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Discussion Starter #1
I have never riden a bike before, but I really want one. I have been researching them for a while now but i still have some extremly basic questions.

Like how to actually do the accelerating/shifting thing. Like in a car it is, press gas and let out clucth(left foot) until it grabs, then accelerate, let off gas, press clutch, shit to next gear(right hand), let clutch out......is is basically the same or completly different?

Is the front brake the left or right hand?

That sort of thing. Would all of this be covered in an MSF course?
 

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Brake is on the right. Your right side of your body handles accelerating/braking, while the left handles the tranny.
Accelerating a bike is much the same as accelerating a car, with a few major differences.
1. You will most likely want to drop a gear or two, or even 3 before you ever start. Since the engine flywheel weighs next to nothing, you really have to keep your rpm up, which means feathering the clutch.
2. Give a car too much power, and the tires spin. Give a bike too much power and it flips over. So its important to put as much weight on the front, and be really smooth with everything. Chances are you wont spin your rear tire. Dont worry, you will still shoot forward like a hyperpowered missile.


All of this, and more will be covered in MSF.
 

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one of the important lessons they didnt cover in my MSF course though....


car VS bike... a car can be corrected mid-corner much easier than a bike. You do not have time to fully straighten a bike mid-corner, so the most you can do is change your lean angle. Because of this... corner entry and lane position become far more important than they are in a car.
 

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Also if you are driving a car & have a small fender-bender then it is who was in the wrong & who's insurance is going to cover the few scratches. Now a m/c with a fender-bender with a car will mean the bike down & damaged & even with good protective riding gear the rider has been injured to the worst of being hauled off to emergency ward.

Little things like that pop up when one is riding a m/c so it is a bit of a feat to stay up & alive. You really have to have full 100% concentration on the traffic, road, traction & all.
 

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best advice i can give new riders:

1. get, buy, steal, or somehow read The Complete Idiots Guide to Motorcycles, 3rd edition (http://tinyurl.com/8qlmc). It is a *great* intro covering everything from different kind of bikes, bike controls, turning, buying a used bike, basic mechanics, and a guide to good new and used bikes. If you dont wanna buy it, just got to local Barnes and Nobel and just hang out for a few hours and read it untill they kick you out.

2. After you have read that book, cover to cover, a few times, take the MSF course. MSF course assumes *no* prior knowledge of motorcycles. Reading the Complete Idtios book before the MSF course will greatly enrich your learning experience in the MSF course. it will also give you a huge advantage on the written part of the MSF exam at end of the class.

do both of these, and your gonna have a great kick-off to a long passionate love affair with bikes :)

-chris sedition
 

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Unas_the_Slayer said:
long passionate expensive love affair with bikes :(
oh yeah, the "E" word. I didn't want to scare him off that quick :)

long time no talk....how is life in Unas-Land these days?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright, I will read the book for sure. The MSF was already on my to do list. Now convincing my parents is the main problem.
 

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Just to clear something up that vash might have overlooked. The clutch is a lever controlled by your hand, not your foot. While the clutch is pulled in by your left hand, you shift the gears up or down with your foot. Its like a car in the you get neutral and 1-5 or 1-6 speeds, but the shifter mechanism clicks up or down (depending on if you are shifting up or down) once per gear, then returns to a stationary position. So you can't tell what gear you are in unless you count them up from neutral.
 

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when taking the MSF, you'll probably be on something like a honda 125...which of course is MUCH different then something like an R6.

Get as much time on lower level bikes as possible until you feel completely comfortable. Then once you are completely comfortable, take it REALLY easy on a bigger bike to get used to it.

...the big problem that I see happen to my friends is that they take a MSF course and then buy a 600cc sportbike and dump it and hurt themselves.

In fact, one of my friends did this yesturday after purchasing an 04 cbr600 a week ago. Got too confident with his limited riding ability and dropped it @ 50mph. He's ok though (full gear).
 

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"In fact, one of my friends did this yesturday after purchasing an 04 cbr600 a week ago. Got too confident with his limited riding ability and dropped it @ 50mph. He's ok though (full gear)."

How long had he been riding for? Just curious.
 

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You mentioned needing to convince your parents.... I assume you are young then. How long have you been driving a cage? If its only been a year or two DO NOT GET A BIKE. I'm sure that the senior members on the forum will agree with me on this as well. Bikes and cars dont mix well and when you throw overall inexperience in the mix (im not saying your a bad driver, just most likely inexperienced) well it just doesn't mix well. People who drive cars do not see nor care about people on M/C's and will more than likely try to drive through you rather than around you. (especially SUVs) I would suggest a good number of years driving a cage and getting use to all the insane people driving cars out there. If I am mis-judging your age and you have been driving for a good number of years then just keep the facts about car drivers not seeing you and trying to drive through you in mind. When I took my MSF course one thing they stressed was assuming risk. Basically how big of a risk are you willing to take and how it effects how you drive. The best way you can judge the risks you take is to look at your driving record as well as asking people who have ridden as a passenger with you on wether they think you are an agressive or definsive driver, if you speed, or have ever been the cause of an accedent. If something goes wrong on a bike your lucky to get a second chance. I'm not trying to scare you away from a bike, and Im sure youve probly already heard most or all of what I've said, but just want you to think about them. Also If you do get a bike do not just jump out into traffic, thats the worst thing you can do. Take you time. I didn't go into traffic for the first time until I had put close to 200 miles on my bike. Anyways just some stuff to think about.

Good luck,
Sepias
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, that was an amazing post. I have been driving a cage about 3 years without any accidents, my fault or otherwise. Not trying to brag, but ive had people tell me they feel safer with me driving then with themselves. I have heard all of the horrific stories and I understand the risks involved. It will not be until at least next summer before I get a bike, but probably longer than that. My parents dont understand that it is possible to be safe on a bike, they just hear about the jackasses that ride with shorts and a wife beater and wreck doing wheelies and what not. I will take an MSF before I do anything else, and I would like to get some miles on a bike in a neighborhood or the like before I get on the main roads.

I appreciate all of these great posts guys. Thanks
 

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We'll see how safe you are once you get your wrist on the throttle. :laughing:

But seriously, I started riding about 10 months after I got my provisional license for my car. I'm certainly no angel on the road, and I have crashed my bike.. but that would have happened if I waited 10 months or 10 years after driving a car to get a bike. I never really understood why people tell you to wait a couple years because personally, traffic is no big mystery. Just do what they tell you in MSF.. which I don't remember word for word but it's basically.. look ahead and plan an escape route for everything. Expect the guy turning left to turn just as you're about to pass him, someone to pull out right in front of you etc etc. It didn't take me 2 years to realize that if someone is slowly drifting towards my lane without a turn signal on, they'll probably cut over in a second. I think you should start as early as possible to get more experience in the twisties, where all the fun is at!
Chris Sedition said:
long time no talk....how is life in Unas-Land these days?
Well, right now it's not too good. I don't know if all riding seasons are like this or if I'm just really unlucky.. but my string of bad luck continues. I was riding last Saturday and on the way back home the master link on my chain broke off and the chain was thrown.. I don't know how it could have happened but I think the guy who owned it before me must have used a clipon master link instead of riveting it and I never thought to look for that. :( How are you doin?
 

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Yep.. think of all cars as assasing with contracts on you... its not really that far from the truth.
 

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Especially anyone over 60 years old. They must have been paid big bucks to try to take me out!
 

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Oh come on slayer I have not received a contract on you as of to date. LOL
 

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cookeetree said:
How much do you charge? ;)
He'll do it for free just to feel young again :D
 
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