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Posted: 1/11/2006 12:54:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 12:57:19 PM EDT by Thepilot]
ok, so i've had my bike now for about 2 months- i seem to be getting more freaked out everytime i ride the thing. this is an older bike that i bought and fixed up, i'm finishing up my airframe and powerplant mechanic's license this spring- so it's not the work i've done, as i'm a proficient mechanic. after i fixed it up i enjoyed it immensly- rode it every chance i got. now it's just plain scary to me. i took the msf basic rider course- i think i'm a safe rider- i try to minimize risk and constantly scan ahead. i practice what maneuvers i don't feel good about in a parking lot until i'm ok with them. i don't feel like anything is especially lacking in my riding technique (other than lack of experience). anyways- just wanted to see if this was normal for a new rider or not. i've probably left something out- so feel free to ask. thanks
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 1:02:30 PM EDT
trust your feelings.

Get rid of the bike.

Really, not a joke.

I used to ride as well. Rode a friends bike a year ago or so and thought, nope, just not a smart thing to do anymore.

TXL

Link Posted: 1/11/2006 1:05:03 PM EDT
I see nothing wrong with your fear. You've only been out there for 2 months. There are a lot of idiots out there that can kill you without thinking. You have to watch for them since they sure as hell aren't watching for you. When you lose your fear is when you'll get in to trouble. You'll take stupid risks that really aren't worth taking and it will cost you or someone else. By the way, please don't tell me your first bike is a R1 or something. That would scare the hell out of me and I've been riding for 2 years now. Every time I throw a leg over my CBR-600 it scares me just a little. Kind of like the fear of the unknown. MJD
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 1:06:21 PM EDT
i should've added that the bike is a 450 nighthawk- so nothing wild here.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 1:35:09 PM EDT
Stay off 41a
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 2:02:01 PM EDT
If you are afraid of it while you are on it, don't ride. It is ok to be worried when you are off of it, and to use your smarts while on it, but if you are worrying too much while you are on it get rid of it and move on...
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:16:34 PM EDT
I don't presume to know what "normal" is, but I would doubt that what you are experiencing is common. As much as I (and apparently, you) get a certain enjoyment from riding, I think I concur with those that have recommended that you stop. Riding a MC is highly dependent on both attitude and co-ordination. If you are "afraid", your motor skills are negatively affected. No pun intended. Also, your mind has more than enough to be concerned with without having to contend with anything that is lurking in the back of your mind ... especially if it has any other effect than making you a "careful" and defensive rider. The work you've put into both fixing your bike and starting to learn to ride will come in handy in the future should you decide you are comfortable enough to begin riding again. Good luck & Stay safe.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:26:41 PM EDT
When I got my first bike (Honda CBR600F3) I was really nervous for the first few months. I just stayed to the parking lots and backroads until I got more comfortable with the bike. After about 6 months I almost felt "with one" with the bike. I got to the point where I was getting so comfortable with it, I found myself pushing the bike harder and harder just so I could get more of a rush. I decided to sell the bike because of that reason. I did put 12,000 miles on it before I sold it....to I did get some great experiance.

Well, after a year I decided to get antother bike.....2003 600RR. Same story all over again...I'm about to the point where I'm pushing it to hard...time to sell again.

Bottom line.....if you are not comfortable on the bike....stay off of the roads. Stick to parking lots and deserted back roads until you get more used to riding it. If you still feel the same way after a few moths....time to sell it.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 9:45:14 AM EDT
Definitely normal, I've been riding for about 7 years and still get nervous every now and again, especially if I haven't rode in a while i.e. spring. If you don't worry a little bit you shouldn't ride. Also keep up the riding and practicing, this will definitely help with your confidence.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 10:23:12 AM EDT
I was a little nervous when I first started riding on the road (June of '04), but I got over it kinda fast because I'd been riding off-road for 13 years before that. Now, I have a year and a half of riding on-road and there are still instances that I'll get a little scared, or pucker my ass a little, but you also have to keep your eyes open and know what to do if some idiot does pull out in front of you.

I've got a decent amount of riding experience at my young age (14.5 years off-road at 19 years old) and I've been racing (non-professional) for the past 7 years this May. I can honestly say that I'm horribly nervous before every race. There have been a couple that I've been so nervous that I've even up-chucked my breakfast

But that all wears off once I get off the start and into the first woods section. If it doesn't wear off while you are riding, and you're riding scared (your mind is in the fight or flight stage), you're asking for something to go wrong.

I would either take time off, ride MORE, or quit all together.

Hope this helps a little.

WIZZO
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 4:38:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 4:44:17 AM EDT by TrijiCog]
I was nervous/ scared when I got my first bike(1985 900 Ninja) but it wore off after about 2 weeks.The only time I got nervous after that was commuting and splitting lanes.

Basically it boils down to is this:

If you do not feel comfortable on your bike,don't ride it! You need a certain level of confidence to ride,and lack thereof is just a hazard to yourself and others.You will constantly be second guessing every decision you make,and that is NOT a good thing.

If you really want to ride,I suggest taking a class at your local track with race prepped bikes.It can get pricey the first 3-5 sessions until you get certified for road racing,but after that all you pay for is track time.This greatly increases your confidence in yourself,and riding in general.

On the other hand, if the only reason you are riding a bike is to save on gas costs,you are riding for the wrong reasons.I'm not saying this is your case,just a general opinion.

If you don't feel confident,stay off the bike !!!


Originally Posted By WIZZO_ARAKM14:
I can honestly say that I'm horribly nervous before every race. There have been a couple that I've been so nervous that I've even up-chucked my breakfast

WIZZO



If you AREN'T puking and insanley nervous before a race,there is something wrong with you.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:10:31 PM EDT
Its ok to be scared of a bike when you 've only been riding for 2 months. When you start running into trouble is when you are not afraid of it anymore and you start doing stupid stuff.

I had a 2001 zx9r that i supped up and i was scared at how much power that thing had. Respect the machine and you will be fine.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 2:48:13 PM EDT
just ride it and use your brights dureing the day. i started rideing on the road when i first got my drivers licence at 16 so i was a little more crazy and free of fear.
honestly you kinda have to not think about crashing just try and avoid it. if you go down try and stay on top of the bike and not under it... best thing you can do while rideing or if you lock up the rear wheel is to let go of the brake and relax (hard to do but it can save your ass) if you have a hard time getting the bike to go where you want try looking at the spot you want to go. eventually you will get the feel for it.
also big thing new riders have a problem with at high speed is makeing the bike lean, kinda turn the handle bar in the wrong direction and it will make the bike lean and go into the turn.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 5:24:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Parabellium:
just ride it and use your brights dureing the day. i started rideing on the road when i first got my drivers licence at 16 so i was a little more crazy and free of fear.
honestly you kinda have to not think about crashing just try and avoid it. if you go down try and stay on top of the bike and not under it... best thing you can do while rideing or if you lock up the rear wheel is to let go of the brake and relax (hard to do but it can save your ass) if you have a hard time getting the bike to go where you want try looking at the spot you want to go. eventually you will get the feel for it.
also big thing new riders have a problem with at high speed is makeing the bike lean, kinda turn the handle bar in the wrong direction and it will make the bike lean and go into the turn.



counter steer is what they call it. Im going on 34 and have been riding for 24 years. Stopped off road after a spine injury during a cage incident at 19.
Get accustomed to the bike. You're in a race with yourself...no one else... Push limits as you feel confident to do so at your pace....this is not a team sport.
My best advice, take corners slow enough that you don't have to decellerate (break) in them....which is no different than breaking(applying breaks) in a corner. As you approach the corner decellerate, lay the bike over until the apex and roll the throttle gently on......when you begin to scrape pegs or drag a toe, it's like sex.

Have fun! Be weary of new tires, you have to break them in gradually.....

-HS
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 5:41:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TxLewis:
trust your feelings.

Get rid of the bike.

Really, not a joke.

I used to ride as well. Rode a friends bike a year ago or so and thought, nope, just not a smart thing to do anymore.

TXL




Can't really argue with that.
That being said, ride out of town/low traffic areas and see if racking up some miles makes you feel better.
When I lived up there in Chatanooga I never felt safe on 59 or 24.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 5:48:10 PM EDT
If you're thinking too much you might OVER REACT and make things really bad for you. You need to relax, but remain vigilant of course. Keep your buffer zone so you can relax a little.

I was coming back from Az and hit soem pretty hard winds in Palm Springs. I got off the next exit and took some backroads to the hwy I needed and I didn't put myself at risk. Saw some other bikes pulled over on the fwy. You have to think ahead. Keep an escape route or alternate route.

I just rode over 800 miles rd trip Ka/Az and it was a blast!

You either love riding or you don't. I happen to LOVE it. 21 years mc endorsement here and I have seen it all on the road!

Put the bike up for sale if you're weirded out by it.

Link Posted: 1/23/2006 5:28:32 AM EDT
Wow. Never faced this issue, since I was riding since I was 5 y/o. I used to ride my 650 road bike in the winter in Michigan even - talk about pucker factor.



Stick to the country side until you get comfortable. Don't get in over your head.


Remember - you are INVISIBLE to cars. Seriously.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:52:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Parabellium:
best thing you can do while rideing or if you lock up the rear wheel is to let go of the brake and relax (hard to do but it can save your ass)



Um, I thought the proper procedure for a locked rear wheel is to keep the wheel locked and come to a stop. Letting go of the brake can cause an instant high-side when the wheel regains traction and violently returns to center.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 12:15:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By Parabellium:
best thing you can do while rideing or if you lock up the rear wheel is to let go of the brake and relax (hard to do but it can save your ass)



Um, I thought the proper procedure for a locked rear wheel is to keep the wheel locked and come to a stop. Letting go of the brake can cause an instant high-side when the wheel regains traction and violently returns to center.



indeed- msf course i took taught us to keep it locked until we stopped
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 2:09:02 PM EDT
point is not to lock up in the first place : )
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 2:45:17 PM EDT
All you have to do is go try it yourself at slow speed.

These street tires REALLY grip when you let off the pedal.

I nearly high-sided when I was screeching to a stop from 35mph to pick up a rubber bungee cord one day in the middle of the road. It jerked back in line really hard (the rear end was off center ever so slightly) and it damn near put me on my head. In hindsight, I should have either held it on or gone down the road and turned around

WIZZO
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 2:54:24 PM EDT
You NEED to ride with a certain amount of fear. It can keep you safe. When I lost that, I stopped riding on the street for over 15 years. I have been riding again since 2000. If a car starts to turn, I slow down. If their wheels keep turning, I will stop, even with the right of way. If they are stupid, they will wait or break a right of way law. I ride away safe. I ride as defensively as possible and am in no hurry anytime I ride.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 2:56:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By Parabellium:
best thing you can do while rideing or if you lock up the rear wheel is to let go of the brake and relax (hard to do but it can save your ass)



Um, I thought the proper procedure for a locked rear wheel is to keep the wheel locked and come to a stop. Letting go of the brake can cause an instant high-side when the wheel regains traction and violently returns to center.



This depends on who you are, what you ride, and traction conditions. I have done this at 60 mph, with no adverse reaction. The bike squirmed a bit, but was not unsafe. Experience is the key, not any book learning.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:12:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:18:48 PM EDT
Get a copy of "Sport Riding Techniques" ,read it a couple times.

Get a dirtbike and protective clothing and ride it until you fall down several times.

You will then have a more complete understanding of the dynamics of a motorcycle.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 3:42:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 3:46:18 PM EDT by lu380]
I'm also a new rider, but I've noticed a few things these past few months.

I try to imagine my bike as if it were a car. If a car wouldn't fit through a gap in traffic, I won't try to squeeze myself through it on my bike. If I wouldn't do 70mph in a car on a given road, I won't go 70mph on the bike.

I stop at red lights at a slight angle, so I can clearly see behind me in my mirror. I keep my eyes on the mirror until a car stops behind me. I leave my right foot on the brake and keep my right hand on the throttle just in case I have to take off in the event I'm about to be rear-ended.

I try to accelerate in short bursts when in heavy traffic so that I can get my right hand in position to use the brake in case somebody cuts me off. I started doing this because I was cut off once and had no choice but to jam the rear brake without enough time to get my hand on the front brake (my throttle hand was busy twisting the throttle). I nearly went down when the rear end almost slid the bike out from under me.

If you can't see around the corner or over the hill, SLOW DOWN before you reach it!

If you're headed towards a pothole, DON'T STARE AT THE POTHOLE! I still have this problem on occaison, and I've ran myself right into potholes by staring at them while trying to avoid them. Luckily, I've only suffered from bruised balls so far as a consequence.

Like I said, I'm not an expert rider. These are just my observations so far
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 11:18:30 PM EDT
Buy, read and study this book. It's good. He has other books too.

As far as riding now, stay off the crowded fast highways until you feel confident. Putter around. Have fun. Be always alert. Focus. Stay out of blind spots. Don't do quick starts or stops. Don't try to barrel around a corner. Just take it easy.

Your fear may be simply from knowing how vulnerable you are on a motorcycle and that every time you go out you may die. This is why you never ever ride after drinking. And don't hot dog, even though it's tempting.

The book is good. Look into it.

I wish I could ride. It's warm enough (38 Farenheit) but still snowy, and the roads are sandy and damp. I did see a sport biker out in full face shield, winter coat and backpack this past afternoon.

GL
my bike
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:47:47 PM EDT
one thing you have to realize is the more relaxed you are the better rider you are, if you stiffen up because your scared you will have a hard time controlling the bike, one thing I thought was funny talking to bikers is most of them will say they ride better when they have had a bit to drink... the reason that could even be slightly true is they are very relaxed and one tends to loose allot of fear with that little buzz, how ever it is not recommended! But it does show how being relaxed can help you ride.

Best thing you can do is find a nice canyon you can ride through with nice roads and just enjoy the ride.
Recently I had some friends decide to get their first motorcycles, and I can tell you what I tell them, first keep your feet up on those pegs if you put them down for a turn at 15mph + the only thing your going to do is loose it. And make a game of starts and stops, see how long you can keep your feet on the pegs before you have to put them down. This will help you more than you realize, and put your feet up as soon as you can when taking off, remember your feet do no good off those pegs when you’re moving.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 7:21:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Thepilot:
ok, so i've had my bike now for about 2 months- i seem to be getting more freaked out everytime i ride the thing. this is an older bike that i bought and fixed up,



So what did you do to "fix it up"?
Is this a crash damage repair bike?
Has it been sitting?
Do you have the FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL?

Without more technical info and with the little info you have provided I would have to say you're not a person who should be riding a motorcycle.
If you feel that way on a Honda 450......
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