I got a 2009 Victory Hammer as my first bike. It’s really big compared to the 250 honda rebels they had in the safet driver course.
Decided to go with something that i wouldnt regret getting and wanting to upgrade later.
Any tips for a new rider?
I learned alot from the class i took 2 months ago but ive never been in traffic before.
Thank you for your time.
That's good that you bought a bike that you won't outgrow, but, man -- as others have said -- that's a heck of a way to start.
1) Buy AND STUDY one or more of David Hough's books, particularly Proficient Motorcycling and Street Strategies. See, e.g.,
When I was an MSF RiderCoach, I prepared my own handout for the end of class. Had a few recommended books and magazines, and Hough's books were at the top of the list.
2) Practice, practice, practice.
Don't stop doing some of the exercises, just because class is out. Spend some time in big ol' empty parking lots, and do your circles and swerves.
You can practice emergency braking there, or just about any back road when there's no traffic around (especially behind you). When I lived in a more rural setting (9+ years ago), I had to take a real back road for about two miles, to even think about getting near main streets or a highway; I used to practice a panic stop on that road almost every time I left the house on a bike.
3) Maybe not ATTGAT, but certainly most of the gear, all of the time.
I don't mean this as insulting, and I commend you for putting your post out there for all to see. I don't know if you'll be running with a typical cruiser crowd or not, and how much you succumb to peer pressure, but I urge you to wear a full-face helmet. I do, and would even if I lived in a non-helmet state, and follow that rule when riding in one.
The simple facts are that you're more likely to crash as a newbie, and that the brain is really important, and so is your mouth and jaw, too (i.e., so much for half- or three-quarter helmets).
And I'd at least wear boots and kevlar jeans (because I don't suppose I can convince you to wear motorcycle overpants all the time). You seen pics of road rash?
I wear an armored jacket all the time (and actually replaced the foam back pad it came with, with a real, i.e., certified, back protector). It's mesh, too, so heat's not an issue. Actually cooler and better than a T-shirt, even when it's really hot. For cold, I have a wind-breaker and heated gear for underneath. I wrote an article for webBikeWorld on this method of using one jacket with other gear; if you're interested, see https://www.webbikeworld.com/season-...riding-outfit/
And gloves. I cringe when I see riders without gloves. You tip or slide the bike over, you're gonna put your hands out. And just like that threat in Men in Black, about shooting an alien "where it don't grow back," there are parts of your palms that might never get back in shape.
If it's too f^%&kin hot to ride with a full helmet and some kind of armor, then take the car.
I don't want to sound like a safeycrat nanny, and I often ride in jeans, no overpants, non-kevlar. Leg road rash is the price I'm prepared to pay. But I NEVER ride without my armored jacket and my full-face helmet and gloves.
4) You'll want to stay out of big-time city traffic and busy highways as much as possible, for the first year or so.
When cagers are around, ride as if they don't see you. Because they probably don't.
Practice in less hectic settings. And when you're out on those back roads, and come into a curve too hot, don't target-fixate on guard rails, the other lane, etc. -- remember, just like in class, look where you want to go, looking through the escape route. Keep practicing that, look waaay far ahead, and internalize (from parking lot practice, etc.) that your bike will lean over more than you think, to negotiate those tight curves, before hard parts start making noise.
5) Sorry, no passengers for the first year, either.
Those are my suggestions for you, anyway.
[EDIT, forgot one thing:
6) Find some moderate hills, in the middle of nowhere, to practice your starts from a stop, when on an incline. Nothing at all to help you out in this regard from class, at least in my day. So practice riding "through" the rear brake, or wear out your clutch, on your selection of hills.