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Follow the noob

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by rhys84au, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. hey guys i thought i might keep a little diary here of my rides and what i do/stuffup so people can critic/watch progress ect.

    anyway i touched a bike for the first time just after xmas. a friend rode it down to an empty industrial estate and said "so what do you want to do first" i replied with "ride a straight line without falling off"

    i jumped on the bike and within 5 minutes i was doing circles, figure 8's ect. not perfectly but the slow speed stuff seemed fine.

    after about 20 minutes of this he jumped in my trick and said "back in ten..wait here" like i had anywhere else to go without a supervisor. he got back with his bike.. he decided i would be fine to ride it home.

    we did a few laps of the industrial estate and then headed along some back streets to subway for lunch. I stalled the bike a few times particularly at sets of lights as i felt added pressure because i didnt want to piss of drivers behind me.

    on the trip back there was a very sharp left turn. i entered the corner and i felt the bike drift out over the centre line.. there was an oncoming car but not too close to make me shit myself but close enough that my friend worried if i did something/panic and i washed out i would def be collected.

    there was a slight sprinkle of rain and i adjusted/tightened my corner and everything was fine. however my friend afterwards stressed to me to be very very carefull adjusting when the wheels are touching that paint particularly when wet... made sense wont happen again.

    after reflecting that night (with massive arm pump) i realised i was hanging on with a bit of a death grip. and after reading stuff on here i now know that it translates through to how the bike handles the corner.

    my second trip was with a different friend we went to the industrial estate last tuesday arvo and it was a shocker. i live on a main road and i stalled 5 times just getting out my driveway, then again at the lights 50m up the road. then i didnt stall again for the next 90 minutes. down to the estate we went and i felt like i had gotten worse, forgetting to turn off indicator ect... i dont know why but riding with this particular friend (i have 3 i can ride with) seemed to stress me out and he was in a way trying to push me faster through corners ect.

    third trip was yesterday arvo, 2 hours of just riding around the back streets from my house, cornering, braking, shifting down to the right gear for a corner ect. went very smooth.. i felt comfy on the bike and my arms were sore from a big gym session the night before on the upper arms but i didnt get the lower arm pain from the bike. i stalled once taking off from the shoulder after pulling over for a quick chat with a mate. I still was forgetting the indicator a little but in the end began making more of a habit to make the turn, turn it off and then i would even randomly tap the button here and there while riding just to make sure.

    today for my birthday 2 of my friends (the one from yesterday) and the one from my first trip took me for a ride. we were from my house (Crestmead, logan city) to eagleby to visit a friend for 20 mins, then we shot down to oxenford and up the arse end of Mount Tamborine, stopped for a drink then down the twistier side. Pulled into the bearded dragon for lunch and then proceeded home. ~150ks today. stalled once this morning when i shifted to first coming upto lights and cars were JUST begining to take off.. and idk what i did but i was trying to keep the bike crawling along and it stalled.. without planting feet i just clutched in and fired it back up and took off.

    everything today seemed to go really really good. I could have been faster, i could have taken corners quicker. however that was not the point of today.. it was about getting out there.. giving it a go and getting comfortable before i begin to push myself and my bike to where i can nail those corners at high speed. my friends have been calling me CHOOK for donkeys years but today i think i earnt the nickname daisy lol. i did the speed limit and i was fine with that.

    i think i may have caused a bit of worry in an oncoming car on the way home however.. in a 100 zone i was on the right track and was moving my legs a bit as they were getting a tad cramped and the motion of me moving my right leg caused the bike to move to the right a foot/foot and a half before i corrected it.. i stayed in my lane but i can see how the driver may have thought i could have gone over.

    and i almost cliped a curb, tiny little roundabout and my buddy was leading and instead of u turning at the roundabout (no traffic around) he proceeded around it a second time.. i was a bit quick and the bike moved to the outer edge.. i panics a bit.. grabbed a handfull of clutch and brake and stopped the bike parallel and about 1 inch off the gutter... could have been worse.

    i have always tried to respect bike riders, my family is full of them.. so i always check blind spots when driving and its ingrained into me when i look to think "wheres the bike" even if there isnt one.. iam looking for it. but after doing a bit of motorway riding today, some basic/easy winding corners on the mountain downhill and some suburban fairly heavy traffic i have even more respect for the riders out there.

    now to take an asprin and try shake the headache i have from the wind rush generated through my helmet (rjays dominator... all i could afford over xmas holidays until i was back to work this week.. so hopefully in a month-6 weeks ill go buy an agv or something a bit better as i have only 1 head)

    so thats everything to date.. my friends are convinced ill laugh through qride after i get a proper instructor to point out the things iam doing wrong but thats a few weeks away yet (ill ring them to make a booking in 2 weeks) but in the meantime hopefully i get another 200-300ks under me before then.

    ill update this as i go along with things i do, learn, stuff up...

    also thank you to the 2 cruiser riders (i would guess harleys) that shared the lane when overtaking the 3 of us on the way up the mountain(i was doing the limit). they sat behind us for a while to give me ample time to know they were there, they did the lane share on an easy bit of road and they didnt make any sudden changes to cause me any undue stress/panic.
  2. Ignore any spelling mistakes please, Normally iam not quite so terrible but i was typing this up in a rush before the missus showed up lol.
  3. Hi Rhys and happy birthday. The QLD system is a bit stuffed because it doesn't allow you to go off somewhere and practice on your own because of the supervised requirement. Your mates will have a tendency to push you a bit faster than you are probably comfortable with so you should be wary of that, ride your own ride.

    Specifically get out and practice clutch and throttle control at slow speed I would advise. Start in first up to 20 - 30kph then brake to a stop. Over and over. That should get you past the stalling issues. Cornering, most new riders drift wide, I suspect you are slowing down too much but get some advise from people with you, look where you want to go and be positive and decisive about your input to the handlebars.

    Good Luck, I look forward to hearing how you get on. :)
  4. I did a putty loop on my second day. Riding a bikes not that hard go get stuck in up the twisties and you will learn fast or die.

  5. Thank you, The friends i did the ride with around Tamborine were great. I have 3 mates i have known since primary school and these were 2 of them (wow about 20 years lol) they didnt push me and i was comfy riding with them, they understood i was doing things at my pace and let me control how quick we did everything. as we came down the mountain the only real thing they said was "x is going to lead.. watch where he begins to brake and drop his bike in and try mirror it but if you feel like its too quick go a bit slower"

    i really dont know what it was with the mate that stressed me, he didnt say much else except "take the corners quicker... push the bike or you will get run over" but whatever it is.. i screwed up with him supervising more than the others.

    i dont plan on stopping at qride and then thinking iam done, ill be doing qride and then using the bike for everyday commuting to work ect. then after maybe 6 or 8 months and assuming i feel comfortable i will look towards a more advanced rider/defensive course just to add onto skills. from there it will be unresctricted licence and still look at other courses i can do.. i harbor no falsehoods that this is going to take years to master but iam going to do everything i can to help myself.

    also it helps that when i do decide to do any courses to advance the riding my 2 mates iam comfy with want me to let them know so they can do all the courses with me ect.

    edit; Hopefully i can get someone out with me this week once or twice to spend a couple of hours just taking off from starts on various inclines and quicker starts. at this stage from standing start iam clearly taking off quicker than any car on the road but its nothing compared to any rider that knows what they are doing properly. The stalling hasnt been so much of a clutch/throttle control issue so much as a doing it too quick because ive been stressing about cars behind me ect. but yesterday was promising with the stall being because i did something stupid while attempting to crawl the bike too slow (no gear indication so iam thinking i miss counted a gear and was in second when i should have been in first, didnt think to feather the clutch at the time)
  6. I am not sure what you mean by: The stalling hasnt been so much of a clutch/throttle control issue so much as a doing it too quick because ive been stressing about cars behind me ect.

    If you mean you are releasing the clutch too quickly then it is a matter of getting to know the clutch and the point at which it starts to take up. Anyway it sounds like you are on the right path, there is no magic bullet just practice. :)
  7. OK so an update, last weekend i went for a trip out to moorooka with a mate as he was buying a dirt bike... easy trip.

    This weekend i enrolled in H.A.R.T 2 day training at slacks creek.

    Yesterday was all about teaching you how to ride.. alot of this i already knew as i had been doing it for the last several weeks. But then came the figure 8. First gear.. finding friction point.. dragging rear brake, 4 figure 8's within 50-80 seconds. no faster than 50 seconds and no slower than 80. Now for some reason i can do this on my bike no problems the few times i did do it (GS500F) but on the vtr250's at HART i simply couldnt... i kept wanting to lean into the turn rather than counter balance. so i cheated this a bit (Although its still allowed to be done.. its frowned apon) i kicked the bike into 2nd and did the figures 8's without brakes just using the idle. 64 seconds.

    I realise that was a cheating way out... but it wasnt until i was on the road ride this afternoon that i think it clicked.. i wasnt comfortable on the vtr. my GS500f feels slightly lower and to me feels alot more nimble plus iam more used to it i guess. so knowing i CAN do this technique however just not with the vtr made me think "stuff it" and just cheated it.

    Everything else was a breeze.

    Doug Doyle the trainer i had was brilliant. On the first day there was myself and 2 others. a girl and a guy. the guy must have dropped his bike approx 10 times before lunch and doug did not bat an eye and showed nothing but patience. the girl dropped her bike almost but not quite on me once during the day however she was a short little asian girl and once it was slightly past its centre of gravity it was going over no matter what she did. but only once.

    at the end of day 1 doug spoke to the 3 of us and told me to just leave my gear there overnight, i took this as a good sign even tho i was pretty confident anyway as barring the figures 8's he had nothing but praise for me (bar maybe twice he said "lift your head up")

    he spoke to the girl and she was on the fence thinking she needed more practice before testing, but by the end of day 1 she was doing everything fine (but she needed to do the figure 8 in 2nd also) but i dont think she felt confident. so he explained their capped pricing and that there was nothing to really lose by at least giving the assesment a shot and if she didnt pass coming back for further training.. she left without deciding... but sure enough she was there today and she did everything well and walked away with an RE licence. Good on her!

    The other guy however simply needs more training.. and personaly iam unsure whether motorcycles are for him. all day no matter what was said he would keep doing the same thing which was causing the bike to drop... he would begin to take off but pull the clutch back in and obviously it just went down. on straight stretches he would pull the clutch and simply be falling over instead of accelerating, in corners he would speed into the corner but i think he was grabbing the clutch mid corner to try roll through it. not too sure on that bit but i think he was anyway.
    he obviously did not show up today for assessment.

    today at assessment i showed up pretty early as i was both excited and nervous as hell. nerves because i was worried about the figure 8, excited at the prospect of probably walking away with my certificate.

    we had myself, the girl and 2 guys doing their R licence. we got straight into it. 7:45ish we began and went through the drills.. knowing i needed a few mins to get the figure 8 pattern in mind he first tested one of the R's, then the girl, then back to an R (there was 2 figure 8 setups) which gave both of us doing out RE a few minutes to get ourselves sorted. thanks!

    after all the drills we went for the road ride, nothing too spectacular, hill starts, U turns ect. on the way back to the centre i was bringing up the rear and in front of me was the other RE (Girl) we got split from the pack at a tiny single lane roundabout. the girl was waiting at the line to go (plenty of traffic) behind her was a small daihatsu charade or something.. then me. now even tho we are wearing bright reflective shirts the charade tried to come around the left side of the girl and barge in front (in a single lane and she the RE girl was parked maybe a little to right right of centre lane.. enough that should have screamed "piss off im here").. kind of wish there was room because there was TRAFFIC and the girl was waiting for cars to come around.. if the charade had gone forward she would have been t boned. was amazing the woman drivings stupidity... and she cant blame frustration of "slow learner in front" because besides 1 point when i led through a suburban area and i hadnt seen a sign (i dropped us back to 50.. i live a few streets away from this part and believed it was 50) that was the slowest part.. everywhere else was at the speed limit and nobody was putting along under.

    stupid impatient woman.

    all in all brilliant experience with HART, i highly recommend them. even tho it was pissing it down all weekend here dougs instructions kept me feeling comfortable and confident. Will DEF be going back to HART for my R licence when i feel iam ready to upgrade.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. next up, taking my bike out to an empty carpark and doing the same drills on my bike. and practicing the emergency braking.
  9. Sounds like good times Rhys!! I did my test at HART Slacks Creek and had a similar experience in that I found them great. Now the fun begins :)
  10. 2nd gear is cheating? My Qride instructor taught me to use 2nd, constant throttle, clutch out and rear brake as needed. He got me to practise in both gears; but always found it jerkier in 1st.
    That was on a VTR and a CB400.

    Anyway, grats on the licence and have fun!
  11. well he never called it cheating i did, he just said that it could potentially point out a problem with using friction point/rear brake and throttle at the same time to do slow speed stuff and that its worth practicing even if passed with using 2nd. mostly for tight U turns and stuff im guessing, say in a carpark.

    now to begin riding to and from work, changing up my routes ect to get a feel for differing corners and also when doing a run home i know ill just push the bike a fraction harder through a corner each day until iam comfortable. few months time i shall look towards doing some more rider training as well... not the end... this is just the beginning.
  12. got my licence updated this morning (thanks boss for giving me time off to go do it.. lol) came home grabbed the bike and shot off to work. easy commute of about 15-20 mins each way plus a gym stop this arvo.

    then went out for a couple of hours tonight to get some night riding under the belt. about 2 hours of back streets and main roads with fairly minimal traffic.
  13. WOW!

    I haven't left practice sessions at HART in Melbourne, god help me when I get on the road one day!

    Still saving for a bike.