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We have a friend who's husband rides a bike occasionally, and he has done some long trips. She sent me an email wanting to set up a "rental one way" ride from San Fran to Wash DC on four HD Electra Glides that are apparently available for this in October. SHE says she'll "get her licence" and ride one too, basically stating a 3000 mile+ trip would be her first experience even riding a bike....

I emailed her back explaining why this was a really bad idea..... I'm always surprised at how some people think riding a bike is something you can easily learn in a few hours and just take off doing with others who have years of experience riding.

Reminds me of a case where a son of a guy came home from school and found Dad's new Harley in the garage and decided to take it for a ride, though he'd never ridden.... ?how hard can it be???.... literally minutes later, the bike was totalled (had 10-12 miles on it) and the boy was in the Trauma unit for weeks...

Have you ever had to have a conversation with someone over an issue like this?
 

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Trip

Maybe she will wise up, but you can't fix stupid.
 

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Destindoc,
Just maybe she will not be able to pass the Test. I would think she would respect and take into consideration your thought on the subject.
I also have tragic storys but it's to late for those people.
Try and talk some sense into her:shock:
 

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Here in the Sacramento a couple of years ago, a young man of 22 just received his motorcycle endorcement from the DMV. That same day he rented a Harley from the local dealership. Out on the freeway he went & within 5 miles crashed into a guard rail. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Very sad.
 

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..... rented a Harley from the local dealership. Out on the freeway he went & within 5 miles crashed into a guard rail. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Very sad.
Where does "very sad" fit in this story? "Very stupid" maybe......there is nothing "sad" about morons getting killed thru their own idiocy. Where does his "Personal Responsibility" end and my empathy needs to kick in?

This person did not die for his country, did not die for what he believed in, he died cause he never understood or wished to learn what "personal responsibility" is about and that Honda is right - "Stupid Hurts, very stupid kills".
 

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Here in the Sacramento a couple of years ago, a young man of 22 just received his motorcycle endorcement from the DMV. That same day he rented a Harley from the local dealership. Out on the freeway he went & within 5 miles crashed into a guard rail. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Very sad.
Yeah, that is sad, no doubt.
 

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The only thing close that I have had happen is that I have a friend who last rode a motorcycle back in the 70s (a Honda 360), and he is now considering getting a new motorcycle, a Yamaha VMax. I have been telling him every chance I get that a VMax is not a beginners bike.

In the past, we have had a number of new members come on this board, stating that they were either beginners or hadn't ridden in over 20 years and asking for recommendations on getting a Wing. Surprisingly, a number of people always chime in that a Wing is a great first bike.

I'm not surprised at the woman in your story. To people who don't ride, a motorcycle is nothing more than a bicycle with an engine. I am more amazed that her husband is going along with it.
 

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We have a friend who's husband rides a bike occasionally, and he has done some long trips. She sent me an email wanting to set up a "rental one way" ride from San Fran to Wash DC on four HD Electra Glides that are apparently available for this in October. SHE says she'll "get her licence" and ride one too, basically stating a 3000 mile+ trip would be her first experience even riding a bike....

I emailed her back explaining why this was a really bad idea..... I'm always surprised at how some people think riding a bike is something you can easily learn in a few hours and just take off doing with others who have years of experience riding.

Reminds me of a case where a son of a guy came home from school and found Dad's new Harley in the garage and decided to take it for a ride, though he'd never ridden.... ?how hard can it be???.... literally minutes later, the bike was totalled (had 10-12 miles on it) and the boy was in the Trauma unit for weeks...

Have you ever had to have a conversation with someone over an issue like this?
Unfortunately, yes. Every BRC class I coach I ask "why are you here?" and "what do you expect from the class?"

Most students give the typical answers but I did have a husband wife combo that had planned a multiday trip within a month on the bikes they already had sitting in the garage (a friend delivered it to their house for them). After they passed the class I pulled them off to the side and shared my opinion with them on their trip and that they should reconsider such a long trip so soon. I have no idea if the went on the trip or not, but all you can do is try to point out the pros and cons, its up to them to decide.
 

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Another note- the HD dealer here won't rent a bike to you unless you have had your endorsement for at least 12 months.
 

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Firstbike

Why would a Wing not be a good first bike?
Weight?
Anyone who has ridden my bike as always commented on how easy it is to handle.
My contention is that if you are open to learning then it doesn't matter what you start with.

BTW...on my second Wing in three years, over 50K, mostly two up and pulling a trailer. Everywhere from slabs, backroads, I-35 in Austin and Dallas TX, Deals Gap etc. Taken MSF BRC, ERC (2) and Ride Like A Pro (1).
The Wing is my first bike ever. It isn't so much the bike between your legs as what is between your ears.




The only thing close that I have had happen is that I have a friend who last rode a motorcycle back in the 70s (a Honda 360), and he is now considering getting a new motorcycle, a Yamaha VMax. I have been telling him every chance I get that a VMax is not a beginners bike.

In the past, we have had a number of new members come on this board, stating that they were either beginners or hadn't ridden in over 20 years and asking for recommendations on getting a Wing. Surprisingly, a number of people always chime in that a Wing is a great first bike.

I'm not surprised at the woman in your story. To people who don't ride, a motorcycle is nothing more than a bicycle with an engine. I am more amazed that her husband is going along with it.
 

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In BRC, three young guys told us they were going in on Monday (yeah, they had a lot to learn) and each buy a crotch rocket. Saturday morning, in the very first on-bike period, one of them could not find neutral or slip the clutch without stalling the engine. An instructor spent most of the period with him, even swapping bikes to see if something was wrong with the clutch (there wasn't - I put the bike up for them and it was fine). After lunch, the guy was not around. When asked where he was, his friends said that he had dropped out in frustration. So, he won't be one of your riding buddies? No, he's still planning on buying one with the rest of us.:eek:
 

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As an MSF Instructor, I've had them show up for the Friday evening classroom portion with a brand new bike on a trailer behind their cage. Fully expecting to be a professional rider by Sunday afternoon. The MSF BRC usually humbles them pretty quick though.
 

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Why would a Wing not be a good first bike?
Weight?
Anyone who has ridden my bike as always commented on how easy it is to handle.
My contention is that if you are open to learning then it doesn't matter what you start with.
Were any of the riders that commented on your bike beginners?

The vast majority of riders are very unstable the first time they ride a bike. The Wing is not easy to gather up and save when you do something wrong, and you will do many things wrong while you are learning. Some of those mistakes will happen out on the road. It is much easier to get out of a bad situation with a smaller bike when you are a beginner.

I think that's great that you were able to ride a Wing as your first bike. You aren't the only one. But I still think it is a mistake for most people, and too high of a risk.

You can drink and drive and get home ok. But that doesn't make it a good idea.

JMO
 

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I dunno.

I think it is what is between your ears that is important. You either have street smarts or you do not. Some have it some do not. Do you see that car sitting up ahead some 600 yards away and the landscape truck and trailer behind you following too close, are you aware of all that. Some are some not.

Sure a big bike is heavy, sure you will tip it over and wobble around a few times. But ya know you will do that no matter if you have rode a Honda 750 shadow for ten years.

I bought my first Wing in 2003. I wobbled around a bit getting used to the heavy bike. Then again wobbled around two up for a day or two. Now I do not even think about it and one foot stops are easy even two up, and no feet down lots of times. Just takes practice.

Falling over is no big deal.

Street smarts is the thing. You better have them on a bike, in a car a fender bender is just that. No big deal. On a bike it can be serious.

I would tell the lady to go to a beginners riding course, then rent the big Harley for a couple weekends locally and learn to ride it.

Then it is up to the leader of that small group to watch out for all. Keep things on an even keel, realize that you may be comfortable passing , but they may not be.

Then go enjoy life.
 

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Yes Doc, I have lived that story several times. No coast to coast, but decent trips anyway.

Fortunately, (or how ever you want to call it), none had enough problems to ruin the trip. UNfortunately some them thought themself bullet proof and had a humbling experience within a year. None could believe that it was because they still had a lot to learn.

Best Wishes and best of luck with your friend.
 

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We had some friends in Alaska who decided to do just this very thing. Back in the early 90's, they both decided to start riding. He had ridden dirt bikes a little bit many years before, but it had been a long time. She had never ridden. They both took (and passed) the BRC, got their endorsements, then flew back East somewhere--Maine, if I remember correctly--bought two matching GL1500SE's, and, after a short period of parking lot riding to get "used" to the feel, promptly rode them all the way back to Anchorage.

That's not exactly what I would have recommended, but it worked for them, and both of them turned out to be cracker jack riders. Fortunately, they were both mature, clear-thinking adults, so I suspect they didn't go into it blind. It worked for them, but it wouldn't for everybody. I agree with Kit, the key to success is what's between the ears, and employing it sensibly.
 

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HOG chapters are full of them...male and female. Large disposable incomes seem to bring out the "worst" of ideas.

Woman in her mid 30's had ridden with husband for several years on their Electra-Glide, decided to get her endorsement by attending the MSF class...which she failed the first time. Members of the HOG chapter took her to a large vacant parking lot to practice her skills on a Honda Rebel her husband had purchased from another member. During said practice session, she dropped the bike twice and ran over a member, breaking his collar bone and right leg below the knee. Now, after this one might hope she would get the idea that staying in the backseat would be the best for all concerned....but she returned to the MSF class, passed the test and immediately (same day) bought a Heritage Softail.

They're here...there....everywhere!!
 

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About two years ago our local Harley dealer delivered a brand new full sized bike to a guy who's family was there to see the big event. He crashed it and died right there in the parking lot. I don't think he got more than 200 feet on it. Right in front of his family. It was awful.:-(
 

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HOG chapters are full of them...male and female. Large disposable incomes seem to bring out the "worst" of ideas.

Woman in her mid 30's had ridden with husband for several years on their Electra-Glide, decided to get her endorsement by attending the MSF class...which she failed the first time. Members of the HOG chapter took her to a large vacant parking lot to practice her skills on a Honda Rebel her husband had purchased from another member. During said practice session, she dropped the bike twice and ran over a member, breaking his collar bone and right leg below the knee. Now, after this one might hope she would get the idea that staying in the backseat would be the best for all concerned....but she returned to the MSF class, passed the test and immediately (same day) bought a Heritage Softail.

They're here...there....everywhere!!
GWRRA chapters aren't exempt either! :doorag:
 

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Another note- the HD dealer here won't rent a bike to you unless you have had your endorsement for at least 12 months.
I have a question. How would they know how long the endorsement was on your license? I have had an endorsement on my license for 40 years, but nothing on it says how long I've had it?:shrug:
 
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