Yet another Newbie!
Howdy...Canadian Newbie here...
I would like to tell others a little about my beginner experiences, both positive and negative. It will also serve as a needed exercise for myself as well.
My first mistake (or not!) was that i bought a bike before i got a license. Not so bad really. However,
After carefull advice and research, I decided my first bike should be just a 'little' 250 cruiser, (it had to be a cruiser to fit my image of what a bike should look like). Further research into brands of bikes convinced me my little GV250 Aquila was a good starter bike for a lady. All the ads said so. Well, it is a wonder that little bike, with a powerful V twin engine, not a single cylinder like most 250s. It is very quick and easy to handle...if you know what you are doing! It can scoot, and has no trouble keeping up with the boyz, that's for sure! Now, some other newbie might not have the trouble i did, but if i were to sell it, (which i'm not!) i would not advertise it as an absolute beginner's bike..ladie's or otherwise.
In the beginning...
Well, i had been a passenger on bikes off and on for several years. It looked so easy and i loved it sooo much...
I did sign up for the safety course right away, and took it (only five months) after having undergone major surgery. The course participants were all 25 year olds and under, all of whom had ridden dirt bikes and such previously, the instructors 4 Harley guys....but NO, I'm not going to make mega excuses for why i didn't finish the course...it simply went way too fast for me, not giving enough time to absorb what we just learned before moving on. [This course was only two days of instruction..don't know how long the Stateside courses are(?) I was told by several ppl that at one time it was 2 weeks long]...whatever, i didn't feel it was geared for absolute newbies...(and of course, i was the only one...and a fair bit older too..but i'm just sayin'!)
My second beginner tip..don't try to do a lot of riding before you have basic instruction. Do nothing more than getting the feel of the bike, getting familiar with the controls, starting it and finding the friction zone with the clutch.
My story...I brought my bike home a little before the course started. Not having much room to ride in my yard, I unknowingly formed a very bad habit - with short running room i had no speed up, so i was not using my brake to stop, simply pulling in the clutch and putting my feet down when i slowed. Putting the feet down - definately something not to do until you have to in order to balance the bike!
Third beginner tip..don't listen to too many people trying to 'teach' you...it will just confuse the issue. If you don't have an experienced teacher handy and have to rely on friends, one at a time is my hard and fast rule! Everyone has something to teach you no doubt, but that something may come from their experience and may not be the best advice. Also, each person's advice on a given issue can be quite different.
My story...for all of the first summer, i had two men trying, with good intention no doubt, to teach me. They often disagreed with each other on the what and the how, and entered into long discussions about it..with each other! Neither really listened to the 'pupil'. I have other friends who ride, two men and their wives, who occassionally pop up to help me, largely with set-up issues, but each have their own pieces of advice, again all well intended, but that are often contradictory.
My story continues...i practice when no one is around now. I love my friends and helpers, but...still not ready for the big balance test, but gaining confidence back that i will, some day, do it!!!