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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I'm a new rider (of sportbikes) I used to ride a 48cc scooter and way back when I was a kid, a 125cc Dirtbike.

Riding the dirtbike I used a clutch obviously, but I haven't rode one in forever so I started riding a 48cc scooter automatic. This messed up my clutch skills horribly.

I currently own a 2005 Kawasaki Ninja 650R It is also my first bike!

So here are some tips from a friendly newbie sport biker to future or others!

1.) People say start on 200's 250's etc. Honestly, the bike I have is my starter and it works like a charm. If you go higher, please do not try to go past 650 or even go into super sports for you're first bike. It's just complete idiotic for the moment no matter how badly you want your R1 or gixxer.

2.) LEARN YOUR CLUTCH!!! When riding take it slow, don't think (oh I'm going to go 100 down the freeway my first day) That will get you killed in a heartbeat. Learn the sweet spot of your new bikes clutch. Try to practice clutch takeoffs and such in a empty parking lot, once you have the hang of it try to speed up your momentum with the clutch on takeoffs at residential stop signs where there is minimal traffic.

3.) Stalling is your friend - Face the fact you WILL Stall, it's completely normal for even professionals on a brand new bike that they have not experienced yet to stall. This can be your opportunity to learn how to work the clutch, where the sweet spot is, and how to brake properly.

4.) Learn downshifting, rev matching, and smooth shifts - When shifting, pull the clutch in let go of the throttle kick up and pull the clutch out semi slowly whilst using the throttle to get yourself kicking! When you learn the sweet spot it'll be as smooth as butter :p downshifting and rev matching is fairly easy, just rev the bike to where it needs to be when shifting down so you wont 1.) Hurt the engine, 2.) Potential stall, 3.) Jerk your bike, or 4.) Lock your brakes.

5.) Don't go crazy!!! Please, please do not go crazy your first time riding it is too dangerous and can put your life at risk..

And finally all I have to say is WEAR PROPER GEAR!! A jacket on highways and streets is great I'll be honest, I sometimes wear just a shirt pants helmet and above ankle shoes when in my town since it's small and not high speed roads but I will always wear a helmet and gloves, when going on b***** roads I wear a jacket pants over ankle shoes gloves and a helmet :) Safety first even what seems minimum can save your life! So for all you newbies that want to start out on 600's or even 650's like me Go ahead! Just be easy on the throttle and don't try to be some super stunt moto GP bike pro!

Other newbies OR semi-experienced riders post your tips and stories too! I say semi or newbies because it sometimes is better to learn from someone your level or a tiny bit above then going straight to advanced in depth detail!
 

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That's not a bad list. There's a lot to consider while riding, a lot of information, and despite many iron butt trips, a few track days, lots of canyon carving, I'm still learning myself.

Experience is as important as knowledge. What is crucial is to STAY IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE.

Also, practice hard braking. I still do every once in a while, and definitely when I buy another motorcycle to remember the feel and how it goes. A lot of crashes happen because a new rider tried to keep up with more experienced friends, so...go ahead if you are OK with the risks, because they are certainly there.

Respect the bike, respect the laws of physics (learn them on two wheels), and always remember that YOU ARE INVISIBLE to cars, trucks, and at times other motorcyclists.
 

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^all the above is great advice. Thank you for putting it out there again. This cannot be said too much
 
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Teaching others to ride I would idle the bike high enough they could take off without giving the gas to it, that learned them the hardest part, smooth takeoff. With the bike in a high idle there is less tendency to over throttle the bike to get going, thus eliminating a lot of the fear factor, stalling and lurching, works like a charm, after they became familiar with takeoff I would idle the bike down to normal.
Do a lot of lone wolf riding, if you do ride with experienced rider/s make sure they are okay with a rookie tagging along and have your leaning experience in mind, it will be some of the best lessons you can get.
 

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Don't sneeze with your visor down
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also when practicing takeoffs like mentioned above this helps stalling SO SO Much, Most bikers (me too) tend to shift from whatever gear they are in into Neutral when coming to a red light and glide until a complete stop, this way you don't have to downshift alllll the way back down. Once you learn how to takeoff on your bike smoothly and shift up smoothly it's all easy game from there on really.

I been riding my scooter (automatic) for months on a street and my dirtbike when I was a kid for years, I've had my 650r for about a week now, second day I rode it I spent four to five hours in the parking lot practicing the clutch now I have it down match revving and everything is easy peasy for me!
 

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Learn to read the road surface. When it is dry and has been for a while, just a little moisture can turn a road into a skating rink. A hard rain is less dangerous than a little bit of drizzle. Look for tar snakes, manhole covers, thermoplastic stripes, etc. especially if it is a little damp for the first time in a long while. A patch of sand or gravel in the wrong place is as bad as a patch of oil. A pothole isn't a problem if you are ready for it. It can be if you aren't.

Listen to the little voice in your head that says "this is a bad idea." Don't listen to the little voice in the back of your head that says "go for it - what could possibly go wrong."
 

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Don't sneeze with your visor down
If you are riding slowly, you can have your visor up, but remember that the bugs that would have hit your visor now end up inside your helmet. When it is a bee, it's not so good.
 

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Or plastic bags. My nightmare is a bunch of garbage bags or a sheet of Visqueen blowing off of a truck in front of me. It hasn't happened, but that's one scenario that give me the shivers every time I see plastic flapping around somewhere.
 

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Don't sneeze with your visor down
Hahahaha, I did this a couple times. Wasn't very pleasant.

I was comfortable lifting my visor up ad 45 mph or less. Any more and I put it down.

One of the first weeks I had my bike I was practicing in the neighborhood. This was before I had my jacket and gear, and I hit a huge june bug going about 20 mph. Must have been the size of a soft ball.
 
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