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Enough bicycle skill to start learning on motorcycle?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Minority153, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Okay, so as the topic says...

    So here's the context. I'm not even a newbie, I'm a pre learner thatched flunked both the learner and prelearner course, firstly due to nervousness, and second due to balance issues.

    In both cases, they sent me home early. I really don't want this to happen again to me.

    The instructors suggested for me to get out the Ol' push-bike, which I have. I've been practising over the long Easter weekend.

    So apart from the topic question of, how do I know when I have practiced enough on the push bike to have another go at tge prelearner course?

    I've also been practising to ride slow and fast, particularly around corners to try and get that lean effect. As well as doing that weaving thing where you weave in between witches hats in a straight line.

    Are these good things to practice? And can you think of any other related skills I can practice for the motorbike?

    Also, my hubby doesn't reckon I should even think of ringing up to book my lesson, because he thinks I look too uncomfortable on the push-bike.

    Thing is, I'm a nervous person, it probably took me a good two years to start even feeling comfortable with driving my car.

    Any words of advice or answers, suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry about the essay. :$

    Thanks in advance.
  2. You are trying to get a kinetic memory of how various maneuvers feel and the sort of inputs required. If you find yourself doing them with out much pre thought then you are probably OK. I would add slow speed cornering, to your pushie practice.

    The hard fact is you may not be temperamentally suited to riding but you won't know until you give it a good go. Good luck, keep practicing, your hubbie obviously has concern for your safety so may be allowing his own anxiousness to colour their view. If you can afford it then one on one teaching may better suit you than group. That may be worth trying.
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  3. Riding a push bike will not help you with riding a motorbike in my opinion, to be honest from what you say above I don't think you should ride a MC .
    Not what you want to hear but not everyone is cut out to ride a mortorcycle , big difference from push bikes to mortorcycles is countersteering .. Google. Could be a good reason they sent you home twice. Sorry
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  4. can you balance on one foot with your eyes closed?
    there are non-bike things you can do to try and improve balance.

    counter-steering on a pushbike is noticeably used when you are going faster... like 30-40+.
    same as counter-steering on a motorbike is not really used when going slower, like <20

    balance on a pushbike comes with time and you never stop improving.
    slow speed over bumps or rougher ground may help. ride everywhere over different terrain, different speeds. it may take weeks or months to make big brain improvements in balance..
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  5. For balance learning, a few hours will be fine.
  6. There are certainly things you can do to improve your balance such as riding the push bike, even doing some Yoga will help. But you'll need a lot more time than just the Easter break to practice. Maybe ride the pushie for a few months and then re-evaluate your sense of balance by having a one on one lesson.

    The nerves are a different matter though. They're good up to a certain point and then they become counter productive as you would no doubt know. Try thinking about what your fears are and maybe make a list. Think about each item you've written down and talk them through with someone to see how much they are impacting on your riding. A sort of 'what's real' and 'what's not' scenario. Be realistic about the exercise and hopefully you can get the nerves under control.

  7. I disagree completely. You are totally wrong regarding countersteering, do you even understand what it is?

    A bike is a bike. A downhill mountain biker will run rings around most motorcyclists in low speed riding after just a few hours on a motorbike I'm certain.

    As for how much is enough practice. If you can can slowly ride a bicycle at walking pace without putting a foot down, or perform a u-turn in a confined area without putting a foot down, you are ready to transition.
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  8. If you can ride a pushbike with just your legs and don't fall off then you have the balance down.

    Put some cones / plant pots etc up forming a tunnel if you will , try and ride the bike in a straight line without hitting or swerving to the cones (maybe try a car park)..

    Keep doing this until you can do it without hands....
    Riding a pushbike or motorcycle at low speeds becomes a balancing act..

    With the pushbike you use the pedals and your control of them to stay upright.. with a motorbike you can do things like feathering the clutch to achieve the same thing at low speeds...

    A motorbike will naturally want to stand up as you move along, a pushbike requires a bit more effort to get that sweet spot but once you get it you'll feel much better about riding and balance.

    I used to do this for fun back when i was doing freestyle BMX...

    Hopefully this gives you something to work towards...

  9. I was skeptical as to whether or not practicing on a pushie would help, however I have seen improvements in others enough to convince me that it does help. On riding in general, slow riding, U turns and slow weaving are the hardest skills to master, so practice those. Don't worry about counter steering yet, that will come. Put some cones, or soft drink cans etc out on a quiet road or carpark and practice. Move the cans closer as you get better, mark a U turn area, make it tighter as you improve.

    Does hubby ride a motorbike (and therefore can provide advice as well)? If he doesn't, the best thing you could do after getting your 'L's, is to get him into it too!

    Good luck!
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  10. I'd like to hear a little more about why they sent you home early. There was obviously a problem but you haven't given much detail, so it then becomes hard to give informed advice.

    However you have raised one warning red flag. Riding a motorbike takes a lot more skill and a lot more confidence than riding a car. I am not sure what the issue was but if it took you two years to feel comfortable driving a car, it may take longer than that to gain the skills to feel comfortable riding a bike. And that in my mind is probably way too long.

    The saying for learners is that they start with a full bucket of luck and an empty bucket of skill and they need to fill the skill bucket before the luck bucket runs out. Basically I can't see the luck bucket lasting anything like two years.

    This doesn't mean you shouldn't ride but it does mean you need to realistically assess both what it takes to ride and whether you have that.
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  11. BjpittBjpitt I understand countersteering very well and I don't think she will be doing 30 ks plus on a push bike . It's the weight of the mortorbike she's struggling with in comparison to a push bike. People who know what they are talking about sent her home twice . And she had trouble with a car for a couple of years .
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  12. Obviously you don't understand countersteering from what you are saying. You don't turn a bicycle left by turning the bars left below 30km/h, it's not a bloody tricycle.

    And regarding "people who know what they are talking about". It's they who told her to go practice on bicycle...

  13. My days of arguing with people like you on here have long gone .
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  14. It's not an argument. You are clearly wrong regarding countersteering, you just don't want to man up and admit it.
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  15. #15 mainstage, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
    Ok one more time ! when the average person rides a push bike at 10ks do they utilise countersteering ? No to slow .. When the average rider on a MC rides around do they utilise countersteering . So the benifit to riding a push bike would be balance not countersteering .
  16. A fun way to practice BMX riding skills is to get a mate and try to hit the rear wheel of their bike with your front wheel (and vice versa)...hours of fun riding in circles.
  17. #17 Andrew West, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
    Minority153Minority153 as the instructors and more experienced riders have suggested practice practice practice. I was a very inexperienced motorcycle rider, yes I could ride in a paddock or on a mates farm but slow speed manoeuvring was a skill I needed to perfect and master to pass my L's. I would think the instructors have said to practice on a pushie so you can work on your balancing skills, also I agree with the suggestion about having some one on one lessons. Yes you will have to master slow speed riding to pass your L's but after that you will be on a steep learning curve to acquire even more skills for riding on the road, luckily you have a drivers license so you should have some road sense but as you will quickly discover it's a whole new kettle of fish when your on two wheels.
    As for the counter steering debate here's my two cents worth. As I said I am a noob to motorcycles and had read in forums about counter steering and after watching a few clips on youtube (is there anything you can't learn on youtube haha) I had an understanding of the concept and it made sense so decided to put it into practice. What I discovered was that I was naturally doing it and the only thing I could put it down to was my experience on a pushie, yes I needed extra practice to refine the skill but it was well worth the effort.
    As for Minority153Minority153 at this stage let's stick to basics.
  18. Find somewhere where you can hire a scooter with your car license. Stay away from motorbikes until you are comfortable on the streets with the scooter. Have fun
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  19. When I went for my Stay Upright course (NSW), I was told the low seated bike was not available and told to use the scooter while the rest of the class happily learnt the basics of how to ride an actual bike. Talk about demoralising! I ran rings around the class as I picked up the scooter riding quite well for a newbie. The instructor told me afterwards that upon appearance, he didn't think I could ride, so put me on the scooter but I'd changed his initial impression. So he failed me for the first day of the course, I had my one hour, one-on-one class (in absolute downpour) to learn how to ride a bike and rejoined a different class (for the second day) 3 weeks later. The circumstances, coupled with shot confidence and no riding mates, put me off riding and I didn't practice much and let my Ls expire.

    A year after my Ls expired, I re-did the Stay Upright course with 4 friends (we booked out the whole class) and it's completely different Doing a course knowing you aren't being judged makes a difference to confidence.

    I'm saying this because it took me two attempts and a year off before I felt comfortable riding. From what I read previously, you are a short, Asian female. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm also a short Asian female (149cm, 45kg), so I can empathise with your situation. One thing that helps is decent upper body and core strength. I do pole and my work enables me to be active with lifting, etc, so this also helps with handling the bike.

    Good luck with your venture and there is plenty of info on the forums. Hopefully you can put the theory into practice soon :)
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  20. Riding is not for everyone.

    Considering you took over 2 years to be comfortable in a car on public streets I somewhat question the motivation to want to ride.

    Don't get me wrong, challenging yourself to accomplish something is admirable - however I am not sure riding will suite your anxious, nervous disposition.

    What is the main reason for wanting to ride?
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