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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I'm new to the forum and also new to motorcycles, I'm 30 years old and I've forever wanted to do my license. UK prices are pretty high so after I made the move to the states i got sorted with a license and subsequently a bike! I went for a 96 Suzuki 600 Bandit naked and although it needs some tlc and a bit of work doing I'm happy with it and more so than that just happy to be riding.

So I've been riding just a couple of months now and wow what a learning curve it has been, going round a few cones in a car park is a bit different than being on roads with traffic. Considering this I'm getting pretty confident at higher speeds with my main struggles being low speed stuff like setting off whilst turning and looking for traffic.. oh and hill starts just suck!

Hopefully joining the forum will help me understand a few things better and it seems a great place to get advice whilst also sharing my progress and experiences. Maybe I'll get a few pics of the bike on once I figure out how the site works.

Thanks to the Moderators for accepting my account and Happy Riding Y'all

Marc
 

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Welcome to America where anytime 3 Americans get together and talk any topic there will be at least 4 opinions.
I think the MSF is a rip off. Motorcycle Safety Fraud. I figure they kill more riders then they save. I can prove that the death toll has gone up every year they have been in business. No matter how you figure it.
Countersteering is BS. You steer a motorcycle the same way you steer ANY 2 wheeled vehicle. You point the front tire the way you want to go. Then you lean into the turn. You start the lean by pressing down on the bars (handlebars) on the side which you want to turn toward. Then you push forward on the other side. The lean to steer ratio is based on how fast you are going and the bike you are riding.
Countersteering is a sales gimmick.
As far as the skills; Practice, practice, practice. Find a parking lot that isn't full. Empty if you can manage it. Where I live there are 'blue laws. Stores are not allowed to open until after 12:00 on Sunday. So on Sunday morning they are all empty. Look around, find a place to practice.
Walking a bike is difficult when getting started. The faster you go, the more balance (well, kinetic energy going in one direction.) So riding a bike at 2 MPH is much more difficult then at 40 MPH. There is a bell curve, based on the geometry (rake, trail, swing arm ration, spring rate and a bunch of little stuff. On either end of that curve managing your motorcycle is more difficult then when you are in the fat part of the curve. That is where you want to stayt for a while. Only you have to get through the low end of that curve to get to the middle. Practice. The best thing about empty parking lots is you can roll along at 5 MPH and not have to keep an eye on your surroundings. Or not an eagle eye as when you are on the streets. Some where near to you is an institute of higher learning of some sort. Sunday mornings normally look like a ghost town.
A few hours in a parking lot should be enough to get you up to speed on your clutch, shifter, btakes, throttle control, etc. Don't be afraid to drag your feet or walk them alongside your bike.
Once you can control your bike without focusing on it, plan a ride that avoids heavy (multi lane) traffic. Your brain hasn't learned yet what is dangerous and what is just scary.
NEVER pass on the right.
IF a car turns in front of you, go BEHIND it.
Don't get caught in a kill box (surrounded by other vehicles).
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Haha thanks for the advice, I'm looking into courses aswell as just practicing and practicing. Parking lot is a good idea but my problems are around traffic, I'm a proficient driver I have a Heavy goods license so I know how to read the road, it's just controlling a wobbly 2 wheeled machine whilst doing so! Lol
 
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