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46yo awkward Newbie on first bike ( Honda SL250 )

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by VCM, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. Hi Guys... Just wanna thankyou for a great site .. Very informative !!
    I am a newbie, havent ridden since my YZ80 back when i was 15.
    I finally got my learners, and purchased a Honda SL250. ( Choice was limited due to my lack of height ). My intention is to practice riding skills as much as possible, and get as much advice as I can, so I do not become a statistic.
    I need some advice on the correct way to stop at an interstection. IE which foot down??? I have read that its best to put your left foot down and keep your right foot on the rear brake, ( which kinda makes sense especially on an incline ). However with the left foot down... How in blazes can one change gear, whether its to select neutral at a long stop, or first gear.. ready to go, without looking like a doofus, humbling about.
    Am keen to hear what procedures experienced bikers use.

  2. i gear down to 2nd, releasing the clutch in every gear to use engine braking and just before becoming stationary i select first gear and hold the clutch at the lights. this leaves you in a good position to get going, or get out of trouble should a car come hurtling from behind you.
    i only ever select neutral at the lights if it is roadworks and is likely to be more than a minute of two.
    as for "what foot down?" for a learner i would suggest left foot down (after selecting first) because then you have full control of the bike. you can go forwards because you are in first, you can hold the bike because you are covering the back brake and you have a foot on the ground.
    good luck with it :grin:
  3. Hi Welcome to Netrider!!

    I cant add anything further to Joels post as its spot on

  4. Thanks for the Welcome ! :grin:
    I am sure I am going to find this forum invaluable and lots of fun.
  5. How could anyone possibly call coming back to motorcycles a 'crisis'??? :LOL:

    Welcome to Netrider!!
  6. I agree Joel's reply is spot on.
  7. Thanks AGAIN !!

    Thanks Joel ... ;-)
    I'll be practising that this week, along with countersteering, before I hit traffic .. call me a wuss, but best prepared I always say :)
    Besides, I havent purchased my boots yet ....
  8. I'm a bit on the clumsy side and put down whichever foot will stop me falling over. Its not a big deal. The worst that can happen is you have to change feet if you haven't got it in first already. Road camber can sometimes make one side awkward!
  9. carpark sessions are invaluable .. do plenty of them!! it can get a bit boring .. but good for yr riding skills all the same . so well worth the time.

    was just on a car park session that could have been not so good if the person had cars behind them in traffic when they dropped it
  10. that sounds very, very scary :?
    have a read through this - https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=38943
    i think it is important to be in complete control of your bike when you are out in traffic.
    a simple drop, stall, incorrect gear at the lights is a good way to get real intimate with another vehicle.
    practice, practice, practice :grin:
  11. I believe the accepted technique via Q ride and most other training organizations is gearing down when you are coming to a stop, using both brakes, when slow and in first, use the back brake only, and use this to stop. Left foot down, in gear, clutch in. If you have a long stop and want to give your hand a break, pull on the front brake, change feet, change into neutral, stay on right foot until you are nearly ready to take off, when you change back into first, change feet, foot on the back brake, let go of the front, and when ready, take off trailing with the back brake on to ward off cagers that are too close.
  12. Welcome to NR.
    As for which foot I think it depends on where you ride and how you ride and a heap of other factors. Practice on both sides is my advice.
    Those of us with dirt backgrounds seem to favour right foot down which according to all the NR "experts" is the wrong way, but in the traffic (lack of) and situations I ride in mostly, its ok and comfortable for me.

    EDIT: I can usually come to a complete stop before a foot leaves a peg.

    My 2c worth right or wrong :LOL:
  13. Thanks Guys .. and Ladies ;-)
    Not wanting to sound rude, but I am so pleasantly surprised to see that most bikers here, ( can i say 'bikers' ), are so helpful and willing to advise a novice would-be. I was a little apprehensive, I felt that perhaps someone like me would not be taken seriously. This forum has helped me to see what I call ' a code of mutual respect ' which is rarely seen in this day and age. I no longer feel 'silly' asking questions and feel comfortable asking for advice here.
    Thank You all once again.
    This week I'm looking for some road boots, I've read here that 'blunstones' are not quite what you'd call suitable attire. So I am looking for a comfortable, inexpensive, yet practical pair of boots.
    Ive tried a pair of motocross boots, only to find them so 'stiff' and uncomfortable. I'm also concerned about protecting my knees, but I dont think Ive ever seen a rider wearing knee protectors on the road.
    Am I being 'over-cautious' ?
  14. the knee protectors go underneath your draggins or whatever
  15. I have a pair of dririder nordic boots which set me back about $170, have only worn them 3 times as I am new to riding as well but they are comfortable, offer good protection and my feet haven't got cold even though it has only been 5d.
    Did a couple of laps around mt Panorama today and warm as toast.
  16. its ok mate

    there is a few of us older newbies on here
    while I am still in my 30's, my husband Phil was a 43 year old Learner
    and is only a about 6 weeks from being off his restricted open licence

    I went through my learner course with a lovely old truck driver who had never sat on a bike in his life and was going for his bike licence at the ripe old age of 53
    and you know he was the best rider of the lot of us :LOL:

    take things at your pace and you will be fine

  17. For my learning period (with limited expenditure) I got a pair of boots from eBay. I reckon they will provide decent support and give me time to get to know what I really do want/need as my experience grows without breaking the bank.
  18. mars leather in the city sell motodry boots for around $120. they have ads in trading post. PS up the road had dainese strap on knee pads for $50 a few months back when I got some.
  19. Welcome, VCM!

    I put my left foot down at the lights so I'm ready to go (keep bike in 1st with clutch in). However, if I know the lights and I have plenty of time to wait for the green, once a car has stopped safely behind me I'll click it into neutral and relax however I choose, still keeping an eye on things. I might still have my right foot on the rear brake if I'm on a slope. Then when the lights are close to changing I'll get back in position with my left foot down and in gear.
  20. I am in favour of stopping with BOTH brakes.
    Helps to get some feel for the front brake as well.

    Most riders under use the front brake, and then it bites them when they have to do an emergency stop.
    Get used to it, it is your friend!

    Note that I have NO credentials to give anyone any advice, except what works for me!