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A Newbie's Tale

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Grofaz, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Buy a Motorbike :grin:

    First off, let me open by thanking whoever it is that started/maintains this site. I think it is a good resource as it stands, and with time and a little more active participation it will only get better. Also, let me say that I will be mentioning the businesses I used to get where I am now. I'm pretty sure this isn't against the forum rules, but if I have this wrong, please let me know. Also, know that I am not affiliated with any of these businesses and that your experience with them may be completely different to mine. What I guess I am saying is, what worked for me might not work for you.

    I first decided to buy a motorbike last year. My wife and I both had cars, and I was about to go overseas for 6 months for work. I figured if I offloaded my car I wouldn't waste 6 months rego and insurance with the car sitting in the garage unused. Selling the car also fitted into my longer term goal of eventually selling my wife's small car and buying a 4WD, a decision she wholeheartedly agrees with, I might add. But that's another story.

    I sold the car easily enough (through the internet) and when I got home in April I had a month off work on holiday. As I live on the Northside of Brisbane, I approached Morgan and Wacker about doing a Q-Ride course. To be honest, I should have done more research at this stage, as I have no idea whether the pricing or level of training they offer is comparable with other providers, but their proximity to my home (course is run at Brookside Shopping Centre in a disused area of the carpark) and the fact that they offered me a discount and a spot on the course only a few days away sealed the deal for me.

    As a complete novice rider, I paid $300 for the six hour, one day Q-Ride course, and did a further two hours training ($96) with them a couple of days later. At that point I told them I was keen to get on with more time on the bike and get my licence, and they indicated to me that they were running a course the next day for people who had been riding for a while, and that if I wanted to tack on to the last four hours of that course, I could get checked out at that stage and would probably be ready to go. I did and was :)

    Next day I turned up and after a couple of hours cementing the Q-Ride skills, I was taken out with two other blokes and ventured onto the road and after each being looked over by the trainer, I got my Q-Ride Certificate. I went to QLD Transport a few days later and I was good to go with an open motorcycle license.

    I'm told that the quality of Q-Ride training is variable. My experience was positive, and I felt reasonably confident of venturing onto the road on my own.

    And so the search for a mount began. A couple of blokes I work with ride Harleys, and they were very helpful to me in terms of coming with me and having a look at bikes, both private sales and in shops. One of the boys in particular is pretty handy with bikes, and does his own repairs as well as his wife's bike. We checked out bike shops, we took a look at and rode different types of bikes. I rode TRX850's, CBR1000's, RF900's, VFR750's and probably a few others I've forgotten. All nice bikes, but all seemed expensive to me for their age/condition. I don't know much about bikes, and even less about the bike market, but Redbook has been my yardstick for cars, and I applied the same rule to bikes. I wasn't in a hurry, and knew when I saw/rode the right bike I would know.

    I ended up buying a brand new 2007 Kawasaki GPX250R. A lot of the advice I've seen is to buy an older bike, for various reasons. I guess I'm not confident enough in my limited mechanical ability, either to spot existing problems, or fix any that might crop up. I was comforted by the two year manufacturers warranty, and the fact that I am buying a bike that is newbie friendly, whilst still reasonably priced (IMHO).

    I got her from Team Moto at Bowen Hills, and after ordering a Ventura Pack Rack and organising insurance, I picked her up last Wednesday afternoon after work. My first ride on her was in peak hour traffic, in pretty dark conditions. I was nervous, and even managed to stall her at one stage. Luckily, she forgave me and we got home without incident. Took her back on Friday to get the rack fitted, and away I went.

    Since I bought the bike I have covered 113km, all of it sedately. I plan to use the next year or two as a learning period, and will probably cover most of my km's as a work-home commute.

    Hopefully I haven't rambled on too much, and hope my story inspires others to share theirs. I know I've missed things, and might add detail as I recall it.

  2. Cool story - riding your new bike home for the first time aways seems to be pretty memorable :)

  3. Welcome, and funnily enough I was in TM Bowen Hills when the sales guy asked them to get the rack for the bike :)
  4. Hey Grofaz... thanks for sharing. :) And congrat's on going for it! Enjoy your time out there on the rd! It wont be long before you're adding more riding stories to the library - all with happy endings of course :) :)
  5. Welcome to the wonderful world of motorcycling! Doesn't QLD have Learner restrictions? IMHO your choice is better than the ones you test rode! Have fun & remember to keep it shiny side up!

    Now, what sort of bike will we get for the wife?
  6. Well said mate, great post!

    Only thing i disagree with is that time frame you gave. The fact that you will use the first few years as a learning experience and take it nice and easy.

    I can guarantee that by the 1000th km you will be itching to hit some twisties!

    Careful dude, you have been bitten by the biker bug!