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What you wished you had known??

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by TMW81, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. And would love to tell me!!

    Hey all, I only just joined this site and forum after suddenly deciding last week that with my impending 30th birthday coming up this year (arghhh) that I needed more fun and thrills in my life... hence the motorbike interest.

    And so... the first challenge is, I know absolutely nothing about motorbikes.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has any advice, suggestions, bikes to buy etc etc. Hence the reason for the title. I would love to hear from other's, what they wished they had known when starting out that they now know.

    Look forward to hearing lots.

  2. T,
    To start you off with some ideas and things to think about.
    As with anything we do in life, 'hindsight' is a wonderful thing. We always say, 'In hindsight, I should have done this', or 'that would have been better to do'...etc.

    Motorcycling is an excellent form of breaking down mundane day-to-day regularities. It allows us to extend our circle of friends, making life-lasting friendships with like-minded people, and to feel a sense of freedom etc. Unfortunately, it 'can' be dangerous as well.

    To alleviate (as much as possible) these dangers, we first have to ensure our mind is in a correct state prior to saddling up aboard our beast. Had a crap day at work ? Not feeling 100% ? Tired ? Fatigued ? Sleepy ? Argument with someone ? Better to skip riding that day, as these factors can all attribute to the lack of split-second decision making processes we need whilst riding. I cannot recommend this enough, especially to someone new in the motorcycle world, though it applies to everyone, everyday.

    So, you've got this squared away. Awesome (y)

    Next is to consider the type of riding you wish to do. This will lead you to which motorcycle is best suited for your riding style, budget, enjoyment.
    But of course, any rider will always recommend appropriate riding gear whilst riding.

    Within the motorcycle fraternity, this is referred to as ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time), which can be abbreviated more accurately as ATAGATT (All The Appropriate Gear All The Time).

    As a rider, you'll need good protective clothing. This is one area where money should be spent. Of course, buy good gear within your budget but don't skimp on anything. There are many threads in the appropriate forums here which can direct you accordingly.

    Hope the above has helped in getting you started. Once again, use the search function above - this in conjunction with the many helpful riders here will have you gain knowledge faster than you can imagine was ever possible.

    Good luck and enjoy your new hobby (y)
  3. I made plenty of mistakes when starting out, and I'm glad I did.
    Trying to do anything perfect the first time around just takes all the fun out of it.

    Stop thinking and just go book yourself in for a learner rider course. You'll soon find out whether motorcycles are for you or not. :)
  4. That there's no shame in leaving some of the harder roads until after a few weeks/months practice, dangit.
  5. Bit early for a mid-life crisis isn't it?

    I wish I had known how expensive riding really was - I would have just stayed with surfing and the occasional skydive. So many hidden costs you don't find out until later.

    Also, don't try and keep up with people that have been riding for a year or two when you've barely broken the double digits in hours on a bike.
  6. HART courses are worth the money - sometimes advice is only worth what you paid (most cases nothing)
    you never really stop learning either.

    If you want to improve your riding watch Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist II (available from your Uncle Torrence) and try out the things taught in the film - but at a comfortable pace.

    but the best advice of all I think:

    Ride your own ride. There will always be someone faster than you
  7. Wish I'd known where all the fixed cameras were in VIC when I moved here :bolt:
  8. Fantastic stuff and certainly food for thought.
    What I am hearing is that it may turn out to be an expensive pre-midlife crisis (if you want to call it that), and the trade off is that's it a heck of a lot of fun and thrills.
  9. Once you work out what sort of riding you want to do, and therefore what sort of bike you want to buy, make sure you buy a piece of shit you won't mind dropping once, or twice, or more. You may need to be ATGATT when you do that, so be prepared.

    If you buy an expensive bike you really want to keep for many years you may have a big disappointment in your future. Not to mention large insurance premiums.

    Of course, make sure the POS is in good mechanical condition.

    Enjoy the journey. :)
  10. +1. When you're riding, nothing else in your life matters. Enter the zone. Stay cool, stay frosty, and watch out. Ride defensively, ride within your capabilities, and wear full gear.

    And just a heads up, if you become an avid motorcyclist, you'll burn through a fair amount of cash running and maintaining your motorcycle, but it's well and truly worth it. :)
  11. What I wish I had known about riding motorcycles: that new tyres have slippery sealing compound on them, and that when it's worn off properly you can lean them all the way to the edge without sliding all over the place. Took WAAAY too long to find that out.](*,)
  12. Something I wish I knew before I started riding? Dryrider gloves aren't that dry, also they started falling apart about a month after I got them. That mud take a little while to get off you tyres. That the water when it first starts raining has a lot of oil in it, and it's easy to forget at a set of traffic lights.
  13. It's a bit early to start asking such questions, because you won't really appreciate the value or extent of the answers you get. No fault on your part, but without context, (actually having ridden a bike), you won't understand.

    First and foremost...there is NO holly Grail.

    Learning to ride, even if you have some natural instinct for it, isn't that much fun, because it requires a dedicated mindset to study and learn the craft, and quite an investment in your time.
    Fail to commit yourself to it, and you'll end up as just another latte munching poser.
    Not a biker.

    I disagree a little bit with starting out with a shitheap...it'll teach you bad habits and be mechanically inadequate for your needs.
    On the other hand, a brand new bike is unnecessary.
    Get something short of 4 yrs old, would be my advice.

    From then on in, remember that riding a bike is a far more serious affair, than just shits and giggles. Your life is lierally in your own hands. You are far closer to the danger, so get your head into it, make a study of roadcraft, body positioning, bike control, traffic management, etc etc, until you can at least keep yourself safe (relatively), and THEN begin to really learn to proactively ride a bike, well.

    Good advice from the guys above...sponge it all up, make notes and file things away in your brain, as they will play a role when the time comes. This site and the information within is enough for anyone to become an accomplished rider.

    Welcome to freedom, mate :)
  14. TMW81, if you haven't already I'd read them there are some 'stickies' here abouts that are full of good information for learners.
  15. Dryrider gloves aren't that dry... so the secret is not in the name there.

    Thanks for the post Raven, and I really appreciate what you wrote. As a female and not that mechanically minded (maybe more than some girls having tinkered in the shed with my dad when he was doing up an old EH), I was looking to get relatively new to avoid the problems of older worn (or wearing out) equipment.

    I am trying to play everything by the book (whatever that is), and safety it quite important to me, as I still have a bloody lot of stuff still to do in my lifetime, aside from enjoying the freedom of a bike.

    Cheers all, keep it coming.
  16. Heres what I learn from my 8 months motorbike riding (to date).

    People will give you advice about all sorts of things, and most of it will be correct.
    When you hear it, you will understand it, but it will still take several more rides before you "get it". It will take several more again before you do it autonomously.

    You will forget a lot of advice, because you're not actually at the appropriate stage in your riding to implement the advice (I am amazed at how much I have learnt, and I thought at the very start riding was easy... well... riding is easy, riding well is more difficult). Later on, you will be trying to overcome the next stage and remember what someone said months earlier.

    To overcome both of these issues, the best thing that can happen, is be told the same thing, all the time, by everyone.
  17. I'm very pleased that you didn't take offense with my firm sounding remarks. It was just important to get your attention. A BIG part of riding is about being brutally honest with oneself, so the old ego can take a bit of a beating on occasions. And you have to learn to be very self-analytical. Because you'll ride better, stay safer and learn more quickly.

    Erm, being a female has already given you a head-start, because you don't have all that testosterone, messing with your head. :))

  18. :D



    - There is always someone faster (even if you think you're are absurdly fast)
    - Ride at your own pace always.
    - Never allow your safety to be compromised by others (there's many meanings to this, it may take some time to figure out half of them).
  19. Ok so I had to laugh at the self analytical part.... I am a psychologist so self analytical comes with the trade. Does my head in at times.

    I look forward to all these challenges and I am prepared for the hard work (guess I wont know that until I get to it really).
  20. In that case you are likely to do very well.
    And don't worry. The hard yards are extremely fulfilling...and the giggles are worth their weight in gold.

    Learning to ride a bike is a lifelong affair with great rewards.
    But remember, that each bike type requires it's own variation of style and technique. So decide what type of riding appeals to you. Think about how you see yourself as a rider- what is your vision?. A Harley-like cruiser, a naked sports or street-fighter, or a sportsbike rider.

    It can be a little difficult, but still quite achievable to switch styles 2-3 yrs down the track.