Just got my first bike, and I'm probably not very smart - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 11
Just got my first bike, and I'm probably not very smart

First off, howdy! I just found this forum (unfortunately AFTER I bought my bike) and it looks like a great resource.

I just turned 30, and with the reflection that goes along with that, I decided I should chase my lifelong dream of having a motorcycle of my own. My Dad always had bikes I messed around with when I was growing up, so I'm not unfamiliar with how they work. He was into Harleys, however, and my taste was more with sportbikes.

I shopped around at a variety of dealers near me and read a bunch of magazine articles and decided on a spankin' new lime-green ZX-6R. Now that I've discovered this forum, I realize that choosing this as my first bike likely makes me a horrible monster However, I'm going to make the best of it. I definitely have respect for what the bike can do. I have full protective gear and would never get on the bike without it. I live in an area that has notoriously dangerous traffic (the Tampa Bay area), and I understand and respect what could happen if I go messing around in it. I've signed up for an MSF class in August, and until then, I have no intention of spending any time in much traffic around here. I don't really have any interest in doing wheelies or anything like that, and doing 100 on the interstate would probably scare me more than thrill me. So why did I get such a bike? For stupid reasons. It was beautiful and fit my body like a glove. For some reason I like knowing I have all that power, even though I'll likely use it rarely if ever.

Now that I've exposed my stupidity, does anyone have any tips for someone in my shoes? I have the rest of my life to ride, so I really want to take my time and build good habits. I appreciate in advance any advice, and thanks for not laughing at me too much!
Ferret is offline  
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 482
Thumbs up

Welcome to the world of riding. I too had the same exact reason why I started riding.

Anyway, you will eventually meet other riders in person. Some will be slower, but since you are quite new, most will be faster! Dont go chasing the fast riders (one of 2 rules I follow). Ride your pace. Search for that term and you will understand it more.

If you want to know the 2nd rule I follow, never argue with elo.

Be safe and enjoy!
slowrat is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 06:57 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 48
Hello Ferret

I too am kinda new to these forums, and I hope I won't get flamed for what I'm about to say.

IMO the reason why most of the people here are flammed for buying the fastest, trickest, coolest crotch rockets are because they seem to be mostly into it just for styles sake (watching too much rap videos I guess). Not respecting the abilities of their machines to get them into serious trouble, or having the maturity to accept the fact that bikes aren't toys.

Judging by your post, you seem like the responsible type and is headed in the right direction (MSF class, safety gear etc...) So I wouldn't worry too much about appearing to be a "horrible monster".

Cheers and have fun

P.S. The green ones are faster
RichieLaz is offline  
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,547
Actually, I have to agree, don't argue with elo!!!!!

Anyway, sounds like you're doing fine and don't sweat it, that's a great first bike and you'll be getting it down in no time. Just don't rush it, you do have plenty of time to get good and fast if that's your goal. Personnaly I think a little faster is safer so don't be afraid to use that power once you are on the highways. It's easier to keep track of traffic if you're going faster than 95% of it. Then the people behind you don't matter anymore.

Learn to brake HARD, the brakes are your #1 friend followed closely by turning and accelerating. These are your 3 choices when something goes wrong and 9 times out of 10 braking will get you out of trouble as a new rider (many times it simply preceeds turning but braking is amny times the key). This means front brake by the way as it's responsib;e for 99.9% of a bikes hard braking ability.

Learn counter-steering like it's more natural than breathing.

Like said above, don't ride above your comfort level to keep up with better riders, ride your pace.

Get to some track days, best ~150 you can spend.

Good luck and welcome.

edit: get some frame sliders NOW, before you drop it. SERIOUSLY
apexismaximus is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 609
Admit it, you got a bike to pick up chicks. (there's worse reasons)

The only thing is to remember that the car drivers ACTUALLY ARE OUT TO KILL YOU . If you drive with that in mind, you should be pretty safe ( no I'm not being paranoid ). Stay away from traffic as much as possible, it's dangerous and not much fun anyways.

Congrats on the new bike, it's a beauty. Don't be fooled by how easy it is to ride, one dumb mistake and it'll bite. Be careful, and ride the way YOU feel comfortable and I'm sure you'll be ok. Glad to hear you're wearing the full gear.

The only "stupid" thing I think you did, was buy new. Everyone does something stupid with their first bike and scratches it. (remember, hot ashpalt is soft and lets the kickstand sink into it....oops ). No big deal.... its only plastic and metal, and they can both be replaced.

One last thing. ENJOY
oldgixer is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Oh I forgot: Don't argue with ELO, leave that for the professionals.
oldgixer is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 32
Assume that everyone else on the road is actively trying to kill you.

The bike WILL go where you look (even if that sounds strange, it is very true)... SO, look where you want to go, and DON'T look where you don't want to go

Carefully practice your braking skills, until you have a good idea of what you and the bike are capable of in terms of stopping power and rate.

While remaining alert and focused, do your best to breathe and relax

Because it is beautiful and fits your body like a glove are excellent reasons to purchase a motorcycle!

Like Slowrat said: Always ride at your own pace. Don't ride over your comfort level.

Maybe prior to the MSF, you could search for article on the web or read some books, like proficient motorcycling, twist of the wrist, etc, just to begin to understand the dynamics involved with sportbikes.

Have a good time.
spoof is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 08:55 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Torrance,CA. USA 90504
Posts: 3,059
Welcome...like everyone already said..practice, practice...check your right wrist..often.. And as for arguing with elo.. not me..

Old, Slow, but ...Smooth
Hammer 4 is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 10:05 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 20
Hello Ferret!


I too bought my bike because I was turning 30 and it was a dream of mine. I took the MSF to see how well I could handle myself on a motorcycle and I did really good. So I shopped around looking for an R6 at first. But I notice that a lot of people said thery're not a forgiving bike. So I looked on the net and came across a beautiful 2001 blk/ylw ZX7R with 413 miles. I researched the bike and I noticed that it was a little heavy and it's not a "TOP PERFORMER". That was okay with me since I don't plan on doing tricks or 160 mph. I'm only 5'6, 135 lbs and I'm a woman and I handle the bike quite well.
Anyway, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one turning 30 who dreams of riding a sports bike.

Take care, welcome to the site, and keep the rubber side down!

brattygirl72 is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2002, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 8
I would guess most of us started with a 600 class bike for their first sport bike, I know I did. Most of us start out with dirt bikes or a cruiser, then move to a 600 sport bike. I would say you have done what most do.
Don't forget the Keith Code books. Even after 50,000 miles plus I still kick back at a coffee shop every once and a while with his books.
Expect to go down, and dress for the occasion.

As far as Elo goes... I might be dumb enough to wad my Superhawk pushing myself on an unfamiliar road... but I don't mess with Elo!
thehazmatkid is offline  
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