exhausts.
But they are at what I consider reasonable levels for the street.

Halojumper
05-19-2008, 22:24
- Loud pipes DO save lives. People are much more aware of you when you sound obnoxious.

.. You will NEVER be as good as your sportbike. Never.

I have totalled 2 sportbikes. Got hurt both times. .

Of course it's just my opinion, but this might not be the best person for a beginner (or anybody for that matter) to be taking advice from.

EricD10563
05-19-2008, 23:39
I'm in my mid 40's and have been riding since I was 14 and my main riding buddies are in thier 70's and we all just ride our own ride. It's the big difference compared to riding with younger people who have to impress, keep up, show off, race etc...

Do not ride the way someone wants you to ride or the way they are riding, ride your own ride. Don't forget the pucker factor, slow down before you feel it.

CraigR
05-31-2008, 23:35
Some thoughts on the 'loud pipes save lives issue.'

According to the Hurt report is was determined that 77% of motorcycle accident hazards come from in front of the rider, while only 3% approach from the rear. What's interesting here is that motorcycle pipes direct the vast majority of sound backwards where the least danger is, so for loud pipes to be truly effective safety measures they would need to be pointed forward where the greatest danger lies. That doesn't do much to support the proposition that loud pipes are a safely factor.

The other serious problem I have with this supposition is that it is, at best, a secondary safety measure, not a primary or proactive measure. Assuming that the other driver will act with caution once you have identified your presence by the sound of your bike roaring up from behind is foolhardy at best. That's like assuming that if you were to wear a bright yellow safety vest, or full riding gear, you can relax because now you're protected!

Lets face it, the best protection you have is that 3 pounds of grey matter between your ears, that and a constant awareness of your surrounding, and acting on the supposition that the rest of the motorists in the world are all idiots and its up to you and you alone to ensure your safety on the road. Relying on the other guy to act reasonably or safely just because you're making more noise than those around you is just asking for trouble!

kengps
06-01-2008, 01:45
Well....a lot of the obvious is posted here. Safety courses, riding gear, etc, etc. Here is some advice from a guy who has survived many, many different sports and hobbies with only a few minor breaks in my fingers to show for it. I'm in my mid 40's and not a timid rider. I was once ranked number 2 nationally from my AMA road-racing days. In addition to 30+ motorcycles from street to Motocross...I have owned Hang-gliders, Paragliders and motors. Aerobatic airplanes, 700 HP prop-jets, turbo-charged twin-engine airplanes, Floatplanes, Helicopters, waverunners, Racing ATV's, Downhill skis, roller-blades, Ice skates, Snow machines, SCCA Race cars, Porsches, and BMW M cars. I still can't help driving fast to this day. In all these things I learned at an early age the 2 most important things.....To Look Far/ Concentrate Wide. -AND- Never exceed the speed which will allow you to see, react, and stop before you get there. I see people violate the latter daily. Someday they will take a turn, crest a hill, etc. only to discover a nasty suprise on the other side too late. The vision thing is more complicated. It takes a lot of mental practise to think wide. Try to never fixate or concentrate on any particular object with the small area of your vision that is in focus. By doing this you will be seeing things in your entire periphery. Try it. Use your peripheral vision for everything up close and look far ahead. As soon as you lock onto something shift your eyes slightly so as not to concentrate on anything. It doesn't take but just a degree or so. The center of your vision where things are in focused is actually very small. I have seen references to this over the year in elite race prep/professional sports training. I'm no expert, never trained for it, just picked it up over many years of dangerous play. It would be good to have from the beginning. Oh yea....pretend you are invisible when you ride on the street. Best advise I ever heard for riding/driving with other idiots on the road. So far I've had hundreds of close calls, but never a Street bike or car accident in my life.

stooxie
06-01-2008, 17:42
Well....a lot of the obvious is posted here. Safety courses, riding gear, etc, etc. Here is some advice from a guy who has survived many, many different sports and hobbies with only a few minor breaks in my fingers to show for it. I'm in my mid 40's and not a timid rider. I was once ranked number 2 nationally from my AMA road-racing days. In addition to 30+ motorcycles from street to Motocross...I have owned Hang-gliders, Paragliders and motors. Aerobatic airplanes, 700 HP prop-jets, turbo-charged twin-engine airplanes, Floatplanes, Helicopters, waverunners, Racing ATV's, Downhill skis, roller-blades, Ice skates, Snow machines, SCCA Race cars, Porsches, and BMW M cars. I still can't help driving fast to this day. In all these things I learned at an early age the 2 most important things.....To Look Far/ Concentrate Wide. -AND- Never exceed the speed which will allow you to see, react, and stop before you get there. I see people violate the latter daily. Someday they will take a turn, crest a hill, etc. only to discover a nasty suprise on the other side too late. The vision thing is more complicated. It takes a lot of mental practise to think wide. Try to never fixate or concentrate on any particular object with the small area of your vision that is in focus. By doing this you will be seeing things in your entire periphery. Try it. Use your peripheral vision for everything up close and look far ahead. As soon as you lock onto something shift your eyes slightly so as not to concentrate on anything. It doesn't take but just a degree or so. The center of your vision where things are in focused is actually very small. I have seen references to this over the year in elite race prep/professional sports training. I'm no expert, never trained for it, just picked it up over many years of dangerous play. It would be good to have from the beginning. Oh yea....pretend you are invisible when you ride on the street. Best advise I ever heard for riding/driving with other idiots on the road. So far I've had hundreds of close calls, but never a Street bike or car accident in my life.

First off... :bowdown:

I'm glad you said all of that. I always wondered, gosh it must be possible to get out of motorcycle riding alive. Sounds like you're having a good run.

I appreciate all those suggestions and absolutely practice them when I ride. That's one thing the MSF coaches beat into us mercilessly: always be scanning ahead, think to yourself what your escape route would be if a waiting car decides to pull out. Figure you're invisible.

I've already had a moment of epiphany as I was going around a blind turn that I've done in my car 1000 times. I was doing fine, leaning away, when it occurred to me-- "There's a stop sign about 50 yards after this turn and if there's a line of cars I'm gonna go smack right in to them."

There were no cars and all was well but the real-world example was a great lesson. It's amazing how much you need to think ahead of where you are.

-Stooxie

Thorazine
06-08-2008, 18:01
New rider, any words of wisdom?

Have the mindset that -- every other motorist on the road is out to kill you.

The added paranoia has kept me alert and trouble free while on two wheels and I still manage to throughly enjoy each and every ride.


You'll probably find your driving habits will improve as well.

I can honestly say I am a better driver but only after becoming a better rider.




- There are 2 types of riders. Those who have been down, and those who are
gonna go down. No exceptions.


That is just as bad as the "You will be arrested and you will get sued" mentality with some concealed carry folks.



Consider the possibility of going down and do what ever it takes to prevent that.

Otherwise set yourself up to fail with such statements.

Halojumper
06-08-2008, 18:55
Have the mindset that -- every other motorist on the road is out to kill you..

I used to think that way and even found that it was reasonably useful in predicting other drivers' actions. However, when I switched to assuming that they are just mindless morons, I found that I was doing a better job of predicting them.


Consider the possibility of going down and do what ever it takes to prevent that..

If you do that, you'll be doing more fall prevention than riding. I would rather be very well prepared, then ride to ride, not ride to not drop it. You'll never be ready for every possibility, so the best thing is to be very competent and comfortable and loose, not uptight.


Otherwise set yourself up to fail with such statements.

The ability to succeed starts with the willingness to fail.

Thorazine
06-09-2008, 14:37
The ability to succeed starts with the willingness to fail.

Indeed. I do like the sound of that!


I just disagree with the factual tone of the statement that implies that every rider will go down -- that is just a matter of time.

For I have met two riders (one is deceased -- old age -- heart failure) who used to ride with my grandfather that have over forty years of street bike riding and never went down -- not even once.

I'm sure statistically speaking chances are over your lifetime you will go down at least once -- although it is not an absolute certainty.

OMEGA5
06-15-2008, 16:54
http://www.ridelikeapro.com/
Words of wisdom: Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and the above
video.
Ride safe,
Dano

stooxie
06-15-2008, 17:36
http://www.ridelikeapro.com/
Words of wisdom: Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and the above
video.
Ride safe,
Dano

Ok, so I have a question. I've seen this Motorman dude's website, read a bunch of his articles, but all this guy seems to ride or talk about is a Harley Road King, or whatever those cop cruisers are.

I've been told by MSF Rider coaches that a lot of his techniques really are for big cruisers, like riding the back brake at low speeds and using the dip to destabilize those huge monsters.

Personally I find the back brake thing to be pretty useful on my Ninja, but I would be more inclined to watch his DVD if he used at least a variety of bikes. Right now I have a hard time imagining that the tips and techniques of the big Harley will translate directly to a lighter street bike.

I could be wrong, though, that's why I'm asking...

Thanks!
-Stooxie

Halojumper
06-15-2008, 20:27
Ok, so I have a question. I've seen this Motorman dude's website, read a bunch of his articles, but all this guy seems to ride or talk about is a Harley Road King, or whatever those cop cruisers are.

I've been told by MSF Rider coaches that a lot of his techniques really are for big cruisers, like riding the back brake at low speeds and using the dip to destabilize those huge monsters.

Personally I find the back brake thing to be pretty useful on my Ninja, but I would be more inclined to watch his DVD if he used at least a variety of bikes. Right now I have a hard time imagining that the tips and techniques of the big Harley will translate directly to a lighter street bike.

I could be wrong, though, that's why I'm asking...

Thanks!
-Stooxie

Actually that's an excellent, and let me share my experience with that. Recently I bought the video. Last week, we set up a video viewing session then a practice session. We had a variety of bikes there. Motorman specifically states in the video that it will work for bikes of any size. I ride an ST1300. A guy there, who rides a 600 Honda, asked me to try his out on the course. It was way easier to throw his little one around than some of the bigger ones. After practicing on the bigger ones, his felt like throwing around a mini bike, so the answer is Yes, it is applicable for bikes for all sizes.

sdsnet
06-15-2008, 21:41
My advice is pretty simple. Wear proper gear and beware of the blind driver. The blind driver is always out there and he cannot see you at all. He is not looking for a motorcycle. Ride like you are completely invisible to other vehicles.

Enjoy the sport. It really is loads of fun. Be safe.

LABMAN
07-15-2008, 21:09
Hey everyone!

So, after wanting a bike for 15 years now I finally went out and got one (wifey only mildly fuming, but she's ok). I got me an '08 Ninja 650R.

So, any words of wisdom re:staying alive?

I'm pretty confident in my abilities but I'm also smart enough to listen to those with experience! Help a new rider stay up!

Thanks!
-Stooxie

"THERE ARE OLD RIDERS & THERE ARE BOLD RIDERS; BUT THERE ARE NO OLD BOLD RIDERS"

fnfalman
07-16-2008, 07:04
"THERE ARE OLD RIDERS & THERE ARE BOLD RIDERS; BUT THERE ARE NO OLD BOLD RIDERS"

Hmm...Malcolm Smith is both old and bold and still moving along just fine.:dunno:

kengps
07-21-2008, 02:31
Hmm...Malcolm Smith is both old and bold and still moving along just fine.:dunno:

I doubt he is "bold" if he is old. In the spirit of the saying "bold" is as the dictionary defines it: fearless before danger. Everybody I know that has survived many years of risk has a fear of danger. Every good (fast) racer will tell you they have fear before they go out for a race. If they don't they are either the stupid ones who will not live to be old, or they are lying. Which reminds me of another saying....Racers who say they're not afraid are either slow, lying, or gonna die.

Goldendog Redux
07-21-2008, 02:52
I tend to ride through traffic, not with it. I do not live in a city type environment so I do not have to deal with freeway/super heavy traffic. I try to ride pro-actively not reactively. I try to pass everyone.

I don't mean ride like a squid, just offensively rather than defensively. I figure, like others have said, everyone is trying to kill me so the sooner I can safely get them away from me the better.

I have been down. My fault, road rash. Lucky.

fnfalman, my dad used to race with Malcolm Smith way back in the day. I remember him hanging around when I was a kid. Heck, my dad was in a couple scenes of "On Any Sunday". I guess my dad was pretty cool. Not nearly as cool as Malcolm though.

MF

kengps
07-21-2008, 02:57
Moving thru traffic also reduces your danger area. allowing cars to ride alongside you or to pass you puts you at risk from all directions. It's difficult to watch around you 360 degrees at all times.

fnfalman
07-21-2008, 06:49
fnfalman, my dad used to race with Malcolm Smith way back in the day. I remember him hanging around when I was a kid. Heck, my dad was in a couple scenes of "On Any Sunday". I guess my dad was pretty cool. Not nearly as cool as Malcolm though.

MF

Malcolm Smith, at 60-something, still takes people out on dirt rides and most people can't keep up with him. He walks funny nowadays because of all the crashes and broken bones, but once he's on the bike, that's all she wrote for others half or third of his age.

Too bad his dealership is crap though. I've had my KTM serviced there and I was not happy with their head KTM mechanic. Couldn't get the race map to load onto my bike's ECU, not up to date with the electronic fuel injection, etc.

Geezer Glide
07-21-2008, 18:53
There are two kinds of riders...those that have been down and those that are going down. Try to be one that lives to ride again.

Ride like everyone else on the road is trying to kill you.

Stay alert at all times and DO NOT stay in someone's blind spot. Either speed up or slow down.

DO NOT assume what the other guy is going to do.

I've ridden for over 40 years and the streets are crazier than ever. Good luck and ride safe.

stooxie
07-21-2008, 18:55
There are two kinds of riders...those that have been down and those that are going down. Try to be one that lives to ride again.

Ride like everyone else on the road is trying to kill you.

Stay alert at all times and DO NOT stay in someone's blind spot. Either speed up or slow down.

DO NOT assume what the other guy is going to do.

I've ridden for over 40 years and the streets are crazier than ever. Good luck and ride safe.

How many times have you been down and what happened?

-Stooxie

Geezer Glide
07-22-2008, 02:35
Twice, both many years ago. One when a car cut me off and one time was my fault, alcohol was involved.

stooxie
07-22-2008, 05:21
Thank you for sharing.

-Stooxie

Lewsid 13
08-07-2008, 15:45
6. I ride in the center of my lane, if you get distracted for a split second you will either find yourself wandering into the oncoming traffic lane or find yourself going off the road on the right side. Bad advice! I never ride in the center of the lane. You should pick the right or left tire track.

Most of the vehicles on the road are 4 wheeled vehicles. What do you think hovers just above the road in the center of the lane? A vehicles engine, radiator, and other moving parts that operate with various fluids. When these fluids leak onto the pavement, they leak straight down, right into the middle of the lane.

Most eperienced riders I know choose not to ride in the center of the lane where the road is the slickest from the oil and fluids of 1000's of vehicles.

In addition, while riding in the center lane, you will most likely stop at a stop light in the center lane as well. Again, bad idea!! This is just the perfect spot to be sandwiched between two vehicles when getting hit from behind. getting hit from behind would suck either way, but being off to one side or the other could be the difference between being thrown 20 or 30 feet forward and breaking a few bones, and being sandwiched between two vehicles and dying at the scene.

Good luck! :cool:

fnfalman
08-07-2008, 15:54
Bad advice! I never ride in the center of the lane. You should pick the right or left tire track.

Most of the vehicles on the road are 4 wheeled vehicles. What do you think hovers just above the road in the center of the lane? A vehicles engine, radiator, and other moving parts that operate with various fluids. When these fluids leak onto the pavement, they leak straight down, right into the middle of the lane.

Most eperienced riders I know choose not to ride in the center of the lane where the road is the slickest from the oil and fluids of 1000's of vehicles.

In addition, while riding in the center lane, you will most likely stop at a stop light in the center lane as well. Again, bad idea!! This is just the perfect spot to be sandwiched between two vehicles when getting hit from behind. getting hit from behind would suck either way, but being off to one side or the other could be the difference between being thrown 20 or 30 feet forward and breaking a few bones, and being sandwiched between two vehicles and dying at the scene.

Good luck! :cool:

Yep. About the only time I'd ride in the center of the lane is if there are a lot of water from the rain and the center of the lane is not bogged down with water. Otherwise, I'd be either on one side or another for the exact same reasons.