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This will be my first spring with a bike, and have only rode a couple times for short rides but see new hazards out there.
I took the MSF safety class last fall and feel it was great, but looking for some safety tips and warning for spring time in the northern states. I know I see new pot holes every day, they pop up fast this time of year.
 

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IBA#34418
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Stay out of the center of the lane. Its where all the road debris collect and dripping oil from cars.

This time of year there will be sand and salt still on the road and its dangerous.

The cagers REALLY aren't seeing us this time of year either. They aren't used to us yet.

If you're out early AM expect ice. Be careful.
 

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*NRA*
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concur with above. Ride defensively and expect the worst...assume the cagers can't see you. Be safe but have fun-
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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In addition to the above, spend some time getting reacquainted with your bike. Getting back your throttle control, brake feel, and balance will be important.

I rode through the winter (kinda...barely got to ride...even just around town)...and I've noticed some deterioration with my throttle control in particular. Doing parking lot drills, and just spending time on the bike help get me back in rhythm again.
 

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Me, I always assume the cagers around me are going to do something stupid, until they convince me otherwise..

New rider, new bike, odds are good that the capabilities of the bike exceed yours as a rider. Remember that it will take some time and miles for you to catch up to what the bike is capable of..

Enjoy the ride, and welcome to the club..
 

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This will be my first spring with a bike, and have only rode a couple times for short rides but see new hazards out there.
I took the MSF safety class last fall and feel it was great, but looking for some safety tips and warning for spring time in the northern states. I know I see new pot holes every day, they pop up fast this time of year.
Find a vacant parking lot (I use a school parking lot on weekends or after school is out) that's in good condition and practice all of the manuevers you learned in the MSF course. Swerves, stops, U Turns, circles, figure 8's in the box, etc.

On slow speed turns, while using clutch and throttle control, remember to drag the back brake to help stabilize the bike.

Do NOT look down... you look down you go down. On slow speed turns keep your head up and turn it as far in the direction of the turn as you can. The bike will go where you look.

Do NOT look at things you DON'T want to hit.

Do NOT apply the front brake in slow speed turns (It will likely pull you to the ground like a magnet)

Remember to keep the front wheel straight when stopping. (If you come to a stop with the front wheel turned and apply the front brake.... It WILL pull you to the ground like a magnet

Get some cones and set up some of the course layouts. Many practice layouts can be found on line.

"Practice makes perfect". Practice Practice Practice!!!!!!

I read in another post the rider said he "rides like he's invisible" Same thing some of the others above said.

Remember to constantly scan ahead and behind, and don't get comfortable at stops.

Always plan an escape route.

Because you have the right-of-way, doesn't mean you should excercise it. Better to yield your right and continue your ride than, exercise your right and risk being taken away.

Always ride at YOUR comfort level.

Be safe and enjoy!!!!
 

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This will be my first spring with a bike, and have only rode a couple times for short rides but see new hazards out there.
I took the MSF safety class last fall and feel it was great, but looking for some safety tips and warning for spring time in the northern states. I know I see new pot holes every day, they pop up fast this time of year.
Started the v 2000 today, gotta say, not a better start then with the goodyear on the back. It's been the most sure footed start in 38 years of riding.

MrFix
 

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Like you, I took the MSF course in the fall (bought my bike in October). Fortunately I've been able to ride more often than most being in the mild Southeast, but there's an intermediate MSF class here in April and you can bet that I'll be there! (Just a thought....) :)
 

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We need a Sarcasm Font!
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Be careful riding in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is right in drivers' eyes just above the horizon. You can end up in their blind spot, or them in yours. I have this trouble when riding to work.

And, absolutely, watch for sand in the curves and intersections.

And, yes, practice in parking lots!! Skills get rusty very quickly!!
 

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Control those things that you can control.

Also, don't overlook the importance of staying hydrated.. When I head out, my first stop is for gas, and a quart of Gatorade..
 

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Just to add, ALWAYS take that extra split second when your light turns green to make sure someone isn't going to run the light. I've seen it happen many times and I always double check to be sure.
 

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Winter sucks.
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Addition: Watch out for black ice in the morning. Frost on the road can be bad too. Just remember your heavy bike has tires that are not designed to handle ice at all. Be very careful cornering until the sun is well up and the ice has melted for the day. Believe me-- living in Fargo I've experienced this many times.
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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Just to add, ALWAYS take that extra split second when your light turns green to make sure someone isn't going to run the light. I've seen it happen many times and I always double check to be sure.
Yeah...keep an eye out for runaway Toyotas! :eek:

But really, always a good idea to double check.
 

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USAF
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As already stated, practice the basics. You would be amazed at how many people don't and when the time arises don't realize how rusty they are.
 

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Ride long and prosper
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If you are gonna be commuting as I do then add the following to the "staying alive paranoid bikers list". At dusk and dawn the retards with antlers are often on the move and nothing sux like hitting a deer. Sometimes there is little you can do except be ready for the possibility and to just ride the mess to the end (trying to keep the bike strait until the resultant wreck is over). It sounds impossible but lots of folks have made it safely by keeping their nerve and maintaining as much control as possible. Often however you can se 'em comeing. Let them get by or get out of their way. These things are so stupid that I have even blipped the thottle to try and scare off only to have them run in abject fear staight at me.

If you go to work anything close to due east of your house you will need serious shades.

Last thing I have is to watch out around school buses. People do stupid things after being stuck behind one. I get real careful when meeting one head on that has traffic behind it.

Basically keep a full swivel on your head and eyes and remember to enjoy the ride.

Barry
 

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Watch your tire air pressure. Spring time in Northern states has warm days and cold overnight temps. Such changes in temperature drops air pressure.
My V2K can drop 6 pounds overnight.

Ride safe and often.
 

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Elmer
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This time of the year when we see all sand and gravel on the roads, especially in the curves, making for some slippery surfaces when we might least expect them. Critters are on the move now too. Failure to negotiate a curve can at the very least ruin your day so ride within your comfort range and be very attentive to the environment. Distraction is our enemy.
 

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Bug Killer Extraordinaire
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As already stated, practice the basics. You would be amazed at how many people don't and when the time arises don't realize how rusty they are.
LOL I was pulled over for exhibitionist driving, for weaving back and forth in
the lane, practicing avoidance maneuvers
 

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I'm with the original poster, Danny, I took my MSF course in the fall and bought my bike right afterwards got a couple hundred miles in before I had to put my bike up. thanks you all for the tips! I think I will take the intermediate course this spring. Love my bike, but love life even more.
 
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