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Discussion Starter #1
I know this should be in the riding skills and safety section but it's not very active.

I am a new rider. Currently taking the msf class.

Do you have any advice or tips for me? I know things like wear gear and be safe. I'm talking more about the things you look back and wish you knew when you started riding.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Love the name by the way.

Patience and space are you friends. I've seen so many incredibly dangerous situations arise simply because people have gotten stuck behind slower vehicles so they start tail gating and make dangerous passes.

Grip the bike with your legs and keep you arms and hands relaxed. Tank grips help with this (hammer grips available on this site). Gripping the bike with you legs can do a lot of things for your riding, it's especially helpful when you find yourself being blown around by the wind.
 

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Pretend that you're invisible and the car drivers can't see you and use caution accordingly.
 

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Never trust anyone's skill level or judgement behind the wheel.

Think ahead, anticipate what will happen before it happens.

Have a plan to get out of a bad situation before you are involved.

Seek out open spaces and don't ride right next to a vehicle when possible.

Make sure your cycle is in perfect operating condition. Check tire pressures and chain tension often and always have good tires.

Ride dirt bikes if you can.

These have helped me survive on the street for over 35 years.
 

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Learn to work on your bike yourself. Save yourself a lot of time and increase the fun factor!

Never stop learning. Beginning or 20 years on the saddle, keep learning and seeking to improve.

Never stop having fun
 

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Very good tips above. I would propose a challenge.

Everybody talks about "you will take a spill, so be prepared for it." Sound advice, but I would say, why don't you see if you can go your first 6 months, or 12 months, WITHOUT taking a spill? To me, that means recognizing that your new skill-set is just developing, and you are not yet close to being an experienced, skilled rider. Bikes are inherently unstable, recognize that, and always bear in mind that you are new to the game. Ride well below your limits as your skills develop. Make it to 1K miles without a drop, then try for 2k and beyond.

So that is the challenge, recognize your skills are not yet developed, take necessary steps to stay upright. This is not a bicycle or a car.

Just a suggestion, be extra safe. Report back.
 

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I know this should be in the riding skills and safety section but it's not very active.

I am a new rider. Currently taking the msf class.

Do you have any advice or tips for me? I know things like wear gear and be safe. I'm talking more about the things you look back and wish you knew when you started riding.
"Advice? That's a very interesting topic. One could hear a lot of advice about riding. Here, I started with this:"

 

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Jay V nailed it. I'd like to add one: Go for the hole. In an emergency situation go for the empty space. This is extremely hard to do, as your eyes will tend to focus on the oncoming obstruction (target fixation). But if you train yourself to see the hole instead of the obstacle, you'll be a much safer rider.
 

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For a truly new rider this is the most basic advice I can give.

The operation and experience of riding a bike can be so overwhelming at first that it takes all your attention, leaving none for the cars, trucks, and peds around you. Riding the bike in a quiet, safe, empty place till it gets boring is the answer. Lived near Miller Park for years. New riders were always going there when it was empty to practice gear changes, braking and just riding around.

Give that a try.
 

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I know this should be in the riding skills and safety section but it's not very active.
Moved this thread. It's not very active because people just post everything in General rather taking the time to post in the appropriate section.

Welcome to SVRider! You've received a lot of great suggestions so far.

Mine would be: After the MSF Beginner course, don't stop there. Find out what the next level of instruction through your local MSF or other training outlet is, and take it. Don't wait to long, as you will assume that it won't help. But it will. Don't stop taking the educational courses.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice so far keep it coming. I feel knowledge is power. Some things can only be learned by experence.
 

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- The most dangerous place on the highway is the lane next to a lane that is ending, whether it be a merge, construction closure or exit-only lane. People don't pay attention and then try to swerve over at the last second. If you are in the adjacent lane, ensure you are not next to a vehicle so that if they do a last second move you don't get hit.

- As others have said don't trust anyone to do anything smart. Really just the opposite. Expect them to do the stupidest thing you can think of, and good chances are they will do just that. Had a friend riding down the right lane of a 3 lane road. There was a lady in the left turn lane (in addition to the normal 3 lanes) that decided to make a right turn across all 3 lanes. Friend ended up t-boning her as she came across quickly.
 

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What I have found to be very helpful is finding a route that is free from heavy traffic and his a good mix of slow/moderate speed roads, turns and lights. I try and run the same course everyday so I can practice day to day maneuvers without having to deal with additional traffic or unknown terrain. I also make it a point to go through the same procedures as well. This includes wearing proper gear, starting and stoping the bike, and parking. I read as much information I could read on the Sv's and many reviews people have scared me as a brand new rider. I have come to not fear the bike at all now that I am comfortable and know my limits. Anyway, be safe, practice away from danger and have fun.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Look for the "Five Tips" thread on this section. Lots of useful insight there.

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There are a few very good books.
Looks for authors Hough, Lenatsch and Code.

My key recommendation is situational awareness.
 

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My #1 advice: Ride YOUR ride.

Lots of people are going to come out of the woodwork when it gets out that you started riding. Some of them will see this as an opportunity to express superiority, belittle you, or otherwise be a tool.

Don't take the bait.

"Oh, you got a bike? Lets go to the canyons."
"Dude, you're on a 650. You'll be fine."
"Why don't you ride on the freeways/lanesplit? My little sister can do that."
"Wanna race?"

Etc. If you don't feel completely comfortable doing something, don't do it. It will come with time and practice. You have nothing to prove, there's no time limit and the stakes are high.

Any moron can go straight on a bike. Some of them are tools.
 

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The single best tip I can think of is to look where you want to go.

In your MSF course, they tell you, "look down, go down". Its true, too. I'm sure you've heard of target fixation, right? Some guy goes into a turn too hot and sees the side of the road; guess where he ends up. Same thing happens when the guy in front of you suddenly hits his brakes; if you look at the guy's trunk then that is where you end up. You have to learn to look through turns, look for escape routes, look, look, look.

Each time you jump on your bike, you should be working on one aspect of your riding. It can be any one thing but you should focus on that one thing until it becomes second nature. If I could pick only one thing for you to work on, this would be it - look at where you want to go. Whenever you brake, look for an escape route. Whenever you turn, look through the turn and not at the road. Work on it until your default is to only look at where you want the bike to go. One day, this will save your life.
 

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There are a few very good books.
Looks for authors Hough, Lenatsch and Code.

My key recommendation is situational awareness.
Big +1 for David Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" By far the best book for a new rider, and a valuable read for anyone, no matter how many years they've been riding.
 

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There is so much in this thread its hard to even digest!

One of the first comments from one of the senior members is the one I would harp on: The mechanics of riding a motorcycle are difficult without the addition of traffic, elements and mechanical issues. Practice riding the motorcycle in quiet streets by yourself is a great tip. Alot of time is spent on turning and moving the bike, but when I teach a beginner how to ride, I spend most of my time on stopping. Get confident with braking, stopping and starting --hard, soft and in between but with control. You know what I mean--the cyclist that brakes and you see both legs flail out for balance.When you practice hard braking, you need to initially understand what it feels like to fishtail. How else would you know where your limit is? Gradually brake harder and harder until you get the feel.

once you get hard braking down, ask yourself this question: am I tense and locking my arms while it's happening? 99% of the time you are (in the beginning). Now re-do the braking whilst keeping a loose upper body! (hence comfortable)

When I rode for a few years, i took an advanced class and learned something. When i rode a few more years, i started to work on the bike, I learned something. Just never stop learning.
 
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