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New(ish) Rider Intro


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Hello all.


I am the lucky recipient of my Father's Red 1996 BMW R1100RT with a whopping 9707 miles on it.


I grew up riding in the dirt north of Phoenix but spent the last 10 years in Colorado without a bike. I recently moved back to Phoenix (for work). My dad was in the midst of ridding himself of his bikes (save his restored '46 Indian) so I jumped at the chance to take the RT from him.


I took the MSF Basic Rider Course and got my endorsement last month. For the last 3 weeks I have been commuting to work on the bike and have done 1 road trip out to Fountain Hills. I've put on about 250 miles. Not much to brag about. But enough to scare myself.


I spent yesterday afternoon at the book store and came home with a couple books on riding technique and safety. I can't stop thinking about the topics I've read so far. I'm also a licensed Private Pilot and am fixated on not killing myself.


On my trip to Fountain Hills I couldn't notice the Adopt a Highway signs dedicated to dead motorcyclists. Nor could I overlook the obituary section of this forum...


Not to be grim, but I am only 29 with a wife & 2 great kids.


In my limited street experience I have really only realized 2 things:


1.) The rider course IS useful.


2.) Everyone on the road IS TRYING TO KILL YOU.




1.) Learn more and 2.) expand the distance between self and others when and as often as possible.


And for &*(%'s sake: LOOK!


I'm hoping my paranoia keeps me safe but I tend to drift in thought a lot. It's fine in work as a financial analyst but I'm not so sure on the road. So I'm taking it slow.


Anyways, This is my "Hello." I mentioned the beautiful wife, kids and job. I also am a musician (bass guitar, guitar, & drums) and a BMW 2000 M5 owner.


I'll likely be in the background for a while, trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me. But if you see my name on the list of viewers and are looking for a riding mate in or near Phoenix, send me a message. I've only put 250 miles on the bike so far, so we all know I could use the lesson.



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Welcome from Downunder.

There is heaps of info here and plenty of good advice from some very experienced riders.

Sounds like the bike is in premium condition so good for you.

You are also correct about having to keep an eye out for those that are less attentive to others on the road. Your eyes will grow bigger and you will hopefully develop something of a sixth sense when in traffic.


Stay upright and enjoy your ride.




Steve :)

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Welcome aboard undfined. You'll find an enormous amount of useful info on this site as well as some less useful. There are quite a few members from the Phoenix area and they get together frequently. Not real trustworthy and a little boistrous but other than that, ok :wave: In fact, there are going to be 15-20 folks from the board at at Lake Roosevelt this weekend starting Thursday afternoon. Drop by on Saturday and say hello. Check out the Desert ride on "Ride and event planning" section of this board. Also, why don't you fill out your profile a little; it will help us get to know you. Again, welcome aboard.

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First welcome to this fine forum.

second the more you ride the better

the ride becomes, but always keep a look-out

for the cages.

Ride safe

Fred K.

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Lots of great riding in your area. Enjoy the bike.


I don't commute on mine. I ride it in rural areas on weekends and on tours. I think riding in the city during rush hours is scary. I'm probably in the minority here on the board in this respect, but we all ride our own rides.

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Welcome, your résumé looks great. You're in! :) Piloting skills will no doubt help in keeping you safe on two wheels.


Hand me down bike from dad. Priceless! :thumbsup:




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Welcome on board. As a new guy in our neighborhood you are invited up to Utah for all the events and gatherings.


As for your approach to safety... just as with new pilots (I am one too)... the most dangerous are the 100 hours guys. Just when you think you have a handle on things, up jumps a surprise.


Ride safe and keep looking and thinking.

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Hello and welcome to the board. Becoming an accomplished motorcyclist is all about "seat time". Sounds like you have a real cream puff of a bike there. Congrats. Be vigilant and safe as you are riding. As you have already found out many in their cages don't see you.

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Wellcome. I agree with you on the rider course, and although I don't really believe that everybody is trying to kill me, I've found that it i ssafer to assume that if in doubt.


I would recommend these books for light reading, and good common sense advise:


Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by by David L. Hough, and


A Twist of The Wrist by Keith Code


Nothing earth shattering on either of them, except that they bring into words the knowledge that you don't know you already have, and some good common sense advise.


I've found useful to be able to recall these words and tell myself to believe that my bike will be good to me if I allow it and don't get my fear in the way.


Paranoia in traffic is your friend. You will find here a lot of folks ready to help you with wrenching and riding advise.


Many happy miles.

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Dave in Doodah

Welcome aboard, undfined! It sounds like you have a very healthy respect for safe, responsible riding. You are lucky to have that, and equally lucky to have acquired such a nice bike. Would have been a little too big for me to start on, but sounds like you are off to a good start.


I have a wife, an ex-wife, and three kids who seem to like having me around (for very different reasons, of course). I am glad I have never had to consider giving up riding because of them.


After a year or two, and several thousand miles, you should get much more comfortable. Just don't get too cocky or Top Gunny... okay, Maverick?

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I always apply two simple rules when riding :


1) always leave a gap of minimum ten yards between my bike and the others

2) always be able to stop in sight


Saved my ass a lot of times

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If those tires are more than 5 years old I would seriously consider replacing them. They just don't grip as well when they are old.

Good Luck, Enjoy the bike!

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Best advice I can give is advice I've read over and over again from the good folks of this community:


1) always ride YOUR ride - don't feel pushed or pulled by others but stay in your comfort zone ...

2) the bike will go where you are looking ... stare at the ditch if you want to go there, stare at the ground if you want to go there ... keep your eyes moving with the primary focus on the road/horizon

3) never over-ride your sight lines ... be able to stop safely in the event of the obstruction in the road

4) be attentive to the road surface ... gravel, sand, potholes can ruin your day.

5) Finally, when the going gets tough (we all have the 'oh my GOD!' moments) don't panic ... just RIDE THE BIKE!! It is more capable than you think ...


This last piece of advice has saved my bacon twice - Once when, through inattention, I found myself deep into a corner and too 'hot' to make the turn. The panic reaction is BRAKES!! That response would have caused me to hit the wall - no doubt about it. Instead, I remembered #5 and just leaned into the turn more than I ever would have when riding in my 'comfort zone'.


Another incident happened at very low speed when a car in the left lane and next to me, decided to turn right. Stopping was not an option as he was coming right into me ... Instead I just rode the bike ... looked over my right shoulder and executed the best low speed maneuver of my biking life.


It is now my personal mantra ... don't panic - just RIDE THE BIKE! As paranoid as we are about drivers and traffic, most accidents are single bike events caused by inattention and (I believe) the rider's panic response.





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welcome to the board. At your experience level, I believe the best thing you can do is attend a Track Day in your area. I thought I had this riding thing down after putting about 150,000 miles on bikes, but knew in the back of my head that experience alone was not the answer to keeping me safe. At 20 years old you might not come to that conclusion but as you get older you see friends die and realize that it CAN happen to you.


I've done a CLASS course (by Reg Pridmore) and some SportBike Tracktime events and all were excellent.


I'm much more relaxed now (at almost any speed), don't panic when a grave situation presents itself and have found the ability to focus while still enjoying the scenery. In short, it's the best investment I've made in motorcycling. And without a doubt it's saved my life a few times (like the deer incident in '04) when I probably should have been killed.


Invest in yourself.



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I would enjoy your bike but just ride for every SOB around you and you'll be fine :grin:. In other words, get your scan going :grin:


A couple of thoughts on your bike as you seem to have your head firmly around the riding aspect. Also, are you handy with a wrench? If you are, you can save a ton of money on servicing your RT :thumbsup:


How old are the tyres? It's an easy check...just look for the DOT imprint on the tyre wall. It will say something like (2607) which is the 26th week of 2007. If they are older than 4 years, I would definitely look to get some new rubber on it.


When was the last brake fluid change? This should be an annual event with your bike.


You will find the folks on here are friendly and a great resource.


Be safe out there...




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All -


Thanks for the warm welcome.


I'd love to make it out to Roosevelt this weekend but we've been slammed with family events lately, so I'm spending the weekend with my wife - and her alone. I'd drag her out there but am still afraid of taking on any passengers at the moment.


Tires are 2 years old and we had the dealership inspect everything they could think of before I rode the bike home. We installed a battery lead, too, so I can use a tender in the off-days and down season. I'll double check the tires this weekend.


I'm a former IT tech and am pretty handy with a wrench. Definitely a DIYer, whenever I can find the time. Just spent the evening replacing a broken satellite receiver with a "new", (also) broken receiver. Swapped hard drives and re-pointed the dish myself, for the umpteenth time.


I can change my own oil, swap out GPS units, blow-torch on a new muffler, and put a 3" lift on a coiled Jeep.


I cannot rebuild the top-end, nor replace the brakes on my car though.


I'd like to get to the track sometime. One of the books I am reading mentions the not...proper way I learned to steer a bike. The MSF course got me on counter-steering. So I'd like to get to a proper atmosphere to see where I can push it.


Thanks again for the tips and welcomes.

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Undfined...Welcome, this is a great community of folks willing to give freely of their expertise (me excluded) and friendship. Get to know some of local BMWST phoenix group...PhillyFlash (Howard Rush), AZKaizer (Tom Neumann) and 10ver (Tim Morgan) ...they are all proficient riders with a passion for riding that exceeds my limited skills... so I will limit my words of wisdom; although I have many "how not to" stories I (or others) can share. My new book, "The Ultimate Guide to Not Riding Well" is coming out soon.


I also live in Phoenix, and I avoid city street riding for the obvious reasons; to really experience that 96RT get out on the open road, that "new" engine is begging for miles and some long distance two to three hundred miles days will do wonders to enhance your skills/confidence and enduring love affair with the RT.


There is also another local BMW group called the AZ RimRiders, they have a ride scheduled this Sunday departing at 10:15am from the Fountain Hills Shell station at Shea Blvd and just off the Beeline Hwy. Unfortunately, my "honey-do" list keeps from scheduled events this weekend.


Bottom Line: Enjoy that new bike and I hope to see you on the road soon. Do you have first name? Cheers


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