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DR Donk 08-15-2013 06:22 AM

How Did You Learn To Ride?
In reading a thread in face plant where a man purchased a new bike but didn't know how to ride and subsequently was killed in heavy traffic as he left the dealership. There was a lot of discussion on the lack of training, which brought up memories of how I learned to ride back in '81.
My older brothers has motorcycles back in the '70's but crashed so often, that my parents banned me from getting a bike until I was 18. So, as I was approaching that age, I read every book I could find on how to ride. I could already drive a manual shift transmission car and had spent years riding bicycles so I felt comfortable in my abilities to actually ride. The first bike I bought was a brand new TS125 2 stroke Suzuki that we brought home, from the dealership, in a van. I spent a couple of joyful hours just riding around the house, I grew up in a house with a big back yard. I later ventured up to a church parking lot and after a while there went out onto the streets. I don't remember if there was a MSF Riding Course back then, if there was I probably would have taken it. So, what is your story? :ear

Bronco638 08-15-2013 06:36 AM

Trials bike. Slow and off pavement. Learned balance and momentum (physics). I recommend it to anyone asking. Besides, trials bikes are very good at absorbing abuse. Most of the time you bend/break peripherals but not enough to hinder your ability to get home.

Offcamber 08-15-2013 06:44 AM

I learned on a friends 70 something Kawasaki....I think it was a 350 or something around that size....don't remember...rode around a parking lot for a few minutes....then off onto the road.....road it around town for one summer then didn't touch a bike for probably 5 years after that.....bought a new 94 Suzuki GS500E and took the MSF class.....Have had a few close calls but never been down....that's not to say I haven't dropped a bike but who hasn't:lol3

LuciferMutt 08-15-2013 06:47 AM


Then lots and lots practice on quiet streets and in parking lots before venturing into traffic. I remember how incredibly nervous and excited I was the night before my first real planned ride over just a few miles. I barely slept and was up checking the bike super early. LOL. Good times.

I still get a tinge of that nervousness and excitement before going on a ride though. I hope that never goes away.

daveinva 08-15-2013 06:51 AM

Who says I have? :slurp:ricky

orangebear 08-15-2013 07:02 AM

I learned how to gear change stop go on a mx bike before I did my CBT then got my L plates and my clapped out 125cc bike on the road before I did my test then got my restricted r100gs

I found riding a bike so easy and never got a problem on my 1st big bend on my honda xl125rc.

I had a trail bike 1st but found it boring so got a trail bike and found it more fun

Bill-66 08-15-2013 07:11 AM

Chinese copy of a Honda mini trail...back yard when I was 7, the next year I got a TM 75 Suzuki..the next an RM 80...and so it began..

DAKEZ 08-15-2013 07:28 AM

Don't remember... Have always done it...

How did you learn to walk? :ear

Jim Moore 08-15-2013 07:30 AM

I learned in the alley behind the Honda dealership while my soon-to-be riding buddy did the paperwork for his bike. Man, it was awesome being indestructible.

As a note, I didn't really learn to ride until I started doing track days. I thought I knew how to ride before that, but I didn't

DAKEZ 08-15-2013 07:51 AM

[QUOTE=DR Donk;22106337]
I had a guy come in yesterday. He asked if he could ride a couple of Sportsters to see if he liked them because he did not like the bike that he was talked into buying 2 years ago and had only put 178 miles on it.

(He rode in on a Aprilia Shiver 750) I did not see him ride in.

I ASSUMED he knew how to ride. I mean really.. anyone that rides in on a Naked Sport Standard Would you not have done the same?

He picked out a couple of Sportsters... A XL1200V (72) and an XL1200C (Custom) and I lead the way out of the lot and down the road... He immediately dropped WAY back. I am thinking: No worries, he is just getting situated to the forward controls

I wait at the first stop sign and make sure he feels all is OK. Off we go...

Again he quickly dropped back (would not go even 20 mph) So I pull over at a gas station about a 100 yards away and turn of my bike to interview him further (as Red flags are flying and my concern is growing)

I ask: "Are You OK?"

"Yes" he says..

"You really need to ride at or close to the speed limit as it is too dangerous not to" I tell him.

"I really like this bike it is WAY easier to ride than the Aprilia"

So I asked. "Do you even know how to ride?" "You are OK right? For your safety and mine we need to get up to at least 30 mph" "You know to look through the turn right? Look where you want to go..."

YES he says. and does the exaggerated head turns taught by Team Oregon and the MSF.

Off we went at 20 mph for the next 5 miles. :fpalm

He liked the 72. He traded the Aprilia and is getting further instruction so he can get safely up to speed. (The roads around his house are the perfect learning roads... Very Rural)

He assured me that he felt he would get along fine on the 72 because it was so much easier to ride. I offered to trailer his Aprilia home so he didn't have to ride it but he traded it in instead. With very minor damage to both sides from him dropping it in the 178 miles he had ridden. :lol3

Anyone want a Aprilia Shiver 750 with new turn signals and shifter lever? I has one. :lol3

I can't even imagine selling it to somebody that is a new rider though so if you are new to riding, DON"T EVEN ASK!!!

Pantah 08-15-2013 08:03 AM

1970. Walked into Alameda Honda and bought a CL450. Rode it home to Hayward, which included a few miles on the Nimitz freeway. I had a few 'moments' in traffic, but pretty uneventful once I got the feel of the clutch and power delivery.

I traded that for a Yamaha 360 enduro a few months later. I actually learned how to ride with it. Within another few months it was stripped and use for D36 enduro events. It taught me all about tank slappers coming off of jumps when the forks bottomed. It ended up a basket case and I gave it to a mechanic plus some cash for a Penton Six Days 125. That was my first real motorcycle. :deal Thing was awesome and so much faster than the 125's of the day (pre Elsinore and RM).

My next streetbike was a Ducati Superlight 900SS in the 90's. It was after a long layoff. It took me at least two years to get comfortable riding in the street. I did a few track days too, which helped. Since then it's been KTM dual sports.

DC2wheels 08-15-2013 08:06 AM


Graduated college. Doing laborer work for the summer, living in Connecticut at my older sister's house.

Spent the previous 2 years reading every MC magazine I could find and decided on a new 1977 Yamaha XS500D (twin, 4 stroke)

Went to a Yamaha dealer, plunked down $1398. and rode home on it. No MC experience but lots of bicycle miles. Arrived back at my sister's house w/o incident.

Took the road test a month later. In Ct it was a joke back then- ride around a few cones then around the DMV building once- don't fall off and they give you an endorsement.

No drama in the entire learning process, fortunately.

devo55 08-15-2013 08:15 AM

This was back in 1974, no MSF as far as I am aware. My buddy who had a bike rode my new Honda home from the dealer. I then climbed on and under his "instruction", began riding around my neighborhood. His instruction lasted all of 30 minutes. After that I went further and further from home.

Didn't know crap about riding though. And don't touch that front brake! It will catapult you over the bars if you do. Not sure how I survived.

Future ten 08-15-2013 08:17 AM

Honda QA 50

higear 08-15-2013 08:27 AM

Took the BRC, went to the dealership, bought the bike, and rode it home 100 miles in the rain.

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