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Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

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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. :D

Be safe and enjoy!
 

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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 :D
 

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Actually, I have to agree, don't argue with elo!!!!!:twofinger



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
 

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Admit it, you got a bike to pick up chicks.:D (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 :thumb:
 

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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.
 

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Hello Ferret!

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!

Brat :cool:
 

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the warm welcome! I feel like if I keep taking things at a reasonable pace and staying within my abilities, I'll be around for a very long time :)

Also, I took the tip of picking up a copy of Proficient Motorcycling, and so far its a great read, thanks!
 

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Welcome to SBW ! ! This is my 4'th year of riding now and i'm always learning new things and I love it. You should be fine with a 600 if you don't go riding around town near redline. Just take it easy because even a 600 will go warp speed in no time.
One more thing....Don't take the right of way unless you are 200% sure you will make it safely. Even better thing to do is to give cars the right of way because you can pass them 2 seconds later anyway. I wish someone told me stuff like this when I first started riding.
 

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Welcome aboard from yet another rocket rider. I am just one year from the magic 40 number on years old. The older I get the faster I want to go on my bike. I started out in 1987 with a DR650 worked my way up to a CB750 and for my first sportbike a ZX-6c, a nice easy 600cc rocket that is very merciful when I do foolish things. For your first sportbike you made a wise choice. :D
 

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Just got my first bike as well

Hi

I just got my new bike as well. Been in a number of forums where I would also have been worried about mentioning what I bought for fear of being told I was stupid. Just wanted to say to you guys how refreshing it was to read some helpful and supportive responses instead of the more common "What the @#%$ are you thinking" I have seen elsewhere.

So, confession time. I got a red/white R6 as I just couldn't take my eyes of it and would have spent the rest of my time on whatever else regretting the purchase I think. Took the MSF course, now that was money very well spent. Went for my first rides yesterday on my own up in the Hudson Valley area of NY and had just the best day. Started out real careful and practicing what they had taught me. Thank God for the class, was doiung about 20 if that in a sharp turn when a car comes round on the wrong side of the road, braking in the turn does work if you have been shown how by someone who knows.

Got more confident as the day progressed and I began to get a fell for the balance of the bike in the curves. Still finding 1st to 2nd a fun change as the bike is very eager to get going... But overall extremely happy with it. Going to take me years to get to really know it but that's why I bought it I guess. I also got all the gear and though I felt a bit foolish at first in leathers I got over it and just feel safer well kitted out. Once I'm doing say 30 the wind cools me down fine. Reckon I began to feel more balanced by the time I could also lift my hand with no worrieds to say Hi to fellow bikers.

Heard people saying that a cool bike is a chick magnet - well if yesterday is anything to go by then I'm afraid the reality is an R6 is a guy magnet!! Every time I stopped other bikers or ex-bikers in cars would come over and look and talk to me (OK - that pleased me I'll admit!)

Anyway - that's my rambling - thanks again for the constructive messages in here
 

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When you are driving around in your cage (car, truck, SUV, etc) think about what you would be watching for or doing if you were on a bike instead. Where would you be in the lane? What road hazards are there that you basically ignore in a cage? Get paranoid about what the stupid cages around might do.

I don’t know what’s available in your area, rent or buy (used) a small dirt bike. Non-competition 4 stroke (it will feel more like your 4 stroke street bike). XR100, or one of the 125 play bikes. Ride it as often as possible, and not just around a track. Do drills, starting, stopping, a variety of turns, skid the tires, etc. Lots of fun and you will get experience with situations that on a street bike are “Oh shit!” but on a little dirt bike you’ll either save it or just brush off the dirt and try it again.

An open mind and education are essential, but there is no substitute for seat time.
 

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Buy a couple of David Hough's books!

Since you're new to motorcycling AND riding one on the street, I highly recommend a couple of David Hough's Proficient Motorcycing books (or whatever the title is). Amazon was selling a couple of 'em at a discount, and you can read a bit of at least one of 'em at their site. His books will really steepen your learning curve when duking it out with cages!
One example for newbies-when pulling up behind cars at a stop, pull to one side or the other (escape route forward), keep the bike in gear (in case you have to move in a hurry), and watch your mirrors until at least a few cars have stopped behind you (don't wanna be a cage sandwich).

Lots of good street survival skills in his books!
 

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Hey man don't be so hard on your self....Your number 1 enemy is doubt when you are riding (along with idoits turning left in front of you). I was in the same boat a year ago..I took a MSF class and I asked the instructor what bike I should buy for my first and he gave me a good piece of advise that I will pass along to you. He told me to buy what I wanted because if I got something else I would only regret it when I saw some other dude riding the bike that I really wanted..What he added to that is the key..As long as you can control your right hand you should be just fine. Also he reminded me to always ride within my limits and never try to keep up with faster riders if I was not comfortable...So two months later I purchased a brand spankin new Gixxer 750 and man I have never regretted it. I have become one with my bike because we started out togehter...Be safe and have fun because riding is a total kick in the ass if you are on a sport bike.
 
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