Ready to be flamed…
September 14, 2008 at 1:15 am #12129fotobitsParticipant
And at your age you’re a better candidate for Litre Duc ownership that a 20-something beginner. Keep practicing with your mentor, but get some professional coaching ASAP. The MSF course is great for teaching people how to ride 250cc cruisers in parking lots, but does not prepare people for riding liter bikes in the real world of traffic lights, dogs, gravel in turns, and cars turning left without signaling.
Street survival requires handling emergencies. Do you know what to do if you keep your wrist a bit too high and find your bike getting away from your? How will you handle entering a blind corner and finding gravel at the apex? Do you know how to stop a bike quickly without locking the front wheel?
These are skills we all need. You can develop them on a large bike if you are careful and have good coaching, and as large bikes go your Ducati GT1000 is particularly benign. We’re talking about a lightly stressed twin here, not a Yamaha R1. And I know you’ll be careful, because the GT1000 is just too pretty to deface.September 15, 2008 at 2:39 am #12163
Managed to get out today after the weather cleared and the roads dried off. Have to say that today went even better than yesterday. Today is the first day that both of us were on motorcycles. No scooter crutch to get me out to the less congested roads, I rode from home. After setting out we stopped by the high school parking lot for about 10 minutes of reinforcement; just practiced starts, stops and low speed maneuvers over and over, and over and over. After that we headed onto the state highway for about a 70 mile round trip(Route 100 to Route 2 from Stowe to Montpelier for anybody who might be familiar with Vermont). Didn’t need to make any short stops but felt very comfortable with starting, even having to cross over a lane of traffic from a stop, and breaking for stop lights was very comfortable. At no point, not even for a moment did I not feel as if I had 100% control of the bike. Again, I realize that I have been lucky, nothing unexpected, like for example a moose, has popped up in front of me. However part of that is because I do feel confident, not cocky, not without respect for the bike, but confident enough while riding, to be able to scan ahead, know what’s behind me and get a sense if anyone is in my blind spot. I do feel that the first time I do have to apply the brakes in a hurry I’ll be ready but we won’t know until that happens.
Bottom line is within a week I have made enormous progress. Would I have made more progress on a Rebel? I don’t know, but a consistent theme I’ve heard, both in comments in this thread and also, truthfully, from my friend who has ridden with me every mile so far, is that I’d probably have more fun and less stress learning on a 400cc or smaller bike. To tell you the truth, I can’t imagine having more fun than I did this afternoon. I do believe today I crossed over the threshold of having more fun than fear. Again, I’ll stress that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the power in my right hand and the dangers beyond my control that are out there, just that I felt totally relaxed, confident and in control. Funny thing I just passed the bike on my way inside and it doesn’t look quite as huge as it did last week.September 15, 2008 at 4:06 pm #12193DougieGuest
To be 100% honest I would not be doing my initial training on that bike. I understand your age, maturity, understanding of respect for the bike is there….however those things do not control lack of habit, lack of experience, emergency responses, or human nature….which often goes against the grain of proper motorcycle riding. an example is going into a turn to hot. Your instinct tells you to chop the throttle, all that does is stand the bike up and push you even wider. an experienced rider knows to increase lean and push the throttle a little more to tighten up.
I would suggest buying an older used bike to ride and learn the basics and even intermediate skills. Much more forgiving at speeds and stopping. Plus, many “beginner” bikes can be re-sold for what your purchase price was.
I chose to start my riding career on a 250. This is because i want to be able to push the bike, not have the bike push me.
I know in a panic situation if I grab too much throttle or brake too hard it will not do the unexpected. Your bike, on the other hand, grab a little too much of anything and everything will happen. Remember, it only takes a small lapse of judgment for a fraction of a second to twist that throttle fractions of an inch too far!
I also suggest rescheduling your MSF training until after you take the bike out from winter as opposed to before. You will want to use the skills you learned in the MSF class, not sit and think about them watching the snow and rain. There is no better practice than seat time.
I wish you the best of luck. usually I worry about other drivers for new riders, but with a bike that size I’m also worried about you.
Be careful, and think about buying an inexpensive used smaller bike…..it can definitely help save you life on the big bike….and more than likely once your done with the smaller bike you’ll have more appreciation for your bike and more skills to thoroughly enjoy it!September 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm #12194DougieGuest
” I do feel that the first time I do have to apply the brakes in a hurry I’ll be ready but we won’t know until that happens.”
NO, this is the wrong attitude to take……you need to practice those emergency stops!!!! over and over and over again! you should know exactly what your minimum braking distance is at all speeds! This will help you SEE any obsticals that will come at you, especially the unexpected car from a driveway, animal running from the woods, or kid on a skateboard.
Learn those emergency stops!!!! Learn them at various speeds! Every time you ride practice them.September 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm #12197AndrewParticipant
For comparison I have 13 hours of riding on my Ninja. About 8 of those come from 8 x 1 hour visits to a church parking lot 2 miles away from my house. I have spent a lot of time doing the slow race, the slow circles, figure 8’s, stop and go’s, weaving, swerving, and emergency stops. I’ll be going again this week if the rain holds off and doing the emergency stops again. I’m ok at 20mph but I want to practice higher speeds so that my first time isn’t during the middle of my commute.
I know this isn’t as much fun as just riding. I have about 5 hours of riding around the neighborhood or up to the twisties around a local lake and that is much more fun. I’m just being disciplined because I need my skill to be at a decent level to deal with the morons in traffic.September 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm #12199
“I do feel that the first time I do have to apply the brakes in a hurry I’ll be ready but we won’t know until that happens.”
“NO, this is the wrong attitude to take……you need to practice those emergency stops!!!! over and over and over again!”
I did not mean to infer that I am not practicing quick stops. Of course I am. However, practicing things, when you know in the back of your mind what you’re going to do before you do it is different than a real world short stop. In that case, in anybody’s case whether you are on a Rebel or a Hyabusa, you never know how you’ll handle it until you’re presented with it in a real life situation. Maybe we’re talking semantics, but I would not take back my original statement. If I had the feeling that I had short stops down pat simply because I didn’t have any problems in a practice situation I feel that would lead to a false sense of confidence.
ps – no reason to shout, not even one word. I’m listening.September 15, 2008 at 7:24 pm #12202megaspazParticipant
A healthy dose of fear and paranoia isn’t a bad thing to have when riding…
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…September 15, 2008 at 7:52 pm #12204
I don’t disagree. Then again too much fear can be dangerous as well. When an unexpected situation arises a confident rider will probably assess and react immediately. Without confidence I think a rider’s first reaction is “Holy [email protected]!!!” then assessing and reacting. My guess is in the moment it takes to mouth “Holy [email protected]” an awful lot of bad things can happen.
I really think the most important thing is to be brutally honest in your assessment of your own abilities and to not go beyond those abilities even for an instant.September 15, 2008 at 9:49 pm #12210BenParticipant
You said this in your post, and forgive me if you explained it elsewhere:
“Unfortunately, purchasing a starter bike would not have been an option unless I had no intention of upgrading in the next decade; the bike that I purchased was going to be the bike that I lived with for quite a while. That pretty much put very small bikes out of the question, even if that might be the best way for a beginner to learn”
I’m confused why you would be stuck with a bike for 10 years, the only scenario I could see that being the case is if you lived on an island and only went to the mainland every decade. I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason you said that was because of finances, and that you would end up paying off a bike for a few years before you could sell it. If that is the case then I am super surprised that you bought a Ducati for your first bike, those things are pricey!
I’ve never bought a bike with a loan, i’ve always used cash and bought used, but I”m assuming you had to put at least some money down to get it correct? And if that was 1,500-2,000 dollars then that would have been more than enough to buy a used Ninja 250 or something similar off craigslist to start on. You could have gone around and sold it a few months/years later for maybe 100 or 200 less than you bought it for originally.
That is all my hypothesis, and it doesn’t really matter now that you have the bike. I guess i’ve always been of the mindset that it is more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles AdminSeptember 15, 2008 at 10:46 pm #12212
and no I haven’t explained it. But no, the reason was not finances. The bike was paid in cash,and yes they are pricey but I did get a very good deal as the dealer really wanted to move his last new ’07. I’ll begin my answer to you with another question, “are you married?” My wife, who I love dearly, and I are very different people with very different perspectives on many things.
The best way to explain it is in my wife’s eyes a motorcycle is a motorcycle is a motorcycle. It would have been just as tough to convince her to go along with a $2K learner bike as it was to convince her to go along with the Ducati. However once she went along with either I can assure you that having her agree to an upgrade in a year would have been nearly impossible. Now you might say this is a ridiculous reason to buy more bike than you might recommend however that was what I meant. You might also say “you convinced her to go along with a motorcycle so soon after the scooter, surely you could explain the need to purchase more than one motorcycle in the next year or two. After all, you’ll get most of the money from the starter bike back when you sell it” My answer to that is simply “probably not.” Would I have been happy with a Buell Blast for the next decade, maybe, but I’m pretty sure I would have wanted to move up to something larger sooner rather than later, I weighed my options, weighed the risks and decided to go with the Ducati. I realize that the jury will be out on the decision for at least a year or so, but as of this moment I do not regret my decision.
Incidentally there is a similar thread on a Ducati message board which I didn’t start but did post in. A total newbie is lusting after a similar bike to the one I purchased and is asking for advice. The advice there, mostly from very seasoned riders, is pretty much split. Some took the learner bike stance but a surprising number of people said they learned on a larger bike and don’t regret it. I don’t know what BBM’s rules are about posting links to other message boards but if you’d like I’d be happy to post the link to that thread.
As for your last comment about it being more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow, getting that scooter up to 65MPH, given enough time, wind and slope it can and has been done, is quite fun but it does start to get a little bit squirrely. Riding the Duc at 50 feels like being in a limo compared to the scooter at highway speeds.September 15, 2008 at 11:45 pm #12213dcJohnParticipant
For whatever it’s worth, I totally get those marital politics. I nearly ended up buying my dream “second bike” first because of them, and one of the reasons I opted for a new Ninja 250 (versus an even cheaper used beater bike) was because I knew that upgrading would be a tough sell and a new Ninja 250 can keep me happy longer than many other beginner-friendly options.
I’m glad I went small to start. And because my wife gets the safety advantage of this, ultimately she knows that an upgrade will eventually be down the line. Still, your situation is what had me seriously considering Versys and FZ6s right out of the gate.September 16, 2008 at 2:39 am #12220BenParticipant
Sorry for all of my assumptions, what I laid out was the most common scenario. Honestly as soon as I read “Are you married” I knew exactly what you situation was and I can completely sympathize. I’m not married, but I have been in very long term relaitonships where we were close to being married and everything is a compromise.
BBM doesn’t have a policy against posting links to other places, I started the site to help people find the info they need so post away!
I also know what you mean when it comes to the scooter feeling a bit shaky at high speeds compared to the bike. My old Honda f2 was an OK bike, but once I sold it and got my current 2001 ZX6R that thing felt like a Cadillac compared to the f2, soooooooooo smooth.
I still stick by my opinion that riding a slow bike (i.e. Gs500, or even some 650 or 600 cc bikes) is much more fun than riding something like a hayabusa. But that’s just me and my opinion. I hope I didn’t offend you at all. Stay safe and wear ATGATT!
~Best Beginner Motorcycles AdminSeptember 16, 2008 at 3:14 am #12223smokeizfireParticipant
HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINSSeptember 16, 2008 at 3:51 am #12226AmorylParticipant
as I’m somewhat obsessive when getting into a hobby, I ran out and joined a metric crap-ton of forums, several beginner friendly forums (this one and BBO are my favorites) and several cruiser specific forums. I’ve left most of them due to some hideously horrible advice these “experts” will give newbies. and I tend to take what they say with a grain of salt. regret is a funny thing…I know a lot of people who SHOULD regret a lot of the mistakes they made and don’t. and most of these guys who say they started out on a huge bike and never had any problems and that 250’s are for babies and whatnot are either full of crap or their ego’s have erased or transfered blame of their mistakes. when in doubt just check some of their prior posts and see how many times they “Had to Lay it Down” lay it down is a fancy word for “I didn’t know what I was doing, so I figured I should crash it before someone else does” and there’s a chance that had they started with something smaller they may have learned how to respond in such a way that they could have actually stopped in time instead.
I see those threads full of “I started on XXX bike and it wasn’t too big/glad I did…” and it makes me cringe, not only because I feel personally that you’re just begging to have a nasty accident before your time, but every time one of those guys truthfully or not posts a thread or enters a topic it’s basically giving some idiot new kid an excuse to say “He did it, so can I!” now some you’ll never be able to convince, and some’ll never try but some in the middle will weigh the pros and cons and yours might be the one that tips the scale. and next thing we know there’s another dead kid and a totaled Busa. it’s ultimately not your responsibility, and I’m not trying to imply that it’s your fault some kid doesn’t know what he’s getting into. actually I’m more arguing those other idiots who’ve somehow managed to not get themselves killed (though I’d bet the left elderberry that they’ve “layed it down” more than they’re admitting) saying “yeah lil dude! a Busa’s totally a good beginner bike”
I’ve stated before in other threads on other forums defending the choice to start smaller. are we always right? no. can we say definitively that you cannot learn/thrive on a larger first bike? no, though historically the numbers will be on our side. we’re not always right, but our advice is generally not going to be a prime factor in your untimely death, and if you DO die on a smaller bike, the chances are the same situation on a liter bike would’ve resulted in the same (assuming you lived that long in the first place) whereas those guys on the liter bike forums advice which is often “buy big, buy fast!” will. look at the statistics, the liter bikes under the young inexperienced rider has an overly large percentage of fatalities.
personally I hope things work out for you and that it continues to get more comfortable and easier for you. and I hope that you don’t one day dissapear from the forum, leaving us to wonder if you got tired of us, or if you became a statistic.September 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm #12241
Amoryl. Glad to see we finally have someone on this board who is the be all and end all of beginners’ motorcycle knowledge, and probably on the rest of the worlds intricacies as well. Seriously I’ve been on message boards for about as long as there has been message boards; I’ve been accused of many things but never of being responsible for making a statement that might lead to someone’s death. “yours might be the one that tips the scale. and next thing we know there’s another dead kid” Up until your post everyone who has contributed to this thread has been respectful and thoughtful whether they agree with my decision or not. Then again, most of them, much as I would, would freely admit that they don’t know everything. And yes, everyone, meaning every single person, who has started on a larger bike than you might feel is proper has had to “lay it down”(no need to explain the euphemism, we all get it) far more times than their big egos, which of course accompany that big bike, might care to admit. Did I see that you then wrote “ultimately not your responsibility, and I’m not trying to imply that it’s your fault some kid doesn’t know what he’s getting into.”? Of course I did, but that does not negate the impact of your first statement. And yes, regardless of your slight backpeddle, that is exactly what you are implying. As I stated in my original post, I’m a big boy, 46 years old. I’ve made more major purchases than I care to admit and more than a few life changing decisions. I research every one of these decisions thoroughly. Would you like to know the cars I’ve owned and why? Come check out my home theater, I’ll explain to you the ins and outs of the new lossless audio codecs. I also made the decision, along with my wife of course, to toss aside prosperous urban careers for a chance to move to the mountains and run our own small business. No that decision did not put anyone’s physical well being in jeopardy, but it certainly put our financial future at risk, and would have to be considered a major decision by any yardstick. Bottom line is I looked at my options, and made a decision; which is what I did a few weeks ago. You do not need to agree with me. However I do think you owed me the respect to simply disagree rather than accuse me of putting others at risk because I might not have obsessed, to the point of making no decision whatsoever, as you might have done. My guess is that obsessing over every minute detail, even those over which you have no control, isn’t exactly what any life coach might teach you either.
Ben, if you feel the above was disrespectful feel free to pull it down. Personally I feel it should stay right there. And by the way, no need to apologize for your incorrect assumptions, I left that line out there unexplained in my original post and yours was a logical, albeit it incorrect, conclusion. The other thread that I mentioned can be found here, http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=50546 Going back and rereading I take back my comment about the opinions in that thread being split, the opinions definitely skewed towards the idea that a 1000 is not an ideal starter bike, however, there are some dissenters.
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