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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new to the street game but have a fair amount of time on the dirt. I'm not going to lie I'm a little nervous on the road. Wrecking on dirt has got to be a goose down pillow compared to asphalt. Anyways I've been riding off and on since the age of 9. My father bought us a 450 honda foreman as a child and as much fun as that was I kept poking at him to let me ride the cr 250. About 11 years old thinking I was ready or just plain wore out from being asked he obliged. I was about 5' 2" and leaning it against a fence post to take off. Timing the clutch with my throttle and my kickoff from the post lol jesus... looking back I cant believe he let me ride it. I discovered freedom on that bike via a throttle. I also discovered what my dad meant we he said watch for the power band. And that armor all is not the best thing to put on a seat when your 120 lbs on a 250cc 2 stroke. Fast forward 32 years and I find myself looking for that freedom that rush and a short lived escape from the monotony of everyday life.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Kawi500r!

Glad you got onto asphalt and you couldn't have started your "road" experience with a better motorcycle! These EX500's are a great bike to learn on...and an even better bike to "come back to"! :grin2:

What part of the country are you from?
 

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Welcome! Dirt experience is good to have, because you gain understanding of how bikes react to control inputs and you develop the ability to read the situation ahead of you. That said, the techniques for street riding are different, turning, for example. On the dirt you weight the outer foot peg and generally get your weight to the outside to keep the rear tire from sliding out. On the street, moving your weight towards the inside means the bike will have to lean less to hold the line through the turn. Body positioning is actually a subject unto itself.

You initiate a turn by counter-steering (You do the same on dirt. It's just not as obvious because you're using more overall body english). For normal, casual street riding my technique is to position my body so the bike will hold the line with little to no further input from the bars.

The most important physical street skill is braking. The rear brake provides a very small percentage of stopping power on pavement (especially on sport bikes) and poses a great risk of locking up and upsetting the bike. To me that risk isn't worth the tiny bit of stopping power it provides. The biggest thing is to not just grab handful of brake, because it will lock the front tire. The more the front suspension is loaded, the more downforce there is on the tire and the more brake that can be used. The technique is to gradually squeeze the front brake lever over the course of a second, or counting "one thousand one" This applies more and more brake as the suspension loads more and more. This should be practiced in an empty parking lot regularly by all riders, so that it comes naturally in an emergency situation. Optimum braking would ideally be had by applying less and less rear brake while applying more and more front brake. I know I couldn't count on being able to do that, even with practice.

Beyond that, there are a number of tips for being as safe as possible in traffic. There are a number of good books on it, and Keith Code had an excellent series of articles in Cycle World on this subject. This is where the dirt riding skill of assessing what's ahead of you gives you a head start.

I hope I didn't scare you off with this. I've ridden on the street for a number of years, and on dirt for years before that. Getting out on two wheels is such therapy. Once it's in your blood, it's there forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looks like I have a lot to learn. Practice practice practice. I'm from sw wisconsin. Just a quick question how did you get your wives to be ok with you on a motorcycle?
 

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I only had to sign a large life insurance policy in exchange. :laugh:

Seriously, I'm fortunate that my wife has been very supportive, even though she's deathly afraid to ride on one. So, sorry, can't help with that one. I think having had motorcycles in the past is a plus, though, because she knows you aren't starting out from zero. I also think in the end, that most women, even if they don't like it, are reluctant to stand in the way of something that means a lot to their man.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Fair enough the divorce is never happening I'm a lifer lol. I think she will understand her fear turns to anger Haha. She will get over it when she sees the smile on my face when I have it in the garage.
 

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Just a quick question how did you get your wives to be ok with you on a motorcycle?
Made her come with me. She was extremely scared the first couple times. Now she wants to go with me every time. My kids come for rides. It's a family bike :). I am constantly reminding them of being mamed and disfigured. None of them care anymore. They love the ride too much.
 
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