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Discussion Starter #1
ill be taking the safety course in a few weeks. a friend has lent me his bike to practice with until then. what are some drills i could practice in the mean time? is there a website that can explain some basic maneuvers that i can practice on my own before taking the class? like i said, i have access to a bike and i ride every night. besides the usual putting around my neighborhood, i want to practice some drills. any ideas?
 

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The most important drills they teach at MSF are the braking, swerving and cornering drills. Set up two cones about 5 feet apart and about 10 feet ahead of those cones place 3 cones(these 3 cones represent the obstacle that you need to avoid). Practice driving through the two cones and manuver around the 3 cones. To learn braking start off very light and work your way up to harder braking. Feel the weight of the bike shift forward. Once the front is loaded up you can apply more pressure to front brakes. Don't stomp on the rear brakes and don't grab the front. Remember the front brakes do most of the work so be gentle with the rear brake or you'll lock up your rear wheel.

Always wear at the very least a Helmet, Jacket, Gloves and Boots.
 

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Redlinger said:
The most important drills they teach at MSF are the braking, swerving and cornering drills. Set up two cones about 5 feet apart and about 10 feet ahead of those cones place 3 cones(these 3 cones represent the obstacle that you need to avoid). Practice driving through the two cones and manuver around the 3 cones. To learn braking start off very light and work your way up to harder braking. Feel the weight of the bike shift forward. Once the front is loaded up you can apply more pressure to front brakes. Don't stomp on the rear brakes and don't grab the front. Remember the front brakes do most of the work so be gentle with the rear brake or you'll lock up your rear wheel.

Always wear at the very least a Helmet, Jacket, Gloves and Boots.
I can't stress enough how much attention you should pay to this post. :) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wear your gear. The only thing that looks cooler than a guy zipping down the road in shorts, sandals and a t-shirt is a guy with full-body road rash. Talk about coolness....

The braking and swerving are great things to practice. ESPECIALLY learning how much to load up the front brake. If you're anything like me you'll almost certainly start VERY heavy on the rear brake. It's best to learn how to brake (and quite possibly how to skid) when your life doesn't depend on it.
 

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Not to bust your chops(well maybe, cause it pisses me off)...do you have a license to be riding on the street? if ya don't, please stay off of them until your get one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
taziscool said:
Not to bust your chops(well maybe, cause it pisses me off)...do you have a license to be riding on the street? if ya don't, please stay off of them until your get one.
no, i dont have a motorcycle license. not yet. why does that piss you off? put your soapbox away for a minute. im not an 18 year old irresponsible child. are you going to tell me the you never ever rode before you had one? im not saying its okay to ride without one, i have every intention of getting one, and im taking the class at the end of this month. i have a regular old class c drivers license. i just want to practice. is that really such a bad thing? i ride in the middle of the night, through my neighborhood, in full gear, to an empty grocery store parking lot to practice low speed turns and turns of varying radii and slalom type stuff. i have my buds bike in my garage, so im taking advantage of it. while i may be new to sportbikes, i have ridden cruisers and dirtbikes since i was a child. i just want practice. i didnt realize i had to be a pro already for it to be okay to practice. if you have a suggestion pertaining to my question, im all ears. if you just want to bitch because i dont yet have my license, but am doing everything in my power to practice safely for myself and others, then save it for a different newbie.
 

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I was operating uner the assumption that you already had at least a permit. I would get help transporting the bike to and from the parking lot. It's not that hard if you have friend with a licence or a truck with some tie downs and a ramp. Hazards can come from nowhere on the road thing's that you'd never think of can cause you to drop a bike, I suggest you stay off the road until you have your licence.

Everyone want's you to practice, in fact it will be suggested at your MSF course. However we are also concerned for your safety and the safety of others. A couple of other things you should focus on are learning to find the friction zone in your clutch and to train your hand to move smoothly with the clutch. Also learning how to brake in a turn is important as well. The trick is to straighten the bike and then brake, if you try to brake while leaned over you'll dump the bike. The tire patch is smaller when the bike is leaned over and alot of the tire is used to turn it, combine that with braking and you'll skid your bike real easily. Wait to try this until you have practiced braking and have it down cold.

If you skid the front tire release it and reapply with less force. If you skid the rear brake it is advised that you ride it out while using the front brake to stop. Do not release the rear brake if you start a rear brake skid, it can cause the bike to violently jerk around when the rear tire regains traction.

Have fun practicing and remember that training and practicing should be an on going thing not just something done by newbs.

I know I'm lighting a potential powder keg by asking this, but what type of bike do you plan on riding.
 

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G L said:
no, i dont have a motorcycle license. not yet. why does that piss you off? put your soapbox away for a minute.

You need to calm down GL. Your stepping into our world here and we are giving you good advice. And some really good advice is to stay off the street until you get a licence. We have valid reasons for saying that here.

My second bit of advice is to stay off a bike until you get into the class. You go out to practice on a bike and I have to ask, "What are you practicing and how do you know its right?" My biggest problem with new students is when someone tries to teach them to ride, they come into class, and I have to use up their time to break bad habbits and re-teach the right skills.

The best students are ones who come in fresh. You will have plenty of time to practice the RIGHT skills after the class and become a better rider.
 

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Squid Killer said:
The best students are ones who come in fresh. You will have plenty of time to practice the RIGHT skills after the class and become a better rider.
As a student, and not an instructor, I have to agree here. When I took the MSF course I had never been on a bike before. There were guys there who had been riding for 40+ years, and a woman who had been riding for 10+ years on a permit because she couldn't pass the license skills test (now THAT is scary). Other than the couple of guys who were there to get cheaper insurance and who were already experienced riders, I did better than just about everyone else. I aced all of the slalom exercises and the figure 8. The only problem I had was learning to not overbreak with the rear during emergency stopping.

I do have to say that if he practices in a parking lot for a few weeks before going to the course he won't have too many bad habits. Not NEARLY as many as some of the 40+ year riders who couldn't manage to do the slalom through the cones.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i apologize if i came off as arrogant. that was not my intention, and i tried to word my reply to taz as calm and politely as possible without sounding like the typical dumbass newbie squid. i just thought that since i have access to a bike, an empty parking lot literally in the middle of the night, and gear, why not take advantage of it? i dont know if im doing my drills correctly, but i havet dropped the bike or fallen down, so something somewhere must be going right. i am taking the safety course soon. i live in houston, and am planning on having our own beloved "racer x" train me. im serious about this. im trying my best to do everything in my power to be as safe as i can be. im a father and a husband, and im really not trying to kill myself. i appreciate all of your comments and help. im intelligent and a fast learner at everything i do, and was just looking for some tips on things to practice in the meantime.
 

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I don't think you need to practice before the course. For one thing, you may start developing bad habits because you won't know if you're doing things correctly. I think you're better off keeping the bike in the garage until after you finish the class.
 

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If your class isnt for a few weeks then I would suggest getting Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. It is the best street riding book out there. It will have details of good riding skills to learn and practice.

Read it all so you can argue with Racer X during the class :lol New instructors need to get broken in. :twofinger
 

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Squid Killer said:
If your class isnt for a few weeks then I would suggest getting Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. It is the best street riding book out there. It will have details of good riding skills to learn and practice.

Read it all so you can argue with Racer X during the class :lol New instructors need to get broken in. :twofinger
fugger....... :lol

i've taught a few classes, i'm ready for anything......spoken like a true squid instructor. :lol
 

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You hear that GL. Ed is ready for whatever you can dish out. :D


Im going to hire someone to ride by his class doing a one handed wheelie, a beer in the other hand, wind blowing across his bare legs and cheap sunglasses as proective headgear shouting "I learned everything in your class last weekend!" right in front of his students. :twofinger
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Squid Killer said:
If your class isnt for a few weeks then I would suggest getting Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. It is the best street riding book out there. It will have details of good riding skills to learn and practice.

Read it all so you can argue with Racer X during the class :lol New instructors need to get broken in. :twofinger
HAHA. thank you for the suggestion.

i know i guy with an R1. maybe ill show up for class on that with no shirt and flip-flops. :lol :lol
 

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yep, the best thing you can do is just wait. I bought my bike 2 weeks before I had my class. I was itching to ride and I have plenty of friends who ride and could teach me. I opted not to, and I don't regret it. I do everything hwo I was taught in MSF and sometimes my friends would ride with me and they'd ask me why I did something... I'd explain to them why, and they'd be amazed, because they never knew that simple stuff. Example: a friend that's been riding for 20 years didn't know the fast in-corner stopping technique. We were coming out of the corner and I stopped faster than he did :)
 

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G L said:
HAHA. thank you for the suggestion.

i know i guy with an R1. maybe ill show up for class on that with no shirt and flip-flops. :lol :lol
best bring your gear with you then... or you would be booted out of class :twofinger
 

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G L said:
no, i dont have a motorcycle license. not yet. im not an 18 year old irresponsible child. im not saying its okay to ride without one, i have every intention of getting one, and im taking the class at the end of this month. while i may be new to sportbikes, i have ridden cruisers and dirtbikes since i was a child.
So you actually admit you're an irresponsible adult....and HAVE been an irresponsible child.....doing something illegal, all the while KNOWING it's illegal, throws you into the group that you prefer NOT to be associated with.

Let me ask you this: does perpetuating part of what is wrong w/ this sport, just cause you're 31, make you different/better than the 18 yr old that does the same???

Me....I rode exactly 1(ONE) time on the street before getting a license.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
taziscool said:
So you actually admit you're an irresponsible adult....and HAVE been an irresponsible child.....doing something illegal, all the while KNOWING it's illegal, throws you into the group that you prefer NOT to be associated with.

Let me ask you this: does perpetuating part of what is wrong w/ this sport, just cause you're 31, make you different/better than the 18 yr old that does the same???

Me....I rode exactly 1(ONE) time on the street before getting a license.
maybe you should re-read the part of my post you quoted. i said its not okay to ride without a license, but i didnt realize my wanting to practice was perpetuating everything thats wrong in the sportbike community. give me a fuckin break. :twofinger
 
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