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If you can afford a 300, then I say get it. I had very little riding experience, but I found the 300 to be very easy to ride. It takes some people longer than others to pick up a new skill, and maybe you were a little nervous during your safety course. Don't get discouraged. Just take it slow and find an empty parking lot to familiarize yourself with your bike. I suggest you complete the MSF course, but you shouldn't consider the 300 beyond your limits if you take it slow.
 

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I've just put my first 100 miles on my Ninja 300 and it's my first motorcycle. Granted, I rode a dirt bike as a kid, but it's been 15 years, so take that as you will. I'm still gaining confidence and I've had a few turns run a little wider than I would like, but it's coming along and I'm getting more comfortable leaning it over. I would say a 300 is a pretty ideal starter bike.
 

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Hey Uniremote. Before last Thursday I had never ridden a motorcycle. My only relevant experience was bicycling and car driving experience (automatic only).

Then I took the MSF and failed -- then I retook the test two days later and passed, got my motorcycle endorsement from the DMV, then bought a Ninja 300.

Here are my 2 cents:
  1. Find a better motorcycle school. If the instructors were not giving you any useful feedback, they are crap teachers. In my program (MTII of Florida), the coaches gave everyone tons of feedback on every aspect of each exercise and answered lots of questions. If your teachers did not give you feedback, they were not teaching. If I were you I might even ask for my money back, or a substantial discount on a follow-up session with different teachers.
  2. Don't ride on the roads illegally. That just doesn't make any sense as a path of action. If you run into trouble it will be big trouble.
  3. Once you do pass, a Ninja 300 would probably be a great choice. I am not an expert on bikes by any means but I love my new Ninja 300 ABS. It is awesome looking, handles beautifully compared to the practice 250s (especially downshifting and braking), and is capable of highway driving once you get up to that level of skill.
 

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I agree with Bluesdance. If the school was rubbish, then try and find another school... That would be the best thing to do :) Think on what you need to improve and imagine yourself doing it right, that'll help on the day.

As for why you're running wide it could be for a number of reasons... Just tell yourself the bike won't slide or fall. Tell yourself that you are in control as you go round the corner. Its weird but it does help with confidence XP

P.s the 300 is actually very easy to handle low speed turns etc so its very good for a first bike :)
 

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Don't buy new...get a (reliable) "beater"..(preferably a dualsport)..and get atleast 3000-5000 kms experience before thinking of buying new...and make sure this is valuable experience, and not just straight line highway commuting...and hopefully do something dumb while at slow speed/pushing the bike just to get that out of the way too lol...then, the ninja 300 is a great slight jump up that does alot well
 

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I think practice yourself on the parking lot it is NOT good idea. You ( and me too ) dont't have any standart (?) how to proper ride, how to keep your body, hands, legs, shifting,... on your bike. This way you (can) get bed habit which are bed for your ride. That's what I wanna say is you have to get someone experienced rider who teach you everything or the most important and basic things from A-Z. Do not teach riding yourself ! BTW "... keep you head up and look at where you want to go.. "it's a one of most important and proper advise IMO.
 

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I think I realize what is freaking you out. You're worried too much about looking where you want to go and you don't know how to turn yet. There is a disconnect. Get a very cheap used bike like an old Ninja 250 with frame sliders already on it. You can also get a new 300 and add frame-sliders, but just know that dropping a new bike is a little more painful. Then again, I think having the 300 will be nicer, easier to ride, better as your skills grow and will be less hassle in some ways. So, I am for both methods...used 250 or 300 with sliders.

Go to a deserted parking lot and practice, but just ride normally. Practice your turning first, and look where you are going. Practice emergency braking and swerving too when you feel comfortable. First though, just get your turning down. Once you know the bike will do what you want, remember that the bike will go where you look, but it's ok to look where you're going till you trust the bike and how it will respond to you. It's not like your first action on a bike is to rail into a corner or even go very fast. Take it slowly and get acclimated at your own pace.

The reason behind looking where you want to go is to avoid target fixation and because it works, but right now you're fixated because you're looking where you want to go but you don't know how to turn yet. So, learn how to turn and looking where you want go go will make sense.

Then, go ace your MSF after some practice.
 
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Here are my 2 cents:
  1. Find a better motorcycle school. If the instructors were not giving you any useful feedback, they are crap teachers. In my program (MTII of Florida), the coaches gave everyone tons of feedback on every aspect of each exercise and answered lots of questions. If your teachers did not give you feedback, they were not teaching. If I were you I might even ask for my money back, or a substantial discount on a follow-up session with different teachers.
  2. Don't ride on the roads illegally. That just doesn't make any sense as a path of action. If you run into trouble it will be big trouble.
  3. Once you do pass, a Ninja 300 would probably be a great choice. I am not an expert on bikes by any means but I love my new Ninja 300 ABS. It is awesome looking, handles beautifully compared to the practice 250s (especially downshifting and braking), and is capable of highway driving once you get up to that level of skill.
**THIS - find a better MSF school/instructor. I would have refused to pay if the instructor didn't give you proper instruction. I put my son and his wife through private instruction when they wanted to start riding. I think I paid about $500 for each of them, but the instructor was very good and would spend as much time as needed. I think he 'allocated' 36 hours of training to each of them to get them from 'this is what a motorcycle looks like' to passing the road test.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Thank you very much for your advice Spacepod. (Btw...i have watched a lot of your youtube videos). I think i will get a bike to learn on my own with the help of my brother. I did went to MSF classes (even thou i didn't finish). I know all the basics and what i am suppose to do. I just couldn't trust the bike/myself to do it. I think giving time on my own, i will be able to do it. Once i am confidence enough, i will re-take my MSF class at a different school.

The only reason i wanted a new/newer bike to learn on is ABS. I know i am a noob, any safety feature is welcome by me. If i drop the 300 or 250, i wont cry over it.


I think I realize what is freaking you out. You're worried too much about looking where you want to go and you don't know how to turn yet. There is a disconnect. Get a very cheap used bike like an old Ninja 250 with frame sliders already on it. Go to a deserted parking lot and practice, but just ride normally. Practice your turning first, and look where you are going. Practice emergency braking and swerving too when you feel comfortable. First though, just get your turning down. Once you know the bike will do what you want, remember that the bike will go where you look, but it's ok to look where you're going till you trust the bike and how it will respond to you. It's not like your first action on a bike is to rail into a corner or even go very fast. Take it slowly and get acclimated at your own pace.

The reason behind looking where you want to go is to avoid target fixation and because it works, but right now you're fixated because you're looking where you want to go but you don't know how to turn yet. So, learn how to turn and looking where you want go go will make sense.

Then, go ace your MSF after some practice.
 

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some great advise here so far.if you get a 300 dont forget that kwaka also have genuine frame sliders for it to help minimize damage if you drop it.

im a huge advocate of new riders learning on a small sized cc bike first before making up their mind on what to do be it upgrade or what ever.gives you time to gain confidence and skills along the way.

have you seen a baby/toddler and the progress it goes thru before it can even get to the ability to even stand up???? there is a *LOT* involved. the same principal should be applied to riding as well.ever heard of the saying "you need to earn to crawl before you can walk?". a baby learns to roll over first before it crawls, & even then it has to learn to hold itself up with its arms. lots and lots of learning, same as a new rider.


no harm in waning to have a bike with ABS its a great safety feature, but just like the slipper clutch it is not infallible and you should not rely on it. having said that ABS on motorcycles has saved my ass in the past and i would have had a nasty accident with out it.

in my signature below is a a thread on new rider tips. have a read thru it, theres lots o books/dvds/.pdf files to grab and read/watch and learn from.

a great place to practice is an empty car park at a shopping center or similar, or even a new housing estate with new roads and no or very few houses built, usually pretty quiet there and you can practice with minimizing the risk of getting run over
 

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Another thing:

If you are slowing down during your turns, you are going to go wide. Maintain speed or accelerate only. You should be prepping for each turn by slowing down to an appropriate speed BEFORE you enter the turn.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Find another school and retake the class.

I was like you in the class. I was the only rider without experience. My fellow classmates had 20 - 30 years experience each. They showed up to the class on bikes. Talk about feeling intimidated. I thought for sure I failed after running over a couple of cones. 10 years later and 3 bikes later I still remember the instructor giving me encouragement.

Take the class again from a different school first.
 

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Thank you very much for your advice Spacepod. (Btw...i have watched a lot of your youtube videos). I think i will get a bike to learn on my own with the help of my brother. I did went to MSF classes (even thou i didn't finish). I know all the basics and what i am suppose to do. I just couldn't trust the bike/myself to do it. I think giving time on my own, i will be able to do it. Once i am confidence enough, i will re-take my MSF class at a different school.

The only reason i wanted a new/newer bike to learn on is ABS. I know i am a noob, any safety feature is welcome by me. If i drop the 300 or 250, i wont cry over it.
Sure thing. Glad you found the vids helpful. You can also just get a new 300, just be sure you have frame-sliders on before you start practicing. Have the dealer install them if installing them yourself seems too daunting, or if you don't want to wait.

Good advice in this thread.
 

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I second all the advice on letting a street legal dirt bike be your first bike. Not much breaks on them when you drop them. Sport bike plastic can get really expensive to replace, in fact, one reason sport bike insurance is so high is because of the cost of replacing all that plastic in a laydown that would have resulted in minor repairs on a dirt bike.
Also, get brush guards on the handlebars, not so much to keep brush from bruising your hands while riding off road, but to keep clutch and brake levers from snapping off when you let the bike fall in a parking lot.
 

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I'm going to send you in a slightly different direction, and I mean no offense and yes I'm serious, but have you ever ridden a bicycle? All the basic principles are the same, your just not going as fast. I've been riding bicycles all my life (I train on a track bike 4-5 days a week and get around my neighborhood on a beach cruiser). When I took my MSF test it was a breeze. The track bike is the closest to a sport bike (it's like a Fixie except it's not a fixed gear and has a hand brakes like a motorcycle). Doing this will teach you all the basic skills of riding a "bike" and perhaps make you more comfortable on 2 wheels. (you can pick one up for a couple of hundred dollars)

Also, when you make a mistake at 10 to 25 mph (on a bicycle) it's much less painful and expensive than on a motorcycle.
 

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Another thing:

If you are slowing down during your turns, you are going to go wide. Maintain speed or accelerate only. You should be prepping for each turn by slowing down to an appropriate speed BEFORE you enter the turn.

Just my 2 cents.
Not entirely true. When you slow down, the bike doesn't lean as much because its velocity is lower and doesn't need to lean as much. Most people let off pressure when they feel the bike stand up and end up widening their turn. If you maintain turning pressure while braking, the bike just stands up but your turn is maintained. I've had to hit my brakes a lot when taking a turns because some people like to do some heavy braking halfway through it for some reason or other. It's not impossible but it definitely does take a lot of working against what you natural do and react to.

Obviously, you should be doing all of your slowing down prior to the turn. But if you are at the point where it's run off the road or brake a bit, it's better to be able to brake a bit and slow down mid-turn than go off the road.
 

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Another thing:

If you are slowing down during your turns, you are going to go wide. Maintain speed or accelerate only. You should be prepping for each turn by slowing down to an appropriate speed BEFORE you enter the turn.

Just my 2 cents.
I used to do "8" at the first gear: no clutch, no break, no throttle touch .
I works fine so far. But again: practice,practice and practice.
 

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Like you, I discovered that 99% of the students in my MSF class either had prior riding experience, a learner's permit or admitted that they were riding illegally without a motorcycle endorsement.

I bailed from the class on the third and final day. I just didn't go to class that day. I knew I wouldn't come close to being marginally proficient to pass the test with roughly ten hours of riding around a parking lot at a rather brisk pace.

So, I planned to retake the MSF course the very next month but thought about it and changed my mind. So, I ended up purchasing a 2014 Ninja 300 the next month then went to the DMV after it was delivered to my house and took the tests to get a learner's permit. (I already had my insurance setup and ready to go on the date of delivery.)

It took me some time to get comfortable and acquire the skills necessary to operate a manual car and I know it will be the same process with my Ninja.

Thankfully, my neighborhood has light traffic and forms a circuit of sorts. Also, a large parking lot next to the neighborhood park has been an invaluable training ground. I've incorporated what I learned from the MSF course into my riding prior to my premature exit.

I plan to keep riding around my neighborhood and local streets until I know I'm ready to retake the MSF course and obtain my endorsement. I only need to pass the skills portion since I've already passed the written DMV tests. The permit is good for a one year. Mine is valid until November 2014.

If you want a new bike then buy a new bike and get your permit to practice. That's what I did. I love my new bike (first new vehicle ever) and riding at my own pace.

Everybody was a noob at some point. So, I always keep an open mind regarding everyone's advice, criticisms and opinions but ultimately make the decision that's right for me. You are the only one who can truly assess your skill level when you are learning a new skill like operating a motorcycle.

Learning to ride a motorcycle is an enjoyable challenge to me and one I intend to conquer it regardless of how long it takes me to accomplish that goal.

By the way, the Ninja 300 did seem intimidating at first but it's becoming less and less after I complete a practice session. I'll be good to go when I make the decision to upgrade.

You better believe those gentlemen on Mulholland weren't born knee dragging. Good luck and don't give in or give up!
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Thanks for the tip Jester and everyone else. Your case sounds almost exactly like mine. I have my permit already. (cant take msf without one i think). I also want to say that msf class are 5 hrs classroom and 10 hrs riding. 5 hrs classroom is just that...5 hrs of reading, watching little videos etc. The 10hrs riding are just 10 hrs on the parking lot, not 10 hours of actual riding. The 1st day is 5 hrs on the parking lot. I would say total ride time is more like 1 hour only. Same on the 2nd day...1 freaking hour of actual riding.

The rest of the time you stand there watching the coach ride or talking about what you learned after every exercise. There is no going back even if you cant do the exercise properly. You get 10-15mins break after each hour or so also. I just don't see how i can learn to ride a motorcycle in only 2 hours of actual riding. The rest of my classmates has no issues because for the most part, they have hours and hours on dirt bike or riding illegally like you said.

I will get a motorcycle with ABS to learn on my own. $6000 for a 300R is not that big a deal to me. I am not rich or anything but i do have money saved up for this. 10 hours of actual riding time around the block or parking lot will be a great help for me i think. I will take the MSF again once i can do everything in the msf class on my OWN.




Like you, I discovered that 99% of the students in my MSF class either had prior riding experience, a learner's permit or admitted that they were riding illegally without a motorcycle endorsement.

I bailed from the class on the third and final day. I just didn't go to class that day. I knew I wouldn't come close to being marginally proficient to pass the test with roughly ten hours of riding around a parking lot at a rather brisk pace.

So, I planned to retake the MSF course the very next month but thought about it and changed my mind. So, I ended up purchasing a 2014 Ninja 300 the next month then went to the DMV after it was delivered to my house and took the tests to get a learner's permit. (I already had my insurance setup and ready to go on the date of delivery.)

It took me some time to get comfortable and acquire the skills necessary to operate a manual car and I know it will be the same process with my Ninja.

Thankfully, my neighborhood has light traffic and forms a circuit of sorts. Also, a large parking lot next to the neighborhood park has been an invaluable training ground. I've incorporated what I learned from the MSF course into my riding prior to my premature exit.

I plan to keep riding around my neighborhood and local streets until I know I'm ready to retake the MSF course and obtain my endorsement. I only need to pass the skills portion since I've already passed the written DMV tests. The permit is good for a one year. Mine is valid until November 2014.

If you want a new bike then buy a new bike and get your permit to practice. That's what I did. I love my new bike (first new vehicle ever) and riding at my own pace.

Everybody was a noob at some point. So, I always keep an open mind regarding everyone's advice, criticisms and opinions but ultimately make the decision that's right for me. You are the only one who can truly assess your skill level when you are learning a new skill like operating a motorcycle.

Learning to ride a motorcycle is an enjoyable challenge to me and one I intend to conquer regardless of how long it takes me to accomplish that goal.

By the way, the Ninja 300 did seem intimidating at first but it's becoming less and less after I complete a practice session. I'll be good to go when I make the decision to upgrade.

You better believe those gentlemen on Mulholland weren't born knee dragging. Good luck and don't give in or give up!
 
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