Need to know about riding motorcycles.

Im thinking about learning. Im gonna take lessons at a school that will get the road test waivered if I pass. My question is, besides the image, is it really that fun? I get the feeling alot of people like the image more than the experience itself. What do you like about it? Is it scary riding on a highway? What’s a good starter bike if you wanna go used and don’t mind spending 2500-3000. Thanks.

You should read about deadman’s tuna[sup]*[/sup].

[sup]*[/sup]This is exactly the kind of problems that motorcycle riding can cause.

Ask yourself that question after you’ve passed your class -
What’s fun for me might not be fun for you, and you won’t know until you’ve tried it
(I don’t care about image, my bike is no looker, but I love riding it.)
Also consider where you’d ride it - traffic jams in the summer, not so fun.

Personally, I got back into riding so I could drive on the sidewalk to get around road blocks to stop rat-running. It worked well for that, but even after I moved to where it wasn’t a problem I just kept on riding. Its more economical and “fun” as opposed to getting in your car driving. As well, it wakes you up in the AM on your way to work.

Which image? The blue-collar Harley look? The Racer look? The Tourer? The I-may-be-poor-and-my-bike-is-crap-but-at-least-I’m-on-a-bike-and-you’re-not look?

Riding is much more fun than driving. For one thing, you get accelleration that you can’t get in a car – and I used to have a Porsche. My $4,000 Yamaha would out-accellerate it every time. Then you have the maneuverability, leaning into turns and flicking around at your lightest touch. The view is great.

There’s more, but I’m at work and I’ve been summoned…

I loved riding a bike…there really is no way to truly explain the exhiliration that comes from accelerating on an open road. Luckily I was never hurt while riding, so I’ve kept great memories of it. I’ve had friends who were gravely injured and some who died, though, so keep that in mind.

Taking an MSF course is a great idea…it will give you a few hours seat time, so you can decide for yourself if you think it is for you.

You will also learn a great deal about how to make yourself more visible in traffic to other motorists.

I enjoy it for the smells and sounds you can experience that are muffled even in a convertible car. I enjoy having nothing between myself and nature, feeling the temperature drop when I go over a bridge, or knowing that there are hot dogs on a grill behind that house on the left. I ride with groups and alone, with sport bikes and cruisers, Harleys and BMWs, and I’m planning to go shopping tonight for some sherbet. On my bike. Because I can.

If you decide to ride, take the MSF, even if the school teaches you enough to waive the road test. Let me say that again. Take the MSF. If you decide to ride, know that you become magically invisible. I ride, and I still miss seeing a bike at times.

Great stuff everyone thanks. Im convinced. And I am taking the MSF course. I also get to waiver the road test if I pass.

My Jeep Cherokee gets 18 mpg. My Yamaha gets 50 mpg. I’m riding the bike to work. In addition to getting better mileage, I also get to take advantage of lane sharing (which is legal in Califronia). No traffic jams! (Anyway, it’s the cars that are causing them.)

have been riding for fifty years, it is truly something you can enjoy doing alone. i live on the edge of a large city. in five minutes i am cruising through the countryside, hardly ever go over 45 mph and i ride a twenty year old rice burner.

i do the whole biker routine, try to look as bad ass as i possibly can, grateful dead t-shirt, pink floyd headband, leather gloves, dark glasses and i am the biggest pussy you will ever meet, hahaha…

Did you know that law enforcement officers call bikers “organ donors”?

Its a lot of fun and safe until the moment of impact. There are two kinds of bikers. Those that have laid down their bikes, and those that will.

Not really…

There are a lot of motorcycleist that have never dropped a bike.
I know a few.

But most have. So what?

I have dropped my bike twice. Once, I was trying to impress a girl, and was riding like an idiot. I hit a curve going way to fast, and hit something slick in the road(tranny fluid most likely), and hit the pavement before I knew what happened. I was sitting there on my ass watching my pride and joy go sliding down the street… I checked on my passenger(she twisted her ankle a bit, nothing major), and walked over and picked my bike up. We got on the bike and road home…No big deal.
Second time, I did somehting stupid on the freeway(long boring story), but the end was that I wound up sliding down the freeway at about 50 or so. Once again, I just got up and picked up my bike(I couldnt get it to start this time), and went home. No broken bones, no road rash no missing jaw(I so tired of hearing about that fake stupid photo on Rotten). I was a bit sore for a few days, but I know people who have gotten hurt a lot worse playing basketball.

Yeah, most people will drop thier bike at some point, maybe even twice they do stupid stuff. Hell, I know a guy who used to get drunk and run from the police all the time on his honda chopper, and he was always laying his bike down. I think he did it some times for the attention…

Dropping you bike doesnt mean you die, or are even seriously injured. Most motorcycle accidents are just low speed fall downs. You and bike get scraped and bruised a bit, then you pick yourself up, take a baseball bat to the bars to straighten them, and get back on. Just pay attention at the class, use some comon sense, and dont show off for chicks and your fine.

Me, I would rather ride my harley than just about anything. its an old beat up 74 FLH shovel, but its mine I love it. On days I can ride, I actually look forward to going to work…And I feel a little disapointed when I pull into my driveway at night when I come home, no matter how tired I am. I wanna go for a put right now, but I gotta work for another 30 minutes. My bike is out thier waiting for me in the parking lot.

The feeling of freedom, and a little bit of danger, is just something you cant get anywhere else.

Oh, and most Law Enforcement Officers I know ride motorcycles too, organ donor or not.

My next upgrade is a set of frame sliders…everyone should get these if they are made for your bike. I can get a full set for <$100, and they will protect the fairings if I ever lay it down. I definately will have them before I do any track days.

What kind of bike do you want? A great learner bike if you want a sport bike would be a mid 90s CBR600…you could buy one for 3500 or so, and probably get that much back out of it in a year when you are ready for something bigger.

Or a cruiser if you don’t like laying on the tank. Sit on a few, for ten minutes in riding position, see what is comfy. I have a Honda Shadow ACE 1100. My style.

Yeah there is definately a trade off (comfort vs. performance),lol.

I pretty much ride in a racing crouch all the time now, unless I sit up to 1)make myself more visible, or 2)begin braking/downshifting for a turn.

It’s actually pretty comfortable, keeps all the weight off my arms/wrists, lowers my center of gravity, and helps me lean the bike on long curves easier.

You know what? I am an organ donor. I’ve filled out the paper work, informed my relatives, everything’s dandy. Should I die in some sort of trauma somebody else will get to use my specialized meat.

But that doesn’t mean I’m eager for this to happen.

I’ve read crash reports from the coroner’s office, and from police. I’ve studied crash scenes. I’ve read studies looking at traffic accidents, and I’ve been in a serious one myself. And I’ve come to a conclusion:

Most people involved in accidents weren’t driving at the time. They were talking on the phone; switching radio stations; sleeping.
It’s tough to do that on two wheels.

Then you have behaviours that technically qualify as driving, but are irresponsible: recovering from getting drunk; not looking in a mirror, let alone shoulder checking; trying to time lights; making U-turns at intersections.

And third, you’ve got people who don’t qualify for the privilege of driving: people who have lost a license, or never got one in the first place.

There are lots and lots of inadequately trained drivers out there. I’m even of the opinion that the MSF course isn’t enough, since you don’t actually go into traffic.

Get trained. Know that you are vulnerable no matter what you drive (even 18-wheelers can get into lethal accidents). Pay attention to driving when you are on the road, and you’ll probably be okay.

Long time rider.

Many riding courses kinda “gloss over” the importance of “counter steering”. Please learn to do this and use it all the time.

There very likely will come a day when that technique will save your hide. I can’t believe how many long time riders don’t habitually counter steer.

If you are unfamiliar with the term - Counter steering works like this. If you want to turn right, gently turn the handlebars to the left. This will initiate the lean for the turn about 10 times faster than you could do it shifting your weight. Once the bike has reached the desired amount of lean, let off the pressure and let the bike turn.

You can’t turn sharper with counter steer, but you can definitely start turn sooner. If you make it habit to steer this way all the time, it will be natural that one time an obstacle “jumps out in front of you” and your chances of missing it will be greatly improved.

Take all the training you can get. Don’t skimp. The extra hours of training might cost a few bucks, but your life is worth more. I got my license last year, after 27 hours of training and a demanding examination (both theory and practice). I bought a bike (Yamaha Diversion 600, the same bike as Johnny LA has), and have been riding as much as possible ever since. And you know what? I still have a lot to learn.

It’s hella fun. The acceleration, the feedback you get from the machine when cornering, the feeling of slowly becoming part of the machine… it’s awesome!

Image? Feh. I’m sure there’s people who do it for the image, but they won’t last long.

Yeah, I find it a tad intimidating at times. Just keep in mind that you’re really invisible, and that the people in the metal cages really are trying to kill you. Pass quickly to avoid long periods in the “dead spot” of a driver. Be visible: lights on, always. Wear clothing with reflective surfaces. Use the horn when in doubt of a driver’s next move. And, most of all: distance, distance, distance. Keep it. Treasure it. It’ll save your ass on many an occasion.

We need to know a little bit more here. Like UncleBill said, try a few seating positions and discover what you prefer. My Yamaha is quite upright, sort of between a tourer and a sports bike. Works for me, but might be annoying for you!

A good friend of mine advised me on my first bike: buy second hand, and buy Japanese. I’m sure he’ll be checking in soon enough. Goddag, Spiny. :slight_smile:

scotth:

Huh? Isn’t it basically impossible to ride a bike and not countersteer? I’ve never heard of anyone changing directions just by shifting his weight.