New Rider

by Lisa

I would like to discuss being a new rider (2 months) in order to gain confidence. Getting a female rider's perspective, to me, would be more beneficial than that of a male rider.

Comments for New Rider

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Aug 10, 2011
by: Lisa

Wow! Thanks for all the great advice. I appreciate it loads. Here it is, August 10 already. I'm really enjoying my summer on the bike and hate the rain even more than before, for obvious reasons. Though I've ridden in the rain before, I'm not a big fan. I rode in the dark for the first time yesterday. It wasn't that bad, of course I was in the city where the streets are well lit. I will not ride at night if I can help it, though. I've go about 700 miles under my belt so far and counting........

Ride safe, everyone!

Aug 08, 2011
Practice and read!
by: Izzy

I agree with what everyone has been saying, would also like to add that you should try to read as much as you can on safe riding tips and good cornering technique, etc.
I am always looking for different material on riding, I find that along with actual pracice, if you also read about different procedures and visualise them, you may find that the knowledge you gain will help you out at some point.

For example, last summer we went on our first bigger trip that included twistier roads than I was accustomed to. One of the corners caught me by surprise, as it has a decreasing radius. I had read so much about leaning that all that popped into my head was chin up, look ahead, LEAN! That got me safely around the corner, and I truly believe that since it was so ingrained in my mind I could draw on the knowledge when I needed it.

Fill your mind with information combined with practice, there is always something to learn. My next goal is to take another course.(the MSF course was the first thing I ever did before I rode at all)

Ride safe and have fun.

Aug 02, 2011
I'm plugging along like you are!
by: Sarah

Hi Lisa,

I have dedicated this summer to riding as much as possible also. Took the MSF in June. Almost every evening that I ride, after evening rush hour, I head over to a school or empty office park for part of the ride. I used to go immediately across the street to the school there, but now just try to fit skills in with riding. My reactions are still not as perfect as I would wish, yet, sometimes I see improvement and am encouraged. From what others say, I think we need to be patient with our "muscle memory" and try to expose them to new situations slowly. I wish that I could ride with others, but ... no way could it be done safely yet. I was encouraged this week-end when riding pillion, the guy driving has ridden for 23 years, but his shifts still weren't always how he wanted them. Yet.. he was safe and we had a good time! Hope the summer goes slowly for both of us as we learn!

Jul 31, 2011
MSF Course and Be Aware
by: Andrea

Take the MSF class. I learned things that have saved my life on several occasions. It's worth whatever they're asking. In the US many of the national motorcycle clubs will partially reimburse you for the course after successful completion. Honda and Harley do this. The class and club membership get me discounts on insurance, too.

The big lessons I learned are these:

Develop a hyper awareness of your surroundings.

Be bold. Be decisive. Own the road. Hesitation and indecision can get you hurt.

Make a little movie in your head that clearly outlines what you will do when you go down. I only needed it once, but I escaped with a sore bottom (and some mangled bike parts) where I could have been seriously hurt.

I've got about 100,000 miles under my butt and I have loved every one of them :)

Jul 30, 2011
Totally agree, plus...
by: Robin C - Michigan

The others are right on with the MSF course and lots of practice in parking lots. Riding with another person who has experience that you trust is also a great idea. One other thing that really helped confidence wise for me was the "Ride Like a Pro" DVD set. You can see tips and previews on You tube, and that will help a lot with the parking lot practice. Having confidence at slow speeds and knowing how to make those tight turns will really help on the street. Bottom line, confidence is not built overnight and will take time and work. I still consider myself a new rider, I'm in my 2nd season, and I have a little over 12,000 miles on my bike. Stay in your comfort zone, push yourself to learn more, but only when conditions are right for YOU! Good luck to you :)

Jul 26, 2011
Ditto to Practicing and the Riders Course
by: Jess

I agree with everything said by the first poster. I am a new female rider. Took the MSF course over 4th of July weekend and have only 415 miles under me. I own a Vulcan 900. I'm now getting to the point where I don't have a panic feeling after leaving my driveway. I've been on 5 trips so far (totaling the 415 miles) and have been in pouring rain - which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was 50 miles out of town when it started so I had to just deal with the fears. I have also been thru a wind storm where it was pushing my bike back and forth - definitely didn't like that - but again managed. I was even hit by a bird this last weekend, right on my helmet. Thank God it was small so I didn't really feel it much. Long story short - just being out there on your bike puttering around will gain you confidence. The parking lot practice is very important in my view and should be done often while you are learning. Go out there and have a great time!!

Jul 26, 2011
by: Anonymous

Practice, practice, practice! I assume you took a motorcycle safety course... Find a parking lot, a long driveway, or a road without much traffic and practice using the throttle, shifting gears, braking, navigating curves, circles, figure-eights - all the basics. If you didn't take a course, sign up now! Having those basics under your belt will make you a more confident rider - and that's what you need!

Enjoy and be safe!!

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