ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > The perfect line and other riding myths
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-26-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
tennyis OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Oddometer: 102
How long to feel confident on bike?

I finally realized my life long dream and at 32 years old got a motorcycle.

The thing is though that I am really nervous on it, I wouldn't say I'm scared of it just nervous.

Over 40mph and the wind feels like is going to blow me away, I don't like being in the left tire track, etc. I have yet to take the msf course but I have paid for it and it is on June.7th. I am debating just waiting until then before I take the bike out again but it is such a beautiful day today :)

The bike is a 2006 Ninja 500, it's not the dual sport that I wanted but a trade came along for my atv so it meant I could get into motorcycling without a lot of upfront cost. Gear, course, license, etc was enough of a cost. I already have an ad up to trade it for the dual sport that I really want :)

Anyways just look to hear other peoples experiences about there first few times on a bike. I've only got about 5km so far, but a lot of that was starting and stopping and practicing uturns.
tennyis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
joexr
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: S.E.
Oddometer: 3,773
Just keep riding it as much as possible , you just need seat time.
joexr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
PT Rider
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: NW Washington State
Oddometer: 668
I disagree with Joe. If one repeats bad movements one develops bad habits. Perfect practice makes perfect...trite but true.

Read these books:
Mastering the Ride: More Proficient Motorcycling, 2nd Edition (2012), David L. Hough
A Twist of the Wrist 2: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding, Keith Code (Note that this is the #2 or #II book) His "Survival Reactions" are a list of riding actions that are natural, instinctive, and WRONG!

Begin to practice what is explained in these books, and you will gain confidence along with skill. You get even more from your MSF class with increased understanding of what they're teaching.
__________________
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
PT Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
LuciferMutt
Rides slow bike slow
 
LuciferMutt's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: New(er) Mexico
Oddometer: 11,132
I recommend you stay off the bike until your MSF.

And, you WANT to be a little scared of your motorcycles. You should have a healthy respect for them. This does not mean riding scared, holding up traffic, and tiptoeing down the roads -- it means being aware and having a full understanding that what you are doing is more dangerous than some other activities.

Don't ignore the risk -- manage it. Understand it. Take proactive steps to mitigate it, when and where you can.

The day you stop being just a little nervous about swinging a leg over the saddle should be the day you stop riding.

You'll get over the jittery feeling while riding in a few thousand miles.

Take what they teach you at the MSF and use it as a springboard to learn more, more, more! Keep practicing the skills they teach -- yes being able to do tight U-turns IS actually important for everyday riding! Plus, it's not even so much about the U turn as it is the throttle/clutch coordination.

Good luck!
__________________
You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitro glycerin plant!

Badasses might screw with another badass. Nobody screws with a nut job. -- Plaka
LuciferMutt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
joexr
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: S.E.
Oddometer: 3,773
He's only got 5K of seat time , he needs to RIDE. Not necessarily on the street , but RIDE.
joexr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
txwanderer
Gnarly Adventurer
 
txwanderer's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Almost East Texas
Oddometer: 494
I agree you need seat time. I disagree that you aren't scared.

Fear isn't all bad. It stops most of us from doing stupid things. You don't have the advantage of knowing what is stupid and what isn't right now. Good since and the thousands of years of being human don't always make good motorcycle since. Example: we look at danger. It is inbred and reinforced through generations of being peditor and prey. It is natural and the right thing to do 99.999% of the time. It will get you dead on a motorcycle. We go where we look. See?

Cool your jets and take the course. Practice the things you learn, and get some saddle time that way. Take it easy for a while on the street.

In the mean time, get your car, roll down the windows, and go for a drive. Look at other drivers as if you have nothing between you and them. Take mental notes of the way the wheels stop, or not. Check out the rolling stops. People chasing yellow lights because they should have left yesterday and the goodwill of the planet depend on them getting there no matter what. Lots of traffic this weekend and plenty of chances to people watch. Look where you are diving. Are you too close? Probably. Are you riding in peoples blind spots? Are you lingering in places that could get you boxed in? Are you speeding? Doing hard starts and stops? Be honest.

Why are you afraid of the left track? It is the safest place for you in almost every case. You can see and be seen best from there, you have space to move and evade while you stay in your lane, you show that you own the lane, you better own it or someone will own it for you. Less debris is there. Lots of reasons for it, you just don't know them all yet. It sounds dumb, but things like this will teach you how to stay alive.

Congrats and have patience, good things for those who wait. Your time will come.

Cheers

txwanderer screwed with this post 05-26-2013 at 03:20 PM
txwanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 03:16 PM   #7
4TooMany
Gnarly Adventurer
 
4TooMany's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Ann Arbor
Oddometer: 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by tennyis View Post
I have yet to take the msf course but I have paid for it and it is on June.7th. I am debating just waiting until then before I take the bike out again but it is such a beautiful day today
The class will help for sure, but being in traffic (and at higher speeds) is something you're not going to experience in class.

I believe what you need is a combination of the class and what joexr and PT Rider said. On one hand it is true that just riding will reinforce bad habits, but just reading books won't help much by itself (not that PT was suggesting that).

Where I think joexr hits the nail on the head is that your confidence will improve every time you go out and successfully make it home. You're learning to ride as an adult who already has a healthy sense of his mortality, and that's where the nervousness comes from. If you had learned as a kid, this would be a very different experience. Take it slow, it will come.

One of the most important things you'll learn from the MSF class is to ride within your abilities (and your comfort zone). That means if you're really not comfortable doing something, don't do it. Spend a lot of time on the back roads until you start to feel better at higher speeds and mixed with traffic. If you have friends who ride, DON'T let them push you out of your comfort zone. Take this at your own pace.

Stick with it, it's worth it!
__________________
MSF RiderCoach
2012 BMW F800GS Trophy
2011 Suzuki DRZ-400S
4TooMany is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
Bubbachicken
learning fast!
 
Bubbachicken's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Tennessee
Oddometer: 30
Laugh MSF is worth the wait

I got my first bike in December of last year. I waited two weeks for the MSF before I sat on the thing. I did not think that I could wreck just sitting on it, I just knew me, if I sat on it, I would want to start it. I would then want to put it in gear, and then I would want to know how the clutch felt, and things would have gone downhill from there, as it turned out. The CB 650 C is not a sport bike, and by todays standards, 68 Hp is not even that massive for a bike that weighs this much. But let me tell you, if you wreck now, you are going to tend to have a flinch that will take FAR longer to remove, and you also will have scuffed or broken something your bike for NO reason (especially since you want to trade it for what you really want already (another discussion is in that concept)).

Now, if you wait for the MSF, this is what will happen:

A, if it is not for you, you will know.
B, if you are having any sorts of problems with simple things, you will get a chance to have a qualified person ONSITE tell you what the problem is and how to fix/overcome it.
C, You will get a reduction in insurance cost (insurance being mandatory in most US locations, not sure about overseas)
D, You will be getting licensed properly (also required in the US, and not having the license in the US will range from a stern look to a fine or other issues, especially if lack of insurance proof FOR A MOTORCYCLE is involved; overseas, your milage may vary on this one as well).
E, you will gain appreciation for that wonderful left section (middle) of the roadway lane. It is your friend!
F, you will learn about friction zones and emergency braking, as well as target fixation and how to keep from being embarassed when you run out of fuel (petcock check!)
G, you may find some new friends, and your ride coach should offer his/her advice as you move forward in your new potential passion, which is pretty helpful in most cases.

H, you will have a statistically FAR LOWER probability of having a crash if you wait until after the course to ride than you will if you are riding before it, regardless of what the folks who claim "I just jumped on and was fine!" or "everyone wipes out, you dust it off and keep on going!" are going to say.

I dumped my bike only a few weeks after the course, going less than three miles an hour, leaving my driveway. Minor scuff on my protective gear and helmet (!!), no real damage, but it was eye-opening and I felt it a couple days later to be sure, sore as heck but no marks anyplace. Last spill I have had, despite MANY opportunities not only to wipe out, but to DIE since, primarily caused by cagers not paying attention or violating laws (intersections are potential death traps) or in two cases, me not trusting that the bike had ability to turn as rapidly as it needed to for negotiation of a bend that was far sharper than what it appeared to be as I set up my entry angle (another thing covered in MSF class, by the way!). I even did a U turn or SEVEN already...

Do the class FIRST, don't make your odds of issues higher than the first six months already create for you. There is no need to get hurt. Take your car, as stated above, and do some driving as if you are sedately motorcycling along, and see what the other drivers are up to, especially in those intersections. See how close they come to your lane in those turns especially, and what they do on the twisties, and carry that information over AFTER your class is done and your very next bike ride starts. Wait for the class.
Bubbachicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 05:24 PM   #9
Bubbachicken
learning fast!
 
Bubbachicken's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Tennessee
Oddometer: 30
another reason for the class FIRST

By the way, missing that 1972 Ponti-Buick that suddenly stalled in the intersection as you were approaching too quickly with a loaded Semi truck tailgating your azz in traffic is FAR easier if you have done that drill in the class, as well as passing the driving test if the instructor properly gives it in places the class does not replace that test. Nothing like rear ending a big 70's automobile then being pinched by the Semi to cut your days of riding short...
Bubbachicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 05:47 PM   #10
Ulyssessix
Studly Adventurer
 
Ulyssessix's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: North Carolina
Oddometer: 630
Quote:
And, you WANT to be a little scared of your motorcycles. You should have a healthy respect for them. This does not mean riding scared, holding up traffic, and tiptoeing down the roads -- it means being aware and having a full understanding that what you are doing is more dangerous than some other activities.
I completely agree here. Confidence should come from years of experiences including bad ones. I have seen too many times a new rider get over-confident then make a mistake not in the first three months, but six month or a year later.

MSF is also a good start. I recommend it highly. There are also more advance courses like BikeSafe. It was develop by London Motor Cops and now is coming here to the states. I did it last year with some friends. It was put on by Durham North Carolina Motor cops. I think it takes MSF to the next level with motor cops following on the street critiquing your riding. They also cover road conditions and situations that MSF does not like what to do if you hit gravel in the road. They graphically show accident investigations to some really bad get offs, what the situations were, the causes of the accident and the results. All together I walked away with some really good tips. After more than 100,000 miles on motorcycles I found that I am not checking my mirrors enough, still working on that.

Lastly I would suggest riding with a more advanced rider. When my wife was learning, a friend and I would take her, his wife and a friend of theirs on group rides. Two Buell Blasts and an 883 Sportster wedged between two bright orange Ulys. We clocked off a lot of miles as a group and now the wife will ride solo with much more confidence. We would take them on back roads and had hand signal when I need them to slow down and sometimes speed up. After a couple of rides we worked out that I lead better and my buddy watch them better from behind and critique them when we would stop. The only issue I have now is I catch myself tapping the rear brake when in a group, a signal we would use for a decreasing radius curve or obstacle around a blind curve when riding with more experienced riders. Funny blinking brake lights at a racer that has gone over 200 mph on two wheels. Yeah I did that.
__________________
M2nc

06 Buell Ulysses
99 Buell M2 Cyclone
99 Honda Z50R (Hot Rod)
Ulyssessix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #11
corndog67
Banned
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Santa Maria, CA
Oddometer: 1,281
Get out and ride. Ride with more experienced riders. Get a dirt bike and ride that. And reading a book isn't going to teach you how to ride. It might give you a little bit more to look for, but until you are actually out there doing it, they make no sense whatsoever.
corndog67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 07:03 PM   #12
SkiFastBadly
A beer? Yes, please
 
SkiFastBadly's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA
Oddometer: 1,522
Maybe they teach this in MSF, maybe it's in "Proficient Motorcycling" I can't remember which but the second year of riding is the most dangerous. That's when the rider's confidence exceeds his abilities. Being a little unconfident isn't the worst thing in the world.
__________________
The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw.

2008 Buell Ulysses
2008 Triumph Scrambler
2004 HD Heritage Softail
SkiFastBadly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #13
CRP6001
Photographer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Countryside near Hanover, Indiana
Oddometer: 157
I bought a bike and waited until after taking the BRC to ride. A couple of
friends told me I would have problems in the class because I had never
been on a bike, and one suggested I was a poser because I bought an
expensive helmet and gloves and had not ridden yet. "What's your problem, anyone else would just run and jump on it." I'm glad I waited.
The course was a great experience, I learned a lot, and learned my limitations, what I needed to work on. The head instructor advised me
to stay off the Interstate and away from city traffic until I gained more
experience, advise I took. It took around a thousand miles before I felt
comfortable on a motorcycle.
CRP6001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 07:26 PM   #14
LetItRoll
ForwardAholic
 
LetItRoll's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: North Central Idaho
Oddometer: 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by joexr View Post
Just keep riding it as much as possible , you just need seat time.
+1

I would ride as much as possible before the class, as long as it is in a safe controlled area that you are comfortable with. You will be more confident in the class and be able to absorb/do more.
LetItRoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
ozmoses
Ride On
 
ozmoses's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: USA
Oddometer: 3,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post

And, you WANT to be a little scared of your motorcycles. You should have a healthy respect for them. This does not mean riding scared, holding up traffic, and tiptoeing down the roads -- it means being aware and having a full understanding that what you are doing is more dangerous than some other activities.

Don't ignore the risk -- manage it. Understand it. Take proactive steps to mitigate it, when and where you can.

The day you stop being just a little nervous about swinging a leg over the saddle should be the day you stop riding.

You'll get over the jittery feeling while riding in a few thousand miles.

Take what they teach you at the MSF and use it as a springboard to learn more, more, more! Keep practicing the skills they teach -- yes being able to do tight U-turns IS actually important for everyday riding! Plus, it's not even so much about the U turn as it is the throttle/clutch coordination.

Good luck!

Ditto.

But do ride, even if it is only in an empty parking lot slowly.

As kids we went from mini-bikes to dirt/enduro bikes so the transition to street was natural for me. I cannot imagine suddenly riding on the street, however.
__________________
Opinions are like internet connections- everybody has one.
ozmoses is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014