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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, have a couple questions. To start I am 20. I started riding today with a '98 GSXR 600. I had my friend teach me a little, but basically started myself just riding around in a church parking lot down the street from me. Questions...........
1. When shifting, will it hurt if you release the throttle, shift, then get back on the throttle (easing into the gear). Or is it better to just keep on the throttle while shifting?

2. When going for left hand turns at lights (have a light by my house and wanted to try it, and its maybe got one car every 30 minutes going through it) if I would give a little more gas, it would turn a bit easier, but how much to give (or is it based on being comfortable)?

3. Around what RPM should I shift at for starting at? Been shifting with some confidence around 3-5k.

4. When going about 40-45mph, I am I fine with front braking only? Or should I get into the habit of starting to use some of the back break? Just because I seem to forget that I have the lever to use on my left foot.
Thanks for your replies if you wish too.

(Will also have to say, that its a lot more intimidating once you start puting around, compared to just watching someone do it. I have always been told that its good to have fear of the bike, because its like mother nature, it can bite you in the butt in a heart beat.)
Will be doing the MSF course once I get the money gathered up and get a freeweekend. Which also gets me to one last question, about how many hours is the course, day to day?

Sorry for the babbling.
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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1) Try to do some rev-matching. For normal everyday riding let off the throttle, and then ease back on as you ease out the clutch. Goal is to be as smooth as possible.

2) You will notice the bike becomes more stable with more speed, it's all physics.

3)Shifting at 3-5k while learning is just fine.

4) You will stop faster using both brakes, but the rear brake is VERY easy to lock up, so practice using it in quick braking situations.

The MSF course will trach you all of this and alot more. I believe the civilian MSF courses run 3 days. All classwork on the first day for about 5-6 hours, half-day class and half riding the next day, and the more riding and the test on the third day. Be sure to get into that class ASAP!

Oh, and DO NOT FEAR THE BIKE! RESPECT THE BIKE. There is a big difference between the two, if you are afraid of it you are going to be afraid of controlling it properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess fear was the wrong usage. I just can't remember something that was this intimidating to me before, and I like it, because I am in no hurry to concour it. Definately respect the bike, a lot of power in a quick wrist snap.

I had a feeling that the shifting ordeal I would be right on. Just for the fact, that I have always done that while driving a car, and started the same on the bike. Just was curious cause some people were telling me to keep on the throttle a little (which didn't sound right).

Seems akward getting some gas when turning, feels like I will fall over, but then again, its being new to it. My friend that was showing me some of the strings told me to just out in the church for a couple days for 45min. to and hour and just practice stopping and going to get used to the clutch and first, and also to practice going in circles for a while, then switch it up and go the other way, slowly getting comfortable and trying to make the circle smaller. Which I am looking forward too, to gain more confidence in my riding, while not pushing my limits.
Keep rambling here, just so excited to start this adventure. I can now say that I have a lot of respect for you guys who have been riding for a while. Hopefully I can match your skills, or do better in time. Hats off to you all.
 

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You CAN be one of the best riders out there. There are different definitions of a good rider though, if you wanna be good at getting around in traffic, do alot of commuting. If you wanna be good in the mountains spend some money on track days. If you wanna be a stunter spend some time in a closed situation (IE NOT on a public street) and practice. They all take practice, becoming a better "knee dragger" seems to be the most expensive route, because leathers, trackdays, tires, etc can get expensive, but well worth it!

Also the MSF course teaches you all about tight turning, if you wanna get in a little practice try doing figure 8's, they will put you in a painted box and you have to do figure 8's inside the lines, they will teach you all about counterweighting and looking WHERE you wanna go instead of straight ahead of you, those are the things that will help you become more proficient in low speed manuevering.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Commuting.........thats my greatest thing. Have to commute about.....60 miles to and from school (total distance).
I have always looked ahead in the area I have wanted to go. Heard that from my parents the first day that I started driving. Look ahead and your will follow your eyes.

With counterweight, thats something that I would to practice more. From seeing people riding down the road, just bobbing from left to right. Tried it a little, and felt like I was gonna tip, but thats natural for beginning. Just love what I have gotten myself into. Finally feel like I accomplishing something I have dreamt for. Wanted a bike for about 5 years now. Which I can also say, I agree with the saying..."All good things come with time."
I feel like I can really relate riders out there since I in the beginning of becoming one.
 

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The rear brake is at your RIGHT foot, not left......the rest of my advise would be classified as demeaning, newbie trashing retoric, so I won't say it.
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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and get to an MSF class www.msf-usa.org

90% of accidents are people who are self taught, just like the route your going.
 

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90% of accidents are people who are self taught, just like the route your going.
I agree that people should take the riding course, but I've always thought this statistic was misleading. What percentage of the riders on the road are self-taught? Any idea?
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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don't know, but i'll some other msf inst.

point is, of people who have accidents, 90% are self taught, thats a staggering amount.
 

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RACER X said:
point is, of people who have accidents, 90% are self taught, thats a staggering amount.
Not necessarily. It's all relative. Some hypothetical situations (since no one seems to know the ratio of riders that are self-taught vs. MSF):

If 50% percent of all riders are self-taught and 90% of all crashers are self-taught, that would be a ringing endorsement for training.

If 99% of all riders are self-taught, yet the percentage of self-taught crashers is only 90%, the numbers suggest that MSF does more harm than good.

If 90% of all riders are self taught and 90% of all crashers are self taught, then one might infer that self-taught vs. MSF makes no difference whatsoever.

I'm not saying the MSF is useless... I fully expect the actual numbers will show that the MSF course does indeed decrease your odds of being in an accident. My point is that the 90% statistic does not exist in a vacuum, and without knowing the total percentage of trained riders vs. non-trained it's basically useless.

So... anyone know what the actual ratio of self-taught riders vs. MSF trained riders is?
 

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My advice for using the rear brake is to adjust it where it takes a LOT of pressure to lock up the wheel...I have to practically stand on mine to lock up the wheel...then get into the habit of using both...i admit I get lazy and just use the front but I try to stay focused on using both...and in my opinion do the MSF as soon as you can cuz otherwise you end up like me procrastinating then 20 years later you ride well but never took the MSF...I still plan to do it but it costs money and time...neither of which I can afford...Good luck and enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
taziscool said:
The rear brake is at your RIGHT foot, not left......the rest of my advise would be classified as demeaning, newbie trashing retoric, so I won't say it.
So sorry I got typed left not right TAZ! Seems as if nobody on this site can please you. I have been floating around the site for a rather long time, and have never really seemed to see you change your views or your simple minded thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
RACER X said:
and get to an MSF class www.msf-usa.org

90% of accidents are people who are self taught, just like the route your going.
Plan on taking the MSF as soon as I have the money and free weekend for it. Until then, just keeping it in the parkinglot. Just doing the basics, starting and stopping, cirlces, and gonna do some figure 8's like mentioned above to get used to the weight balancing.
 

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Ueafa said:
Plan on taking the MSF as soon as I have the money and free weekend for it. Until then, just keeping it in the parkinglot. Just doing the basics, starting and stopping, cirlces, and gonna do some figure 8's like mentioned above to get used to the weight balancing.
Sounds like you're doing the best you can under the circumstances. Out in traffic is a whole lot different than an empty parking lot. Keep on practicing.

The only problem with what you are doing, is how to you know you're doing it right and not developing bad habits? That's where the MSF course comes in. It'll get you off to the right start in many ways. Sorry to sound like a broken record.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
RayOSV said:
Sounds like you're doing the best you can under the circumstances. Out in traffic is a whole lot different than an empty parking lot. Keep on practicing.

The only problem with what you are doing, is how to you know you're doing it right and not developing bad habits? That's where the MSF course comes in. It'll get you off to the right start in many ways. Sorry to sound like a broken record.
I could imagine the traffic differences, a different world.
Don't plan on getting bad habits, cause you will always relate back to them at some point.
 

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Ueafa said:
So sorry I got typed left not right TAZ! Seems as if nobody on this site can please you. I have been floating around the site for a rather long time, and have never really seemed to see you change your views or your simple minded thoughts.
Just ignore him. He posts the SAME exact thing every time and never offeres any real advice. He just like to call people newbies and whatnot.

Racer X offers good advice and is willing to help out, and is a knowledgable rider. The key is to practice at your own pace, in a controlled environment, not out in traffic. Take the MSF and learn the proper techniques and theories, before you develop bad habits. It's a couple hundred bucks, but it is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
buzzard said:
Just ignore him. He posts the SAME exact thing every time and never offeres any real advice. He just like to call people newbies and whatnot.

Racer X offers good advice and is willing to help out, and is a knowledgable rider. The key is to practice at your own pace, in a controlled environment, not out in traffic. Take the MSF and learn the proper techniques and theories, before you develop bad habits. It's a couple hundred bucks, but it is worth it.
Thanks for the response. I noticed that Racer X always has good advice, or a good point to be made. Taz.....self explainatory.
Its funny with the whole MSF ordeal. Cause you all beat it into my head just as hard as I am, but school and work are definately a priority (not so much work, if it involves getting a weekend off). Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
buzzard said:
Just ignore him. He posts the SAME exact thing every time and never offeres any real advice. He just like to call people newbies and whatnot.

Racer X offers good advice and is willing to help out, and is a knowledgable rider. The key is to practice at your own pace, in a controlled environment, not out in traffic. Take the MSF and learn the proper techniques and theories, before you develop bad habits. It's a couple hundred bucks, but it is worth it.
Thanks for the response. I noticed that Racer X always has good advice, or a good point to be made. Taz.....self explainatory.
Its funny with the whole MSF ordeal. Cause you all beat it into my head just as hard as I am, but school and work are definately a priority (not so much work, if it involves getting a weekend off). Thanks again.
 

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Ueafa said:
So sorry I got typed left not right TAZ! Seems as if nobody on this site can please you. I have been floating around the site for a rather long time, and have never really seemed to see you change your views or your simple minded thoughts.
Hey, I thought as a noob you were confused about what side the brake was on.

And why in the hell would/should I change my views?? To soothe the ego's of all the newbies coming here wanting/getting way to much bike for a first? Fuck that......you don't like what I say, don't read it.

You want good advise? Park the bike before you hurt yourself trying to learn w/o proper instruction. Go and pass the MSF course and get your license. Then go practice on the bike what you learned in class. You already know what I think about the bike you bought so, I won't say anything about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
taziscool said:
Hey, I thought as a noob you were confused about what side the brake was on.

And why in the hell would/should I change my views?? To soothe the ego's of all the newbies coming here wanting/getting way to much bike for a first? Fuck that......you don't like what I say, don't read it.

You want good advise? Park the bike before you hurt yourself trying to learn w/o proper instruction. Go and pass the MSF course and get your license. Then go practice on the bike what you learned in class. You already know what I think about the bike you bought so, I won't say anything about it.
You shouldn't change your views, I'm sorry, but try and be a little more optimistic in your posts, they always come across so negative. As for hurting myself, I could hurt myself eating a hot burrito, picking up the newspaper. I don't push myself on the bike and wont till the MSF course, which I do plan on going to. Why would I park the bike, since I have stated before that it could be a while before I could get to the MSF. Wouldn't it make more sense to go out and keep practicing on certain areas?? As for getting my license, I got that the second day at the MVD. But I do plan on going to the MSF, I am beating it into my head harder than anyone else could.
 
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