"Learn to Ride" Brochure Feedback
In the Open Bike forum, there is (ultimately) a thread to an AMA brochure on new rider steps. I think that brochure, and some of the other stuff out there, misses one critical element for the novice: visual acuity. This is particularly important on the 919. If I have missed a ton of threads that already address this topic, I apologize.
The balance of the 919 is so novice friendly that in combination with the stock horsepower it offers, it is easy for the novice to overdrive his or her ability to process traffic, or turn, visual input. Additionally, if you are in an area with traffic similar to the idiots in South Florida, you must account not just for what's in front of you, but the maniacs coming up behind you, as well as potential escape routes. This is a lot of information to process VERY quickly-MUCH quicker than OTHER drivers will process your sudden presence in their space.
That AMA link says that one of the rider profiles is middle-aged guy starting up again. I'm 43 and this is my first bike in 23 years (bought in June) so for whatever it is worth:
Personally, I'm still lagging the pack. Keith Code describes seven "Survival Reactions" and, at last count, I have nine.
For the novice, speaking as a novice, avoid gauging yourself by the speedometer. It's best to focus on what's around you and gauge yourself by bike noise/vibration. As a novice, you really have to appreciate how much distance you can cover, and how much traffic conditions can change, in that second or two that you are tempted to peer down at the speedo.
Personally, I'm very competitive, I STILL DO slip up and check the speedometer, soooooooo...
The more I ride and read, however, the less I seem to care about numerical mph on our highways and the more I am driven towards pushing through corners, on/off ramps, etc (this is all we have in SFla). The focus required driving through turns one notch over whatever I've done before is beyond intoxicating.
Again, for whatever it is worth.