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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is Derrick, 56 year old 150 lbs. I bodybuild for a hobby but have a difficult time keeping my weight up due to not eating enough. Beginning Rider of a 1982 Honda cm450, living in Terre Haute, IN. I have not accomplished much mechanical work in my life. Have changed carbs on a car engine but not much more than that since highschool, but I have some questions to ask, or to research. I can understand the theory behind things well. Mainly due to not having a right tool for a certain procedure, is the reason I have not much practical experience.
The reasons I am joining this forum is to gain information, possibly share some of my experiences, and I liked the couple of posts that I read, along with the lucid replies to the original Posts. Members appear to be welcoming to beginners as well as experienced riders.
I quit driving over 11 years ago due to a TBI suffered during a car crash. So not only have I not driven a car for over 11 years, I have not driven a motorcycle, ever! I found this 1982 Honda CM450 for a great price and in good condition after years of considering buying one. I was told by an experienced Rider that Hondas last forever. So I took the Chance and bought this one at the end of last month. I passed the driver's knowledge test last week. Then I passed the driver's skills test yesterday morning. And I passed the motorcycles knowledge test yesterday afternoon. Went and got insurance and the plates today. Had to work for four hours and then I got home and took the bike for a ride.
It would have made a normal man a nervous wreck. I was a little scared but my life has been one long adventure. I don't have much family so it would not hurt a great many people if I died. So I just try to make sure I don't hurt anyone and pay close attention to what I am doing.
I killed the engine two or three times. And took some wide turns on some deserted streets. On my second ride of the bike. The first ride was a hair-raising experience to drive it home after I bought it with no license, permit, or insurance. But it was only about 5 miles so I took my chances, After riding it around the parking lot for around 20 minutes.
This evening, After a half hour of riding I was ready to go on a busier street and to put gas in the gas tank. Then I rode around on some side roads for about an hour and then brought the bike home and parked it.

It has now been 5 days since I wrote the above. I have been very busy, but riding the bike to work, instead of my bicycle. I'm off this evening so I am able to post my first post here.
Every now and then I forget to pull in the clutch to shift gears. But I am getting much better at that. I talked to a man that has experience, he told me I'm not doing much damage when I forget to pull in the clutch. And that it will not go into gear if there is a problem. I've experienced that twice. But it is always at the front of my mind when I'm riding now. The man also told me that I should look into investing in a much bigger bike soon if I plan to make long trips. Do to more power needed on highways, the vibration of a smaller bike getting to you, and the wine of the engine with high RPMs at highway speeds.
1 problem I'm having is making a sharp right turn from a standstill at a stop sign. I'm planning to take the next educational course available, if I can afford it.
I did the penny test on my tires and noticed that I need a new set today. it is raining now so I'm not going to ride the bike until it is dry. I'm leery of losing traction.
I have noticed that I like riding at night, a little bit better than riding during the day.
I pray everyone is having a good day today.
 

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Pretty hard to beat the 450 Hondas, whether one likes `em or not, it is pretty hard to kill `em short of doing something overly exciting…

In any case, Welcome… (I only got here about ten minutes ahead of you...)

Can’t say I’ve ever gone that long without driving a car, but I have had periods when my only real transportation was a bike… and it makes for a straightforward, simple life, if one finds that refreshing (I did).

Ride safe…

-- Larry
 

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Welcome, Derrick!

There are a few of us on here who got started riding a bit later in life and it's not such a big deal, particularly if you are in moderate to good health, know your limits and when to push them, and generally act as mature as your years indicate!

I struggle a bit with that last part... :smile_big:
 

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Good looking bike, Amigo.
I think you'll find this site entertaining and informative. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question around here. Just ask and you'll get more answers than you want.
As far as motorcycle courses go, that's a good thing. But even better is to just practice, practice, practice. Find a parking lot near you, and ride around in circles, tightening each circle until until you can fit into a two or one parking space. Do tight figure 8's. Ride as slow as you can. Anybody can ride fast.
There is a lot to learn riding motorcycles, but nothing that is overwhelming. Most important? Have fun!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Practice is your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the advice of riding in figure eights. That is exactly what I need to do and I think it will help immensely! I liked reading the post by a man that said he had to lay his bike down. And that it is bound to happen to anyone, learning for the first time.
That happened to me last night when I was coming home. The dog was on his leader line and ran in front of my bike. I was going very slowly but had to lay it down to keep from hitting him. At least it was in the grass and did no damage?. Flooded the carb though and my foot was caught underneath the exhaust pipe. I'll never let that happen again. Had to push it to it's parking spot!
 

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Thank you for the advice of riding in figure eights. That is exactly what I need to do and I think it will help immensely! I liked reading the post by a man that said he had to lay his bike down. And that it is bound to happen to anyone, learning for the first time.
That happened to me last night when I was coming home. The dog was on his leader line and ran in front of my bike. I was going very slowly but had to lay it down to keep from hitting him. At least it was in the grass and did no damage?. Flooded the carb though and my foot was caught underneath the exhaust pipe. I'll never let that happen again. Had to push it to it's parking spot!
There is an old saying, Derrick. 'There are those that have laid their bike down, and those that are going to'. At least you got that out of the way. Lesson learned.
 

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1 problem I'm having is making a sharp right turn from a standstill at a stop sign. I'm planning to take the next educational course available, if I can afford it.
Hi Derrick, welcome to the forum.

Taking the next course is a good idea. I just took a basic skills for returning riders course last weekend and learned a lot. One thing is to turn your head and look where you want to go whenever you're turning; especially on the low speed turns like the one you mention. Turn your head to the right and look down the road in the direction you will be going after you complete the turn, and do it even before you start making the turn. You'll be amazed at what a difference it makes.
 

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Well congrats to you on getting back on the horse!!!!!

That is a nice bike you have there. Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At first, Walmart said they could mount my tires. Then after I ordered them and received them, I tried to set up an appointment and they said they could not mount motorcycle tires!
After searching all over this city without success. I searched nearby towns and finally found someone to mount my tires, about 15 miles north. They will pick up my bike and transport it to their shop for a small fee. They come to pick it up Friday at 8 a.m. Then I will ride it back.
Not having rode it on the highway, I am slightly nervous about the trip. I know all the warnings but there has been mishaps on that highway, lately, with motorcycles. All I know to do is to pray and keep my radar wide open for four wheelers and 18 wheelers, and everything else in between. I just hope I can enjoy the short trip some. Actually I don't know if I'm nervous, excited, but probably a little of both. I just need to get back to the city, to work, by 2 p.m.
Don't know why I worry about such things, cuz my relationship with God is good and tight. And, as long as I follow his lead, he's never let me down.

Well now it's Friday afternoon. I paid an arm and a leg to get the tires changed but I feel much safer with them on.
I was a little nervous when I first got on the highway. The wind was a little bit of a bother. But I just slowed my breathing, took a few very deep breaths, told myself God was in control, and cranked on that throttle! The power of the little bike has was very exhilarating! And I thought this was so nice, much better than in a four-wheeler!
At the repair shop I saw some star-tron enzyme fuel treatment. I researched it while waiting for my bike to get done. Decided to get a bottle and added an ounce to my gas tank. She powered right up the hills effortlessly.
It was only a 15 mile trip but I was also concerned about if I was able to hold the grip on the throttle that long. It has a new throttle cable and is a little stiff, it feels like. But I had no problems holding it.
Tomorrow I am going to go to an abandoned car lot and start doing figure eights, sharp right turns, etc. To increase my proficiency in those things.
I finally feel like I am a motorcycle rider! Oh yes my plates came in for it a couple days ago.

Peace to everyone here! Have a glorious Friday!
 

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Welcome from Arkansas, and I really like your bike. Seems like everyone has already given you good advice about riding, the only thing I could add is put a highway bar on your bike. If/when it goes down, it won't go quite so far and the damage it prevents is worth the cost.

Been a while since I rode a 450, but I can't recall one not having enough power to ride any highway I wanted to ride on. :)
 
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