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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I finally did it!
Pulled the trigger and bought two brand new Rebel 500s, a black one for the wife and a silver for me. The wife loves hers (she's ridden before) and me... not so much.
Never been on a motorcycle before and, aside from a few trips up the driveway, this thing TERRIFIES me. These are supposed to be great beginner bikes and I'm wondering if I've made a mistake. Before you ask yes, I can ride a bicycle and drive a manual transmission car so the basics I would think are there but this thing just feels scary! There are no parking lots around my area to practice in (been kicked out of the only one close) and right now this whole thing seems like a bad idea.
I will be taking the MSF course in September and, in the interim, have signed up for the dirt-bike course at the same location in August.
My question is, does professional instruction help when you're actually so terrified you can't even bring yourself to turn the handlebars for fear of falling over?
How does one conquer this fear as a new rider? Yes, I know the easy answer is "if you're that scared you're a danger to yourself and others" and "sell it before you hurt someone else or yourself" but surely someone has overcome this issue?
I look forward to any advice you have to offer.
 

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Agreed with longbeachgary - MSF should give you the instruction and confidence you need, but at the end of the day, riding isn't necessarily for everyone - you may not like it in the end, but you shouldn't feel so terrified that you can't operate the machine. You'll get over that with instruction and experience. You may still, however, decide that you're not in to it.

My wife and I did the exact same thing as you and yours - just reversed colors.
 

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Well, I finally did it!
Pulled the trigger and bought two brand new Rebel 500s, a black one for the wife and a silver for me. The wife loves hers (she's ridden before) and me... not so much.
Never been on a motorcycle before and, aside from a few trips up the driveway, this thing TERRIFIES me. These are supposed to be great beginner bikes and I'm wondering if I've made a mistake. Before you ask yes, I can ride a bicycle and drive a manual transmission car so the basics I would think are there but this thing just feels scary! There are no parking lots around my area to practice in (been kicked out of the only one close) and right now this whole thing seems like a bad idea.
I will be taking the MSF course in September and, in the interim, have signed up for the dirt-bike course at the same location in August.
My question is, does professional instruction help when you're actually so terrified you can't even bring yourself to turn the handlebars for fear of falling over?
How does one conquer this fear as a new rider? Yes, I know the easy answer is "if you're that scared you're a danger to yourself and others" and "sell it before you hurt someone else or yourself" but surely someone has overcome this issue?
I look forward to any advice you have to offer.
If you take the Harley Riders Edge Course the first thing you are going to do is learn to duck walk the bike without the motor even running. After you master that you start the engine and still duck walk the bike for quite a while before you ever put the bike in gear. You should be able to do that in front of your home or in your driveway. Good Luck and go slow.....

Kenny G
 

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A lot of members on this forum (myself included) had little or no experience riding before taking the MSF course. The advice posted above is pretty solid - just wait for the MSF course where you can learn the basics and you'll be good to go.



-CG
 

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If you take the Harley Riders Edge Course the first thing you are going to do is learn to duck walk the bike without the motor even running. After you master that you start the engine and still duck walk the bike for quite a while before you ever put the bike in gear. You should be able to do that in front of your home or in your driveway. Good Luck and go slow.....

Kenny G
That.

We started out on the bike, engine off, walking the bike back and forth across the parking lot. Probably did that 3 or 4 times.

Then we started the bikes and learned the clutch... ease out just until it starts to pull forward a step or two, then squeeze it back in and walk it backwards a couple steps. Spent about 5 minutes or so doing this.

Then back and forth across again several times, feet still down, but feathering the clutch to pull us along.

Then trips back and forth getting just enough speed to actually ride in 1st gear.

Then we rode laps around the perimeter of the lot, in first gear still, to show how to turn the bike at low speeds (turn the direction you want to go). Then turned around and rode the other direction for several laps.

Then more laps, but in 2nd gear, fast enough that the turns now required countersteering to lean into the turn, and again back the other direction.

And that was pretty much the entire first hour on the bike.
 

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Take the MSF course before you buy

Absolutely take the MSF class. It’s well worth the time and money. I’d recommend people take the course prior to putting out money for motorcycles. Taking the class you will know before you pull the trigger with hard earned money whether or not riding is for you. The class is extremely informative. You will love it. :smile2:
 

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the only thing i would add (though it's too late now) is you should have waited to purchase the bike til after the course, so if the unlikely event happens that you still don't want to ride, you don't have to sell the bike at a (probable) loss at that point.
good luck with the classes.
 

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That.

We started out on the bike, engine off, walking the bike back and forth across the parking lot. Probably did that 3 or 4 times.

Then we started the bikes and learned the clutch... ease out just until it starts to pull forward a step or two, then squeeze it back in and walk it backwards a couple steps. Spent about 5 minutes or so doing this.

Then back and forth across again several times, feet still down, but feathering the clutch to pull us along.

Then trips back and forth getting just enough speed to actually ride in 1st gear.

Then we rode laps around the perimeter of the lot, in first gear still, to show how to turn the bike at low speeds (turn the direction you want to go). Then turned around and rode the other direction for several laps.

Then more laps, but in 2nd gear, fast enough that the turns now required countersteering to lean into the turn, and again back the other direction.

And that was pretty much the entire first hour on the bike.
I had to take the course when I moved to Texas and we spent a half day with what you just mentioned above. The Riders Edge Course is about 2 1/2 days long. I was really tired until it was over. The independent courses down here spend most of their time preaching Nazi BS about what happens if you are late or cannot make one of the days. The Harley course will tell you that if you are late or miss a day you don't forfeit your payment, you can make up the time at the next course which is offered almost every week. The Harley course is a bit more expensive, although they do have a lot of $49.00 Specials. Too me it was worth it not to have to listen to bunch of Nazis.

Kenny G
 

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When I took the safety course I already knew how to ride and even I learned some tips. At least half the class had never sat on a bike in their life and by the end of the second day, most were very comfortable in being there. If you have good instructors they will not pass you if you're not ready, believe me they will know! I'm not sure I totally agree with taking a dirt bike class to try and ready you for a street bike, they really are two different animals. I personally would wait for the right class but that's just me. Don't be discouraged just yet and don't push it before you're ready. I'd rather you park it for a couple months, take the professional course, then decide if this is a hobby you want to enjoy. The worst thing you can do is learn some bad habits and improper bike control and continue to scare yourself, never being able to enjoy it.
 

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sounds like you should have started with a scooter then go to a motorcycle

i started with a chinese scooter then took my road test with it , passed then upgraded to a honda pcx 150 scooter had that for a couple of years then decided

it was time to move up to a motorcycle and yes had to get used to it and learn to shift but got use to bike really fast and now loving my rebel 500
 

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sounds like you should have started with a scooter then go to a motorcycle

i started with a chinese scooter then took my road test with it , passed then upgraded to a honda pcx 150 scooter had that for a couple of years then decided

it was time to move up to a motorcycle and yes had to get used to it and learn to shift but got use to bike really fast and now loving my rebel 500
My first time on two wheels on open road was on a scooter. Greatest decision.
Helped build confidence riding with cars around me, all without having to worry about weight of the bike, shifting gears, or feathering a clutch.
Made transitioning over to a motorcycle a breeze.

For the OP after you take the MSF course, if you're still uncomfortable you might want to consider picking up a cheap scooter to get your feet wet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for all the replies and advice. It seems, since I did things a little backwards (buying the bike first), the best course of action is to take the course and re-evaluate my comfort level after that. The reason for the dirt-bike course is to gain familiarity with powered two-wheel balance in general. It is different I know but will hopefully give me enough confidence to carry on with the MSF course in September.
 

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Thanks everyone for all the replies and advice. It seems, since I did things a little backwards (buying the bike first), the best course of action is to take the course and re-evaluate my comfort level after that. The reason for the dirt-bike course is to gain familiarity with powered two-wheel balance in general. It is different I know but will hopefully give me enough confidence to carry on with the MSF course in September.
The MSF Basic Rider Course is designed for people who know nothing about motorcycles and only assumes you know how to balance a bicycle. I'd move your MSF course up and take that first, to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@Foobar... Can you elaborate on your reasoning behind that please? I'm curious because I called the lead instructor for the MSF course at my location and explained my issues and he suggested taking the dirt-bike course first. He said that when he noticed students having trouble with the street bike course he sent them to the dirt and saw vast improvements when they came back.
 

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@Foobar... Can you elaborate on your reasoning behind that please? I'm curious because I called the lead instructor for the MSF course at my location and explained my issues and he suggested taking the dirt-bike course first. He said that when he noticed students having trouble with the street bike course he sent them to the dirt and saw vast improvements when they came back.
The MSF BRC is designed to take a complete novice who has never ever ridden a motorcycle and give them the necessary instruction and experience to get confident at using a motorcycle in a safe manner on the street through basic riding skills and guidance on how to be aware of hazards, understand your options on how to mitigate risk, and get yourself out of sticky situations.

The Dirtbike course is designed to give you basic riding skills to use on trails with an emphasis on environmental awareness.

Your problem is lack of confidence in basic riding skills - you'll get that with both types of courses, but you have a street bike and I suspect you will be spending most of your time on the road. You'll get your solution through BRC and will get the tools necessary to enjoy your new bike. You don't need to start with the Dirtbike course and "graduate" to BRC. It's a waste of time, in my humble opinion. Just go straight to BRC.

Hope that helps to explain where I'm coming from. To put it another way, if I had a young child interested in motorcycles, I'd put them through the Dirtbike course. It'll teach them the fundamentals of riding, but it won't teach them what they need to ride safely among cars, pedestrians, and hazards on the street. But then again, they won't be on the street, so it's all good.
 

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The MSF course will help you a ton. And your fear is common and I is something you can work through. Although I never had the fear. My only fear it damaging my new bike, LOL. Or getting pegged by a car. In all honesty, it is good to have some fear and a certain respect for the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That explanation helps a lot, thanks. I'm really hoping to make this work but also realizing it may not be for me. I'm coming to the conclusion it's best to wait for professional instruction but it's REALLY hard to look at it in the garage:crying:
 

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Dunno about the dirtbike course...

Looks pretty simple from my POV, you need the basic course period. You can learn, make mistakes and drop their bikes and then you'll have the basic skills and hopefully gain enough confidence and not be afraid to enjoy your new Rebel and stay safe.

Over here in Canada, a typical course is 16hrs on a closed track, then 10hrs on road with instructors, then a closed-track exam for your permit, then you can ride alone on the road.


That explanation helps a lot, thanks. I'm really hoping to make this work but also realizing it may not be for me. I'm coming to the conclusion it's best to wait for professional instruction but it's REALLY hard to look at it in the garage:crying:
 
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