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      10-02-2006, 11:01 PM   #1
E91 Dude
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Best Way to Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle?

Hi Everyone,

I recently returned from serving 2 years overseas and now I'm back home for good. To celebrate, I decided to do something that I've wanted to do for a while: learn how to ride a motorcycle. (The most experience I have is sitting on one when it was parked.)

What is the best way to learn? (Unfortunately, I don't know anyone that has a bike.)

Thank you!
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      10-03-2006, 09:37 AM   #2
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I'd say learn on a dirt bike. If you're in a large open area there's nothing to run into, the bike's made to take a beating and be dropped, and best of all, dirt/grass is softer then pavement.

hmmm, not knowing anyone with a bike makes it difficult; don't know what to tell you.
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      10-03-2006, 09:46 AM   #3
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Motorcycle safety course

I highly suggest taking the motorcycle safety course. They provide everything helmet, motorcycle all you need is a permit.
http://www.msf-usa.org/:)
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      10-03-2006, 01:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmulax
I'd say learn on a dirt bike. If you're in a large open area there's nothing to run into, the bike's made to take a beating and be dropped, and best of all, dirt/grass is softer then pavement.

hmmm, not knowing anyone with a bike makes it difficult; don't know what to tell you.
Either that or buy yourself a used Kawasaki Ninja 250R and learn to ride..guaranteed after 2 weeks you'll be good to go...
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      10-03-2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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I took lessons as mandated by my province back in the '90s.

I agree with jhalbri, take lessons, you'll get instruction from people with years of experience, and it will probably save your life once or twice knowing what to look for.


Welcome back!!
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      10-03-2006, 02:24 PM   #6
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Take the free safety course. I took it twice. First to get my license, then again as a refresher after I bought a new bike after not riding for several years.
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      10-03-2006, 03:13 PM   #7
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MSF course by far... spend a weekend learning how to ride...

The MSF course I took included class time as well as plenty of practice on their road courses...
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      10-03-2006, 03:14 PM   #8
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+1 on the msf course. afterwards if you still want to ride, buy yoursefl the best possible gear you can afford and start on something mellow. if someone tells you to get a litre bike, sock them in the head.
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      10-03-2006, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E91 Dude
...I decided to do something that I've wanted to do for a while: learn how to ride a motorcycle. (The most experience I have is sitting on one when it was parked.)

What is the best way to learn? (Unfortunately, I don't know anyone that has a bike.)
I was in exactly the same boat.

I decided I wanted a Harley and didn't know anyone who rode.

The only think I had ever done was to sit on one at the dealers.

I contacted the Americam Motorcycle Association (AMA) and found a class near me.

It cost about $50 and I had class on Thrus. night, class on Fri. night, class and riding on Sat., class and riding on Sun.

In Maryland after completing and passing the course on Sunday, you can actually take the state riding test and if you pass you can go down and pickup your license Monday morning.

Knowing nothing, the course taught me soooooo much.

How to position yourself in the lane (left, right and center), to look at car tires to see which way they are turning, use cars as shields, how far back to ride, how to stay visable to cars, etc.

It was EXTREMELY beneficial.

Another thing to remember is to ride like you are invisable and exspect the cars to do the wrong think.

People who ride dirt bikes and think they can just go out on the road are fools.

I have ridden over 120,000 miles and have never even came close to an accident.

Happy Riding!

No one should ride without taking the AMA safety course.
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      10-03-2006, 08:54 PM   #10
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Cool Rgray, you come off as a sensible chap more often than not!

120,000 miles???? How long did it take you to log those???
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      10-03-2006, 09:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewtheBassman
Cool Rgray, you come off as a sensible chap more often than not!

120,000 miles???? How long did it take you to log those???
Thanks, I guess.

I bought a 1991 Harley 1200 Sportster Oct. of 1990 (before I finished the AMA couse), road that until April of 1992 and put a little over 22,000 miles on it.

April of 1992 I bought a 1991 Harley Low Rider with 237 miles on it for a great price ($10,200) with a lot of chrome, custom paint job, a 21 inch front wheel and a solid rear wheel (see below).

I now have 98,685 miles on that.

I ride all year round as long as the temperature is over 40 degrees.

I broke my ankle in 2003 real bad, the doctors had to take two inches off my leg so I didn't ride for almost 2 years.

I was averaging about 1200 miles a month.

I am retired so I ride ALL THE TIME. This is what my bike use to look like when I bought it.

Now it's cobalt blue (looks blue, black and purple).
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      10-03-2006, 09:12 PM   #12
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That's cool, so you were in BEFORE all the librarians and accountants LOL!

Seriously when I got my bike (BMW K100RS Special) in November '96, it changed my life....what a feeling! And that is right when Harley started making sales projections related to Baby Boomers and dang they were right on! Harley is similar to BMW I guess, in that their brand loyalty is awesome.
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      10-03-2006, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewtheBassman
That's cool, so you were in BEFORE all the librarians and accountants LOL!...
It certainly changed my life.

Actually I was an accountant , but not the typical type.

That's why I retired at 48 (12/31/98).

I couldn't take it any more.

A Harley was something I had wanted since I first remember seeing one.

My parents would not let me have one and live in their house and my first wife wouldn't let me have one.
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      10-03-2006, 09:27 PM   #14
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That's funny....
My accountant drives and X5 and his partner an E90 330xi...guess they're keepers!

My father had always wanted a motorcycle, so shortly after buying one I twisted his arm (at 66 yrs old) and we put on a lot of miles together before I had Sophie (2001) and sold the bike and he had a hip replacement (sold his also!!).

When E91dude comes back to his thread we can tell him how great air smells when you have a helmet on and you're riding in the rain!
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      10-03-2006, 09:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewtheBassman
...When E91dude comes back to his thread we can tell him how great air smells when you have a helmet on and you're riding in the rain!
That's where we might deffer.

If youi want to wear a helmet fine, but I HATE helmet laws.

I wear the smallest (illegal) helmet I could find.

If they save lives; they would save a lot more lives if ALL car drivers wore them.

The safety is between your ears (and loud pipes).

I will admit that I wore my helmet every time for the first year (not a bad idea).

Before I road I couldn't believe anyone would ride without one.

A helmet is like having sex with a condom.

It just ain't the same.
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      10-03-2006, 09:44 PM   #16
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Awww, it's just that we're in different motorcycle sects. I was the guy in the blue Aerostich suit and the white full face helmet.

Bottom line is that you're aware, like you said. Either way it can be a dangerous way to travel IF there are cars or trucks around you!
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      10-03-2006, 09:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewtheBassman
...Bottom line is that you're aware, like you said...
Like I said, "ride like you are invisable and exspect the cars to do the wrong thing."
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      10-03-2006, 10:40 PM   #18
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Thanks to everyone for all the information so far. And thanks for sharing your experiences RGRAY. I've always respected our 2-wheel brothers on the road and I'm excited to become one myself.

Now I plan on taking both the MSF and AMA courses to get as much instruction that I can. Gitta, what is this free safety course you mentioned?

LOL @ "A helmet is like having sex with a condom. " Is it really that bad? And [it might be my inexperience talking, but] isn't it quite risky to ride in the rain?
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      10-03-2006, 10:55 PM   #19
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I was riding my bicycle just now with my full face track Bell helmet.
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      10-04-2006, 06:09 AM   #20
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Taking all those courses will teach you tons and you're going to love riding a motorcycle. Modern bikes are a blast!

Obviously, the helmet discussion in motorcycle circles is very polarizing. I would ask your instructors what their feelings are. I have read of bikers who, while fully under control, ctach a bit of gravel and wind up in the ditch, and their full face helmets are all scratched up on front. You decide.

Riding in the rain is definitely higher risk, but say you're on your way home, or on a long trip and between two points....gotta keep going. It's not THAT bad. Depends on how bad it's raining. Motorcycle riding requires a lot more judgement and maturity than driving a car. It's also more thrilling.
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