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a dilemma that we probably all face - to motorcycle or not..

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by polar bear_909, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. I know that in posting my comments/ dilemma I will not be getting any hard and fast rule and ultimately it will be up to me, but here goes...

    I am 28 male with 6mth old girl (v. cute) and wife. I have done my L permit and am looking at commuting to work via motorcycle - mt Waverley to east melb (so eastern fwy, sth eastern fwy and through suburbs. Looking to purhase 2nd hand 06 vtr250 in really good condition. Can it be done safely?

    Is about practice, becoming familiar with operation and feel of bike, hazard perception and riding within limits? Comments/ suggestions/ advice and most of all reassurance would be great.
  2. Re: a dilemma that we probably all face - to motorcycle or n

    That's pretty much it! Anticipating what other numb nuts are going to do is also a biggy.

    And not putting yourself in mirror blind spots. If I am riding in multiple lanes then with the vehicle next to me I either sit just behind their rear bumper (so if they pull a no look lane change, they can't hit me) or just in front of their front bumper where even blind freddy can see me.

  3. :WStupid:
    And remember .. its YOUR job to make sure they SEE YOU. And even if they do, be prepared for them to ignore you.
    I commute to work and back everyday, rain hail or shine. 3500km in 4 months.
    If you follow the advice of the more experienced riders here ( I am still very much a newbie ) You'll do fine m8.

  4. If personal safety is priority #1, riding motorcycles is a bad idea. You'll fall off, I guarantee it, it's just a matter of how badly you hurt yourself.

    Having said that, you can choose to ride safely. This involves:

    1) Gaining as much skill as you can, taking all the courses and reading up on stuff religiously
    2) Wearing top-rate safety gear including back protectors religiously
    3) Opting out of higher-risk behaviours like fast lanesplitting
    4) Never pushing yourself or testing your limits on the road

    Still, in your first 2 years of riding, your sheer inexperience will make you exceptionally likely to fall off or kiss some bonnet. Then there's the excitement of getting out on sunday rides through the twisties. You might be old enough to control your testosterone out there, but there's a lot of other factors you can't control.


    I'm sure if you go ahead and get a bike you'll have a frickin' ball like the rest of us, but if you're looking for assurance that your daughter won't lose a father because of this decision, you're not gonna get it. The choice to ride bikes in the face of family pressure not to is *always* a selfish choice. It's a choice many of us have made.
  5. +1 Loz...you've said it all.

    But if you do choose ride...never assume.
  6. thanks to all that contributed. Thankyou Loz for framing in such a way - it gives more clarity to the decision I am about to make. I'll keep posted anyway. Certainly netrider has been a great resource for me as a newbie. BY the way the CD that twistngo recommends is very helpful.

    thanks once again

  7. If you decide to sit your L's, do your pre-learner session(i'm sure you would though), as you only need a couple of hours to feel comfortable on a bike, trust me, i'd never touched a bike before the pre L's.

    i can't speak for all company's, but only from my experience, Stay Up Right are very good from my experience.

    all company's? do individual tuition, and people on netrider have come to the rescue when someone wants tuition.

    If you wait till (early? or mid?) next year, LAMS is apparently coming in, so (I believe) you can ride up to 660cc on your L's, as a lot will say 250cc is too weak(bar the 2 strokes lol)

    ill just add this :
    I rode 1,000km in the first month, then the bike broke. so i didn't ride for another 2 months before sitting my license. and the license is no harder then the L's practical test.

    I haven't touched a bike since my bike broke when I had my L's, that was like (guessing) april.
  8. Yip, i had to make that decision, Like most things that are fun, it is dangerous. As others have said it is all about risk management, but sometimes this is not enough, sometimes it is just not possible to avoid. This no longer bothers me so much, i know i do my best to give me the highest chance of coming home, but if i dont, yhats life. How far will you go to make sure youre still around??? even the home can be very dangerous, there is all sorts of things that can kill you, life is for living, not trying to stay alive, it is the journey, not the destination. Each to their own, i hope i dont sound selfish, i would hate to leave loved ones alone, but is life really worth living if you take all this away?? not for me.
  9. Exactly what I believe
  10. Some pretty basic rules apply!

    The more skill and experience you have the better off you are
    the less time you spend on a bike on the road the better off you are.

    From stats. The two big killers of riders is firstly the weekend warrior who goes to hard, makes a mistake and cooks themselves.
    The second is commuting.

    If you balance out slowly gaining experience and ride only during opportune times. You significantly reduce yourself as a statistic.

    So to answer your question. You are approaching your riding from the highest point. So as a new rider, commuting is pretty dangerous. But you can build a lot of skill quickly.

    You may want to spend a few months just crusing in low peak traffic and build up the skills and road craft.
  11. I'm a good bit older (and more experienced on a bike) than you Polarbear, but having two little kids I've also had to confront this issue.

    I don't hold the view that crashing is inevitable. If I did, I wouldn't ride. I understand that it is possible, even likely, and that the consequences could be very serious. But I also believe that it IS possible to be a lifelong rider without ever having a serious injury. It's just an attitiude that I personally NEED to have, because without it, I don't believe I would have he confidence to effective deal with threats as they present themselves to me.

    Sure, it could happen tomorrow, but I wouldn't have been wrong - just not up to the standard I want to set myself.

    If you're going to survive, here are some of my rules;
    - take your time. there is absolutely no need to rip through traffic at warp nine. Every car you split will probably catch you up at the next red light. But if you get passed, you can leisurely filter through at that same red light with absolutely no risk to yourself. Don't get pressured into taking risks to make time - it doesn't work..
    - NEVER speed up to beat the red light. And NEVER take off from the lights without checking for a driver trying to beat the red.
    - Create space around yourself, even if it means slowing down a bit. You'll get it back again soon enough.
    - don't trust anyone, and never assume a stopped car is going to stay stopped.
    - keep your attention wiiiide! Don't focus on a little area in front of you - practise taking in your whole environment and picking up little details that might crystalise into a threat.
    - mentally practice your emergency responses, at least a half a dozen times EVERY time you ride. Physically practise them when safe to do so.

    You can never totally remove the danger, but I fully believe that if it's important enough to you, you really can reduce the odds of having a big one by a long, long way. I think it's realistic to say by as much as 90% if you really work at it. Just MHO.
  12. Re: a dilemma that we probably all face - to motorcycle or n

    Call me negative, call me sadistic, but the best advice I can give you, being the wife of a commuting motorcyclist and mother of his three beautiful girls, is have life insurance. Because I think practicalities - if something should happen to my dearest, and I hope against hope nothing will ever happen to him, his superannuation and life insurance will be enough for us to buy a house, and be comfortable.

    He never lane splits, is the most cautious commuter you will ever see, but its not his riding I'm worried about - its everyone else.
  13. very well put mate. thats why I try to keep telling the father. he's coming around though :grin:
  14. Re: a dilemma that we probably all face - to motorcycle or n

    No. Unless you are the only one on the road.

    If thats your concern, go back to caging it to work. A much safer option.

    Refer to above for reassurance.
  15. Are you able to provide a link to these statistics?

    I can accept that many motorbike accidents may happen in an urban environment, but I would like to see figures that differentiate deaths from commuting (riding to and from work) and other forms of riding in built up areas?
  16. Mate, here i am and just been diagnosed diabeties type 2. Currently it's (sorta) under control by diet and exercise. I am also very aware that the older you get the longer it takes to heal. One of the downsides is loss of feeling in your feet, due to lack of circlation. :cry:

    While I'm still feeling my feet..ie ticklish ..I'm riding!
    I'll reconsider when I can't, as a broken leg, ankle, toe or even bleeding toenail could be the start of the end.

    We all take risks when the alarm goes off in the morning. But I want to live!
  17. Anyone know how I can get my hands on a copy of that "Introduction to Ride Smart" CD in NSW? Seems the site linked to above is for Vic residents only...
  18. ok here's my view on the whole riding thing, i have almost seen the very worsest riding have to offer, my parnter is now in a wheelchair from it.

    I went through a stage at the start of the year of giving up on riding as the danger/risks seemed to great but during my parnter stay in rehab (almost 8 months waiting on breaks to heal) we got to know other people there, and found out how they ended up there.....i think there was only one other motorcyclist in there.... the rest majority where car accidents, followed by a swimming accidents, working round home etc.....this to me really showed me that, yes riding is dangerous, but there are so many other things out there (alot less fun) that can land you in the same position (and i will add, without the aid of TAC)......

    All in all if people tell you riding is dangerous, agree with them because it is, but then ask them would they give up there car? Just look at the holiday road tolls, everyday (approx.) over the holiday period the news reports people die in car smash???

    Either way the choice is yours but it's hard to make a educated decision before you have tried it

    cheers stewy :)