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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ten myths about motorcycles:


1. One beer and you are not a safe rider.

It highly varies- there is a big difference if you weigh 100 or 250 pounds, if your liver is 22 or 62 years old, and if you drink alcohol every few days and have built up some tolerance. The 0.05 percent blood alcohol limit is probably ridiculous in most cases. When I used to shoot pool, it took more than 2 regular strength beers drank at a normal pace to affect my skill.


2. Baby a new engine.

If they really meant a gentle engine break in today, they could program it into the bike’s ECU and not let you rev past 5000 rpm (or whatever) until after 500 miles. Why don’t they? Because it’s really not necessary. Redline all the time for a new engine is not a good idea, but it helps seat the piston rings if you use varying rpms and some brief high rpms. I think the “ride it like a granny at first” is more to help prevent you from crashing until you get more used to the new to you bike, especially for a beginner or someone switching to a very different motorcycle.


3. New tires need a long wear-in time.

You should go slow out of the parking lot of whoever mounted your tires, and until they’re warmed up and you have a feel for your new rubber, but very few tire manufacturers use “mold release” anymore: Modern techniques have shiny new tires popping free of the molds without it. Many’s the time we’ve shown up at the track for a “shootout” with brand new tires, and we have never “scuffed them in” for 50 or 100 miles. More like one lap. The main thing new tires need to work their best is heat. Swerving back and forth like an Indycar won’t do it. Rapidly accelerating in 2nd or 3rd gear will put heat into the rear; hard braking from medium speeds a few times will warm the front (when nobody’s behind you!). Tire warmers are the modern way at a track.


4. ABS brakes do not help.

The times when you really need ABS brakes are when something you didn’t even see coming suddenly winds up in your path (Your fault for not paying closer attention!). When those things happen – and they’ve happened twice to me over the last three decades – the reptile part of your brain takes over and commands your right hand to squeeze the brake lever as hard as it can; reptiles don’t know from “modulation.” If it happens to be raining, you’re down instantly and milliseconds to impact. With ABS, you’re slowing harder than you thought possible, not sliding the tires, and hopefully avoiding impact – if not, at least you’ll be going a hell of a lot slower.


5. Lay your bike down if you think a worse crash will happen soon.

Trying to slow down or stop is almost always better than laying your bike down (lowsiding). If you’ve got crap brakes, bald tires, and not many skills…no, even then I still think it’s better to try to stop than to crash on purpose, nearly all the time.


6. All the gear all the time (ATGATT).

I am not going to put on my Aerostich suit and heavy boots to ride one mile to the Ace Hardware at 35 mph on a scooter. I will be wearing a helmet (probably open face), gloves and shoes in case I put my foot down on a banana peel, but the fact is that the likelihood of getting into a long, skin-abrading slide from 35 mph is rather nillish. I took up motorcycles because they’re fun and dashing, not because I need more things to guard against and live in dreadful fear of. May the defense be in scale to the threat. Please do wear as much protective gear as you can when you’re going more than a few miles. I’m not even going to give the anti-helmet crowd the benefit of another idiotic discussion about the freedom to be a fucking clueless moron. Always wear a real helmet. Personally, I always wear gloves too.


7. Start with a feet-forward cruiser.

Maybe this started because cruiser seats are closest to the ground or because tons of modern riders learned to ride on Honda Rebel 250s. I totally believe most of them would’ve had an easier time on a standard bike, something like a Suzuki TU250, because your feet below you are more natural than your feet awkwardly far forward for a lower seat. If you’re looking at a first bike, try on something like a new Triumph Speed Twin or Honda CB500F for size.


8. You must start with a 250.

Maybe if you’re a speed freak with zero self-control a 250 makes sense, but those bikes aren’t that easy to ride when you’re brand new. They’re slow, yes, but they need lots of rpm and clutch action and shifting to get moving. Most adults already know better than to give it full throttle all the time. Unless you’re a tiny person, you’re better off on a bike to scale with your body, especially one with standard ergonomics.


The best experience I ever had teaching a new rider involved a Honda VTR1000 Super Hawk – a swift and powerful bike for sure, but with a mellow, controllable powerband and not too much weight while we’re getting our sea legs. A slight crack of the throttle in first, a gentle release of the clutch, away we burble… say, this was easy! Maybe somewhere in the middle is a good starting point for most riders? Again, something like a Honda CB500F or KTM Duke 390 wouldn’t be bad starting places that you’d instantly outgrow.


9. Motorcycles are too dangerous.

There are things you can do that greatly reduce the risk: Get training. Wear a helmet. Don’t ride impaired. All the research says that doing those three things greatly reduces your risk of being killed, and by adhering to them you’ve just proven that you have what we call “common sense,” which will also encompass things like “don’t go 100 mph in town.” The longer you ride, the more common sense you accumulate through experience, and the safer you become, so go easy that first year or two. Doesn’t mean you can’t be taken out by a deer or a left-turning ’72 El Dorado or a meteor, but it greatly reduces the risk.


10. Motorcycle riders get laid more often.

Dudes will dig you, if you’re a chick. But sadly, I have found the reverse not to be the case for most of my moto-brethren. The only women who have ever expressed interest in yours truly as a result of motorcycles have been pre-existing female motorcycle enthusiasts. It is more about looks, personality and money. I found that having a full time job, a reliable car dry inside when it rains and the cash for nice dates helped a lot in the getting laid department.


From:
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Top 10 Moto Truths (That Are Totally Bogus, IMHO)
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I don't ride after drinking, haven't owned a bike from new, and actually do go easy on new tires for a while, so I can't speak directly to #1-3.

#4: I have had a crash that would have been avoided with ABS. It also would have been avoided by better observation of the road in front of me or by recognizing a locked front wheel more quickly. ABS or not isn't a deal breaker for me when it's buying time, and the bike I have now doesn't have it, but for the same price, I'd rather have it than not.

#5: Having wanted to be a military pilot, I read a lot of aviation related material. One thing I read that applies to cars and motorcycles is that even if you know you're going to crash, fly/drive/ride the machine as far into the crash as you are able to, and endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest thing that you can. This has reduced my property damage and personal injury in more than one oops.

#6: It's probably best to be ATGATT, but I'll admit I ride in jeans more often than not. I have scars to prove it. I did finally buy some riding pants after my last big oops, but I don't wear them all the time.

#7: What? I've never heard that one.

#8: I did start on a 250, and I miss that bike. I sold my 650 to someone for whom it is a first bike, and he's doing fine. I'd say 250/300 is a good idea but not essential. Starting on a literbike has been done successfully but I wouldn't call it a good idea.

#9: They aren't the safest mode of transportation, but we all have to die from something.

#10: I wish that were true.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The one I least agree with for this magazine list is number 8, starting with a 250.

The 250 is good because you must shift it often, especially to go fast, and it is light. Also, it is cheap and many used bikes are available.

I think the way I started is the best- a 3.5 horsepower minibike with an automatic transmission at 8 years old, then a 30 mph dirtbike from 11 to 13 years old, then a 60 mph dirtbike from 13 to 15 years old, then 4 years driving a car from 16 to 20 years old, then a 105 mph street bike from 20 to 25 years old.

I also drink alcohol only after riding- giving a lawyer or judge any excuse to blame me for an accident is a bad idea, even if my blood or breath alcohol is just barely detectable.
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The one I least agree with for this magazine list is number 8, starting with a 250.

The 250 is good because you must shift it often, especially to go fast, and it is light. Also, it is cheap and many used bikes are available.

I think the way I started is the best- a 3.5 horsepower minibike with an automatic transmission at 8 years old, then a 30 mph dirtbike from 11 to 13 years old, then a 60 mph dirtbike from 13 to 15 years old, then 4 years driving a car from 16 to 20 years old, then a 105 mph street bike from 20 to 25 years old.

I also drink alcohol only after riding- giving a lawyer or judge any excuse to blame me for an accident is a bad idea, even if my blood or breath alcohol is just barely detectable.
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Starting with a 250 is a good base recommendation, but it's going to be more complicated than engine size. Gearing, size of the rider and actual age of the bike ought to be considered. Some of those older bikes have less power available than you'd expect based purely on engine size when compared with a newer bike.

I personally wouldn't drink at all when I'm riding. That's a personal decision and probably a bit on the conservative side. But, virtually any alcohol in your system is going to negatively affect your riding. One beer is probably not going to be a problem by itself, but if you're combing other factors like being at the end of the day or less than ideal conditions it can add up.

As far as ATGATT goes, helmets, gloves and boots are more or less non-negotiable, I think the main question comes with regards to whether denim is sufficient and raingear. I certainly wouldn't ever ride with less than denim.
 

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1. One beer and you are not a safe rider

Don't drink and ride. Did you notice the PERIOD at the end of the previous sentence :wink2:


2. Baby a new engine

I 've seen fine metal dust accumulation in the oil which is the main reason for the first oil change at around 1000kms so I think that there is some logic in that. There are also other things on a new bike that need a bit of breaking in and I believe that casual riding in a variety of road conditions is the way to go. Definitely not riding 1000kms at 3000rpm on the highway that is.


3. New tires need a long wear-in time.

150kms of patience in mixed road conditions and you are ready to go :)


4. ABS brakes do not help.

It depends on where one rides. I 've ridden on roads where it's virtually impossible to lock the front. In Greece though, it's the opposite but on the other hand most averagely priced bike ABS systems suck. I guess I 'll have to try the expensive race or cornering ABS systems to make up my mind.


5. Lay your bike down if you think a worse crash will happen soon.

Do all you can in order to avoid an accident. If shit indeed happens (and it will, from time to time), then it will be all about luck and talent.


6. All the gear all the time (ATGATT)

Don't be a hypocrite and a douchebag. Do you always wear full race equipment? Didn't think so, so if you don't do just that than don't tell other riders "Dude, I just don't get how people get to ride in 100 degrees with just a helmet, summer gloves, leathers and boots on to go to work". Always is a strong word but I always wear a helmet and use as much safety equipment as I can.


7. Start with a feet-forward cruiser.

Not necessarily as any small displacement non race replica bike will do.


8. You must start with a 250

Not necessarily as any small displacement non race replica bike will do.


9. Motorcycles are too dangerous.

So is life and then you die.


10. Motorcycle riders get laid more often

Very true from 15 to 25, kinda true from 25 to 35 quite the opposite after 35 or whenever marriage and or "serious", meet-the parents kind of relationship is on the cards.
 

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#10 is true when you are very young. When I was about 19, me and my buddies used to cruise around without helmets after drinking (don't know how I survived besides blind stupid luck) just so chicks "would see us". At that age, once in a blue moon, it worked.
 
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