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Down Side of a big bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by sonicbaz, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. HI I would like to talk about a noobs perspective on a big bike and the real world downside to getting something that is very powerful.

    First off I would like to say that I LOVE my 05 blue Blackbird. My wife and I have done some really enjoyable two up riding. I also commute daily on this awesome bike. :grin:

    I know when I started March last year I couldn't have imagined riding a 1100cc bike. After riding a GPX 250 for 4 months I upgraded to a new 05 Blackbird. It has been an incident free 6 months and I really have had a great time.....really it has been a hoot. :cool:

    But there is a down side......... :shock:

    I don't feel like I am growing with the bike as fast as I should. I did in the first few months, but honestly I am at a point where I am having trouble taking futher steps outside of my comfort zone simply because small steps on this bike = big steps ( for my skill set). I do wonder if I had a bike that was only 70hp I wouldn't have this problem :roll: . Now I am not going to say for a minute that I don't enjoy this bike or hate riding it. I just am saying that a bike with this much power is harder to improve on than something smaller so I am making very slow (albeit safe) progress.

    (You're all going to say duh aren't ya? :oops: )

  2. I think you have the right bike, any sort of two up touring is much easier than on a 600.

    Have you thought about any advanced rider training? This should increase your confidence and skill levels.

    Not too mention track days :cool:
  3. :WStupid:

    Rider Training should help you immensely. I did a Superbike school about 2 months after buying the 900 (that's after 5 years riding and on my 4th bike) and it made a massive difference. I am overdue for another course to refresh, although I'm a firm believer in there never being too much to learn.
  4. The other thing to do is go for a ride with one or two others that are not TOO far ahead of you in skills.

    Have been doing this a lot since I got back on the bike, and I am clearly a better rider for this.

    It is not about taking chances - it is about taking measured chances - if the risk is too high - back off!.

    It helps a lot when you can focus on things like lines, looking through the corner, etc when you don't have to worry about the route - only following a group. If you slow down, so will they, so you won't be labelled a loser.

    If you keep up - you will learn something in the process
  5. Is it that you would be more confident on a 70hp bike or that you wouldn't care as much about laying down a bike worth 1/10th of the new bike, so would push the limits a bit more? I think this is the inhibiter for many people.
  6. Having also upgraded recently to a brand new 05' blackbird I can sort of see where you are coming from. The difference is I had 13 years/150,000 km of riding experience behind me.

    Even so, I found I was being pretty careful with it for the first month or so. Afraid of opening the throttle too hard or dropping it due the the weight. But what helped heaps was getting out on a ride with a bunch of people and throwing the bike around the twisties. A bit of fanging around the spurs really helps you get a good feel for a bike :grin:

    I think the other problem with a bike like the 'bird is that realistically the bike has way more power than you are ever likely to use (at least legally). It's a bit sad really. It would be nice to hit a drag strip and see just what doing 300km/h is like. Or travel at 250km/h from Melbourne to Sydney.
  7. even some people with 13yrs of riding does not make them always a better rider than a guy thats been riding for 2years. why do i say this? well it all depends on what type of riding you have been doing. if you have mainly been going straight then even with 20years, you wont be a confident rider.
    my best solution if to go to an advance rider school. they follow you around the track and video you. they will then give u all the advice on how to improve. i think it cost 200+ but it might help you in the long run.

    good luck and be safe
  8. It is highly, highly unlikely that someone who has been on the road 2 years is a "better" rider than someone with 13 years on the road (at least if both are regular riders). Besides "better" is highly subjective. The 2 year guy might get through the twisties faster, but then in real day to day riding, that barely matters.

    There are at least two related, but different sets of skills you learn on the road.

    One set is basic skills of handling a bike. An advanced rider school would help here, but any environment where you get to feel out the capabilities of a bike would help. Switching bikes messes with this a bit (especially if going to a more powerful bike), but general bike experience helps the transition. I suppose you could also consider reacting to various road conditions here as well (rain, oil, white arrows, tram tracks, off camber turns etc)
    I suppose these could be considered the skills that prevent you from killing yourself.

    The second is basic road survival. Eventually it becomes a "6th sense" that can spot that person that is about to pull out on you, or the idiot that decided to change lanes without checking his blind spot etc. It also includes what to do when these things happen (and overlaps with the first set).
    You could consider these to be skills that prevent you being killed by someone else.

    The second set really can only be learned with experience and time on the road, and if you don't learn them.. someone is going to take you out. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to take evasive action (and given the finger :oops: ). I really think it takes years to really develop this.

    Overconfidence in your abilities is not a good thing. You might be the fastest around a track, but it counts for nothing if that myopic, senile, grandma in the Datsun 120Y runs you down because you were too busy looking at your own reflection in the shop windows to avoid her :wink:

    But I do agree rider training is still a good thing :grin:
  9. Being a road rider over 20yrs now (!!), I must admit the 2 type of riding you mentioned – metro commuting & two-up, are the types of riding I take the greatest care in doing. There is so much to be on the look out for & increases the stress levels which can contribute to clouding your motorcycle riding experience in the long run. This can have the offshoot of making you overly cautious or ‘jumpy’ which isn’t really the best means of developing your bike handling skills.
    Going to what many may regard as a ‘big bike’ can aspirated this, especially if you think it’s a big bike.
    Go out on some country runs, easy going stuff, gets some rural miles under your wheels, take you time. Bikes are not made to stop/start, bikes like to run. Open sweepers, tight twisties, broad open highways. Your bike will love you for it.

    I don’t want to suggest changing to a ‘smaller’ bike, because there is only a few road riders I know of out there which will look at a move like that as a good thing in hindsight.

    (Although my bike history doesn’t really show a slavish pursuit for power power power:
    Kawasaki KE100, KLR650, KLX 650, Kawasaki Zephyr 750, Honda CBR600, Ducati 748 [not including the offroad bikes] ) .
  10. Thanks for the input!

    Yeah you guys are right I need to simply do more riding - more riding in the twisites and get some more kms under my belt (done 12,000kms) .

    I am looking at some of the areas around Brisbane to ride so maybe if the weather is fine this weekend I'll go and stretch my legs. :grin:

    I did an avanced riding course last year, I will definately go back and do another as thinking back it helped me improve alot.

    This riding a bike business is indeed a thinking man's game.
  11. Sounds like you are in the "plateau" stage of your learning. Any new skill is a J curve, lots of learning and improvement initially, and much less learning as you progress.
    This can seem as if you are stagnating or not "growing" with the bike as you put it. You are learning, just not as much, or consciously.
    Time in seat is the only way to learn, even mundane commuting teaches you skills, and one day, you'll just feel a lot more confident with teh bike.
    This same thing happened to me with the GTR. Now I know the GTR is not a Blackbird, but it's still a whole lot of bike (probably weighs more), with lots of torque on tap, and the potential to bite.
    One day I was riding home from work after moving to Canberra, and I was hitting lines right in corners, finally really mastered blipping on the downshift etc. I know I am far from an experienced or highly skilled rider, but I am comfortable in my skills now, and feel the bike is not my master any more. You'll feel the same in time. Don't try to push yourself, concentrate on becoming smoother in everything you do, of anticipating what the bike needs to be doing to get around that corner. Don't measure your skills with cornering speed etc. Measure with how smooth and controlled all your inputs can be made.

    Regards, Andrew.
  12. G'day everyone,.........

    WOW,....now this IS an interesting thread.
    This is the sort of info I am looking for.....
    I have recently upgraded to a CBR1000rr6.
    I am now rideing in a differant position than I started with.
    I find that after a while my right hand palm gets sore,like a cramp.
    What do you guys/Girls do about that?
    I was thinking of putting foam rubber tubeing around the grips to increase the diameter to spred the contact of my palms to increase circulation.
    I to am giveing serious thought to going and doing a advanced Rider training course at Hart with the 600 Hornets thay have.
    I was told that thay help you with your cornering technique and brakeing as well as throttle control.
    I know I am never to old to learn.

    Dr Who?
  13. There are foam grips that replace the stock grips...however they will increase the reach to the clutch and (more importantly) the brake levers. I had to remove them from my bike as I could not reach the brake lever comfortably.
  14. No how you are feeling. I feel that i learnt heaps when i got the 12. Where as now i feel like i am at a stage where i am not improving. I maybe sometimes expect to much of a big heavy bike, but then there are times when i know i could possibly go that extra 10th..
  15. G'day everyone......

    Thanks for that,......
    The Brake and cluch levers are adjustable so I can move them closer so reach should'nt be a problem.
    I might also try to pad the gloves a little as well.

    Dr Who?
  16. Just a follow up.

    I've spent a bit more time on the bike over the weekend.

    Did the twisty thing up at Mt Glorious and Mt Nebo for the first time.

    Honestly glad I've waited until now to do those areas as it was quite intimidating with a signigicant drop beside me at times and some very slow and tight corners. I for the life of my can't see how people can go that fast around this area. Maybe its a different part of the mountain or lack of road knowledge (and skill :roll: ) on my behalf but there seemed very little margin for error. I did however enjoy the ride and found just getting the lines right quite challanging. I could feel the bike respond better the smoother I rode, but the smoothness or the right line was not something I could sustain the whole time. I don't know why but I felt a little guilty everytime I saw a "lookout" place and wizzed passed. Felt like I was using the Mountain for my peverted pleasures only... :twisted:

    Once I got back to normal traffic conditions, my overall riding felt more confident. I don't know if this was a placibo (a placibo from Mt Nebo? :p ) effect of having been on more dangerous roads but it was cool and the ride home was smooth and sweet.

    I've also started to rev the bike out a bit more, hit 10,000 rpm this morning in first gear (still yet to redline). Interesting how that raspy growl that develops over 7000rpm used to trigger warning bells in my head now makes me smile. :grin:

    Dr Netrider prescribed some "time in saddle" miracle cream and it has worked wonders! :grin:

    Thanks all for the help! :cool:
  17. Yeah I love the growl it develops over 7000 rpm - right when the power goes from amazing to mindblowing.
  18. I found that it takes a while to become comfortable with my bike too....after having had a naked 250 Hornet for a copuple of years and then moving to an 03 Blackbird it took a fair while to get used to...like you I found the best thing to do is just get out there and ride it...lately I have found that as I have gotten used to the bike and adjusted my riding to suit I can now use all the tyre...and have been touching down pegs and fairings.. :twisted: ...whereas a few months ago I thought I couldn't lean it over any more or it would fall over :roll:

    The only thing I dislike is my bikes appetite for rear tyres...and my vain hopes of holding on to my licence :oops:
  19. I used to have problems with that too. Being used to performance cars that start to complain around 6000-7000rpm, the sound of an engine revving past 10k rpm worried me. That was not to last long though as the thirst for the seat of the pants feeling that you get between 10k and 16k rpm over rode any concerns in my head :twisted:
  20. https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?p=88713#88713