I completed the MSF course in mid-May. I purchased my first bike ('13 Versys) just a couple weeks ago. Since buying the bike, I have had no regrets. I love it. The first week or so I strictly rode it around my neighborhood for an hour or two a day getting to know the friction zone, shifting, braking, etc.
A few days ago I finally ventured onto the street and into Indian lands where nearly no traffic exists, so I could become comfortable at cruising speeds of 40-50mph, upshifting and downshifting. Then the following day I ran my first errand to the store that wasn't too far. It was fun and I loved the ride. I did have one guy almost blow through a stop sign, not paying attention, and that scared the hell out of me.
Anyway, I am still a bit nervous (with butterflies in my stomach) every time before getting on my bike; not because of the stop-sign guy, just in general. Once I begin cruising I become fairly comfortable, but my nerves still keep me from going on busier streets; instead of just the side roads I've been taking that contain less traffic. So I am curious . . .
When you were beginning to ride, how long did it take you and what did you do to become more and more comfortable on your bike, until the nerves finally went away and it all just became natural to you?
alexg1! I'm also a very new rider (first season, '07 Versys is my first bike).. Been riding only a few months and I don't get nervous getting on the bike anymore. When I first started, there was definitely some nerves going on, but for me, I just kept riding, and riding, and riding. As you encounter different situations on the road (good, bad, and swear-worthy) and you figure out how you handle them, I think that does a lot to calm your nerves down, or show you what you need to work on. Experience is the best teacher, but ride to your comfort level (and protect yourself), and you'll eventually get more comfortable.
Again..ride often, ride safe, and always be aware of what's going on around you, and one day you'll walk up to your bike, start it up, put on your gloves and helmet (all your other protective gear is already on!) and you'll just hop on and go. No more butterflies, and you'll never even realize it unless you stop to think about it.
That's my take on things. Others might have different view.