what was your learning curve?

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archanis
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what was your learning curve?

#1 Unread post by archanis » Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:57 pm

for those of you that have a bike,
when you were just starting, what was your learning curve?
how long did it take you to get used to the bike?
did you take an msf course?
what bike did you learn on?

just kinda wondering. some of my friends have these wacky ideas that as soon as i (and by exention them, or so they think) get on the bike, im a stunt man, doing unthinkable acts of awsumness, and racing in a 25 at 80. kinda hoping to discourage that here. you see, i dont want to cary a passenger till im ready, #1, and #2 i dont want ANY of my friends to touch my bike once i get it. they have a tendancy to pull this one: "what does thiiiiiiiiis button dooooo?' 'DEEDEE, NO!"

if you get the joke, you ether like cartoons, have kids, or are pretty young yourself.
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#2 Unread post by NCRonB » Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:45 pm

I took the MSF BRC earlier this month having no prior experience. I rode a GZ250 and didn't like it much but I was fairly comfortable with it after the first day. At first, my EX500 seemed like a monster, but after a couple days of scooting around the local neighborhoods and back roads, it felt natural.

Getting used to the bike itself hasn't really been much different for me than getting used to a new car -- new controls to learn, handles differently, stuff like that; it didn't take long. I have a good bit of confidence, but a healthy respect for my limitations as a new rider, so I suspect it will take a good bit longer before I'm as comfortable with the whole experience as I am in a car.

I've never been a "macho" man and while I enjoy speed and the thought of racing on a track, I don't understand the obsession with doing stupid things that can easily kill you; what fun is that?

Don't let any of your friends talk you into doing something you're not comfortable doing, period. They aren't the ones that have to pay the price if you screw up. If they don't like it, they aren't very good friends, are they? I'm not even close to comfortable taking a passenger (my mother-in-law wants me to take her for a ride; not gonna happen) and I'm not about to let an inexperienced unlicensed curious "friend" hop on for a spin around the parking lot.

Enjoy your ride the way you want it... and go Dexter! (I have kids).
Ron

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#3 Unread post by Shiv » Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:56 pm

Woot for Dexter (I'm a loser).

Can't say as I don't own a bike but on the bike I did ride around on for the MSF I'd say I learned it fairly quick. Braking took a bit of work but I got it towards the end.

For when I get the bike I think my learning curb will be fairly quick now that I know how the throttle and clutch work. How to do the brakes/shift/etc. all it should take it getting used to feathering the clutch and seeing how sensitive the throttle/brakes are.

AT least I'm hoping...
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#4 Unread post by KarateChick » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:10 pm

I took the course in July & got my bike a week later (01 Ninja 250). Worked on slow speed manouevers on the street for a few hours to review stuff from the course and then started my riding following this outline http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/school-SectionFive.htm Felt pretty good after a few days and gradually built up to longer, busier roads & trips until comfortable.

Agree with 'rbickers" on getting used to the bike itself.

I won't be letting anyone that doesn't already ride on my bike and even then, it'll depend on who they are & what I know of them in terms of riding style & maturity. I don't plan on taking any passengers now (as a new rider, I wouldn't even try) or in future (I'm 5'2 and 110 so doubt I could hold them up at a stop for the moment). Totally with you, rbickers!

Well, riding is on hold now. Winter is on its way and I've winterized the bike altho there have still been a lot of nice days here but thought I'd better fit that task in while I had the chance to.

Good luck to you when the thaw comes and you get that course done & bike purchased!
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#5 Unread post by archanis » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:36 pm

thanks for the great replies. my friends are not the type to jump on and try death defying stunts. just easily exited, and impatient. when they heard i wasnt going to let them on, they called me selfish... something or other. then i showed them my total startup cost, and said that if they payed half, i would let them ride. provided they took the msf course with me.

shame they backed out after that... i could do with a little extra funding. :roll:
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#6 Unread post by cb360 » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:50 pm

I think you are wise to wait for a passenger. It really does change the whole ballgame - especially with respect to braking. Get a few hundred miles under your belt and then give it a shot. It's not hard or anything, but it is different. As for loaning your bike - I'll loan mine out to people that I know have a license endorsement already and who I know without even asking that they'd insist on making good on damage they caused. Here's a free tip - if you have to ask them whether or not they'd be good for it... don't loan them your bike :laughing: :laughing:
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#7 Unread post by archanis » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:56 pm

in my short life, i have learned many things. among them is never to ask someone to do something that i could not do myself, and never to expect someone to do something i could not do myself. the expetions are profesionals in a field such as plumbers or mechanics.

and i KNOW my friends arent good for repair and damage costs :roll:
its not a matter of trust, its a matter of responsibility... i trust them not to be responsible. :laughing:
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#8 Unread post by storysunfolding » Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:14 pm

I have a fairly smooth learning curve. I'd ridden dirt bikes a bit which helped me understand the shifting but I think what really helped was my time on a road bicycle. That helped with balance, being aware of road hazards, and especially braking (rear brake is horribly ineffective on a road bike)

Me and my as of now unnamed bike took a couple days to get well aquainted.

I didn't take the MSF course

I learned on a Yamaha XZ 550.

Would I let my friend play or learn on my bike? Yeah, but that's what I bought it for in the first place. She's only put me $550 in the whole between the bike and the repair (though I still need to repaint her, seal her tank and clean her up.)

The rest of the gear cost money, but I plan to wear my jacket as a winter jacket, the pants when it rains or snows (can you tell I went textile?), the gloves for the cold, and the boots most of the time. I also just fabbed up a heated jacket that will run for 3 hours off a rechargable battery that used to power an old RC car of mine... the motorcycle opened up too many projects for me right now
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#9 Unread post by guitar guru » Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:31 pm

I've been riding mine now for just under a month, and I'm getting fairly used to it. The biggest caution areas I experience are stopping at intersections and going around turns. I'm especially careful to slow down and not take turns too fast because that's the most common place for a single rider crash.
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#10 Unread post by Sev » Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:38 pm

Hmmmm, back in June of '04 I took the MSF course, I had a lot of trouble with keeping my chin up. Confidence issues, not with myself, but with the bike. I kept looking down to make sure nothing had changed with it. Takes time to develop faith in the bike. At least it did for me. I learned on a Kawasaki Eliminator (125cc)

After I completed the MSF I bought my first bike, an '04 LS650 Savage, essentially the same frame with a slightly bigger engine (33hp as opposed to the 20 or 22 from the Saki). I put 4000km on that one, and I have no regrets about buying it. Except for the fact I'm not built to ride a cruiser.

Last Feb I was at a bike show with BuzZz and he suggested a sit a Honda 599. I fell in love, everything was exactly where I would put it if I was designing the bike myself, though the damn thing needs a windscreen (side complaint ignore this). Anyways, I've put 7300km on it to date, starting around June, so I've had a lot of fun on it.

As far as getting used to the bike, nothing is ever isntant. I never got used to the MSF bikes because I didn't have long enough, it took me about 500km to get used to either of my bikes in general, but I find the longer you have it the more you are willing to trust it. You do not go out and rub your tires to the edge on the first day, you slowly work your way through corners faster and faster as you learn what the bike is capable of. I've made a couple of marks on the edge of my tires now, but I still have distinctive chicken strips. I'm hoping that I'll get to take a trip up to the mountains to carve those off next year.
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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#11 Unread post by ZooTech » Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:51 pm

I got my first quad when I was seven, and I rode that regularly until my dad sold it when I turned sixteen. Other than two one-minute rides on mini bikes in my youth, my first real motorcycle ride (and first street bike ride) was on my brother-in-law's Ninja 600 when I was maybe seventeen. I rode it all around the countryside where he lived (boonies of western Ohio) and had a blast. I got another quad in 2001 (an '01 Yamaha Warrior) and rode that all around the deserts of Las Vegas and at Haspin Acres in Southeast Indiana. I sold the quad in '02 when I divorced and took $800.00 of the proceeds and bought a 1978 Honda CX500. It only had a little over 9,000 original miles, and my buddy had an '82 GL500i (same engine) which I had ridden a bit so I knew it was a good, solid scoot. I paid cash for the bike and rode it home with no helmet, no gear, no plate, and no learner's permit. I got it registered and insured, picked up a second-hand helmet, and proceeded to put over 3,000 miles on it without so much as a permit, including a two day trip to Detroit. After the engine blew I parted it out on eBay, came into some money, and bought an '84 NightHawk 700SC. I rode the NightHawk for 1-1/2 seasons without a permit and put over 9,000 miles on it in that time. I finally picked up a permit in the spring of '04 and traded the NightHawk in for my present bike on July 31st of '04. I just renewed my permit this spring and finally got licensed over the summer.

When I first bought the CX500 I looked into the MSF but found it booked-up six months in advance. Being an ISTP personality type, I don't care for instruction anyway and prefer to learn on my own, so the MSF course probably wouldn't have done anything for me (I have a habit of pissing off teachers).

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#12 Unread post by Wizzard » Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:46 pm

I don't know , after 47 years of riding I think I may be at the apogee of my learning curve.............. :wink: But one never knows , does one?
Regards, Wizzard
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#13 Unread post by sapaul » Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:54 am

Wizzard wrote:I don't know , after 47 years of riding I think I may be at the apogee of my learning curve.............. :wink: But one never knows , does one?
Regards, Wizzard
I hope I never reach my apogee,

I am one of the ones that seem to be able to jump on anything and make it go, bikes, cars, buses, dump trucks???. BUT this is not what all of the learning curve is about. It's developing that (instinct, reaction, whatever you want to call it") that keeps you alive and upright when riding. It's the when to do what thing. I am finding this hard to put into words but timing is so important, the decisions you make on the road are vital. Some guy's do this naturally and just know when that car is going to pull out or when they need to slow down, most of us have to work damn hard to aquire this. There is no substitute for experiance and the more you ride the better it gets but complacency can creep in, you have to stay on your game all the time. You have to work at being the best rider you can and that does not mean fastest. Many guy's come off the dirt as experianced motor cycle riders but have no road sense at all. You have to be cynical. There are things on the road that can kill you, most of them are other people. Sure biking is fun, but only when you get to the other side in one piece.
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#14 Unread post by storysunfolding » Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:44 am

sapaul wrote:It's developing that (instinct, reaction, whatever you want to call it") that keeps you alive and upright when riding.
True, but so much easier in a bus! Yeah CDL drivers!
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#15 Unread post by Wizzard » Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:59 pm

Sometimes you all take life way too seriously . Now for the best and later for the garbage . Lighten up and have some serious phun phriends . Oops , hope no one has too much trouble with my spelling............ :laughing: like I really give a damn .
Regards, Wizzard
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#16 Unread post by ronboskz650sr » Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:40 pm

I don't even remember a learning curve. And when i returned to riding 30 some years later...it was more like a vertical line. I just wanted to go, so I did. No interest whatsoever in how long it took or how hard it was...just had fun like the Wiz said. Bought the bike about a week before I hit the road, whatever that means.
Ride safe...God bless!
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