Help: MY First Motorcycle - Honda Valkyrie F6C Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Help: MY First Motorcycle

Friends,

I am 41 and scheduled to do my first motorcycle training course in September. I have never ridden motorcycle, but I can ride a bike. I found a blue 2014 Valkyrie with low miles and I loved the feel of it. I have watched many reviews.

I know this is a 760LB monster of a bike. I am 6'0 205 who has been strength training for years. Am I making a mistake by choosing a 2014 Valkyrie for my first bike? Could I please have some advise on this issue?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 02:48 PM
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Tbh - The Valk does take a little getting used to. But, I wouldn't say its impossible. With perseverance, patience, and a little common sense anything is possible.
also, depends on where you are riding, if it's the open roads and not much traffic, you should be fine.
Since its relatively a bigger and heavier bike, slow riding is where skills take over and that comes with experience and practice.
You don't need to be all buffed up to ride this bike if that's what you meant by strength training.
Wish you the very best and more importantly, be safe.
and this forum is the right place to be for tips and advice, good start for sure!
Where are you located? and btw - Welcome to the amazing world of motorcycling and this forum!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Can you give me some more specifics around "getting used to"? What makes one bike more or less difficult to learn on than another?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Schrall View Post
Can you give me some more specifics around "getting used to"? What makes one bike more or less difficult to learn on than another?
We typically learn by making mistakes, pushing it just a tad too far to know learn exactly where those various lines are that should not be crossed ... and making a simple mistake on a bike with this power, weight and price could be expensive. It might be a matter of standing still and finding out that after you lean it only THAT amount, you're not going to stop it from crashing to the ground while a bunch of people are watching. Think you have the kickstand down when you really don't, is a common time when for that to happen. Pop the clutch with too much throttle and you could be in bigger trouble. It's way easier to learn those valuable lessons on a lighter bike that would be more forgiving. That's why the official safety classes use 125 cc bikes, and in my class, it was obvious by looking at the bikes that they'd all been dropped quite a few times. Ideally, learning to throw around a light dirt bike where you can feel the tires sliding and learn to manage that, and drop a few times in the dirt is the very best way, but certainly not a requirement.

Yes, it can be done. LOTS of guys go out and get a 900 pound Harley as their first bike. Some fair better than others, and some go off those elevated flyover ramps. Take the class on a small bike that the class provides, then watch all of the free MCRider motorcycle training videos, and then do the drills in a parking lot. Find safe places and times to get very familiar with the bike, then an experienced friend to take you out a few times, then find some safe groups to ride with and learn from. I forget the number, but a very high percentage of accidents happen in the first 6 months of owning a new-to-you bike (check out the interesting CDC numbers, also covering variables like alcohol related, deaths from head injuries without helmets, etc.), so be sure to give it PLENTY of time before you take her out to 'see what she's really got'. Allow a lot of buffer space, expecting EVERY car within sight to veer into you or turn in front of you at the last second, and be ready with an escape route.

I hope this helps.

Good luck, and welcome to the group, from DFW, TX!
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2nd owner of 2014 Valkyrie

Previous Bikes:
’66 Benelli (Montgomery Wards) 125 cc Riverside
’74 Yamaha Enduro DT360
’74 Honda CB450
’76 Kawasaki KH500
’77 Yamaha RD400
’80 Kawasaki KX250
’71 Honda CB750K1
’82 Yamaha Virago XV750
'95 Honda Magna VF750CD
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 05:57 PM
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Let me offer a suggestion or two. I’m 69 years old, have been riding for at least 55 of them, and might be hesitant to suggest to a friend that the Valkyrie would be a good “first bike”. Would it be possible to learn to ride it and then go on to progress to more fully explore the limits of its handling and acceleration? Of course. Is it the best choice? Of course not. Which is why you asked the question in the first place, wanting one really bad and just wanting the acknowledgement of other riders that you’ll be okay, while instinctively knowing that you’re probably asking for trouble. You’re asking permission to make a sketchy decision. You’re 40. Do you have kids? Maybe around the age where they are getting interested in driving? Would you think it a good idea to have them learn to drive in their very own Corvette with gobs of horsepower? (I’ve had one of those, too, and the answer is “no”.) Here’s the thing: I’m sure you’re a very stable-minded, responsible individual who sees the fun others are having on two wheels and want to join in. Please do! If it wasn't so much fun I'd have quit many years ago. May I suggest, however, at the risk of being booed by other forum members, that you buy a clean, unabused-but-used bike of maybe around 750cc’s or so, maybe a Honda for reliability factors, get your license and training on it, have fun with it (very few bikes are no fun), and then decide whether you want to step up to the Valkyrie? You will be able to get back virtually every dollar you paid for the used bike and Valkyries aren’t going to be any more expensive six months from now.

I just don’t want you to 1) hurt yourself (Valks are VERY powerful and “torqey” and you may only get one mistake), or 2) end up finding that you really don’t want a bike like that after experiencing the 750 and finding that they are really quite fast enough.

I’m not one to try to steal another’s dream, but I sure don’t want your dream to become your nightmare. Best of luck with your decisions!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 06:47 PM
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Daniel,
I think Kugo and Buster have both answered the question quite well - maybe even much better than how I could articulate. To put things to perspective, Motorcycling is a risky hobby - I'm around your age group but have ridden since I was 16 or 17, even today when I go out on a ride ( I commute to work on this motorcycle in LA ), I'm not sure if I would be a victim to someone else's mistake let alone my own. Not trying to scare you away, but Kugo made this point very clear, its always better to scale up the notches in a slow and steady manner - get a much smaller, cheaper used motorcycle and learn the basics and the cost of a mistake is not that much, even if that was to happen. Counter steering, trail braking and a bunch of other life-saving skills need to be practised, and the best proof of when you are ready for a bigger bike - is just your own self-confidence, you will know it when you ride with that level of confidence.
Hope this helps.
Regards,
Rama
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 01:50 AM
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Simply put there are not too many bikes bigger or more powerful than this bike, If you have confidence in yourself to handle a large powerful machine I say go for it... When you’re doing everything right it feels as light going down the road as a Shadow its when things go wrong that it feels like a leviathan. The problem is (and I’m having this problem with my son who wants my Valk but has never ridden) is these are so darn affordable and dropping 3-4 grand on a used “beginners” bike seems like a waste shoot I only paid 8 grand for it brand new
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 02:51 AM
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Don't do it. Madness.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 08:16 AM
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If it were a super deal on the Valk I would go for it and park it in the garage at first. Then go on Craigslist and find a cheap beater bike and ride the **** out of it for a season to get familiar with everything. Once you get experience and confidence get on the Valk. Then sell the beater bike. Trust me, you could be riding for 50 years and still haven't learned everything. Just stay safe and have fun.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 09:27 AM
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What ashram1974 means by saying it takes some getting used to is, well, several things. This bike has a very short clutch engagement point. Most bikes, you have to let the clutch out a bit before it grabs. This bike engages very early in the release. Second, once it does engage, it engages with a fury. That 6 cylinder 1800 cc engine is ready to ROCK. You barely have to touch the throttle before you're going 10 mph. And it will rip you right off the bike if you're not expecting what happens when you twist the throttle (or even before you twist it). I do not consider this to be a beginner's bike. It is big and heavy and powerful. If you've watched the YouTube videos, many of the riders will tell you this is not a starter bike. There is a world of difference between a lower displacement lighter bike and an 1800 cc 750-pounder in terms of keeping them upright, balancing, cornering, "duck walking" them around a parking lot, slow speed riding, braking, accelerating, and maneuvering. Having ridden bikes for 45 years (see my history below) in all sorts of displacements, I was ready for the Valkyrie, but even as an experienced rider, I found it a bit of a challenge initially.



I know when you look at this bike, it makes you want it. But I would recommend learning to ride on something much lighter and nimbler. It would be a horrible shame (potentially life changing) to hear you dropped this or lost control and had an accident. I agree with others that you should start with something like a 750 cc, get used to riding for a couple of years, and then think about the Valkyrie. And in addition to the Valkyrie videos, I would suggest watching as many motorcycle safety videos as you can find and attend your local riding safety school. They all will give you tips that as an inexperienced rider, you will want to have in your mind as you begin. Motorcycling is a fun hobby but is enormously dangerous even if you know what you're doing. Not because of you, but because of the other guy out there. Most of us here have been down at some point and can share their own experiences. It's not fun. You want to minimize the chances of it happening. Starting out on this bike will increase the odds against you.


I'm sure what you're reading here is not the answer you had hoped for. But we know of what we speak. Work your way up to this one. You'll understand once you have some experience. There's a LOT to learn when you first start riding, and you don't want to make rookie mistakes on a bike this big and this expensive.


Let us know what you decide. And best of luck. Safety first is your mantra.


Richmonder

"There are no motorcycles in a psychiatrist's parking lot."


Previous bikes:


Honda Z50A (sold)
Kawasaki KS 125 (sold)
Kawasaki KZ 650 (sold)
Honda V45 Magna (sold)
Honda VTX 1300r
Honda VTX 1800r
Honda CTX 1300
Honda F6C Valkyrie
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