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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, im 31 and just brought the R3 as my 1st bike. I have never rode anything on two wheels besides a bicycle. I am looking to get into an msf course within the next few weeks when I find 1 that isn't full and fits my schedule.

In the mean time I want to start in some parking lots to get comfortable with some of the basic mechanics. Problem is the dealer I brought it from delivered it (reasonably for free) but didn't give me an overview of the bike or go over much with me knowing it was my 1st.
Question is before I jump on what should I do first, maintenance wise or anything. So far I have my gear and a basic understanding of how to get moving based on youtube videos and what ive read in the manual. I know about the 600 mile check up but didn't really have it expalined to me very well.
 

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Read the owners manual, cover to cover, and backwards again.
Get your Learners permit organised.


Don't dream of riding your brand new expensive dangerous thing until you've booked lessons with your local qualified instructor.
they are the folk that guide you to get your license, and try to reduce risk of injury heartache, expense and death.


I'd go buy a $1500 125-250cc or use the instructors bike. for a few months.






Enjoy the journey.
 

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Parking lots are great for getting a feel for the machine. Practice stopping at a quicker and quicker rate - most new rider 'mishaps' are due to unexpected stops, so get comfortable with your braking skills. Most of your stopping power is in the front, so work on that. MSF course for sure. I'm a proponent of track day instruction if you can do that - best place to learn reaction and handling skills without having to deal with traffic. Don't skimp on gear - money well spent in the long run.

Maintenance and related info is on the "Tech" section of the board - you may have to wade through a lot of extraneous posts, but a lot of good info there. For the first couple of hundred miles, maintenance is minimal - check tire pressure, typically about 30 front, 32 rear - bikes are more sensitive to too high or too low than cars. As @Aufitt says, most basic items are in the Owner's Manual.
 

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Hardest part is the clutch engagement with the proper throttle amount of gas. Nothing is more scary than a motorcycle rear wheeling away on you. It happened to me when I was 16 and at an intersection of all places.
 
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I'm always amazed and envious of you crazy people who have that much balls to buy a brand-spanking new motorcycle with absolutely no riding experience whatsoever, no training, nothing. Not even coaching up by a friend.

You should be both applauded for your balls and reprimanded for your senselessness.

Do you have any friends or acquaintances that ride? If so, have them come over and show you some beginner ropes.

If not, well, you can either wait and drool over your new ride parked in your residence while you finally take the MSF course. It would honestly be worth it. But if not, ask yourself if you are really going to ride it over to a vacant parking lot to practice when getting there is what counts? Can you ride it around your quiet neighborhood? That's similar to parking lot riding save for the cars and peds running around...

Some slow speed tips for the complete newbie:

Clutch control. That is probably one of the most important things to learn right now. If you are riding really slow, doing slow speed things, you need to have the clutch at the partially engaged spot (and not fully engaged-where you completely release the clutch, so you are holding the clutch halfway in) while you have the throttle gently rolling.

Always brake to a complete stop with your tire straight.

Don't lock the steering wheel while doing U-turns. Locking the steering means turning the steering until it comes to a stop. Always clutch control on a U turn.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well im scheduled for the msf on 4/20. I do live in a pretty quiet neighborhood but to get to the parking lot ill have to ride through the entire neighborhood and cross 1 semi busy street. Im tempted to just walk it the entire length. Or I could just have my wife hide the keys from me until I take the course as I torture myself pulling into the garage from work everyday having to look at this lonely sexy thing starring back at me asking me why wont I ride her.
 

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Im tempted to just walk it the entire length.
I think trying to walk it for any long distance is a really bad idea, esp if you're trying to do it in traffic.

The R3 is light compared to other motorcycles, but you'll find that wheeling an almost-400lb machine is nothing like playing with a bicycle.

If you're tall enough to flat foot the bike when sitting on it, then you can duck-walk it for short distances. That way you can control both sides if it leans over.

Otherwise always push your bike standing on the left side, with it leaned a tiny bit towards you so that you can catch it. Be ready to have the kickstand deployed. Once it tilts too far to the right side, no way anyone's strong enough to catch it.

We've all shared your newbie enthusiasm at some point along the way. Just ask yourself how ready are you to destroy your new $5000 toy by rushing into things, not to mention the potential of serious bodily harm...
 

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You have any friends or family who ride? Hook up with them, and they can get you started. They can ride your bike to a parking lot, and you take your car.
Once there, they can show you what you need to know, and you can practice. It's good to practice by yourself in a large empty parking lot. You need to learn "slow-speed control" first. Gratz on the new bike. Ride safe.
 

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Since you already have the bike and no prior experience, I would highly recommend finding an MSF book PDF and reading through it. The best thing you can do now is learn from an official source and lower the learning curve for when you go to take the MSF course. My instructor said he will fail a person if they drop their bike two times during the MSF course. Read the manual as everyone has already stated and practice your clutch control. My flaw when i started out was applying the front brake too much because I wasn't used to it.
 

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Oh yeah, sorry forgot to say congratz on your new bike.
 

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Over in Australia we have to do and past a 2 days learners course even that I feel is insufficient to prepare you for road and traffic. The skills you need like emergency stops,finding clutch contact point and riding rear brakes and throttle and road awareness riding defensively takes time and expert or experience help so my advice is wait and do that course. If you decided to practice in your streets put out some money and get some frame sliders it help keep cost down when you drop it.?

Sent from my R7plusf using Tapatalk
 

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A surprising number of students who walk into my MSF classes have zero riding experience AND already bought their bike. So it's not as uncommon as one may think. To be honest I was in that camp too - $1500 CB750 with 45K miles on it. My MSF class was 2 weekends after purchase. A co-worker rode it the 40+ miles from seller's house to mine. It sat parked though. Turns out the seller was also my Instructor. If you're near the border a neighboring state may have more openings - WVa has slots vs Northern VA is generally sold out for months if not the whole season before it even starts. There was a reciprocity agreement back then.

I don't see a problem with pushing a bike - I've pushed my 885 Triumph well more than a mile. It's fantastic exercise and a solid reminder to not run out of gas.

I tell my students that their shiny, new completion card only certifies that there is a better than 50% chance they won't wreck and kill themselves when riding in an empty parking lot at less than 20mph.

Absolutely the most vital skill you'll learn is clutch control and coordination with gas, followed closely by looking ahead. IMO don't ride on public roads unless you can start from a stop reliably at least 9/10 times. Traffic is unforgiving so if you botch it at a light, one try and then paddle walk yourself out of the way to the curb. This means setting up in traffic so you're in that lane to begin with. I tutored a guy from my class who despite 2 days worth of training still couldn't get the hang of it. He had a brand spanking $20K BMW as his first bike. He finally got the concept after an hour of "hanging' the bike on the clutch". On flat ground I pull backward on the bike as the student tries to fight me with clutch and gas modulation.
 

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On flat ground I pull backward on the bike as the student tries to fight me with clutch and gas modulation.
I am not a certified instructor but I have also tutored a few folks over the years in parking lots then onto the streets. Many afternoons, not just a 30 minute how to.

I also use the method above to simulate starting on hills. I hold them back gentle at first and let them go then progress into holding them with everything I have and force them to break my pull. It works well.

Thank you for being an instructor. While we are out riding on those pretty days, you are out in the parking lot teaching our new riders.

My hats off to you!
 

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EazyE

Lots of solid advice in this thread, listen to it. Take it easy, patience is key when learning to ride. Let the bike sit there, however long, until you're comfortable/confident enough to hit the streets. The margin for error out there is extremely narrow. Once again, take your time, practice in a safe environment, and have fun with it. I think others already may have mentioned this, but here it goes: Look well ahead when your riding, head and eyes up always. You'd be amazed at what good vision skills can do for your riding, especially in corners. You'll know what I'm talking about when you start riding, and your MSF course will thoroughly cover this concept.

Congrats on your purchase, be safe, and enjoy.
 

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Here's a good book to read Proficient Motorcycling before your Scheduled MSF coarse. I just read this book on my flight over to Amsterdam last week. I just got back yesterday. Its crazy traffic over there cars motorcycle and tons of bicycles. It was very interesting book and I feel now when I'm riding I'm being even more carful. Cars going over the line on a turn etc. The apex of the turn. Counter steering. Blind corners and making yourself have a better field of vision depending where you are on the turn etc. Your Age and Speed is everything.

When you break your bike in: New Tires and brake's first 100 miles go easy. Brake's will work better with time. And tires will be better also. Hard break in or The Manual under 8000 rpm's your choice. Your new so I would go the easy way only.

Enjoy your new bike and take your time and learn and practice practice practice and You will look back one year and think you have learned lots and let your guard down. Don't! You never stop learning every ride I keep learning. I ran across some deer tonight breaking in my new Vesrah brake pads on a twisty road with no lights and I was doing the speed limit @ 25 mph no problem. But someone could have been on the same road doing 65-70 mph it would be a different story. (speed is everything)

here is the link for the book. I got it on my Kindle.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the advice guys. If I failed to mention it I do live on a queit cul de sac with virtually no traffic and was just going to putt around it at first to get a feel for the clutch before I took it down the street. Im confident I can handle it but im more worried about dropping the bike than myself and how I would do with slow speed turns at this point. But for an update a spot magically opened up for one of this weekends classes and I was able to slide in and tranfer my registration to it so I can wait another week. It also helps that temperatures have been near freezing lately. Now I just have to not fail the course, I am missing work to take it.
 

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an update a spot magically opened up for one of this weekends classes and I was able to slide in and tranfer my registration to it so I can wait another week.
It's worth the wait!!! If you gotta drop a bike while learning the basics, drop the bikes they supply at the MSF class! ;) Most folks didn't go down in my class at all but a couple dropped them several times.
 
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