My thoughts on being a noob...

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I keep tossing around in my head....this really isn't that's seat time, it takes practice.

When you learned how to ride a bicycle what happened? "well nothing, I had training wheels" - do they make training wheels for motorycles? And No I don't care if people laugh at me......Im a grandma for crying out loud, people probably EXPECT me to have training wheels, right?

Anyway, moving on - the weather hasn't cooperated to allow me much seat time so I have cleaned it, and shined it up, and sat on it, started it, talked to it, and convinced it that I will not drop it. People say it's not "if", it's "when" - I don't want to adopt that philosophy - is it optional? Why do I have to experience a drop or a low side or anything else that involves me or the beloved vstar to be on the ground in a manner in which we were not intended? SIGH - ok, I'll keep tossing that one around a while.

I just want to learn to ride and feel comfortable doing it - is that so much to ask? husband, who started practing about 3 weeks ahead of me, who took the MSR class same time as me, has none of these fears - at least none he speaks out loud. He rides a bigger, heavier bike than me (not much but enough) and he rides pretty well. Curves and turns still freak me out because the tape playing in my head is not "If" but "when" - ugh....I dont' like those words anymore. I am reading all I can, taking advice from anyone who offers it up and then I read about a motorcycle accident, or I see someone tailgating a motorcycle and all I can think of is what is that was me? What would I do?

Im sure all of this is common for the new rider but I just feel inadequate. Im not about "how I look on the bike" or "how cool is my bike" =I bought my bike because it fit me, it felt balanced and like it was perfect for me. Now to just OVERCOME - and make no mistake, I will overcome......I guess it just takes really sucks being new.

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  1. Bugguts's Avatar
    It IS common! I "gave up" riding completely the first time around because I couldn't get over the fear. Let go of the "not 'if' but 'when'" mentality and say this internally instead..."I will keep this motorcycle under my control. I will do what it takes, and I will control this bike." It works, and it gives you confidence instead of undermining your confidence.

    Baby time...practice. Rinse and repeat.
  2. mz33's Avatar
    What Buggs said. Also, don't compare yourself to anyone else, especially not at the beginning. This is what it means to ride your own ride. Your pace. Your responsibility. Many people start off slowly, acquire the skills gradually, and do just fine, TYVM.

    Maybe, instead of the head talk about "when vs. if", you just work on feeling the bike: the controls, the weight, the heaviness of the front end. The V Star has a heavy front end, so maybe find yourself a pretty big parking lot. Having a little more space and a little more speed may make it easier to handle.

    Lastly, remember this: you are an adult. A competent adult. It is much more of a challenge for an adult to learn new psychomotor skills than a child precisely because they are used to feeling competent at most things, and avoiding the things they don't feel good at. Children have to learn everything, so they don't know any differently. They also don't spend a lot of time with "what ifs" (some do, and they tend to be more anxious kids, I've noticed.) They are in the moment they are in, learning what they are learning. Yes, this will be uncomfortable for a while. Live in that.

    If, after all of this, you still feel awkward with the V Star, (and you can afford it) consider buying a littler bike to practice with. A 250 cruiser, or a 500 Kawasaki Vulcan, if you can find one. You won't lose much in the resale. There was a point in my learning curve where I kind of wished we had a 250 instead of a 650. I persevered, though. But truth? You would probably feel more confident and learn faster on the little bike. Then your baby will inspire excitement, not fear.
  3. SoCal LabRat's Avatar
    You will make mistakes, but you bought a good starter bike that is more forgiving of those oopsie moments. Give yourself a break and make a conscious effort to relax. Being tense will make it physically difficult to maneuver the motorcycle.

    Many guys don't have the perfection complex we women seem to have. They can relax and ride and let what happens happen. We play "what if" sometimes to the point we paralyze ourselves. Recognize that tendency and take the good from it (being ready to respond to things), and let your passion for riding take you beyond that and keep you moving forward.

    Dropping the bike is NOT the same as crashing one. I have had two 0 mph drops, no damage to anything but my ego. In almost 10 years I have had zero crashes riding on the street and plan to keep it that way if I can. Your being a careful rider will likely put you on the same track, and that is a good thing.
  4. Trials's Avatar
    If it helps any :I admire your newness
  5. AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
    Getting back out this year after such a short period of time at the end of last year is like starting all over again. That fear thing is a BIG issue. I'm not quite over the fear/nervous/excited feeling every time I get on the bike to take it out in traffic (Off street practice doesn't cause this). I think it's the unknown. The "What will I encounter today that's going to challenge me?" effect. This is especially true when I'm taking the bike out of my comfort zone, the areas that I've practiced in and have ridden before. After take off it goes away and you're in the zone where you're thinking about "What's going on around me right now?", "What should I be doing to keep this beast upright?" and "What have I done wrong in this situation before and how do I correct it today?" not "What if?" or "I hope I don't !". I still find it hard to think of the bike as a normal mode of transportation, it's different, it's something that's in my normal every day experience at this point. It's been a long time, but I seem to remember something similar but not as pronounced happening when I first started driving a car.
  6. SaskRider's Avatar
    Is your fear coming from dropping a bike in general, or dropping your bike in particular? If it's the latter, then I'll echo what mz33 said at the end of her comment.

    My first bike was a CBR125. I bought it cheap and it was intended to be a disposable bike (i.e. as soon as I passed my road test, it was gone). Obviously I didn't ride it with the intention of crashing it (which I didn't), but since I had zero attachment to it, I didn't ride in fear of dropping it. If I had started with the Ninja 300, I know I would've been riding scared.

    Edit to clarify: My intention wasn't to say to start with a smaller bike necessarily (although they are cheaper). It was that in my case, I started on a bike I didn't care about, so when I got the bike I cared about, I had enough experience and confidence to not ride in fear of doing something silly to break it.
    Updated 04-10-2014 at 09:39 AM by SaskRider
  7. GoodTxGirl's Avatar
    You are all so great and your experiences are so valuable to me and learning of this world of motorcycles......I hope someday my newbieness will be of value to someone else....thanks for all your input - believe me when I say that I absorb it all

    AlwaysLearnin I know exactly what your talking about - i feel it every time I get on the seat but I am determined to keep her upright and be a safe and courteous rider.

    SaskRider - Im not sure if its general or might be both as I am pretty attached to my star.....
    We had the smaller bikes for our training and I didn't feel the fear so I really do get the validity of starting smaller but since I already bought this one, my goal is to persevere.
  8. Bugguts's Avatar
    Know that eventually that fear does leave you. The apprehension evaporates. The butterflies in your stomach disappear. Then you realize that you need to bring not fear...but sharpened awareness back. Most accidents happen in that period...because the fear/dilligence/apprehension is replaced with complacency. I know I've experienced that also.
  9. Trials's Avatar
    re: "do they make training wheels for motorycles? And No I don't care if people laugh at me."
    Yes they do, real nice ones and I won't laugh at you. unless you do something really funny.
  10. mz33's Avatar
    But, unfortunately, training wheels will prevent you from learning what it takes to ride two wheels. Unlike on a bicycle, they aren't above the pavement, waiting to help you balance should you need it. At least, I've never seen any. There is a Voyager add-on that turns the motorcycle into a trike, but I don't think that's what you want. At least, not yet.
  11. GoodTxGirl's Avatar
    no...maybe later on the trike......trials I am well known for doing unintentionally funny stuff.......just you wait?
  12. Trials's Avatar
    I was thinking Ghost wheels:
  13. GoodTxGirl's Avatar
    OMG TRIALS!!! I need those!!!!!
  14. Trials's Avatar
    You don't 'really' need them, I could teach you to ride dirt bike real quick,
    but under under the circumstances I can totally understand you fitting a set on the V-Star

    …Texas to Ontario would be a long way to go for motorcycle lessons