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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never posted in any type of forum ever, but riding a motorcycle has been an amazing experience with the motorcycle community being so welcoming. I remember my first time riding and I happened to pass a biker going the opposite way and he stuck his hand out in that greeting fashion and I was confused, but the more people started to do it the more I started to realize what it was.

Anyways, while this has been my very first bike, it's also my first time riding. With this in mind, I'm so new to everything; from turning, to downshifting correctly, etc. If I could bounce a few questions off of anyone that would be amazing!
 

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Welcome. Riders in my opinion are much more connected than the cagers on the road.

If you havent, take a motorcycle rider course such as the MSF BRC and ARC, or a Total Control course.

If thats not an option, I suggest you borrow some books and learn from them. Mastering the Ride, Total Control and Twist of the Wrist are all good books. Twist of the Wrist is more for racers, but all three books have information that every rider can use, whether its on the street or track.

There is also the Twist of the Wrist video. the "abridged" version cuts out about 30 minutes of non-sense acting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So far I've taken the MSF course, got my endorsement on my license, and have even gotten my mothers "approval" for riding a motorcycle. I've been looking for the advanced MSF course, but cannot for the life of me find one. I bought gloves, riding armour, and a helmet and really am thinking about buying a new helmet. My biggest problems so far though, are taking turns and sometimes I wonder if I'm driving the bike correctly when I need to downshift from 3rd gear at a stoplight. Normally I just hold in the clutch and shift all the way down, but I'm starting to think that isn't the way to go about it.
 

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So far I've taken the MSF course, got my endorsement on my license, and have even gotten my mothers "approval" for riding a motorcycle. I've been looking for the advanced MSF course, but cannot for the life of me find one. I bought gloves, riding armour, and a helmet and really am thinking about buying a new helmet. My biggest problems so far though, are taking turns and sometimes I wonder if I'm driving the bike correctly when I need to downshift from 3rd gear at a stoplight. Normally I just hold in the clutch and shift all the way down, but I'm starting to think that isn't the way to go about it.
The Advanced Rider Course is usually only offered during the Summer months...
 

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So far I've taken the MSF course, got my endorsement on my license, and have even gotten my mothers "approval" for riding a motorcycle. I've been looking for the advanced MSF course, but cannot for the life of me find one. I bought gloves, riding armour, and a helmet and really am thinking about buying a new helmet. My biggest problems so far though, are taking turns and sometimes I wonder if I'm driving the bike correctly when I need to downshift from 3rd gear at a stoplight. Normally I just hold in the clutch and shift all the way down, but I'm starting to think that isn't the way to go about it.
Hello and welcome. I am no Expert learning new stuff everyday. I just passed the DMV circus(circle and cone test). Passed. Have had a few bikes street/dirt in the past. I have not been on a bike in 10 year kind of deal (Married with children). 800 on my new bike as of today.
When your coming up on a foreseeable stop. Use the engine to downshift 4-3-2- and First if needed for a fast stop. Problem with going a high speed and the clutch pulled in and your in first gear. or neutral(manual says not to coast.) is ? If you brain fart and let the clutch out your going to chirp it or worse go into a skid at too high of a speed for the gear.

Practice in a open safe area hard straight stops. etc.

Myself practiced with my R3 to see how fast I can stop the bike safely.

I used the rear brake only to get the feel of the bike if I were too skid. I then used the front brake only to get the feel of the bike. Then I would practice some fast stops over and over with both brakes and downshifting all at the same time. practice really helps everyone no matter what your doing. In the real world on the roads you will have to stop fast or swerve or speed up all in a fraction of seconds. Life altering traffic and driving decisions need to be practiced on the bike. Slow Down -Go- Don't Go-Speed Up- Honk- give someone the finger. etc. Be safe out there and enjoy your bike. Oh and people don't use there turn signals so be carful out there. Apparently some people think you can read there minds.
FYI: get a Louder horn. BEEP BEEP!!!!!!!
 

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So far I've taken the MSF course, got my endorsement on my license, and have even gotten my mothers "approval" for riding a motorcycle. I've been looking for the advanced MSF course, but cannot for the life of me find one. I bought gloves, riding armour, and a helmet and really am thinking about buying a new helmet. My biggest problems so far though, are taking turns and sometimes I wonder if I'm driving the bike correctly when I need to downshift from 3rd gear at a stoplight. Normally I just hold in the clutch and shift all the way down, but I'm starting to think that isn't the way to go about it.
Where I live, there is NEVER any scheduled advanced courses all year round, instead they want you to round up a minimum of 4 people and then they will create an advanced course for you.

As far as holding the clutch in and downshifting all the way to 1st, that is absolutely fine. Motorcycle wet clutches are especially created in such a way to be able to handle this. But it is also nice to learn how to blip your throttle and downshift.

Take a look at this topic in the two wheel safety area:

http://www.r3-forums.com/forum/618-safety-two-wheels/2834-20-general-riding-safety-tips.html#post223786

Some extra things. Learn to keep your cool. No matter what. Also don't over-react. You will find almost on a daily basis you may experience a lot of close calls, or at least perceived close calls, it is important to although be mindful of the situation, do not react in an exaggerated way. This is important so that you will always have full control of your motorcycle. Know the difference between evasive maneuvers intended to save yourself from a collision and defensive maneuvers to keep you at an ideal safety. Do not confuse the two and relegate your actions accordingly.

In other words, if a car abruptly turns into your lane and you have enough distance to safely brake and slow down, do so instead of slamming on your brakes (over-reacting) and losing tire traction when such an action is completely unnecessary.

Get a cheapo action cam to mount on your bike or helmet. Do not be one of those riders who post a topic saying you got into an accident, someone hit you and they drove off, letting them get away with it. Get a camera to protect yourself and get justice from such criminal actions.
 
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Thats good advice thank you. I read his post a few times and was not sure if I was understanding it correctly. I thought he was downshifting from third gear down to 1st and just holding in the clutch and going straight down to first gear and costing and braking before stop sign.
 

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Thats good advice thank you. I read his post a few times and was not sure if I was understanding it correctly. I thought he was downshifting from third gear down to 1st and just holding in the clutch and going straight down to first gear and costing and braking before stop sign.
Yeah, that's how I read it too and that's what I was referring to. Its fine to do that. Unlike a manual shifter car where it wears out the clutch if you continually do that at every stop.
 
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It's fine to shift as mentioned above but I don't. Eason being is if you bang down to first, and are coasting along but at still a pretty high speed, what do you do if you suddenly are in a situation where you need to move quick? You might be too high of an rpm range if you made it all the way down to first.

I usually bang a gear down at a time and also use the engine braking to slow the bike down.
 

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Where are you located?
I just signed myself up for the intermediate course. Happened to be on black friday though!
Oh well no plan on shopping anything so I guess it won't make a difference
 

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THE MOTORCYCLE RIDING TIPS, HOW-TO's, & POINTERS THREAD

MOTORCYCLE RIDING TIPS, HOW-TO's, & POINTERS

Note: these recommendations and views are those of the author and do not reflect everyone on the forum or the proprietors of R-3forums.com. Although some of us might agree on these, you take responsibility for your own views and actions.

I have seen a lot of new riders saying things like "Is R3 fast enough? Will I outgrow it too quickly?." My advice would be is to worry about gaining a level of mastery on two wheels, and keep practicing. You need to face a variety of situations too to see how you act and respond. Then worry about the bike's power.

First thing I recommend is having a mental checklist before you ride. This is my mental checklist before I ride which I recite to myself in various forms, but this is the crux. I grew up on Long Island and we rode mopeds and dirt bikes. My older brother taught me-may he R.I.P. Got my first bike, a Honda Interceptor VTR 250 which was a sweet little sport bike and a precursor to all the 250s and 300s of the day.

RESPECT THE ROAD, THE BIKE & ITS POWER, & OTHERS
BE CALM
BE AWARE
ANTICIPATE
FOCUS [in front of you]
BE SMART
FRONT BRAKE [is your best friend-Sport bikes rely primarily on front brake]
BE READY [for anything]
[Remember] COUNTER STEERING
DON'T PANIC [& slam on rear brake for example]
WATCH [for unsafe & oblivious drivers=98% of the vehicles]
USE [your] HORN & HIGH BEAMS [Flash To Pass]
[Have a] CONTINGENCY PLAN
CONTINUE [to learn, absorb, teach, & learn rider techniques]
NEVER [let cars ride you or tailgate you]

I tried to make a mnemonic acronym for my checklist but couldn't come up with anything. It was smaller and while it evolved I went over it in my mind so many times, it just stuck and I memorized it.

As far as a CONTINGENCY PLAN. There is a two lane parkway in Brooklyn called the Jackie Robison Parkway which has a lot of twisties. Part of it enclosed for like half a mile with concrete divered on both sides with no shoulder. So when I am riding on it, I would think about a contingency plan should you go down there. Climb to the top of a divider and jump over it to safety ASAP. The point is, pay attention to your surroundings and think of an escape plan. You don't want to drop a bike and be a siting duck is my point. Your bike can be replaced, you cannot.

Some other notes:

-Never stay in a blind spot area for more than 3 seconds
-don't stop in the middle where oil collects
-the first drizzle of rain is the worst when oil collects at the surface
-look for debris like sand or leaves around corners
-Living in NY most of my life, sand is a big problem because of sanders during winter so that is a big obstacle to be wary of. Living in CO for 4 years, fallen rocks from mountains in the twists was a common occurrence & something to be wary of. The main lesson is to remember where you are & be wary of your surroundings & its different conditions & dangers.
-Go over a riding plan if you're in a group
-teach your passenger: remember to instruct them to LEAN WITH YOU & NOT AGAINST WHICH IS BAD BUSINESS. Also, tell them to be ready for quick accelerations & hard braking. It sucks when a passenger jolts back & freaks when you gun it, rams your helmet with theirs when you have to brake harder than normal, or leans diametrically opposed to you.

Car drivers don't understand we are a different animal. We cannot anticipate everything but usually we are locked in. We have highly engineered and powerful machines between our legs with ridiculous power/weight ratio capable of insane acceleration and braking. We are locked in like fighter pilots paying attention at all times-we are not texting, drinking lattes, or spacing out. Having this checklist saved my life.

When I was 22 years old in 1995 20 years ago almost to the day (Nov 27, 1995) I was crushing about 45 mph in Brooklyn on a main thoroughfare that was 2 lanes. Anyway, about 100ft give or take in front of me I saw a van trying to make a left. The dude hesitated and then gunned it but then stopped right in my path. To my right were parked cars and to my left was oncoming traffic.

I stayed calm, and decided that instead of hitting the van broadside and square and launching off of my handles bars, that I would drop it. I didn't have enough room to stop because it was closing so fast. I slammed on the back brake more and slide the bike which reduced my momentum. It still had enough force to throw me and the bike upward toward van's side which broke my right clavicle and on the rebound back down with my left arm outstretched to absorb my fall (and the bike's) my left wrist shattered into like 3 pieces.

I got 5 pins and an external fixator in my left wrist and my right clavicle broke in half and healed with a huge lump. Both arms were in slings for 3 months and I had 2 surgeries-pin insertions, pin removals, stick removal and cast application, and several follow up visits and physical therapy. About a month after I got my cast off I went to Basic at Fort Knox.

After my accident I had to call my recruiter and tell him about the accident and let him know I wouldn't be making my Dec 27th ship date to Basic. My whole body was traumatized from the accident and was sore and bed ridden for a week. Luckily bystanders and people from nearby businesses rushed to my aid, called an ambulance, and kept me from falling asleep which is what I wanted to do because I was almost in shock. Never got to thank them. Wish I still had the helmet. Nice chunk of it was taken out of the side. Besides having some cool scars and a crazily different right collarbone, I have a reminder of all the dangers.

There is a saying "There are those who have crashed and there are those who will crash." You can do everything right but remember, it is usually the other bone head out there. I am amazed at the idiotic and selfish drivers out there. Plus with the small silhouette of a motorcycle, those idiot drivers have a hard time gauging your distance and speed. With the proliferation of cell phones, they are even more distracted than ever before. I really wish that driver training was more intense, and examinations and licensing were more difficult. Frankly, a lot of people have no business on the road.

The Speed Limit is basically a racket. It's a money grab. Germany and other countries have shown that good driers can go fast. Speed can be a dangerous factor but more often than not it is the oblivious, unskilled or distracted driver doing something stupid like a U-turn on a highway or someone hesitating like stopping on a highway on ramp. It just blows my mind. Some people think going slow is safe when it is no way a guarantee of safety and oftentimes the opposite.

That's my 2 cents. Good luck and be safe out there. Remember, to respect the bike and keep learning to be a better rider.

I would love to hear other people's critiques and their pointers. We must all share and learn from each other as we are basically a small tight knit community.

Kenji
 

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non- skill related wisdom:
wear your **** gear! At the very least- full face helmet, gloves, jacket, pants and short boots.
if you live where it gets below 60 degrees- heated grips (I like the Koso Apollos) and heated jacket liner. When you get them you'll wonder how you lived without....no matter if you've been riding a month or 20 years.
 
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