New Rider Needing Advice

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New Rider Needing Advice

#1 Unread post by Question EVERYTHING » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:04 pm

Hello all,

Many years ago (25 to 30) I rode dirtbike a few times and happened to ride moped a bunch as a kid. Well, when I was roughly 30 years old I was considering buying a bike but my ex-wife didn't think I was responsible enough, and I probably was not at the time. Now, I'm 41 years old and the girlfriend and I bought motorcycles recently. I wish I would have found this forum earlier but that just isn't the case. The girlfriend happened to buy a 2005 Harley Dyna Street Glide and I bought a 2007 Victory Ness Jackpot. I am 5'10" and 185lbs. and the bike fits me very well. I will admit, I could have done with a lot less of a bike and realize I will take some grief on this forum because it is a lot of bike.

I currently have an 11 year old son and I am an extremely responsible person and have no desire for speed, more of just cruising around and having a good time. I have no desire to place myself in situations where it may result in death and me not being here for my son. I actually debated until my son was 18 before I bought a bike but I really didn't want to wait until I was too old to do the things I would like to do. Last year my father had a massive heart attack and his friends are suffering from some of the same fates and/or cancer. It was these sorts of things that made me start thinking about waiting until I was too old to own a motorcycle or do things I would really like to do. I tend to lead a pretty safe life for the most part and I am pretty much a very rational person that has an engineer for a father who always likes to remind me of the consequences of my actions.

As I was walking around the local Harley dealer I was looking at a Dyna Wide Glide or an used Harley, but happened to see a bike that was being wheeled in the back door that someone traded in for a Road King. After talking to the dealer, they were going to sell it to a whole saler and he would turn the bike around. I'm not certain what they offered the guy for trading it in but I ended up picking it up for $11,000, $500 over what the whole saler was going to give them for it. I started looking around online and didn't see another bike like this selling for less than $17,500 (except in a few instances), and felt that I was getting a great deal. I even came back and the sales manager told me that he started researchng the bike and realized what a great deal I got and was happy that I got a good deal, but I'm sure he was upset because they could have made much more on it. So, Harley delivered the bike and I would not ride it until I took the safety class last weekend which I passed with only one point deducted for not breaking a foot sooner for my speed.

I took the bike out this last Saturday after class for the first time after riding a Buell - 500cc bike all day. I will say the Victory is a completely different experience from the Buell at low speeds but is torquey like the Buell. I cruised around the town a little bit and spent some time yesterday in a parking lot working on cornering at low speeds because as I speed up, the 250mm tire in the back doesn't feel much different than the Buell. I'm am being extremely cautious because I know that it is a big bike and there is a lot of hp under my groin. And for the most part it has been going pretty well and the bike is a blast to ride as long as I continue to look through the corners because it is amazing how the body reacts to this input by compensating your push on the handle bar to get you where you are aiming. I do get a little nervous when I come across large trucks on the road when cornering because it's a new experience for me.

I have been having thoughts of buying a smaller bike after riding this forum more and working on my training on that bike but I would have to come up with some cash first. My neighbor has a Verago 585cc that he is looking at selling but it has been sitting for four or five years and he needs to get it running. But, I've been riding the Victory and I am getting more comfortable with it but realize it takes a lot of time to be considered an experience rider.

I guess I'm looking for some advice and/or thoughts about what people think would be the right choice or perhaps some advice for riding the Victory. I haven't had it above 45mph yet and I just plan on riding it around quiet streets in town until I feel more comfortable. I realize this wasn't my most rational moment in life and I was just looking at the beauty of this bike because it is a very nice looking bike.

Thanks for any comments and sorry for the length.

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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#2 Unread post by dr_bar » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:11 pm

I don't know what your safety class included, but I would take a full MSF course to beef up those riding skills.

I have two Grandchildren with another on the way and want to be around to enjoy them for a long time. My strategy is ATGATT, All The Gear All The Time, I may be a little lax in the heat of summer, but I'm pretty good about it...
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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#3 Unread post by Question EVERYTHING » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:18 pm

dr_bar wrote:I don't know what your safety class included, but I would take a full MSF course to beef up those riding skills.

I have two Grandchildren with another on the way and want to be around to enjoy them for a long time. My strategy is ATGATT, All The Gear All The Time, I may be a little lax in the heat of summer, but I'm pretty good about it...
The class included everything from gauges to cornering, shifting while cornering, evasive driving, breaking, firgure 8, S-corner, standing the bike up before braking in a corner, push steering, and probably other things I forgot to mention. The class was 4 days and 2 of them was pretty much riding all day. After a year of riding I can take the advanced class which is done with my bike and works on the initial skills.

I also ride with all my gear on with the exception of the chaps around town. When I hit the highway I fully intend on wearing the chaps but I've just been wearing jeans with no holes in them around town.

Thanks for the reply.

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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#4 Unread post by BobK » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:29 pm

That's a heck of a lot of bike for a beginner, but you sound like a mature guy; taking it easy is the way to go. I've been riding a long time, and my rule number one (well, number two, after ATTGATT) is "keep your distance". I keep as far away from other vehicles as possible. If some speeder gets on my tail, I just pull over and wave him by.

Can you pick it up if you drop it?

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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#5 Unread post by Question EVERYTHING » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:39 pm

BobK wrote:That's a heck of a lot of bike for a beginner, but you sound like a mature guy; taking it easy is the way to go. I've been riding a long time, and my rule number one (well, number two, after ATTGATT) is "keep your distance". I keep as far away from other vehicles as possible. If some speeder gets on my tail, I just pull over and wave him by.

Can you pick it up if you drop it?

Yeah, it's a lot of bike. :shock: I've been following the with an additional 2 second rule to the already 4 second rule so that I have enough time to react. Good bit of advice for any new rider I would agree because things happen fast. As far as picking the bike up from a drop, I have been watching videos online and I'm fairly certain I could do it if I need to. I only dropped the Buell once in the class when I was going through the tight S-corner and didn't have enough speed and was feathering the clutch friction zone, but the engine stalled mid-corner as I was starting to go uphill and it caught me. Granted, this wouldn't be something I would do on my bike normally but it was the only instance.

Funny thing was, my instructor told me that he had been riding bike since the 60's and said that when he took the class he and his other partner was was the other instructor put the bike down in the figure 8 part of the class. That made me feel much better.

Thanks m8.

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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#6 Unread post by MTexile » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:01 pm

Welcome aboard! The best advice I can give is 'ride like you're invisible'.
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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#7 Unread post by pchast » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:47 pm

Hi, and welcome.

I feel I'm still new at it too and find a little parking lot practice valuable every couple of weeks or so.

Ok... at least once a month I find an empty lot for about half an hour just to keep those skills
new and shiny.
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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#8 Unread post by ceemes » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:18 pm

Welcome to the wild world of riding. Just my two bits, but I would ditch the chaps in favour of full coverage overpants. Every time I have had an off, I always seem to end up sliding on my butt for a bit and chaps generally don't give much coverage on that tender part of my anatomy.
Always ask why.

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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#9 Unread post by sapaul » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:07 am

Saddle time, saddle time and more saddle time. Yes it is a big bike and being a little fella that like big bikes, I can understand. My 2c would be that you resist group riding for as long as you can. Get out there on your own terms in your own time. If it feels right, it probably is. Big bikes are not to be conqured and beaten into submission, they are to be fused with your Id until you work together in harmony.
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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#10 Unread post by Question EVERYTHING » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:19 pm

Thanks for all the responses and welcomes to the boards. I will certainly take all of the advice into consideration and yes, I've been riding like I'm invisible because I realize that people just don't see you unless you are driving a car...and sometimes that doesn't do it. The first thing my instructor said to me was ride like you're invisible and don't assume that someone sees you because it could mean the difference between life and death. What I find more than anything at this point is that people slow down or stop to stare at the bike because it is a stunning piece of work.

I realize now that I probably should have bought a smaller bike but I can't really change my choices at this time and need to either buy a smaller bike or respect the power under my crotch and take things nice and easy. I have yet to get out on the highway but I'm feeling more comfortable and will probably get there soon and a less traveled piece of road to get the feel of cornering and driving a little faster. I'll be looking into full leather pants because I have thought about the chaps vs. pants bit when sliding and I would believe that you tend to slide on your but if you go down.

Thanks again.

Pic of the bike:
4-C4CA7CA2-1436433-800.jpg
4-C4CA7CA2-1436433-800.jpg (80.76 KiB) Viewed 5414 times

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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#11 Unread post by sapaul » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:30 am

That is a good looking wee beastie.



and yeah, leather is the way to go.
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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#12 Unread post by Grey Thumper » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:53 am

If you've got access to an empty parking lot, I'd recco a lot of practice on it (stops and starts, swerves, figure 8s, U turns, and especially hard braking). Just gotta get all the basic control stuff into muscle memory, so once you're on a busy road, you'll be able to react instinctively to things that crop up.
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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#13 Unread post by EatenbyAsphalt » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:47 am

New to the forums myself, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Go on Craigslist and get a ninja 500 and ride it until you lay it down. I was told by many riders there are 2 types of riders, those who have fallen and those who have yet to fall. I fell twice before I got my new bike and I'd hate to drop that pretty beastie you got there. Oh, and stay off the highways for at least a year.
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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#14 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:39 pm

Just gonna throw in my two cents.

First, let me just say I love your introductory paragraph. "Ex wife said I wasn't responsible enough...me and the girlfriend just went and bought some bikes." Classic. And in leiu of that comment, buddy, I totally get the pretty bike. (-;

That said...

I'm a relatively new rider myself, just started last summer. I started on my wife's '03 Shadow 750, rode that for a couple months and then bought a 1984 Magna V65. Ask around -- that was a hell of a lot of bike for a beginner too. But I didn't drop it, and my approach was the same as yours. Respect for the power underneath me.

It sounds like you're thinking if you're going to drop a bike in your first year, you might as well drop a crappy little one instead of the Victory. That makes sense, but in my youth one of my bosses told me "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." That is to say, if you buy a little bike with the intention of getting that 'first drop' over and done with, I think you're just that much more likely to drop it. You know what I mean? Slow and steady is the way to proceed, and you can do that just as well on the Victory as on some 650 Nighthawk. And really, at your size, if you get a smaller bike (especially that Yam 535) and spend a whole season getting used to that sewing machine, I gotta say that might actually increase your chances of dropping the Victory once you step up to it. So IMO, you're doing just what you should be doing.

Hey, you already dodged one bullet. You managed to get outta a Harley shop without buying a Harley. (-: Has your girlfriend got her first drop outta the way yet, so you can buy her something nice?

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Re: New Rider Needing Advice

#15 Unread post by Lucky Lady » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:58 am

What a gorgeous bike! I'm a relatively new rider, too, so am in no position to give you advice, but will, nonetheless, put in my 2 cents. Everyone chuckled when I said, at the age of 59, that I intended to learn how to ride a motorcycle, a Harley no less... so I set out to prove the naysayers wrong! Just dumped the bike last Sunday and fractured the end of my collarbone, but already am back on it. The mishap involved just me (fortunately) on a partial U-turn that I hadn't given much thought to and wasn't prepared for. Stupid...but it won't happen again! You have to learn from your mistakes.

Took a long trip just yesterday with my brother. Fortunately, as long as I don't raise my arm too high, I can manage the bike. There's not a whole lot you have to do with your right arm.

My motto: Just DO it. That bike is not too big for you. You just need to get used to it, which you are doing. YOU are just the type of bikers we need out there: cautious and sensible, setting a good example. Happy riding!

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