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Discussion Starter #1
Well I did it, I went for a ride on the public streets! I have put about 45 miles on it up and down my street, but I am the only one living in the subdivision at this time. So tonight I went out to the gas station and back up the road for a whole 17 miles! :motorcycl Went really well considering. I had a couple cars pass me, but I resisted the urge to speed up and rode my pace. It is quite scary and exhilarating at the same time. Can't wait to do it again. Now it's time for a beer to calm my nerves. :beerchug:
 

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Lebanon, NJ
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437 Posts
Ahh, I remember that feeling well, was only several months ago that I did the same thing. Exhilarating isn't it? Congrats...
 

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Old new guy
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31 Posts
Vulcaneyez, You're doing well to stay out of traffic until you gain some confidence. I went through the same thing 30 some years ago, on a beat up old Honda CB350. Unlike Hiker, I don't remember it though. Guess I'm too old.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers rider courses that I'm sure everyone here highly recommends. Check out the courses and locations, etc at www.msf-usa.org. Go early. That way you won't have to unlearn bad habits. Take what you learn to a big empty parking lot and PRACTICE - panic stops, obstacle avoidance, riding over obstacles, stopping in turns, etc. You won't regret it. Time well spent. And you might even get a discount on your insurance. :smiley_th
 

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HAWK
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2,576 Posts
What a great feeling, just wait till you are passing those cars:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. I did take the MSF course about 2 weeks ago and did get a small discount on my insurance. :rockon: I do need to practice pulling off and panic stopping though. Hope to see you out there! :motorcycl
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Congrats on your first "real" ride. It's definitely a rush to be on the road and free - and it sounds like you're being safe about it.

Remember that it's not if, it's WHEN you go down and dress appropriately (which I'm sure you've already been told 1000 times).

Welcome to the wonderful world of 2 wheels - I'll never go back to not having a bike and get grumpy when I don't get my daily ride in. Luckily the wife wants a place out in BFE and Oregon backroads are great....
 

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You'll catch on quickly from here on out. I've been riding for 2 weeks(as of today) plus taking the motorcycle safety course. I've put 600 miles on my new bike. Once you start to get the hang of it you'll want to ride all the time. Me putting so many miles on my bike is mostly because of where I live. Nearly unpopulated mile after mile out here. You can ride for 50 miles and not see another car. Maybe you could trailer your bike out to somewhere remote so you can concentrate on riding instead of being nervous about other traffic. Congrats on your progress so far!
 

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Going to the gas station for the first time is definitely a rights of passage milestone.
You will have seen from this site that in the middle of a journey these bikes can be troublesome to start when hot - like when you stop to refuel. If your bike is like this then just take your time and don't hurry - it just needs to cool a little. Keep the bursts on the starter fairly short and don't worry unduly if you get a backfire. If it takes a while you may drain the battery which is why an MF battery is very important.
A couple of other small points for a total beginner - when you ride make sure you are in the middle of your lane so the car behind has to treat you like you are another car. Don't drift to the right hand side like you are a bicycle.
Also remember that car drivers have a blind spot over their left shoulder - they can't see you and you may be out of range of their wing mirror. DOn't spend any amount of time riding along side a vehicle level with the passenger or close to the rear - like when you are trying to overtake in traffic. You are invisible and the driver may pull over and knock you off. Do your manouevre or back off.
You also have a blind spot on both sides that the wing mirrors can't see. NEVER take it for granted it is OK to change your position in the road or make a turn without looking over the relevant shoulder first. In the UK this look before manouevering is called a life-saver - and that's exactly what it does.
Simon
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
That's good to hear Vulcaneyez!! :beerchug:

I do need to practice pulling off and panic stopping though. :motorcycl
And I feel like I practice every time I'm out riding. Always learning, always paying attention, always expecting the unexpected.
For there will no doubt be some day when all the practice (even if you've been riding for years) will be needed to avoid a dangerous situation.
If ya take your riding experience for granted, it means your not paying attention. That means you're asking for trouble.

Stay safe and enjoy the ride !!!
 

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Benjammin'
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421 Posts
I remember my first pavement passage. Man, the feeling of freedom. Keep the respect and you will be fine.

Swamp Rat- Though I grew up riding dirt bikes illegally on the streets, my first 'official' pavement ride was my '73 CB350. Even back then, I had to have aftermarket loud pipes! Some things don't change. I miss that bike.
 

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Search Goddess
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2,002 Posts
I use to sneak up through my subdivision to the big church parking lot to practice. Then one day, my husband said.. I'll go with you and just watch.
We headed up to the church and it was full!
He said, well go arounf this way back home, it's not busy. So I did a big loop.
Then.. he made the comment.. It's nice to ride with you, we haven't done this yet.
*Sigh* Ok, I know of a nice little stretch and we can turn around at the bait store, and I took off again. Missed the bait store in the dark and ended up doing a WAY BIG loop (about 25 miles, in the dark, with traffic, uphill both ways *L*)
The rest.. is history *G*
 

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Old new guy
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31 Posts
A lot of good advice here, but I'd have to disagree with one point from Simon. The middle of the lane is NOT a good place to be. That is where all the cagers drop their oil. Stay in the wheel tracks for the most part, usually the left one. Sometimes the right track is the better place to be, and if they didn't teach that in the Basic Rider Course, I'm sure they do in the ERC.

Ben, my first riding was done on a friend's Yamaha DT1, 250 Enduro. Illegal, on the street, but usually in the dirt. That was back in the late 60s. That CB350 was the first bike I owned, and I don't miss it at all. It didn't even run when I got it, it leaked oil so bad I wore plastic bags around my ankles, the clutch worked "most" of the time.... it was a basket case, but a great bike to learn on. I could drop it without feeling bad. Big difference between operating a dirt bike on a country road and riding in traffic in the city. That's the learning part.
 

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Benjammin'
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421 Posts
Swamp, same old bike, much different story. I rode dirt bikes on dirt as well as paved roads for many years. Learned to dodge cagers (as well as the local authority) at a young age. I guess I cut my teeth on knobbies and asphalt. Lucky I didn't break my teeth on them.

The CB350 I rode was fresh and very dependable. I laughed out loud over your comment having to wear plastic bags on your feet!. But I agree that the bike was almost indestructable.

In fact, I have looked on eBay to see if anyone was wanting to get rid of their 350 just so I could have one 'for memory's sake'.

I think we have both graduated to a much finer machine now. :beerchug:
 
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