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Discussion Starter #1
Well, here I am 45 yrs of age and decided to get my first ever Motorcycle. After doing some research, I settled on the 800 Classic. Wow what a beautiful bike. Does anyone have any pointers for this bike? I was thinking of getting the crash bar till I learn how to ride without being nervous. I know where the controls are, and how to use them, but it isnt quite the same as my old 10 speed when I was a kid..lol Any sugestions on a crash bar. I was thinking of getting a used one, as i will want to remove it when I become comfortable with the bike, or should I just keep it on forever?

I am in the military, so I have to take the safety course, which is mandatory, but I would take it anyways. Is there any pointers for me to practice on my street in front of my house, or in an empty parking lot. I live in a culdisac, to traffic isnt a concern.

Any tips about how to ride, or any idiosynchrosies with this bike will be much appreciated.

I am really anxious to start riding, but want to make sure it lasts for a long time. Me and the bike that is..

Thanks

Larry
 

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Hi Larry, and welcome to the forum. Congrats on the new ride. That's a great bike you got there and she's sure to please for many, many miles.

Since you seem to be starting from scratch, here's a few links to get you started with the myriad of questions you must have:

http://www.motorcyclebeginners.com/index.htm
http://www.msf-usa.org/
http://www.gadgetjq.com/gadgetsfixitpage.htm

You may also consider calling Beartooth and ordering the service manual for your bike. It will show and teach a whole lot more than the User's Manual (if you wish to get more familiar with the bike and how to properly take care of it).
 

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Larry,

Welcome to the Forum. And Congrats on your first bike. Taking the MSF class will also save you on your insurance!!!

Find a large empty parking lot and practise doing figure 8's and circles both clockwise and counter clockwise. Start wide and gradually tighten the turning radius to the minimum turning radius of the bike. Also practise using your throttle and clutch by going as slow as you can ( in a straight line) to stay upright without your feet touching the ground. This helps you develop balance on the bike and expertise on the clutch for when you are in bumper-to-bumper traffic, etc.

This will help you become familiar with your bike and give you more confidence in riding.

Good Luck and Have Fun!!!

Ride Safe, Ride SAne,

Heather
 

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Larry welcome :D
take the course as soon as you can and it will answer all your questions.
take care and practice practice practice. :wink:
 

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If they offer an advanced class take that too. They tend to concentrate on evasive manuvers. leaning your bike, emergency breaking, etc. I Love to ride and do so all the time. At some point in time you will most likely be faced with situation that requires some reaction on your part. The more familiar you are with your bike and its capabilites the better.

Ride Like the Wind, Soar like and Eagle
 

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hey larry..welcome to the forum...everybodys giving you good advice so im not adding to that...you'll get better and better the more you ride...you'll wish that you woudda done this years ago!!! anyway..thanks for your service in keeping our country safe...
 

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As a 47 year old who is actually in your same position, just one month further along, I can certainly give some of a noob's perspective. I just completed the safety course last week and wished I had taken it before ever getting on a bike, but of course I couldn't wait. I used a church parking lot to practice, slow turns, !braking! and using the clutch to control speed at low RPMs. Started out with a Honda 750 and two weeks later traded it in for a Marauder 1600 (same as Mean Streak). You will have fun, but as one who shares having never ridden before you are in for some sweat inducing moments. My advice is keep it low key until the MSF course.
 

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Welcome to the forum and the world of bikes. I'm sure you'll enjoy that bike. Stay safe and come back here with any and all your questions.
 

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Larry:

Welcome to the wonderful world of motorcycles..a couple of tips from a fellow Vulcan owner and 35 years of biking
1. Always ride with all senses on the alert, just like you are on patrol, it is a jungle out there and the river of steel is non-forgiving to us of little protection.
2. Keep that crash bar...you will likely go down sometime, hopefully it will just be during something like a turnaround on a sloped parking lot - that bar may save a knee or ankle getting damaged badly (I have been down 4 times in 35 years, the worst was when I had less than 2 years of experience but I also had no training) - on a more positive note, you will likely want to add highway pegs and they mount there nicely (I recommend Rivco's, they are massive looking and high quality)
3. Everyone else has commented on the value of the basic MSF course so I won't reiterate...practice though in a parking lot with YOUR bike...find out how quick it stops and how much pressure you can apply to the rear brake before it starts to skid.
4. I recommend getting a shop manual and reading the important parts - the more you know how your new toy works will help you in the long run
5. Check out cruisercustomizing.com for pics and accessories for your bike.

T-man
Vulcan 1500Fi
http://www.geocities.com/tensman_99/mcpics.html
 

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re

welcome larry 8)

great bike you got there - pipe it , jet it , put on a 18 front sproket
( if you hiway ride alot) and ride the stew out of it - its pretty much
bullet proof


oh and change the seat :lol:

curious about your screen name - are you a f-body owner?

ride safe!!
 

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T-man said:
2. Keep that crash bar...you will likely go down sometime, hopefully it will just be during something like a turnaround on a sloped parking lot - that bar may save a knee or ankle getting damaged badly
Welcome, Larry.

I got my 800A after having not ridden for years. One of the 1st things I bought was the Kawasaki crash/highway/engine guard bar. I then proceeded to drop the bike twice in the 1st year I had it. The first time doing exactly what T-Man says above in a slope parking spot. The second after a long hot ride I pull into the garage, put it in neutral, shut it off and then went to step off the bike. Ooops!!!! No kick stand. Had gotten so far over I had to just let it drop. The good news is NO DAMAGE TO THE BIKE either time. Cheap insurance.

The Kawa one looks good, is well made, easy to install and like T man says they are good for pegs. I think they will look good on your Classic.

BTW, I have Highway bars on my new 1600 Marauder.

Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks

I would just like to say thanks to you all for the great welcome and advise you have given.

As far as thanking me for my service to our great country, you are more then welcome, but no thanks is necessary. I love what I do, and have loved the Air Force ever since I joined back in 1981.

The next questions was I an F-body man? Well, I used to own a 95 Transam and loved the car, but it was too expensive to work on, so I went back to owning a ford..lol. I now own a 2004 F-150, which I brought my bike home in by the way. It was easy getting it in the truck, cause the dealer did it. As far as getting it out was a whole new story.. hehe.

I am waiting for the safety course to be scheduled, which should be sometime in Nov. I have to say that in the mean time I have been practicing in my culdisac (spelling). I am trying to get used to going as slow as I can without touching the ground, and getting used to the brakes. right now I am walking the bike around to turn it in the other direction, cause I dont want to tip it over till at least I get the crash bar on..:)

I'm also trying to get used to the closed in feeling of wearing the helmet. Yes it's a full face one. I feel safer with that then a half one.

There is alot of things to learn about riding, and I'm sure the learning will never stop. I know without a doubt that I will love to ride, cause I already do.

Once again, thanks to all for the welcome and advise. Maybe someday I will be able to return the faver..

Larry
 

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advice

larry
you really came to the right place with a question like that. the people on this forum are great and are especially helpful in situations like that. i think they all hit on most of the things i could think of. there was only one that had stuck with me since i was a kid. when going into a turn, especially while you are learning, keep your eyes on where you want to go. similar idea as bowling or shooting darts, that when you release you let your arm follow through. by looking where you want to go and mainting that, your body will tend to just make it happen. this will also get you more comfortable with riding the bike as opposed to "steering" the bike. good luck and enjoy the riding time. keep us posted on your ride and get some pics on the pic forum when you get a chance. welcome to the world of riding.
 

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Hey Larry You can pay back the favor! fill in your profile a little more Like what part of the country you live in . I'm planning next summer's trip an I need to know where to spend a couple of day's. <BG> Enjoy the forum It's great!
 

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I recommend keeping the crash bar at all times. I was in an accident 2 weeks ago (a car made a left turn right in front of me from the center lane - it wasn't even at an intersection). I braked hard and managed to avoid hitting the other car but I went down hard. As a result of the crashbar, the bike didn't fall on top of me and the bike suffered minimal damage - just scratches on the bottom of the exhaust pipe heat shield and of course the crashbar. Without the crashbar, the gas tank and the engine would have been damaged and perhaps my legs.
 

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I was 57 back in March when I got my first ever bike, the 1600 classic. I had already read about the MSF course and was planning on taking it, but, like you, I couldn't wait to ride the bike. I spent a whole day riding around in my subdivision practicing taking off, braking, low speed turns, etc. Ventured out to very lightly traveled country roads on an early Sunday morning as the subdivision was getting to be boring.

The revelation came when I took the MSF course. Although I had read everything I could on riding, the MSF course was the best thing I have done. I had great instructors and the course really prepared me for riding a bike properly.

Even the little things have stuck with me. Recentlly, I test rode a bike that I was considering for my wife. After returning the bike, doing a little talking, I was about to leave as the owner was going to put the bike away. I could see that he was having a problem starting it. The problem was that I had, as trained in the MSF course, shut the bike off with the kill switch. The reasoning here is that if you always shut off the bike with the kill switch, you will know where it is in an emergency. This was so ingrained on me that I always shut off my bike with the kill switch.

I have progressed to the point that I recently did a 830 mile trip in two days, and loved every minute of it.

My only regret is that I didn't take up riding much earlier in my life.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update

Well, I figured I would write you all and give you a 50 mile update.. hehe.

So far so good on the practicing. I am getting better and better with my take offs from a stop. I still tend to take that turn a little wide, so I kind of just angle my bike in the direction I want to go. I am still trying to learn the Look Where You Want To Go method. It takes some getting used too, thats for sure.

I am scheduled for the motorcycle safety course on the 11th of Nov. I cant wait to go. I am hoping that by the time I get there, that I at least wont look too stupid.. lol. I figure If I can handle my 800 then the 250's shouldnt be too much of a problem. I'm just kind of hoping that I dont develop too many bad habbits between now and then.

By the way, with 50 miles on her so far, she runs like a dream. I posted in another post that I removed one of the baffles, I havent gotten to the other one yet. I may just leave it alone till I buy new pipes. I was thinking that it was a little loud. Maybe because I'm not used to it. I just didnt want to attract too much of the wrong attention. especially being new and all. Dont get me wrong though. It sounds alot better then it did.

Thanks again everyone.

Larry
 

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Larry,

Go to this site and order the DVD or VHS tape and practice it - http://www.ridelikeapro.com/ On the tape/dvd, he says to get crash bars on your bike. I agree its a good idea. I dropped my bike last year at 2-3 mph and had a chip fracture on my ankle. No fracture if I had put crash bars on my bike before I dropped it. My son, who is an avid dirt bike rider said I looked like the guy on Laugh-In who use to tip over his tricycle. What's Laugh In you ask? Oh, you kids...
 

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bsteff said:
Larry,

Go to this site and order the DVD or VHS tape and practice it - http://www.ridelikeapro.com/ On the tape/dvd, he says to get crash bars on your bike. I agree its a good idea.
I second the motion, buy Jerry Palladino's "Ride Like A Pro 3" Video or DVD - great stuff and it will improve any rider.

Also, David Hough's book "Proficient Motorcycling"

Crash bar? Yep. I have not had to test mine, but it's still a nice good lookin' chrome thing. 8)
 
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