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I'm new here. Hi!

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:11 am
by gamesetmatchwin
Hi all,

So I always wanted a motorcycle. I never got one due to other responsibilities, fears, finances, and any number of other excuses. That changed a few weeks ago when I found a path to make it work financially. The wife was on board and I signed up for the MSF class. I knew I wanted an old, used, "cruiser" style bike to learn on and a friend's dad sold me his for a good price. This worked out well since I know nothing about motorcycles and was unsure how I was going to be able to purchase a used one and not get taken advantage of with condition, etc. The only issue is the bike itself is a bit bigger than I planned.

I tend to over-research things. I had read from multiple places that, as a complete beginner and a larger guy, I should probably not exceed the 600-750 cc range for a cruiser. So when my friend's dad told me he was selling a 1400 cc bike(actually closer to 1360something) I initially said no, it was too big. But after thinking about it I figured if I take things slow, maybe I can make it work. So I am the proud owner of a 95 Suzuki intruder 1400.

So here I am at the start of my motorcycle journey. I've bought a bike, gear, and signed up for the MSF class.

I took my first spin in my neighborhood with the bike on Sunday. These are my initial thoughts: Clutch work with a lever is weird. I stalled out multiple times. It reminds me of learning to drive dad's stick wrangler years ago. 90 degree turns at stop signs while releasing the clutch, getting feet off the ground, and trying not to stall is difficult.

I don't plan on doing much more than riding in the neighborhood until I pass the MSF class that I'm taking end of this month.

Happy to be here.

Re: I'm new here. Hi!

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:29 am
by JackoftheGreen

So glad to meet you, and welcome to TMW! You've come to the right place.

To jump right in, I think you'll find as long as you're responsible and have some common sense, your 1400cc Intruder wont be unmanageable. It's certainly a little more power than we tend to recommend for beginning riders, but cruisers in general are pretty easy tempered and they don't really try to get away from you. Just take it slow.

My wife and I are both MSF instructors, and we're so excited you've decided to take a class and get some formal instruction. We recommend - and I know this will be tough - you not do any riding until after you've completed your class. A new rider "going it alone" can pick up some bad habits pretty quickly, and you don't want to make any more work for yourself unlearning those habits during your BRC.

In the meantime, I'd like to suggest you learn your way around the bike. If you haven't already, get a tire pressure gauge and research what your proper tire pressures should be. I write the proper pressures down for all our bikes in Sharpie™ right on the garage wall! Watch some YouTube videos on basic maintenance like lever adjustment and handlebar fit. Learn how to adjust your shift lever (it's pretty simple).

And if you're going to practice anything, practice reaching for the controls without looking for them. Sit on the bike and work the sidestand without looking down for it. Practice manipulating the turn signal with the clutch pulled in, and practice closing the throttle with your thumb while you reach for the brake lever. Work on getting your left foot on the peg (with your right foot solidly down of course!) and finding the shift lever with your toe, again, without looking. Practice doing all those things without ever looking down at the bike. That will give you a HUGE head start when you hit the range at the end of the month.

Lastly, if I can plug one of our YT videos for you to check out, you should watch this:
When you're done, check out the rest of our videos on YT, and come find us on Facebook too!

Again, so glad to have you. I look forward to seeing more posts from you as you embark on this adventure.

Re: I'm new here. Hi!

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:02 am
by blues2cruise
Welcome to the community. Riding a motorcycle opens up a whole new world. Enjoy!!!

Re: I'm new here. Hi!

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:44 pm
by ZooTech
Yes, a 1400 is a bit on the big side to learn on, but it's a torquey V-twin with tractable power delivery so as long as you treat the throttle as a potentiometer and not an ON/OFF switch you can manage it with some conservative self control. The real challenge isn't the power of the bike, but the weight...that's a lot of weight to arrest should something go awry and when you're new to riding, things probably WILL go prepared for that.

Re: I'm new here. Hi!

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:33 am
by ProHelmet
Hello :)