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Hello!
I'm a student at NCSU, and I just picked up an '08 KLR 650 with 1000 miles. My experience with motorcycles is limited to the basic MSF course I took in November, and when I broke my leg dirt-biking back in grade 8.
So, my question for all of you is, what do you wish you had known when you picked up your first bike?
Thanks in advance!
 

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Riding a motorcycle is pretty easy. It's the starting and stopping that usually gets people in trouble. Practice, practice, practice.
Don't ride in people's blind spots.
Always watch out for someone cutting you off, because they will not see you or hear you.
Do not let it sit under a cover for more than a few days.
 

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What do I wish I had known when I picked up my first bike??

For me it was a problem that I got too much bike for my abilities being a new rider. Never had a bike when I was a kid although rode a few. I was in my early 40"s when I got my first bike, a 1000cc Honda CBX. Way too much bike for me at the time. I was usually scared driving that thing. In hindsight should have started out much smaller.
 

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The 08'/09s have been known to use oil. Keep an eye on the oil level in the sight glass on the lower right engine case. The engine must be off and the bike standing vertical to check it. I like to hold the right grip in my hand and balance the bike upright when I look at the sight glass. A bit too full is no issue. Check it frequently when you stop and every time you get gas. The KLR will run for thousands of miles even if using oil so long as you don't let it run out.
Keep your head on a swivel. Scan scan scan.... The backroads are the most fun as there is much less traffic, plus there are often more interesting things to see.
Best Regards....justjeff
 
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