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Getting on a bike after 8 years ... tips ?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Omarko, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. hi guys

    just turned 30 and decided that its finally time for me to fullfill one of my dreams and get a sports bike.

    I have been looking around and decided to buy Honda CBR600RR 2008 which I will be using to commute to work (only a 15 min trip) and if time permits some weekend joy riding.

    I have a license from overseas which is recognised in AU so Im getting all that sorted now and should have a full unrestricted license in next 3-4 weeks. Very exciting indeed.

    now ... I have ridden bikes between the age 16-22 but they were all max 400cc.

    what would you guys recommend in terms of brushing up on driving skills I should do ? Is it worthwhile to do some re-fresher course? If yes, who normally does these? Is the training offered by Honda any good?

    Or should I just get the bike and start slowly riding, taking it easy for first 3-6 months ?

    any thoughts are welcome ... thanks!
  2. Here is one of the only tips you will ever need...........

    Don't crash.

    Pleasure :)
  3. aww vic i was going to say that! Look at getting some refreshers, or seeing if you can't arrange a mentor to assist(From NR)
  4. Hmmm sounds similar to how I returned to bikes. My experience though was all on dirt bikes as a kid so at 32 my road bike sense was awful.

    I stuck with a 250 for a little while but the area i was in taxed that bike too much (freeways and highways everywhere). Highly recommend any refresher course you can do from the nearest reputable sources, I was startled to see just how far technique and safety awareness training has progressed so get some, it's vital for today's conditions.

    starting out slow is one way, an NR mentor is another, but yeah it shouldn't take too long before you find your flaws and have guidance to improve them. Good luck and welcome back ;)
  5. I found going on the NR rides has helped because the more experienced riders can give you feedback and riding tips. I've been reading Twist of the Wrist 2 which has also helped alot.
  6. I did the same - has almost 10 years off and got back into it 5 years ago. I didn't do a course, just took it easy, it all comes back naturally.

    You will find your careful and cautious in the first few months as you build up confidence and get used to things again. They say the dangerous period is the one just after that when suddenly your confidence can exceed your skills!

    You'll find bikes are not quicker, lighter and better handling than a few years ago, so overconfidence is an issue. You will also wonder why you ever stopped riding - there is just nothing better than a weekend ride thru the country on a sunny day!
  7. I was off the bike for 7 years and bought a Firestorm in June this year to commute on.

    What i found:
    *First week i took it very easy. No speeding, stalled it a few times. Obeyed all road rules, no splitting etc.
    *Second week i was more uncomfortable, no stalling, explored some short 10m lane splits when at traffic lights.
    *After 1 month i was starting to lane split and filter a little bit. I was able to jump on the throttle a bit more without freaking out.
    *After 3 months it's completely natural. I zip around everywhere and it's all to easy.

    Make note:
    *Riding everyday you will learn and adapt extremely fast. Take it very easy to begin with.
    *The bike is only as dangerous as the rider. Don't whack open the throttle if you are not comfortable with the speed.
    *Buy the bike you want, don't be told something is 'to powerful'. As said above riding each day you will adapt extremely quickly to the power of a bike. If you have self control i don't see power being an issue. If you have no self control, don't get a bike as they make you evil.
    *After a few months expect any 'pureness' that may exist to be completely corrupted. :grin:
  8. The first step of rider training in NSW is run by a mob called "Stay Upright".
    They do a learner course, the provisional rider course, and also a rider refresher course.

    List of courses here.

    Their NSW head-office phone number is 8824 9980 for more info or bookings.

  9. +1 this is definitely the best course of action for yourself, also get acquainted with our road systems and get a feel for the traffic and driver habits.
  10. going on a course firstly is definitely a good idea. I still practice the same techniques that were taught to me by HART about 14 years ago, and were helpful for analysing and applying a "process" to riding when I got back on the bike 2 years ago after a 5 year hiatus.

    Although getting back on and "feeling" your way in to becoming comfortable can also work, I tend to think that going on a course to be taught from experience (and to address any previously bad habits or practices) is a very good starting point.
  11. I think the most important part is to worry about the other cars. I'm sure if you take it out for a few hours around quite streets you'll be back in the saddle in no time. Being 30, your statistically more mature and all that kind of junk :grin:

    But if your not used to defensive driving in cars, then riding around in traffic is where the real lesson will be. You'll need to really get all your senses working so you can sniff out a potential hazard long before it shows it's face.

    It would really help if you were able to do the mandatory courses that us younger guys have to do. I don't know why they think it doesn't apply if your over 30 :?

    I hope you enjoy your machine and I'm glad that your making your dream come true.

  12. hi guys

    I am overwhelmed at the amount of responses in such a short time ... thank you VERY MUCH all for the input ...

    some thoughts ...

    I have been driving in AU for the last 8 years so I am used to the heavy traffic in Sydney. My current car is a pretty powerfull beast and I do like to push it sometimes but only if its safe and I know the area. In the last 8 years I have not had one speeding ticket or other offense. :)

    With the bike, I will definitelly take it slowly ... gosh im trembling even at the thought of getting on it and riding home from the dealer when I get it .... but at the same time I am so excited as all the old memories of riding in my younger days are coming back. Yes I was bit more hot headed back then and even had an accident (luckily only minor injuries to myself, nobody else) ... but all these learnings are popping up and being older and more responsible I can analyse and understand them better.

    I know a motorbike is a "lifestyle" and I really miss it ...

    I will explore a decent refresher course once I get the bike ....

    what accessories would u guys recommend to get ? what am I looking at spending ? any particular brands ? (I was hoping a jacket, gloves and helmet would be under $1500-2000) I have no idea what prices are good at this stage. I went to Sydney city motorcycles in Lane Cove and checked out what they had ... but there are so many brands and products to choose from and the sales guys seemed to be keen on making as much money on a newb like me as possible ... I thought it might be better to ask you pros here :)

    thanks again for all the responses and pls feel free to keep them coming ... god I feel like a small kid that is getting his ice cream :)
  13. First thing to factor in, is just how easily your bike will exceed the limit...They are a smooth ride, and that's deceiving.

    But really...once you get used to the rider perspective, you really can't get yourself into trouble unless you do so on purpose. You can putt along easily at legal speeds, and then let lose when you want to...so it's purely up to your right hand.

    One mantra I reinterate to myself quite often for city riding, is never ride faster than you can stop...If you use that as a guideline, you'll prevent yourself from getting the speed up too high at the wrong times.

    On the open winding roads, I have different guidelines, but they are for another day. :wink:

    You'll basically need two sets of clothing...textiles for cold or wet days, and leathers for everything else...in the medium term, you could get away with draggin jeans and a leather jacket, long as you remember, that while the kevlar jeans will assist in protecting you from agonizing road rash, they do nothing for impact damage...it's a trade off.

  14. Also remember to keep your visor down and mouth shut. The taste of bugs has not improved over the years!

    If you plan to do any "out of the city" weekend riding, I'd also recommend a back protector. Gotta protect that spine the best you can.
  15. but also the most underpresented stats in fatal accident too?
  16. hi guys

    I made a new thread in the "new riders and riding tips"

    I kinda need help ... just got back from RTA and I booked myself in for a Skills test (goes for one hour) ...

    problem is ... I seriously need some refresher from someone and the few companies that DO offer training are all booked out because the test it next THURSDAY !!!!

    Im desperate to find someone who would be willing to give me some tips and even let me ride their bike at a car park or somewhere safe just so I can get used to riding again. The test is supposed to be silly simple ... but still ... I would hate to fail cause the next one is not till November !!!! and sometimes they can fail you on such basic things ...


    any thoughts ? or recommendation who can help ? some company? of course will to pay good money for the help ...