Yamaha Starbike Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About 30 years ago, I was taught to ride by a friend who drilled this into my head: "Do what I tell you (counter-steer, turn your head, brake with both, etc.) and trust the bike. It definitely knows how to stay upright better than you do, and probably knows how to 'ride' better than you do."

A couple hundred miles into it after a 15 year hiatus, I was reminded of that today. Went out and did about 20 on some mildly-windy (gentle S-curves) back roads, plus a few breaks for 'parking lot' practice. The less I thought about 'riding' and the more I thought about proper technique (turn your head where you want to go; push left, lean left, go left, etc.) the better it felt.

For the first time since I got back in the saddle, feel like I'm riding not "working at riding"... Also made me appreciate just how sweet this V Star is. Treat her right and she responds just beautifully.

PS - ear-to-ear grin, so I must be doing at least some of it right!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
About 30 years ago, I was taught to ride by a friend who drilled this into my head: "Do what I tell you (counter-steer, turn your head, brake with both, etc.) and trust the bike. It definitely knows how to stay upright better than you do, and probably knows how to 'ride' better than you do."

A couple hundred miles into it after a 15 year hiatus, I was reminded of that today. Went out and did about 20 on some mildly-windy (gentle S-curves) back roads, plus a few breaks for 'parking lot' practice. The less I thought about 'riding' and the more I thought about proper technique (turn your head where you want to go; push left, lean left, go left, etc.) the better it felt.

For the first time since I got back in the saddle, feel like I'm riding not "working at riding"...
Well, that covers the major components of knowing how to ride;

How a bike works
Proper technique
How YOU work (vision)

There is a lot more to it than that, details under each of those categories and it's not always correct to use both brakes together and I'd argue good riding means you are ALWAYS working at riding but maybe we mean the same thing there. In any event, it's really interesting how few riders really know or much care about those three major components so, you are on the 'right path' and doing well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
I took a riders safety course a few years back when I got my V Star.
Learned alot of good riding tips there.
Might be a good thing for you to think about doing.
I had been riding for years before that, and still learned some good stuff. Plus got my motorcycle endorsement, and a discount on my insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
"Do what I tell you (counter-steer, turn your head, brake with both, etc.) and trust the bike. It definitely knows how to stay upright better than you do, and probably knows how to 'ride' better than you do."
So, some people get in the way of the bike taking care of em , eh?

Thanks Casey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
I took a riders safety course a few years back when I got my V Star.
Learned alot of good riding tips there.
Might be a good thing for you to think about doing.
I had been riding for years before that, and still learned some good stuff. Plus got my motorcycle endorsement, and a discount on my insurance.
I took the advanced rider safety course with a guy who used to teach the class. He said he takes the course every spring just to refresh his skills and keep him mindful of his techniques. I HIGHLY recommend taking both courses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I took a riders safety course a few years back when I got my V Star.
Learned alot of good riding tips there.
Might be a good thing for you to think about doing.
I had been riding for years before that, and still learned some good stuff. Plus got my motorcycle endorsement, and a discount on my insurance.
Agree, and already signed up for it! There's only one near me, and here in PA it's free (or more correctly, built into your registration charges), so they tend to book up ahead. Until then I'm spending a lot of time in parking lots getting my figure-8's and cone-weaving skills better honed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I took the advanced rider safety course with a guy who used to teach the class. He said he takes the course every spring just to refresh his skills and keep him mindful of his techniques. I HIGHLY recommend taking both courses.
A refresher course annually huh? I'll have to check on that since the classes are free here - am I allowed to 'retake' them at will and still not pay? If yes, that's a double-no-brainer...

Post-hiatus, I better get myself through BRC and BRC2 first, of course!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
139 Posts
I paid for the BRC here when I started to ride, and the instructors allow you to retake it as many times as you wish, for free. I've taken it twice, one for myself, then again I retook it last month when my wife started to ride just to do something together. Of course, she had to pay for hers.

And my group/"club" (really just a local online forum and we hang out and schedule rides) does a yearly advance course each spring for free, as one of the members is also one of the MSF instructors.

There's a lot to learn, but even more to constantly practice. I'm a new rider, but even with only 8 months experience (less if you count the winter months of almost no riding), I grin a little when I see years long riders dragging feet and walking bikes on those slow speed parking lot type maneuvers I can ride through. Or watch youtube videos of riders who can't negotiate a turn at speed, and know exactly what happened.

I think the hardest thing is intentionally pushing ourselves to do what we struggle with, instead of just avoiding the situation. I know I'm guilty of this, circling a parking lot to find an 'easier' spot to pull out of. Things like that. I think we avoid the technically challenging stuff, because its not fun, and riding it supposed to be fun. Threshold braking is something that needs to be practiced from time to time, but I'm sure most never do. When's the last time you maxed your brakes w/o locking a tire, have you changed your bike since then? Added saddle bags, new tires, different brand of pads? We get rusty, and need to constantly practice. Whats the word, complacent? :D

Head and eyes up, and turn your head, clutch control, and the bike does the rest.




I think this topic should be put in a sticky, ongoing riding info. We have threads for everything bike related, but what about the biker? Or merge the 'new riders' section into just a ongoing rider thing, or similar to the 'how experienced are you' thread. I dunno. Here's my contribution: You cannot lock up your front tire so long as there's travel remaining in your forks while braking. So if you're hard on those front brakes and are wondering, pay attention to the forks compressing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
I think the hardest thing is intentionally pushing ourselves to do what we struggle with, instead of just avoiding the situation. .
I dunno if it is 'harder' or what. It just seems like a lot of people really don't know how to ride and really don't care to learn. When I took my beginner course I was one of two people who were actually new riders. The other 12-13 guys had all been riding, on the street, for anywhere from a couple years up to 20 and were only now (5 years ago) getting their licenses for various reasons and, without fail, they ALL learned something, basic stuff, friction zone, dragging rear brake, visions skills, and were very open about it. That stunned me as I assumed EVERYONE learned how to ride first. How a bike works, how to control it. Visions skills. Etc.

There is a loop I do around town that has a bunch of difficult challenges; off camber stops. Beyond 90 degree intersections. Hill stops. Also usually take the back streets way around town in order to have to deal with good control in tight spaces and with surprises in tight spots, folks popping out of their driveways, oncoming traffic on narrow streets, tight turns into oncoming folks who are driving down the middle. Not everyone enjoys that and I guess that's the difference; I do enjoy it and a big part of that is because I took the time to learn how a bike works, how to operate it and how human vision works. So, to me, it's practice. It's fun.

The OP said something that was asked at the outset in one of the advanced classes I took; "Who here can out ride their bike?"

Not one hand. And two people from THAT class were asked to consider trying out to become instructors at the end because they were very good yet still knew better.

I know I'm a pretty good rider compared to the general riding public but I think I am, in all honesty, not much more than an intermediate, if that, in terms of what it seems we should all be aspiring to. I mean, we're all GOING to have incidents be it debris, weather, lane incursions, animals, sun in our eyes, you name it.

Riding. Fun as all hell. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
A refresher course annually huh? I'll have to check on that since the classes are free here - am I allowed to 'retake' them at will and still not pay? If yes, that's a double-no-brainer...

Post-hiatus, I better get myself through BRC and BRC2 first, of course!
Yes the follow-on classes are free too. I took BRC1, BRC2 and have taken the ARC three times now. I take them at York and schedule through the MSF site. That reminds me to get a refresher scheduled soon. Augie
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
139 Posts
I dunno if it is 'harder' or what. It just seems like a lot of people really don't know how to ride and really don't care to learn. When I took my beginner course I was one of two people who were actually new riders. The other 12-13 guys had all been riding, on the street, for anywhere from a couple years up to 20 and were only now (5 years ago) getting their licenses for various reasons
Yeah I think a lot of people think if they can ride straight down a road, they know how to ride a bike.

As far as not actually having their MC endorsement, there are a lot of people here who do not, which surprised me at first when I started to ride. Some got their permit and never went back (so its been expired 7 years, etc.). AR basically has no riding test. But then again, around these parts, many don't have licenses in general, or insurance.

Here's the processes here in AR:

Common sense multiple choice 25 question test. I think you can get 6 wrong and pass.
Get 6 month paper permit, no stipulations at all, ride by yourself, etc.
Can come back next day for license stamp. No required permit time (well 24 hours)
And I quote "If we see you pull up on a motorcycle, that's your test. If not, we might have you do a figure 8 in the parking lot." (A generous parking lot)
Take stamped paperwork to DMV, $10 for a updated card.

Which I know is very different than from up there in MD :D


My feelings since riding, and taking a few courses, is the BRC should be required before licensing. Like others said, even seasoned riders say they learned something new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Yeah I think a lot of people think if they can ride straight down a road, they know how to ride a bike.

As far as not actually having their MC endorsement, there are a lot of people here who do not, which surprised me at first when I started to ride. Some got their permit and never went back (so its been expired 7 years, etc.). AR basically has no riding test. But then again, around these parts, many don't have licenses in general, or insurance.

Here's the processes here in AR:

Common sense multiple choice 25 question test. I think you can get 6 wrong and pass.
Get 6 month paper permit, no stipulations at all, ride by yourself, etc.
Can come back next day for license stamp. No required permit time (well 24 hours)
And I quote "If we see you pull up on a motorcycle, that's your test. If not, we might have you do a figure 8 in the parking lot." (A generous parking lot)
Take stamped paperwork to DMV, $10 for a updated card.

Which I know is very different than from up there in MD :D


My feelings since riding, and taking a few courses, is the BRC should be required before licensing. Like others said, even seasoned riders say they learned something new.
I failed my MD learners first time I took it. One of the ones that just drove me to distraction was 'press left, go left'. Well, if you press left with your RIGHT hand, you're going...right. LOL

You do have to pass the BRC to get endorsed in Maryland. They've since made it so you don't need the learners. Take someones course, pass it, you're good to go.

If it was up to me, there'd be some sort of ongoing training to drive a CAR let alone a bike.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
139 Posts
'press left, go left'
lol that took me a while to understand. I think instructors sometimes assume people automatically understand their words. We all have brain farts and need it broken down barney style from time to time.

But one day I was youtubing how to ride vids and the guy gave a visual with hands and the bike moving, and then it dawned on me. Next time I went out I played with the handlebars and I felt a little stupid for not understand it at first, along with the "well son of a bit..." feeling :D

So after that it took me a while to get my mind/body to change what I've been doing naturally, and just "press left" instead of trying to lean everything left. Amazing what a tiny bit of hand pressure can do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Mastering the Ride, Proficient Motorcycling, and More Proficient Motorcycling three books by David Hough are great reads for any rider. You do have to endure some belaboring of the point in some areas but there's good material in these books that will help any rider examine his/her riding. They weren't expensive "ebooks"

He discusses counter steering in a clear way among many other riding techniques. Reading sections then going out and practicing the concepts helped build my confidence a lot.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top