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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I grew up in the woods in Alabama. When I was 10yo my dad put me on a Honda 200cc street bike, he pointed out the clutch, he pointed out the hand brake, and he said, "Go"... I took off and drove a big circle around the yard. When I got back to my dad, I released the gas, squeezed the clutch and the brake, and the bike slowly fell over on the grass because my feet didn't reach the ground.

Over the next few years I grew taller and when I was 16yo I started driving my dad's Honda 800cc bike around on the country roads.

I enjoyed riding that bike, but I never got proficient or really comfortable on it. I never drove it in town. I wasn't even strong enough to pick it up the one time that I dropped it in the driveway of a friend's house.

I'm 39yo now and I haven't ridden a motorcycle in 21 years.

Yesterday, I bought a brand new TW200 and brought it home, eager to drive it up and down the half mile driveway to my home in NC, where I live now.

I admit that I was a little nervous. Would I remember the shift pattern? Would I choke it down in 1st gear? Would I hit a pothole and end up laying in a ditch? Nope, nope, and nope!

It was, "just like riding a bike"... No problems. No accidents, and I had a huge grin the whole time. I didn't even get over 20mph. I didn't need to...

One at the time, I took my wife and both daughters for rides up and down the driveway.

Now, I'm sitting at work and all I can think about is hurrying home to ride my new bike up and down the gravel roads near my house.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Congrats and welcome to the club. And beware of the mod bug, if it hasn't already bitten..
I already picked up a Tusk rack, and I've ordered 2" Rox risers, IMS pegs, and IMS shifter.

I want the tall cycle concepts seat, but I'm hesitant to order because of the long delay from order to shipment. Also, I'm not excited about stapling the cover and foam onto the seat. I wish I could just find one, already done, for sale locally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Congrats! Beautiful. You'll love it. I love mine. Just trying to put miles on it for break in.
I'm having a hard time putting miles on mine... After buying the bike and helmet I learned that I need a motorcycle specific license for NC. I made an appointment at the DMV, but they are booked out all the way through November. So, legally, I have to wait 6 weeks to take the motorcycle driving exam before I can drive it on the country roads around my home. There is a 2 mile long gravel road that my neighbors live on. I'm pretty sure they are tired of watching me and my young daughters running up and down their 2 mile long driveway over and over again.

I've had it a week and I've only got 30 miles on it. 15 trips down that same gravel road, at 20mph, is getting old quick. But, my kids love riding on the back with me, and that is a huge plus. I have been thanking God for giving us such a fun way to spend time together. Just me and my girls. One of the neighbors, on that gravel road, has a horse so we take carrots with us on each ride...

Making memories!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Perhaps ride illegally but conservatively as far as traffic laws go and I doubt anyone would stop and question you prior to the November motorcycle endorsement appointment.
Thirty miles might be low enough that there is still enough cross hatching on the cylinder walls to properly hone the rings for a good fit and maximum compression. This usually takes a variety of engine speeds including high rpms despite what Yamaha's legal department advises. You don't want to milk-toast treat the bike initially or risk never achieving the optimum potential performance the 2022 can deliver.
I'm really glad you told me this... So, you're saying, if you were me, you'd go out on the main road and go a few miles at 55mph... For break in purposes.

Any specific distance I should go, on the road, during this early break in period? Or, I should go 55mph for a couple of miles each day along with my 20mph putt putt down the neighbor's gravel road?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
If those southeastern States are handling this Covid thing like sunny southern Oregon is, you should oughta just get the exam appointment and ride the bike. I have been riding my little Honda Helix with no plate at all since Ole Blue the hound was a pup.

I have been told that nobody cares right now. We'll see bit do far it has proved true. My VIN inspection at the DMV just got moved up to December.

PS... My 30 year old Son has been waiting almost a year for a spot in the motorcycle endorsement class.

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I'm about to leave work early and go for my first road ride. Wish me luck. I'll report back this evening. I probably won't go far, 20 or 30 miles on the country roads near my house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I'm about to leave work early and go for my first road ride. Wish me luck. I'll report back this evening. I probably won't go far, 20 or 30 miles on the country roads near my house.
I did it! I drove a motorcycle, on a paved road, for the first time in over 20 years.

The first mile was unnerving, going from 0 to 55mph because of all the traffic on that main road... I couldn't believe the amount of wind resistance that was hitting me head on. Then, I met a large gravel dump truck coming in the opposite direction and I felt the wind from the truck move my bike an inch or two... But the nervousness quickly faded...

After the first 5 minutes I literally didn't feel the wind anymore. My mind and body quickly got used to it and it faded from my consciousness.

I drove 35 miles in about 40 minutes, varying my speed, rpms, and gears. I consciously made an effort to vary my speed fluctuating between 40 and 65mph. I tried to remember to do some of the break in tasks listed in earlier comments.

I really enjoyed it! Best of all, during those 40 minutes, I didn't think about work a single time. I really needed that time to focus on something enjoyable. I could see bike rides becoming my new "me time".

The only bad thing that happened, I was headed home, only about two miles from home when the engine gave a sputter and died. I was going down hill, running 60mph, with cars behind me and I ran out of gas.

Luckily, there was room to pull over on the shoulder. I switched it to reserve and it cranked right back up. No problem. I made it exactly 64 miles, on the first tank of gas, before I had to dip into reserve. Does that sound about right? Or did the Yamaha dealer skimp on the "free tank" when I picked it up?

There's your update. I illegally drove on the road and survived! I can't wait to do it again, hopefully tomorrow afternoon.

THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SUPPORT AND WISE INSTRUCTION ON BREAK IN!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I forgot to add... The mirrors are absolutely worthless. When I look into them, all I see is my biceps and elbows. I even pulled over and adjusted them. No matter what position I put them in, my arms or shoulders blocked my view. I need to buy new mirrors...

I had to turn my head around and do a quick peek behind me whenever I wondered if there was a car behind me or not...

I saw two other guys on motorcycles. They both waved at me. I wanted to wave back but was afraid to take my left hand off the grip. I hope they don't think I was just being rude...
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Alabamacoastie:

More nuggets from the rusty old memory banks:
Don't ride in the center of the traffic lane...street or hiway. That's where trash, shrapnel & oil drips from 4-wheelers accumulates. You are more likely to get a flat there. There is also diminished traction there. Ride in the clean areas where car tires roll. When wet, that center area is slicker than snot on a door knob!

NEVER allow someone to "tailgate" you. Flash your brake-light (without actually braking) to get their attention.
Or change lanes. Or turn off. Or speed up. Whatever it takes.
I've known a few riders through the years who carry a handful of ball bearings or small rocks in their jacket pockets to toss over their shoulder for tailgaters! I do not recommend this...
I also stopped "flipping them the bird" a long time ago...always avoid pissing off anyone with more wheels than you.

"Cover" both your brakes all/most of time time. It will significantly reduce your braking reaction time.

No alcohol, weed or strong meds...they will make you brave, clumsy & stupid. And in the hospital. Or dead.

Watch for furry creatures in or near the road. They do stupid shit. I've seen panicky deer quickly change direction several times before I could get around them.

Learn to trust your tires.

Look for danger all the time/everywhere. Don't trust anybody with any vehicle with more wheels than 1 anywhere near you...assume they can, and possibly will try to kill you. Or maybe just by accident. They are big, you are little.

ATGATT! "All the gear, all the time!"

Try to find a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) "Learn to Ride" class. Quick, easy, 1-day, cheap & fun...and it can save your life!

Don't let yourself get paranoid about all this...just defensive, "woke" and aware!

A trusted old axiom from my long past free-fall skydiving training days was never more true:
"Relax to the point of control."

And have LOTS of fun!
Thank you! I need all the nuggets I can get. I'm definitely going to look for a basic rider safety/ training course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I just got home from ride #2! I don't know exactly how many miles I drove today, but it was close to sixty. I do know that I drove around for a solid hour.

I've been living here for 5 years, and I just drove down roads I didn't even know existed. I didn't care where I ended up. I just drove. I saw some beautiful barns, cows, horses, pastures, crops, churches, schools and fire stations.

I just drove... It was so peaceful. I ended up in the next county over, and had to turn around... And it was all two lane twisty country roads..

Today was better than yesterday in every way. I was cautious, but I wasn't anxious. Each time I took off in 1st gear, it was smoother than yesterday. My stops were smoother. My turns were more controlled. The clutch lever even felt smoother today when releasing. I could feel the sweet spot right in the middle that allowed me to give a little power or take a little back in very slow turns in 1st gear.

I just felt more, "one with the bike" today, you know? I could feel the bike lean with my hands and with my body. Leaning into curves felt more natural, like I didn't even think about it, it just happened.

This whole experience is so awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I just posted this on another forum that I've been a member of for several years... It's not a motorcycle forum, but it has a motorcycle section... You'll see that, I am in the dog house with my wife... All of today's fun has now been replaced with marital tension...

"My wife is giving me a hard time about my new motorcycle... She wasn't thrilled when I bought it, but she got over it when I took her for a ride on the gravel dirt road by our house.

It's a street legal dirt bike. It's registered. The new tag came in the mail today, but the damned DMV is appointment only and the first available appointment for a motorcycle written test is Dec 5th...

Well, y'all know a motorcycle engine needs to be broken in, and being confined to a 20mph gravel drive way is not going to get the job done. This bike needs to be reved and ridden!

So yesterday, I put on a helmet and I illegally rode my bike with no tag, and no motorcycle license. I stayed on country roads near my house, outside the city limits, and I HAD A BLAST!

Today, I put another 60 miles on it driving down country roads that I didn't even know existed. It was amazing.... Peace. Fun. Adrenaline. Relaxation. I felt it all. And, I didn't think about work a single time...

My wife doesn't know I've been out enjoying my bike on the road...

This evening, I went online and looked for local Motorcycle Safety Classes that I could sign up for at the community college. The kind where you take the three day class, learn a lot, and you get a certificate to wave the DMV motorcycle driving test...

I was just about to sign up for one of these safety classes in November, but I made the mistake of telling my wife first.

She said, "I don't want you to take that class because then you'll want to drive that thing on the road and there are log trucks. You are going to get killed." "And, this is going to become a thing and you're gonna want a bigger bike and then a bigger bike and I don't want you driving on the road. You have children!"

I said, "I bought a motorcycle. I'm not going to stare at it. I'm going to drive it. And this safety class will make me a better safer rider."

She just walked out of the room. Now she's giving me the cold shoulder."
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
See if there is a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider Safety course near you. The most common places for them to hold their courses are at community colleges, but it varies. In many states, completing the course will give you the license when you take the certificate into the DMV. I very highly recommend it. You'll learn little things to watch for on the road and it is well worth the money as it could end up saving your life. I've lost count of how many people I've had to react to that did not see me when pulling out or coming up on me at an intersection. Always be mindful of any vehicle's blind spot. People are always looking for something big in their mirrors and even when they turn their head quick when changing lanes. That is a beautiful T-Dub! Be safe!
I checked online yesterday afternoon. I'm going to sign up for a 3 day class in November. After completing the class I'll get a certificate to take to the DMV and it waives the motorcycle driving portion of the test... But I'll still have to take the written test. No biggie. I could easily pass both. But, I agree with you. I will learn a lot from the class and I'm looking forward to taking it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Today was a good TW day! I installed IMS pegs, IMS gear shifter, and Rox 2" Risers... I love the pegs. They are so much better than the tiny factory pegs. I can't tell any difference from the new shifter, but it's longer and beefier.

I didn't think the risers would make a difference, but they do! And the difference is huge! It felt like a different bike having my hands a little higher and the mirrors are in a slightly better position.

I didn't ride on the road today. I just took my daughters for a ride on the dirt road after dinner.

Today was a good day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I am in NC as well and made an appointment about an hour and a half from me but only a few days out. Keep checking because cancellations happen all the time. Are you doing just the permit test or are you signed up for the road skills test as well? I decided to just get my permit through the DMV and am taking an MSF course later this month. Can take the road skills test at the end of that course and it counts for the full license endorsement.

Congrats on the TW and good luck getting in soon!
Good points!

I'm scheduled to take the written test on Dec 5th. I'm planning to take the safety class in November. Then, I can walk in on the 5th, with the certificate, take the written test, and walk out with the full motorcycle license.

Does NC force us to take a boaters exam as well? If so, I'll plan to take that test on the 5th, too. Never know when I might get bit by the boat bug next...
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I just got home from another long road ride. I drove about 35 miles, pulled into a little family owned country gas station, walked inside, and I said, "I'd like 1 gallon of gas, please!"

Haha! I never thought I'd say that in my whole life...

I put 1 gallon into the tank, and I drove back home.

Good times...
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Today was a great day! I just got home from the first day of my NC Motorcycle Safety Class at the local community college.

Tomorrow, when I pass the written test and skills test I'll get a certificate to take to the DMV to claim my NC Motorcycle License.

I've really enjoyed my new TW and I've put 400 miles on it over the last month (illegally). But, today's class was still a big confidence builder. They told us several things, and we practiced them, that I didn't know before.

Today was a good day! It was definitely worth the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
It's been a while since I wrote on this thread.

I just wanted to let everyone know that my last year on a TW200 has been fantastic. It's only made me want more.

Today, I bought an almost new 2021 Tenere 700 with only 85 miles on it.

I just went for my first ride and felt completely amazed. It's like a TW on steroids!

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Sky Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Nice! How’s the seat height compared to the TW?

Check out Swanky Cat on YouTube. He’s got a TW and a T7. He’s got some nice riding and modification videos.
I have the tall Seat Concepts seat on my TW.

I'm 6 feet tall with 32 inch inseam. When I sit on my TW, I'm flat footed with both feet. When I sit on my T7, I can only reach the ground with the balls of both feet, so the T7 does feel a bit taller. I really notice it if I need to walk the bike backwards a few feet.

I might put a shorter seat on the T7 so I can get my heels closer to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I rode my T7 to work today. 35 miles each way... About 20 miles at 60mph highway and 15 miles at 70mph expressway... It was a fun ride!

I'm sitting in my cubicle right now, excitedly waiting for the ride home!
 
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