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Help a newbie learn himself?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by MYOMNOMS, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. G'day guys,

    So I bought a brand new Kawasaki ninja 250r earlier today, taking delivery tomorrow afternoon. I've bought the bike, a good helmet, a two piece suit, gloves and boots. Is there anything I should have before I start riding? Oh and insurance is in the works.

    And also, does anyone have advice for riding on loose gravel? I live on a dirt road, at the moment it's just been graded, but how long that will last I have no idea. I have a few mates who live on gravel I'm keen to show off to as well :D

    , Thanks in advance
  2. Hmm, so you've got the bike, the helmet, gloves, two piece suit, boots and insurance .. a learner's permit or licence would help!!!!!
  3. hahaha! I have a learners permit, sorry, forgot to mention it. At least I didn't forget to get it! :p
  4. new bike? gravel roads? hmm, alot would be crawling down those sort of roads to no chip the new paintwork. And you want to show off to your mates that live on gravel roads? Well if you're an epxerienced rider then you should have no problems in handling a bike in those conditions, if on the other hand ARE a learner, then would suggest some sat morn lessons with greybm and hawklord and get some tips from seasoned riders.
    Common sense comes to mind, but not knowing you or your abilities i might be wasting my two bobs worth, either way, ride safely so we can all keep smiling :) !!
  5. I have plenty of dirt-bike experience, but 0 experience on a street bike other than the short time on one for my learners. But I see what you mean.

    I have the common sense to know not to put myself into something I can't handle, but at the same time, being inexperienced I can't always tell if I'm biting off more than I can chew.

    I bought gear to keep me out of hospital, hopefully I can develop the skills to do the same!
  6. :) Ride safe Myomnoms!
  7. I'll do my best!
  8. #8 Mike9999, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Looks like you're all set gear wise. Gentle braking is key on the dirt roads so you don't lock up. But I reckon your dirt bike experience will come in very handy with these roads.

    One thing you must remember NOT to take with you: your ego. Leave it at home. Especially if you're off to show some mates. Or else you'll end up looking like [URL="]this guy[/URL]...=D>...

    Ride safe (good bike choice btw)
  9. #9 MYOMNOMS, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Hahaha, I'm far from an expert, but did he open the throttle up while the bike was leaned? And don't worry, my ego was destroyed long ago by highschool :-({|=
  10. Brand new bike means brand new tyres. New tyres have a very slippery, almost greasy coat over them, so yeap you're right, all it took was a bit of throttle on a tiiiiny lean and no more nurburgring for that man. Something to watch out for I guess considering your bike is new aswell!
  11. Should I attack the tyres with sand paper or something?
  12. Just do 30km on them and they will be fine.. gradually lean the bike more as you go. It's not rocket science and you don't need to attack your tyres with a metal brush or napalm or whatever.
  13. Look, if you can ride a dirt bike you can ride a road bike. Same animal. It just feels a little different.

    As the previous poster pointed out, fully faired road bikes are not designed with freshly graded gravel roads in mind. That isn't to say you can't ride on them, but wear and tear will be significantly greater than on asphalt. And, new tyres are a bit slippery, yes. Warm them up and scrub them in before you ask much of them. That said, our mate in that (classic) vid was on a gixxer thou, and they have a bit more poke than a 250 ninja.

    Be cautious to start with. Also, dirt bikes teach you (well, seem to teach a lot of people) to be a bit brutal and on-off-on with the throttle. On road bikes it's an idea to learn to be smooth and progressive with the twist grip. A 250 ninja won't teach you that - or to put that another way, it won't punish you for that. A gixxer thou will.

    Try and watch some on bike footage of Rossi. When you first see him riding, you think you're watching slow-mo, because he is so slow and smooth and progressive with getting on the throttle.

    Trying to scrub tyres by sandpaper or something doesn't really work. Find a road with some smooth medium speed corners and go around them. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed and lean angle on each pass. Do it gradually - baby steps. This is the stretch I use to scrub in tyres. It's only just over a km long. I spend about a 1/2 hour going up and down there, starting out very gently and getting a tiny bit braver with each run. It also happens to be really good, valuable practice for your riding as well.
  14. I remember I went on a Tuesday night ride a couple months back and found my self on an unfinished road with huge potholes and gravel everywhere, was going at speed too before I noticed it. I was certain I'd come off but by avoided some panicked braking and just looking straight ahead the little Ninja got through it ok. So a bit of a dirt road shouldn't be a problem, just take it easy and keep your head up.
  15. Thanks for all the help guys, It's really appreciated.

    I'll be riding from Drysdale to Torquay, this will be my first "legal" ride. I'll be doing a bit of practice during the day on the road, but still only have the basics from my L's course. Am I doing a bit too much? Sorry for all the dumb questions.

    , Thanks
  16. Just take it easy, like kneedragon said, smooth throttle, smooth braking. Plan ahead for stop signs/give way/traffic lights and give yourself space. The less cars around you the better. Having ridden dirt bikes you probably won't have to worry about gears/braking/general riding of the bike like other noobs out there with no previous experience. That'll give you more headspace to worry about things like the road, cars around you, possible hazards like intersections, merging lanes etc. Try going during the middle of the day if you can, when there aren't as many cars on the road.
  17. For riding on gravel... Well, you've ridden offroad, you know what it's like. :)

    The main limitation is that semi-slick sports tyres and sports-touring tyres cope alright on solid hardpack, even with a thin layer of dust and loose material. But as soon as the loose material gets to any significant depth things become far more "interesting", as I'm sure you're aware (eg: dirtbike in deep dry sand, deep loose gravel). Sportsbike tyre tread just isn't designed to cut through loose material.

    More of a limitation to do with tyre design than a what kind of bike it is. You wouldn't wear hardpack knobblies to a clay mudbath, afterall. :D
  18. A road bike on the dirt is nothing like a dirt bike on the dirt!!! Road tyres just don't grip!!
    I hit a fist sized stone when stopping my 1 month old Z1000 in a dirt driveway. 2km/h & down she went :( Scratched cowling & engine cover. ](*,)
    Go slow & use your rear brake mainly. Second gear will help as first can be a bit 'jerky'
    And don't think the gear will keep you out of hospital! You're right, the skills will do much more in that department.
    Even the best gear can't protect you from 'any' sort of accident, but skills can help you avoid getting into a bad situation in the first place.
  19. Mate gravel roads are not that much fun for newbies. but good on you for having a go.
    1. Buy a rad guard. (radiator guard)
    2. Ride in the cars wheel tracks. They will sweep a bit of that loose shoite on top away for you. On dirt the left wheel track is preferable as cars tend to take more than their share of the road and moving quickly across on a bike on gravel is not a good mix.
    3. If you keep your balance the bike will have no trouble keeping its. So keep your eyes up. Your arms loose and your weight back a bit. Let the bike have it's head. As in let it and the bars move around a bit. Don't try and correct every little movement.
    4. Take it easy. Even when you have come off the dirt and onto the tar your tyres will still be covered in it and very slippery. So for about three k's after the dirt TAKE IT EASY. same when you first hit the dirt from tar. You will have been buzzing along and even 60kph will feel so slow. Till the bike washes out from under you.
  20. So I've taken my bike for quite a few rides over the weekend and week, gotten familiar with it and am quite comfortable with it. I dare say I'm in love :D. I've taken dirt roads (I live on one, so not by choice!), and I know the nature of the beast much better.

    Now my only worry is, naming her!

    Any suggestions would be awesome and thanks so much for all your advice, people like you lot make the learning process a whole lot better!