Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

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Jesse_James
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Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#1 Unread post by Jesse_James » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:23 pm

I am a happy person today. As I passed my motorcycle license test by going though the motorcycle saftey course. I've been on the road for about 100miles so far. Does anyone have any suggestions of what to get used to? what to watch out for? I am a first time rider/morotcycle owner.

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Johnj
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#2 Unread post by Johnj » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:29 am

Practice, practice, practice.
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#3 Unread post by BRUMBEAR » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:02 am

and then practice some more. But don't forget to enjoy the practice, best of luck to you!! I hope you get to ride and enjoy it for a long long time.
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#4 Unread post by GS_in_CO » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:22 am

(first reply try disappeared) Trying again-
Practice a LOT on roads and parking lots with little traffic. Practice everything the MSF taught - especially hard stops and countersteering. Practice slow riding, practice swerving. Find a large paved circle and do circles in both directions at higher speeds to develop trust in yoru tires. Stay out of heavy traffic until riding the bike is nearly instinctive. You need the mechanics of the bike to be almost automatic so that you can be looking up and out ahead developing your powers of ESP so that you know what the other drivers will do even before they do.
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#5 Unread post by MmeMagpie » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:11 am

Practice, like everyone else said, to know thy machine. Get to know it as though it's an extension of yourself. If you have some open spaces to work with, I also suggest finding out how fast your bike can accelerate. That's just as important as knowing how fast you can stop.

Developing that 6th sense is definitely important :) When I ride, I assume that everything on the road is actively out to kill me. This level of hyper-awareness is exhausting, at first, but keep at it. Eventually, it will come to you without effort.

Seeing all and knowing your machine combine to produce instant, instinctual reactions to situations. It's pretty awesome when it all comes together.
Ooooooh. Shiny!

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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#6 Unread post by dirt dobber » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:41 pm

check your tire air pressure before every ride. i checked mine, it was on 40 (rear) every time so i just quit checking started noticing rear was cupping left me??? it set for over a wk. i got on it to back out it didn't want to move. make this short i just run the air out. nothing wrong with the tire.
watch out pulling out from a road into another i almost spung out in turns. (too much gas). especiality if tread is low. ride to the left, stay out of right rut. left lane when you can (4lane).

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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#7 Unread post by GS_in_CO » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:33 pm

dirt dobber wrote: watch out pulling out from a road into another i almost spung out in turns. (too much gas). especiality if tread is low. ride to the left, stay out of right rut. left lane when you can (4lane).
I'd simplify this to - don't accelerate (much) until the bike is upright. Especially in situations where you are pulling out from a stop. (oh, and beware painted lines, sand, oil spills, and the oily strip in the middle of the lane at stoplights)
Ron

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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#8 Unread post by MmeMagpie » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:51 pm

Yeah. That line paint is slippery even when dry.
Ooooooh. Shiny!

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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#9 Unread post by Grey Thumper » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:33 am

Hmmm, resist the temptation to join a group ride, even a small one. Too much pressure to try to ride faster/impress them/keep up (even if they're really nice and accommodating enough to go at your pace). Best to get to know your bike on your own, IMHO.
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#10 Unread post by dr_bar » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:00 pm

Talking about that "6th sense" ...

When you ride in traffic, you obviously watch other vehicles, cars, trucks, buses, and other bikes. But just what do you see besides a big chunk of metal and plastic going down the road? Look at each vehicle as you get closer. Does it look like the driver is on their cell phone? Can you guesstimate their age? Is the driver alone or with someone else? Is the driver continually checking the mirror on your side?

All these and more, are the little clues that help you manage traffic. It takes mere seconds to check these things, so it's not like your spending your whole ride examining every car and driver out there. People alone in a car are usually, but not always, more attentive than when there's a passenger to distract them. Checking their mirrors is a good sign they want to change lanes, don't rely on turn signals, most drivers in this area usually signal their turn or the fact they just made one if they signal at all. As you know, turn signals are meant to be used in "advance" of a turn, let me know how many of those you see on the average day... Young drivers and really old drivers throw up a flag in my mind. Parked cars are another thing all together, never ride right alongside parked cars if possible. Stay in the left position of the driving lane when there are parked cars, (assuming you drive on the right side of the road.)

So you see, it's not just being aware of the vehicle that helps keep you safe, but all aspects of that vehicle. Buses are another matter altogether. In BC where I live, buses have the right of way when pulling out of a bus stop, the drivers believe they have the right of way where ever they happen to be. They change lanes on a whim expecting you and other drivers to dodge their mammoth vehicles, all the while believing they are in the right....

So get out there and practice, but practice ALL the skills you need to survive, and when you're driving your own car, become more aware of those other drivers, practice the 6th sense. Last but not least, the day you think you know everything there is to know about riding a motorcycle, that's the day you should hang up your keys for good. I've been riding since the early 1970's, and I still learn new things when I'm on the bike. I firmly believe that every single time I ride, it's a learning experience.

Sorry for the novel...
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#11 Unread post by Jesse_James » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:39 pm

Thanks everyone, I have been right out on the road with my motorcycle after the course and also going to work. There isn't too much traffic where I live. I had my bike up to a top of 70mph so far. Two things that need to be addressed. First is it ok to use the downshifting power of the transmission to come to a planed stop or is that hard on the transmission? I always thought it would save the brake pads. Also I have put about 200 miles so far and have been putting gas in around 80 miles. I don't quite understand when the fuel valve should be turned to reserve.

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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#12 Unread post by Johnj » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:04 am

Yea, it's ok to downshift to help you slow down. I do it all the time.
How much gas do you put in the tank when you fill it up? Try to go one hundred miles next time.
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#13 Unread post by GS_in_CO » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:28 am

Downshifting is good technique as long as you aren't slipping the clutch to do it. Do try to be as smooth as you can be.

But be aware that brake pads are cheap and easy to change compared to clutches and transmission parts.
Ron

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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#14 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:10 am

When your bike starts sputtering you will know it's time to turn on reserve. :mrgreen: Also...after you have your bike on reserve, make sure you turn the valve back to normal when you refuel....or your bike will be sputtering again soon. DAMHIK. :laughing:

#1 Keep your eyes moving. Don't get a fixed stare.
#2 Where you look is where you go. When you go around a corner, don't look at the curb....Look where you want to go.
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Re: Passed my test!!!!!! Now what??

#15 Unread post by storysunfolding » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:59 pm

Take it easy. Riders coming out of the MSF tend to be fairly safe for their first few months but then the probability of crashes goes up at month 6. Then they level out until you upgrade to your new bike (old habits on new likely more powerful bike is bad news).

I can't stress practicing enough. Check out the exercises at the end of this book http://msf-usa.org/downloads/Street_Mot ... s_2010.pdf

Once those are easy, play with the cones to make it harder and challenge yourself. Once that's easy pick up a few police or gymkhana exercises to give a bigger challenge to yourself.

As to using the clutch to slow down, not a big problem- it's just not as smooth an effective as using your brakes. Like GS said- those are cheaper and easier to replace than a clutch. It's really only good for sounding cool (debatable). However, it also doesn't illuminate your brake lights which means its harder for cars to know how fast you are going.

Then make every ride a lesson. You should be learning something new on each ride. Make your throttle control smoother, your turn ins better, work towards zero mid corner corrections, pick up experience experience, develop the ability to predict hazards better etc

Also post up your location in your profile.
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