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post #1 of 43 Old 05-08-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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FAQ for new riders

Would like to share some info i came across on another site. Once agian I do not take credit for the information below, i am simply just awesome at copy & paste Enjoy



I want to have some sort of FAQ or info guidelines for new riders so we can point them here when they post the usual "is the ZX6R a good first bike" stuff. Some people have no clue about riding, so why don't we 'begin at the beginning'..with the very basics. The keen observer will note about 90% of what follows is focused on keeping the new rider SAFE.

Anyone with Real life experience to share can add to this however they see fit.

-----------------------

Backgrounders

Riding a motorcycle on the street is one of the most dangerous activities you'll likely ever undertake. The whole exercise of learning to ride needs to be approached methodically with a mindset of awareness and risk mitigation, otherwise you're very, very likely to wind up a "statistic", and have a very unsatisfying, short and embarrassing riding career -- or worse, end up six feet under.

This post (and thread) will be long, because the art and science of riding on the street encompasses many issues, some you've thought about and some you may not have even considered yet. I'd like to do justice to this subject and not gloss over important details. Those little details could save someone's life.

Pre-requisites. Well, in most places you have to be at least 16, in some countries you can only start on a 125cc bike, and so on. Stateside they'll sell you a Hayabusa in most dealerships without even asking to see your license. IMHO you should at least have some manual gearbox driving experience before even getting on a motorcycle. You should have some experience driving cars in city traffic, highway conditions, suburbs, etc. The more, the better. Motocross experience counts for a lot as far as basic mastery and control, but it DOESN'T give you any situational awareness in fast / heavy traffic. Driving does; it teaches you to predict the moronic moves of other drivers; it teaches you about margin of error, road conditions, and many other factors.

Reading. There's a wealth of great information to help you ride safely and skillfully. Check your local library for books like Proficient Motorcycling (David Hough), Sport Riding Techniques (Nick Ienatsch) and others. Try and understand motorcycle dynamics - what'll happen if you panic in that corner and hit your brakes...and why. It's a lot less painful than finding out "by experience" on the road. Hang out on websites where people talk shop, you'll learn an enormous amount. Absorb every bit of good info you can find, including crash reports. Avoid websites where the guys have more skillz than brains.

Training. Sign up for the MSF training if you live in the US - it's free in some states but you need to get your name on a list. Other countries have an equivalent rider training. You'll need a helmet and gloves at minimum to take the course. It's typically one Friday evening and then all day Sat and Sun on the bike. TAKE THE COURSE, you'll learn something no matter how much you think you know. It's humbling, and it will also pay off immediately in lower insurance rates.

Getting the right gear. This is as important as what bike to buy. Get the best gear you can afford, period. Helmet, gloves, boots, jacket and pants. Common reco is to set aside $1000-1500 for your gear. You don't need the best leathers available, but get yourself covered. Never buy a used helmet! (dropped helmets are considered to be potentially compromised structurally, even if you can't see the damage on the shiny side) If your clothing/shoe sizes are pretty normal you can save some dough buying online rather than at a dealer, but trying on the apparel and helmets before you buy is obviously recommended.

Choosing a good first bike. If you're reading this you are interested in sport(y) bikes. The normal recommendation for new riders of smaller stature is to start on a Ninja 250, preferably a used one so you don't take a big hit on resale - you will outgrow the bike in a year or so, maybe less. If you're bigger you could look at the EX500 or GS500. Some people recommend the SV650, I think with 70bhp that bike is on the borderline. Maybe ok if you're mature enough, but it could get you in a shitload of trouble if you're not. It is an easy bike to ride but then again so is the CBR1000RR. Btw, if you're concerned about bike weight or power, and live in Canada, Australia or Europe, check out the CBR125RR...interesting package. As to whether a ZX6R makes a good first bike -- the consensus among us is NO. I'll let others add comments to that if they want to. My own feeling on this is that at least 50% of us buy the "wrong" first bike (I did too), so I'd rather address the attitude or approach to riding more than the machinery itself.

Will I drop the bike? Most people say YES; ...personally I like to say NO -- don't drop it. That's what an experienced rider told me when I started, and it has worked for me - in the sense that, I became determined not to just be resigned to dropping the bike at the first sign of trouble, just because that's "the thing to do". But statistically speaking, YES you will most likely drop your first bike. And your second. Think about this when choosing your first bike....a good used Ninja 250 or 500 is a lot less painful and WAY less expensive to fix up, and a small light bike gives you a much better shot at beating these odds also.

Starting out on your own. You got the bike home, now what? Speaking for myself, I started on side streets in the suburbs - all around my neighborhood with stop signs, no traffic lights. Practice and learn basic control of your machine. Most drops happen at low speed. Work on becoming smooth at starting off and at stopping. Develop a good feel for the clutch engagement, and when you think you've got it down, practice on incline starts. Become an expert at all the little things -- use of the sidestand, gear shifting, throttle control, mirror checks, controlled hard stopping (practice in a parking lot), these all will pay big dividends at some point down the road. After a few hours of this over 3-4 days I headed out into town, dealing with traffic lights, 40mph-limit traffic, and so on. Next up I got on some rural roads with 50-55mph limits; I have to be honest, crosswinds and buffeting scared the shit out of me at first! I just wasn't expecting it. Same for the wind blast from oncoming semis. It's all part of the learning progression, and this is why it made sense to me to take it slowly at the beginning. It was a good 2 months or so before I got on the freeway, where average speed is 70-80mph. You might be ready to deal with it sooner, you might not. Just respect your own inner voice, that's the guy looking out for your ass.

Riding buddy. Sure, find someone to ride with, but make sure they can ride well, and that they're willing to ride with your interests in mind, and at your comfort level. A friend that sucks you in to riding twice as hard as you're comfortable is no friend. A friend that gets impatient with you is a bad riding partner.

Group rides. I would say just flat out avoid them for a while. Groups introduce a whole other set of dynamics and variables, most of them out of your control. Groups will tend to have a mix of experienced and less skilled riders, which is not usually a great thing. The other big aspect in group riding is the testosterone or ego level, again it just introduces a whole set of shit to deal with on top of the set you're already trying to master. Wait a few months. When you're ready, be sure to read Ienatsch's "The Pace", it's very worthwhile. And only ride with sane people, not fucktards!!

Trips. Again all dependent on your comfort level. Good to start out small (overnighter) and learn how to do it right, what to pack and what to leave home, etc. How to pace yourself to conserve energy.

In this next section I want to deal with specific risks - what are they, when can you expect them to arise, how can you avoid or mitigate them. I'm not sure how to organize all this but I'll give it a shot.

---------------------------

Risks you face in the very earliest stages.

Wanting to ride all the time. This is completely natural, I think everyone faces it. You just got the bike and you can't stand not being on it. Learn to sense when you're up for a ride and when to keep it parked. If you're tired, upset, irritable, anxious, need to eat, etc., don't go out! You need to be 100% mentally strong to ride, that goes for every ride. Also, life goes on for the people around you, so try not to blow off all your responsibilities - otherwise they'll start to resent the whole motorcycle thing, and it'll become a source of tension (for you as well).

Wanting to ride really well. Well, sure. But this takes seat time and it can't be rushed. If you're obsessing about technique as a new rider, you're gonna push things faster than what you're ready for. And you'll be in trouble way sooner than you're able to handle it. Just take the mindset that you're going to be riding for many, many years. The gratification will be there, you don't need to have it instantly like we've become so accustomed to nowadays.

Distractions. In the first month or two you have to be totally focused on safety, period. If you're riding and start to stare at a pretty girl walking on the sidewalk, or sneak a look at yourself in the storefront window to see if you're "cool", then you are distracted. Don't worry about impressions. Everyone knows you're a newb anyway. Just concentrate on survival. There are other distractions too - a fly in your helmet, being hot and sweaty, some debris on the road, whatever. Learn to anticipate them and deal with them, without losing any control over your motorcycle. Distractions also include wandering thoughts, worrying about a bill you forgot to pay, what your asshole boss said to you before lunch, etc. Sometimes I'll actually drift off into thinking about crashing the bike, and 5 minutes later I'm still thinking about the eulogies people are giving at my funeral.... WTF!! Concentrate on the road, idiot. 8)

All the other "usual" hazards. They apply to everyone, all the time. See the lists below......


Risks you face after the first 2000-3000 miles.

False confidence!! Congrats, you made it ok this far. Now go back to the basics again, re-read everything, refocus. This is the time when you suddenly cop a dumb grin in your helmet and go, "hey, this is easy." Yep, riding down a country lane in perfect conditions IS easy. It doesn't mean you have any skills though. At this point your emergency maneovering skills are probably completely untested. Have you ever made a controlled panic stop, and executed it well? Probably not. Have you faced more than 1 or 2 of the "usual" risks listed below? Doubt it. You can shift smoothly and you aren't as wobbly through corners, but YOU ARE STILL INEXPERIENCED, so stay on the program!!


The "usual" risks -- these apply to all of us, all the time.

Drivers. They are all out to kill you. Well, most of them anyway. The average driver doesn't see you and isn't even remotely aware of you, no matter how loud your pipes are. He's checking his voice mail, reading, shaving, drinking coffee, possible all at once. He'll cut you off, swerve into your lane, tailgate you, and generally make your life miserable. If you commute on a bike, you know why the term "streetfighter" is apropos. It's flat-out urban combat out there all the time, every day. edit: Be especially alert for Taxi drivers, they tend to be sociopathic assholes!

Riders. Yeah, other mc riders....I've had nearly as many close calls with them as I've had with cages. Sometimes my own fault - riding with a friend and not paying enough attention, etc. But I've had strangers try to overtake me in my lane, and weird shit like that. Not good but it's more common than you might think. Not just aggression but also there are a lot of riders out there who really don't know what they're doing.

Trucks and buses. Just stay the hell away from them, as far away as possible.

Pedestrians and cyclists. They've screwed me up a few times. Usually you can predict their actions but sometimes not. Just remember, if you ever hit/injure a pedestrian or cyclist, it will be YOUR fault, no matter what happened. And (assuming you survive) it'll hang on your conscience the rest of your life.

Road hazards. Oil spills, fallen construction pylons, huge potholes, fresh horse paddies, rusted exhausts shearing off the back of old Civics, 15-lb brake calipers flying off truck wheels, you name it and some poor bastard on two wheels has faced it head on. Luck of the gods be with you... some of these things are just totally out of your control, but you still have to make the effort to anticipate and react wherever possible.

Rush hour. Commuting on the bike is extra risky, I think. In the morning the roads may be cold...you have extra-inattentive (sleepy) drivers, and lots of people running late for work. In the afternoon, pretty much the same thing....lot of ppl yakking on cell phones, stressed out rushing to day care to pick up their kids and whatnot. Be sure you're mentally prepared....I've often left the bike at home and took the car when I was too tired to deal with all of it.

Cold tires. I read that something like 60% of bike accidents happen within 5 minutes of your house. Watch for cold pavement and/or cold tires. Increase your stopping margin, and decrease your lean angle on turns accordingly.

Bad weather. Rain, snow, hail...none of it good for us. I took my time getting used to riding in the rain, I'm pretty comfortable now but if it's pouring I usually wait it out. They say in rain you still have 80% of your limits. Everyone has their own comfort level. Extreme heat and cold are also major risks.

Critters. Squirrels, rabbits, dogs, deer. Moose if you live up in the north. All of them have shit for brains and will run right at you when they're scared. Watch for them all the time! See a deer? Slow down, there are more in the area....especially in mating season (Sep-Oct-Nov depending how far south you live).

Mechanical failure. None of us like to think about this one. It could be a tire puncture, a rod shooting through the clutch basket, or anything. What we all can do is keep our bikes well maintained, check tire pressure every few days, check tire condition / look for nails etc before every ride, test your lights before each ride, the basic stuff like that.

Night riding. Plus dawn and dusk; prime time for deer. Lots of dangers in low-light conditions... animals, drunks, debris you can't see until it's too late. Just last week I was on I-75 northbound in KY after dark and nearly lost control when I hit some broken / uneven pavement. Night rider beware!

and last but NOT least......

The "obvious" becomes much more critical. On a bike, avoidable circumstances are more likely to kill or maim you, so ALWAYS watch for them. Always leave an escape route. Always watch for vehicles turning into your path, especially near high-turn areas like gas stations, donut shops etc. (way too many bikers have "Officer I didn't see him!" for an epitaph on their gravestone). When you overtake a vehicle, spend as little time as possible in their blind spot. Always "block" your lane like they teach you in MSF - especially when you don't have a shoulder available as a backup escape. Never follow open-bed trucks and pickup trucks - what flies off the back will kill you fast. Always slow down approaching blind curves and blind hill crests. Slow down in forested areas where heavy shadows can play havoc with your visibility of the road. Always watch the road for gravel, but keep your head UP, not looking down at the pavement. Slow down in bad weather, construction zones, or any bad road conditions. Respect the community you're riding in -- slow down near schools and school buses.
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post #2 of 43 Old 05-08-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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THE PACE

by Nick Ienatsch
Copyright © June 1993, Sport Rider Magazine

The street is not the track — It's a place to Pace
Two weeks ago a rider died when he and his bike tumbled off a cliff paralleling our favorite road. No gravel in the lane, no oncoming car pushing him wide, no ice. The guy screwed up. Rider error. Too much enthusiasm with too little skill, and this fatality wasn't the first on this road this year. As with most single-bike accidents, the rider entered the corner at a speed his brain told him was too fast, stood the bike up and nailed the rear brake. Good-bye.
On the racetrack the rider would have tumbled into the hay bales, visited the ambulance for a strip of gauze and headed back to the pits to straighten his handlebars and think about his mistake. But let's get one thing perfectly clear: the street is not the racetrack. Using it as such will shorten your riding career and keep you from discovering the Pace. The Pace is far from street racing ? and a lot more fun.

The Pace places the motorcycle in its proper role as the controlled vehicle, not the controlling vehicle. Too many riders of sport bikes become baggage when the throttle gets twisted — the ensuing speed is so overwhelming they are carried along in the rush. The Pace ignores outright speed and can be as much fun on a Ninja 250 as on a ZX-11, emphasizing rider skill over right-wrist bravado. A fool can twist the grip, but a fool has no idea how to stop or turn. Learning to stop will save your life; learning to turn will enrich it. What feels better than banking a motorcycle over into a corner?

The mechanics of turning a motorcycle involve pushing and/or pulling on the handlebars; while this isn't new information for most sport riders, realize that the force at the handlebar affects the motorcycle's rate of turn-in. Shove hard on the bars, and the bike snaps over; gently push the bars, and the bike lazily banks in. Different corners require different techniques, but as you begin to think about lines, late entrances and late apexes, turning your bike at the exact moment and reaching he precise lean angle will require firm, forceful inputs at the handlebars. If you take less time to turn your motorcycle, you can use that time to brake more effectively or run deeper into the corner, affording yourself more time to judge the corner and a better look at any hidden surprises. It's important to look as far into the corner as possible and remember the adage, "You go where you look."


DON'T RUSH
The number-one survival skill, after mastering emergency braking, is setting your corner-entrance speed early, or as Kenny Roberts says, "Slow in, fast out." Street riders may get away with rushing into 99 out of 100 corners, but that last one will have gravel, mud or a trespassing car. Setting entrance speed early will allow you to adjust your speed and cornering line, giving you every opportunity to handle the surprise.
We've all rushed into a corner too fast and experienced not just the terror but the lack of control when trying to herd the bike into the bend. If you're fighting the brakes and trying to turn the bike, any surprise will be impossible to deal with. Setting your entrance speed early and looking into the corner allows you to determine what type of corner you're facing. Does the radius decrease? Is the turn off- camber? Is there an embankment that may have contributed some dirt to the corner?

Racers talk constantly about late braking, yet that technique is used only to pass for position during a race, not to turn a quicker lap time. Hard braking blurs the ability to judge cornering speed accurately, and most racers who rely too heavily on the brakes find themselves passed at the corner exits because they scrubbed off too much cornering speed. Additionally, braking late often forces you to trail the brakes or turn the motorcycle while still braking. While light trail braking is an excellent and useful technique to master, understand that your front tire has only a certain amount of traction to give.

If you use a majority of the front tire's traction for braking and then ask it to provide maximum cornering traction as well, a typical low-side crash will result. Also consider that your motorcycle won't steer as well with the fork fully compressed under braking. If you're constantly fighting the motorcycle while turning, it may be because you're braking too far into the corner. All these problems can be eliminated by setting your entrance speed early, an important component of running the Pace.


Using all of the available lane while entering the corner (square line) provides a number of benefits. It allows you to brake while upright, see farther through the corner and use a later corner apex. With a later apex, you can get on the throttle earlier as you stand the bike up out of the corner. The low entrrance line (dotted line) forces you to lean over even after the apex and is a major contributing factor to overshooting a corner. Always give the centerline some room; stay right except to pass.
Since you aren't hammering the brakes at every corner entrance, your enjoyment of pure cornering will increase tremendously. You'll relish the feeling of snapping your bike into the corner and opening the throttle as early as possible. Racers talk about getting the drive started, and that's just as important on the street. Notice how the motorcycle settles down and simply works better when the throttle is open? Use a smooth, light touch on the throttle and try to get the bike driving as soon as possible in the corner, even before the apex, the tightest point of the corner. If you find yourself on the throttle ridiculously early, it's an indication you can increase your entrance speed slightly by releasing the brakes earlier.

As you sweep past the apex, you can begin to stand the bike up out of the corner. This is best done by smoothly accelerating, which will help stand the bike up. As the rear tire comes off full lean, it puts more rubber on the road, and the forces previously used for cornering traction can be converted to acceleration traction. The throttle can be rolled open as the bike stands up.


A tire has a given amount of traction that can be used for cornering, accelerating, decelerating or a combination of these. A tire that's cornering hard won't have much traction left for acceleration or deceleration. Imagine a linkage connecting your rear tire to your throttle hand. As the tire stands up from full lean, your throttle can be rolled open; the tire's traction used for cornering can now be converted to acceleration traction.
This magazine won't tell you how fast is safe; we will tell you how to go fast safely. How fast you go is your decision, but it's one that requires reflection and commitment. High speed on an empty four-lane freeway is against the law, but it's fairly safe. Fifty-five miles per hour in a canyon may be legal, but it may also be dangerous. Get together with your friends and talk about speed. Set a reasonable maximum and stick to it. Done right, the Pace is addicting without high straightaway speeds.

The group I ride with couldn't care less about outright speed between corners; any gomer can twist a throttle. If you routinely go 100 mph, we hope you routinely practice emergency stops from that speed. Keep in mind outright speed will earn a ticket that is tough to fight and painful to pay; cruising the easy straight stuff doesn't attract as much attention from the authorities and sets your speed perfectly for the next sweeper.


Using your brakes entering a corner, or trail braking, takes a delicate touch on the lever. As the bike leans in and the tire begins cornering in earnest, there won't be much traction left for braking. Imagine a connection between the front-brake lever and the front tire: as the tire goes to full lean, all traction will be used for cornering; grabbing the front brake at this point will lock the front wheel.



GROUP MENTALITY
Straights are the time to reset the ranks. The leader needs to set a pace that won't bunch up the followers, especially while leaving a stop sign or passing a car on a two-lane road. The leader must use the throttle hard to get around the car and give the rest of the group room to make the pass, yet he or she can't speed blindly along and earn a ticket for the whole group. With sane speeds on the straights, the gaps can be adjusted easily; the bikes should be spaced about two seconds apart for maximum visibility of surface hazards.
It's the group aspect of the Pace I enjoy most, watching the bikes in front of me click into a corner like a row of dominoes, or looking in my mirror as my friends slip through the same set of corners I just emerged from.

Because there's a leader and a set of rules to follow, the competitive aspect of sport riding is eliminated and that removes a tremendous amount of pressure from a young rider's ego — or even an old rider's ego. We've all felt the tug of racing while riding with friends or strangers, but the Pace takes that away and saves it for where it belongs: the racetrack. The racetrack is where you prove your speed and take chances to best your friends and rivals.


Riding fast everywhere hurts our image, your license and eventually your bike and body. Set realistic freeway and city speed limits, stick to them and save the speed for the racetrack or dragstrip.
I've spent a considerable amount of time writing about the Pace (see Motorcyclist, Nov. '91) for several reasons, not the least of which being the fun I've had researching it (continuous and ongoing). But I have motivations that aren't so fun. I got scared a few years ago when Senator Danforth decided to save us from ourselves by trying to ban superbikes, soon followed by insurance companies blacklisting a variety of sport bikes. I've seen Mulholland Highway shut down because riders insisted on racing (and crashing) over a short section of it. I've seen heavy police patrols on roads that riders insist on throwing themselves off of. I've heard the term "murder-cycles" a dozen times too many. When we consider the abilities of a modern sport bike, it becomes clear that rider technique is sorely lacking.

The Pace emphasizes intelligent, rational riding techniques that ignore racetrack heroics without sacrificing fun. The skills needed to excel on the racetrack make up the basic precepts of the Pace, excluding the mind-numbing speeds and leaving the substantially larger margin for error needed to allow for unknowns and immovable objects. Our sport faces unwanted legislation from outsiders, but a bit of throttle management from within will guarantee our future.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE PACE PRINCIPLES
Set cornering speed early. Blow the entrance and you'll never recover.

Look down the road. Maintaining a high visual horizon will reduce perceived speed and help you avoid panic situations.

Steer the bike quickly. There's a reason Wayne Rainey works out — turning a fast-moving motorcycle takes muscle.

Use your brakes smoothly but firmly. Get on and then off the brakes; don't drag 'em.

Get the throttle on early. Starting the drive settles the chassis, especially through a bumpy corner.

Never cross the centerline except to pass. Crossing the centerline in a corner is an instant ticket and an admittance that you can't really steer your bike. In racing terms, your lane is your course; staying right of the line adds a significant challenge to most roads and is mandatory for sport riding's future.

Don't crowd the centerline. Always expect an oncoming car with two wheels in your lane.

Don't hang off in the corners or tuck in on the straights. Sitting sedately on the bike looks safer and reduces unwanted attention. It also provides a built-in safety margin.

When leading, ride for the group. Good verbal communication is augmented with hand signals and turn signals; change direction and speed smoothly.

When following, ride with the group. If you can't follow a leader, don't expect anyone to follow you when you're setting the pace.
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post #3 of 43 Old 05-08-2012, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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So you want to ride a motorcycle?


Seriously... one request, let's not pile on the newbs in THIS thread, ok? Do it somewhere else. I'd like this thread to be a clean concise source of useable info!!!! not cluttered with a bunch of flames

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post #4 of 43 Old 05-08-2012, 09:53 PM
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that was a good read man, and nice post
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post #5 of 43 Old 05-08-2012, 10:59 PM
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Very good information.
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post #6 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 02:00 AM
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Very good information. Took a minute to read on my phone but well worth it. thanks.
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post #7 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 02:17 AM
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Great info, good for all levels to read.
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post #8 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 04:11 AM
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post #9 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 05:25 AM
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My advice for new riders:

Throttle's on the right, so are the brakes. Good luck.
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post #10 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Sometimes I'll actually drift off into thinking about crashing the bike, and 5 minutes later I'm still thinking about the eulogies people are giving at my funeral.... WTF!! Concentrate on the road, idiot. 8)

OMG, I have done this more times than a few! Cracked me up reading it, thought I was just strange for doing it.

Great read and great post though, thanks for that!
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post #11 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 05:52 AM
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Really good information. I actually learned a few things. Thank you.



"It is better to travel well than to arrive"
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post #12 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Hope more people can get some insight out of it. Also have this thread i posted a while back. I know its alot of read but it could save some of you alot of skin & for others keep those leathers looking pretty.

http://zx6r.com/racing/24137-tips-pros.html

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post #13 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 05:01 PM
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I'm a new rider and I really appreciate this. I want to be riding for decades not days.
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post #14 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 05:10 PM
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Reading the link is awesome, but reading and doing are 2 different things.

NO matter what you choose for your first bike take a basic rider course for 250$ or 300$ or whatever. MSF is nationwide and partnered with everybody, find one and do it. Bike and helmet provided even!!

It's 3 days of drilling into new riders the things everybody takes for granted. And just those 3 days can instill good habits and generate awareness about things new riders thought they knew, and things they never considered.

Hands down the best investment any new rider can make.
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post #15 of 43 Old 05-09-2012, 05:56 PM
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Great copy-pasta their Youssef. I think this point merits discussion though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Youssef636 View Post
Don't hang off in the corners or tuck in on the straights. Sitting sedately on the bike looks safer and reduces unwanted attention. It also provides a built-in safety margin.
I think we can agree that at a given speed hanging off the bike even a little will reduce lean angle when compared to someone sitting upright. IMO, this reduction in lean angle nets a slightly greater safety margin compared to the latter should one need to tighten their line for whatever reason. I also got to bear witness to comparing the two when a buddy of mine, who was having trouble hanging off the bike and decided to ride upright, cut a corner awfully tight and needed to tighten his line but ran out of tire and went down. Having mistakenly followed the same line through the same corner at the same speed (similar rider weights as well), I made it through without issue, the only difference I noticed was I was half-way off the bike. My friend probably chopped the throttle reducing ground clearance while I believe I was smooth and steady, but he doesn't recall making any sort of inputs other than adding more lean.
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