Hi all. New member. I am an older rider who put some 25k miles on a KZ650 in the mid 80's. Have not been on a bike since 1989. My 25 year old son told me he wants to ride cross country with me so, of course, I said yes and got a bike. Found an '08 Versys 650 with very low miles and some sweet farkles like Givi monkey side and back racks, handguards, Go cruise etc. got my permit and signed up for a drivers course. Problem is I am really intimidated by the bike (which I never was in my younger years). It feels big, and fast, and frankly awkward. Was wondering if others of you came back after a really long hiatus and any tips for dealing with these anxieties. Really want to make this trip with my son but severely lacking in confidence at the moment. Thx for any thoughts/suggestions!!
a) pay attention to the driver's course.
b) I developed 4 rules over the years that have served me well. Pay close attention, life will provide a test at the end of this reply:
b.1) They (cage drivers) STILL can't see you.
Really. They can't see you. There's now texting, phone calls, faxes, lattes, screaming kids (or girlfriend/boyfriends), aka all the fun stuff now called "distracted driving." Somehow Driving The Vehicle
winds up in 4th place behind everything else. They. Can't. See. You.
b.1A) Your rear view mirrors are there for a reason
They cost nothing to use. Pay attention to what's going on BEHIND
you! I watched a guy on a Harley get launched into an intersection when a teenager 'misjudged' the distance in front of him at a stop light. Note: people don't fly very well, and landings are often something best left unseen.
b.2) If they DO see you they'll try to kill you.
Really. ("Oh, that motorcycle is SO small, I'll just turn left in front of him, he can stop quickly, and he can't hurt ME in my HUGE Chevy truck, and I'm running late!")
b.3) You STILL have no right of way.
Really. You might be in the right, but you're permanently dead. It only takes once. Be prepared to hand over the right of way at any time in any situation. Really. Buy a horn that is audible more than 30 feet away. The Denali Soundbomb Mini is relatively cheap and works quite well. I practice my horn blowing skills almost daily. Really.
b.4) Don't ride anything you can't pick up.
If you do dump it, learn how to pick it up without a hernia (it is possible to pick up Bloated Cruisers!) [note: this rule started getting ignored about 30-odd years ago when Gold Wings appeared.]
Stop by if you make it to beautiful, metropolitan North Idaho.