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Old 08-17-2012, 07:26 PM   #16
lolibater
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Santa Rosa
Motorcycles: 2014 R1200GS & 2015 WR250R
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As someone who was hellbent on getting a 600+ SS bike before I even got my permit, I am EXTREMELY happy that I ended up finding such a great deal on a used Ninja 250. Even after taking the MSF class, I can honestly say I don't remember hearing or reading ANYTHING that discouraged new riders from buying a SS bike right out of the class. That, imo, is something that needs to be stressed EXPLICITLY. I have already been in a handful of situation were my horribly inexperienced input would have gotten me seriosly injured or killed on a SS bike.

Having quickly learned to put my ego aside while riding has been the biggest help for me, hands down.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:46 AM   #17
kiyofox
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This is a great thread, especially for new riders to learn a few key pieces of info from experienced riders.

I started out as many do: took the MSF course, got my first bike (used Ninja 500 in almost brand new condition), and started riding every chance I got!

I did not have any veteran riders to learn from when I first started, so I had to learn a lot of real world experience on my own. I did follow the gear rule, as I had helmet, boots, gloves and pants. But as many of us know, it is easy to let the freedom of riding a motorcycle push us into exceeding our skills to control it.

My "big" accident happened roughly around my 1 year of riding. There were several factors that all accumulated into causing the accident, but first let me just go through how it happened. Normally, as mentioned I would don all my gear when I went out. This day, it was a commute to work in the middle of summer in LA. It was hot that day, as in 104 degrees in the blazing sun. I thought, 'meh I can skip the riding pants just this once' since just the act of wearing regular jeans was making me sweat. I also opted to wear a 'light' pair of gloves, which were not nearly as armored as the pair I normally wore (Icon Ti-Max gloves).
The freeway portion of the commute to work was largely uneventful, though hot and sweaty. I should mention that my commute at the time was about 12 miles, 9 of which were freeway. After getting off the freeway, I still had about 1.5 miles of surface streets and stoplights to go through. As luck would have it, one of the intersections along my normal route had some major roadwork going on. The street surface was in such shoddy condition that there were large humps and dips all over the place that would make even pickup trucks slow down.
I'm sitting at the light, first in line, sweating my ass off, and (of course) was really close to being late to work. Light turns and I jump off the line, across the intersection and into the construction zone. I was going too fast for the conditions (about 35mph by my estimate), I know that now. As I started into the road work I happened to hit one of the lumps hard enough that it popped my front wheel off the ground. I was not prepared for that and in a panic I grabbed the front brakes. When the front wheel touched down, it was stopped and cause the bike to high side me. I flew over the handlebars and smacked the road face down on my outstretched hands, which later I found out sprained my shoulder. I think I slid about 20 feet past my bike. Honestly, to this day it is all just a blur.
The aftermath could be seen in the state of my gear. A giant scuff down the face of my helmet; a large patch of abrasion across the front torso of my mesh jacket; my regular jeans were torn through at the knees and torn up the thigh of my left leg; the gloves were roughed up with little small holes in them.
Both my kneecaps were rashed, my left thigh was rashed, the inside of my elbow was rashed, and my banged up sprained shoulder. (I could not lift my arm up above my chest, which made trying to pick up my bike a real bitch). *THANKFULLY*, since I was first through the intersection and wrecked, the cars behind were polite enough not to run me over.

So going back to the events leading up to this, several things should raise a red flag. First, always wear the gear! It doesn't matter if you wear it "most" of the time. The one time you don't wear it is when you need it (as above). Second, choosing to ride should not be because you need to get there faster. The fact I was running behind should have made me be *MORE* careful, and more controlled. Third, knowing what to do in a situation can make all the difference. If I had not grabbed the brakes out of reflex, I probably would have been able to recover from my mistake. Practicing operating your bike in a controlled manor has saved my butt many times.

In short, I am still learning things as I ride, even after 10 years. Please take a minute to think things through before getting on a bike. AND WEAR YOUR GEAR!
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:23 AM   #18
Climbingynonc
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I realize this thread is quite old but I wanted to post my impression as a returning rider in his early 50's. I learned to ride in my 20's and but riding slowly faded as work and raising kids got in the way. I am returning smarter and approaching riding and gear with more thought and I am frustrated by the confusion regarding the ratings of protective gear and a lot of deceptive marketing that places style over protection. A recently purchased a pair of Dainese Leather trousers - assuming that leather from a well established brand would provide a high level of protection. It was only after that I learned about CE 1 and 2 armor and AA vs AAA abrasion resistance (both european standards). I was disappointed to find the pants had level 1 armor and were rated AA (which I foundd odd for leather since some riding jeans are AAA). Most websites and stores minimize these differences. I was also surprised to learn that most "riding jeans" are only reinforced in areas and not fully lined. It may be obvious to the experienced riders on the forum but I feel there is no clear way to know how protective gear is. Any guidelines for experienced riders and racers would be helpful to me at least.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:52 AM   #19
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That is a good topic.

I bet it has been addressed in threads here and there but we should have a one stop spot for the info.
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Old 06-18-2020, 02:38 PM   #20
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You may find helpful info from the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations. Somehow I got on their mailing list and received a link to a posting, New Testing Standards For Motorcycle Clothing, a few months ago. Here's an excerpt:
Effectively there will be three standards for the average road rider: Class AAA, Class AA and Class AA.
  • Class AAA (EN 17092-2:2020) is heaviest and least comfortable but provides the most protection.
  • Class AA is more comfortable and less heavy, but also provide less protection.
  • Class A is the lightest and most comfortable but provides the least protection.
What this will mean in practice, we do not know yet. There are separate test standards for light-duty abrasion protection garments (Class B), which are intended to provide limited protection to the wearer against injury. Also harnesses with impact protectors (Class C) have separate test standards. The test standards concern impact abrasion resistance, strength of seams, tear strength, impact energy absorption, dimensional stability (possibility to wash or dry clean (in according with test standard EN 13688), fit and ergonomics and Garment restraint (circumferential force to the sleeve restraint systems).
Probably more helpful is an Australian site called MotoCAP:
Until now, riders have had little information on choosing the best products to protect them from injury if they crash. Nor could retailers or manufacturers compare the performance of their products to others in the market.

The Motorcycle Clothing Assessment Program (MotoCAP) has been established by a consortium of government and private organisations across Australia and New Zealand. MotoCAP's aim is to empower motorcyclists to choose the right gear that provides them with the best protection and comfort for their ride.
I hadn't heard of them before, but the site looks very good. Products by manufacturer and style, rated on protection and comfort.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:28 PM   #21
Climbingynonc
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Thanks! Those both look like great resources.
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:56 PM   #22
DataDan
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The Right Braking Skills

A thread in General tuned me in to Bret Tkacs, a riding instructor with some very good videos. Here's one on braking skill that seems to be a good fit in this thread:


youtu.be/sVK2Hj8jDTE

The vital message for novice riders here is that you REALLY need training to be able to brake well on a motorcycle. And not just basic training. After completing the training you need to get licensed, you'll be able to stop in a somewhat shorter distance than you could by jumping off the bike and doing a Superman on the pavement in your new leathers. It is only with advanced training and consistent practice that you'll be able to stop as well as a good car can. Remember, too, that any driver can achieve that level in a car simply by mashing the pedal and relying on ABS to modulate pressure. Speaking of which, consider for your first motorcycle one equipped with ABS. Mastering the braking skill you need will be easier without the worry of overbraking and dumping the bike as you learn.

For more from Tkacs, explore his YouTube channel or visit his website.
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How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.
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I see four lights!
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