(Please visit one of our advertisers)

No donations or subscriptions are required

   OR   
   
Subscription choices:
Board Karma = 40  (3488 positive of 3870 votes is 40 %pts higher than a neutral 50%)
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle   
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

You can the entire collection of Safety Tip articles in a 33 Megabyte PDF Portfolio

 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Motorcycle Accident Reports - WITH COMMENTS
 I had an accident and am having a hard time coming back
Member Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  

I Ride
Starting Member
3 Posts


portsmouth, NH
USA

Harley-Davidson

Heritage

Posted - 07/30/2013 :  11:32 AM                       Like
ok everyone here goes. I have been riding 2 years. Started on an HD 883 , moved up to Deluxe 2006 96 engine. I got on a Heritage and loved it, took it out a few times when the HD demo truck was in town. Hubby bought me beautiful new Heritage. I got on it and it felt like an arabian horse that didn't ever have a rider.
NOTHING like the one I tested.
Rode every day for 2 weeks. Could not get fully comfortable. Scooting in my seat trying to reach the handlebars I don't know why I didn't notice this on the demo ride!
Some days it was ok..
2 days I freaked myself out on my turns.
Then I misjudged a turn slid on some sand got the bike upright and froze like a deer and took out 6 granite posts.
bottom line I was in bed for 5 weeks broken left foot and wrecked right leg that is better now but am still in the boot.
I really want to get back on a bike but am thinking of a smaller Harley- a Softail Slim. but I am afraid of riding and don't quite know how to shake it.
My left foot is still a bit broken although the doctor said I could " try" riding.
I kinda need some feedback.. hope this had value. Still trying to figure it out.

alaskaal
Male Junior Member
38 Posts


Chugiak, Alaska
USA

Kawasaki

Vulcan Classic 1500

Posted - 07/30/2013 :  12:44 PM
I ride a large cruiser that is much like the Heritage. It is a Vulcan 1500 Classic, made by Kawasaki. It weighs roughly the same and has basically the same engine size as the Heritage as well. It fits me like a glove. That said, it is a BIG bike. It takes a certain degree of skill and finesse to ride at low speeds and in the "twisties", but it handles like a dream, water-cooled, shaft drive, hydraulic clutch, I love it. I also feel self-conscious when I park at the local biker bar, but should I? I mean, are we into labels? Hell yeah.

Every once and a while I go and look at Harley Davidsons. They are, after all, the bike of the "Harley Lifesyle", but my sons, all three of them, ask me why I want one when my Vulcan is such a Lazy-Boy on wheels. There are two reasons, made in the USA, and the label. They are not the only bike out there. There are faster, quicker, better handling, lighter, more reliable, and much less intimidating machines out there. I've only owned one Harley and I could write a book (ever tried to start a Harley while towing it behind a Volkswagen on a dirt road?). I've also owned Hondas, Yamahas, BMWs, Hodaka, Bultaco, Yamaguchi, Suzukis and a Kawasaki.

It sounds to me like you are driven to Harley Davidson through brand loyalty. Nothing wrong with that, I really do understand. I have been riding for 45 years and I dislike to think that I might never ride a Ducati Hypermotard (my son's) or a Suzuki 450 (my other son's) or a Road King for that matter. I think that I'm gonna go down and look at a Victory Boardwalk or one of those new Indian Chiefs with the Thunderstroke 111 if they ever become reality. But, if I were you, I would look to borrow a light bike with a decent sized engine and good brakes and discover the joy of riding a light, super-handling, responsive motorcycle. You won't look like you stepped out of a biker movie, but take a look at the bike that Brando rode in The Wild One, and you just might. Don't forget that motorcycles are fun. If they weren't fun, I wouldn't ride.

Go to Top of Page

rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 07/30/2013 :  1:45 PM
Welcome to the forum.

quote:
Rode every day for 2 weeks.
On this forum it is recognized that when a rider gets on a new to them bike their skill level drops. Muscle memory that serves one well on one bike may be a disadvantage on another. How much of that 2 weeks of riding did you devote to PLP (parking lot practice) on your new bike?
quote:
...but I am afraid of riding and don't quite know how to shake it.
Given that you sustained injuries I would be surprised if you did not feel some level of apprehension. I think you can get past that with time and plenty of PLP before returning to normal riding. Regardless of the size of your new bike IMO the key is PLP.

I have a nephew who has expressed an interest in learning to ride. When he came up here to visit I had him sit on my bike and practice straightening the front wheel and squeezing both levers. You can practice that while waiting to fully mend without turning the bike on (he never did). I would recommend reading the safety tips (in red in the upper right corner near the login / logout) and would recommend this one in particular.

I look forward to your continued participation here and hopefully you will share your progress as you return to riding. I will say that riding is a personal decision and should you decide to not continue to ride that is OK too.

Ray
Go to Top of Page

kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 07/30/2013 :  1:55 PM
quote:
Originally posted by I Ride

I have been riding 2 years. Started on an HD 883 , moved up to Deluxe 2006 96 engine. I got on a Heritage and loved it, took it out a few times when the HD demo truck was in town. Hubby bought me beautiful new Heritage.



In two years of total riding you have owned three motorcycles.

1) Did you take any training before starting to ride the 883? (MSF BRC or HD Rider's Edge?)

2) How much (how many miles over how much time) did you ride the 883 before moving up to the '06 Deluxe? Why did you feel the need for a larger, more powerful motorcycle?

3) How much (how many miles over how much time) did you ride the Deluxe before getting the Heritage? Again, why did you feel the need for a larger, more powerful motorcycle?

My suggestions:

If you haven't taken any formal training, Do so before you get back on a motorcycle.

Take alaskaal's advice and start back on something smaller. The 883 Sportster wasn't a horrible choice but, based on your limited experience I suspect that the Deluxe and Heritage were way too much bike for your skill level.

And on this:

quote:
Could not get fully comfortable. Scooting in my seat trying to reach the handlebars I don't know why I didn't notice this on the demo ride!


Did the dealer set up the bike for you? The likely answer to this is that the handlebars are adjustable and the demo bikes were likely in a different position than the new bike you received. The Dealer should have had you sit on the bike and adjust the controls to fit you.
Go to Top of Page

aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1739 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 07/30/2013 :  3:57 PM
Hi I Ride, thank you for your post and welcome.

I agree with others suggesting formal training, lots of PLP and a smaller bike. In my opinion, an 883 still too big (at this point in your riding career), and no they don't make smaller HD's than that.

I would suggest spending a couple thousand on a used Honda 250 and starting all over again. Take, or retake, BRC with the Honda. Spend hours doing PLP and neighborhood riding, and slowly build confidence in your ability to control both it and yourself.

It may not look "cool" or sound "cool", and your HD jacket and helmet may look out of place, but who cares. It's not forever, and will trade nicely for an 883.

My .02

Go to Top of Page

I Ride
Starting Member
3 Posts


portsmouth, NH
USA

Harley-Davidson

Heritage

Posted - 07/30/2013 :  6:07 PM
thank you so much all of you. I did take the Riders Edge Class and have been working with one of the instructors this May prior to the accident. I have also taken 2 advanced classes as my goal has been to get to be a better rider. I just turned 55 and have always wanted to ride and have loved it. This would be my 3rd year and I have put 6 thousand miles in 2 years on the 2 bikes.
I moved up to a bigger bike from the 883 because we had one in the garage and at the end of 3 thousand miles that first summer most of which was behind Home Depot and in schoolyards, I hopped on the Deluxe and it was like riding a Cadillac. The 2nd year I rode the Deluxe with no issues.
Then I dunno.. I saw the Heritage and I thought I would try it. I'm fully embarrassed to say I thought it looked cooler.
The dealership did not fit it to me and I had recognized I needed to take it in to get the changes but I was also aware this bike was too much for me. There seemed to be not much difference between my Deluxe and this one but... I agree now I need to get a smaller bike for my confidence. My husband is a Harley guy and is not a fan of other brands -what can I say.. but he wants an alive wife. I am willing to check out smaller ones. I have been bitten by the riding bug. The Riders Edge instructor here teaches the police course too, he is going to take me out on the back of his bike starting next week to help me get my senses back. I find I ride better with him and learn from him than my husband anyway. Once I can ride again I am going to ride with him at first.
Go to Top of Page

I Ride
Starting Member
3 Posts


portsmouth, NH
USA

Harley-Davidson

Heritage

Posted - 07/30/2013 :  6:13 PM
ps I did not take my new bike once into PLP at ALL!! I just re read your posts I had no idea my skill level would drop but It DID! The first year it's all I did from April to mid July then rode all the backroads out here with my hubby.
This forum is SO informative.
I am going to read some more posts tonight! Thank YOu all@!
Go to Top of Page

Robus
Male Senior Member
293 Posts


Chicago, IL
USA

BMW

R1200RT, HD FLTRU

Posted - 08/12/2013 :  11:32 PM
Just what others have said about training and finding a bike that fits you. The fact that you mentioned scaring yourself in turns a couple of times before crashing in one suggests that you might want to get back to basics in your training: finding a safe entry speed for the turn, counter-steering, looking in the direction you want to go rather than fixating on the object you're hoping to avoid hitting.

Even if you have been riding for a couple of years, 6000 miles means you're still in the early stages. Even if they adjust it to fit you, a Heritage is a lot of bike, probably more than you need or want.

A lot of people will recommend an inexpensive older Japanese bike to novice riders. I've always found it ironic that the higher-end bikes with modern safety features like ABS tend to be ridden by more experienced riders, while novices usually ride bikes without those features.

I would take a look at something like a Honda CBR250r ABS. It has anti-lock brakes and costs new about what you would spend for a used Sportster.

Go to Top of Page

AaronC
Male Standard Member
102 Posts


Windsor, Ontario
Canada

Honda

1984 Magna vf700c

Posted - 09/27/2013 :  5:11 PM
I have to chime in here regarding brand name loyalty.

Personally I think it stems from lazy thinking, and isn't much different from racism, sexism or any other socially unacceptable "ism" except that it's not only socially acceptable but even expected.

The way I see it, Harley Davidson does not care about you, Kawasaki does not care about you, Suzuki does not care about you. Repeat that sentence for every manufacturer of every product in every genre.

This fall under ride your own ride I think.

Many smaller bikes have safety options. In Canadian dollars, the Kawasaki Ninja 300cc with SE fairings and ABS comes in at about 6500$ and is a great entry level bike. Though probably not for you as you seem to like the cruisers/touring bikes. I would have to second the idea of looking at a Honda Rebel 250, or even, given your experience, maybe even looking at the selection of 500s or 650s, as it sounds to me like that would be a significant step down for you.

In the end, if you want a smaller HD, go for it as well, I'm not going to tell anyone what to ride or what brands/types of bikes to like, just that you shouldn't rule out a bike because it's not the brand you associate your image with. As the old Sprite commercials said...image is nothing, thirst is everything.

Most importantly, I Ride, is that you are ok and on the mend. And that you don't ever get on a bike again simply to please someone else.

The other day when I was doing my M2 road test, my father-in-law came to see how I was doing and was talking about how my mother in law was getting used to her bike, but they had left it in a nearby town because she had gotten too cold to ride and was shivering. Jokingly he said "replacing a bike is easy but do you know how hard it is to train a new wife?" (we all know who has who trained...trust me, but it was funny). In reality, he looked out for her safety before making her feel like she had something to prove.

Your husband can be a Harley guy but he shouldn't (and doesn't sound like he does) press that on you as that can be a very dangerous game, though it sounds like you are a Harley fan and simply bit off more than you could chew once.

Never do anything you aren't comfortable doing and stay safe, we want to keep you around here :D
Go to Top of Page

Safe N Smiling
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


On a Bike Somewhere, Here and There
USA

(Unknown - Other)

Several Bikes

Posted - 10/05/2015 :  7:05 PM
quote:
Originally posted by I Ride


I really want to get back on a bike but am thinking of a smaller Harley- a Softail Slim. but I am afraid of riding and don't quite know how to shake it.



If your afraid of riding you need to stay away from bikes for now.

You may also want to consider a different type of bike. Harleys are far from the handling levels of other types of bikes. You may feel totally different about riding on a different type of bike.

Even a very high performance race bik like a BMW s1000rr is a breeze to ride compared to a big Harley.

S1000rr. Small and light. Very smooth engine. Many throttle mappings for mellow riding to racing. ABS like few other machines.

An s1000XR would be similar but a more sit up riding position.

I know several ladies that ride these machines and love them after moving on from cruiser type bikes and retro stuff like the Boneville.

Edited by - Safe N Smiling on 10/05/2015 7:18 PM
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  
Jump To:
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle © Master Strategy Group Go To Top Of Page
  This page was generated in 0.44 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05