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General newbie insight and question or two

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jimmyv, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    First big topic I've started in netrider!! OK got delivery of my new ninja 250r about 3 weeks ago and have clocked up 250 KM and now I have some questions.

    Firstly, what is the most effective and safest way to ride in a cross wind? I've done a bit of leaning into the wind and also tried countersteering into it to compensate.

    secoundly, got up to 100 KM/H the other day on highway, very scarey and exciting!! but was to anxious to head check at that speed because the wind grabbed my helmet so I slowed do to 80 then headchecked :? Dont worry no one was behind me. Am I being a big wussy pants or is there a risk I will come flying off the bike?

    Also bit in two minds whether riding is for me or not... I find when Iam riding I dont really enjoy it all the time but have these awesome moments!! Like tonight after going to gym and riding home in the dark streets with cold rain coming thru the visor, felt incredible. Or crackin' up the street racing through the gears only to hit like 70km/h but you feel like Casey Stoner haha. Anyway thought I would share my perspective from brand new rider and wondering if anyone gets the same sort of moments out of riding
  2. Crosswinds; don't tense up and grip the bars tightly, even though part of your brain says you must. Loosen your grip and be prepared to make small corrections as the wind gusts.

    By all means keep doing head-checks, and be aware that your neck muscles are about to become a lot stronger as they adjust to wind, slipstream and the weight of the helmet.

    Sounds to me that if you can enjoy 70kph and think you're 'doing a Casey', that you're going to be just fine :).
  3. Hi and umm, congrats? i guess on your first big topic! lol.

    i'm no expert but i've been told that in crosswinds simply grip the tank with your legs and relax your arms. with your arms relaxed it's less likely the gusts of wind will translate into steering input; it seems to work for me!

    Someone will probably jump in to tell you that your mirrors are for looking behind you, and head checks are for simply making sure nobody is next to you. Once you get more comfortable at that speed you will find head checking much easier, i feel it's all about being comfortable and confident with what you are doing.

    and don't worry, once you get more confident on the bike you will start loving it!
  4. Hi Jimmy,
    Cross-winds can be a little un-nerving, but you appear to have the right idea.
    Lean into the wind ( c-steer ) then hold your line. Position yourself in the centre of your lane to give yourself room on either side in case you begin to wander. Crouch down to make a smaller footprint, grip the tank with knees, and most importantly don't fight the bars. Let the bike stabilize itself with minimum effort from you.
  5. Yeah I kinda realised that there is no point in head checking once i've slowed down and would of seen them in the mirrors at that point anyway or in front of me as I slow down haha. But its just a habit I am trying to get into you know.

    But its funny always been a car person and never thought about bikes ever until my mates started getting them and I started taking notice and thought hey these things are cool.

    Oh and thanks everyone, sounds like good advice!!! love the signoff Vinnie!!!!
  6. it takes a while to get through that! do some non threatening rides where you can relax a bit and just get used to the bike. a few car park sessions can help.
  7. I've been riding a road bike since Oct 07, as a recreational rider (aka nice weather only, no commuting) and I still have days where I wonder if riding a motorbike is what I want.

    So for a week or two, I'll let it sit in the garage. Then sure enough, I'll want to go out again.

    I tend to be almost last when riding in a group, but I've stopped worrying about that and just enjoy the ride and the scenery. When I stress about being slow, it just makes riding no fun anymore.
  8. I know exactly what you mean, I have been riding for 3 months now and was hoping riding a bike is something I could really get into but it leaves me quite underwhelmed most of the time. I ride because we needed a second car but don't have anywhere to park one. The awesome moments are there but most of the time it just annoys me. Riders claim to feel free compared to a car, with all the restrictive gear on and my head in a goldfish bowl I really fail to comprehend this!!!

    For me the bike is a great commuter tool, I actually prefer to ride to work than drive but for a thrill the car still wins. It might be down to the type of bike I have, my opinion may change when I try it off road! :)

    For you, you just need to see if the awesome moments become more frequent or not I guess. You can certainly expand your social circle with the help of great sites like this.

  9. Give it time Jimmy, You'll soon discover whether you have it in your blood or not. I had not ridden a bike since I was 15 .. Yammy YZ80B ... weekend paddock bashing :LOL:
    Then .. at the ripe old age of 46, I get my learners, buy an SL250, get licenced, buy the hornet. I ride everyday it's now my sole means of transport and occassional weekend fun ride. I have moments when it ain't exactly fun.. like riding to work or back home in a downpour, frozen fingers, limited visibilty, crazy cages everywhere etc .. but even then I find it challenging to navigate through all the crap and feel a sense of acheivement for getting home upright. 13,000km later I still feel exilerated.
    In a word I LOVE IT. I get home ...and apart from checking out the forum, not one night goes by that my head is not buried between the pages of either Proficient MotorCycling I & II, or A Twist of the Wrist 1 & II.
    My wife says I'm obsessed. :LOL:
    To me, its become a passion, a skillful art that will require years of dedication, practice and a learning curve that just never ends.
    One day I hope to become a capable rider. In the meantime I'm loving it.

    :roll: Geez I didn't mean to write my memoirs .. sorry :p

    The short version : Be patient, listen, learn and improve your skills. If after quite a few klms under your belt you still feel it ain't for you.. sell the bike before you do yourself harm.
  10. Hi everyone,
    I used to shake like a leaf before I went for a ride. I couldnt even get the petrol cap off properly because I was shaking so much from nerves. Several shorter rides and a couple of 100km rides and now I dont shake! I still feel nerves but much less. I can even tolerate cars behind me without freaking out now. I still dont like to ride in the wind though.
  11. thanks for replies!

    Yeah I think my expectations were initially to high. I think I was hoping to revisit the thrill of getting my p-plates for the car. I know when I get in the car (when I had the old V8) I enjoyed every moment of driving even just sitting at lights feeling the V8 vibrate through the enitre car.

    Maybe iam just to scared of it to enjoy it at the moment haha. Plus Iam constantly worried iam not breaking it in properly so I think I will relax a bit more after 1600KM knowing iam not potentially breaking it.
  12. Aah the breaking in period. I've been told to follow the book or to give it a really good work out through the gears to help seal the pistons or something to that effect. I did a mixture of both, but still kept it under 8k and that was only a accidental moment.

    I am out of the break in period, but still try to keep the revs on a nice range, makes my ride feel more stable.

    You will get used to head checking at 100+. Here in Canberra, merge lanes are 'go faster and cut in front of people' lanes. Funnily enough, I never felt uncomfortable in medium to heavy traffic.

    When I first wore my helmet, tilting my head forward felt like someone had put an extra 10 kilo on my head. Now, it's hardly noticeable. Once you get your gear 'broken in' it'll feel better.

    I've found that mirror set up is important and makes me feel more comfortable when riding, I can easily scan the mirrors just by dropping my eyes.

    Once you get confident enough to get a good lean into corners, that's when the "holy crap, I'm a riding a motorcycle and loving it" feeling hit me. That and take offs from lights :grin:
  13. Went and ventured into the wind again today and I found it much easier taking on the advice contributed in this thread, thankyou.

    Had a oh shit moment though big gust of wind pushed me to the other side of lane but it was kinda fun at the same time as being terrifying.
  14. The best way to deal with cross winds is to avoid them. You need to work out what it is you are doing that is making the wind cross.

    OK seriously, If the wind is constant and pushing you in a direction different to your chosen course just relax, lean into it, till you are steering the right course.

    If it is not constant it is a little harder since you need to keep doing corrections. This is when it is really important to relax and not grip the bars too tightly or you will end up overcorrecting.

    Also be aware of your surrounds. What bridges, barriers, trucks etc are coming up that will suddenly block or change the winds effect. There is one corner on my regular commute that I take a lot slower in high wind because half way through the corner there is a gap which the wind can tunnel through. The first time I did it unprepared I got hit leaning over halfway through the corner and the wind just about pushed me into a different lane. But the reverse is also true when you are countering against a strong wind and the wind is suddenly stopped by say a passing truck.

    So just be relax and be aware.

    I might add that this used to scare the crap out of me when I first started. Now I find it annoying to put up with but not scary. So it's really just one more thing to practice.
  15. dont ride after the gym. you will be down on strength and wont be able to react to problems that may arise.

    and if your arms arnt dead after the gym ,then you sir need to man up on your weights :)

    and yes, the headchecking at 100 is in your head only. the only thing i worry about is if my visor will come up because i forgot to lock it down :)