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new member and rider

Hello all,
Just signed up to the boards, live in Louisiana and just completed msf and added my endorsement. I rode about 20 years ago, so I'm eager to get back into it.
Bringing my new baby home tomorrow - vulcan 900 lt. So wwill add a picture as soon as I get her in the driveway :). So excited, and look forward to meeting you all!

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24 Comments

Welcome to the site from York, Pennsylvania. Enjoy your time here at CCC and ride safe.

Welcome from west Texas! You've found the right place to be and enjoy your new ride!!

Welcome from northern Canada! Looking forward to seeing your new bike.

Thanks Bill,
Unsure on how to add an image to the reply, but I did update my profile picture with it.

That's a great looking ride. If you go to add a photo and click on browse, you can add a photo from your computer picture file. Don't for get to add a tag or it won't post.

I swear, I am going to move down there. What it must be like to be able to ride all year long. I'm up here in Ohio and hating this winter crap. Enjoy your new bike. Don't forget to tweek it and make it your own. We are all individuals.

welcome from Winston Salem, NC...! i'm new as well.

Thanks for the warm welcome all, its great to be here.

I have to admit, I am having some issues.. I thought it would be jump on the bike and have a blast, but I hevilly over-estimated my ability LOL!
I rode the bike home (about 35 miles), which took forever, my knuckles were white, I was scared of every curve in the road, I had a healthy looking convoy, and I did about 35mph the whole way. haha... (This is after I passed the msf course with flying colors, which does not prepare you for the road -- at least not as much as I thought it id).
However, the important thing is, I made it home I one piece.. since then, I've taken her out a few times, although, mostly just in a small parking lot (bank drive thru after hours), which allowed me to practice leans a little as I lapped the building, and practice some tight space figure eights etc.
My main problem is going at speeds above 35, lol... I did get it up to 45 the other day if only for a few seconds on a straight run, and I can feel the fear giving way to excitement. I think the biggest thing for me is how different the bike feels above 30 -- everything seems to lighten up, the weight just vanishes, and wow, does it seem fast.
I really feel better after each ride though, I can honestly say each ride was better than the last, and each time I get off I feel more comfortable in whatever small accomplishment I have made. I'm waiting for Sunday morning, as I feel the only way to beat the road is to ride it, so waiting until there is very little traffic around before venturing much further for now -- although traffic does not bother me, its just getting used to the speed...

Sorry for such a long winded post. my question would be, thinking back on when you all first started riding, is this a typical learning curve? How did you overcome it? -- I'm thinking practice and miles is the only real solution here, I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice to share? -- I'm thinking my biggest problem is simply overthinking everything... for every curve no matter how small, I'm thinking "where do I need to be, how will I turn? am I going the right speed? where do I need to be looking?" I'm hoping its just new-rider phobia, but I'm not going to let it beat me!

lol man you make me scared to get mine out on the road after reading your comment.! but then again you have a 900 vs a 600.! big difference in power right there my man...! lol its been 30 years since i last rode...! i'm just waiting on some riding gear to get here then i'm off to the DMV to get a permit, then some practice runs up and down my street several times before i venture out on the main rd... i have to say, your very brave for riding it home like that...

I remeber feeling the sense of accomplishment after each ride. I sucked at using the clutch for most of my first year. I would have paid to see what I looked like at stoplights...lol. I couldnt wait to get my endorsement so I could ride the e-way. I kept a long length of rope in my tool compartment mark in 12 foot increments and some chunks of sidewalk chalk. Any time I had some spare time, I would find an empty parking lot and chalk out the test. Wow, memory lane... I assure you that your precision and confidence will come in time. Ride safe!

Welcome, Griff! I got my motorcycle license last summer and I usually ride the KZ1000 (even though my profile says HD Dyna. Rob usually rides the Dyna.) Everyone keeps telling me that it takes time, practice and a lot of miles to get comfortable with it. It helps a lot that I have someone with me most of the time who has as many years experience on motorcycles as what I've been alive!

Welcome to CCC and back to riding!

Yep it looks easy from the sidelines. I can relate to everything you describe. Yes I had a similar learning curve when I jumped back on after a hiatus. And now I ride 15,000 miles a year typically. Practice, and more practice, someplace quiet. You will start getting comfy with the bike, that is probably the biggest hurdle. It will come. And then venture out into the busier places when you are comfortable with the bike. Just never get comfortable in traffic. Always be aware. Always have an escape route. Always be planning your next escape route. Not wanting to scare you, just that you are the only one looking out for you. And the most important Always. Always have fun! Because every ride, even around the the bank drive thru, is an adventure! A good adventure. Get comfortable with the bike, especially at low speeds, where it is heavy, and the rest will come easy.

Well done and welcome from Aus. I was some 20 -30 years out of the saddle too so I appreciate your anxiety.
The previous comments are spot on. Ride to live.

another welcome from the west coast of Canada. I am another who came back to riding after a long absence and I is kind of nerve racking the first time or two but time riding gives more confidence

All,
Thanks so much for the outpouring of support, it means more than I can put into words!

I can really relate to ox's comment about every ride feeling like an accomplishment, as this is certainly the case. I think what really got me was the ~35 mile ride home taking on too much too soon so to speak. I kind of got locked in at 35, and I think it hindered more than helped me as it formed a mental block.
As far as clutch, shifting, braking etc go, I really seem to have no issue with that at all. Even slow speed surrounded by traffic didn't phase me too much -- I've been through many defensive/decision driving classes, and pride myself on defensive driving and always having escape routes, and I'm also a mirror checking freak -- so making the transition to HAVING to do this, is almost second nature. So that only leaves the real problem being speed, and maneuvering at speed, which I am finding is getting a little better with practice.
I've also thought about asking a friend to ride with me to help me out -- but I'm really hesitant to do this at this stage, right now, I'm concerned with monitoring my own safety, and while the tips would be nice, throwing another bike into the mix might hinder me more than it may help me -- I need to be worried about what I'm doing, and not worried about keeping up with someone else, or causing a hazard to them I that makes sense?
Next plan:

So here is my future plan for this weekend. I'm planning on going out early Sunday morning while there is very little traffic, to a larger parking lot that will give me room to move at around 20mph, giving me time to learn and become more familiar with counter steering (the parking lot I have gone to allows me to ride in a slow circle and just about perform a figure 8, but it is too small to do anything above 5mph or so).
I think the biggest problem is that above 30mph, it seems as though the weight has left the bike, while this is normal its an uneasy feeling to get used to as this is when I realize my body position, lean, and applied pressure shift the bike, which is giving me that uneasy feeling. Therefore, I am hoping that by practicing swerves, weaves, and somewhat sweeping turns will allow me to become more comfortable... It's really reassuring to me that so many remember going through this, as I now know I am not the only one. Plus, I have to navigate some bends in the road to get to the other parking lot, so nothing like baptism by fire! lol (I just can't say whether that fire will approach at more than 35 Smiley-wink ) lol.
I'm sure some of you may think "quit whining, and just get out there and do it!", and in some regard you are right, the only way to learn it is to do it.. I'll post back early next week and let you know how it goes, it seems the only way to beat it is to put miles on the seat, oh, and keeping the shiny side up!
Thanks for all the reassurance and advice to all of you, PLEASE, keep it all coming! Smiley-laughing

Just explain to your friend what the issues are, and see if he will let you lead at your pace. That was a huge help for me last summer. Now I know I can keep up with Rob if he leads.

Griff, firstly welcome back into the exciting world of motorcycling, I like most riders here have had a long time between rides and I felt exactly the same as your feeling now.

I started out on a 650 and after 8 months wanted more so upgraded to a 1600 Nomad.

The one bit of advice I can offer is go at your own pace, practice as much as you can, I still do all the time.

The other thing is counter steering at speed look it up and learn the principles of it, we all do it naturally at speed anyway but understanding it makes the whole process a lot easier.

Google Jerry Palladino if you haven't already seen some of his video tutorials I'd highly recommend you do, his knowledge is invaluable, I have his DVDs and review them every now and then, above all enjoy the ride and keep at your own pace, confidence will grow with practice, and so will the pace.

I think the one thing that helped me the most to get started was taking lessons from a professional

Thanks spad, I'll check it out... planning on getting some countersteering practice this weekend... hence the bigger parking lot, I'm kind of living out in the boonies here so hard to find good places, without having to drive to them... found one about 2 miles though, so I plan on hitting it bright and early Sunday morning Smiley-laughing
Dake,
I wish I could find some... I've completed the msf, and there's not a single parking lot I can't handle now! Lol! As for actual lessons I can't find anyone down here to offer them, again, I'm out in the sticks... but you're right, that would make things soo much simpler

I have a friend that I think can help, that I believe will be patient with me.. I'm going to see how this weekend goes, and maybe give him a call..
Thanks again!

Welcome from South Australia that's a great Motorcycle you have there they are an understated machine

Welcome aboard the CCC from Oklahoma!

Welcome and congratulations on your new bike and taking the big step back into riding.

Do you get a massive headache when you've been out on the bike, from all the concentration? I did when I was a new rider!!

I can relate to what you're going through. I wrote this about my experience as a new rider, I hope it helps:
http://pocketrocketaus.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/to-ride-or-to-pillion.html

hello and welcome to the community from VA, and back on the road after a break. post pics since we here like pictures. ride safe

Hi Griff and Welcome. There is nothing wrong with a bit of caution when riding and I admire that you are taking it slowly. Far too often I see learner riders riding like maniacs and ending up in grief. Just enjoy yourself and ride at your own pace. It also helps if you have a ride buddy too, someone who is willing to ride at your pace.
In the meantime, enjoy your riding and stay safe

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