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Mods, pls leave this permanently stickied. 8)

I want to have some sort of FAQ or info guidelines for new riders so we can point them here when they post the usual "is the 675 a good first bike" stuff. Some people have no clue about riding, so why don't we 'begin at the beginning'..with the very basics. The keen observer will note about 90% of what follows is focused on keeping the new rider SAFE.

I'll start this off with my own thoughts on the subject*. I'd consider myself an intermediate street rider at this point, with 3 1/2 years and about 30,000 miles (no drops or downs). I've done a lot of things wrong but a few key things right. There's a lot to cover so I'll try to get it down and then re-organize later. *I'd like for the more experienced street riders - well anyone with experience to share - to add to this however they see fit.

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Backgrounders

Riding a motorcycle on the street is one of the most dangerous activities you'll likely ever undertake. The whole exercise of learning to ride needs to be approached methodically with a mindset of awareness and risk mitigation, otherwise you're very, very likely to wind up a "statistic", and have a very unsatisfying, short and embarrassing riding career -- or worse, end up six feet under.

This post (and thread) will be long, because the art and science of riding on the street encompasses many issues, some you've thought about and some you may not have even considered yet. I'd like to do justice to this subject and not gloss over important details. Those little details could save someone's life.

Pre-requisites. Well, in most places you have to be at least 16, in some countries you can only start on a 125cc bike, and so on. Stateside they'll sell you a Hayabusa in most dealerships without even asking to see your license. IMHO you should at least have some manual gearbox driving experience before even getting on a motorcycle. You should have some experience driving cars in city traffic, highway conditions, suburbs, etc. The more, the better. If it were my son, I'd buy him a decent car and BEG him to stay on four wheels for the first 4-5 years before he gets a bike, but everyone's different. Motocross experience counts for a lot as far as basic mastery and control, but it DOESN'T give you any situational awareness in fast / heavy traffic. Driving does; it teaches you to predict the moronic moves of other drivers; it teaches you about margin of error, road conditions, and many other factors.

Reading. There's a wealth of great information to help you ride safely and skillfully. Check your local library for books like Proficient Motorcycling (David Hough), Sport Riding Techniques (Nick Ienatsch) and others. Try and understand motorcycle dynamics - what'll happen if you panic in that corner and hit your brakes...and why. It's a lot less painful than finding out "by experience" on the road. Hang out on websites where people talk shop, you'll learn an enormous amount. Absorb every bit of good info you can find, including crash reports. Avoid websites where the guys have more skillz than brains.

Training. Sign up for the MSF training if you live in the US - it's free in some states but you need to get your name on a list. Other countries have an equivalent rider training. You'll need a helmet and gloves at minimum to take the course. It's typically one Friday evening and then all day Sat and Sun on the bike. TAKE THE COURSE, you'll learn something no matter how much you think you know. It's humbling, and it will also pay off immediately in lower insurance rates.

Getting the right gear. This is as important as what bike to buy. Get the best gear you can afford, period. Helmet, gloves, boots, jacket and pants. Common reco is to set aside $1000-1500 for your gear. You don't need the best leathers available, but get yourself covered. Never buy a used helmet! (dropped helmets are considered to be potentially compromised structurally, even if you can't see the damage on the shiny side) If your clothing/shoe sizes are pretty normal you can save some dough buying online rather than at a dealer, but trying on the apparel and helmets before you buy is obviously recommended.

Choosing a good first bike. If you're reading this you are interested in sport(y) bikes. The normal recommendation for new riders of smaller stature is to start on a Ninja 250, preferably a used one so you don't take a big hit on resale - you will outgrow the bike in a year or so, maybe less. If you're bigger you could look at the EX500 or GS500. Some people recommend the SV650, I think with 70bhp that bike is on the borderline. Maybe ok if you're mature enough, but it could get you in a shitload of trouble if you're not. It is an easy bike to ride but then again so is the CBR1000RR. Btw, if you're concerned about bike weight or power, and live in Canada, Australia or Europe, check out the CBR125RR...interesting package. As to whether a 675 makes a good first bike -- the consensus among us is NO. I'll let others add comments to that if they want to. My own feeling on this is that at least 50% of us buy the "wrong" first bike (I did too), so I'd rather address the attitude or approach to riding more than the machinery itself. (I do have more thoughts on that subject that I'll post later on)

Will I drop the bike? Most people say YES; ...personally I like to say NO -- don't drop it. That's what an experienced rider told me when I started, and it has worked for me - in the sense that, I became determined not to just be resigned to dropping the bike at the first sign of trouble, just because that's "the thing to do". But statistically speaking, YES you will most likely drop your first bike. And your second. Think about this when choosing your first bike....a good used Ninja 250 or 500 is a lot less painful and WAY less expensive to fix up, and a small light bike gives you a much better shot at beating these odds also.

Starting out on your own. You got the bike home, now what? Speaking for myself, I started on side streets in the suburbs - all around my neighborhood with stop signs, no traffic lights. Practice and learn basic control of your machine. Most drops happen at low speed. Work on becoming smooth at starting off and at stopping. Develop a good feel for the clutch engagement, and when you think you've got it down, practice on incline starts. Become an expert at all the little things -- use of the sidestand, gear shifting, throttle control, mirror checks, controlled hard stopping (practice in a parking lot), these all will pay big dividends at some point down the road. After a few hours of this over 3-4 days I headed out into town, dealing with traffic lights, 40mph-limit traffic, and so on. Next up I got on some rural roads with 50-55mph limits; I have to be honest, crosswinds and buffeting scared the shit out of me at first! I just wasn't expecting it. Same for the wind blast from oncoming semis. It's all part of the learning progression, and this is why it made sense to me to take it slowly at the beginning. It was a good 2 months or so before I got on the freeway, where average speed is 70-80mph. You might be ready to deal with it sooner, you might not. Just respect your own inner voice, that's the guy looking out for your ass.

Riding buddy. Sure, find someone to ride with, but make sure they can ride well, and that they're willing to ride with your interests in mind, and at your comfort level. A friend that sucks you in to riding twice as hard as you're comfortable is no friend. A friend that gets impatient with you is a bad riding partner.

Group rides. I would say just flat out avoid them for a while. Groups introduce a whole other set of dynamics and variables, most of them out of your control. Groups will tend to have a mix of experienced and less skilled riders, which is not usually a great thing. The other big aspect in group riding is the testosterone or ego level, again it just introduces a whole set of shit to deal with on top of the set you're already trying to master. Wait a few months. When you're ready, be sure to read Ienatsch's "The Pace", it's very worthwhile. And only ride with sane people, not fucktards!!

Trips. Again all dependent on your comfort level. Good to start out small (overnighter) and learn how to do it right, what to pack and what to leave home, etc. How to pace yourself to conserve energy.

In this next section I want to deal with specific risks - what are they, when can you expect them to arise, how can you avoid or mitigate them. I'm not sure how to organize all this but I'll give it a shot.

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Risks you face in the very earliest stages.

Wanting to ride all the time. This is completely natural, I think everyone faces it. You just got the bike and you can't stand not being on it. Learn to sense when you're up for a ride and when to keep it parked. If you're tired, upset, irritable, anxious, need to eat, etc., don't go out! You need to be 100% mentally strong to ride, that goes for every ride. Also, life goes on for the people around you, so try not to blow off all your responsibilities - otherwise they'll start to resent the whole motorcycle thing, and it'll become a source of tension (for you as well).

Wanting to ride really well. Well, sure. But this takes seat time and it can't be rushed. If you're obsessing about technique as a new rider, you're gonna push things faster than what you're ready for. And you'll be in trouble way sooner than you're able to handle it. Just take the mindset that you're going to be riding for many, many years. The gratification will be there, you don't need to have it instantly like we've become so accustomed to nowadays.

Distractions. In the first month or two you have to be totally focused on safety, period. If you're riding and start to stare at a pretty girl walking on the sidewalk, or sneak a look at yourself in the storefront window to see if you're "cool", then you are distracted. Don't worry about impressions. Everyone knows you're a newb anyway. Just concentrate on survival. There are other distractions too - a fly in your helmet, being hot and sweaty, some debris on the road, whatever. Learn to anticipate them and deal with them, without losing any control over your motorcycle. Distractions also include wandering thoughts, worrying about a bill you forgot to pay, what your asshole boss said to you before lunch, etc. Sometimes I'll actually drift off into thinking about crashing the bike, and 5 minutes later I'm still thinking about the eulogies people are giving at my funeral.... WTF!! Concentrate on the road, idiot. 8)

All the other "usual" hazards. They apply to everyone, all the time. See the lists below......


Risks you face after the first 2000-3000 miles.

False confidence!! Congrats, you made it ok this far. Now go back to the basics again, re-read everything, refocus. This is the time when you suddenly cop a dumb grin in your helmet and go, "hey, this is easy." Yep, riding down a country lane in perfect conditions IS easy. It doesn't mean you have any skills though. At this point your emergency maneovering skills are probably completely untested. Have you ever made a controlled panic stop, and executed it well? Probably not. Have you faced more than 1 or 2 of the "usual" risks listed below? Doubt it. You can shift smoothly and you aren't as wobbly through corners, but YOU ARE STILL INEXPERIENCED, so stay on the program!!


The "usual" risks -- these apply to all of us, all the time.

Drivers. They are all out to kill you. Well, most of them anyway. The average driver doesn't see you and isn't even remotely aware of you, no matter how loud your pipes are. He's checking his voice mail, reading, shaving, drinking coffee, possible all at once. He'll cut you off, swerve into your lane, tailgate you, and generally make your life miserable. If you commute on a bike, you know why the term "streetfighter" is apropos. It's flat-out urban combat out there all the time, every day. edit: Be especially alert for Taxi drivers, they tend to be sociopathic assholes!

Riders. Yeah, other mc riders....I've had nearly as many close calls with them as I've had with cages. Sometimes my own fault - riding with a friend and not paying enough attention, etc. But I've had strangers try to overtake me in my lane, and weird shit like that. Not good but it's more common than you might think. Not just aggression but also there are a lot of riders out there who really don't know what they're doing.

Trucks and buses. Just stay the hell away from them, as far away as possible.

Pedestrians and cyclists. They've screwed me up a few times. Usually you can predict their actions but sometimes not. Just remember, if you ever hit/injure a pedestrian or cyclist, it will be YOUR fault, no matter what happened. And (assuming you survive) it'll hang on your conscience the rest of your life.

Road hazards. Oil spills, fallen construction pylons, huge potholes, fresh horse paddies, rusted exhausts shearing off the back of old Civics, 15-lb brake calipers flying off truck wheels, you name it and some poor bastard on two wheels has faced it head on. Luck of the gods be with you... some of these things are just totally out of your control, but you still have to make the effort to anticipate and react wherever possible.

Rush hour. Commuting on the bike is extra risky, I think. In the morning the roads may be cold...you have extra-inattentive (sleepy) drivers, and lots of people running late for work. In the afternoon, pretty much the same thing....lot of ppl yakking on cell phones, stressed out rushing to day care to pick up their kids and whatnot. Be sure you're mentally prepared....I've often left the bike at home and took the car when I was too tired to deal with all of it.

Cold tires. I read that something like 60% of bike accidents happen within 5 minutes of your house. Watch for cold pavement and/or cold tires. Increase your stopping margin, and decrease your lean angle on turns accordingly.

Bad weather. Rain, snow, hail...none of it good for us. I took my time getting used to riding in the rain, I'm pretty comfortable now but if it's pouring I usually wait it out. They say in rain you still have 80% of your limits. Everyone has their own comfort level. Extreme heat and cold are also major risks.

Critters. Squirrels, rabbits, dogs, deer. Moose if you live up in the north. All of them have shit for brains and will run right at you when they're scared. Watch for them all the time! See a deer? Slow down, there are more in the area....especially in mating season (Sep-Oct-Nov depending how far south you live).

Mechanical failure. None of us like to think about this one. It could be a tire puncture, a rod shooting through the clutch basket (happened to me), or anything. What we all can do is keep our bikes well maintained, check tire pressure every few days, check tire condition / look for nails etc before every ride, test your lights before each ride, the basic stuff like that.

Night riding. Plus dawn and dusk; prime time for deer. Lots of dangers in low-light conditions... animals, drunks, debris you can't see until it's too late. Just last week I was on I-75 northbound in KY after dark and nearly lost control when I hit some broken / uneven pavement. Night rider beware!

and last but NOT least......

The "obvious" becomes much more critical. On a bike, avoidable circumstances are more likely to kill or maim you, so ALWAYS watch for them. Always leave an escape route. Always watch for vehicles turning into your path, especially near high-turn areas like gas stations, donut shops etc. (way too many bikers have "Officer I didn't see him!" for an epitaph on their gravestone). When you overtake a vehicle, spend as little time as possible in their blind spot. Always "block" your lane like they teach you in MSF - especially when you don't have a shoulder available as a backup escape. Never follow open-bed trucks and pickup trucks - what flies off the back will kill you fast. Always slow down approaching blind curves and blind hill crests. Slow down in forested areas where heavy shadows can play havoc with your visibility of the road. Always watch the road for gravel, but keep your head UP, not looking down at the pavement. Slow down in bad weather, construction zones, or any bad road conditions. Respect the community you're riding in -- slow down near schools and school buses.


Ok, I need a break from this....I know there's more but my brain's fried from thinking about it. :lol:
 

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Smart Riding

Excellent post Sarchi. I have encountered just about all of these things. And I've only been riding street for 3 years.

I started riding dirtbikes around 7 years old. I'm now 26. Dirt riding will deffinitely give you a leg up in the situation but remember there are differences between the 2 motorcycle disciplines. Counterweighting is the major one. This is the most difficult thing to overcome for a dirtbiker now riding street.

Ride in the empty parking lot and find the limit of your brakes. This will deffinitely help you control the bike in an emergency. Start off slow and work your way up to hitting the brakes harder and harder. This may not sound safe to the rest of you but try to do a small stoppie. Just enough brake to bring the back tire off the ground a little bit. This will let you know what the feeling is like to have it come up and how to react to it.

As I have said before on here, AWARENESS IS KEY . There is nothing else that will save your ass. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Proper gear is required at all times. I really wish that Helmet laws would be passed and actaully enforced in all states. Too many times have I seen SHOE and ARAI helmets used as frame sliders. That's one damn expensive frame slider while you've cracked your head and bleeding on the pavement.

Read the books that are mentioned on this site. Twist of the wrist, sportbike riding techniques and others suggested. THEY WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER RIDER.

I'm no pro but I'm deffinitely not a novice in this hobby. I consider myself to be a cautious rider that rides within my limits. My last point will be......

REMEMBER THAT YOU SHOULD ONLY USE HALF YOUR ENERGY GETTING OUT ON THE TRIP AND USE HALF YOUR ENERGY TO GET HOME. If you have exhausted yourself on your ride out, your skills will be lacking on your way home. I see it all to often with little kids on dirtbikes.

RIDE SMART AND STAY SAFE OUT THERE.
 

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Great points, decipral... Thanks for adding to the FAQ.

Hope to see more good stuff added to this thread.
 

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First off great post with excellent information. I'll keep it in mind at all times.

Also, I would like to say that I went against the odds of everyone (only on the internet) saying that the 675 is not a good first bike. I got mine about 2 weeks ago (with 3 miles on it) and just got it back this Saturday from the 500 mile service. So I've been doing pretty good (from my perspective) on it.

When I got it, I took it nice and easy. Put 100 miles on it just going around my neighborhood understanding throttle control and slow speed turns. Then I took it to a large Costco parking lot after it was closed to understand lean angle a little better. I'm going to be taking the MSF course this weekend and can't wait.

One thing I keep in mind at all times is to assume the worst. I love riding and iI'm addicted to it. BUT I also respect it's power and it's ability to kill me at anytime. So with that in mind a pray every time I sit on it. I pray for God to alert others and myself to there surroundings and for Him to keep a cool head on my shoulders through everything. Then I ask Him to forgive me of my sins if I do happen to die that day.

Now with that said let the newb bashing begin for all you haters that bought a shitty bike for a first bike then had to adjust your learning curve to a 675. :wink:
 

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I like religions where you can make mistakes like choosing the wrong first bike and God takes up the slack. :wink: J/K!

Seriously... one request, let's not pile on the newbs in THIS thread, ok? Do it somewhere else. I'd like this thread to be a clean concise source of useable info., not cluttered with a bunch of flames.

Grazi. 8)
 

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If you are thinking about picking up a Daytona 675 as a first bike, read on.

I've been riding for 5 years and my first bike was an '01 Triumph TT600. I was taught by a professional racer ( and overall crazy person on and off the bike ). I had one 5 mph lowside in the rain on bold tires, and one drop backing out in front of everyone in my high school, one 40 mph lowside and got hit by a minivan at 30mph. :lol: Fun times.

My crazy friend made damn sure, I had a perfect starter bike. Swinging a leg over my Daytona, I am constantly reminded why this is not a starter bike. The most important reason is ergonomics. When you sit on a Daytona its not comfortable and its not comfortable in traffic or on the freeway. This bike is only comfortable when you are riding it hard on the twisties or on the track. The suspension is very aggressive. I mean this bike will throw you off if you don't know how to properly hold on to it. Holding onto your bike has a lot less to do with handlebars than you (the newbie) think.

Newbies will be forced to be tight on the bars. This is a major error most sportbike riders do (not just beginners). I've seen so many times some dumbass riding a gsxr-600 with hands so tight and telling me about his tank slappers later on. When you are tight on the bars, you will feel tired, you will twitch the throttle with every bump (which is highlighted by daytona's aggressive suspension), and if you get a tankslapper - good luck. Tankslapper is when the bars sway back and forth in a violent manner, you (mistakenly) chop the throttle and watch the bike spark as it's sliding along side of you.

I've kept my TT600 for 3 years - best bike for canyons and street I've EVER ridden (fuck reviews). Over the years (I realise its not that much but be quiet), I've ridden GSXR 1000's, your 636's, 600's, 996's - whatever. After a year of learning on TT600 (with tracktime and racer's help), people that I've ridden with would throw me their brand new bike keys. The bike is very forgiving, has plenty of power (90 hp at the wheel), and the best street suspension and ergonomics for a beginner. The bike also forces you to learn good throttle control and rewards you with perfect throttle control at 10k + rpm.

Daytona is one of those bikes that will bite you if you don't know what you are doing. It is harder to ride than a GSXR 1000, although you (the newbie) have a slightly higher chance of survival on a daytona than on a GSXR 1000. But here's what I'm saying, 675 is almost as hard to learn on as a gsxr 1000 and you will crash, I've never heard of anyone not crashing except for Starchie (what's wrong with him?! Oh wait... he hasn't crashed yet... :lol: jk man).

I would have been a squid at best if I started on a daytona, there's no way I would learn anything on 675, and knowing me - I would have died. My advice to you on getting a first bike. If you drive like a grandma (i.e. your heart starts pounding when your car is sliding) - then get a 250 or 500 - most people fall into this category. If you can do controlled powerslides in a car (or are a good performance driver in other ways) - then get a TT600, SV650S, or Speed 4 - cheap forgiving performance bikes with awesome ergonomics, best bike of 3 is TT600. I know people who have ridden for 30 years and still don't know how to ride. Where's Darwin where you need him?! - beyond me but don't become one of them.

Plan to spend a grand on gear before your first ride. Get advice from a professional rider on gear selection (not a squid) or use your brain. Don't leave home without a back protector - your crash WILL happen. Check out Dainese jackets (awesome addon back protectors (G1 and G2) and you can walk into a bar, get a back protector that fits into your jacket - otherwise you won't wear it), HJC helmets are great ( no need for Arai ). Etc.

Your gear is more important than the stupid mods to you bike ( although mods are good to make your bike fit you better later, don't become a dumbass buying plate holders and small turnsignals ). Get frame sliders soon...

in terms of skills, I recommend the following (in order):

1. read "Twist of the Wrist Vol. II" Keith code.
2. Adjust your bike's suspension and ergos (To fit your weird looking ass).
3. take racing school. MSF is ok, but things take a whole new dimension with sportsbikes outside parking lots.
4. do at least 3 trackdays.
5. Ride for 2 years or 10,000 miles.
6. Learn how to control slides before moving onto a bigger bike.

Forget about everything while you ride. Cops, speedlimits, women, tits, bills, your girlfriend. I've had my crashes and I've walked away from all of them, learning. If I didn't have my training - I would have been dead.

For cops, read "You and the police" by Boston T. Party. You should never worry about speed limits while you ride its not safe, you should be worried about your safety. I have a perfect record and I usually ride 10 miles faster than speed of traffic. In California that means 90 mph in left lane - that's normal freeway speed in left lane you grandma (70 in right lane). Explore relativity concepts when you get pulled over (jk - read the book).

Ok, I'm done, please send checks payable to Mr.HappyPants. It will be $293.05 for saving your ass.

Good luck!
 

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From where I sit, I see two major reasons NOT to start on a supersport bike:

1. You'll ride it like even more of a grandma than 'normal', to borrow MHP's term. What this means is that you'll never be comfortable pushing the envelope of the bike's limits. That may sound ok, but what it translates to is: you'll never develop any real cornering skills. The learning curve will literally be Forever. :shock: No exaggeraton. Basically, you won't have any FUN....so what's the point? If all you wanna do is POSE, great....but just know, any one with two weeks on a Ninja 250 will be able to ride circles around you!!! lol

2. You'll ignore reason and push it - and wipe out. Sooner, later, whenever. Stupid hurts. You'll be a statistic and join the line of people who either quit riding, or have to go back to square one and start over with some sort of sensible plan.

Notice how both #1 and #2 have the same result -- major delay achieving your goal. It's up to you though.

Lastly -- and not least, you'll also pay WAY more for insurance than what is logical, because you truly fall into the high risk category (see #2 above). And that's just money down the toilet that you could've spent on better protective gear, bling for the bike, a ring for the girlfriend, etc.

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Btw, I did #1. Over cautious rider on a big torquey sportbike. When I moved "down" to a smaller bike, I learned more in three weeks than I did in over a year on the Brutus. This was my FZ6 and I rode the living piss out of it and had a ball -- 20,000 kms in 16 months. As far as why I haven't crashed yet, it's just not an option for me. :wink: And yeah I've been very, very lucky on a number of occasions......
 

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Excellent, excellent, excellent! Good on ya, Sarchi for startin' this.

It is important to keep in mind that street riding is 80% traffic survival, 15% fun, and 5% machine performance. If you try to increase your 5% or 15%, you're going to cut into that 80%!

Inexperienced riders, like inexperienced drivers... have empty traffic reference databases. They haven't experienced enough yet to be able to link the warning signs of a bad situation.

Line-of-sight is everything on a motorcycle. If you're following traffic too closely, there is no way that opposing traffic or traffic waiting to enter the roadway will be able to see you. They will try to enter or cross traffic between the vehicle you're following and the vehicle behind you. The problem is: THAT'S WHERE YOU ARE!! You have to hang back... give yourself plenty of room to be seen. The very, very short version is: If you can't see their head, they can't see you. Bushes, telephone poles, realator and election signs... all block view. (All block you!)

Traffic is all about expectations. When vehicles w/in traffic do as society expects, everything works smoothly. When expectations are exceeded, that's when trouble starts. Nobody is expecting a motorcycle to be accelerating at twice the rate of normal traffic. If you're going WOT away from a stop sign or a traffic light, you could very easily be setting yourself up for trouble with a vehicle entering the roadway who looked, SAW you, but never expected you to be accelerating at a rate at which a sportbike is capable. If you want to explore the limits of the performance envelope of both (wo)man and machine, there's venues for that. The street, however, is not one of them.

Stuff happens. Luck favors the prepared. If you're prepared to meet the tarmac, your chances of surviving it increase.
 

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valoflyby said:
Line-of-sight is everything on a motorcycle. If you're following traffic too closely, there is no way that opposing traffic or traffic waiting to enter the roadway will be able to see you. They will try to enter or cross traffic between the vehicle you're following and the vehicle behind you. The problem is: THAT'S WHERE YOU ARE!! You have to hang back... give yourself plenty of room to be seen. The very, very short version is: If you can't see their head, they can't see you. Bushes, telephone poles, realator and election signs... all block view. (All block you!)
Great point, Jeff. I do hang back and I always have my High Beams on during daylight hours!
 

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Re: Smart Riding

decipral said:
AWARENESS IS KEY .There is nothing else that will save your ass. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
So simple but undervalued.

A quick tip coming from experience. If you're at the head of the line at a red light, do what your mom always warned you to do and look both ways before proceeding through when it turns green.

I did not remember my dear old mom during the start of a ride and came within 10 feet of being pancacked by an oblivious driver as she blew through her red, never having realized it, leaving me stopped in the middle of the intersection. I lmost turned around and went back home at that point, but I pressed on... with a little less in my luck bag, and a little more in the experience bag :D
 

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Drinking

Here is another good one.
DON'T EVER DRINK AND RIDE!!!!!!!!
 

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AND, DON'T DO DRUGS AND RIDE!!!

My last two Malibu rides involved stops at social lookout points where I noticed other riders tokin' up... I would never do that while riding! You need your wits about you!
 

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:lol: Very good post and it all boils down to experience and the only way to get it is saddle time and lots of it. I class myself as a intermediate rider and I have been riding for 33 years of my 36 years on this earth the first 13 years a very mixed off road, enduro, riding and at 16 years off age I got my license for and get this, a 50cc motor bike and that was all that the law allowed me to ride with until I turned 18 years in this two years I covered a healthy 37000 od km. I then got my big bike license and been doing road riding ever since I have been only in one major accident and it was in 2002 a woman cage rider skipped a traffic light and T-boned me on the right hand side and that is it, touch wood and this is majorly due to a very defensive riding style I hope other wise I am very very lucky but luck is not high in our family. So experience comes with saddle time enjoy riding that is what its all about, and one day when I think I am experienced enough I would like to work a track session or two through cheers bulletmp.
 

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Great post here!

First I'll start off with, I classify myself as a novice rider.
Why? It was a very long time before I got back in the saddle ( no bad reasons, sold old bike, never got a new one after we moved). So I rank myself very low. Now I have 7500 on the daytona.

valoflyby mentioned to keep you distance. There is one thing he did not mention in this, if you are riding somebody's bumper, you WILL NEVER SEE a gaterback in the road, a pothole, etc....

As my racer friend has told me time and time agin, when you are in traffic, drive your bike like your car ( abiet a little faster ).

Do the reading, take the courses, go to the track ( which I still have to do ), have fun, be safe.

Face it, every time we go out, if we are not 100%, we are taking a greater risk. Don't just look at the cars around, LOOK AT WHAT THE PPL ARE DOING IN THOSE CARS!. I try to get away from the soccer mom(dad) in the minivan, talking on the cell. Texters ( god those ppl irritate me), cars with a lot of damage, Volvo's, SUV's etc.

Personally I'd perfer a ticket vs being stuck in middle of all those obstacles. Riding faster than traffic is not aggressive ( unless you're riding like a squid ) 10mph is not a bad thing, it gets you through the junk and into the open.
 

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Beginners

Actually, I think most people riding on the street today don't belong on a bike at all. Unless you have some real motocross/dirt riding under your belt, just stay away from the race bikes. Yes, you will dump the bike; everyone does sooner or later. I am tired of seeing and reading about kids and adults dieing on the street. Most riders don't even understand counter steering. These bikes are NOT for beginners. I have been riding and racing since I was 8 and now have 30 years combined dirt and street riding experience. I never understood why someone with no experience would buy a R1 or R6 and feel that dealers should exercise some restraint when selling these machines.
 

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my opinion is that there should be another level of endorsement to ride sportbikes on the road (within the united states). In Michigan, there are 3 levels of achievement that new drivers have to achieve to recieve their driver license, I think it should be expressed in the same matter to obtain their CY endorsement.

I agree with everyone that it's just plain stupid to have a noob buy a middleweight or bigger sportbike. But they look just way too cool to not buy one as a new guy. The dealerships don't give a shit who buys the bike, they want to make the sale and move as many units as possible.

I beleive that it's up to the states to decrease the amount of crashes and fatalities by displaying some kind of interest in making a CY endorsement harder to obtain and monitored better. For example, Level 1 could be riding a motorcycle 500cc or smaller for 1 year or 200 hours...blah blah blah...

As Biker Boyz says, there are 2 kinds of riders, those who have been down and those who are gonna go down.
 

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Re: Beginners

Ric said:
I never understood why someone with no experience would buy a R1 or R6 and feel that dealers should exercise some restraint when selling these machines.
Actually for at least the last 2-3 years Yamaha (in Canada anyhow) has put some pretty blatant disclaimers on the R1 and R6 -- "This is a high performance sport bike and is not intended for beginners" or something to that effect. Same for the new FZ1 I believe.

But of course you can still buy one with your M2 license. :roll: Not the case in Europe...
 

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punkindave said:
You'd be surprised, new riders and folks bitten by the go fast bug can be sponges for printed material to read while not riding (even if they normally only read cereal boxes)!!! The tips in these books will save someone from doing "unintentional landscaping" on the road!!
Ok, the standards (IMHO) are in suggested order of read:
Motorcycling Excellence - MSF (Color and lots of pictures)
Proficient Motorcycling - David Hugh (Humorous and very unintimidating)
Total Control - Lee Parks (Focusing on speed basics without a lot of math)
SPort Riding Techniques - Nick Ienatsch (More indepth)
and of course
A Twist of the Wrist I & II - Keith Code (Speed class 101 & 201)

Any other good ones?? Maybe make some newbie tips and references a sticky??
Dave had listed this when asked, in the Introductions thread

Hope you don't mind me putting these here Dave! :2tu...
 
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