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Newbie Motorcycle riders FAQ's and Answers Thread

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by rsvmille676, May 4, 2006.

  1. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2003
    3,932
    Los Angeles, CA
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    Jim
    The law of diminishing returns applies, however.

    You pay more for the highest end helmets (AGV Ti-Tech, Arai RX7 Corsair, etc) versus the mid range for better comfort, removable liners, ventilation, aerodynamics and even graphics, not for better safety.

    It is true that a lighter helmet will better prevent neck injury in a crash. I've seen helmets cheaper than the ones listed above which are lighter, but they often sacrifice other features to achieve this.
     
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  3. jm348

    jm348 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 21, 2007
    2,602
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    Jeff M
  4. RussianM3_dude

    RussianM3_dude F1 Rookie
    BANNED

    Mar 15, 2004
    4,054
    Switzerland/Montreal
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    Nikolai Petroff
    Small question. How dangereous are bike track days? I ams still thinking about getting a track bike, instead of a street bike.
     
  5. shakazulu12

    shakazulu12 Formula Junior

    Feb 3, 2004
    545
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Preston
    No real number for you, but I feel approximately 10.456 times safer on the track than the street.

    The track is maintained, instructors are usually plentiful and most events are well organized with safety in mind. The bonus is there are no speed limits and you can hone your skills a lot faster than you ever would on the street, which also makes you a safer street rider.

    Plus, you don't have to worry about the soccer moms in the H2's running you over at the stoplights.
     
  6. Ducman491

    Ducman491 Formula 3

    Apr 9, 2004
    1,361
    Mentor OH
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    Jason
    I agree whole heartedly. But increase the percentage to 100%. You can go well over the speed limit with out having to watch the median for the police, all the traffic is going the same way and there are no intersections. Plus you are all out there for the same thing. No one will be trying to eat breakfast or talk on the phone in your lane while you run laps. The track is the place to be to run really hard, that is to say closer to 8 or 9/10ths of your abilities. When I am on the street I rarely approach 5/10ths.
     
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  8. Cajun

    Cajun Formula 3

    Mar 20, 2004
    1,608
    Da BY-U
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    MJG
    Just want you guys to know that I took ALL of the advice on this thread to heart and just completed my riders course!!! :)

    I went down to the local Harley Davidson dealer (Renegade Harley Davidson) and signed up for the Rider's Edge Course. I HIGHLY recommend taking one of these courses if you are interested in riding. The guy who taught us has been riding for 42 years and is a highly respected instructor.

    The class consists of four days. Thursday and Friday evening are classroom nights. You get a book and watch videos...the instructor asks questions of you and group discussion follows. It is a really neat environment because the majority of the classes (according to the instructor) is female, and mine was no different...So there is hardly any competition or macho bullsheit...just a nice, calm learning environment.

    Saturday and Sunday are FULL days of riding. The training bikes are Buell Blasts...little 500cc bikes. By the time the instructor is done with you, you not only know EVERYTHING you need to know to be a safe rider, but you have EXECUTED everything from panic stops to tight circle eights on these "disposable" bikes. They even teach you how to conduct a proper pre-ride safety inspection of your motorcycle!!! Safety is of the utmost importance, and the whole thing will make you a better, more knowledgable & confident rider. I HIGHLY recommend this course!

    My only delima now is what bike to I want to purchase as my first??? I thought about buying a blast, but I am a little too big to enjoy it...at 6-3" and over 200lbs, I would need something a little bigger... Any suggestions???

    I can't wait to get more experienced!!! I am working my way up to a RC51....
     
  9. Ducman491

    Ducman491 Formula 3

    Apr 9, 2004
    1,361
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    Jason
    Smart move taking the course. Go back to the first pages of this thread and you should see several recommendations for the first bike. I recommend the Suzuki SV 650 or Monster 695 or 800 (if the maintenance is not a problem)if you are interested in a standard bike. Any of the 600 sportbikes are more than capable if you go the full sportbike direction. If you want to go with a cruiser I have always liked the new Triumphs, retro look and it's not a Harley. (This is a plus for me but others think differently)

    Good luck and welcome to the family.
     
  10. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    7,732
    Nova Scotia Canada
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    Neil
    Get the 20 dollar book Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. It's a bit of a boring read but full of useful info and tips. Stats on why newbies crash, why older guys who've been riding for 20 years die, how to travel in groups, how to get out of trouble without serious injury and how to get the most out of the experience.

    Also any safety training course is better than none. I bought a very quick bike and shouldn't have. I then bought a much lesser bike and have a ball.

    Don't get a bike with too much grunt. I would suggest a cruiser of about a 900cc size or a sport bike of about a 600cc size. Stay within your comfort zone too.
     
  11. 90koenigTR

    90koenigTR Formula Junior

    Dec 6, 2004
    436
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    I. P. Freely
    I have been riding since I was 10 years old (27 years ago). I have gotten over the rider error part of it. Now the problem is number of cars and the number of drivers talking on their cell phones while driving them. I was hit last year by one such driver. She made a rushed left turn in an intersection and collided with me. I received catastrophic injuries to my right arm as a result. More surgeries are planned in order to get SOME strength back.

    Awareness is the absolute key to riding on today's streets. Intersections are the point of most vulnerability. People will not hesitate to cross in front of you. Use high beams at these times to increase visibility.
     
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  13. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    7,732
    Nova Scotia Canada
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    Neil
    I would suggest wearing FULL riding gear every time you sit on the bike. Most collisions happen close to home and going down isn't much fun while you're wearing gear.

    Skin comes off quicker than prom dresses.
     
  14. shakazulu12

    shakazulu12 Formula Junior

    Feb 3, 2004
    545
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Preston
    ^^^^^^^^^ I'm with him, I'm sort of a gear natzi as well, don't really care how warm it gets.

    Been trying to convince myself to get some textile pants for summer and not wear a full suit when I run to Safeway, but it just doesn't feel right anymore not to have leathers on.
     
  15. bounty

    bounty F1 Veteran

    Feb 18, 2006
    7,632
    San Diego, CA
    What is the proper way to downshift on a motorcycle? I got into trouble a few times when I would downshift and the bike slows down way too fast...someone let this newb know? Wasn't much of an issue on how to learn this properly on a dirtbike since falling happened all the time anyways :)
     
  16. shakazulu12

    shakazulu12 Formula Junior

    Feb 3, 2004
    545
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Preston
    Just rev match it and go through the gears. You get used to it with practice, I feather the clutch while I blip now as well.

    -Bring Clutch in
    -Kick down a gear
    -blip throttle
    -feather clutch out
    -repeat as needed....

    If you drop it into the lower gear without blipping the throttle, the rear wheel will lock momentarily. Usually when someone dumps it coming to a stop is because they dropped into first and didn't bother trying to match revs and the wheel locked at low speed.

    You don't have to match the rev's exactly on every shift, no need to be Rossi, but at least get them close.
     
  17. chitown dave

    chitown dave Formula Junior

    Nov 30, 2005
    285
    well...Chicago
    Full Name:
    well...Dave
    Thought I already posted but I guess not.

    Background - been riding since 6th grade as a farm boy on a Yamaha 70.

    Started street riding on a Honda 500 Intercepter, yea that one - I'm old.

    Was almost killed by an 84 y.o. woman in a hurry to go to the sale at the outlet mall on a GXSR750 because her red light wasn't bright enough...

    Thoughts:

    1) Gear - I don't understand why you can spend XX,XXX on a bike but won't spend 5XX on a helmet.

    I was wearing an Aria (literally saved my life) , Rocket Kevlar gauntlets, Alpinestars kev reinforced jacket and "short" boots but damn it - I wore the Levi's - got Lazy - slept on my stomach for 6 weeks.

    2) Damn right you're invisible - you can do everything right and still get smushed - Hell I lowsided my bike (not interested in grabbing 50 mph air into oncomming traffic - but thank you for asking) into my little old lady's Continental rear tire and she was still trying to be on her merry way.

    3) Bikes are crazy powered now. I was offered a loaner of a GSXR 1000 when they first came out by my bike guy to take up to my lake place for the day and it scared the bejesus belt out of me when I hunkered down and got on it after a toll booth.

    There is NO WAY inexperienced riders should be let NEAR these insanely quick machines.

    4) FLIPFLOPS - YEP you heard me - FLIPFLOPS

    The young kids have the bike and the leather and the Helmet (usually cheap) and the girls are hanging on with no helmet and all the strength and integretity of the flipflop to protect them from the Tempered Alloy chain swinging at 7,00 RPM a 1/2 inch from their adorably cute little toes.

    Want to be a man - put your helmet on your little girl and give HER the best odds for your incompetience - it may even make you ride a bit better...
     
  18. Choptop

    Choptop F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2004
    4,455
    Carmichael, CA
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    Alan Galbraith
    no you havent
     
  19. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    6,786
    NewRotic
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    Otto
    ditto
     
  20. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    7,732
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Full Name:
    Neil
    I think he meant the rookie mistakes/ not knowing what to do. As I'm sure he knows with all of his days on a bike, it only takes a split second to drop a bike at any speed.
     
  21. Devilsolsi

    Devilsolsi F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 1, 2007
    6,573
    MD
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    Alex
    Here is the most basic of all questions for you guys...

    What is the shift pattern on a bike?

    Also when you are braking, what is the front to rear brake biasis? Does it change depending on speed or conditions?

    I have wanted a bike my entire life, and I am thinking about taking a riding course and getting my license this fall, but I have always wondered about those questions.

    Thanks guys.
     
  22. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    6,786
    NewRotic
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    Otto
    What is the shift pattern on a bike?

    Generally One Down Four (or five) up, it is a sequential shifter so tap down for first lift one click for second one click for third etc.. Neutral is located between first and second but is also available elsewhere if you know what to feel...

    Also when you are braking, what is the front to rear brake biasis?
    Fronts have more stoppie (multiple piston multi caliper fronte end) and weight transfer goes forward under braking but it depends usually 70/30 f/r but
    Does it change depending on speed or conditions?
    You bet your sweet bippy

    I have wanted a bike my entire life, and I am thinking about taking a riding course and getting my license this fall, but I have always wondered about those questions.

    Thanks guys

    You're welcome
     
  23. Cajun

    Cajun Formula 3

    Mar 20, 2004
    1,608
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    MJG
    I am no expert by any means...in fact I am a total newb....

    However, EVERYTHING he just said is spot on, and is EXACTLY what is taught in the course.
     
  24. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

  25. Jim Bremner

    Jim Bremner Karting

    Jan 2, 2006
    148
    jonezin hard for a street bike

    bmx rider as a kid

    20 years experiance on mountain bikes

    20 years of road cycling

    5 years of dirt bike riding

    7 years of kart racing

    10-14 hpde weekends

    should I still lmt myself to the sv650 or can I grab an sv1000?
     
  26. DMOORE

    DMOORE Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2005
    1,712
    San Diego
    Full Name:
    Darrell
    Buy a used SV650. Spend about 3k . Ride it for a year or two, then sell for ...3k. Once a modern bike gets down to that 2-3k range, they stay there for quite some time. If properly cared for, you will loose very little upon resale. The 650 will be a better bike for a new street rider. It lite, has easy power delivery, but still very capable in the mountains, and insurance will be much less for a new rider. Take the safety course, get the proper gear and have fun.




    Darrell.
     
  27. Jim Bremner

    Jim Bremner Karting

    Jan 2, 2006
    148
    yup on the safty gear.

    I had a BAD off on the MX bike in the desert, 50mph dancing the bike on the whoops...missed a beat, landed hard went FULL THROTTLE NOW and jumped the next whoop

    landed feet first into a upcoming whoop. broke a few toes, sheard the heal off of my right ankle, blew a chunk out of the front of the same ankle...crushed T-10 to 1/2 of it's height ! and seperated a few ribs ( I'm about 1" shorter, I used to be just over 6'1" )

    and yea, I had ALL of my gear on.

    it's been a hard 8 months of recovery, THANK GOD! that I can walk.
     
  28. Choptop

    Choptop F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2004
    4,455
    Carmichael, CA
    Full Name:
    Alan Galbraith



    +1 for the SV650. Its a good bike for a new rider. Spend the time and a little money and get the suspension for your size. ITs not hard to do and will cost around $150.

    +10000000000 for taking the safety course and wearing safety gear. No one ever went wrong with the proper training and the proper gear. The same cannot be said for the opposite.
     

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