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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.
 

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Welcome to the hobby! Nice first bike.

1. Tight Circles are the base of all turns on a motorcycle. If you can do a locked out circle you can make any turn needed on the road. Practice in open parking lots and you can use tennis ball halves as comes if wanted.

2. Don't ride in the middle of the lane. This is where trash and fluids live.

3. Same goes for stopping at a light. Stop with your tires and feet out of the oil strip.

4. I personally like to stay in the left most lane on all roads where possible. This prevents people not seeing you and pulling out in front of you or merging into you if you're on the right.

5. Another personal preference is to ride near the stripe so on coming vehicles can see me. This will hopefully prevent a person turning behind a vehicle in front of you as they couldn't see you and thought it was clear.

6. Leave yourself an out. Stopped at a light, stuck in traffic, or whatever leave yourself an escape route and watch your rear. Again I'm riding close to the stripe and if a car in front is closer to one side or the other I'll pull opposite as that's usually a good escape route.

7. If you have a car close to your rear and you're going to be turning soon flash your taillights before applying them to actually slow. This hopefully gets their attention and let's then know you're applying your brakes.

8. Always wear eye protection... And even better boots, gloves, and helmet.
 

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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.
thats a hell of a first bike!
In Australia youd have to ride 650cc or under for 2 years before you could legally ride your Victory.
 

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Welcome to the forum and a AWESOME BIKE would you consider taking a advanced riding cource ... It would really help you in riding this bike and enjoy it more ...

Andre using TaPaTaLk
 

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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.,

https://www.amazon.com/David-L.-Hough/e/B001JOWE2I/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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-motorcycle-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.
]
 

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The most important thing. Always ride in a defensive mind. Watch the people, cars around you. Think about what you would need to do to evade a collision. Your going to make mistakes, we all do. There have been many times I have said a little prayer after a oooooooooo ****.
 

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Lots of excellent advice in the previous posts and I commend you for having an open mind. There is a lot to know about riding and maintaining a motorcycle and you came to a good place as we here are all very experienced and willing to help without judging. I have 66 years of riding experience. Yeah, I'm the old fart here.
Some more things to consider about riding......
+ The full face helmet suggestion is an excellent one and to that, I will add, make it a modular (flip front) - very convenient at stops or in hot weather traffic.
+ When stopped in traffic, leave about a half car length between your bike and the car ahead.
+ When the light turns green, count to 3 after the car ahead pulls away, before you proceed. If the car ahead has to stop, you'll have a safety cushion.
+ Never tailgate - leave a lot of space between you and the vehicle ahead, even if its a bike. You can not stop as short as you might think.
+ Look where you want your bike to be, not where you're going. That's as far ahead as you can see, especially in a turn.
+ Swivel head, swivel eyes - never, never, never fix your gaze on anything for you will hit it.
Things to consider about your bike......
+ Tire pressure is extremely important. 38-40 psi front and 40 to 42 psi rear is desired.
+ KEEP THE REVS UP! You'll have far more control if you keep them above 2500 rpm - and the higher, the more throttle control you'll have.
+ Use 3,000 rpm and more for shifts. Don't worry, you can not hurt these engines doing that.
+ When starting, hold the throttle open about 1/8 turn and don't release the starter button until the engine is running.
+ Let the engine warm for at least a minute or two while you put your gear on. And then, take it easy while it warms the rest of the way and the tires warm. Cold tires have minimal traction.
+ Oil level is checked with the bike vertical. Many have put too much oil in thinking you check it on the side stand.
Things to consider about you as a rider......
+ You will always come out second best in a duel with a cager.
+ Consider yourself invisible.
+ Exposed skin is the feeding ground for sunburn, dehydration, road rash and melanomas.
+ Pack water and drink it - lots of it.
+ You really have nothing to prove to anyone, even yourself.
+ The more you learn, the more fun it becomes, because you will be controlling the bike and not the bike controlling you.
+ Have fun and hang around here with us. Tell us about your progress and adventures.
:)
 

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Hi
read the owners book about how to check the oil screw in screw out. Get out and ride the back roads. Ride in the back of the pack and don't tail gate.
Have fun
 

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You Can't Beat Old Farts, IMHO

I'm not quite as old as @RICZ -- I turned 70 earlier this year, and started riding dirt bikes only about 55 years ago -- so I'll certainly defer to him.

I wanted to keep it simple for our newb, so I left out much of what Ric added.

Modular aka Flip-up:

Yep, I've been wearing the flip-up variant of full-face helmets for, oh, at least a dozen years, when Nolan first came out with one in the States. (And now there are gobs of other vendors selling flip-ups, from around $100 up into the $700+ range.)

They're not just convenient for stops, and taking pics on pull-outs, etc., but great for those of us who wear glasses. That was my main incentive. My drill with a full-face, before modulars were available, was: 1) put glasses on bike seat; 2) put on helmet; 3) pick up glasses from the ground, where they slid off seat; 4) put on glasses.

Space at a Stop:

Last I read the relevant stats, c. 4% of US bike fatalities were from being rear-ended by cars. I imagine they still cover this stuff in the beginning rider classes.

"The more you learn ...":

I try not to rest on my laurels, try not to assume that I know it all, or don't need practice, etc.

Some of my favorite training shots (some of which, yeah, yawn ..., I've posted before):

Here's a shot from 2005, when I was taking Lee Parks' Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic (Motorcyclist Training Courses | Total Control Training), on my Valkyrie. This was while I was an MSF instructor (i.e., the trainer needs training):



Lee Parks himself was the lead instructor that day. He's a former racer, now head of all of the training in California, and you should have seen him do full-handlebar-lock circles -- for as long as he wanted -- on my bike.

More recently, I've done some of "Tony's Non-Sportbike Track Days" (Non Sportbike Days). Ken Condon -- another former racer, author, and current safety columnist for Motorcyclist -- is the lead instructor. These kind of days offer classroom instruction in between riding, and the instructors get lots of material courtesy of zipping in and out during track sessions, i.e., watching how you screw up.

There's nothing like doing the same corners all day to perfect your technique, and learn about the lean limits of your bike, etc. Also, it's not too often that you get to practice hard braking from 90 or 100mph.

2015, in CT, on my fomer XCT:



2016, NH, on the XCT:



2016, MA, on my 650 scooter:



Last year (i.e., age 69), MA on the scooter again:



Safety Tips Site:

My all-time favorite web site for safety tips is one put up by James Davis, a safety consultant. It's maybe a couple decades old, but still has fascinating reading. If you're not afraid of getting sucked into some serious bike articles:

https://www.msgroup.org/articles.aspx
 

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Welcome Luiscazarez08 to the forum from Elmvale ON Canada...

You have some seriously valid and excellent suggestions above heed them all...that is alot of bike for your first ride! I would say you can't practice enough to get use to the weight and power, find a nice big lot and enjoy bringing the beast under your control!!

Ride safe and enjoy,

Rob

 

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Welcome from Southern Arizona. Like most others have said, that's a lot of bike for a starter. My first bike after MSF training 5 years ago was a Honda Shadow 750, and I am so glad I started with that one, because it definitely helped prepare me for my Cross Country.

Like CanckRob said; read and heed the tips posted here, because they all come from very experienced riders. My advice is to learn your limits, but don't be afraid to push your bike to find out what those limits are.

And, like RICZ said 'consider yourself invisible'. I live by that every day. I ride like I am invisible, because most of the time they are not looking for us. I make darn sure that people can see me, whether on the freeway, or on side streets. Stay out of peoples blind spot.

Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really appreciate everyones suggestions. I did end up going with a full face helmet and I plan on keeping it that way until I get comfortable. This bike is so amazing today was my first time riding it around town early in the morning before traffic started. I am so glad i took that safety course because it saved my life today. I was on an empty road and the light turned yellow as i was approaching the intersection i decided to slow down too quickly (i was going about 50mph) and locked up my rear wheel as i started to swerve. Alot of smoke but i remembered not to panic and hold the front brake gently but firm and i held my leg out for support as i sucessfully came to a stop without dropping my bike or ending up in the intersection. I was soo blessed.

What are you supposed to do if the light turns yellow and youre going 50+ mph?


I really take all your advise seriously and really thank you from the bottom of my heart.
 

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The rule of thumb is 70%front brake / 30% rear brake

On my jackpot i changed the angle slightly on my foot control, i ride pretty hard and many times locked the rear tire , so i solved it by changing the angle slightly ...

It worked ...

Also are your tires Dunflop ? I took both Dunlop tires off before finished, and replaced them with other brands, this was a amazing difference , for tbe better ...

Andre using TaPaTaLk
 

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It's not illegal to go through a yellow. If you have time to stop then I would but if I'm coming to an intersection and get a yellow I'll charge through.
 

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Every circumstance is different, you need to study the intersection in a nanosecond and make a decision if you can stop safely or run through the yellow safely. I try to watch from a distance when possible to see how long a light has been green and start to decrease speed a little if I've had a long look at the green light. Can't stress enough the advice you've already been given, you are invisible, the cagers just don't see you, that should always be your first thought.

Ride safe and enjoy your amazing machine!

Rob
 

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If an intersection has red light cameras, I am super wary, as many municipalities shorten the yellow to less than 3 seconds in order to generate more citations. Its illegal, but they do it.
 

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Most intersections here have the countdown display next to the walk/wait hand for pedestrians so I glance at that as I approach an intersection here. If it's at less than 3seconds I already start to decelerate.
The caution of driving through a yellow is left hand turning cagers turning in front of you and crossing your path. That's the highest risk to a motorcycle for death even more so than lane changes.
 

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Every time I ride I constantly tell myself front brake first
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
So today I was doing a right hand turn going about 25 mph. For some reason I downshifted to 1st and released the clutch while mid turn it over reved and I panicked and slammed my rear brake. I fell off the left side and my bile landed on the left side flat. My handle bars are now not aligned and is pulled to the left. How do I fix this?

Thank you everyone.
 

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So today I was doing a right hand turn going about 25 mph. For some reason I downshifted to 1st and released the clutch while mid turn it over reved and I panicked and slammed my rear brake. I fell off the left side and my bile landed on the left side flat. My handle bars are now not aligned and is pulled to the left. How do I fix this?

Thank you everyone.
- I'm not qualified to discuss this repair, but I'm sure those who are will chime in shortly.

- One lesson learned? Stay in one gear through significant turns, i.e., don't mess with the shifter or clutch, unless there's some major reason not to let well-enough alone (and that will be extremely rare).

- You come out okay, physically and mentally?
 
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