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Newbie Here, From L.a


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Hey guys,

 

I'm a newbie to this forum and to biking.

 

I live in L.A and I recently bought a 2008 Kawi 650cc. Unfortunately I was in a crash a week after I bought it. My arm was dislocated and I have a minor fracture that should be done healing within a couple days. I'm visiting my doctor on Wednesday for a followup.

 

Luckily the bike is fixable. The radiator and fairings are bust. I'm going to get it repaired as soon as I hear back from my doc if it's okay to get on a bike. I'm not sure whether I should wait for the insurance to give me the money to repair the bike or just go and do it myself and wait for the check later.

 

Because of the accident though, I'm rather hesitant to get back on the bike, as my ego has been seriously bruised with both my pocket and my concept of life. Is riding in L.A blatant suicide or will skill really help me get over this fear? Another problem I have is I'm not sure where to practice. I have a lot next to my house but it's really small and I'm worried about neighbors complaining of the noise.

 

Would I be able to attend this superbike school to increase my skills or am I too much of a beginner with only a month of riding under my belt at most?

 

I love bikes, and I simply want to be good at them. I'm just afraid of it being too dangerous for my own good, especially in L.A.

 

Any support/feedback/tips would be amazing.

 

Thanks,

Daniel

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Daniel,

 

Sorry about your mis-hap. Difficult to answer your question about the school. Yes, it is not for beginners. And yes, you should attend as soon as you feel comfortable riding a motorcycle.

 

Have you years of riding experience ... or just the one week before your unfortunate accident?

 

I suggest that you call the school and talk with one of the coaches. A conversation with one of them should give you a good plan of action for attending CSS.

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Hi Daniel,

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

I'm sorry to hear about your fall and I hope you heal quickly. That said, my first question is the same as nicenezy's: How long have you been riding?

 

Unfortunately yours is a story I hear everyday with increasing frequency recently and one, I am afraid, that may become all too familiar in the coming months and years as the price of petrol in the USA climbs ever higher. Folks with little or no riding experience buy a motorcycle, perhaps for basic transportation in an effort to relieve a fuel bill that out-paces their mortgage or rent, and promptly go out and injure themselves (or others) within a matter of days or weeks from the date of purchase. What really makes me feel sad for some these folks is that some of them might never have even considered riding a motorcycle otherwise. Some simply don't understand the risks or, in addition to a lack of basic skills, lack an appropriate level of respect for the danger. The skill required for riding a motorcycle safely is not akin to riding a bicycle or driving a car. And something that weighs a quarter of a ton moving at a mile a minute is a loaded and potentially lethal weapon for anyone around. It is a privilege and a responsibility.

 

I suppose it can be something of a Catch-22 or a double-edged sword, being a beginner and needing to gain experience, especially if one is a very large man, say well over 6' tall and 220 lbs +, and is simply too big for an appropriate sized learning machine like a Ninja 250 or a Honda Rebel. In my humble opinion, and the opinion of many others qualified, including the governments of countries like the UK, any bike bigger than that is simply too much motorcycle to learn how to ride on. I don't recall the precise figures for the UK, but, I know you can't go out and be licensed to ride a 600cc machine without years of experience and testing on a small machine to prove you are ready for something bigger. A licensing system similar to the licensing structure for piloting aircraft. Which is clearly appropriate considering the level of risk (to the pilot and the public), and the level of skill required to simply operate an aircraft safely. In my opinion, the level of skill and risk for riding a motorcycle is comparable in both complexity and scale. And the UK has it right.

 

My opinion is that an MSF safety school and Keith Code's books should be required reading for all new riders eveywhere. So, whatever your personal situation, if you aren't ready to participate in a Level I CSS class on track, you are certainly ready to attend a new riders school like the one offered by the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) and absolutely ready to read and study Keith Code's books starting with A Twist of the Wrist I. Since you are new, I will tell you that I post that opinion at least once a week here. Not because Ketih is my friend or I am jazzed by the racing motorcycles, but, because reading his books, at the very least, have saved my life more times than I can count. I also urge every rider who crosses my path at the motorcycle dealership where I work to do the same.

 

My advice is to order the first book, A Twist of the Wrist here and study for your life while you heal. That alone will start to build your confidence. Just knowing that there is some place to start, a certified first step in the right direction. And please feel welcome to bring any questions you have about riding here. There are many members who are familiar with Keith's books and have attended CSS many times. And when they aren't traveling around the country teaching, really good coaches like Cobie and 2bigalow who are happy to answer your questions with sincere and helpful information. They are trained to make you feel good about learning, not bad for asking "beginner" questions.

 

So, I hope I haven't scared you, but, rather helped to instill a healthy respect for the wonderful journery you have chosen to embark on. Riding motorcyles has added an immeasurable quality to my life that is priceless. Not just for the joy of riding but the many experiences and friendships I have made along the way. And all the doors that were opened because of them. It's rough to take a fall so early, but, you are not alone. Whatever you do, make the effort to take responsibility for doing it right and don't give up.

 

Best regards,

 

Bill

 

PS - That fracture should take several weeks to heal which gives you plenty of time to get cracking on your study program. So no excuses. Give up drinking Starbucks (or whatever) for one week and you will have enough money to fill your library with life saving information.

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