Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Advice? Take an MSF class if you haven't already. Potential insurance discounts, but teaches you great basics for riding that apply to any motorcycle.
Gear up if you havent' already. Protective gear is a good thing!
Build up riding slowly. Don't hit the highway to the tail of the dragon just yet! Start out on familiar back roads during non rush hour times. Take some time in a parking lot a few days a week to practice slow speed turns and emergency stops, swerves, etc. getting familiar with your bike, and build up your comfort to different terrain.
When you're feeling more familiiar with your bike and riding, PURPOSEFULLY take it out on a rainy day (not during rush hour) and ride familiar routes. Better to know what to expect riding in the rain under YOUR conditions rather the only time you ride in it being unexpected timing.
Take an advanced course after a few months of riding, or a few thousand miles of riding (where you take the MSF course, but on YOUR bike)
And lastly, ride YOUR ride. If you're riding in a group and they open it up, wave at them, say, "I'll see you at the end of the road", and get there whenever YOU get there. They'll wait. And if they don't wait for you at the end of the road and leave you cause you're "too slow", then they're not the group you should be riding with.
PS - There's this magical time somewhere between 2000 - 5000 miles where every rider (myself included) starts to feel comfortable and gets a little cocky with their riding skills. Sorta an "I know what I'm doing now" sorta mentality. I don't know if you can stop it, but just be aware of it. The first few times you start to feel comfortable and a "I got this" sorta attitude, just be aware that you may NOT have it all yet. And just make a conscious effort to still be aware and defensive.