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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Welcome from Atlantic Canada, stingray. I also have an 1100 Classic. Wish I had the Silverado option package yours has (factory saddlebags, windshield, passenger backrest, and studded seats). I bought it as my first bike in about 20 years and the biggest one I've ever owned, but I found it easy to handle in the city and it has enough power to carry a passenger at highways speeds. You're gonna love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the welcome guys! I'm from Dallas, TX. To be honest, I'm a little intimidated. Never rode before and not sure if I'm going to keep it. My step-dad bought this new in 2001 I think. He took really good care of it from what I can see.

I'm going to try to learn to ride it and see where it goes from there. I'll probably invest in a class. My buddy rode it yesterday and he came back smiling. So that gave me more motivation.

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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I would strongly recommend a riding class. Here's a link for Texas.

Texas Motorcycle Training

Many here have taken the class and all come away with a valuable experience.
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Take the MSF beginners course, you get your license in 3 days, it costs about $250, which will pay for itself the 1st time you don't drop the bike.

The 2nd, 3rd, 4th... time you don't drop your bike is all frosting on the cake.

Seriously, I took the class 5 years ago, and after 27,000 miles on my VS 650 it has saved me many times.
 

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Take the MSF beginners course, you get your license in 3 days, it costs about $250, which will pay for itself the 1st time you don't drop the bike.

The 2nd, 3rd, 4th... time you don't drop your bike is all frosting on the cake.

Seriously, I took the class 5 years ago, and after 27,000 miles on my VS 650 it has saved me many times.
Haha, well said. Thanks for the advise.

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Welcome to the forum from East Tennessee Stingray. You got great advice and as you get more comfortable with your riding skills, the grin on your face as you ride will get bigger and bigger!


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Something that has taken me a long time to figure out: you cannot tell what a unique, nearly mystical experience it can be to ride a motorcycle, just by looking at one, sitting on a MC, or watching other people ride and talking about it.

You have to ride a bike with enough training to be confident, and then you get it.

Most people do not even understand that a motorcycle is self balancing - once you get up over 20mph, you dont balance the bike, it balances itself (because of the big heavy gyroscopic wheels and tires). You only steer the bike where you want to go.

Which brings up another important thing: Motorcycles steer backwards at speed. To turn right you PUSH the right handgrip forward, the bike leans to the right and turns to the right. If you try to ride the bike and steer it like a car it will go the opposite way from what you want. That always always always ends badly.

When you get your permit, the first time you take it for a ride, if you dont remember anything else, remember that one thing. Its called countersteering by the way.
 

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I have to agree with KCW on the mystical experience. Counter steering is something that will gradually become second nature.

One other important thing about riding a bike is to look where you want to go. They'll drill that into you at the course. I got a real scare when I got back into biking 25 years ago on my first street bike. I was on a back road and came to a corner. It wasn't an especially bad corner or anything, but for some reason I fixated on a tree as I was coming into it. Predictably, the bike went straight for that tree like it was on a rail. At the last second I came to my senses, braked and looked around the turn, and somehow made it around the corner. I had to pull over and check my shorts before I continued on my way, but that really drove it home for me. After all this time I still remember that experience, and I always will.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the support! I've been watching a handful of counter steering videos. I haven't really been able to quite understand them since it always appears that when they initiate the counter steer, it allways looks like they are still turning into the corner. I'm not going to stress over it though. Like has been said, I think it will become second nature. I see a few class options near me so I'll have to work out the time to take it soon.
 

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With more experience and a class under your belt, it’ll all fall into place. The fixation issue is very real, just remember you’re in control of where your bike goes. Please keep us updated on your progress.


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the countersteering thing is not intuitive.

It works the way it does for two reasons.

1. the wheels are like big heavy gyroscopes. If you held one in your hands by the axle, spinning in the forward direction, then if you twisted it to the left it will lean to the right. Its called gyroscopic procession. Its the thing that makes riding a motorcycle on a curvy road so wonderful, you just put a little pressure on the right handgrip, and the bike leans right over, as if the force you are applying is multiplied 50 times to lean the bike. You may not even notice the handlebars moving at all, its all about pressure, not large movement.

2. the way the front fork is raked (angled) when you turn the handlebars left and right the tire contact patch moves out from under the bike as the bike leans. The result adds to the gyro effect the same way, and also uses the weight of the bike over the now off-center tire patch, to lean the bike.

These two things work together, and when you get use to it you can control where the bike goes very precisely - power steering in a car has nothing over the response of a motorcycle.

Have to add, when you are going slow, like riding around a corner at 5mph, then it steers like a bicycle, and you turn the handlebars the way you want the tires to roll, as if you were walking the bike. Once you get up past a few mph it crosses over and its all about lean angle (counter-steering). Not surprisingly new riders have the harder time turning and riding very slow, because the gyroscopic effect of the tires is very small at slow speeds.
 

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I just inherited this motorcycle and just trying to find out more about it. Thanks in advance.


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Welcome from Florida! You got yourself a real purrdy bike there. I would definitely recommend taking the course as was suggested. I started out on the 650 version of this bike and fell in love from the beginning. Yamaha has stolen my heart and won't give it back. The shaft drive is nice and lower maintenance than belt or chain. I was originally looking to upgrade to the 1100 from my 650 just for the extra power I desired. I ended up finding a Road Star 1600 and it is another great bike. Yamaha makes a solid bike and the 2 that I have are a blast to ride. You're gonna love the bike.

A couple of riding tips:

1. When coming to a stop, stay looking ahead. If you look down at the ground, you will end up there.

2. The rear brake is your friend. They will teach you not to stop in a turn but, if for some reason you absolutely have to, don't smash the front brake. lightly grab the front brake and apply more pressure to the rear. This will give you a much better chance of staying upright. It is also your friend for quick stops. If for some reason one of your tires is going to skid in a quick stop, better the back tire than the front. You can apply pressure more quickly to the rear brake as you gradually pull the front brake in to keep it from sliding. The front brake is much stronger and will lock up the tire easier.

3. When turning, look where you want the bike to go.

4. If the back tire starts to spin on take off (in a rainy situation) don't freak, just let off the throttle until the rear tire regains traction and then, slowly begin to re-apply throttle.

5. If you fall (because about 99.9% of all bikers do at some point) don't be afraid to hop back in the saddle and keep riding. Learn what you did wrong and then ride on.

6. Finally, the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!

Seriously though, take care of that bike and it will last you a long time.
 
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