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Discussion Starter #1
This piece comes to us from Ride Apart, who gather some of the best and worst tips for riders from the old guard. I figured this would be very relevant here considering there are many here shopping their first bike.

The Best and Worst Tips Given By Long-Term Motorcyclists | RideApart

Worst Advice:

Helmets Restrict Vision

you get to use 90 degrees of your vision, that's all you're capable of. Helmets provide 105 degrees.

Helmets Reduce Hearing

If you mean the wind filling your ears, sure.

You Don't Need Gear if You Know How to Crash/Ride

85 mph into a car that pulls out in front of you, oh you know how to crash? guess we shouldn't worry about that 360 degree pirouette you just did 5 feet off the ground. At least you stuck the landing...

600 is a Beginner Bike

This is common from the overweight huffer prattling on about his Busa or Harley. fast bike slow or slow bike fast?

Best Advice

Its How you Ride It

Because of real world limitations like speed limits, cops, cars, trees and turns your speed is dependent on you not the bike. Kinda the same deal with driving a car you know. I'm sure you can do the 1/4 in 9 seconds, and...?

Get Back in It

popped your crash cherry, get back in it. Its the only way to get better. If you remember back to highschool there are lessons to be applied here. Remember the first time....

Bicycles

bicycles operate on the same principles as a motorbike minus the explosions between your legs. Learn about counter steering and managing separate brakes in a low speed environment.


Experienced riders chime in, nothing worse than the blind leading the blind..
 

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I completely agree with the "600 is a beginner bike" as bad advice. I am quite happy with getting a 300cc bike. Having twice as much displacement seems like it would be overkill for a beginner. I mean you can only go so fast legally.

And the thing about knowing how to ride -- its not about how you ride, its about how every other person on the road drives.

I think another piece of advice I would give is to get a full on helmet. Smaller helmets that cover your head less are not going to protect you as well.
 

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You Don't Need Gear if You Know How to Crash/Ride

I have never heard this in my life before hahaha. Who would believe this?

600 is a Beginner Bike

Really depends on the kind of motorcycle

A SV650 is not a bad starter. Depends on your size as well I guess.

If you are a hefty guy a 250 isn't the best option.
 

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600 is a beginner bike for some but I know a lot of people wouldn't advise getting it, even well experienced riders.

250-300 is ALWAYS recommended.
 

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Okay, if you are hefty guy than maybe you should go with a 300cc bike as your first. But it seems like entry level bikes in America are going to be starting at 300cc very soon anyway.

On the subject of gear, do you think that there should be a law requiring helmets? I see plenty of people on the street who don't wear proper gear. Most have helmets but many are wearing clothing that is entirely inappropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I completely agree with the "600 is a beginner bike" as bad advice. I am quite happy with getting a 300cc bike. Having twice as much displacement seems like it would be overkill for a beginner. I mean you can only go so fast legally.

And the thing about knowing how to ride -- its not about how you ride, its about how every other person on the road drives.

I think another piece of advice I would give is to get a full on helmet. Smaller helmets that cover your head less are not going to protect you as well.
to a degree, but if you're going to be leaving YOUR safety up to others i suggest you don't ride.
 

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to a degree, but if you're going to be leaving YOUR safety up to others i suggest you don't ride.
Yup.
There are a long list of things we as rides need to always do to ensure our safety and to even control what others do to not sacrifice our safety.
 

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... And the thing about knowing how to ride -- its not about how you ride, its about how every other person on the road drives...
IT IS ALL ABOUT how YOU ride, no one else... as Cropper said, if you are counting on the actions or intentions of others on the road to keep you safe, you'd better just stay home.

Yup.
There are a long list of things we as rides need to always do to ensure our safety and to even control what others do to not sacrifice our safety.
How in the world could you possibly "control what others do"? To even suggest that you can is more than just a little frightening.

As a motorcyclist, all you can do (where other motorists on the road are concerned) is to ride defensively, and be fully aware of whats going on around you. That said, no matter how careful you are as a rider, there are no guarantees that another vehicle won't pull out in front of you a the last instant, or merge into your lane and leaving you nowhere to go. Motorcycling has inherent risks associated with it... don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.
 

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Ortega is a master magician.

Expert in mind control through long distances.

Kidding.... At my riders coarse there was a smallish girl who came to the test in a 600 super sport. Just bought it, never ridden in her life. She dropped it in the parking lot while we were all on break watching. Kinda felt bad for her.. Hope shes... You know.. Alive.
 

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... At my riders coarse...
This is without a doubt, the very best thing any new rider can do... take a motorcycle rider training coarse, like those offered through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).

Too many new riders, and for some reason particularly those who buy CBR250R/300R's for their first bike, get all wrapped up in what is best described as "Mod Fever", when they would be much better served leaving their bikes stock and spending their extra money on high quality riding gear and focusing their attention on becoming better, more proficient riders by taking a basic MSF Riding Coarse. Then down the road, take an advanced riders coarse.

Speaking of quality riding gear, I'll never understand why some will throw away all sorts of good money on expensive, but cheaply made Chinese "farkles" (most of which look pretty gaudy, IMO), only to go as cheap as possible on the things that really matter like helmets, protective apparel, footwear. When it comes to riding gear, in most cases you really do get what you pay for. I happen to think that a new sport bike rider should budget $1000 to $1500 for their riding gear.
 
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There are also a number of good books available on the subject... a very good one is titled Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough.

Every motorcyclist should have this book.

You can get it on Amazon for under $20 USD.





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There are also a number of good books available on the subject... a very good one is titled Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough.

Every motorcyclist should have this book.

You can get it on Amazon for under $20 USD.





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Thanks a lot for mentioning that book, im going to check it out. Always helps to arm yourself with as much info as you can, the more the better.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There are also a number of good books available on the subject... a very good one is titled Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough.

Every motorcyclist should have this book.

You can get it on Amazon for under $20 USD.
my uncle also recommended that, as well as one about suspensions that i cant seem to recall right now. He said if i wanted to learn how to ride fast i needed to understand suspension dynamics.
 

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I've been meaning to take some sort of advanced course that would teach me skills and techniques on a track.. But have yet to find one I am confident with.

Might have to travel for it.
 

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it helps to check with local bike communities and organization for where you can go to pick up some skills and techniques locally
 

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Learn to ride on a dirt bike. If you can ride the trails the road is easy.
 

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How about "laying it down"?

My brother said he almost had to do this as some cager pulled out in front of him while running a red light.

I did make sure to point out that rubber has more traction than plastic or metal, but then he says something about bracing with your feet against the car. Depending on your speed, isn't that like jumping off the 5th floor of a building and bracing for impact against the ground with your feet?
 

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1. Buy the most expensive and safest gear you can afford.

2. Take the training course. (for those of you who didn't, you are just plain stupid, or already dead).

3. Don't be an hero. There are always situations you aren't ready for, and things you don't know about bikes. Be humble and grow into your skills slowly.

I am of the opinion that a 600 is NOT a starter motorcycle. As mentioned before it would certainly matter if it were a Virago vs an R6, but generally, in sport-bike world, a 600 is a mean machine and not to be trifled with lightly.

Did I mention buy the most expensive gear you can? I ALWAYS wear my jacket, gloves, and boots when I ride. People who ride in shorts and a T-shirt are really, really, really smart. Don't believe me?

Police warning to 'T-shirt and shorts' bikers - Motorcycle news : General news - Visordown

Note it was at LOW SPEED.
 

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Regarding riding gear: 'expensive' does NOT mean 'best'. The world of motorcycling is just as fashion-conscious as most others and so a lot of riding gear attracts higher prices just because it is the latest colour or carries the current World Champion's graphics.

This is certainly the case with helmets. What seems to be five different helmets with five very different prices can in fact be identical under the paint. Helmet manufacturers tend to make just a handful of 'shells' and then differentiate with graphics, paint schemes and fiddly bits like vents. None of this adds safety. I use a plain white Shoei helmet which is identical to another costing $200 more, just because it had a flash paint scheme. Do your homework and figure out what the real differences are. If you can pay more, spend it on stuff that matters, like low weight or low noise, not stickers.

The same goes for leathers, jackets, boots and gloves. It usually makes sense to buy a reputable brand, but use your head if you are on a budget and check out each particular manufacturer's cheaper products. They will often be just as good as their top-of-the-range items in terms of safety, or very little different. There is even the chance that the cheaper item will be better in some ways, because manufacturers know that riders who care little for fashion nevertheless know what makes a good jacket or pair of gloves, so the 'cheap' version might actually be warmer, more waterproof and more practical.

As has already been said, I would steer clear of unknown brands for which you cannot obtain independent reviews.
 
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Here's an example. The two helmets below are identical under the paint, but the Marquez replica costs $240 more from the same shop. It is quite likely that you will find the plain white version on special somewhere, for even less. I bought the white one

:)
 
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