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Thread: Motorcycles

  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member Sergio's Avatar
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    Motorcycles

    I'm definitely considering learning how to ride a bike and buying one.

    I like the culture and I think a motorcycle would be a pretty nice partner for the years to come.

    However, I am realistic enough to know that I am not a young man anymore, and learning how to ride in my early 40s will not be as easy or low-risk as it would have been, like 25 years ago.

    So, you motorcycle owners/lovers in here: what do you think? Should I give it a try or should I keep my black leather vest just for playing gigs?

    If you don't mind, tell me about your own experiences and show your bikes.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Go buy a 125cc, or less, and do some dirt riding for a year. Learn to ride on this bike. This is where you will learn your riding skills.
    Sell it next summer and then get a road bike.

    The best thing to have when learning to ride is a skilled, rational mentor who has a good driving record.

    Main rule: never try to keep up with riders who leave you behind. Find somebody else to ride with. Do not be intimidated by peer pressure.

    If you find yourself being afraid that your riding group thinks you are a wimp because you ride slower than them you should realize that you are in a dangerous situation. These people are not good friends. Find somebody else to ride with.

    The bike will go where you look. If youre afraid you will run off the road and hit a tree then don't look at that tree. Look at where you want to go.

    Learn what countersteering is.

  3. #3

    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Zentar View Post
    Go buy a 125cc, or less, and do some dirt riding for a year. Learn to ride on this bike. This is where you will learn your riding skills.
    Sell it next summer and then get a road bike.

    The best thing to have when learning to ride is a skilled, rational mentor who has a good driving record.

    Main rule: never try to keep up with riders who leave you behind. Find somebody else to ride with. Do not be intimidated by peer pressure.

    If you find yourself being afraid that your riding group thinks you are a wimp because you ride slower than them you should realize that you are in a dangerous situation. These people are not good friends. Find somebody else to ride with.

    The bike will go where you look. If youre afraid you will run off the road and hit a tree then don't look at that tree. Look at where you want to go.

    Learn what countersteering is.


    Perfect advice.

    If you really want to learn to ride, get a dirt bike. If you want to be poser, buy a leather vest.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    My favorite topic, Sergio and very, very good advice from Zentar.

    I have been riding almost 30 years from my early 20s on. I clocked _A LOT_ of miles and was racing 600 Supersport bikes from 1994 to 2002, I also became a riding and racing instructor during those years.

    Riding a motorcycle is a life changer, there are not many other things that rewarding.
    I can't explain what it is, but most riders will agree and non-riders don't get it.
    Riding a motorcycle on country roads has a "mind cleaning" effect. An Austrian motor journalist opens his columns with the words "When I ride and think of nothing..." That hits it perfectly. Also the feeling in corners is incredible, your body is always positioned in line with gravity, you are not thrown around like in a fast car around corners. Passengers never get sick on a motorcycle.

    Riding, however, is very dangerous and I had my share of crashes and broken bones. During my racing years I naturally crashed frequently but was not hurt often, race tracks (and full body protection) offer a great amount of safety.
    My biggest accident was downtown Vienna, on a Friday at noon. A drunk driver ran a red light.

    What Zentar said: Don't try to be the cool kid from the start. Get a cheap, small bike that you will be able to sell without a big loss after the first season then step up to a bigger bike.
    I don't know what kind of motorcycle you are after. If it's sportbikes get a middle class as your second bike if it's cruisers/choppers also get a middle class bike for next year.
    DO NOT buy a big Harley, they are very heavy, and do not turn easily. I see so many slow speed Harley crashes at intersections and at low speeds. They sure can crush your foot when they fall over.
    Guys, don't get me wrong I am not a Harley basher. I got the chance to test ride the new Fat Bob 114 and it was freakin' amazing. What an engine! Suspension and brakes where great for HD, too. But that is NOT a beginner's bike.

    In addition to what Zentar said: Get a light bike in the 125-380cc class with a little dirt bike character. KTM 125 or 300 Duke. Great seating position and handling.
    After the first months take a riding course.
    For the second season get something like the Yamaha MT07 or maybe MT09.

    I have a YouTube channel with a riding course playlist, but it is in German. Damn, I should do English subs but it is so much work :(


    At the Brno GP track in 2001 on a Suzuki GSX-R 600 SSP



    With the 2018 Harley Davidson Fat Bob 114



    My current bike: 2016 KTM 690 Duke R



    Here my favorite back road in my neck of the woods


  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Sergio's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by hoss View Post

    I have a YouTube channel with a riding course playlist, but it is in German. Damn, I should do English subs but it is so much work :(

    Kein Problem, ich kann auch Deutsch

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio View Post
    Kein Problem, ich kann auch Deutsch
    GroŖartig! Viel SpaŖ:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Srg...16TPdJ1g1RT3hi

    (this is my German riding course)

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Excellent advice so far on this thread!

    I too have a bit of experience riding bikes. My first was a 1981 Honda CB650 Custom, bought brand new. I then owned a Honda CB900 super sport for quite a few years. My last was a 2000 Honda CBR929RR Fireblade (like the one pictured)

    I'd like to add that there are some good road biking classes available in some cities that you might want to consider. I took one years ago at a race track and learned a lot. Btw, you're never too old to learn. It's a great way to travel!

    Some of the best riding I had was during the 7 years I lived in Fernie B.C (Canadian Rockies) - Beautiful scenery! This was on the Fireblade.

    I'd ride around B.C. or Alberta, or head down to Glacier Park in Montana or ride out to Idaho, etc... Good times.



  8. #8
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    Re: Motorcycles

    I’ve been riding for 20 years and am a member of one of the world’s oldest motorcycle clubs. For about 14 years a bike was my only mode of transportation and I’ve put about 150K miles on two wheels. It is definitely fun and you can make a lifetime of memories on a bike. But... you will crash. Could be minor and not even your fault, but it will happen. I started on a bike that was way too much bike for a newbie. Definitely get a small used bike that you won’t seeing on its side. FYI, it costs about $800 to replace a Harley gas tank. Don’t ask how I know. I’m still shook up about it. You mentioned a leather vest, so I’ll assume you are interested in the cruiser scene. There are some awesome people there, but beware of the less-than-awesome people. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. If seen SOA fans get checked. Also, bikes are hard on your body even if you don’t crash. There’s a reason old Harley riders and rodeo riders walk exactly the same. Having said all the his bummer stuff.. have fun. It’s a great lifestyle.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Sergio's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Relax, the leather vest was a metaphor. I’ve never even sat on a motorcycle, let alone pretend I’m an outlaw or something like that

    The cruiser lifestyle does have its charm, and I’ve been on the road aboard my car with a guitar on the back seat and gear in the trunk for many years now, got plenty of mileage as a touring guitar player, and I have several biker friends, so I wouldn’t behave like a teenager who thinks he’s Jax Teller

    The only vest I wear is a tweed one, onstage ;)
    Last edited by Sergio; 10-02-18 at 06:00 AM. Reason: Typos

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member CoyotesGator's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Mano Sergio.

    I have seen too many bad things my life.

    Buy a new guitar, the amp of your dreams, or a hotrod car to work on.
    As I see it, I serve the beat. Groove is everything.

    Big Al

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Sergio, what kind of bikes do you like?

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    I learned to ride in my mid 30s. In fact, I bought my first bike even before I could ride. (Some sort of Honda 600).
    I learned to ride via a weekend course that is run in my state, which includes the drivers test at the very end of the weekend. So it was nice and easy to get done. Learned on a 125cc bike.

    Learning number 1: It is NOT a bicycle. It's a serious piece of machinery that requires respect. (I think some people think it's just a bicycle that powers itself.)

    Went home and started riding my personal bike. The 600.

    Learning number 2: The 600 couldn't have felt more different than the 125. So much heavier and bulkier to maneuver. More respect needed.

    I lived in an area that was fairly rural with lots of nice roads, fairly quiet. Perfect for long morning cruises. Eventually upgraded to a full-size Harley Davidson. In a way, the jump from 125 to 600 was harder than the jump from 600 to 1500+. Loved riding on local roads. Never really enjoyed highways or speeds above 65mph. (Too much traffic and no windscreen.) Had fun meeting alot of cool people. Learned my most memorable joke..."There are 2 types of motorcycle riders....those that have fallen, and those that will." LOL

    Learning number 3: Decide what you want to use the bike for.

    Dumped the bike when I was cut off at an intersection. I landed on my feet, and bike was scraped to hell. (Scraped chrome is not very attractive.) That was a wake-up call. Took awhile to feel comfy on the bike again. And perhaps I never really did. When I moved to a far more congested area of my state, there was absolutely no pleasure in riding the bike. Too much traffic. Too many a-holes. etc. etc. "It's just a matter of time" kept swirling in my head and those of my loved ones. Sold the bike and have never ridden again.

    Learning number 4: Priorities change, as do levels of risk tolerance.

    Maybe there is something here that you could relate to. Maybe not. Some people ride their whole life. Some don't. Good to get a balanced perspective.

    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member bern1's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Sergio, sounds like you are curious and it is good to be cautious. Lifelong rider and ex racer here, itís all been good advice so far. The one thing I will say is that you can learn to ride and be relatively safe in most normal conditions. Itís when the unexpected happens that you need to have the proper reflexes to get out of the jam. To do this you need to have experience and know what the bike is going to do with different inputs (braking, steering, etc.). For my money the best way to get this experience is to buy a used Honda XR 100 and take it somewhere out in the dirt in a flat area where you canít run into anything. Put it through itís paces in the wet and the dry and you will gradually learn how to react and then youíll be able to ride with reasonable confidence. Youíll need good riding gear for this as well.

    Itís actually kind of like playing the guitar....but the mistakes can bruise more than your ego.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Motorcycles are not dangerous unless you make them dangerous. It is racing that makes bikes dangerous.
    Don't race. Ever.
    I'm a tourer. Ive had a bike since 1973 with no accidents.

  15. #15

    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Zentar View Post
    Motorcycles are not dangerous unless you make them dangerous. It is racing that makes bikes dangerous.
    Don't race. Ever.
    I'm a tourer. Ive had a bike since 1973 with no accidents.

    I think most of us who have raced on closed courses would disagree. The street is far more dangerous than a closed course racing environment; dirt, road course, off road, MX, what have ya.

    FWIW-my brother rode for more than 35 years without a single crash. It only took one, when a truck turned in front of him while he was riding home from work.

    I just read last week of a 27 year old female being killed on a small displacement street bike when a car turned in front of her. 6 lanes, 40 mph speed limit, light traffic.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Zentar View Post
    Motorcycles are not dangerous unless you make them dangerous. It is racing that makes bikes dangerous.
    Don't race. Ever.
    I'm a tourer. Ive had a bike since 1973 with no accidents.
    It's drivers of 4+ wheel conveyances which look but don't see them because it's not programmed to a reaction in their mind which makes them dangerous.


  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Street is far far more dangerous than any closed course. Plenty of stats to support that.

    Biggest threat is distracted drivers. You must ride with a much different mentality than driving.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    If you're going to ride on the road, learn to ride on the road, not the dirt. Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation learner's course and then get yourself a road bike in the 250-400cc range that isn't a "cruiser" (Harley-ish) style bike. Ride that for a year before moving up to something bigger.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by LyonAudio View Post
    If you're going to ride on the road, learn to ride on the road, not the dirt. Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation learner's course and then get yourself a road bike in the 250-400cc range that isn't a "cruiser" (Harley-ish) style bike. Ride that for a year before moving up to something bigger.
    Learn to ride on dirt 1st. When you can control, lean and stop a motorcycle instinctively then get on pavement. You need riding skills begore you can protect yourself from cars, deers, mud, sand, pot holes etc

    BTW Ive been riding decades and I still read road safety articles every month in Cycle World mag amd Motorcyclist mag.
    Last edited by Zentar; 10-08-18 at 01:04 PM.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Zentar View Post
    Learn to ride on dirt 1st.
    I disagree. I learned on the road almost 40 years ago and have never ridden a dirt bike.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by LyonAudio View Post
    I disagree. I learned on the road almost 40 years ago and have never ridden a dirt bike.
    how is France now for touring? I learned to ride about when you did. Here in South Carolina there is three times as much traffic today as in 1973. The big menace today is people operating cars while talking on cell fones. I think a motorcyclist needs far more skill today to learn to ride than when I learned as a kid. Even if you are experienced it is dangerous to ride in metropolitan areas today.

  22. #22

    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by LyonAudio View Post
    I disagree. I learned on the road almost 40 years ago and have never ridden a dirt bike.
    You would be a better, safer, more in control rider if you learned to ride in the dirt. It is never too late. The dirt teaches you how to control the moto while it is on the move due to low traction.

  23. #23

    Re: Motorcycles

    Lots of fine advice here. Just do it! Its a life changing thing, I love every minute of it. Sidenote; I find it interesting that so many people are using the word 'dangerous'. The whole dirtbike thing is not something we really do here in the netherlands. Then again, I've learned to ride from an instructor who really knows his stuff. From day one taking lessons I learned that those automobile drivers are unpredictable. I learned little tricks like using reflection in/on(?) cars to see more etc. Look ahead, always look ahead, anticipate. If you learn to ride like that you will be just fine.


    *The whole anticipating/looking ahead seems far gone with most car drivers...

  24. #24

    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri92 View Post
    Lots of fine advice here. Just do it! It's a life changing thing, I love every minute of it. Sidenote; I find it interesting that so many people are using the word 'dangerous'. The whole dirtbike thing is not something we really do here in the netherlands. Then again, I've learned to ride from an instructor who really knows his stuff. From day one taking lessons I learned that those automobile drivers are unpredictable. I learned little tricks like using reflection in/on(?) cars to see more etc. Look ahead, always look ahead, anticipate. If you learn to ride like that you will be just fine.


    *The whole anticipating/looking ahead seems far gone with most car drivers...

    I think things are a bit different in Europe.

    I have ridden quite a bit in Italy. Most Americans would lose their minds at the way things work riding and driving in Italy, anyway. But I interacted with people from all over Europe when I was in Italy.

    But I saw some fatal accidents there, too. The one that sticks in my mind was a car turning left in front of an SV 650, no other traffic on the road.

    My buddy was riding in the Moto Giro on a vintage Aermacchi. He broke his wrist due to a car pulling out in front of him. And that was an organized rally with escorts and spotters and chase vehicles and everything else.

    And let's not forget Nicky Hayden, even though he was on a bicycle.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    You are right, but Hayden had earphones on and ran a stop sign.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    You would be a better, safer, more in control rider if you learned to ride in the dirt. It is never too late. The dirt teaches you how to control the moto while it is on the move due to low traction.
    I have been hearing the same "learn to ride on dirt" mantra for decades and as far as I'm concerned it's nonsense.
    It means an awful lot of extra cost and hassle.
    You have to have the bike, you have to have a pick-up or whatever to get it from your home to "the dirt" and you are putting off some excellent riding on roads for, by someone's reckoning, a year.
    No thanks.
    I learned to ride on the road and I know many fine riders that did the same, but then I learned to ride a motorcycle so that I would have a vehicle for daily transportation, not just for weekend fun.
    Your mileage may, of course, vary.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member hoss's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    No need for a pickup. You can take a light street legal offroad bike and ride on dirt roads. Nobody needs to be a Motocross crack.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by hoss View Post
    No need for a pickup. You can take a light street legal offroad bike and ride on dirt roads. Nobody needs to be a Motocross crack.
    Exactly.

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by hoss View Post
    No need for a pickup. You can take a light street legal offroad bike and ride on dirt roads.
    And if you're lucky enough to live somewhere where all of the roads are paved?
    Yours seems to be a mostly a rural scenario.
    IMO if you're going to ride the road, start on the road.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member MikeScalf's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Lots of great advice on here. Some more of an opinion than others.

    As a daily rider, I'll throw in my advice and tell you, they are my opinions. I'm not a certified trainer, just someone who can't imagine life without riding.

    Quick background. I never rode dirt bikes. Wish I had, as I had friends who had them, but I never did. I rode BMX.

    I bought my first bike in 1994. It was a 2 year old Suzuki Katana 600. The day I test rode this bike, was the first time I had ever ridden a motorcycle. I don't recommend that. I did fine, and didn't wreck it, but it still wasn't a smart idea IMO.

    I rode that bike for 3 years, and yes I laid it down about 4 months after I bought it. Tried to make a turn into a parking lot at the last second. Saw tots of pea gravel. I chose to go strait into a yard and ended up going down. It was much softer than the asphalt would have been. LOL
    That was COMPLETELY my fault. Rider error. Inexperience.

    I actually owned 2 other bikes after that one. 1980 GS850L and a 1988 Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster.

    I had the Sportster until early 2001. My only son was 4 months old and I had 3 close calls in one week. I thought about him growing up without knowing his dad and sold the bike.

    What I had decided was , the joy I got from riding was outweighed by the fear of what could happen to me.

    That was when I dove into music again after quitting after high school.

    I purchased my first bike in almost 14 years in 2015. A Honda Shadow 750. I was instantly taken back by the feeling I got from riding. It was incredible. Better than any feeling I got playing on stage. Almost more than sex. (almost...LOL)

    I had the Honda for only a few months before I upgraded to a Yamaha 1100.

    I joined a riding club and made some great friends.

    I currently am riding a 2014 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited. I purchased it this February and have put over 15K miles on it. I rode it to Indiana and back in July. that was 2500 miles along.

    I ride year round here in Texas. I have a truck I drive sometimes, when I need to. I've only put 2K miles on it in the last 3 years.

    That all being said, the best advice I can give is.

    1. Take a beginner riding course to get your licence. The knowledge is invaluable.
    2. After 6 months to a year (depending on how much you ride) take an Intermediate course. It will help advance and hone your riding skills.
    3. NEVER STOP LEARNING. Most riders with 20+ years of riding experience only really have 1 year of experience, repeated 20 times.
    4. Get a bike that fits YOU and what kind of riding you want to do. (more than one bike is not only acceptable, it's recommended...LOL)

    The one thought I keep in my mind, and I always tell other riders.

    When the fear of what can happen to you on a bike, overshadows the joy you get from riding.....you should get off the bike.

    I ride around Houston, TX. daily. I feel safer on a bike than in a cage. It's more maneuverable and I have a field of vision that you just can't get in a car.

    Everyone talks about the other guy, but in the USA, almost 60% of fatal motorcycle accident are single vehicle accidents. and of those , most are in curves.

    Riders riding beyond their skill level.

    Remember this advice I was told when I drove big rigs for a living. You can take curves too slow your whole life, but you might only get one chance to take one too fast.

    Riding motorcycles can be life changing, but only you can decide if it's in a good way, or a bad way.

    Enjoy the wind therapy!

    BTW, my bike. If the pic shows.
    -


    I'm not a pessimist, I'm an optimist with a reality check!

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member sharky's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by LyonAudio View Post
    IMO if you're going to ride the road, start on the road.

    No, loud and clear. I ride for 42 years now, mostly road these days, but was competing Motocrosser in my hay days. Having to control a bike on a slippery track, gravel, sand etc. teaches you way more about the physics of riding in much shorter time with less risk of injuries. Doesn't mean you have to ride competitions or try to be fast. It's all about action/reaction and the automation of movements and reactions.

    Never heard someone saying anything else, till today.

    Taking courses to improve ones riding is always a good advice and helps to live longer. What may very likely help to improve the own skills is the theoretical understanding of what happens while riding a bike. Teaches to be more focused on the road without having to think about the riding itself too much.

    But this is of course subject to personal preferation and OMMV.
    Last edited by sharky; 10-13-18 at 03:53 PM.

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by sharky View Post
    No, loud and clear. I ride for 42 years now, mostly road these days, but was competing Motocrosser in my hay days. Having to control a bike on a slippery track, gravel, sand etc. teaches you way more about the physics of riding in much shorter time with less risk of injuries. Doesn't mean you have to ride competitions or try to be fast. It's all about action/reaction and the automation of movements and reactions.

    Never heard someone saying anything else, till today.
    Maybe you're spending too much of your time with motocrossers...

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member Billy Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    I can't comment on the off-road argument but can comment on my own experience.


    I decided to return to Motorcycling on my 50th Birthday. Costed out the bike I wanted plus all the gear etc. About 3months before my birthday my mother fell over and broke her hip, As she lay there being given Morphine etc I decided that I did not wish to put my wife and children though the same situation so bought a Tele instead and joined a mates band.


    10 years later I've still got the Tele and still play in the band.


    In the last year I've had a Deer jump over a hedge in the dark and didn't have time to stop. 1 dead deer and damage to car. I've also had someone slide into my car damaging it and someone 'rolling' into the back of my car who was probably on his mobile phone . Fortunately these all happened with no personal harm to myself. I've also had a colleagues involved in a crash recently due to the other party using her mobile phone whilst driving.


    I'd love to return to motorcycling but just don't trust other drivers and don't wish to put my family though the consequences of an accident.
    Youíre never alone with a schizophrenic

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Billy I see exactly what you are saying.

    However... when you ride a motorcycle you use a different skill set. You have to be on guard at a much higher level than you do when driving a car. You have to anticipate.
    For example: is that car sitting at that stop sign going to pull out in front of me? That car in the opposing lane at an intersection: is he going to turn left in front of me? Does he see me? Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    I've ridden with my brights on since the 70s. I use a 55/100 watt headlight bulb. Most headlight bulbs are 55/60 watt.

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member MikeScalf's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    .
    Last edited by MikeScalf; 10-14-18 at 09:30 PM.
    -


    I'm not a pessimist, I'm an optimist with a reality check!

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Zentar View Post
    Billy I see exactly what you are saying.

    However... when you ride a motorcycle you use a different skill set. You have to be on guard at a much higher level than you do when driving a car. You have to anticipate.
    For example: is that car sitting at that stop sign going to pull out in front of me? That car in the opposing lane at an intersection: is he going to turn left in front of me? Does he see me? Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    I've ridden with my brights on since the 70s. I use a 55/100 watt headlight bulb. Most headlight bulbs are 55/60 watt.
    This is how you have to be when riding on public roadways , best info on this thread !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars

  37. #37

    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    I think things are a bit different in Europe.

    I have ridden quite a bit in Italy. Most Americans would lose their minds at the way things work riding and driving in Italy, anyway. But I interacted with people from all over Europe when I was in Italy.

    But I saw some fatal accidents there, too. The one that sticks in my mind was a car turning left in front of an SV 650, no other traffic on the road.

    My buddy was riding in the Moto Giro on a vintage Aermacchi. He broke his wrist due to a car pulling out in front of him. And that was an organized rally with escorts and spotters and chase vehicles and everything else.

    And let's not forget Nicky Hayden, even though he was on a bicycle.

    I mainly ride in the Netherlands where I live. Here we don't have those huge plains of land where your alone on a road. I think that does make a big difference, because you interact with other people in traffic a lot more. Which makes you a better driver all around in my opinion.

    'Most Americans would lose their minds at the way things work riding and driving in Italy,'
    Do you see this as a good or a bad thing, I can't make that up from your comment.

    Yes more down south in europe people take traffic rules a lot more loose than where I come from. But I've been there quite a lot on 2 wheels. Again, for me a lot has to do with looking ahead and anticipating. But yes I agree, it can be dangerous, so can crossing the street be. My response to the thread starter was to show a different experience because a lot of fatal accident stories are being told, which can sound pretty discouraging.


    #edit; Are you guys in the states required to take lessons and an exam for your motorcycle license? Here we do, and thats where you learn for example the all important 'anticipating'. I think that also has a lot to do with how my response differs from some.

  38. #38

    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by AA00475Bassman View Post
    This is how you have to be when riding on public roadways , best info on this thread !
    I fully agree!

  39. #39

    Re: Motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri92 View Post
    I mainly ride in the Netherlands where I live. Here we don't have those huge plains of land where your alone on a road. I think that does make a big difference, because you interact with other people in traffic a lot more. Which makes you a better driver all around in my opinion.

    'Most Americans would lose their minds at the way things work riding and driving in Italy,'
    Do you see this as a good or a bad thing, I can't make that up from your comment.

    Yes more down south in europe people take traffic rules a lot more loose than where I come from. But I've been there quite a lot on 2 wheels. Again, for me a lot has to do with looking ahead and anticipating. But yes I agree, it can be dangerous, so can crossing the street be. My response to the thread starter was to show a different experience because a lot of fatal accident stories are being told, which can sound pretty discouraging.


    #edit; Are you guys in the states required to take lessons and an exam for your motorcycle license? Here we do, and that's where you learn for example the all important 'anticipating'. I think that also has a lot to do with how my response differs from some.

    I think, in general, European countries have a higher standard of requirements to earn (and keep) a license, for cars or moto. In the U.S., if you are an adult (18 years old) and can pass the test, no training is required. I would say many DO get training to earn their license (car or moto), but it is only required if you are under 18.

    And in the U.S. you can buy and ride a superbike or full size cruiser, legally, with zero experience. No restrictions whatsoever.

    My example of riding in Italy was two sided. In my experience, those drivers were significantly more capable, better trained, and more aware of the "Rules of the Road." Most Americans wouldn't have been able to handle the idea of using the left lane only for passing, or yielding to faster moving traffic, even on two lane roads. But they had accidents, too. And they were every bit as bad as the ones caused by the mindless, selfish, poorly trained, distracted drivers that are the norm in the U.S.

    I would rather ride or drive in Europe where the riders and drivers are better trained and more aware of the rules of the road than in the U.S. where the drivers are poorly trained and have little or no concern with anyone else on the road, besides themselves.

    That said, it has been 16 years since I rode there. Things may have changed for the worse.


    ***************


    And regarding learning to ride in the dirt; it is not required, but you will have a significantly higher level of riding skill for doing so. No exceptions.

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Billy Porter's Avatar
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    Re: Motorcycles

    I did mention that I was thinking of 'returning' to motorcycling so am well aware of the rules and benefits of motorcycling such as awareness and anticipation, foreseeing potential dangers etc.. Those rules have served me well through decades of car driving and have only had 2 crashes in 42 years which neither was my fault. Motorcycling gives you a far greater understanding of the road surface such as how much grip there is and avoiding white lines, manhole covers etc and I believe this has made me a better and safer driver than those who never rode motorcycles. The OP however should be open to the inherent dangers of living outside of the tin box


    I love motorbikes and motorcycling but for me I do not trust the concentration levels of other drivers nowadays, Too many distractions not only with phones but Sat Navs, in car entertainment systems etc.
    Youíre never alone with a schizophrenic

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