Riding with a noob. - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Riding with a noob.

I'm hoping my wife will get her endorsement soon.

What is the best practice for riding with a new rider?
In front to keep an eye on, or behind to pave the way?

“Society is nothing more than people cooperating with other people they'd much rather murder.”

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 10:03 AM
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I went through this same dilemma with a GF a few years back. My opinion, and that's all it is... Is to have her ride behind you at a safe distance and do what you do. Use turn signals, hand signals, and even budget for a blue tooth communication system to directly communicate with her. Now, with my wife, who wasn't that GF, she and I ride our bikes, we talk when necessary. She and I both have been riding all our life since we were kids. I can alert her to road hazards, road surface, traffic slowing, what my intentions may be, speed, etc, etc. There's a lot going on and until we hit the backroads, we are chatting.

I've lead group rides on many occasions and I pair the bikes turn signals and brake lights with extensive use of hand signals with braking, turning, slowing, passing. I want the rider or riders behind me to know as much as I do of what's coming. Using my outstretched leg to indicate debris or animal carcass, pile of leaves, gravel, etc, etc.

As for her riding in front, I tried that and felt out of touch and out of control of what an inexperienced rider may encounter. Muscle memory suggests and indicates what we may or may not do in a crisis, panic, obstacle situation and their instincts may prove to be wrong. Follow me, do what I do.... I will guide, you help you. You want a positive calming, helpful style to ensure she wants to do this again, again, and again. It's a wonderful thing to have your best friend, loved one ride the ride with you....

Good luck, happy riding.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 11:02 AM
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If it were me, I would feel better if I were leading the ride...if nothing more than just giving the rider behind you a little more heads up on situations that may pop up that a few extra moments to prepare and adjust to that might just make the difference in how one reacts. Would stay away from using any type of communication system until rider becomes more comfortable with riding in general...just one less distraction. My wife and I use the scala communication system but thats riding 2 up and its great to have and would recommend. Just my opinion of course. If she rides w/you now 2 up, perhaps the investment in such a system would be worth while now and use it while you ride to point out things you do while you ride and why you do them instinctively. Can be a great teaching tool. Good luck.

Whats the big hurry...slow down and enjoy the ride!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 11:09 AM
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I would say that you should be up front. She'll learn more watching you and you can control things when something happens up ahead that she wouldn't notice. That said, I will caution that you need to be very mindful of your speed. You can easily ride faster than she is comfortable and some new riders will worry more about keeping up with you than keeping the bike upright.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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The previous posts pretty much mirror what I thought.
We already have a set of Sena's that I just re-installed in some better helmets.

Years ago I taught her how to wrench, assemble, disassemble, and drive these around.

She has many thousands of miles chasing me around the country.
She was very good at following and anticipating my every move.
She rides well on her Baja, so I have no fears that she'll do OK once she gets used to a bigger bike.

I do think she's a better follower than a leader when it comes to these things, the only thing that wears me out is the distraction of keeping my eyes in the mirror, which I do anyways, but keeping an eye on something more specific is a little tougher.

By the way, that was my crew for awhile. My wife, my daughter, myself, and a guy we called the "Wayne man"
We took this specific pic for the scales in Hope Arkansas who made us take them down because we were too tall.
I'm not sure if you can see the "birds" or not.

“Society is nothing more than people cooperating with other people they'd much rather murder.”

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 01:25 PM
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Don't forget to ask her if she has a preference.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 09:06 PM
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An MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course will be great for your new rider. She will get a lot of time thinking about riding and practicing some skills under a knowledgeable eye. If I am not mistaken, at track days, the students follow the leader at first to learn speeds and cornering better. Then, after some amount of time, the leader watches the learners. Of course, this is on a track without outside traffic.

I am sure you will both have fun.

Plan for tomorrow and live for today.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 01:45 PM
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I'm a few months late to this party, but I'm glad someone started this thread. My wife just finished up her classes and we got her a used little Yamaha VStar 250 as her starter bike. I have been wondering the same thing about how we should set up when riding together. Good info that you all provided.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 03:06 PM
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Whatever you do don't overtax her. New riders tire easily sometimes even before you get warmed up. Once they are fatigued bad things happen.
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