Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

First proper road ride. Couple of questions.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by dbrain, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. #1 dbrain, Jan 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
    Hey all,

    Finally managed to calm my nerves a bit and get on to the roads. I went from Beaconsfield to the new house in Pakenham up Princes Hwy. So 80 zones and fairly busy.
    Even stopped and got petrol from a real petrol station! I had been filling from a can up until now.

    I was looking for a few tips if this is the right place for it:

    1. Is there a "best way" / "best time" to gear up. Taking off from lights from first I seem to lose a bit of speed when im switching from first to second.
    I generally: throttle off, clutch in, gear up, throttle on + clutch out around same time (although I'm pretty bad at it, lots of revs before clutch engages sometimes).
    Maybe this is an engine breaking thing? I may be throttling off causing engine braking and then clutch off.
    Or maybe I need to get the revs higher before gearing up? I don't know.

    2. Gearing down for lights. I found myself doing it all in one clump and my bike sounding scrapey, making me feel bad. Is there a best way to do this? Do you gear down one by one following the usual procedure (throttle off, clutch, gear down, clutch + throttle) just in a quick fashion?

    3. How high of a gear should I go at speed? I mean in an 80 I was kind of hitting 4th and the bike wasn't struggling at many revs. Should I be trying to go as high as possible or is it ok to stay in 4th?

    Does it sound like I'm doing something wrong? Or just need to get faster at it all and practice a bunch?
    As the douchey looking guy in the right sided american car said at the lights do I need to "go down to the car park and ride around for an hour" then cackle to his friend next to him?

    (The last one was a joke, I plan on fiddling around in car parks.. but I was wearing hi viz vest, had an L plate and I think did "ok", short of take offs.. tried not to take what he said to heart too much)

    Thanks! :)

  2. mate can't help with the technical stuff, but had a laugh because I filled my bike up from a jerry too!! haha
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Haha, yeah I kind of laughed at myself. Initially it was because I had bike before I had my license, but it continued a little bit longer than it should have ;)
  4. nothing to be ashamed of I say...I am planning to get along to some of the Basic Skill Sessions Saturday week if you're in Melbourne you might like it and there is a ride too apparently but newbies have to pay for the leads petrol and wash the bike....mate I am happy to fork out for petrol but washing another person's bike......good on you for getting out there on the roads, very gutsy!
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. Thanks! Yeah, I'm trying to get confident enough for the coming Saturday 10am session. Bit of a distance from Elwood (around 50 mins up the M1), but I think I'd be alright. Drive most of it every morning to work.

    My main issues are getting to the speed limit without ZOOM.. SLOW.. ZOOM.. SLOW'ing (first problem) ;)
    Once I'm there I'm ok, for freeway riding anyway. Cornering is another issue ;)

    Haha, I'm kind of up for the washing, at least for the first week ;) As long as someone shows me how to do it properly.. mines a bit dirty from my first ride getting the bike home. Snuck out at 5am to avoid the big scary cars and had to deal with rain instead. I was planning on giving it a clean soon.
  6. I feel your pain, I keep waiting for the funniest home video of the first time I put petrol in Wasabi...
    First of all I got flustered and forgot to take my glasses off before the helmet and sent the glasses skittering across the ground
    got my arms caught in my back pack and stood there bouncing up and down like a Kilamanjaro tribe dancer to try and get it off,
    then I couldn't get the petrol cap unlocked ( umm it did say push) ,
    then the petrol nozzle seemed to big for the hole - was just my hand shaking so much it wouldn't go in,
    Then the bloody pump clicked off after about every mL of petrol. I reckon it took me 15 minutes to put 10 litres of petrol in her!
    I was sweating like a pig by the time I went into pay and I am sure the dude was ready to push the panic button thinking I was going to rob the place...

    Go practice your take offs and please find somewhere quiet with a bit of a slope to practice hill starts.
    My first hill start is funny on reflection but I was almost hysterical. I was pulled up to the left of a large 4wd, couldn't see shit and with three kids watching me all goggle eyed from the back seat as I tried to take off and nearly dropped the bike...rear brake rear brake...but you will be so amazed how with steady practice you really get your shit together!
    Go you good thing!
    • Funny Funny x 3
  7. Love the first time petrol story! Mine was a bit un-eventful.. I feel like I probably didn't need to take gloves and helmet off, but didn't want to look like I was going to rob the place.
    Learnt pretty quick the nozzle needs to be just inside the tank otherwise it thinks you're full 50ml later.

    I'm pretty good at the taking off in first bit, even with hill starts. Where I was initially practicing was very hilly (Mt Evelyn).. and figured that was a good thing to practice. It's just moving to second without lowering my speed by too much.
    I'll watch some videos and practice a bit I guess.. I have a feeling I'm killing the throttle too early (before clutch is disengaged (enough)) and engine braking.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. practice practice practice. that is what was told to me when i was in your shoes.
    also look up 'roadcraft of nottingham' on youtube he has some good stuff.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Thanks! That's the plan, just not entirely sure what I'm doing wrong with going up in gears.. maybe it's just the speed I'm doing it all.
    Will have a play and hopefully get it sorted.
  10. going up gears put a little pressure on the shifter then go through the sequence of clutch and off on the throttle. russ will explain it better
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. Ignore the d**kbag in the car next to you, he's clearly a complete arse (plus he's probably just jealous) :)
    Also, practice. Especially with the gear shifting stuff. I have finally managed to get a handle on that, more or less, and I've been puttering around for 4 months.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Thanks, I'll check out the video. I think the problem is I'm going throttle off (engine braking), THEN clutch. I'm probably a bit slow on releasing the clutch when the gears up as well.
    But yeah practice practice, going to go out again tonight when the roads are a bit quieter and just fiddle with the gears.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Haha, thanks. Yeah I tried not to let him get to me, but I probably was pretty annoying to other drivers, being used to motorcycles zooming off I guess.. not zoom.. slow right down.. zoooom.

    Yeah, I think I'm being a bit impatient at myself with the learning part. Only my second proper ride, the rest has been slow riding around side streets. Will try to find a nice quietish area to get some good practice, or just do it in the weird hours
  14. Meh, drivers are always impatient arseh*les. :)
    You get used to it.
    You have a bright yellow L-plate on your bike, you're allowed to be slow and stuff up occasionally. If they can't deal, they can overtake and go past.
    Where are you riding? If you ever fancy riding with some other newbies, let me know. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  15. One trick I learnt was to keep the gear change pedal under pressure until after you've released the clutch e.g. finish changing gear - then remove your foot from the pedal.
    You will never miss a gear again and does absolutely no harm to the gearbox or pedal.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Aha that's true.. guess the cage makes you feel anonymous.

    True about the L plates.. and as of last year L platers need to wear hi viz vests. I look like a highlighter. Even got a hi viz cover for my backpack.. wasn't sure how the police would feel about the vest being covered.

    I'm in Melbourne suburbs, South Eastern. Beaconsfield currently, near Berwick. Moving to Pakenham in a few weeks (15 mins down from here). Wouldn't mind it.. even just to let me know how I look on the road ;)
    I figure I'll ride up to Elwood for the practice sessions on Saturday mornings, starting this coming Saturday if it's on as well, which should help a bunch (even the ride to get there will be good practice).
    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. Ah that's a good one. I haven't managed to hit neutral when going to second yet, but it's only a matter of time. Thanks!
  18. Well, if you get to Saturday practice early (before 10), I'll be there. I'm headin gout on the Bay Loop ride though, so I'm not staying, but still. :)
    Always happy to ride with people who are even newer on the bike than I am. Having said that, I am still on my Ls, so don't expect any magic tricks. Still, sometimes it can be pretty nice to ride with people of similar skill levels.
    Also, looking like a highlighter sounds like a win to me :D
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Nice, yeah I should be there early assuming I don't get lost (no GPS for bike). Hopefully see you there!
    Be good to ride with someone or even have someone driving around me, I know how I'm going from my perspective but maybe there's something obviously dumb I'm doing I haven't picked up on yet that everyone else can see.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Wow, just watched the video, and part 2 to see what his clutch was doing. He does that *super* quick!
    I'm smoothly killing the throttle and pulling clutch then smoothly letting it out again, kind of as you do for first I guess (except a bit less careful). Probably the problem I guess.. I'll give the quick flick thing a go, and hopefully keep myself coordinated and not grinding gears.
    • Like Like x 2