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hello everyone. im 31 years old and just got my first bike. i got the itch about 8 months ago and started doing research on the best beginer bikes. almost all sites said to go for a rebel or similar 250cc bike. on the other hand almost all people i talked to said to get a bigger bike (600cc or bigger). so i began searching . i customize firearms and decided to see if i could get a deal on a trade for an ar i had just finished. AND THEN IT HAPPENED......guy contacted me with a 86 vt700 i fell in love with the thing made the deal and now for the hard part.
as a firearms guy ive always been very "rule specific" no rule gets broken and no one gets hurt. but with the bike there are no specific set of rules so i find myself being overly cautious in the parking lot resulting in two bike drops in the four hours of riding that i have done. not only is this embaressing as all get out but its made me more timid resulting in more mistakes. tight turning is a battle. i wind up having to take the turn too wide and in traffic i would have been screwed. the drops were a result of front brake squeeze while turning slow :roll:.
im not a quitter and i will get it eventually (probally later than sooner lol) but i would love to gather some pointers and tips from those experenced riders out there. im kind of a small guy 5'7" 155lbs but i see girls on dynas with no issues .
 

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First, I would recommend a basic riders course. They'll put you on a 250cc bike and teach you the bare basics....how to ride at 15 mph in the safety of a parking lot. But, they also give instructions on how to/how not to do particular tasks or actions and why. From there, back to the parking lot on your bike and start with the same basics and work your way up. It wouldn't hurt if you had a friend with some riding experience to help you out.
 

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It's the slow tight manuevers that are the challenge. Anyone can fly down the road or even take big sweeping corners at highway speeds. So I send the idea of the BRC class. I think it will address virtually all of your concerns. Then after a few months more riding, you can go back and take the "Experienced Rider Course" which doesn't so much mean you have to be super experienced to take it, but rather you do those same BRC parking lot maneuvers on your OWN BIKE.

Go to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website and check the links to find courses in your area. At this time of year, you can find one nearly every weekend. You'll be fine.
 

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PS, I don't know how easy it is to find engine guards for older bikes, but bikes get dropped, especially by newer riders. It is a fact of life. Engine guards help prevent mechanical damage AND protect the gas tank.
 

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If you can't find highway bars for your model, scope out a tube bender or muffler guy who can fab some for you. 1.5" muffler clamps are usually adequate for bolting to the frame.

Re low speed drops....they will teach you in the class for low speed turns or emergency stops in curves, to straighten up, then brake. In a parking lot, assess the turn, adjust your speed first, then execute looking where you want to go (not what you are trying to avoid) then a little throttle on exit. A newbie riding in a circle is a sure fire drop every time you touch the brake.

Finally, Take the class!!! Builds skills and confidence.

Also, pick up a copy of Proficient Motorcycling. I still refer to it to keep my skills honed.
 

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It's the slow tight manuevers that are the challenge.
JayTee has it right, as it's the slow tight maneuvers that the DMV will test when you convert a learner permit to a license. Learn to do slalom by placing six or more cones at four foot intervals, you fail if you put your foot down or run over a puck (the Ohio BMV uses highway pucks so your pegs or feet can pass over the spot).
Also practice locking up the rear wheel in a straight panic stop, you need to know at what point that happens. The road test does not deduct any points for skidding or wheel lock, the objective is solely to stop fast.
A more advanced skill that you need is the panic stop in a curve. Find a cloverleaf or rotary with zero traffic and keep going around a bit faster each time and gradually apply both brakes simultaneously to see how fast you can drop speed. No need to come to a complete stop in this maneuver, as that is when you are likely to drop it. You need to gain confidence in handling limits on dry pavement curves.
Far more advanced is wet curves and torrential rain. Until you get the hang of it avoid biking on wet roads. Log many hours of practice. The good news is the practice is loads of fun. Good luck to you.
 

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hello everyone. im 31 years old and just got my first bike. i got the itch about 8 months ago and started doing research on the best beginer bikes. almost all sites said to go for a rebel or similar 250cc bike. on the other hand almost all people i talked to said to get a bigger bike (600cc or bigger). so i began searching . i customize firearms and decided to see if i could get a deal on a trade for an ar i had just finished. AND THEN IT HAPPENED......guy contacted me with a 86 vt700 i fell in love with the thing made the deal and now for the hard part.
as a firearms guy ive always been very "rule specific" no rule gets broken and no one gets hurt. but with the bike there are no specific set of rules so i find myself being overly cautious in the parking lot resulting in two bike drops in the four hours of riding that i have done. not only is this embaressing as all get out but its made me more timid resulting in more mistakes. tight turning is a battle. i wind up having to take the turn too wide and in traffic i would have been screwed. the drops were a result of front brake squeeze while turning slow :roll:.
im not a quitter and i will get it eventually (probally later than sooner lol) but i would love to gather some pointers and tips from those experenced riders out there. im kind of a small guy 5'7" 155lbs but i see girls on dynas with no issues .
I just started riding this spring myself at 40 - I found an old CM200T that I practiced on for a couple of days. Once I was comfortable I got on my new bike that had been waiting patiently for me in the garage...it is a 750RS. I rode that around for another month but struggled until I completed the Basic Riders Course...It really helped a lot and I highly recommend it.

Other than my own fear...I don't really think I needed to start on the smaller bike, I just really needed to learn technique, and that is what you learn at the BRC. Also for me, I was afraid to lean at first, I could see myself crashing my brand new bike...I got over that in the class...especially since it was not my bike. ( I did not drop their bike and I have not dropped my own...yet.)
 

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Take the coarse and don't give up. In a short while you can look back and laugh at yourself.
 

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welcome. just take your time. you'll get it. don't ride out of your comfort zone.
 

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As others here have said, TAKE THE BRC, it WILL save yor life someday. And as an added bonus most states accept the completion of the course as the riding portion of the test and only the written is required. It would be a shame to bang up such a nice looking ride trying to learn on your own.

We like our pics big so here you go.
 

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I recently went through the safety course and bought a 2007 Spirit. Don't ride until you take that course. You will not make it unless you get the professional training. Then view instructional videos ( youtube has some good ones ) and read over and over what the experienced drivers offer. ( I read this forum every day )I cant believe how much I didn't know and I learn more everyday. You wont magically turn into a great driver but you will know the "must do's and don't and believe me there are plenty. And then you practice what you have been taught not what you think you know.
I hope not to come off like a trainer wannabe ... I am a rank noob and only hope I can be of some help here.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you and several others. I'm 43 and got my first bike in July, after a lifetime of wanting to ride. I add my agreement to taking the MSF course. Like you, I'm normally risk-averse and rule-driven; the MSF course helps you to mitigate the risks by introducing a few rules (which I've since learned are not hard-and-fast rules, but good starting points). I took the MSF course twice to build my confidence. First time just wasn't enough to convince me at I was ready to navigate 500 pounds of steel and rubber.

You came to the right place for support and advice. This is one of the best forums I've ever seen, full of people who love bikes and riding, and are only too willing to help out a newbie. Welcome, and happy riding.
 

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Don't ride until you take that course. You will not make it unless you get the professional training.....

That is just ridiculous.
Is the BRC a good idea? Of course it is. But to say that you won't make it without the class is, at best, not true...
Many people teach themselves to do all sorts of difficult things without professional help, most of them do just fine.

It may be easier to learn to ride a motorcycle with the class, but it is not impossible to learn without it. ;)
 

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It's the slow tight manuevers that are the challenge. Anyone can fly down the road or even take big sweeping corners at highway speeds. So I send the idea of the BRC class. I think it will address virtually all of your concerns. Then after a few months more riding, you can go back and take the "Experienced Rider Course" which doesn't so much mean you have to be super experienced to take it, but rather you do those same BRC parking lot maneuvers on your OWN BIKE.

Go to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website and check the links to find courses in your area. At this time of year, you can find one nearly every weekend. You'll be fine.
He is correct, I took the BRC corse with only 2 weeks of practice and did fine in the class. There was also someone in the class that had only 2 hours of experiance and after a little extra coaching was able to complete the course as well. So definately take the course! It was and is definately worth the money and time. Do it for you and you're new pride and joy.
 

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The course is the way to go. Remeber in slow parking lot manuvers if you need to use the brake use the back one.
 

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Let me correct myself. GAT803 is right. It is indeed ridulust for me to say you wont make it without professional help. Let me say personally, I dont feel that I would have been riding this weekend had I not.
 

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The course is the way to go. Remeber in slow parking lot manuvers if you need to use the brake use the back one.
Not sure where these ideas come from. Driving slow or fast use both front and rear brakes, using only one or the other invites unpredictable handling. Use the back brake alone occasionally if you want to squeal your tire. Notice the latest BMW bikes apply both brakes when just pulling on one lever. Neat stuff.
 

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Not sure where these ideas come from. Driving slow or fast use both front and rear brakes, using only one or the other invites unpredictable handling. Use the back brake alone occasionally if you want to squeal your tire. Notice the latest BMW bikes apply both brakes when just pulling on one lever. Neat stuff.
You use that front brake in a turn and there is a bit of sand or leaves or pine straw on the road and you WILL eat some pavement.
 
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