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Hey everyone. I'm Rookie. I live in Maryland (United States) but have traveled all over when I was in the Army. That's where I fell in love with little klr650, goofing off on the prairie. Currently settled down, doing the wife and kids and job and mortgage thing. Comfortably middle aged I guess.

So last fall I took the MSF course and got my license. Along with a friend's '03 Ninja 250. I was looking at the 800-950 class of cruisers but he really needed the money. I couldn't argue the price and to help a good guy out. So I rode that until recently when I low sided the foolish bike. Fallen tree in the middle of a curve so I panicked and dumped it.

You know, I loved that little bike for what it was. Uber responsive, flickable a scoot as you could want. And it weighed half of nothing so it was pretty decent in traffic. But she wasn't without problems. Like I could do 85 on the highway but passing a truck was as long as you'd want to to that. And my biggest gripe was I'm 6'1" in boots. I looked like a bear riding a tricycle.

So anyways, tomorrow I pick up my brand new to me 09 v star 1300 classic (white) that the previous owner converted into a touring. I'm pretty stoked to be getting a big boy bike! But a little nervous. Turning and breaking and backing up. There's some quality time in my future; me, the bike, and an empty parking lot. But that's just an excuse to ride.

So now here I am! I look forward to getting to know some cool people. And trying your patience with stupid new guy questions. If there's anything else not covered, ask away.
 

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Welcome from up the coast in Atlantic Canada, and thanks for joining our little group. I also went from a sport bike to a cruiser (well, 20 years later). You got yourself a great bike and you are most definitely going to find out how different it is. It won't be as easy to throw around as the baby Ninja, but you're going to enjoy the comfortable ride. It'll take longer to stop, but you'll get used to that. The weight? I doubt that'll be a problem. I'm a 5'9, 185 pound old fart and I ride an 860 pound 1600 Nomad without any issues at all. Like you said, practice and get to know it and you'll quickly fall in love with it.

If you have any questions about your bike, feel free to ask. There's a wealth of knowledge here and we have a lot of friendly, helpful members. Love to see a pic of it when you get a chance.
 

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VS1300 is a great bike

take your time and ride like a cop is following you everywhere you go: stop clean and put both feet down, outside inside outside on the curves, practice your panic stopping gradually stopping harder and shorter every time you ride

and most of all respect the increased weight of the bigger bike - the muscle memory you have from your last bike will get you in trouble if you start riding on auto-pilot.

one thing I figured out when I got my Royal Star, I subconsciously had been doing this little twist on the handlebars when I stop on my 650, didnt not really notice it till I got the 1300 V4 and was a little sketchy stopping. Sometimes the bike would lean to the right instead of the left, and I had to throw both feet out - to fix that, when you stop, just as you come to a halt turn the handlebars just a bit to the right, that makes the bike lean to the left - always - very repeatable. Now I can calmly put my left foot down when I stop, straighten that slight twist out, take my right foot off the brake and plant it - like I have been riding Ursa The She-Bear my whole life.

The other thing that got me, when you stop a big bike on the slightest incline, as soon as you release the brake the bike will start to roll forward or back - you cant let go of the front brake at a light and push your visor up, or scratch your nose, and hold the bike with your feet - you want to have one brake or the other on all the time when you are stopped. If you know your visor is going to fog up when you stop for a red light, push it up before you stop, pull it back down after you get going...

its those little things that make you feel insecure on a big machine - once you get a handle on that, your confidence goes back up

once the bike gets up over 10mph - its as stable and solid as a rock.
 

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KCW, I really like that explanation. I always thought it was because I'm such a little guy that the bike rolled on me.
 

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Welcome from Sacramento, Ca. Take it to an empty parking lot for a couple of hours and you will be a lot more comfortable afterwards. Tight turns, Fast stops Try anything that you think might happen in traffic.
 

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Welcome to the forum from East Tennessee. Love the 1300! It’s smooth handling and has great brakes, I think KCW, NorthernRider, and Les said it best. We definitely want to see a pic of it, and don’t feel like to learn it all in a day, you’ll eventually become one with the bike.


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Welcome from Sacramento, Ca. Take it to an empty parking lot for a couple of hours and you will be a lot more comfortable afterwards. Tight turns, Fast stops Try anything that you think might happen in traffic.
If you can have someone video you. Learn from your hiccups. 😀
 

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Having the bike start to roll on your when you are stopped and release the brake is mostly unsettling when you are slightly pointed uphill. On a steep uphill stop its easy to slip the clutch while still holding the front brake till the nose starts to pull down, release the brake and take off. You expect it to roll backwards.

but on a slight hill your old small bike would not have started to roll backwards, the heavy bike will, and you have no leverage because you normally plant your feet in front of your body, not behind you.

The other thing about a big bike, dont park it pointed even slightly downhill if its not a pull-thru parking space, it will be much harder to push backwards than your old bike. Its not just that its harder to push, if you are on wet pavement or anything else that could make your foot slide out, it will.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome. And the wonderful advice.

I have a few people anxiously waiting for me to finish my parking lot getting to know you time so we can go on rides. I'm looking forward to getting advice from people who've been riding for as long as I've been walking.

My driveway is on a stupid steep slope so I'm not overly worried about hills. I figure I'll get pretty good at starting and stopping on inclines.

Ride like a cop is following me, I like that a lot. That tends to sum up my driving style in general. Grumbling quietly about aging and maturity.
 

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Welcome from Columbus, OH! The best thing I can suggest would be to keep practicing what you learned in your safety classes. Empty parking lots, some business parks on weekends are nice also. Try not to rush it. Listen to the other voice in your head that is telling you to slow down and relax. Tension leads to mistakes. Ride safe and Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I took her out to make friends today. 230 miles round trip going from gentle rolling hills, stop and go urban, and hugging the Chesapeake Bay coast. Coming from a Ninja 250, this was an experience!

She has the mid placement controls. I love that! Such a relaxed position for me. But the ride was easy. I mean, the bike wanted to cruise down the roads. Wanted to lean in the sweeping curves. She made it easy to trust her. I hope somebody gets that because that's about the best way I can describe it.

Because I'm me and it's a cruiser, there's a couple things that'll get tweaked sometime between now and eventually. I love the shape of the seat. But it needs to scoot back just a touch, and make friends with some sort of padding. However, I was riding for about an hour and a half at a time. Honestly, it was that short because after that long, I needed a cigarette. And highway bars with pegs. Not needed at all, but would be nice to move my feet around.

Sitting here looking at my windshield, my stupidly big cop looking windshield, I can't stand the sight of it. But from behind it, I love it. Blocks the right amount of wind letting enough in to be pleasant. So sometime closer to eventually I'll see if anything can do s good a job but doesn't look, well, yeah.

The stock exhaust sucks monkey butt. Let's say a bit more refined and polite than one would expect. On the other hand, when I start commuting on her, it'll be 5:45am. So, in the name of neighborly consideration, I'll find a way to make peace with it.

So, in the end it might be that I'm still new, but none of these nits need immediate picking. This seems like it'll do anything I want a motorcycle to do. And she seems to be a good fit for my riding style. I'm sure as I get to know her and what she is capable of, and possibly a little help here, we'll both get better with each other.

Oh. As an aside, I'll never ride another bike without saddle bags. A couple bottles from Mrs. Rookie's favorite vineyard (if you ever get the chance, Virginia wine country offers some gorgeous rides) goes a long way in stealing Saturday afternoon rides here and there. Oh, and a handy place to hold rain gear and the gallon of milk on the way home.
 

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Welcome from NC!

When I rode with cops they taught me to keep my right foot up and on the rear brake at stops. That way it makes it easier to start uphill as you don't have to release front brake and twist the throttle same time. Plus, with your foot on rear brake you can execute sharp turns right from the dead stop (that requires feathering clutch in friction zone and light pressure on the rear brake).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I do apologize for making everyone wait for pics. But here's the White Devil in all her glory! The first pic really shows off the "cop bike" look. I guess it's not bad enough that my cage is a Charger. The second is from the winery.

I've been thumbing through the mods section here. But aside from the seat (I really want to reshape it to push me back just a scooch) and the stealth mode exhaust (which won't get fixed until I stop having to leave for work at quarter of six), I can't really find anything that NEEDS to be done. Except highway bars (which are totally different from crash bars if Mrs. Rookie happens to ask).

Oh, while you're reading this and looking at the pretty pictures, let me ask you all this. Whitewall tires, would it be too much white on this? I'm torn. I love whitewalls but I've never seen them on a white bike. Thoughts and opinions are very much appreciated. Thanks everyone!

Well, keep the rubber down and wind in your hair.
 

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I personally am not a fan of whitewalls on anything, shows dirt too much and just something more to clean, but that’s just me. Great looking bike whichever way you go!


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I had whitewalls on my 1100 when I got it and they looked great with the two tone burgundy and cream paint, but Keith is right - they were a pain to clean. Personally I think they would be too much on a white bike. You need some contrast. But that's just my opinion.
 
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