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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First Bike+First Crash=3 days Newbie is back on the Saddle

I bought my SV650 last Wednesday. It is my first bike, and I finished my MSF class last weekend. I was really stoked b/c I only paid $1300 for it. I am really in love with this bike.

It has 8700 miles and was in mint condition except for a small dent in the tank. It lived in a garage its whole life. The seller was probably the nicest/most honest guy I've ever met. I almost felt bad for negotiating him so low, but it allows me to buy some good gear/helmet. I was very excited but apprehensive about my SV purchase, due to the fact that some do not recommend it for new riders. But the deal was just too irresistible.

Today I flushed the old gas out of the tank, put new gas in with seafoam to help clear the carbs (it had been sitting up awhile). I also changed the oil and filter with Rotella 5w/40. So, after the work I figured I'd take it for a small spin around the block ( I live on a small court with very little traffic) I was an idiot and still in my running shorts/shoes and tee shirt, no helmet (haven't found one I like yet). Just wanted to ride it about 200 yrds to see how it was running which was completely idiotic and stupid.

Sure enough at the end of my already narrow court there was a huge trailer parked on one side making the street even narrower. I started the uturn and there was a car about to enter the court, I freaked out, tried to finish the uturn to get out of there and probably looked straight at the curb in front of me and dropped the bike. My left foot was basically crushed and really hurts, I hope its ok. I was wearing athletic shoes. Couple small scrapes but I'm fine besides the foot. Shift lever snapped off and the mirrory tach cover got scraped and cracked.

I'm really demoralized. Honestly I don't really know what to do. Honestly, I'm kind of clumsy in general. My 17 brother aced the MSF course and I was about average for the class. I'm 22 and my parents are definitely not in favor of me riding a motorcycle and are somewhat resistant to it. I have also been in 4 pretty minor car accidents, 3 of which were my fault. That worries me. I'm not afraid of getting back on the bike necessarily, but I'm really wondering if it's the wisest choice.

I am a very methodical and responsible person, but I've never been very athletically gifted. I was able to learn how to drive my manual car pretty easily though (another thing I was a bit unsure of). If someone told me the best way to learn to ride my SV and I trusted their judgement, I would follow their advice unflinchingly. At this point I know I could probably sell the bike for more than what I paid for it, and get out of this hobby ahead. If I continued, I'm staring down the barrel of 400+ for a helmet and probably 300+ for other gear (I already have a spidi preforated leather jacket)

I'm just looking for encouragement and wisdom. Should I keep going with this? Should I try to get a different bike? If I choose to go through with riding the SV I want to give it everything I have. To get there I think I need to take my situation seriously and make a sound decision. I'm obviously pretty deflated, and discouraged, plus my foot really really hurts. There's still a huge part of me that wants to absolutely nail this skill and ride my SV confidently. Things are just a bit bleak at the moment, and I just want to be real with myself.

Here is my bike.

 

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having a SV had nothing to do with you panicking and dropping the bike.

I say stick with it and brush up on your skills. ALWAYS wear your gear and stay safe.

This was just a tough lesson, you will never forget it, i guarantee it.

Hell my bikes been down twice this year, both for stupid reasons. Broke the same mirror twice now!

You gotta pick your self up, let the wounds heal and get back into it.
 

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A little thing I like to tell my MSF grads as I give them their course completion cards: "Congratulations! You're now cirtified to ride around in a parking lot!" ;)

The thing you have going for you right now is that your MSF drills are still relatively fresh in your mind. So get back out there in an empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice. Pretend you've got your MSF coach there with you giving you encouragement and pointers.

You'll get it. Just stick with it. LITTLE STEPS!!! :)
 

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If you feel like you need more practice, there's not reason you can't take the MSF course again, so you can get more seat time in a controlled environment. I'd recommend getting yourself some gear before you take the course again though. I had everything but a set of riding pants when I took the course, and got those soon after. I rode around a couple months in jeans or heavy khakis, and can tell you I felt a LOT more comfortable on the bike with a pair of mesh over-pants with the appropriate armor, in addition to my jacket, full face helmet, gloves and boots. It's stupid, but having a little armor on goes a long way to your confidence in the saddle (just don't get cocky ;)).

So, that response went a lot longer than I thought it would, but the gist is this: If you're simply not comfortable on a motorcycle and think you'll be dangerous on it, there's no shame in walking away. The fact that you can probably make some money on the deal puts you further ahead than most.

If you think you want to pursue it, get some gear, and get some practice. You'll get a lot more comfortable with more trigger time.
 

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If you feel like you need more practice, there's not reason you can't take the MSF course again, so you can get more seat time in a controlled environment.
Yeah I was going to say, the company I work for allows recent customers to take the 2nd day of the riding portion for a small fee assuming there's room in the class. Contact the people you took the class from and see if that's an option.
 

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Just do what you think is right no one really knows better than you. Just if your going to ride take a deep breath, take your time and stay on some back roads for a couple of weeks. When you get confident you'll love it!


Sent from my iPhone using MO Free
 

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Stick with it bro and don't give up. If everyone had the same mentality as you just now, there would probably be a lot less motorcyclists. Be persistent, and like everyone else has said, practice practice practice!
 

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I recommend some literature - a book by David Hough called 'Proficient Motorcycling'. Excellent reading for any motorcyclist from newbie to expert. It covers all aspects of riding even down to that tight radius, low speed turn. Find a nice empty parking lot and continue to hone your skills, but not in traffic.

Speaking of no traffic, you got such a sweet deal on the SV, maybe you could pop for an even cheaper dirt bike. An old 125 or 250 maybe? Find some trails and learn to handle the dirt. Riding dirt makes anyone a better street rider.

And you can get perfectly good gear for less than you're talking about. Gear up and stay safe. Don't miss out on the joy of two wheels!
 

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Doesn't sound like that serious or uncommon of an accident. I wouldn't by any means consider it time to give up. You've barely even gotten started.

With that being said, accepting the elevated, but manageable, risk involved with riding a motorcycle is something that everyone of us must reconcile with the rest of our lives.

Part of accepting the risk is taking reasonable steps to diminish it. Wearing proper gear is of paramount importance. Getting a helmet and making sure you have all other gear in order should be your primary concern at this point. Until you do that, stay off the bike. Let your foot heal.

Attack the beast anew. Like others suggested, maybe retaking the MSF course is a good idea. They also have other courses you can look into. Might just want to give your instructor a call and explain your situation. They are usually old farts with a lot of experience dealing with all types of riders.

I'm 22 now. But I was 20 years old when I started riding and my parents thought it was the end of days. Don't let that bother or discourage you. Only you can decide what you want to do with your life.
 

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Welcome to the forum. It is good that you are taking this seriously. It is possible that you are over-reacting. I'm not saying that you are, just to consider the possibility.

Not everybody should ride motorcycles. Being a bit clumsy makes it a bit more of a challenge, but can be overcome with dedication and practice. As mentioned above, there is no shame in walking away if that is your decision.

Having said that, there are things you can do to improve your skills and chances. I regularly David L Hough's Proficient Motorcycling as an excellent foundation of rider education. Retaking the MSF to improve your parking lot / low-speed skills. Jerry Palladino's Ride Like a Pro video is also very helpful for working on the low-speed stuff.

Getting and wearing proper gear is a significant part of motorycle safety and proficiency. If you wish to continue with riding, ATGATT would be a good thing.

At the least, you should replace the shift lever, whether or not you plan to keep the bike or sell it. If you hadn't already purchase the SV, I would have recommended a Ninja 250 as a better choice for a first bike. As is, if you can bail out of the SV at a profit, that still might not be a bad idea. I'm not too certain that you would have avoided the crash on the smaller bike, but it is often easier to learn on a smaller, more docile bike.

It can be discouraging to crunch a new toy. Especially when you are in pain. Fix the bike, heal up, evaluate well and then decide. Being methodical is a great advantage for a motorcyclist, but you have to be able to react to situations as they arise. Ie, your preparation must be methodical, but you have to maintain mental and physical flexibility and adaptablity in order to truly ride well. Observation and awareness and judgement are requirements for proficient riding.

Anyway, heal up soon. Sorry for the rambling.
 

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On the plus side, I think you made a great choice on getting a used bike as a starter bike. On the negative side, which you already knew, riding with no gear is just not a wise thing to do.

I think no one is born to know how to ride, it is an acquired skill and you will improve with practice. Do not put a limit on yourself before you even start. Winners never quit, quitter never win, right? Ride on and ride well. :rock:

For wisdom:
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. - Bruce Lee
For encouragement:


 

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I'll give you $1000 for that bike.
 

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If you really want to ride, then do it. I'm sure you've learned a lesson from this...hopefully the important one that is: even though you doubt someone will be coming, always expect someone to be coming. It doesn't matter where you are...parking lot or street...if there's a place for a car to come at ya, plan for it. I'm glad you didn't get too hurt and my opinion is: now that you've gotten that out of the way, you can focus on riding. That's my 2c.
 

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I recommend some literature - a book by David Hough called 'Proficient Motorcycling'. Excellent reading for any motorcyclist from newbie to expert. It covers all aspects of riding even down to that tight radius, low speed turn. Find a nice empty parking lot and continue to hone your skills, but not in traffic.
Good idea.

Another terriffic book is Riding in the Zone
It comes with a suplimentary DVD as well.
 

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...I'm really demoralized. Honestly I don't really know what to do. Honestly, I'm kind of clumsy in general. My 17 brother aced the MSF course and I was about average for the class. I'm 22 and my parents are definitely not in favor of me riding a motorcycle and are somewhat resistant to it. I have also been in 4 pretty minor car accidents, 3 of which were my fault. That worries me. I'm not afraid of getting back on the bike necessarily, but I'm really wondering if it's the wisest choice.

I am a very methodical and responsible person, but I've never been very athletically gifted. I was able to learn how to drive my manual car pretty easily though (another thing I was a bit unsure of). If someone told me the best way to learn to ride my SV and I trusted their judgement, I would follow their advice unflinchingly. At this point I know I could probably sell the bike for more than what I paid for it, and get out of this hobby ahead. If I continued, I'm staring down the barrel of 400+ for a helmet and probably 300+ for other gear (I already have a spidi preforated leather jacket)
There is definitely no need to spend $400+ on a helmet. More expensive does NOT equal better protection. You can find perfectly acceptable helmets in the $100 range on sale or closeout (for example, check out the Scorpion EXO700 here: http://www.motorcyclecloseouts.com/...ge&utm_content=helmets100&utm_campaign=2012q2).

As for the wisdom of riding, only you can make that call. You obviously have made a few mistakes, especially so in riding without proper full gear. If you continue to do dumb things on a motorcycle it very likely will not end well for you. Regarding your athletic abilities, you made it through the BRC so you can probably handle the physical part of riding and now move on to practicing the skills in safe places.

There is a lot to learn and we all make mistakes, especially in the first few months, and most of us survive and learn from them. If you learned that you really, absolutely, do have to control foolish impulses (like the brain fart of riding without gear, for example) and if you can keep your wits about you on the bike, you may be OK, you will eventually just have to deal with the everyday dangers and uncontrollable risks that all riders face. OTOH, if your history of three at-fault accidents along with this latest wake-up call represents a pattern of careless or foolish behavior then maybe you shouldn't be on a motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the help guys.

I actually ordered Proficient Motorcycling by Hough a couple days ago. Definitely plan on thoroughly reading it and following his advice.

I also ordered another shift lever. I got the folding type, hope that wasn't a mistake.

I'm far from giving up, and I really appreciate the encouragement. I'm really determined to nail this, and I think having this experience early on will hopefully keep me humble and focused on being as safe and responsible as possible.

Random question, but how should newbies get to parking lots? Do they ride there? There's a parking lot about a quarter mile from my house.

Thanks again!
 

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i've never been much of an athlete, but i've been riding, (sucessfully- meaning i've had a couple spills but nothing too serious), for 36 yrs. my first crash was as a passenger on the bike i was about to buy, went down on the freeway and slid a bit. (turned out the extra weight- me- on the back caused the fender to touch the tire and tear it up.)
like others have said, take it slow at first and practice, and wear your gear. we didn't have much for gear back in the old days, in fact for the most part only actual racers even owned helmets. some leather pants would have saved me from the road rash i got on my butt, otherwise i was [email protected] lucky.

on another note, i'm concerned by the three minor car wrecks you say were your fault. please don't take this as a personal attack, just trying to help, but maybe you are not paying close enough attention to your driving. if so, this is a recipe for disaster on a bike.
i admit to being a bit wild myself as a young military guy, but as the years went by i re-evaluated my behavior and calmed down a bit.
only you can make the decision whether or not to keep riding, just take everything into consideration, and good luck whatever you choose.
 

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Thanks for the help guys.

I actually ordered Proficient Motorcycling by Hough a couple days ago. Definitely plan on thoroughly reading it and following his advice.

I also ordered another shift lever. I got the folding type, hope that wasn't a mistake.

I'm far from giving up, and I really appreciate the encouragement. I'm really determined to nail this, and I think having this experience early on will hopefully keep me humble and focused on being as safe and responsible as possible.

Random question, but how should newbies get to parking lots? Do they ride there? There's a parking lot about a quarter mile from my house.

Thanks again!
Congrats, but you definitely don't need a $400+ helmet. You can get great helmets in the $150ish range.

Do you have any friends that ride? Perhaps they can ride the bike to the parking lot for you and you can take it from there. Thats what I did...and I learned on a 2000 speed triple....talk about a tough bike to learn on. But the perk was riding the SV was so much easier after that bike.
 

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I also ordered another shift lever. I got the folding type, hope that wasn't a mistake.
Nope. I wish they'd come from the factory with folding levers on both sides. I tweaked the hell out of my shifter (and broke the knob-end off the clutch lever) trouble shooting an electrical issue (turned out to be a loose connector) at the side of the road a few months back. I went to step off the bike then realized a half second later that maybe I should have put the side-stand down first :sbmfacepalm:
 
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