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i'm sure others will chime in here with better and more detailed advice then this, but just take it easy. the guy i bought my bike from ( i grew up on dirtbikes also) told me that "I don't want to go to you funeral!" Just ride within your limits and don't try to show off or anything and just get a feel for the bike. i put 10K on mine before I fully 'felt' the bike.
 

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thats good advice. take it easy, nice and slow at first. keep up with the flow of traffic or they will run your ass over. stay away from cages (cars) whenever possible. learn good throtlle control and remember its a street bike not a dirt bike...translation the FRONT brake stops you. use your rear brake too, but not like on a dirt bike. most of all enjoy yourself, but pay attention to everything around you. on a bike you don't get to relax like when your in car
 

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It's a 1989 zx600c2 with 15,780 miles. I took and passed the msf course, insured it, and am registering it tomorrow. What sort of things should I be doing before I start riding the street often?

I rode dirtbikes for 6 years, so I know the very basic stuff (oil, gas, chain, keep the bike clean, lights, etc.), but is there anything else I should be aware of?

And what kind of engine and transmission oil does it use? I'm still waiting on the manual, but if anyone could help me out early, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks
 

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Last two posts are on point. Easy does it.
In terms of maintenence, you have the basic stuff down. There is plenty of knowledge on this forum so stay tuned in and do your searches You will find alot of helpfull info.
Congrats on the bike and welcome to the forum.
 

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Like everyone is saying. Be alert. Watch every intersection carefully. Watch every car that comes up that could pull out in front of you. Try to make eye contact or try to see if they are looking at you. When riding behind/beside a car look to see if you can see the driver in his side mirror. If you can't, he can't see you. Get by him or fall back until you can. If you see grey hair watch out. The old ones will get you every time. :) Have fun!!
 

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Yes, that is what I am afraid of; I've done sufficient reading to learn out that a 600cc 4-cylinder is quite a motorcycle and that every rider is considered pretty much invisible.

Even though I took the course, I'm doing more parking lot time before I hit the actual street. What I still don't understand is, how do people (like squids) ride the streets at the speed of light, with a permit, in a tank top, and still have so much confidence? I'm afraid to even leave the parking lot.

And I'd say the dirtbike experience helps to know the initial controls, but it doesn't dictate how to ride a 4-cylinder, street motorcycle. The change in brake application is a good example.

So, lastly, it is clear: 3 words are the priority: safety, safety, safety!

Thanks
 

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Not much to add besides my personal rule, which is...
"Assume that no-one in a car can see you!" Drivers tend to look for oncoming drivers not riders!
 

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Dude, I came up through the MX scene too with my share of broken bones. I am very blessed to have survived three street bike accidents. My latest accident was only 10 months ago that landed me in ICU. It’s freaky, but I know that in our minds we’ve all been there. Anyway, the point is. Just like in MX, wear ALL of your protective gear ALL of the time. And don’t go cheap either, no matter what, because your grape is worth it. That’s how I survived. Finally, learn to wrench on your bike so you fall in-love with every part of her. That way you’ll know her inside and out… You’ll know if a bolt is missing or a squeak means trouble. Congratulations!
 

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apply what the MSF course gave you.
 

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Make sure you have your keys before you leave your house....I hate it when that happens :-D
 

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NemesisOne, related to that: My mirrors weren't aimed correctly and I can't see behind me. That's pretty important, not just to watch for a rear end but also for police and ambulances. Thanks for the headsup.
NoFear: Full gear, all the time, even in heat. Sorry to hear about your accident, but I'm glad you know the ins and outs of your bike. I had that for my car and dirtbike, I can't wait to have it for this one.
The MSF course goes through my mind the whole time. I'm not really "riding" but rather thinking rapidly about the what the course taught and executing it. Despite all that, I already dropped it going 1-2 mph in my driveway (ehh), so it's time to touch up the mild scuff and get some frame sliders before it's too late. And keys? I once left the key in the bike and thought I lost it the next time I went to ride.

Thanks for the responses.
 

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One more thing...ZIP up your jacket pockets if you are carrying anything in them. I've already lost a cell phone and a digital camera that way. It's an easy thing to remember and even easier thing to forget. You get on your bike and you are so anxious to ride you forget those minor details. Then whne you check your pockets and realize what has just happened you feel like a big time moron.
Once again, enjoy the bike.
 

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The MSF course is great for basics at low speed, but the true way to get comfortable is to do what you are doing. Get comfortable on your bike so you know where everything is in relation, be able to honk that little horn without looking and emergency braking without locking the rear. Do this in a parking lot and your neighborhood and then get on the street. No way to learn in a faster, real world environment then actually getting on the streets. My recomendation is to find a good loop around town and do it a couple of times later at night when traffic is very light, then do it earlier with more cars each time.

And if anyone cuts you off or endagers you, do what the pros do, drive up next to them and pound their fucking side mirror off. :D
 

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[:M88]
 

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cyberdos: I'm glad you pointed that out because it always feels like my wallet and phone are "falling out" when I'm riding. I wasn't sure if they ever would, so next time I'll zip them up in the inside pocket.

sgates: You are correct when you say the rider course is only good for low speed manuevering. I rode dirtbikes for 6 years, took the course, got my license, and still felt like I wasn't ready to ride on streets. However the progression from the course, to parking lots, to backroads, and finally to main roads is undoubtedly the best way to learn to ride. And the best part about clocking someone's mirror off is their vehicle isn't usually fast enough to catch you ;)

mred: Coming from a new rider, I greatly appreciate the encouragement from someone who rides, since my parents discourage riding the fullest extent. [8D]
 
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