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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I took the MSF course and sure that built up a lot of confidence with a variety of skills, however....it was all on a closed course and at speeds under 20 mph.

As I get closer and closer to going to pick out a bike from the dealer I can't help but become more and more nervous about riding out on the road. When I was taking my course that 20 mph felt wicked fast, the thought of doing all of those things we did at a higher rate of speed makes me a little uneasy.

So in order to put my mind at ease I'd like to hear some stories of peoples first time taking their bike out on the open road! It's not as bad as I'm making it out to be...right? :)
 

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BACK ON TWO WHEELS
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i found it easiest for my wife or daughter to have me ride shotgun behind them, helped shoulder traffic etc, provide a cushion, if you have an experienced rider friend you might see if they will help
 

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Rolling with the big dogs
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My first time out, I had my husband behind me and it really helped. I got up to 35mph (real speed) and it felt like 70 :eek: People in cars were going around me and some slowed down to tell me that they could run faster than I was riding. I got home in one piece, that's all I was concerned about. My first time on the interstate was better, I was doing 55-60 with no problem.
 

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Serial Sport Rider
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It helps if you live in an area with a lot of side streets. Stopping and starting while riding in said traffic is actually harder than the riding itself. The key is to not get fixated on any one thing. Kepp working on your skills, they will come. I was nervous as all get out when I first started riding. You'll get over it, just as I did, and as nearly everyone does.
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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I rode around town for about a half hour mid morning...little traffic about (same goes for early weekends)...then I was off out the local cuvry road (speed limit 55). It was absolutely one of my top experiences.

Speed didn't bother me...it was a blast!
 

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I started riding on the street in 1976 when I was 14. I was tall for my age and hid my babyface under a helemt. Things weren't as strict as they are now and I was a stupid kid. I had been riding dirt bikes for years and the cops kinda looked the other way when we were making our way from our house to the trails as long as we were following the rules of the road. By the time I got my driver license, I had lots of experience on the pavement. Of course I was also bulletproof back then as well as knowing everything there was to know :biggrin:

I rode until about 1997 and parked my bike for a few years. Then in 2002 came down with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It didn't look like I'd ever ride again but I've healed and recovered quite nice. I decided to buy a bike and start riding again. I bought a bike in Albuquerque and drove it to Lake Havasu Arizona. Even tho I have many years of experience riding, after 12 years or so of being out of the saddle meant I had real doubts about my skills. I think I know exactly how you are feeling. I cruised around Albuquerque all day getting used to the bike. I stopped often to check things out, fluids, lights etc. It took all day before I felt comfortable again and confidence began to return. I had a month to make the trip and didn't try setting any land speed records. Nice and easy.

My suggestion for you is find a subdivision or industrial park being developed on your area. You know, where the streets are paved but no houses or buildings around. There is usually no traffic there and you can practice what you learned in the MSF course. Just beware of gravel and construction debris in these area. Practice practice practice!

Don't buy a bike that's too big right off. It isn't like getting a tattoo, you aren't stuck with it forever. As your skills grow, you can always buy something bigger. A word of warning, this can lead to a garage full of motorcycles. It did for me.

Slow and steady wins the race.
 

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Well I took the MSF course and sure that built up a lot of confidence with a variety of skills, however....it was all on a closed course and at speeds under 20 mph.

As I get closer and closer to going to pick out a bike from the dealer I can't help but become more and more nervous about riding out on the road. When I was taking my course that 20 mph felt wicked fast, the thought of doing all of those things we did at a higher rate of speed makes me a little uneasy.

So in order to put my mind at ease I'd like to hear some stories of peoples first time taking their bike out on the open road! It's not as bad as I'm making it out to be...right? :)
When I first starting riding I was a bit nervous also. I put 25 miles on the bike just going around the cul de sacs of my neighborhood. I wanted to get used to starting and stopping, left and right turns etc. By the end of the first day I ventured out to the next neighborhood over to visit a friend. I live in the burbs right on the edge of being in the country and so each time I went out, I would go a little farther out. Each time out my confidence level went up. I eventually got more comfortable with my bike, my surroundings and being in traffic etc. Be patient, you will build more confidence each time you go out, just be careful not to get too confident too quickly..
 

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Lost but making good time
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I'm new too, only been riding about 6 months so I know exactly what you are talking about. I had the dealer deliver my new bike and left it nice and safe in the garage until after I'd completed the MSF course the next weekend.

I spent a few days cruising around my housing development just getting the feel of things and finally got up the courage to drive along a highway access road. What a mad rush getting up to 45 that first time :biggrin:

Don't worry, you will get comfortable with it quick.
 

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I remember the feeling, it was only 6 months ago for me as well. Everything is new and strange.

I started just up and back my local street. Then I went around the block, then to neighboring communities. Then I took a bigger ride to the gas station out of necessity. All along, my experience at 20, 30, 40, then 50 mph was stressful.

But eventually, every new experience became normal and no big deal. It will with you as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I'm getting that feeling I'd get everytime the MSF instructor would go "and next we will be doing such and such" and everyones like no way I'm going to be able to do that, and then after the exercise is over you can't help but think how easy it was. Gotta shake the butterflies!
 

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I remember almost being overwhelmed with EVERYTHING at once; trying to control the bike, paying attention to everything around me, keeping an eye on the road, the sound of the bike, the feel of the wind, etc...
 

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Like so many of the others here, I started out in the neighborhood practicing the starts, stops, left and right turns, stops in sand, gravel, etc. Over and over and over again until I thought it was pretty smooth. Then my husband followed me the 1st time in "real" traffic. Except I forgot that I'm always on his case for tailgating......... Anyway, sure enough I stalled it at the first traffic light, then fumbled with the switch, etc. I swear I could FEEL him choking on his laugh behind me!! I'm still new enough that I recall all my "rides" - even though the longest was only 80 miles so far. Every one is special.
 

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Hardcore Poser
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great advice here so far. Just take your time and work up to higher speeds. Only you know when you're comfortable enough to get faster. It just takes time and practice, but once you reach it you'll be glad you took the time to learn and do it right, have fun.
 

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I tink it is important to take your time looking for the bike. Go to your Kawasaki dealer and try sitting on the bikes and find what feels good to you not over powering. I found the Vulcan 900 custom felt good and i knew i could take some nice long trips on it. Ride around the roads were you live that you know and work up from there . You will know when you are ready for the open road and more speed. It will be worth it. GOOD LUCK AND GOOD RIDEING.
 

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I find myself being very methodical and patient with the process of riding.
I'm out to the bike at least 15 minutes before departure time to go over things that I checked last time. Tire pressure, chain tension, looking at lock nuts on the rear wheel, check fuel.
In the beginning I was closing my eyes to feel the location of the switches.
When at a stop to double check I'm in first gear.
Now that I've got about 2 months of riding I find I'm doing this stuff second nature.
 

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itching to ride
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For me it was like riding a bicycle, only not pedaling, and more noisey.
Same here. We lived on a gravel road and rode bicycles all the time so not having to peddle on those rocks made it a blast. I started out on a little SL70 when I was a teen so did not have to deal with a heavy bike and did not know enough to be scared. Very little traffic to deal with and the top speed was maybe 45. The hardest thing about that time was riding on the back and having to hold your feet up because there were no rear pegs.
 

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Despicably Incorrigible
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I think everybody gave some pretty good ways to start out ! I started out riding around on side streets, then moved to the main streets after I had gotten "comfortable". I tried to pick a time of day that wasn't real heavy traffic.
 
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