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Hello All.
Just joined as a member. Looks to be a good community. I found this by way of a Harley Newsgroup. Don't know why I didn't find it earlier???

A little bit about myself -

Married, age 39, 2 small girls, live in CT, work in IT

Purchased a 02 FLSTCI (black) in June after ordering in Jan. I have been very happy so far and am close to the 1000 mile service. The smile per mile factor has been very high!

This was my first owned bike ever after spending many years dreaming and borrowing friends' bikes and riding dirt bikes. No one that loves me wanted me to do it but after 9/11 I decide that life is way to short to sit on the sidelines. I took the MSF course in '01 which was a major help and confidence booster. For me, the bike is not too much too handle especially if you concentrate and are as cautious as I am. Right now I'm sticking to the 40-50 mph backroads and am enjoying every mile.

The first 1000 miles have taught me a few things -
1. When you least expect a deer expect it. Luckily she fled into the woods.
2. When stopped at an intersection some elderly folk love to cross in front of you without properly timing their path across oncomming traffic. I almost had to bail off on 2 seperate incidents, as oncomming traffic almost ht them and would have pushed them into me.
3. Cagers (myself included) are in way too much of a hurry.
4. Kids with their parents love to stop, look, and wave. Never expected such positive attention toward a Harley.

Well, I could go on forever but that's enough for now. Just wanted to say hello to all and that I am happy to find a site where folks share the same passion as myself.

Ride Safe!
 

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Welcome NewToTheRoad! Sounds like you're really enjoying life now that you have your 02 FLSTCI and by the way you selected the same color my ordered bike is.
For you and many of us a lot of things changed, (especially the way we think) after that CRAP day which is coming up again real soon. I changed my whole life after that day. I lost friends/coworkers at the Pentagon -- 4 months later I quit the government and jumped out in the private sector.

To change the subject, I must say that was a real smart thing you did (and I'm sure you agree) by taking the MSF course. It's a great course especially when the instructor is good. Did you have a good instructor? Sounds like you did. What were the 3 best things you learned from the course? Maybe others could learn and be prompted to take the course from what you say.

I liked the 4 things you posted about your first 1000 miles. Well take care and ride safe, thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
About Myself - MSF Course

cox9000 said:
[
To change the subject, I must say that was a real smart thing you did (and I'm sure you agree) by taking the MSF course. It's a great course especially when the instructor is good. Did you have a good instructor? Sounds like you did. What were the 3 best things you learned from the course? Maybe others could learn and be prompted to take the course from what you say.

I liked the 4 things you posted about your first 1000 miles. Well take care and ride safe, thanks for sharing. [/B]

Yes, I did have a good instructor or should I say good set of instructors (male and female) who all took it very seriously. One interesting thing was that 2 people in the class dumped the 250cc test bikes. One was a 50 year old woman who forgot to put her feet down when she stopped. She won't forget that again! I admire her though for trying to fulfill a promse to get her license by her 50th birthday. The other was a dude who showed up to class on a nice 1200 custom that he was driving on a learner's permit. He said that his buddies were teaching him to ride on weekends but he was only taking the course for insurance discount and so he wouldn't need to take the driving test at DMV. He was a good guy and like most had his own strong opinions - i.e. no helmet needed, loud pipes needed, etc., etc. Well, sure enough he dumped a bike doing the figure 8 course in the rain. I think that sobered him up a bit. You're never too cool to dump a bike. I hope he's still riding.

Needless to say everyone passed which is a bit scary as some have never been on a bike before the class. Hopefully they all took it very slow as being on the road is a bit different. I recommend the class to everyone though including seasoned riders. Learning just one tip could be the one that saves your life. You will never eliminate risks but you can do your part to limit them.


The most important things that I learned and continue to improve upon include:

1. Front brake provides at least 70% of your braking power. Get in the habit of using it.
2. If you lock your rear brake keep it locked until you stop. Otherwise if you release it the tires may catch traction and you will flip over the opposite side of the bike (high side). This happend to my cousin last year after he braked into a turn that he was taking too fast. Thankfully he just got bruised up a little. He still hasn't taken the MSF course. DUMMY!
3. Decelerate before you enter a curve and roll on the throttle through the exit. Don't wait until into the curve to start braking. This gives the most control and the roll on feels awesome.
4. Lane position. You don't always have to be in the middle. Choose left, right or middle depending on traffic, road conditions, hazards etc. Be conscious of your position and always scan well ahead.
5. Looking into and through a turn makes turning and control much easier. Fixating on a target while turning (pot hole, hazard, pretty girl) will get you into trouble.
6. Safety gear is constricting, hot and sometimes not comfortable. However, the alernative to me is alot worse. My choice is to wear gloves, vented leather jacket, boots , and half helmet. Full would be a better choice, but I never said I make all the right choices...


Well, I'm just a newbie and not an expert but these are the most important things that I've learned and have been practicing. Above all, take the MSF. I look at it this way:


Leather gloves and boots $100
Leather jacket with armor $425
2002 FLSTCI $18000
Taking the MSF Course PRICELESS

Ride Safe!
 

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Amen to the point about older folks' bad timing! And also about kids loving the shininess of a Harley. I keep the leather tassle whips on the clutch handle just for them. All the guys at work want me to cut 'em off.

Add High School teenagers driving to and from school into that most dangerous hazards list. There is a high school on the way to my work that makes the main road Death Valley for bikers. I avoid most of it.

Cheers. I know you're enjoying the forum as much as I.

John
 

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NewToTheRoad -- I have a '98 FLSTC, 2 daughters and work in IT. Ditto on items 1-4. I'll add one more. Setting at a stop light last night (biker night herer in town) when I looked at the car next to me. Attractive young lady with a Golden Retriver with her that was barking... She rolled the window down and said, He loves motorcycles, esp. Harleys.... as the dog set in her lap, head out the window and tongue hanging out. I said, smart dog... everybody loves Harleys, including the family dog.



Welcome and Ride Safe
 
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