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what to tell those new to motorcycling?

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One of my roommates picked up a Honda Rebel 250 a while ago, and wants me to teach him to ride. Now I've got no problems with that, and in fact rather honored that he wants me to do that. However, I'm not sure that he see's it as anything beyond cheap transportation like his bicycle (he's 23, going to ASU). Now I've been riding for about 15 years, and know full well of the dangers, as well as it could very well be much more expensive to maintain a bike vs. a car.

My concern is how do I convey that motorcycling, especially on the street, is a dangerous activity without making it sound like the apocalypse, and making him scared to death of the road? I used to keep in mind the thought that it's not if I had a bad accident, but rather when. I know that not everyone involved with motorcycling will have a bad crash, but it was the rule of thumb so to speak for years. I'm wondering if it might be better to say something like it carries a high risk, but low probability assuming you pay attention to what's going on around you? Oh and he has zero desire to ride dirt.

So what do you tell newbies?

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Find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation class and stick him in it.

Best advice I can give.

There are two kinds of riders,

those who have gone down,

those who are going to go down.

When my friend bought his used motorcycle, he bought the best helmet available. It took me a long time to convince him to buy some gloves. A week later he called me up asking where to buy new gloves. I asked if he lost them, "No, I dumped the bike on the brick crosswalk covered with morning dew. Trashed the gloves, saves his hands. Helmet, eye protection, gloves, boots. If it wants to wear tennis on a bike, I can post a photo of a human foot in a tennis shoe, snapped off at the ankle. Tennis shoes that grip when you put your foot down are dangerous.

Even as a motorcycle rider, I don't see other motorcycles at times.

There are two kinds of motorists.

Those that don't see you and nearly run you over.

Those that do see you and still nearly run you over.

Assume everyone in a cage is an idiot, you'll live longer.

I've been hit twice at a stop light in a car.

I always watch the rear view mirror at stop lights.

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Defintely agree with Kev_XR and Mar. MSF is great and should be attended by anyone who rides. I would also suggest refresher courses every couple of years or when one gets a new Bike. Just my two pennies

Kevin

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The MSF course isn't a bad plan, and it wouldn't hurt to go thru the motions again myself anyways. I'll do that, thanks :applause:

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yeah i took the course becase it is a requirement for your license if youre under 21 in california. its kinda remedial but it was alright. they gave me a discount on my insurance for it :applause: i get nervous because of how they let someone with no experience take their permit test and start riding on the road. starting out on dirt should be some kind of requirement. my girlfriend wants a ninja 250 pretty bad and i seem to be the only one against it. her parents are cool with it and offered to maybe buy it for her birthday. she keeps asking me about it and i just tell her that i am not gonna tell her what to do, but my opinion is that she is not experienced enough to be on the road. she has a crf 150, but i havent been able to take her riding with me lately because ive only been riding motocross tracks that a 150 has no business on. i told her she needs to get more practice on her 150 before i will support her riding on the road. i guess im gonna have to make some more trips to the local ohv parks with her.

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I've been riding for about 30 years (started at 7 yrs old). I'm no proffessional, but some advice I would consider giving him is:

- ALWAYS wear ALL of your safety equipment (make sure it is high quality)

- ALWAYS ride as if you are invisible to others

- Do not push the bike hard near other motorists b/c they don't realize how fast you can come up on them, you will get cut off.

- At stop lights keep it on first gear, use your peripheral vision to check mirrors until a few cars behind you actually stop. Be ready to take off to avoid being hit. Leave an out at all times.

- I would convince him to also ride in the dirt. I strongly feel that good dirt riders make great street riders. I feel there is a ton more skill required to ride in the dirt.

All that said, it may not be a bad thing if he is scared half to death to ride on the road. A little fear may keep him more cautious and subsequently will keep him alive. I am still frightened to ride on the street, I ride like a little old lady on the street!!

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So what do you tell newbies?

Tell him it's a bad idea. He WILL get hurt, he MAY get killed. Motorcycling is not all it's cracked up to be, maybe try bowling or something.

4Takt

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yeah i took the course becase it is a requirement for your license if youre under 21 in california. its kinda remedial but it was alright. they gave me a discount on my insurance for it :applause: i get nervous because of how they let someone with no experience take their permit test and start riding on the road. starting out on dirt should be some kind of requirement. my girlfriend wants a ninja 250 pretty bad and i seem to be the only one against it. her parents are cool with it and offered to maybe buy it for her birthday. she keeps asking me about it and i just tell her that i am not gonna tell her what to do, but my opinion is that she is not experienced enough to be on the road. she has a crf 150, but i havent been able to take her riding with me lately because ive only been riding motocross tracks that a 150 has no business on. i told her she needs to get more practice on her 150 before i will support her riding on the road. i guess im gonna have to make some more trips to the local ohv parks with her.

Ninja 250 is a pretty good beginner bike, aside from the full bodywork (suggest a used, pre-dropped one...). It's the only sportbike I think appropriate (aside from the honda vtr250) that I think is appropriate for a novice.

There are two issues with riding on the street:

1) bike control

2) situtational awareness and control

Of these, riding a dirt bike addresses only (1) but (2) is the more critical for a street rider, so (without knowing your GF's ability) I'm not sure I agree with your position, though I agree that seat time on the dirt bike can only be a good thing.

A word to the wise from an old guy, if you're both telling her she needs more seat time, and you're putting your mx riding above helping her get more seat time, she may not stick around as long as you expect. Or she may, hard to tell with women... :D

I would say send her off to the MSF class (as that does address issue 2 above) and get her on the ninjette, just be sure to budget for decent gear and be sure she **ALWAYS** wears is. Not ususally, not, 99% of the time, ALWAYS.

--Soren

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I bought a brand new gs500f for my first bike and thought it to be a good novice bike. I also took the MSF class since I wanted to get my bike after I get the license. It's a good class. I pretty much view riding on the street like a video game. Your job is to get through traffic without anyone hitting you. That means you have to pay attention to all cars near you and be under the asumption that they cant see you. When I'm stopped I either stay to the far right or far left. also I always watch to see if the car behind me slows down before a stop. Being far left or right will give you an escape path. You totally have to ride defensively.

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Explain countersteering.

Push the bars left to turn right.

Occurs above (typically) 5-10 mph, "normal" steering happens below that.

Caused (mostly) by out-tracking of the tire contact patch out from under the center of mass. Not (as commonly thought) caused by forced precession, aka gyroscopic forces.

--Soren

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Push the bars left to turn right.

Occurs above (typically) 5-10 mph, "normal" steering happens below that.

Caused (mostly) by out-tracking of the tire contact patch out from under the center of mass. Not (as commonly thought) caused by forced precession, aka gyroscopic forces.

--Soren

Isn't it push left go left?

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Number one thing helmet, AZ not required by law but saves life's. Not cheep buy good one, I been riding for 35 years dirt, street, race, and fun. Helmets saved my life a few times. Goggles, gloves, boots, long plants, long sleeve shirt, you have heard of road rash. All the other posted are good advice, saddle time is your best friend.

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A tip that has helped me is....

Figure every cager you see is going to try and hit you on purpose. It saved me twice. Also I try and keep a car between me and danger. If I am approaching an intersection I don't want a gap between me and the car infront of me, if someone had been waiting to get on the road they are not going to see me if there is a gap. Now if I stay close to the car infront, there is no way that they will beable to hit me, considering I feel that I am invisable to others.

Just a tip.

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Just tell him everyone on the street is out to kill him and he should ride accordingly.....

Defensive, is a good word for it.

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Tell him it's a bad idea. He WILL get hurt, he MAY get killed. Motorcycling is not all it's cracked up to be, maybe try bowling or something.

4Takt

LMAO.....good stuff there!! :applause:

MSF all the way!

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Just tell him everyone on the street is out to kill him and he should ride accordingly.....

Defensive, is a good word for it.

Exactly. If you expect a threat, you will react to it instead of panicking.

Every time I get a new bike I go to a large parking lot and practice how to stop at a variety of speeds.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING about motorcycling is mastering the front brake. Helmets and all are good, but avoiding collisions is better.

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One of my roommates picked up a Honda Rebel 250 a while ago, and wants me to teach him to ride. Now I've got no problems with that, and in fact rather honored that he wants me to do that. However, I'm not sure that he see's it as anything beyond cheap transportation like his bicycle (he's 23, going to ASU). Now I've been riding for about 15 years, and know full well of the dangers, as well as it could very well be much more expensive to maintain a bike vs. a car.

My concern is how do I convey that motorcycling, especially on the street, is a dangerous activity without making it sound like the apocalypse, and making him scared to death of the road? I used to keep in mind the thought that it's not if I had a bad accident, but rather when. I know that not everyone involved with motorcycling will have a bad crash, but it was the rule of thumb so to speak for years. I'm wondering if it might be better to say something like it carries a high risk, but low probability assuming you pay attention to what's going on around you? Oh and he has zero desire to ride dirt.

So what do you tell newbies?

I second the notion about the MSF course. I have been riding for 24 years but I am sure there are things that even I would learn at an MSF course. Also, if he were ever injured you wouldn't want the pain of thinking you taught him something wrong or having someone accuse you of the same.

I say take the class with him.

Greg

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Ninja 250 is a pretty good beginner bike, aside from the full bodywork (suggest a used, pre-dropped one...). It's the only sportbike I think appropriate (aside from the honda vtr250) that I think is appropriate for a novice.

There are two issues with riding on the street:

1) bike control

2) situtational awareness and control

Of these, riding a dirt bike addresses only (1) but (2) is the more critical for a street rider, so (without knowing your GF's ability) I'm not sure I agree with your position, though I agree that seat time on the dirt bike can only be a good thing.

A word to the wise from an old guy, if you're both telling her she needs more seat time, and you're putting your mx riding above helping her get more seat time, she may not stick around as long as you expect. Or she may, hard to tell with women... :applause:

I would say send her off to the MSF class (as that does address issue 2 above) and get her on the ninjette, just be sure to budget for decent gear and be sure she **ALWAYS** wears is. Not ususally, not, 99% of the time, ALWAYS.

--Soren

i understand what you're saying but unfortunately in good ol' california you need a green sticker to ride in the summer. so ive got to stick to the mx tracks for a while. she is a decent rider on dirt and has even raced a couple of hare scrambles but i still think that she needs more seat time on the 150. ill take her riding more in the winter and she is learning about riding on the street as a passenger on my bike. maybe she will be able to get out on the street sometime soon :D

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i understand what you're saying but unfortunately in good ol' california you need a green sticker to ride in the summer. so ive got to stick to the mx tracks for a while. she is a decent rider on dirt and has even raced a couple of hare scrambles but i still think that she needs more seat time on the 150. ill take her riding more in the winter and she is learning about riding on the street as a passenger on my bike. maybe she will be able to get out on the street sometime soon :prof:

OK this is live2ridemx's (Ben) gf....

First off - Soren, I like you! you seem like a very smart guy.

One of the things that my BF is not telling you is that he has a honda crf 250f that is green sticker legal :D ...yet that doesnt seem to matter lately. He tries to drag me to the tracks with him but like he said "a crf 150 has no business on a mx track"

So what is a girl to do???? :applause:

I have also raced BMX bikes for 12 years and you need some situational awareness for that...yes i know it is different but atleast it is some. If I do decide to ride on the street, i believe that i would be even more aware of my surroundings because i would be a newbie..... oh and of course i would always wear my protective gear :prof:

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