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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 1 Nov 2006
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How long to learn to ride?

Me and my girlfriend want to do a N.A. & S.A. trip starting summer 2008, but she has never ridden a motor bike. Is it reasonable to assume she will be able to learn to ride a bike well enough in one summer (can't ride in winter here) so we can start the trip the next summer? Anyone with similar experiences who can comment?

Thanks for any input!
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Old 1 Nov 2006
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learning to ride

Hi there, before I get shot down for this, I would have to say that obviously the more experience you have the better. However, I had about two weeks riding experience before I started my trip in South America and so far everything is going fine (famous last words) One thing I would recommend your girlfriend do is an off road training course. I did a day´s off road riding with Yamaha off road training in Wales and it definitely increased my confidence and ability. Also try to ride in all types of weather. The wind over here caused me a few problems at first but slowly getting used to it.

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Old 1 Nov 2006
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I decided I wanted to start biking six years ago, so I bought a bike with the intention of touring around Europe almost as soon as I got it.
Three weeks after I bought the bike, I passed my motorcycle test and got my license. Three days after that, I boarded the ferry to France.
(Having said that, a lapse of concentration in Berlin resulted in a low-speed collision with a car.)
It's unassailable that more experience makes you a safer rider, and I would strongly advocate extra training above and beyond the minimum required to obtain a license, but to answer your question: yes, you should have enough time to learn to ride.
Just be sure your girlfriend is very vigilent and cautious.

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Old 1 Nov 2006
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Hi, I am another one who learnt to ride in order to do the trip.

For me, it was hard work - I don't drive a car - so it was all a bit much I reckon, looking back. Hitting the new driving modes of Pakistan and India did my head in for quite a while. The regular automotive assaults on our lives were hard work.

She has you, which is a big help (would she pose it this way I wonder ). And I guess she can drive a car yeah? So the two cases are not the same

And the americas are less demanding than the subcontinent - still hard though. Plus, your whole trip is on the same side of the road.

It is a matter of personality among other things. It is a question of her knowing herself.

Later on the trip my non-driving/non-riding pillion got herself a bike, then rode around Australia, and from San Francisco to Argentina - more or less - and enjoyed it fine.

Last thought: riding is a lot better than being on the back. For most anyway.

A summer, lots of care and go easy. Sounds alright.

Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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Old 1 Nov 2006
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That all depends on how comfortable you girlfriend is riding a motorcycle. Remember, riding a motorcycle is not for everyone. A couple of things your girlfriend would want to do are. Enroll in a motorcycle training course with the Canada Safety Council as early as possible next year. Sign up now for next April. A two or three day course will not develop the skills needed to stay alive on a bike, but it will give her a good idea of what skills she needs to develop. After that, it is just time in the saddle. One summer of riding 10,000 kilometers in all conditions gains a lot more experience than one summer of riding around the neighborhood on sunny Sunday afternoons.
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Old 1 Nov 2006
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Check out http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/coates/

Go for it!

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 2 Nov 2006
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Do It !!!


If you really, really want to go and your girlfriend is willing to drive lots of K's next summer (road and gravel), I don't think she/you will have any more "problems" than guy's with years of experiance. Take the courses, ride, build up some experiance, take the more advanced course, ride, enjoy!
In the fall of 05, after not ever having ridden a street bike and many years away from my dirt days on the farm I took the NAIT basic course, great basic lessons. Two days later I bought an '03 R1150GS, my learning curve with the big bike was steep but mostly
sucessfull. (lots of minor wipe-out's in the sand/mud around Edmonchuck) Rode 10 000+ Km before winter and in spring of 06 I took advanced rider, again from NAIT, and this summer I went to BC, WA, AK, YK, NWT. Reached both Inuvik and Prudoe Bay, what a farkin great trip!!
In late '07 or early '08 I'm planning on putting my back wheel in the Artic ocean and a few months/years later putting my front wheel in the Antartic ocean !!!! Then ? RTW ?

Don't let a lack of skill get in the way of your dreams! Lots of family and friends will naysay your plan telling you how dangerous the world is and all sorts of UFI. Nod politely, thank them for their advice and then promptly IGNORE their negative attitude.

Best of Luck.

Tango six zero

Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
Friedrich Nietzsche
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Old 3 Nov 2006
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No Sweat

Hi Schermy,

I'm sure by now you know that its possible. I always had a love for motorbikes but never had the opportunity to ride or to own one. Anyway, I saw a R1150GS about six months ago and i just had to buy it. I got one of my friends to test ride it, and all was fine. I bought it and my friend had to ride it home for me as i had no idea. This was on a Tuesday, by the Saturday I was riding in town, no sweat. Planning a trip to Timbuktu in December. Its been six months and no accidents yet, touch wood. More experience always better, but no excuse to keep you home.
Dont think about it too much, just go for it.

All the best,

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