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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a new 2021 Africa Twin as my first bike yesterday. I learned how to ride enduro and MX when I was a little kid and continued riding until I started college. Then life happened and I had no time or money to buy a motorcycle. Now 20 years later I felt it was time to get back into motorcycles. I did not intend to buy a new AT as my "first" bike because it is such a big bike but I really wanted a bike that could do everything (city, touring, and offroad) and also something very reliable (I don't think I have the skills or time to fix it myself).

I already have 50 miles on the bike and I got it less than 48 hours ago. I am loving it so far but I am taking it really slow. I am not going above 45 mph and avoiding the freeway. I plan to eventually move on to longer rides within the city and then eventually off road. I really bought this bike to take it off road but I feel like I might need some modifications or I will mess it up (crash bars, off road tires etc).

I will probably need help from more experienced riders here to help me start my off road adventures.
 

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Hi and welcome..
 

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I just bought a new 2021 Africa Twin as my first bike yesterday. I learned how to ride enduro and MX when I was a little kid and continued riding until I started college. Then life happened and I had no time or money to buy a motorcycle. Now 20 years later I felt it was time to get back into motorcycles. I did not intend to buy a new AT as my "first" bike because it is such a big bike but I really wanted a bike that could do everything (city, touring, and offroad) and also something very reliable (I don't think I have the skills or time to fix it myself).

I already have 50 miles on the bike and I got it less than 48 hours ago. I am loving it so far but I am taking it really slow. I am not going above 45 mph and avoiding the freeway. I plan to eventually move on to longer rides within the city and then eventually off road. I really bought this bike to take it off road but I feel like I might need some modifications or I will mess it up (crash bars, off road tires etc).

I will probably need help from more experienced riders here to help me start my off road adventures.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has several courses which might be of interest to you. The riders here can be a treasure trove of information. There is a lot of experienced riders here. Don't hesitate to ask. Part of the title page for the Aviation Safety Letter can be applied here. "Learn from the mistakes of others, you'll not live long enough to make them all yourself."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has several courses which might be of interest to you. The riders here can be a treasure trove of information. There is a lot of experienced riders here. Don't hesitate to ask. Part of the title page for the Aviation Safety Letter can be applied here. "Learn from the mistakes of others, you'll not live long enough to make them all yourself."
I actually took the MSF basic rider course here in Texas. I took it because it was a requirement but I have to say it was excellent. It completely exceeded my expectations. I will look into the other courses they offer. During the basic course they mentioned an intermediate course. I might try that one out.
 

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I actually took the MSF basic rider course here in Texas. I took it because it was a requirement but I have to say it was excellent. It completely exceeded my expectations. I will look into the other courses they offer. During the basic course they mentioned an intermediate course. I might try that one out.
I wish I could say the same for the one that Sara and I initially took here in Colorado. I thought it was good at the time because we knew nothing. But taking more advanced classes from other schools, we learned that it wasn't really all that good. :)
 

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lordsoth,
Your heading says you're from the great state of Texas. But, you don't say WHERE in Texas. Texas is a pretty big state. If you put where you're home or area is in your profile, then folks can hover their mouse over your Avatar and it will reveal your area. And that helps folks orient themselves to your writings and comments. It's kind-a cool to see where one is from.

Now, as for your first escapades on your A/T, yep, take your time. No one's in a hurry to get HURT. I've been riding for over 55 years, on about 30 different motorcycles, including 5 Honda Goldwings. But, when it came to the first several miles on the A/T, yep, I took things quite easy for quite a while. Over time, as in maybe a month or two, I gradually worked up acceleration, speed and more advanced handling.

One thing I learned was what's called close quarters operations. That is, learning to turn the A/T in a very, very tight circle or u-turn. I watched a youtube video of such operations and went out and practiced. In a very, very short amount of time, I was able to make a complete u-turn from one painted parking spot, to the very next one, without going over ANY of the lines. I can do that now very easily, in both right hand and left hand full u-turns.

It's things like that, that help immensely with confidence. Yes, you can take courses and those will most likely help. But, good ole' Youtube is pretty handy in lots of info on riding techniques. Good luck with your new toy.
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
lordsoth,
Your heading says you're from the great state of Texas. But, you don't say WHERE in Texas. Texas is a pretty big state. If you put where you're home or area is in your profile, then folks can hover their mouse over your Avatar and it will reveal your area. And that helps folks orient themselves to your writings and comments. It's kind-a cool to see where one is from.

Now, as for your first escapades on your A/T, yep, take your time. No one's in a hurry to get HURT. I've been riding for over 55 years, on about 30 different motorcycles, including 5 Honda Goldwings. But, when it came to the first several miles on the A/T, yep, I took things quite easy for quite a while. Over time, as in maybe a month or two, I gradually worked up acceleration, speed and more advanced handling.

One thing I learned was what's called close quarters operations. That is, learning to turn the A/T in a very, very tight circle or u-turn. I watched a youtube video of such operations and went out and practiced. In a very, very short amount of time, I was able to make a complete u-turn from one painted parking spot, to the very next one, without going over ANY of the lines. I can do that now very easily, in both right hand and left hand full u-turns.

It's things like that, that help immensely with confidence. Yes, you can take courses and those will most likely help. But, good ole' Youtube is pretty handy in lots of info on riding techniques. Good luck with your new toy.
Scott
I am from Houston! I just updated my profile. I definitely need to work on tight turns and u-turns. I notice my slow turns are very wide (I am probably being cautious).
 

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I am from Houston! I just updated my profile. I definitely need to work on tight turns and u-turns. I notice my slow turns are very wide (I am probably being cautious).
Hey Houston,
Thanks for getting back here and letting us know your area. As for your tighter U-turns, here's a little hint that I did not create, I simply picked it up from Youtube. When you begin your U-turn, look ahead of where you want to go, NOT WHERE YOU'RE GOING. In other words, if you're trying to go from parking place (painted lines in parking lot) to the very next parking place, as you are beginning to exit the one, at its outermost edge but not touching the line, look into the next parking place almost as far as you can turn your neck, to the point that you'd be entering your next parking place. It works, I've done it a zillion times.

Before I used that technique, I'd go waaaaay over the lines 'cause I was watching right in front of me as I was turning. I needed to look way ahead in the direction you want to go. It almost immediately improved my tight turning capability. And, once you master or at least semi-master say a left hand U-turn, then do it right hand too. The more you master that U-turn system, the better you'll handle that bike in both pavement and off road scenarios in slow speed turns.
Scott
 
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