Motorbike and helicopter lessons

French jurist

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Nice to see there are many bikers on the forum.

30 years I ride bikes, started with a Yamaha YZ 50 when I was 14. Drove on 4 continents since.

I may have owned like 20 different bikes since (including a few Vespas among which a 200cc I was doing wheelings with! Easy task though since it's a rear engine).

Among my bikes, I have sweet memories with a Husqvarna WR240 from 1976 or 1978 (great 2 stroke Enduro), a Suzuki DR600 Dejebel from 1989 (Crossed the Sahara with it), a Suzuki GSXR1100 from 1992 with 147HP (hum... Got a few speeding tickets. Reached 290 km/h on the tachometer once... on a circuit of course... hum..., oh well I was in my early 20s) and an old BMW from 1978 (mhhhh the feeling of the flat twin when you start to accelerate, like the bike is going a bit sideways).

A few pics:

The Suzuki DR600: used it for a 23 days journey, starting from Paris, crossing Spain, reaching Morocco (crossed the "Rif" region there... and tasted the local specialty :p), arrived in Algeria then headed plain South through the Sahara desert. Drove nearby Tamanrasset, slept alone in the desert (great XP), headed North to Algiers, then East to Tunisia. Embarked for Sicily, arrived on the Italian peninsula, drove North, back to Paris!

Sahara1.jpg



That one was in Timimoun (Algeria) if I recall
sahara2.jpg




And my GSXR1100 (on the right): They were limited at 100HP (French legislation) but all you had to do was to take the tank off, unscrew the top of the carburators and there were marks in it where to drill!. 147 HP with a NIKKO exhaust system, semi-soft tires.... Wheelings up to 110/120 km/h... In 10.000 km, I had already broken my gearbox! Luckily it was stolen (was fully insured) otherwise I'm not sure I would still be alive today.

gsxr1100.jpg



Accidents:
I should have died one time for sure (major accident... hitted a car at 70 km/h, landed 12 meters after flat on my back = would have been on the head I would have kissed goodbye my spine).
Two broken wrists, broken leg (screwed), broken ankle (screwed), many burns, meniscus in bad shape now, my back is fragile, etc... But I still drive.


***

The BMW school is certainly excellent but BMWs have ABS and such. Way different to brake a non ABS bike, especially in curves (brake 80% on the rear and 20% on the front.... otherwise you'll kiss the road soon).

For a beginner, who will use the bike in the city only, I'd recommend a scooter: at least your legs are protected by the body of the bike, and not around it. They have small wheels though, which is a problem on uneven roads.

Seems a good solution to train by yourself but with the guidance of some experienced bikers:
- slalom (both at minimum speed + medium speed)
- emergency braking
- braking in curves
- basics about how a motorcycle works (what to look for, what sounds to listen for,...)
- driving in a city (expecting the unexpected, especially here), looking at car driver's heads when coming from behind (did they see you in their mirror?)
- learning about balance on a bike (releasing hands from the handlebar while driving and pushing gently on the right handle: bike will move right, not left, etc.).
- learning what to do when you're about to fall on a soft ground (sand, mud) = you accelerate, you don't brake (tricky one since you need to go against your instinct)
- learning what to look for when you drive between two lines of cars (on Gral Paz or in the city): the most dangerous part likely

etc.

***

Oh yes, I now have a modest Motomel 200 Supermotard (broken...), and I'm tempted by a new one.

Count me in if there's one day a motorcycle training session. Could be fun.
 

Gringoboy

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I'd be game for that. Still got a lot to learn.
I have a Mondial hd254, my first bike actually.
Love it!
 

Hybrid Ambassador

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joeteixido said:
*DROOL*

I had an FZR 1000 EXUP back in the day, best damn bike I ever had... and I had quite a few. I can't even imagine what riding an R1 must be like. I have been getting the bug lately, I'm thinking a 250/500 (for now, wink wink)
Oh Men, the power of the _Cross Plane Crank Shafted engined R1 is awesome! When I'm cruising at around 90~100 MPH, I don't ever need to down shift from 6th gear, just crack or twist the "Go Throttle" and in seconds I'm in Startosphere speed! around 140! Really torquey engine indeed! Hayabusas and Kawi K1400 no sweat! I am ahead of them..Now I have replaced my 09 for 12 model, It is equipped_with_Stability control ! You can gun it while mid corner at very steep lean angle, not eeven wheel slide!
 

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BrooklynStandUp said:
I took the MSF course in the Bronx and highly recommend it for anyone just starting out. I had some experience on dirtbikes from when I was a kid and did a ton of reading about riding before I got to the course, but logging practice hours on the 250's gave me a good deal of confidence to buy a bike and not kill myself on the beginner unfriendly streets of NYC. The insurance discount didn't suck either.

That said, I don't think learning the basics from an experienced rider is necessarily a bad idea simply because they are not accredited by an official governing body. A little common sense goes a long way. I've ridden with guys who would blaze a blunt and stunt their GSXR's on the BQE, and I've also ridden with guys who were extremely serious and could make a Ninja 250 look like an R1 at the track. Obviously the former is probably not who you want to give you lessons. Sure, if you're trying to master how to get from flat out in top gear down to 2nd while braking, rev matching your downshifts, and picking the best line before you hit the apex, then you should probably holler at Keith Code for a minute. If you're just learning how to make the bike go and how fundamental braking and shifting works, you might not have to drop a bunch of coin on a proper course. There's nothing you can't read about on the internet, but as with everything in life, experience is king. No course is going to prepare you for the decision you have to make when a pedestrian isn't looking and steps out in front of you, or when you're leaned over on the highway and hit a bump and the front end comes down and starts wobbling on you. Ultimately it depends on the rider. For me there was definitely an excessive amount of "if you drink and ride, you're going to have a bad time" videos for my taste, but since the course is for people from all walks of life, I understand that's a good thing.

Anyway, I respect and think it's awesome that you started the courses in Mendoza. I'm a little sensitive to broad generalizations in the motorcycle community. Like when people tell you, "Bro, definitely get a shitty bike as your first one because you WILL drop it." Sure, maybe... maybe not...
BrooklynStandUp, BQE ! Oh nostalgia, I used just for heck of riding, get on to BQE from Queens just to Gun it down. I remember back in the late 70's, the BQE pavement was so dirty and greasy especially when it started drizzling! It required very finess throttle control especially in the scorchin' summer when the black top starts to melt!
BrooklynStandUp, you and I have to ride toguether sometime! Ever headding to california some time? The way you speak, er, write, I know you can ride!
Let the good time roll!
 

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30 years I ride bikes, started with a Yamaha YZ 50 when I was 14. Drove on 4 continents since.

I may have owned like 20 different bikes since (including a few Vespas among which a 200cc I was doing wheelings with! Easy task though since it's a rear engine).



quote]
Hi FrenchJurist, Nice story posting. You do speak, er, write as a true _Veteran_. I concur with most of your riding comments and moments, You did your riding in Europe and abroad, I did most of my riding in Japan's mainland. The Hakone pass, near Tokyo is one of most thrilling mountain pass to ride on. It has many steep serpentined curves with huge degreed "R's" .. But very rewarding for those expert riders.(they filmed _Fast and furious movie) at Hakone pass, doing those drifting stunts..
I also rode in Hokkaido Big Isaland as well. Down south in Kyushu Island too. Moved to USA, study time, thought I was through with the Bikes! Alas,but fat chance!. The itches surfaced again,had to acquire more Bike again. Took my bike over to Lime Rock race course in Conneticut state,a very nice track to ride on hard!
Now in California, still at my old age, riding the Yamaha R1!
_Viva Motocyclismo,Para hombres con cojones!_ Ha,Ha,Ha, had to say it..
 
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