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New Motorcycle rider : Swingers Discussion 60526
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TOPIC: New Motorcycle rider
Created by: DodgeChevy
Original Starting post for this thread:
He everyone. I (male) have decided to go along the stereotype swinger :D and get a bike. Any one here know where I should start of on. The local community college has classes so im going there for that. I've taken a liking to the cruiser type bikes so im heading in that direction. I really wanted to go american but those seem to be a bit out of my range right now for a first time bike. So it looks like its either gonna be a used Yamaha star, suzuki boulevard, or a kawazaki vulcan.

so anyone can point me in a good general direction?

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I rode enduro and hare scrambles in the north east for a lot of years. While I never ice raced, we used to put patterns of little hex headed sheet metal screw in our knobbies, for winter riding. The square corners of the screw heads provided the extra traction, not the screw itself, in other words, no spikes. There's nothing like coming around a blind corner, at speed, and finding a frozen puddle when you're sliding sideways! The screws saved me from many a fall, although I sure had my share of them anyway!

I do remember one winter when our club entered a car in a demo derby at a north east PA flat track, and I got to see some ice racing bikes up close and personal. No thanks on those spikes!

Willingboro NJ
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Yeah that ice-racing is crazy...I have a friend in Wiscowsin who went to an amateur ice-race and got to try out one of the bikes for a couple of laps and she loved it! Of course this was an event where they keep the beer in a dry cooler to keep it from freezing solid! The pros use tires with long thin steel spikes and those will cut a man in half if he falls off and fails to get out of the way.

Lawrenceville GA
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The length of the riding season is what you make it. I know lots of folks up north who will ride in any temerature as long as there is no ice or snow on the road. There are lots of ways to keep warm, from synthetic undergarments to electrically-heated suits and handgrips. A good fairing helps too. There a loose internet-based club of folks who ride all year called the Year-Rounders (or 'Rounders' for short). A google search should take you to them.

Lawrenceville GA
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ha J, you suggesting that the Mrs might find adequate company in your absense? lol!!!

too funny!!! In reality, I'm sure she'd wither and die without you, I know me and MrsLurks would, without the other.

Willingboro NJ
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Heheheheheh, no HotCupple2, I get your humour! :)

That IS a rather strong stereotype among the BMW crowd, but it's not the reality with all of us. You're more likely to find the full Darth-Vader suits among the late-model riders with GPSs on their bikes. I've been known to wear everything from a full suit to jeans and a '50s-style leather jacket...but I *ALWAYS* wear boots and gloves and a full-face helmet. I've never hit my head in a crash, but the helmet sure protects me from other things. MY head has collided with a flying bird while riding, and it hit hard enough that I have no doubt that I would have been injured without the helmet. It has also protected me from sand, gravel, rain, etc., as well as keeping me warm in the winter. I do often ride with the faceshield open to get some ventilation, but only if I'm wearing non-glass, shatter-resistant sunglasses. And when I scrape that half-inch-thick layer of dead bugs off my helmet after a rides, I really don't know how those cruiser guys can stand to ride without...think of it as a condom for your head. ;)

This time of year (July/August) I really don't ride much at all because it's just too damn hot here in TX. Even with full-flow mesh gear the sweat drips. I've also found that when ambient temperature is as warm or warmer than body temperature, you're cooler sitting still than you are moving- it's basically the opposite of wind-chill: blow hot air on something and that thing will get warmer. My northern moto-friends laugh at me for not riding this time of year, but I laugh at them in the winter because I'm out there tearing up the countryside while they're shoveling the driveway. It's much easier to keep warm than to keep cool, and on days that aren't perfect 75-degree sunfests I find that I have the roads all to myself.

Whatever you prefer to wear, protective gear comes in many styles and is a MUST! I've been down and walked away from it because I had all my gear on. Here's one I hear often: "Well, I don't plan to crash." Tell me this: does anyone plan to crash? NO! Does it happen sometimes? YES! Is it always a possibility? *YES!!!* And if that's not convincing enough, bear in mind that skin-grafts are at least as painful as the original injury. Also bear in mind that the more riders choose to not protect themselves out there, the higher ALL of our insurance premiums get (my insurer now refuse to write new MC policies in fact), and the worse our collective reputation as motorcyclists gets. If nothing else, wear your protective gear for the sake of those who love you and depend on you.

Having said all that, let's all go and enjoy the ride. :)

Lawrenceville GA
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Congrats on joining the two-wheeled world! As a guy who'll ride anywhere from the corner store to across the country, I'm always happy to hear about more people getting into motorcycling.

I'll second the vote for an update! I can't really add much wisdom to the discussion- lots of wonderful points made already- but I will say that I first felt halfway competent as a rider only after five years in the saddle. Not tha I felt incompetent before that, but around five years was the point where all those thousands of miles of experience and learning REALLY started to come together and form a cohesive skill-set. You don't want to ever stop learning as you ride, especially about safety. I highly recommend David L. Hough's books on the subject, and if you can find the back-issues, read the 'Stayin' Safe' columns that the late Lawrence Grodsky wrote for Rider magazine.

I like to joke about cruisers ("ass-jewelry"), but getting out there on SOMETHING is the important part. There is no bike that is 'nationally pure' in its manufacture today so you need not be concerned about that. In fact the Honda Goldwing is probably the most 'American' bike in terms of manufacture! BTW have you tried Victory? I rented one (Kingpin) for an afternoon a couple of years ago and while I didn't like the ergonmics (I really detest having my feet so far forward), it was a really solid bike that was easy to ride and it was surprisingly quick. Way too easy to scrape pegs though, and that's the thing you'll find with a lot of (but not all) cruisers- they don't have much cornering clearance, and they don't handle very nimbly.

I don't suggest that you test-ride a BMW because you'll have to have it and you won't want anything else from that point on. :)- And yes, I ride a BMW...

Lawrenceville GA
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Start off by taking the MSF basic rider course.. It pretty much tells you all the basics from how to start up a bike, and how to ride. They provide you with small engine bikes that are easy to maneuver. I practiced on a 125cc dirt bike before the course not ever riding and aced it. Moved on to a more powerful Harley and very glad I took the course!

Lancaster PA
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Take the saftey courses. And allways wear full gear. Helmet, chaps and jacket, goggles, gloves & boots. Allways ride within your skill. If those you're ridin with go faster than you're comfortable with, let 'em go.

Mike

Bedford PA
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I just got a Honda Shadow VLX 600. I haven't ridden a bike in over 20 years so I'm like a new rider. For the first two days I only rode it in my driveway, yesterday and today I took it out on a few of the local back roads.

I have signed up for the motorcycle safety course but the next opening isn't for 2 weeks, so until then I will stick to riding just a few miles a day on local back roads with minimal traffic.

Bob

Avoca PA
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Although not currently riding, I have nearly 300k miles logged. I worked my way up through different sizes and styles of bikes, here and in Europe. Take the MSF Course. Wear the safety gear. Ride at YOUR level of comfort and ability. Don't let anyone dare or challenge you into doing what you aren't comfortable with. Keep your eyes open and on everything around you. Trust your instincts, and never trust the drivers around you. Try and find a relaxed small group to do rides with. You can learn a lot from others (plus there is safety in numbers).

Be safe and have fun.

Bethpage TN
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TOPIC: New Motorcycle rider