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Discussion Starter #1
I hope I don't get hammered for posting this here, but I think I could use some logical talk. It's been about 15 years since I've ridden - and that was much younger college age years when I was afraid of nothing. I rode sport bikes mostly (like a bat out of hell) - and luckily lived to tell about it with no serious crashes. The few drops I did have were results of my doing some really dumb things.

Most all my life I've done something fairly extreme on 2 wheels starting with BMX, motocross, then sport bikes. I've taken the MSF Beginner's course and consider myself quite competent on a bike. I consider myself a very good driver with no accidents (knock on wood), hates unattentive drivers, yada yada yada. I consider myself to be a much better than average motorist.

Well - recently I got the itch for a bike and finally pulled the trigger on a Fat Boy - and now I've got myself all friggin scared! I'm sure many of you know the drill - they hear you are getting a bike and here come the damn horror stories... A guy in my office who had a nasty crash 30 years ago reminds me on an hourly basis that "i'm going to die" because of his crash, my father remembering a guy from my high school years who died on a bike at age 16, the neighbor who knew a guy who will never be the same... on and on. Unfortunately it's taking its toll on me!

I'd like to ask you all with semi-modern, real world, day to day experience what you'd say to me? Am I nuts or being a pansie? I live on the edge of town and for the most part would ride my bike on the country roads only... I'd never use it to commute or ride in heavy traffic of any sort. I'd ride on perfect riding days only. Full gear (yup - even a full faced helmet), responsibly, stone cold sober. I'd even take another riders course with the new bike just to freshen up.

What are the harsh truths and untruths for riders like me? I've spent the last 2 days reading report after report of crash and death statistics and while I do not want to be bliss, I must say there's a long list of "rider types" that frankly I feel I have better odds. I'd appreciate any input.
 

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Nice to ride again :-)
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I don't know why it is non riding people have to tell death motorcycle stories.

I must say from your accounts of yourself you will be fine. You seem to cover your bases with training, experience, and gear.

I have to say though if you don't loose that mind set after your first ride you should reconsider your choice. The reason I say that is my brother bought a V-Star from me and did well on it but was always in the back of his mind saying what if. One day he dropped it in a stop, left turn situation. That was it for him he fixed the turn signal and sold it within a week.

This sport does take "heart", and if you don't have it nothing will give it to you.

Live within your limits and capability's and you will be fine, or not?
 

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People die everyday. They die on motorcycles, they die in cars, they die in house fires, they die at work, they die walking down the road. Basically they die no matter what they do. Some die happy and some do not. If I die on my bike, I die happy.

Bottom line, you're going to die. If riding makes you happy what more is there?
 

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I took about a 7 year leave of absence from motorcycles...growing up I had two other bikes Kawa 550 LTD and a Suzuki Madura 700. Last november, after all my student loans were paid off, I pulled the trigger and bought an 05 Dyna. Best decsion I've made in a while...yes, I hear the stories, especially from people at work, but don't let them discourage you. Take a MSC and get to know the Fat Boy. I also took a bit of advice from another VTF member.

Ride like you're invisible. (I think it may have been RUBBLE)

Meaning watch out for the cagers! Even though you maybe right next to them staring them in the eyes, they'll just pretend like they don't see you at all!

Congrats on bike!

Oh, and don't worry about the full face helmet...I've got one too.
 

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As long as you know your surroundings and limits, you should be fine.

Always have an escape route planned at all times - this will fall under knowing your surroundings.

The next time someone tells you "this guy I knew died on a motorcycle" story, tell them "this guy (describe the person talking) choked to death while eating lunch one day". That should shut them up.
 

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youre gonna die...

enjoy yourself before you do...if you cant enjoy riding cause youre afraid youre gonna die...dont do it
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yup - I'm glad to hear this feedback. You are right - people do insist on sharing the horror stories. Logically I've been ambushed with 1 death 19 years ago, 1 busted leg about 30 years ago, and whenever the dude scambled his egg from the neighbor.

I'm definately savvy on the visibility issues, creating space, knowing outs. Even in the car I'm very keen on that stuff.

OK - I'm off to the Harley shop then.

Thanks all - I look forward to chatting it up.
 

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marcstephens said:
...and now I've got myself all friggin scared! ...
In Raleigh, with the traffic we have, you need to ride scared.#@SasF# Just kidding. Like LAF said, you seem to have your bases covered and I feel that you will do fine. I have heard all those stories too, from my family, non riders and such. Have you picked up your Fatboy yet? If you ever come up to Scooters, look me up and I buy you a :beer: and we will discuss this more.
 

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03FLHRI,84XLH,52ArielVHA
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Seems you want to limit your riding experiences from the outstart based on your own ingrained attitudes (such as saying you'll never ride in traffic, etc) and the reinforcement you are recieving from the naysayers around you. The first thing you need to overcome is your own internal restrictions. Next you need to totally ignore the non-riding naysayers. Once you've conquered your angst you need to pick up where your MSF course left off. In other words riding within your capabilities, being prepared for all the surprises that can happen to a rider and continuing to become a more experienced, better rider. You must prepare for and experience bad weather conditions because even if you plan only to ride on sunny days you just might find yourself in a rain storm. Without some sort of bad weather experience you are never going to learn to ride well. You also need to learn how to cope with traffic. Can you honestly say that you'll never run into a crowded expressway or surface road? If you don't develop survival skills for all kinds of riding experience then you are in danger over the long term.
The question about the odds of survival is no easy one. It is multi-faceted because of intangibles such as luck and experience. It has a lot to do with your lifestyle, your riding style and your self-control during challenging riding circumstances. It is not at all unrealistic to figure that you can ride for the rest of your life as long as you are physically able to. Many people, myself included, have ridden for over 30 years (in every imaginable riding circumstances) and are alive and well. Will you ever have an accident? Maybe. Avoiding or minimizing them is controlled by your skill and experience and, in many cases, by luck. But that's the way it is with automobiles also. Best wishes for your riding future and as far as the naysayers go, illigitimi non carborundum.
 

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pansie or nuts??

i was in the exact same situation 2 weeks ago.
i havent been on a bike in 15 years. havent even sat on one. i knew i wanted another bike no question about it i just got a severe itch and had to get one. so i walked in to hd and bought a new bike.now leading up to the purchase i heard all the horror stories you heard. from coworkers family and friends the only one that was supporting the idea was the wife:confused: then i realized most of these people telling the stories never rode a bike in there lives:yikes: i had ridden bikes for years. anyhow was there butterflies when i picked it up? you bet. was i nervous as all hell? you bet. i put just over 100 miles on it in a couple of days and it feels like i never stopped riding. block out the horror stories and go for it:265: good luck:D
 

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Ride Scared - keeps you alert.

Still doesn't mean that you will not get taken out by a run away semi-truck ;)
 

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Statistics are way on the side of riders who ride drug and alcohol free. They get even better if your are a good automobile driver and have few accidents. Buy a nice leather to go with that fat boy and take your time. You will be prudent and will begin to enjoy the freedom and thrill of street riding. Dont sweat it too much
 

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I had my reservations after being off a bike for 9 yrs.I have mucho experience from 8yrs old to my present 44yrs old.The only thing i can say is being scared is one thing but you might be smarter and wiser this time.I know i dont take the chances i used to(which is a good thing).
Just relax and take your time, enjoy it while your on it.BUT KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!
Dont listen to the other "Horror Stories"
Have those people never rode before and will probably end up slipping in the bathtub and die. Which BTW causes more deaths then riding: :whatever:

Have fun and Ride Safe:yes:
 

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OldFart
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Riding...

I've ridden damn near every day for the past 30+ years. The old saying goes that there are two kinds of riders, one's that have been down, and one's that are gonna go down. That said, ride and enjoy it, but be very careful, and know your (and your bike's) limitations. Sounds like you are on the right track, so take a refresher course, and enjoy!
 

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I quit riding on the road for more than 20 years after some bottom feeder in a van looked me square in the eye and then pulled into my lane, forcing me off the road. Swore I'd never ride on the road again. I continued to ride, but only at the drag strip. Convinced myself it was way safer than riding on the road (it is). Then, one sunny Sunday, I had the rear tire of my dragbike go flat at about 130 mph. I rode it to a stop on the wheelie bar wheels. Scared hell out of me. The next day, I bought another road bike and haven't looked back since. Fear makes you more aware. Don't be afraid of fear. Use it to your advantage.
 

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My first point. You never hear the stories about the millions of miles ridden and no one dies! It doesn't sell papers or news.

Second: Did you stop driving because of all the car accidents you hear and read about?

Personally, I am more concerned about driving in a cage. People mostly are less courteous to other cages than bikes.

I'll be as careful as I can without becoming a recluse. I'll be damned if idiots are going to prevent me from existing the way I want to. We take chances every day we wake up. Just make sure the odds are in your favor. If you don't ride like an idiot, they are.

Budking
 

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Restless
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Basically, I don't want to live my life in a bubble protected from everyone and everything. Your life will end, when it ends. Whether it's on a bike, driving a car or having a stroke or anurism with no previous medical history. I mean, I don't want to go to my grave without ever having enjoyed the things I longed to do while on this earth and in this body. By that token, it doesn't mean I live to the excess either. I love a good drink, a good smoke, eating cheeseburgers and bloody prime rib. But I don't overindulge with any of the above. Just a few examples but you get the picture. And my wife and I love our Harleys and share the same philosophy. (God I love that woman!)

But anyway, if I could sum up the way I try to live life today, it would be in encompassed in the paragraph below. Which, by the way is someones signature on some other messageboard unless someone is using it here. It's brilliant in my opinion.


*Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming,

“WOW – What a Ride!” *
 

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Riding a motorcycle IS dangerous. But if you want pick things to worry about - here's the leading causes of death:

Deaths-Leading Causes

Number of deaths for leading causes of death

Heart Disease: 696,947

Cancer: 557,271

Stroke: 162,672

Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,816

Accidents (unintentional injuries): 106,742

Diabetes: 73,249

Influenza/Pneumonia: 65,681

So, get some updated rider training, be careful, then ride all you want - but a little cardio-based excercise might just keep you around more than a helmet or full leathers. -2$en#e-
 

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I ran across a guy who was 65. He was dieing of cancer with about 8 months to live. He loved to ride his EG on 4 to 6 week road trips. He had just started riding after several years away from the sport. All his kids and grandkids gave him a hard time about how dangerous the EG was, with all the stories of death and destruction. His response was, well, I will die doing what I love if it happens that way. Now he was still as scared as hell about dieing, even with his current health condition, but he was going to live life on his terms and enjoy what he had left. This is relative to us all, he knew when his time was up, but most of us do not. Live life to the fullest, enjoy every day, and do what makes you happy.
Getting back on a motorcycle is like riding a bike, it comes back to you very fast and your previous experience will be a very valuable asset. Take you time, get to know the new bike, and you will be smiling from ear to ear. We have done things when we were young and stupid, it makes us better riders today.
Enjoy
:banana:
 
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