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Jut a PSA from my own experience. Not new advice, but worth repeating through my own example.


I got my motorcycle endorsement over the weekend through an MSA course which gave me about 15 miles/8 hrs of parking lot practice on a Honda Star, which was my first experience on a motorcycle ever. Yesterday, I went into a local dealer to test ride a 300, and promptly dumped it over as I went to leave the parking lot after one lap. Now it's mine, but the damaged pride made me more willing to compromise on price.


Why'd I fall? Because a) I did not take enough time to familiarize myself with the foot brake orientation as compared to the Star's (very different), and b) the Ninja has a noticeably higher center of gravity, which I did not accustom myself to.


So, BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE PARKING LOT the first time you are riding a sport bike, take the time to practice stopping and starting so you have a good feel for that particular bike, especially if it is significantly different from what you leaned on. Parking lot practice is all I'll be doing now for a good while to be sure I don't dump in a more dangerous place.
 

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Just so you know, dealers who allow test drives do so because their bikes are insured for test drives. I know a guy who totalled a brand new supersport on a test drive. After discussing the event with the dealer he found out that the bike will be fully paid for by their insurance. So he walked away feeling less guilt from the situation.

If a dealer doesn't allow test drives, it's usually because they aren't insured for it. In that case you have to wait for factory sponsored test drive events. I think this is common with Ducati.

I would ask this dealer for special pricing on replacement parts. If they are a decent dealer, they will give you a reduced price for a new fairing side or whatever.
 

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I have a friend who works for the local Kawasaki dealer. You would be amazed at how many people dump bikes on test rides. One guy totaled a brand new Triumph less than 2 blocks from the dealership. They are indeed insured for such events. That's also why most won't let anyone test ride certain bikes that are more likely to encourage people to get out of hand when it's not theirs.
 

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=( Sorry that happened to you.

In my personal opinion, someone with little to no experience should not be test riding bikes. The risk is much higher than the reward. What I mean by this is that even if I just got my license and have less than 100 miles of experience, I have absolutely nothing to compare this bike to (aside from the bike used for the MSF course).

Even the most aggressive supersport will feel fine because the test ride is only for 15 - 30 minutes. As a new rider, my test ride would mostly be focused on learning how to ride rather than comparing how this bike feels compared to XYZ.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just so you know, dealers who allow test drives do so because their bikes are insured for test drives. I know a guy who totalled a brand new supersport on a test drive. After discussing the event with the dealer he found out that the bike will be fully paid for by their insurance. So he walked away feeling less guilt from the situation.

If a dealer doesn't allow test drives, it's usually because they aren't insured for it. In that case you have to wait for factory sponsored test drive events. I think this is common with Ducati.

I would ask this dealer for special pricing on replacement parts. If they are a decent dealer, they will give you a reduced price for a new fairing side or whatever.


Maybe they were insured, but their test-ride agreement form I had to sign made me liable for damages, so I wasn't walking out of there without paying something. Good advice on asking for deals down the road. I'll see if I can't nick them on some frame sliders, since I doubt this was my last dump!
 

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It's good to familiarize yourself with a new bike. I was lucky enough to get a used 250 Ninja for my first bike straight out of MSF and it was love at first ride. Compared to the Rebel at class I loved the layout and higher center of gravity. Guy I bought it from let me test ride it which was great.

When you do quick stops in a parking lot you will be surprised how fast you stop. The Ninja vs the Rebel for me was wtf, I'm stopped already.
 

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Any Supersport or even standard bike with dual rotors will make you feel like the 250/300 stops like a rebel. Grab the front brakes on any 600cc+ bike and you'll be like "Holy crap, almost flipped the bike over".
 

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=( Sorry that happened to you.

because the test ride is only for 15 - 30 minutes.
A shout-out to my BMW dealership. This past June, I rented an F800GS in Iceland for two days (another shout-out to Biking Viking in Reykjavik), and I wanted to test its physics before putting my wife on the back in a foreign country on dirt and gravel highways. Even though I told them what it's for, they let me have it for 2 hours and didn't want a penny - neither for rental nor gasoline.
 

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Any Supersport or even standard bike with dual rotors will make you feel like the 250/300 stops like a rebel. Grab the front brakes on any 600cc+ bike and you'll be like "Holy crap, almost flipped the bike over".
Thats sounds cool and more breaking power than I'm probably ready for.
 

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Sorry to hear about the dump. As you mentioned, a safety course is not a place where you will become competent - IMO it should be viewed as a very short intro. I've been riding for many years and now have a son who is going to ride on the streets in the near future (he has been in motocross for about 6 years). Because of all that, I just started a new video series teaching the beginner how to ride a bike. I only have two videos up so far (started posting 2 days ago) but I go over many of the basics that are essential and usually forgotten. In the end, I should have about 12 videos over the next few weeks. I am a firm believer that the dirt is the best place to learn how to ride a bike. Hopefully, you can check out the videos and learn a few things.
I suggest watching the intro first - it has some interesting stats. Go to the playlist and click on How To Ride A Motorcycle
All the best and safe riding.
Here's the link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC11gfqxRy1fAb5nQzCQzjnA
NinjaFlyboy
 

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Sorry to hear about the dump. As you mentioned, a safety course is not a place where you will become competent - IMO it should be viewed as a very short intro. I've been riding for many years and now have a son who is going to ride on the streets in the near future (he has been in motocross for about 6 years). Because of all that, I just started a new video series teaching the beginner how to ride a bike. I only have two videos up so far (started posting 2 days ago) but I go over many of the basics that are essential and usually forgotten. In the end, I should have about 12 videos over the next few weeks. I am a firm believer that the dirt is the best place to learn how to ride a bike. Hopefully, you can check out the videos and learn a few things.
I suggest watching the intro first - it has some interesting stats. Go to the playlist and click on How To Ride A Motorcycle
All the best and safe riding.
Here's the link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC11gfqxRy1fAb5nQzCQzjnA


NinjaFlyboy
Just subscribed!:laugh2:BTW,...I go by "MyKawasakiNinja300" on youtube! Don't have any videos up yet,but trying to work on an introductory video to introduce myself and my channel! I WILL be taking the MSF Rider Course. Only bad thing about those,..you can't learn everything in one weekend! Those are more or less an introduction to motorcycles. I will need more time than just one weekend to get my shifting,clutching,braking,etc. down! Find me a nice sized parking lot to practice on and get myself familiar with my bike(which I don't have just yet).
 

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Jut a PSA from my own experience. Not new advice, but worth repeating through my own example.


I got my motorcycle endorsement over the weekend through an MSA course which gave me about 15 miles/8 hrs of parking lot practice on a Honda Star, which was my first experience on a motorcycle ever. Yesterday, I went into a local dealer to test ride a 300, and promptly dumped it over as I went to leave the parking lot after one lap. Now it's mine, but the damaged pride made me more willing to compromise on price.


Why'd I fall? Because a) I did not take enough time to familiarize myself with the foot brake orientation as compared to the Star's (very different), and b) the Ninja has a noticeably higher center of gravity, which I did not accustom myself to.

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So, BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE PARKING LOT the first time you are riding a sport bike, take the time to practice stopping and starting so you have a good feel for that particular bike, especially if it is significantly different from what you leaned on. Parking lot practice is all I'll be doing now for a good while to be sure I don't dump in a more dangerous place.
Why'd I fall? Because a) I did not take enough time to familiarize myself with the foot brake orientation as compared to the Star's (very different), and b) the Ninja has a noticeably higher center of gravity, which I did not accustom myself to.
 

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Maybe they were insured, but their test-ride agreement form I had to sign made me liable for damages, so I wasn't walking out of there without paying something. Good advice on asking for deals down the road. I'll see if I can't nick them on some frame sliders, since I doubt this was my last dump!
Interesting, we have a couple dealers by me that are exact opposite. One allows everyone to test drive everything. The other, never. When I asked about it they just said we are insured for test drives and they aren't. First time I've heard about a dealer having a liability form to sign.
 

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It could be worse. About years ago in San Antonio a 25-year old man bought a motorcycle from AlamoCyclePlex which is just off the interstate. He was killed leaving the parking lot. His mother was following him in a car. Apparently he had ridden before, so who knows what went wrong, but it could have been something simple like the bike not accelerating, shifting, or braking as he expected. I buy bikes from that same dealership and I always ride a new one in their parking lot to check out the clutch, brakes, throttle response, feel of the bike before I tackle I-10.

My local dealership was doing some renovation and driveway work a year ago and they had loose gravel all over their parking lot with all those motorcycles coming and going. You have to constantly look out for yourself even in familiar territory.
 

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It could be worse. About years ago in San Antonio a 25-year old man bought a motorcycle from AlamoCyclePlex which is just off the interstate. He was killed leaving the parking lot. His mother was following him in a car. Apparently he had ridden before, so who knows what went wrong, but it could have been something simple like the bike not accelerating, shifting, or braking as he expected. I buy bikes from that same dealership and I always ride a new one in their parking lot to check out the clutch, brakes, throttle response, feel of the bike before I tackle I-10.

My local dealership was doing some renovation and driveway work a year ago and they had loose gravel all over their parking lot with all those motorcycles coming and going. You have to constantly look out for yourself even in familiar territory.
From what I had heard about that San Antonio one from years ago was that he was hit by a vehicle merging into traffic. He either stalled the bike or got stuck in neutral while doing an aggressive merger he thought he should have been able to make being on a hot bike. Then again, it's hard to know really because I-10 in nearly every state has crap like this happening almost every day. People can't seem to figure out the timing to turn onto and merge into 65 mph traffic. What makes it worse is that there aren't on-ramps and off-ramps for every entrance/exist either. Some of them are just small intersection type and you basically have to do a 90 degree turn off a stop sign and gun it for all you're worth. Very fun on a motorcycle, kind of nerve wracking in a semi-truck.
 

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Yes, Alamo Cycle Plex is on Fredricksburg road, which itself is a very busy one-way exit ramp from I-10 with people speeding and jockying for lane changes to get over to the businesses or to the lane they need. As you leave the dealership, if you are catching I-10 E again, you have to get across 3 lanes of traffic to get to the entrance ramp in short order. Of course there are safer ways to catch I-10...by traveling farther down Fredricksburg road to the next entrance, which would be safer. I knew about this because I bought my daughter a Fiat from the neighboring dealership a short time before and nearly wrecked it trying to do what I just described. It's a very dangerous area.

The Ninja 300 I picked up had much different braking and clutch friction zone than the bike I had just traded in, so I even adjusted the clutch a little before I left the dealership. I think we've all sped off and quickly shifting into 2nd gear but ended up in N instead. Just that, or stalling the engine would be enough in some situations to get you hurt. We don't need to make it any more dangerous than it already is.
 

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From what I had heard about that San Antonio one from years ago was that he was hit by a vehicle merging into traffic. He either stalled the bike or got stuck in neutral while doing an aggressive merger he thought he should have been able to make being on a hot bike. Then again, it's hard to know really because I-10 in nearly every state has crap like this happening almost every day. People can't seem to figure out the timing to turn onto and merge into 65 mph traffic. What makes it worse is that there aren't on-ramps and off-ramps for every entrance/exist either. Some of them are just small intersection type and you basically have to do a 90 degree turn off a stop sign and gun it for all you're worth. Very fun on a motorcycle, kind of nerve wracking in a semi-truck.
In Pittsburgh I-376 is notorious for this - some on-ramps have stop signs, and others have a 100ft acceleration lane, which is about as useful as tits on a fish. The biggest problem on the bike is seeing well over your shoulder. If the short ramp is clear, you can usually gun it and get up to speed but typically cars will be stopped at the bottom of it. The possibility of getting rear-ended is very high, and you'll be punted straighted into lane one of the interstate.

I actually avoid them on my commute, as they can be very lairy, even in a car. A lot of accidents on and around those ramps.
 
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