Practice in parking lots, practice in very quiet residential streets, practice in very quiet 2 lane roads. Concentrated on learning the machine really well before venturing into traffic where I knew I needed more brainpower to deal with traffic instead of the machine.
Several evenings after getting it home I put it on the centerstand and practiced operating the controls with the engine off. Then on centerstand practiced throttle and shifting with it running. (that bike it was not going to touch the rear wheel down unless I did something really stupid) All this to burn in the muscle memory as to how to operate the controls.
Current: 1988 BMW R100GS (the 'numberplate' model)
Past: 1987 Yamaha XT350
1983 Honda CB900F
1980 Honda XL185S
1979 Suzuki GS425E