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Got my bike! And a million more questions!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by GunSlingerAU, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Even though many of you guys suggested I go for something bigger, I ended up getting a 2006 VN250 instead of an 800cc. I figured it’d be a nice introduction to cruisers, is small enough to handle the peak hour traffic I’ll be using it in, and I can always upgrade in 6 months anyway.

    I managed to find one online with 2,000km on the clock, 2 months warranty left, and for only $6,250. After inspecting it and seeing that it was basically in brand new condition, I had no hesitation in laying down the cash. Considering the Kawa stealer was trying to sell me a brand new one for $9,500, I reckon I got a pretty damn good deal!

    Riding it home was an interesting affair – I haven’t ridden a manual since my first Stay Upright Learner’s Course – the Vespa LX125 I’ve been riding for the last couple of years was an automatic. Pick up was way out in Denham Court, which is over an hour ride back to my place in Surry Hills. Due to having a 9 to 5 job, and being far too impatient to wait until the weekend, I got my girlie to drive me out there on Wednesday night. It probably wasn’t such a good idea, going for my first ride on a manual in the pitch black, but I figured it was safer to ride at night in the dry, than risk riding on the weekend in the wet.

    Thankfully I didn’t embarrass myself too much in front of the buyer, managing to not to imitate a kangaroo on the way out, though I did over-rev it a tad. The plan was to hit the M5, following my girlie’s car, and ride all the way into the city. Little did we know that the M5 was closed, and we ended up getting a tad lost in upper whoop whoop. I think I stalled the bike at least 15 times at traffic lights, one time I stalled it 3 goes in a row, right in front of a very patient truckie. But I made it home in one piece, and can’t wait for some clearer weather to really enjoy it. Had a 2 hour ride around the city today, and have noticed how much harder work it is to ride a bike than a scooter – I got a good workout!

    As you guys are the keepers of all knowledge related to things with two wheels, I was hoping you could help me out with the following questions:

    1.) What’s the best method for hill starting? I’ve been practising in my underground car park, but I’m having very mixed results.

    2.) When I bought the bike, all they had was the key and rego papers. Should I get a manual? Is there any paperwork for the warranty? I have no idea when it’s due for a service, as there was no log book (other than the lack of paperwork, the bike looks as if it’s been well cared for though).

    3.) I’m having issues with first gear. Finding it, to be precise. When I’m at the lights, I click the gear lever all the way down, but it doesn’t always go into first, no matter how hard I push it. I’ve figured out that if I let the clutch out a little bit when I’m in second gear, there’s a little clunk noise like the bike is going into gear, and then I can select first. Is this normal?

    4.) Where’s a good place to buy protective clothing in Sydney? I went out to MCA in the city, and they were extremely helpful. Only problem is that due to my small frame, none of the Aussie jackets they stock fit me – I need a size 36. The Italian jackets fit, but they start at $700, which is twice the price of the Aussie gear. I’m thinking I’m going to buy helmet, jacket and gloves all from the same place, provided they can offer a bit of a deal on the bundle – what sort of % off can I expect?

    Now that I’ve got my baby, I’m gonna get some practice before hitting the peak hour traffic to work, and then I look forward to meeting some of you guys on a ride! Thanks again for all of your advice, and I'll see ya on the roads!

  2. 1) downhill, in second gear

    2) depends on how well the previous owner looked after the paperwork. i would certainly ask for all that you mentioned. allegedly owners books can be downloaded from the net. but it is a worry about the lack of service history.

    3) it should go in to first with firm downwards pressure to the lever. it may be out of adjustment for your foot size. sometimes a little blip on the throttle will help it in to gear, particularly with a low revving twin. that, or rock the bike back and forth, it will engage.

    4) the internet.
  3. Regarding the change into 1st, I have exactly the same issue on my Kawa, in fact our bikes probably share the same gearbox or at least a similar design.

    I find that providing I am still rolling I can continually downshift all the way to first even with the clutch in all the time, if I have stopped however I experience the same as you. So I have just got into the habbit of getting down to 1st before the bike comes to a stop, or you have to do what you said and just let the clutch out slightly so that the gear engages, then you can downshift again.

    Clunky old Kawa technology I think!

  4. Haha, "downhill in 2nd gear" - downhill is easy, it's the going up bit that I'm stuck on!
  5. congrats on the bike.

    1. use the footbrake, release the clutch to friction point, release brake and clutch and rev it and off you go. just like a handbrake start in a car.

    3. Try and change into first before you stop. Otherwise letting the clutch out a bit is the way to go.
  6. just keep the back brake on till clutch is at friction point then ease off brake & pile on more revs. :)
  7. twistngo got it in one, footbrake is the way to go on hill-starts till you are confident enough to find the friction point on the clutch while holding the front brake.
  8. 1) 1st gear, holding the rear brake slowly let the clutch out till u feel it start taking up, give it a bit of throttle to pick the revs up and keep easing the clutch out while letting off the rear brake. That seems to work for me.

    3) sometimes you will need to rock the bike while getting it into 1st on a stand still. Good practice to go down gears as you slow down and be stopped with the bike in 1st ready to take off, safer in case you need to move in a hurry.

    4)MCAs is the only place I've gotten stuff form but if u know your sizes online is another place to look, even from overseas i hear you can make big savings.
  9. Sounds like the rear brake is the way to go for hill-starts - time to start practising!
  10. 4) If you buy everything from the same place, yes for sure you should expect a discount. Hell, I get a discount from MCAS even if I buy only ONE item.
    You need to know how to negotiate, though, if you want to get the best deal.; no point selecting all the gear and lumping it on the counter and asking for a discount ... you'll get something off, but not much. You need to 'play' with them a little...... I'm sure you know what I mean :wink:

    IF you do it right, you should expect around 20% off, on multiple purchases. This will vary from item to item of course, and from shop to shop.
  11. 1) Use your foot brake ... everytime you stop you "should" have your right foot on the brake and left foot on the ground
    when you get to the friction point, slowly rev your engine and release your foot brake

    dont hold your foot brake down too hard, if the pads are firmly stuck between the discs you wont be goin anywhere. I learnt this the hard way by filtering to the front and stalling the little sucker 8 times in a row :LOL:
  12. i find the bike will already be in 1st before i'm totally stopped at the lights...

    either that, or i stick it into neutral from where getting the bike into 1st is really easy

    i've noticed if for whatever reason i'm not in the right when i stop, getting it into 1st can be a little difficult without a throttle blip or rocking the bike

    i read here that motorbike gearboxes don't like changing gear when stationary so keep that in mind (along with the 4million other pointers)
  13. Your best changing down to 1st while still coming to a stop.
    I normally move down through the gears as I slow and let a little engine braking take effect, just incase I need to take off again if someone tries to run me over, hasn't happened yet but I've had people try to flatten me while lane changing so I keep an eye out.

    For hill starts, try giving the bike some Revs with the foot brake on, slowly let the clutch out until you feel it 'catch' - basically when you feel the acceleration pull against your rear brake, at this point you can let the clutch out further while letting your foot brake out. As long as the roads not wet, you should be fine giving it a bit too much revs.
  14. I have no idea when it’s due for a service, as there was no log book

    I would think it was due for a service when you got it home. That way you know that it has been done , even if you were told it was done last week. Then you have peace of mind to know when your next service should be done.
  15. Hi Grange

    But it's only got 2,000km on the clock - I'm happy to spend money when it's warranted, but don't want to if its unnecessary.
  16. Was just a suggestion , as you have no book with it , it may or may not have had a first service. As its a 2006 model , but only done about 2000kms, which is not many kms for that timeframe, I would be doing an oil change. Each to there own on that.
  17. You've convinced me - time to book her in for a service.