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10 000 Km

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by nina, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. It is pretty much exactly 7 months after I purchased my little Spada, and I've managed to add 10,000 km to her odometer reading.

    Ten thousand kilometers sounds like a lot to me and seems to be something like a milestone:
    I'm past dropping the bike from a standstill, I've done many chain lubing and cleaning, and did my first oil change. She just got some new boots and other bits and pieces and never seems to be in a bad mood - not even when I miss second and hit neutral instead. We've been out in the wet, in the wind, in the cold, but not yet in too hot weather. I've taken her out of the garage when I needed a break, when I needed to smell some fresh country air, when I just felt like procrastinating - or when I neede to actually get somewhere.
    I think I managed to do all possible noob mistakes, yet she has always been forgiving and patient with me. I've laughed out loud of joy a few times while the air rushed past my helmet, great memories.

    Yet I am nowhere past being a noob. I might have learned a lot in those 7 months, but there is still so much more to learn! There is just too much to learn/to practice, that I need to narrow it down. I need to make up a goal for myself - aiming for being like 'one of those cool blokes that just fly through the corners' is too high for me, I need to make up my mind as in what exactly I want to reach. I've so many times been asked what bike I want to upgrade to. Honestly, I'm still not thinking about upgrading at all. As long as my bike is faster than me through corners, that little bit of extra power I'd have on the straights/hills doesn't justify getting a new bike for me. I love my girl and have no intentions of swapping her for anything 'bigger'.
    Instead I would love to explore more things with my little 250. Go to more places I haven't seen yet, do more overnighters, develop my skills further. I won't ever be one of those amazing riders, but I'd like to get as much as I can out of the biketime I get. In addition to that I'd also love to learn more about the bike itself - it's always good to know yourself how to fix stuff ;)

    What would my next milestone be?
    I don't know yet, but I have the feeling that I need to make one up for myself. I am a person who needs something to work towards, otherwise I'm lost and just run around in circles. Maybe when I for the first time manage to effortlessly catch up with a stranger riding his bike in the twisties. Maybe that would be a good time to think about how my skills have developed. But that's a fair bit away ;)

    For now I would love to thank my bike for letting me have such great time together with her :)
    • Like Like x 12
  2. Kicking arse nina.. Kicking arse :)
  3. Congratulations :) I've put on about 4,000km since getting mine in july, and have recently began tinkering with it, fixing things, changing the oil, changed the fairings. It's a good feeling :D
  4. It is, isn't it! So far I've replaced my oil sump (luckily the wreckers had one), put my amber running lights onto each side of the tank, exchanged spark plugs, exchanged the headlight bulb, adjusted my throttle (because it wouldn't snap back when bars turned to the left), adjusted my brake and gear lever (the latter needed bending for which I really thank Luke from 60 degrees for doing it on the spot for me after I finished the roadcraft course with them).
    Only tiny things, but feels great when you do it yourself. It made me value my manual and youtube ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Congratulations!!! Your words mirror my thoughts and feelings about my bike. Love my little VTR and is still teaching me so much everyday. Looking forward to the 10,000km milestone for sure. Well done! :)
  6. Congrats in 10k to you and your Bike.
    Take it out to dinner. It deserves it. Or maybe to a Drive-In to see a movie if you have any there.
    What do you think you need to practice now?

  7. Next step track days :) Even if u did 80km around the track your will pick up a shit load of info for yourself :) How to corner what lines to take around a corner well you get my drift :)

    I'm about 1k behind you mine has done 9,000 since i bought her :)
  8. it took me 10,000 just to get a basic working feel for my new ride, get comfortable and ready to learn properly.

    thats after i've been on motorbikes for about 70-80,000 in 5 years
    and pushbikes before that since i could balance on two wheels

    if this is your first motorbike and you have not been on pushbikes too much it might take you 60-100,000 just to gain a basic feel for the machine. (you know when it feels like an extension of your body, like when you eat with a knife and fork)

    BUT put in the miles, and you will get results!!!
    never try to rush things unless you feel a real talent.

    IMO don't particularly focus on one aspect of riding, unless it is a bad habit, just get out and do the miles!! a baby has to crawl, stand and walk before it can run. you cannot just run straight away

    offroading and/or track days can accelerate your learning, because you should never push on the public roads!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. riders never stop learning (or relearning neglected things)

    top riders will be at a point where if they do not ride every other day, they will lose their edge

    so all top riders (if not injured) will be riding almost every day, just to maintain their current skill level

    so to add to my ever growing use of cliches: practise, practise, practise
  10. I completely agree @dgmeister you never stop learning!

    Have been riding pushbikes what feels like my whole life. Not because I like them, but because it simply is the easiest solution to get quick and cheap from A to B. I owned a 50 ccm scooter for 2 years. But that was 12 years ago. Due to the lack of power I hated leaving the city with it. So all I did with it, was zipp around the city during summer.

    I am only now starting to get a feel for the bike. Before I didn't have any clue at all of what was happening underneath me. Now it's time to use that 'feel' and start learning to understand properly how she reacts to my input.

    Offroad riding and track days are a great possibility to test your/the bike's limits. So far I have done neither. I'd really like to do some offroad riding, hopefully I'll have some spare time, then I can ask around if anyone could help me to get into that.
    Track days look amazing, but I have too much respect for that. Right now the thought actually rather scares me (I have always been a scaredy cat) - on the other hand I'd love to go and watch, to have the chance to soak up the atmosphere :)
  11. Woah 10,000ks in 7 months! That's great!
    I have only clocked 5,000ks in 5mths! You double me in experience!

    I'm breaking up my milestone into little goals.
    Just little techniques that I hear/pick up on the way.
    - am still working on slow riding
    - getting out of bad habits e.g. left foot down instead of right when stopped, gripping with knees, relax arms/grip etc
    - engine blipping, doing it smoothly and getting the timing right
    - clutchless upshift, still not sure if this is worth learning yet haha but practising it anyway :p
    - downhill riding/cornering/braking

    I will be happy if I can get these down pat before my next milestone :)
  12. you're putting the miles down which is great!

    good to hear you have prior riding experience (bicycles), the main reason being you already know what it feels like to be comfortable on the pushbike,
    so you can learn on the moto faster, because you know what it should feel like when you are used to it, what to aim for. (compared to someone who has no feel for bikes)

    then you can use that as a starting point to find out how your individual bike should be ridden.(how it likes to be treated ;))

    learning to ride my first moto (little klx 250), probably took 3-4 years and about 40,000kms to get a feel for the bike, FRONT brakes, how to make her sing offroad and on road.

    IMO just try to make it through your first year (or any year) intact

    i have just done 10,000 on my R6 in about the same time as you, and am getting closer to a working feel for the machine, but not quite there.
    learning to ride the 600RR has been ... mind blowing

    i guess i'm just saying it takes passion and commitment!

    i have done 4 track days now, and the atmosphere is great, you can ride in a novice group that are by no means fast! without worrying about cars etc. just focus on the bike without the other traffic BS

    -but i do miss the dirt, oh how i miss it
  13. Congrats. Keep it up.

    I put 26000 odd km on my VTR in the year and a half from when I bought her to when I came off restrictions. Then when I changed to the Z, it was almost like starting again - a new way of riding. Z clocked over 10,000 on this Snowys trip (since end June) and still an absolute noob on it.
  14. Having done more miles doesn't exactly mean I've got more experience... I commute, it's not like I then have the aim of learning - I'm simply trying to get to wherever I need to be.

    I would rather suggest your skills are more developed than mine, looking at the writeup of what you're working on:
    - I don't work on slow riding... I simply do it when I have to, that is in peak hour traffic.
    - which foot I put down is situation dependent. Since I learned from day one to keep the right foot on the break, it's easier for me to put the left foot down. I am training myself to be able to also do right foot, or even both (necessary if too windy). Gripping with knees and relaxing my arms is something I have to constantly remind myself of (especially when braking).
    - engine blipping I don't practice at all -> I suck
    - clutchless shifting I haven't practiced either -> I'm trying to tell myself it's better for the bike... ;)
    - down hill riding I used to practice (relaxing my arms!) but haven't in a while as I got bored. Cornering I try to practice on weekends, if only I had more time! And braking is something I certainly don't do often enough.
    In summary I'm pretty sure that even though I have clocked up more miles, you have gained more experience. I don't always consciously think about practicing stuff, that's what makes me fall behind others experiencewise.

    Yes, so far I am not sure how much passion and commitment I've got for this.
    As long as I can see myself making progress, it's certainly fun. But when I get to the point where I can't see me progressing anymore, I'm sure my interest will fade. As for now, I see my bike as a way of transport and as a substitute for real horses. Of course it will never be as good as the real thing, but hey, rather a steel horse, than none at all. Even if it completely lacks the character, personality, and many of the fun parts, the bike has other aspects that are fun, too (plus it doesn't need that much attention).

    Just another reason for me not to upgrade :D
    Really don't know if I could be bothered starting all over again. I admire everyone who has done it, but I don't know whether I would be able to force myself to start from zero again - that could definitely make me lose interest.
  15. It isn't from total zero, it's just new skills you learn. It's fun.
  16. starting from zero....

    zero-100 in less than 5 seconds that is, going easy on the clutch.
    casually cruising in third at 170

    its just like going from your standard pony to green moon, takes a little adjustment in riding style, but quite exhilarating
  17. Hmmm OK, not starting from zero as I already know how to change gears, etc. But the handling would be totally different and would take quite some time to get used to.
    I still remember feeling like a complete fool when doing my licence test on the training bike. Yes, it was also a 250 and naked, but boy was that bike awkward to ride! That is if I managed to get it going after stalling 5 times... Now I don't want to imagine me sitting on something even more different ;)
  18. You may find, as your skills improve, that the bike you ride now is no longer doing what you want out of a bike. Until that happens, no need to upgrade.

    When/if it happens, you won't be able to get rid of it fast enough! Really!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Yeah I know what you mean. When I went for my license the other week, riding the VTR felt really awkward compared to the CB400.
    Maybe I wasn't used to how light it was, but it didn't feel stable turning hard into a corner.
    Maybe find someone about the same riding level as you to go riding together.
    I ride with my mate and we are about at the same level, you don't feel as much pressure when going through the twisties to keep up.
    So might say you progress slower not riding with more experience/skill riders but sometime cruising around is just fun!
  20. Great idea, but somehow everybody has way more experience than me? Even L platers leave me behind them ;)