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In my 60 years, whatever I expected of a situation, or upcoming event rarely occurs. Two exceptions were dental procedures that I thought would be horrible. Boo! Those expectations were on target.

I took a short 5 mile neighborhood first ride on my 'new to me 13 TW yesterday, after installing a new battery and adjusting the chain, checking oil etc. Not what I expected!!! The bike was as I expected. My performance was way off. I had no problem operating the controls but wow, am I rusty!! Lol

Slow speed maneuvering was dreadful. I never felt balanced and it seemed so odd to me. It's been 30 years since I've ridden so I expected to need to reacquaint myself with riding bikes, but I did not expect to feel so weird about riding again. It was intense just riding down the street so exposed to road conditions. I loved it but I was not at all comfortable or at ease when braking and slowing down. I know it will take a few more miles to get there and I'm not discouraged, just another instance of when my expectations were not met. I've been jonesing for a TW for years and had visions of putting around as I had done on bikes before. So it goes.
Peace love
AT

I trust this is the right forum to vent such.


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You'll be alright brother, just stick to streets that don't have a lot of traffic on them and stay going slow until you feel more comfortable. You will soon feel ok again in the saddle, hang in there. You got the right bike!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You'll be alright brother, just stick to streets that don't have a lot of traffic on them and stay going slow until you feel more comfortable. You will soon feel ok again in the saddle, hang in there. You got the right bike!! :)
Thanks LT. I know you are correct!!!!


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I felt nervous when I started riding again 4 years ago. I watched a ton of motorcycle safety YouTube videos and bought a Icon Hi-Viz safety vest. Wasn't long and I was confident on the roads.
 

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The TW with its low seat height , smooth predictable power curve & easy handling will inspire confidence & you'll be carving up the back roads in no time. Today's riders are faced with new challenges & distractions that compromise our safety. We need to be mindful that motorcyclists are invisible & ride acorrdingly .
Ride safe & have fun.
 

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What you describe is completely normal after being off 2 wheels for so long. I would go find a big field and just ride around in it until I got my legs back under me on the bike. There is just too much going on around you on the pavement and in traffic while trying to reacquaint yourself with the controls. Just go off by yourself with no outside detraction's and in a place where a fall will not hurt as bad as on pavement. If/when you can handle the dirt you will be much better prepared to handle the road and all the idiots out to get you.

GaryL
 

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I'm 47 and this fall I bought a TW, trailered it home, and then slung a leg over a motorcycle for the first time in my life. It was like learning to drive for the first time, in a 5-speed, that always wanted to fall over.
I watched a big, burly, tattooed biker on YouTube saying he didn't care how tough you thought you were, the first time you pull a motorcycle into traffic, you're scared shitless. I did my safety course this spring, and I remember the first time I was the first vehicle in line at a big intersection.....I felt like I had stripped my clothes off, walked out into the middle of the street and was standing there naked...a squishy bag of meat surrounded by a sea of cars. Holy crap, what a feeling....

Anyway.....I'm certainly not seasoned but I'd say you felt the same thing that everybody does... And as the TW is really the only bike I've ridden, I'd have to assume that hopping on a different bike would be a whole other world. I've let 2 people take the TW for a spin and both of them have years of street and dirt experience....they both came back and said stuff like, the front end was heavy, and it didn't feel like it wanted to turn in.... But that chunky front tire apparently turns the front end into something completely different than other bikes.

AND...I rode my TW as much as I could last fall and early spring, and on the course in April I hopped on the TW in the course fleet and couldn't do a thing with it. Grabbed a Grom and it was like riding a bicycle.

I had lots of moments...like I said before...for the last 12,000kms of ATV-riding, my rear brakes were on the left handlebar. Imagine the first few time I needed to stop and instinctively grabbed a left handful of nothing. Lots of coming to a stop dragging my feet and not even touching the brakes because my brain couldn't balance, downshift, turn, throttle, brake, and think at the same time. Still find I come to a stop about 20% of the time, and want to drop my left foot but get twitchy and end up going the wrong way and having to jab the right foot at the last second and looking like a dork...
 

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" for the last 12,000kms of ATV-riding, my rear brakes were on the left handlebar." Must be a north of the border thing. ATVs down here have the front brakes mounted on the left handle bar and the rears are a foot pedal.

The learning curve is just that, a time to learn. If you think the switch from an ATV to TW is hard then try hopping on an older English bike and some of the older American ones with the shift lever on the right foot or even worse mounted along side of the gas tank requiring you to take your hand off the handle bars in order to shift.

The open road is by far the very worst place to learn to ride a MC but then I started on a mini bike until I wore it out and then to a Hodaka I wore out a few times before I ever went on the roads. My first road bike was a Kawasaki Big Horn dual sport and then I got real crazy with the go fast stuff of the times. I never did crash on the pavement but had 2 very close calls that would have killed me for sure and both at well over 100 MPH. I hit a bumble bee in a thin T shirt at over 100 and though I just got shot.

Do it in the dirt before you even try hitting the roads.

GaryL
 

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I'm 47 and this fall I bought a TW, trailered it home, and then slung a leg over a motorcycle for the first time in my life. It was like learning to drive for the first time, in a 5-speed, that always wanted to fall over.
I watched a big, burly, tattooed biker on YouTube saying he didn't care how tough you thought you were, the first time you pull a motorcycle into traffic, you're scared shitless. I did my safety course this spring, and I remember the first time I was the first vehicle in line at a big intersection.....I felt like I had stripped my clothes off, walked out into the middle of the street and was standing there naked...a squishy bag of meat surrounded by a sea of cars. Holy crap, what a feeling....

Anyway.....I'm certainly not seasoned but I'd say you felt the same thing that everybody does... And as the TW is really the only bike I've ridden, I'd have to assume that hopping on a different bike would be a whole other world. I've let 2 people take the TW for a spin and both of them have years of street and dirt experience....they both came back and said stuff like, the front end was heavy, and it didn't feel like it wanted to turn in.... But that chunky front tire apparently turns the front end into something completely different than other bikes.

AND...I rode my TW as much as I could last fall and early spring, and on the course in April I hopped on the TW in the course fleet and couldn't do a thing with it. Grabbed a Grom and it was like riding a bicycle.

I had lots of moments...like I said before...for the last 12,000kms of ATV-riding, my rear brakes were on the left handlebar. Imagine the first few time I needed to stop and instinctively grabbed a left handful of nothing. Lots of coming to a stop dragging my feet and not even touching the brakes because my brain couldn't balance, downshift, turn, throttle, brake, and think at the same time. Still find I come to a stop about 20% of the time, and want to drop my left foot but get twitchy and end up going the wrong way and having to jab the right foot at the last second and looking like a dork...
Yes, but a fool with a fishing pole on his motorcycle still commands respect!


Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
" for the last 12,000kms of ATV-riding, my rear brakes were on the left handlebar." Must be a north of the border thing. ATVs down here have the front brakes mounted on the left handle bar and the rears are a foot pedal.

The learning curve is just that, a time to learn. If you think the switch from an ATV to TW is hard then try hopping on an older English bike and some of the older American ones with the shift lever on the right foot or even worse mounted along side of the gas tank requiring you to take your hand off the handle bars in order to shift.

The open road is by far the very worst place to learn to ride a MC but then I started on a mini bike until I wore it out and then to a Hodaka I wore out a few times before I ever went on the roads. My first road bike was a Kawasaki Big Horn dual sport and then I got real crazy with the go fast stuff of the times. I never did crash on the pavement but had 2 very close calls that would have killed me for sure and both at well over 100 MPH. I hit a bumble bee in a thin T shirt at over 100 and though I just got shot.

Do it in the dirt before you even try hitting the roads.

GaryL
Thanks Gary, my thoughts exactly. Scoping out nearby fields for practice.


'13 TW200
AT
 

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I'd look into one of the MSF riding schools. We all know the basics, where the controls are, put your feet down when you come to a stop, etc.
You won't become a great rider after but the simple advice will get you thinking about what's important.
Safety. Namely, yours. And it's all your responsibility.

I learned or was reminded of many elements about riding on the street during the course.

But also I'd look for a big parking lot or flat, hard packed dirt area to just putt around and get used to stopping and starting. And how the TW feels and rides.
You will get used to it but you don't want to have to do it in a hurry.
 
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