New motorcycle rider

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Gill
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Gill » Wed May 16, 2018 11:04 am

OP has vanished. Do you think he's at the Harley dealer? :happy
Gill

squirm
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by squirm » Wed May 16, 2018 11:19 am

The bike riders on our commute are on a suicide mission through four lanes of traffic. Although I've yet to see one ride responsible. Usually they weave in and out at high rates of speed, split lanes doing 85, I had some idiot blow by me doing about 110 and try to get as close as possible to my side, I guess he thought it was fun. Another idiot did wheelies during commute traffic. He slowed down traffic in his lane first then did his little stunts...Of course half of the Harley riders disable the exhaust muffler and ride with straight pipes. When we lived in the city the idiot Harley riders would ride through residential streets late at night and rev up their engine to wake everyone up. The crotch rockets are the worst. I've had them tail literally a foot away doing 85, with cars all around, waiting to blow by doing at least 105. Whatever.

After witnessing this over and over I lost respect for them years ago.
Last edited by squirm on Wed May 16, 2018 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

db79
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by db79 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:22 am

Take the MSF course.
Buy and wear all the proper riding gear.
Ride your ride and within your means.
Find a well run local track day organization; allows you to continue to gain skillsets without dangers of the street.
SV650 tends to be a highly recommended multi-usage bike.

uberdoc
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by uberdoc » Wed May 16, 2018 11:33 am

No. I am here. Trying to soak in all the wisdom. I was on call last night so a little sluggish today.

GAAP
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by GAAP » Wed May 16, 2018 12:11 pm

My perspective is of a reasonably experienced rider -- with ~60K commute miles in Bay Area traffic, multiple cross-country trips, and riding in Brazil. My current bike has about 90K miles on it.

Take the MSF course -- don't consider it to be anywhere near sufficient training. Take as many more classes as possible, and keep taking them (especially if you think you don't need to do so).

Your first bike is not likely to be your dream bike -- and that dream bike may not be it either. Expect to change.

Get a standard bike or a dualsport that actually fits you. Cruisers don't handle anywhere near as well. Sport bikes will get you into trouble way too soon.

Get a small bike -- small meaning both weight and motor size. It's way too easy for a new rider to nail the throttle in an unexpected situation -- been there, got the ambulance ride. 250cc is plenty big for a learner -- too big if it's a ninja sportbike. Coming back after a gap is not much different from starting fresh.

Get ABS. Lose control braking in a car, and you have a steel protective cage with seatbelts and airbags -- on a motorcycle, not so much... It is far more likely that you can recover a car in that situation than a bike.

Ignore the input from people don't ride. I have yet to meet one that doesn't tell me about some horrible accident when they find out I ride. Riding is something that you either understand or don't -- people generally don't change in that regard.

ATGATT -- live it, or don't ride. If you can afford the bike, you can afford the gear. If you can't afford the gear, you can't afford the bike.

Read David Hough's books on proficient motorcycling -- think about the points he raises.

I could go on, but don't even start this unless you're really sure it's the right thing to do.

jmk
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by jmk » Wed May 16, 2018 12:23 pm

-always wear full gear (including back armor) even when going to corner store
-take a motorcycle safety class

mark4269
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by mark4269 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:25 pm

I'm aspiring to be a motorcyclist so I can go on long tours in my 50s. I have never owned a motorcycle, but I used to ride my friend's cycle occasionally in college.

I'm thinking of getting a 650cc and graduating to the 1200cc touring bike I really want, maybe after I get 30,000 miles on the 650cc. Ideally, I would progress from a smaller bike (e.g. 250cc) then graduate to the intermediate (650cc) before acquiring the 1200cc tourer.

Swarm Trap
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Swarm Trap » Wed May 16, 2018 12:54 pm

I look back at my time as a rider with fondness, but I did suffer an injury. I have a herniated disc resulting from a low side spill at high speed. The full-face helmet saved me from smashing up my chin and teeth but did a number on my neck. I rode for years after that, but sold my bike when the kids came along. I recommend that if you get a motorcycle, respect it, wear your gear, and take the safety course. I learned to ride on a 440cc bike but don't recommend it. 600 or 750cc seemed to be the sweet spot for me.

sixtyforty
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by sixtyforty » Wed May 16, 2018 4:09 pm

I've owned two motorcycles in my younger days and learned a lot. It was definitely fun but as everyone points out just be very careful. I'll pass on some of the things I've learned;

- Wear a really good helmet at all times, shoes/boots etc.
- Take a safety course
- Learn to handle the bike at very low speeds, almost crawling along. can you keep your balance ? Also really slow tight corners. This requires really getting to understand you bike and your balance. I used to practice this alot at empty parking lots.
- I used to also practice panic stops. You want to make sure you understand how the bike handles/suspension under a panic stop. You don't want to experience this the first time avoiding a car. I used to also practice this at empty parking lots.
- Be a defensive rider at all times. "Defensive" meaning that assume everyone around you could make a mistake and if they do how does that impact you ?
- Be real careful through intersections.
- Always watch the road conditions, the can easily effect a bike.
- When you put your foot down in an intersection make sure it's not on top of an oil slick.
- Never, ever take any risks on a bike.

Good luck and be safe !
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

Jack FFR1846
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed May 16, 2018 4:30 pm

I've owned motorcycles since I was 15 (I'm 61) starting with a mini bike built from a 57 Toro lawn mower engine, then traded for a 66 Lambretta motor scooter that allowed me on the road at 16. Had several "real" enduro bikes and rented bigger bikes including Harley Dynas and Breakout.

1) As mentioned a few times, take the MSF course. In my state (MA), taking the course allows you to take the written and road course as part of the training. I left with a motorcycle license about 10 years ago because in the past, it was cheaper to simply get a permit (it was $6 and good for 2 years back then).

2) Rent bikes for a while. Start with smaller, heads up, good handling bikes and stick with smaller roads. Something like a Kawasaki Ninja or one of the small touring bikes. You don't need big power and even a Ninja 250 would be fine. You want agility, in my opinion.

3) Head on a swivel. Assume that everyone is texting and will head to hit you.

4) Dress for the crash. A snell "M" helmet (an SA is for racecars...I have several) where M is for motorcycle and made to be lighter and assumed will hit pavement rather than a roll cage. Good gloves, eye protection and an armored jacket that you can find at any good motorcycle shop. Shoes covering ankles.
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-buzz-
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by -buzz- » Wed May 16, 2018 4:45 pm

I rode motorcycles for years. The time came where I realized that I should hang up my helmet. I decided to quit while I was ahead (and still had a head). It was a smart decision.

I got the itch again a few years ago. However, I recognized that today's level of distracted driving is an entirely new threat level and I wasn't willing to take the risk.

To scratch the itch, I bought a gently used Mazda Miata. 6 speed manual transmission and power hard top. That car was awesome! Tons of fun to drive, very reliable, and inexpensive to insure.

Driving it was a similar experience to riding a motorcycle, but it was far more practical and much safer. I kept it for 3 years as a second car. Sold it for nearly what I paid for it.

That's my advice - go buy a Miata!

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed May 16, 2018 4:45 pm

I had several motorcycles from age 13-17. My friends and I rode motorcycles on the streets for 2-3 years before we were old enough for driver's licenses. Unthinkable today. We even received speeding (and other traffic) tickets while riding but were never cited for no DL.

I voluntarily gave them up after having a car for a year or two and never had a desire for another one. With each passing year it became more obvious to me how much of a risk they were on the streets. Good luck, OP!

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whodidntante
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by whodidntante » Wed May 16, 2018 5:37 pm

Sorry I was away for a while. I was busy commuting on my motorcycle in an urban environment with distracted drivers.

Before letting all the nervous Nellies talk you out of your motorcycle, consider that this is a website where 20 year olds are told they need bonds. Risk aversion is rampant here. Be safe, take precautions, and don't ride beyond your limits, but sometimes your number is up. It does not matter if you are driving an eight passenger SUV or a unicycle.

beezquimby
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by beezquimby » Wed May 16, 2018 5:57 pm

Saying motorcycles are dangerous is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts. Not worth it, not even close.

I am a safe driver and there have been times where i didnt see a motorcycle, Im convinced when you are not looking for a motorcycle there’s a good chance he won’t see it, the brain is wired that way.
whodidntante wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:37 pm
Sorry I was away for a while. I was busy commuting on my motorcycle in an urban environment with distracted drivers.

Before letting all the nervous Nellies talk you out of your motorcycle, consider that this is a website where 20 year olds are told they need bonds. Risk aversion is rampant here. Be safe, take precautions, and don't ride beyond your limits, but sometimes your number is up. It does not matter if you are driving an eight passenger SUV or a unicycle.

GAAP
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by GAAP » Wed May 16, 2018 6:10 pm

beezquimby wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:57 pm
Saying motorcycles are dangerous is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts. Not worth it, not even close.
Saying stocks are risky is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts...

Saying automobiles are risky is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts...

The real question is risk vs reward. For many of us, the return on invested risk is worth it. However, if you're not certain that it's worth it, you shouldn't be riding.

OP's stated "desire for a long time" is to ride. Given that, responses about riding from non-riders are non-responsive -- they have no basis from which to make recommendations. Non-riders can make good recommendations about the other parts of OP's request -- most notably about the finance part.

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queso
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by queso » Wed May 16, 2018 6:40 pm

GAAP wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:10 pm
beezquimby wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:57 pm
Saying motorcycles are dangerous is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts. Not worth it, not even close.
Saying stocks are risky is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts...

Saying automobiles are risky is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts...

The real question is risk vs reward. For many of us, the return on invested risk is worth it. However, if you're not certain that it's worth it, you shouldn't be riding.

OP's stated "desire for a long time" is to ride. Given that, responses about riding from non-riders are non-responsive -- they have no basis from which to make recommendations. Non-riders can make good recommendations about the other parts of OP's request -- most notably about the finance part.
+1. OP asked some motorcycle questions and some of us that ride attempted to provide answers. I don't remember him asking if he should or not. As I posted earlier, we're never going to agree on risk vs. reward because people are wired up differently. I don't think you've really lived until you come screaming down the hill at VIR into turn 13, tip the bike in and grab a handful of throttle coming out of the corner and go flying down the front straight. Gives me goosebumps talking about it. Same with hanging on a sketchy flake feeling like I may come off at any second knowing that my last placement was a tiny C3 zero that _might_ hold. Man, talk about feeling alive! Similarly, you may not feel that sitting on your couch eating BigMacs working toward a triple digit BMI while counting your shares of VTSAX is dangerous, but I'd say you are the nutty one and not me. :happy

Bottom line, most things are dangerous. Power tools, guns, motorcycles, BigMacs, letter openers, etc. If you put any of these potentially dangerous objects in the wrong hands you are asking for trouble. However, when approached sensibly with a healthy respect for said object I think one can successfully acquire the skills to use dangerous objects with some sense of confidence and relative safety. Shoot, even your couch is dangerous if you believe everything you read about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. :happy

uberdoc
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by uberdoc » Wed May 16, 2018 6:48 pm

Points i could glean from the discussion:
1. Riding motorcycles on a shared road with cars is not safe.
2. Riding motorcycle is really fun.
3. MSF is a must.
4. Insurance is not a big problem and buying a used 600cc bike is sensible.
So the question is-
Where can I ride my motorcycle alone and safely? I am definitely risk averse.

Thanks again.

Lloydo
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Lloydo » Wed May 16, 2018 7:08 pm

As I rider I grow really tired of hearing people I barely know tell me about their cousin, brother, friend etc. who was hurt badly or killed riding. They are not trying to “help” but instead trying to ascert their superiority. Kinda like my friend who had just lost his wife to lung cancer being asked “did she smoke?” in a condescending tone at the funeral. No one’s getting out of here alive.

Lloydo
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Lloydo » Wed May 16, 2018 7:10 pm

queso wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:40 pm
GAAP wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:10 pm
beezquimby wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:57 pm
Saying motorcycles are dangerous is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts. Not worth it, not even close.
Saying stocks are risky is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts...

Saying automobiles are risky is not being a nervous nelly, its a statement based on facts...

The real question is risk vs reward. For many of us, the return on invested risk is worth it. However, if you're not certain that it's worth it, you shouldn't be riding.

OP's stated "desire for a long time" is to ride. Given that, responses about riding from non-riders are non-responsive -- they have no basis from which to make recommendations. Non-riders can make good recommendations about the other parts of OP's request -- most notably about the finance part.
+1. OP asked some motorcycle questions and some of us that ride attempted to provide answers. I don't remember him asking if he should or not. As I posted earlier, we're never going to agree on risk vs. reward because people are wired up differently. I don't think you've really lived until you come screaming down the hill at VIR into turn 13, tip the bike in and grab a handful of throttle coming out of the corner and go flying down the front straight. Gives me goosebumps talking about it. Same with hanging on a sketchy flake feeling like I may come off at any second knowing that my last placement was a tiny C3 zero that _might_ hold. Man, talk about feeling alive! Similarly, you may not feel that sitting on your couch eating BigMacs working toward a triple digit BMI while counting your shares of VTSAX is dangerous, but I'd say you are the nutty one and not me. :happy

Bottom line, most things are dangerous. Power tools, guns, motorcycles, BigMacs, letter openers, etc. If you put any of these potentially dangerous objects in the wrong hands you are asking for trouble. However, when approached sensibly with a healthy respect for said object I think one can successfully acquire the skills to use dangerous objects with some sense of confidence and relative safety. Shoot, even your couch is dangerous if you believe everything you read about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. :happy
Well said. Thanks. My response above isn’t as nice. :happy

CascadiaSoonish
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Wed May 16, 2018 7:27 pm

uberdoc wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:48 pm
So the question is-
Where can I ride my motorcycle alone and safely? I am definitely risk averse.
Would depend entirely on where you live, I would think. Personally, I have 45 minutes of city traffic outbound and inbound when going on a ride out into the rural areas. The roads at that point are largely free of traffic and have good visibility and generally good pavement. But I need to white-knuckle it in traffic when close to home. This affects how and when I ride; I try to avoid riding in traffic at dawn or dusk heading in certain directions, for example, because I know that the sun will be in the eyes of oncoming traffic and they're that much less likely to be able to see me. So I'll do things like get up early on a Sunday for a two day ride where I know my outbound and inbound will be in low traffic situations and I'll be able to spend most of the time riding in the country.

GoldenFinch
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by GoldenFinch » Wed May 16, 2018 7:31 pm

Of the seven motorcyclists I’ve known in my life, one is dead, one is paralyzed from the waist down, one is brain damaged and the other four all had accidents that involved injury. It may be fun, but it is definitely risky.

lotusflower
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by lotusflower » Wed May 16, 2018 7:57 pm

I've had a bike for the last 29 years in NorCal, though I don't ride as much now, due to busy family life. I personally think the risk is tolerable if you take it seriously and are hyper-vigilant while riding. Freeway riding doesn't worry me much, and I've always assumed all caged drivers are distracted, so the texting situation is not scaring me.

My main worries are people making a left turn into you, and people blowing stop signs or coming out of driveways into your side. Two-lane highways where the flow of traffic is close to freeway speeds but people are allowed to turn or cross the traffic (the first case) are super scary but it doesn't happen as often. Some add extra lighting and high-viz clothing to help, but it's no guarantee. The second case is the stop sign violation, a similar problem. Both of those are very hard to predict and avoid.

I agree that if you don't drink and you don't thrill-seek, your odds get a lot better.

There are lots of stats here
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motor ... otorcycles
but I think they are mostly useless because information about total usage patterns is not available. For example,
"Forty-eight percent of motorcyclist deaths in 2016 occurred on weekends, and those deaths were more likely to occur after 6 p.m. compared with weekdays."
but if 48% of the miles ridden were on weekends then that statistic would be inconsequential.
Most interesting was how older riders are now a plurality of riding deaths (http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motor ... and-gender), but I also expect that this reflects an overall aging of the riding population.

Best of luck, whatever you decide on.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Wed May 16, 2018 8:33 pm

uberdoc wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:48 pm
So the question is-
Where can I ride my motorcycle alone and safely? I am definitely risk averse.
What region of the country are you in?

Generally, try byways and scenic routes. Also, consider the benefit of riding at night when on a long distance road trip.(not necessarily recommended in ungulate country)

If you find you like it, you can participate in organized rides where you don’t ride in groups but all meet at the checkpoints. Or, if you can document a safe ride of 1,000 miles in 24 hours, you can join the IBA
http://ironbutt.com/rides/ss1000.htm
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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whodidntante
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by whodidntante » Wed May 16, 2018 8:43 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 1970 11:20 am
Or, if you can document a safe ride of 1,000 miles in 24 hours, you can join the IBA
http://ironbutt.com/rides/ss1000.htm
I have done that. I did not know I was due an award, LOL.

Osterix
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Osterix » Wed May 16, 2018 8:57 pm

uberdoc wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:33 am
No. I am here. Trying to soak in all the wisdom. I was on call last night so a little sluggish today.
I will preface by saying I have never ridden nor will I ever ride a motorcycle. I can imagine how it would be a relaxing (ride on a beautiful spring day alone on a country road) or an exhilarating (the sheer power beneath you) experience. I do agree that it is risk versus reward decision, just like most things in life.

However, as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon I have seen my fair share of horrific and life-altering (and ending) injuries from both motorcycle and automobile injuries. I would rather be in the automobile every single time.

I suspect that the motorcycle enthusiasts that regard us as nervous nellies have not seen firsthand the trauma that can result from a motorcycle injury. Nor the long term consequences.

I haven’t seen this mentioned. Make sure you have an own occupation disability insurance policy in addition to your term life insurance.

BrooklynInvest
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by BrooklynInvest » Wed May 16, 2018 9:57 pm

A little over 20 years experience riding. Some suggestions -

Without question start with the motorcycle safety class. The test is easier than it should be and the class is good preparation. When I did mine the test followed a weekend class

Me, I don't ride unless my head is clear and I make every effort to remain calm no matter how bad the texters scare me.

I've ridden cross-country 6 times now and those trips have been some of the best times of my life. Not the easiest, but some of the best.

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Sandtrap
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Sandtrap » Wed May 16, 2018 10:13 pm

uberdoc wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:48 pm
Points i could glean from the discussion:
1. Riding motorcycles on a shared road with cars is not safe.
2. Riding motorcycle is really fun.
3. MSF is a must.
4. Insurance is not a big problem and buying a used 600cc bike is sensible.
So the question is-
Where can I ride my motorcycle alone and safely? I am definitely risk averse.

Thanks again.
Bikes are "standard" (sit upright), "sport" (crouch forward), and "cruiser" (harley style look cool forward rake).
Standard bikes offer a good balance between comfort and maneuverability.
Fit the bike to your size. A 6 foot plus guy weighing 240 is not going to work well on a 250cc bike.
A standard style 5-600 cc bike is one you can begin and end with.

Riding times.
Not rush hour traffic.
Not commuting hours.
Not where there is traffic and commuters in a rush.
Not at night until you have many miles of experience. Night changes everything.
Do ride early Sunday mornings on a country road.
Learn where other casual riders ride and when. Join a group. Riding in a group is great.
Finally: assume that car drivers cannot see you, even if they are looking straight at you. Really.

j

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F150HD
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by F150HD » Wed May 16, 2018 10:20 pm

uberdoc wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:33 am
No. I am here. Trying to soak in all the wisdom. I was on call last night so a little sluggish today.
If you want to play life 'safe' all the time (like some posting in this thread), wrap yourself in bubble wrap and move to rural Nebraska.

Life without any risk isn't life and there's no point in living it.

For every 1 bad accident you hear of, there are hundreds/thousands of riders who have no accidents whatsoever. Those people aren't in the headlines.

I've logged a few 100k on cycles across the country. If you have further questions, shoot me a PM, I could point you to some resources. Good luck.

WhyNotUs
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by WhyNotUs » Thu May 17, 2018 8:10 am

I have a mc license but no longer ride, just not worth it. I was never as into it as some of the other posters, the exhilaration that seems to attract some is easier for me to gain on a mountain bike or other activity (whitewater raft, etc.) in which my choices drive consequences to a greater extent than whether someone else sees me. YMMV.

My neighbor is a mc safety instructor, Harley guy, and still rides in his 70's and loves it. He probably would not want to bike down a mountain with me. Know yourself (and "insurance up" for your family as the death rate is 30 times higher than car drivers). If you take the safety course and rent a bike for a few days first you will probably get a feel for whether this is your calling.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

ColoRetiredGirl
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by ColoRetiredGirl » Thu May 17, 2018 8:20 am

Ride in the country or less traveled roads. I found the country roads make the ride more enjoyable. Bright lights, a load horn, and a swivel head goes a long way. Harley-Davidson has $1,500 rebate through June 30thon new 2017 and 2018 bikes. Crossing the street is also dangerous. You just need to be alert and enjoy the ride!

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munemaker
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by munemaker » Thu May 17, 2018 8:50 am

Osterix wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:57 pm

I suspect that the motorcycle enthusiasts that regard us as nervous nellies have not seen firsthand the trauma that can result from a motorcycle injury. Nor the long term consequences.
I am saying this as an experienced rider who was seriously injured when a deer appeared out of nowhere and hit me at 65 mph. I did not always wear all the safety gear but fortunately I was that day.

It is easy to laugh off safety concerns and think that due to your skill, riding gear, riding habits, experience, you are immune from accidents and serious injury. Or say that life is not worth living without taking risks. That thinking works fine until it doesn't.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by fourwheelcycle » Thu May 17, 2018 8:51 am

Clearly, there are lots of current and ex- motorcycle riders on this forum, including me. I would disagree with an early poster who suggested starting with a 750cc or larger bike, or even a Harley. Big bikes are heavy, especially Harleys, and the weight itself adds an extra element of difficulty in getting used to handling a motorcycle.

I started in college with a 125cc and I think starting with a light bike helped me develop good basic skills before I moved to heavier bikes. After college I also began to ride dirt bikes in the woods. I have heard, and believe, that the skills you develop riding off-road, on uneven terrain, are very helpful on the road.

I finally worked my way up to a 1,000cc V-twin bike that was my favorite of all the bikes I ever owned. By the time I got to age 65, however, I realized my reaction time was beginning too slow down and I was no longer comfortable riding the bike as quickly on twisty back roads as I was used to. With lots of urging from my wife, and from MD friends who call them "donorcycles", I finally sold the bike. I am quite sure I will never go back to motorcycle riding, although I do miss it.
Last edited by fourwheelcycle on Thu May 17, 2018 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Atilla
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Atilla » Thu May 17, 2018 8:53 am

whodidntante wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:43 pm
motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 1970 11:20 am
Or, if you can document a safe ride of 1,000 miles in 24 hours, you can join the IBA
http://ironbutt.com/rides/ss1000.htm
I have done that. I did not know I was due an award, LOL.
My personal record is 750 miles in 11 hours on a 900cc 1983 Yamaha. 8-)
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu May 17, 2018 8:57 am

whodidntante wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:37 pm
Sorry I was away for a while. I was busy commuting on my motorcycle in an urban environment with distracted drivers.

Before letting all the nervous Nellies talk you out of your motorcycle, consider that this is a website where 20 year olds are told they need bonds. Risk aversion is rampant here. Be safe, take precautions, and don't ride beyond your limits, but sometimes your number is up. It does not matter if you are driving an eight passenger SUV or a unicycle.
100% pure horse pucky.

lazydavid
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by lazydavid » Thu May 17, 2018 9:52 am

Most of the important stuff has been covered, but to recap: MSF course, top-notch gear, ride less-busy roads at off-peak times, never EVER drink and ride, always assume every car driver is trying to kill you and react accordingly.

My wife made me stop riding after my accident almost 15 years ago, which was not horrible as bike crashes go--broken collarbone, powdered ankle, some rash through my gear. I've missed it ever since, but came to terms with it shortly after our son was born. There really is no feeling like it, just probably not the smartest activity for me to partake in, given my responsibilities and how incredibly stupid drivers have become. Once he's college/independent, she's agreed to consider getting a sport or full-dress tourer and go out cruising together.

If it truly is your passion, you probably have to find a way to scratch the itch. Take whatever precautions you can, and have fun!

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whodidntante
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by whodidntante » Thu May 17, 2018 12:00 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 8:57 am
whodidntante wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:37 pm
Sorry I was away for a while. I was busy commuting on my motorcycle in an urban environment with distracted drivers.

Before letting all the nervous Nellies talk you out of your motorcycle, consider that this is a website where 20 year olds are told they need bonds. Risk aversion is rampant here. Be safe, take precautions, and don't ride beyond your limits, but sometimes your number is up. It does not matter if you are driving an eight passenger SUV or a unicycle.
100% pure horse pucky.
That can't be true. I actually was busy commuting on my motorcycle in an urban environment with distracted drivers. And some people here do think young people need bonds.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu May 17, 2018 12:25 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 8:51 am
Clearly, there are lots of current and ex- motorcycle riders on this forum, including me. I would disagree with an early poster who suggested starting with a 750cc or larger bike, or even a Harley. Big bikes are heavy, especially Harleys, and the weight itself adds an extra element of difficulty in getting used to handling a motorcycle.

I started in college with a 125cc and I think starting with a light bike helped me develop good basic skills before I moved to heavier bikes. After college I also began to ride dirt bikes in the woods. I have heard, and believe, that the skills you develop riding off-road, on uneven terrain, are very helpful on the road.

I finally worked my way up to a 1,000cc V-twin bike that was my favorite of all the bikes I ever owned. By the time I got to age 65, however, I realized my reaction time was beginning too slow down and I was no longer comfortable riding the bike as quickly on twisty back roads as I was used to. With lots of urging from my wife, and from MD friends who call them "donorcycles", I finally sold the bike. I am quite sure I will never go back to motorcycle riding, although I do miss it.
Re: the part I bolded:

From my limited experience, I agree. I started riding at age 13, so I obviously learned on smaller bikes and moved up. Back then 650cc was considered a big bike. I can't imagine having learned on that, but of course I was smaller and my judgment was even worse than it is now.

We also did a lot of riding in the woods as well as some on gravel/dirt roads. I do believe you learn some skills doing that which transfer beneficially to street riding. A lot of this is probably impractical these days, but if I were in OP's shoes, I would definitely want to learn on a smaller bike and log at least a couple of hundred miles on one before buying something larger.

A friend of mine bought his first bike, a Harley, last year at age 50+. He is selling it this year. He won't admit it, but I think part of the reason is that it is too much bike for him at this stage in his riding career. He admitted he "dropped" it while parking it once and was quite embarrassed by that.

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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by dsmclone » Thu May 17, 2018 1:28 pm

I rode sport bikes for a long time and was considering buying an Aprilia Tuono last year but then a few weeks later one of my classmates from high school was killed in a motorcycle accident. 1 year after retiring from the military and leaving 3 high school age daughters and a wife. As much as I love them, it made me realize that my motorcycle days are probably over. Although I do continue to keep my license just in case.

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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Radjob4me » Thu May 17, 2018 3:20 pm

queso wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:40 pm

Bottom line, most things are dangerous. Power tools, guns, motorcycles, BigMacs, letter openers, etc. If you put any of these potentially dangerous objects in the wrong hands you are asking for trouble. However, when approached sensibly with a healthy respect for said object I think one can successfully acquire the skills to use dangerous objects with some sense of confidence and relative safety. Shoot, even your couch is dangerous if you believe everything you read about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. :happy
These things are not dangerous in the same way. With motorcycles, most folks on here seem to agree that the problem is the other drivers and obstacles around you, not the actual motorcycle or even the rider themselves - you could be the safest rider on the lonliest back road in the best equipment, after that safety course, but that distracted driver or deer is far more likely to result in your permanent disability or death. I am a physician and not long ago in our little hospital we had a poor couple that was hit by a car on a back road - multiple limbs were lost, head injuries, etc.

Uberdoc, why not a convertible instead? At least while you are young, with a young family. Save the motorcycle for later.

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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by thomasbayarea » Thu May 17, 2018 3:39 pm

Turbo Busa for the win

Teague
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Teague » Thu May 17, 2018 4:07 pm

An anecdote for what it's worth, if anything.

I started on my friend's Honda 70 (remember those?) that was street legal. At 15 1/2 years I could ride it with a learner's permit, and I took it everywhere. Off road, over jumps, on road, to the beach, you name it. In traffic, too, because I was 15 and immortal. No problems other than one flat tire requiring me to push it a ways to get a can of fix-a-flat. That thing was my freedom on two wheels.

Then it was a 125cc dirt bike, again street legal, and went everywhere with it. A friend at work got a brand new bike that looked pretty much the same and offered to let me ride it around the block. With coworkers watching, I cracked the throttle. Nobody told me it was a 600cc, and I neglected to ask.

I performed the most impressive unscheduled wheelie and just about killed myself in the process. The bike was so nearly vertical I couldn't let go enough to release the throttle, as I was holding on for dear life. I really thought I was done for.

I somehow managed to regain enough control to turn the corner and go around the block, stopping out of view to hyperventilate, thank any and all available dieties, and possibly disguise a wet spot on the front of my pants.

I miss those days. :D
Semper Augustus

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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by lazydavid » Thu May 17, 2018 4:12 pm

thomasbayarea wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 3:39 pm
Turbo Busa for the win
Yes, a 240-650hp bike (depending on turbo, internals, and fuel) is the perfect first choice for a newbie. :oops:

rralex1
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by rralex1 » Thu May 17, 2018 5:06 pm

I saw this post and just told my wife "This is going to be interesting". On Bogleheads no less.

Uberdoc, perspective is everything. You are considering riding and have done so outside the US so you knew what some of these responses would be like. I began riding when I was outside the US at the age of 15. I've been riding ever since, had five bikes and ride today. Caveat - I took a pause from riding after marriage and until my kids got out of college and were on their own. "On their own is a positive and relative statement. :-)

If you really want input, you need to share how you plan to ride. Off street, commute, weekend warrior, crotch rocket, pursuing speed, touring, single, double up, hobby, etc. There are different answers for each and then some. But then, you knew that.

My response to you as one who understands what it feels like to ride and understands that those who don't never will, is as follows. Helmet always. Boots always. Wear gear always - relative to the temperature so that you don't pass out from heat exhaustion. Get a bike that is relatively speaking - under powered for your needs. My current bike, a 2010 loaded FLHTCU is a stock bike. I ride double up carefully with my significant other at times. It's reviews say it's under powered and that has always made me laugh, as I have been up to speeds on it that had me roll off throttle early rather than keep it up. I could easily upgrade power but have never done so. I feel no need to run to my death. (Sorry stole that from the Navy Seals but it seemed appropriate). I ride because I love it, not to impress.

Your biggest threats are those in cars. And there are many, and I believe it will always be so. Ride safe, ride smart, and have fun. Insurance, finances etc are not the issue as it should go without saying that one must get solid coverage and then some. Period.

Two wheels down. All the best.
Last edited by rralex1 on Thu May 17, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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queso
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by queso » Thu May 17, 2018 5:24 pm

Radjob4me wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 3:20 pm
queso wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:40 pm

Bottom line, most things are dangerous. Power tools, guns, motorcycles, BigMacs, letter openers, etc. If you put any of these potentially dangerous objects in the wrong hands you are asking for trouble. However, when approached sensibly with a healthy respect for said object I think one can successfully acquire the skills to use dangerous objects with some sense of confidence and relative safety. Shoot, even your couch is dangerous if you believe everything you read about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. :happy
These things are not dangerous in the same way. With motorcycles, most folks on here seem to agree that the problem is the other drivers and obstacles around you, not the actual motorcycle or even the rider themselves - you could be the safest rider on the lonliest back road in the best equipment, after that safety course, but that distracted driver or deer is far more likely to result in your permanent disability or death. I am a physician and not long ago in our little hospital we had a poor couple that was hit by a car on a back road - multiple limbs were lost, head injuries, etc.

Uberdoc, why not a convertible instead? At least while you are young, with a young family. Save the motorcycle for later.
But what if he's decapitated in his convertible (low flying plane, drives under a semi, sharp winged low flying bird of prey, runaway trash can lid?)? Are convertibles safer than non-convertibles? I dunno...seems like an easy target for an acid attack or a giant bird turd with his head all exposed like that. I was thinking armored car, but then he might be killed by armed robbers that think he has money inside. Maybe build a panic room in his house and then stay in there unless he absolutely needs to go out? Wait...what if the house catches on fire and he can't get out? :happy

All kidding aside, I get your point. You are objecting to the activity based on the fact that he could potentially come to harm due to factors outside his control. That's true and not something you can completely mitigate against in any activity or life in general. Granted, this particular activity is relatively bad in that respect when you look at the numbers. I only know a few others that might be just as bad or worse. Free solo climbing comes to mind and is definitely an area where the margin for error is slimmer than even the worst drunken pirate flying down the highway doing 120 with no helmet on while the ink on his MSF card is still drying. Alpine mountaineering is another. That's another activity where you can do everything right and still end up dead. Rock climbing can be the same way, but is generally thought of as much safer. That being said, two guys in my climbing club have died in the last few years as a result of rock climbing injuries and both did everything right. One was killed by rockfall and the other by a cut rope which is almost unheard of. Should they have stayed at home? Yeah, maybe, but who are you or I to tell them that? We're going to draw that line in the sand at different places and that's ok. We need rear echelon guys just as much as we need the guys at the tip of the spear, but without the latter much of the world and space would have never been explored and we'd have almost nobody in the military, law enforcement, fire department or emergency services because they might get hurt due to factors outside their control or they "know a guy who got shot".

sid hartha
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by sid hartha » Thu May 17, 2018 5:36 pm

I used to ride a motorcycle to flying lessons and considered the former safer. That said getting on the road in anything is a bit like Russian Roulette these days. I agree take the MFS. Get good gear. Have fun but be careful. I knew people who have been killed and many injured.

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Cycle
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Cycle » Thu May 17, 2018 5:48 pm

One of the technicians in our lab liked to ride his motorcycle. He lost control of the bike on the highway w/o other cars around. He was in his mid-forties and left behind a wife and three children.

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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Dazed&Confused » Thu May 17, 2018 6:26 pm

I started riding at 50. All the above post have good advice. When I was considering to start riding a law officer who had seen plenty of accidents tried to talk me out of it. She only supported me when I told her I would only do group rides. The increased visibility of being in a group of motorcycles made all the difference to her.
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!

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whodidntante
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by whodidntante » Thu May 17, 2018 6:33 pm

Dazed&Confused wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:26 pm
I started riding at 50. All the above post have good advice. When I was considering to start riding a law officer who had seen plenty of accidents tried to talk me out of it. She only supported me when I told her I would only do group rides. The increased visibility of being in a group of motorcycles made all the difference to her.
A buddy invited me to a group ride that turned out to be mostly cops. Now I do not ride and tell, but let's just say that they ride fast, LOL.

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Ricola
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Ricola » Thu May 17, 2018 6:40 pm

At this stage, I just watch old Bronson TV episodes and dream about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnPIOH8bCfk

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munemaker
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by munemaker » Thu May 17, 2018 9:15 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:33 pm
Dazed&Confused wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:26 pm
I started riding at 50. All the above post have good advice. When I was considering to start riding a law officer who had seen plenty of accidents tried to talk me out of it. She only supported me when I told her I would only do group rides. The increased visibility of being in a group of motorcycles made all the difference to her.
A buddy invited me to a group ride that turned out to be mostly cops. Now I do not ride and tell, but let's just say that they ride fast, LOL.
Nobody is going to give them a speeding ticket.

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