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The issues you have are all mental ones. They're also good to have as it's very natural to have this particular issue. You feel afraid of the speed because it's completely unnatural and not right for a human being to be going faster than 20 mph. The lizard part of the brain is screaming that something is incredibly wrong and the only thing that measures right with the brain at that speed is falling off a cliff. This is why some people who get into this very natural fear of speed start getting symptoms of vertigo. It's something you have to push past and get your mind used to working and adjusting to the speed. It takes time and takes a different amount of time for each person's brain to re-wire itself to adjust to the unnatural speed at which you're hurtling through space with. This is also why when you look further straight ahead towards the horizon it seems as though everything isn't going as fast anymore. Your brain at that point has enough time to process what's coming up ahead and can cement its relative position with yourself. When you look closer and closer to yourself as you move along, everything appears to be going MUCH faster. This is because the brain hasn't had enough time to fully comprehend and compute and then calculate relative positions between you and that area much closer to you. So it'll appear to fly past you much more quickly even though your speed hasn't changed. This isn't as much of an issue in a car because of the closed of nature of it. It feels more like an interactive TV to the brain so you don't get the sensations of hurtling through space at a very wrong speed. On the bike though, you have every sense reinforcing what your eyes see so it's much easier for the brain to figure out that what you're doing is very wrong. This is why motorcycles feel much faster than cars at the same speed. This is also why many people like convertibles. With the top down, the car feels like it's going much faster than it actually is relative to the top up.

One of the biggest issues with new riders is that they are looking very close and downwards along the path. This causes the rider to feel like they're going much faster than they actually are. Coupled with the fact that a brand new motorcyclist is still mentally adapting to the speed of a motorcycle anyways and you get a new rider that is now completely overwhelmed at the speeds at which traffic normally operates. OP, you're probably not looking very far forward along your path which is mentally overwhelming you and causing the fear. The faster you go, the further ahead you're supposed to be looking. Even at lower town speeds of 40 mph, I generally finding myself looking 10-15 seconds ahead with the center of focus of my vision and leave closer ares more to my peripheral vision and occasional glances down except when clearing intersections. So what you need to focus on more El-dino is looking further ahead while riding which will take the mental edge off on the speed at which you're going. This will also help relax your up quite a bit and will greatly help you on your wind issue. Riding in general is all about being relaxed, this goes doubly so for riding in the wind. What commonly happens is that a gust of wind will push on your shoulder and elbow which causes a slight input into the handlebars and causes the bike to drift. The bike by itself when it gets hit by a powerful gust of wind and not input happens at the handlebars will just lean against the wind. If your bike is steering from side blasts of wind, you should take that as a message that you need to take a deep breath and relax.

So the main take away from this is to keep your eyes up and stay relaxed and loose in the upper body. As long as the bike's in good mechanical repair, the bike will take care of keeping vertical and straight. All you gotta do is mind the throttle.
 

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Lots of good advice there. Speaking for myself, fear is healthy but I prefer to look at it having respect for the machine and your current experience level. If you have friends or anyone you ride with that have been out there longer. Don't worry about keeping up or doing what they do, ride at your own pace.


Neighborhoods are great places to go to get comfortable just be mindful that folks in cars arent focused. Try to think ahead of your path and always try to have 'way out' and if you dont have an obvious out, slow down so you can maintain that much more control. If you want to try the big road (highways) early morning, espcially on the weekend typically offer more freedom and peaceful riding. Someone mentioned late at night but doing this in the daytime first will help with the confidence.


Listen to your little voice, it'll keep you safe. Trust it. Just keep the bike maintained, check the tire pressures and make sure they are within range and more importantly enjoy yourself!.


ALWAYS WEAR YOUR GEAR!
 

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It's OK!

I'm a new rider too. I just took the MSF course and can't recommend it highly enough. I've had my license for two weeks, and already their guidance has been invaluable. For me, counter-steering was the most life-saving. On a curvy road at some speed, if you don't counter-steer, it's an uncomfortable curve, believe me.

But I recently rode my wife's bike to the dealer, where I bought a Ninja 300 for myself to learn to ride in a controlled manner. :) When I got to the dealer, I described my ride through evening traffic as "terrifying but exciting," so I can relate to your experience.

Far be it for me to give advice, but if you'll forgive me, I'll at least (briefly) relate my experience, in the hopes you find it in some way helpful. :)

First, as mentioned, take the MSF course. They know what they're doing, and you become comfortable with clutch and brake work. In traffic, you must be comfortable with the controls. It's OK to be new, and it's OK to fumble a bit. But you should be 100% comfortable with the controls such that you can spend more time looking and evaluating traffic conditions than worrying about how to shift to third, or start out from a light. The course does this for you. In my state, it's practically required for a license, but having taken it, I'd recommend it to anyone.

If you take the course and want more clutch and brake work, that's totally OK. Ride the neighborhood. And when you get comfortable there, ride over to the next neighborhood. Get a feel for the controls so there is a comfort level there.

Then, adventure out on a weekend, like Saturday morning. Far less traffic, and people aren't screaming to get to work or get home. Traffic is more relaxed, so you won't feel so rushed or compelled to make no mistakes with the controls. Keep eyes forward, head up, and looking for trouble, especially from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock. You know how to shift up and down, and you know how to brake, so it's easier to prepare for what traffic throws at you.

Try that a few times and I think you'll be pretty squared away. It would be sad to stop riding because of fear of traffic, but if that's best for you, I "get it." Really. And it's OK. The MSF instructors will tell you that it's not for everyone, and in fact we lost a few people on the riding days for that very reason.

But if it's more a comfort level with the machine itself, that's OK too, and something some butt-in-seat time will cure. The best part about that is, well, your butt is in the seat!

As for the Ninja 300, I'm thrilled. My wife has a Triumph Street Triple, basically a rocket on two wheels. Very cool bike and I've ridden it. But this Ninja has things to teach me and I'm ready to learn. I can sure tell you that once you get out there and feel comfortable, it's more fun than I can describe. :) Be safe out there!
 

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All great advice,and great ideas for practice when you're just starting out! The ideas for practice that have been shared here I will take to heart. I like the idea of using a large parking lot at a school or church on Saturday mornings,...you're away from traffic so you can concentrate on getting used to the braking,clutching,shifting,and turning. I'm looking forward to when I can get my bike and start using these practice tips to build confidence,..and oh yes,..I'm going to take the MSF Course! Don't give up! When you feel confident you can get out of the parking lot routine,...as others have said,...work your way up from neighborhood streets,then main streets,then country roads,and finally highways! Take the MSF course,too! Take it slow and go at YOUR pace,..don't let anyone rush you. Ride within your abilities,and work up your confidence level.
 

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What I did when I first started out was I rode up and down my block for hours (Neighbors lucky I only had a stock exhaust lol). I felt like a kid learning how to ride a bicycle again just taking it around the block lol. I would only ride away from my neighborhood very early morning on the weekends when there's little to no traffic. Once I got some confidence in riding and started riding later in the day where there was more traffic. Going to an open lot is also a very good idea for you just to whip the bike around so you can get use the flickablity of the bike (The MSF course is basically that. You riding in an open lot driving in and out of cones). My last bit of advice will have to be just stay on your bike as long as you can. The more hours you put in riding the more comfortable you'll feel riding it.
 

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Just be careful with parking lots. Parking lots can be some of the most dangerous places for a biker if you aren't careful. You have to remember that intersections are the most dangerous places for motorcyclists and a parking is a potential concentration of hundreds of intersections. Each parking spot is an intersection and people seem to pay less attention in a parking lot than they do at the major intersections. Also, just because it seems empty now, doesn't mean it may not quickly fill up in very short order. Churches and schools often hold secondary programs on Saturdays and other off days and often extended community centers. A lot of churches near me do a small service or hold other events on Saturdays with many schools in my area host youth sports on saturdays on their fields for example.
 

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I'm a new rider passed the msf course June 7th and speed is somewhat an issue I can't seem to get passed 50 mph not sure if I'm opening throttle all the way but all in all, I'm trying to get the head turns and looking ahead thing down. As well as feathering clutch at slow speeds.
 
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