Beginner motorcycles: Riding the first 500 miles in my driveway

In 1997 I was into beginner motorcycles. I was a novice, rookie, newbie, just starting to ride motorcycles, with absolutely no training, I embarked on a journey that continues to this day.

beginner motorcyclesNeedless to say, handling a 700 pound motorcycle with a 1500cc (big engine for 97) was scary as hell and a thrilling adrenalin rush. My motorcycle was a stock iron-horse and it needed many new shinny chrome parts, louder exhaust, and sissy bar for my wife.

Beginner motorcycle tip: Push right to go right

After spending nearly three months riding from my garage to my driveway (50 feet) to the road (20 feet) and back I was getting the hang of hanging on. However, learning the craft of turning was a bit more challenging. Push left to go left, push right to go right, and remember your high school science class, center of gravity and centrifugal force that always kept you upright if you made only small errors.

After figuring out how to move forward, I never questioned stopping, because I always used my back brake, never my front. This I imagine is because I took a front somersault as a kid when I used the front bikes on my new bicycle. I eventually started riding my motorcycle around the block and down town, usually in the warm sunlight of morning when there were fewer cars on the road. I was eventually able to grasp the basics of staying upright. I read everything I could get my hands on, talked with other riders and tried to absorb how it is done.

Then I took the MSF course

Now the practical application… thank goodness for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. I signed up for the first one available and learned the proper way to ride a motorcycle. Days and weeks of practice came next; I was feeling more confident as time went on. I was finally ready to take my wife for a ride. It started off scary, for her and for me. We did a lot of small rides at first. As our confidence grew, our trips became longer and more frequent.

Laughlin River Run

One of the first trips we went on was the Laughlin River Run in 1999. What an event. Nothing but thousands of motorcyclists, bikers, sport riders, and weird costumes were riding and dragging down the street. The parade of motorcycles up and down the streets was a treat unimaginable. A couple of riders were talked to by the police for not keeping their shirts all the way down, oh well. Toward the end of the event we were admiring the parade and my wife says, “We need louder pipes” wow, when most people say to tone it down, we get to go louder.

San Francisco, Tucson, Denver, Kansas City

Since the humble beginning, I have ridden round trip to San Francisco, Tucson, Denver, and Kansas City. All the trips were exhausting and exhilarating; I loved every second of it. Doing over 1100 miles in two days is a pretty good ride. When I left Colorado, I was in the Rocky Mountains with a temperature of about 40 degrees. By late afternoon I was in the Sonora desert with a temperature of 99 degrees.

All of my equipment worked flawlessly, the bike, my leathers and me.

Stan Carr