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Learner rider experiences

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by p_o_s, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. I'll soon be on a full license and thought it would be a good idea to share my experience as a learner rider, and get others to share their stories & tips.

    In my opinion the first 2 to 3 weeks riding are the most dangerous. Once your past that period life as a rider gets more enjoyable.

    My first 2 weeks:
    ------------------
    After a few days of riding the quiet roads around my suburb I ventured out on the Pittwater Road. A little bit down the road I had a scary incident which involved me panicing as the cars up ahead stopped suddenly. I had loads of space buffered but I paniced and slammed on everything. My back wheel locked up at 60km/h and a 3-4m skid followed. I was lucky to stay on the bike.
    Lesson learned: Your left leg doesn't budge when you want to stop in a hurry. I had kicked the bike into 1st!

    My second incident was on exiting a roundabout where I ended up in the gutter between the road and the footpath. To be honest that was more embarrassing than dangerous as I was driving slowly.
    Lesson learned: Don't cut corners, especially on small/tight roundabouts.

    Even being in amongst the larger traffic (V8's, artic trucks, 4WDs etc...) was intimadating. In a cage you never really notice just how loud V8 engines can be.



    I'm not scare mongering, just saying please be extra careful in those first few weeks.

    Any other riders want to share their experiences of being a raw learner?
     
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  2. Sacriest moment on L's was about 10 minutes after picking up the bike (first time riding on the roads). In the middle of a thunderstorm doing 80kph (in a 80 zone), about to make a right turn at a roundabout. Had no idea how fast to corner so went in about the same speed as I would have in the car. About the time the rear wheel broke traction and started trying to pass the front I realised that bikes really do have less grip than a car in the wet. Fortunately I was able (somehow) to keep the bike upright and slide it sideways through the corner Motard style - not something I want to try doing again though. Lesson here for learners - be very careful when first riding in the wet.
     
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  3. So far crash number 1, 2 and 3 :D

    In the first 6 weeks :D
     
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  4. I was going to suggest you take up a safer hobby, such as needlework. But some of those needles are damn sharp! :p :LOL:

    My dumbest moments as a learner were:

    Forgetting to head-check when changing lanes on my way home from the dealer with my new bike. It got me a horn blast from a car full of homeboys, and my apologetic wave got me the finger. Fair enough, lesson learned.

    A few days later, forgetting to change back down to first as I pulled up at a red light in front of several cars. Light turns green, I stall bike, have to paddle the thing over to the side of the road to (somehow) get it back into first gear and mobile again. I enter the intersection just as the light changes back to red. D'oh!!!

    But - it gets better, believe me. Every journey still puts a smile on my face, even the crappiest wet-weather commute. Remember, it's character-building... :LOL:
     
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  5. I was going to post this incident a few weeks ago in another thread, but was just too busy. Anyway, I've recently returned to riding after a long layoff, about 27 years near as I can remember.

    Don't think I've had any scary moments over the last few months, but 27 years ago was a different story. Had a Honda CB200. Drum brakes. Was slowing down to negotiate the last corner before home. As I gently squeezed the front brakes, they locked up, and threw me and the bike all over the road. Seems the bolt which locks the torque arm to the front forks had worked itself loose & fallen out. Now I know why racers always wire tie the nuts & bolts.

    Second incident. Turning right onto the Great Western Highway at St.Marys. Watch this big truck approaching from my right. He turns left into the road I'm on. I pull out onto the highway, straight into the middle of this little car that had been travelling in the blind spot behind this truck. Absolutely totalled the forks & front wheel. How I walked away from this one I don't know.

    Amanda
     
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  6. I was going to post this incident a few weeks ago in another thread, but was just too busy. Anyway, I've recently returned to riding after a long layoff, about 27 years near as I can remember.

    Don't think I've had any scary moments over the last few months, but 27 years ago was a different story. Had a Honda CB200. Drum brakes. Was slowing down to negotiate the last corner before home. As I gently squeezed the front brakes, they locked up, and threw me and the bike all over the road. Seems the bolt which locks the torque arm to the front forks had worked itself loose & fallen out. Now I know why racers always wire tie the nuts & bolts.

    Second incident. Turning right onto the Great Western Highway at St.Marys. Watch this big truck approaching from my right. He turns left into the road I'm on. I pull out onto the highway, straight into the middle of this little car that had been travelling in the blind spot behind this truck. Absolutely totalled the forks & front wheel. How I walked away from this one I don't know.

    Amanda
     
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  7. More enjoyable yes, but I have been riding since 1966, and I assure you the first 39 years were the most dangerous. On a bike, the first day you forget this could very likely be the day you die.
     
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  8. I wouldnt agree at all bc it takes alot longer than that to know how to ride
    & handle a bike the way it can be handled & ridden.

    2-3wks of riding wouldnt reduce risk danger at all. Thats nothing.
     
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  9. Incitatus, I agree 100% that riding is always dangerous. I do think that my first few weeks were extra dangerous though, due to nerves, over-reactions, and no driving skills.

    My attitude is to never trust another road user. The most useless driver in Australia could be in that car up ahead, and about to pull their most stupid stunt yet.
     
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  10. Nearly p_o_s, but not quite. Repeat after me, "The most useless driver in Australia IS in that car up ahead"..."The most useless driver in Australia IS in that car up ahead"..."The most useless driver in Australia IS in that car up ahead"..............................
     
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  11. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    What about when your on 4 wheels Incitatus?

    Youre the most useless driver on the road eh? :LOL:
     
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  12. Yes, of course I am....farking cagers....kill em all.....I've been known to get out and kick my own door :twisted:
     
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  13. haha. :LOL: :LOL:

    I'm with ya bro, but only when I'm on 2 wheels :p
     
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  14. I understood the reasoning behind this to prevent missles when the bolts go flying during an accident and to aid in a rapid clean up of the wreck, not keep in the bolt in place.
     
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  15. err no......wiring the sump plug (for example) is to stop 2.5 liters of oil being deposited on the apex of a 100kph bend, instantly bringing down every rider and his little dog rover.
     
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  16. Yeah, your first few rides will be the scariest. My first ride home from the dealership saw me lift the front wheel as I was too eager taking off next to an Audi (first lane-split too :p).

    Other learner/restricted mistakes include (but are not limited to):
    - Too much gas changing lanes in near-stationary traffic on the M1... hello scary wheelie and serious leg cramps!
    - Riding at sunset through suburban streets... hitting a road-wide gravel patch left over from dodgy unmarked roadworks (yes, it does happen!) It was a corner, so down I went.
    - Dropping my bike wheeling it around in the backyard :(

    That's all I can think of right now. :p There's a few little scares on the weekend rides too, but that's all learning too. Best advice: don't get cocky. If you think you're too good, you'll be on your arse. :p

    Happy riding!
     
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  17. Err..umm...time doesn't make you immune to that one...........trust me. :oops:
     
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  18. Forgot to mention 2 incidents that happened a few years ago (age 22 at the time).

    On a trip to Nias (off Sumatra) I rented a 125 trial bike from a local. I had no license, and my only experience had been 5 mins on a friends DT80 6 years before.

    Incident 1:
    ------------
    On my maiden voyage I was driving about 10kms to get to a phone.
    Along the way a I needed to stop in a hurry, and put my feet down to stop myself, like you might do on a pushie!
    T.G. I stayed on the bike.

    Incident 2:
    ------------
    A few days later I had a friend on the back as a pillion!
    I was hammering down a straight and at the end of which was a sharp turn onto a bridge that was falling away. Alot of the bridges on Nias are wooden and are very sketchy. Often there is just a few wooden planks accross a stream. I realised I had to slow down in a hurry and slammed on everyting. In hindsight I probably did the same thing as I mentioned before (dropped it into 1st and let the clutch out) as the wheel locked solid. I think the weight of the pillion is what kept us on the bike.

    Young and VERY VERY dumb at the time.
     
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  19. first few weeks were the hairiest for me definitely.

    what i've learnt so far in my 4 months riding:
    1. read as much on techniques as possible
    2. wear full gear, always
    3. no matter how slow your going, never hit the front breaks if you've turned the wheel. this will cause it to lock sharply to the side while the rest of the bike moves forwards thus throwing you off
    4. be very patient. if changing lanes whilst on the move without knowing what all the cars in front/back/side are doing then don't. keep going and turn at the next set of lights/street, then go back. saving a few minutes isn't worth risking.
    5. be very patient in extending your skills as a rider. i'm very conservative and take corners slowly. i always want to know what my bike is doing. experiment slowly.
    6. riding is not fun. fun is me splashing about in a pool without any care. riding is enjoyable, as it takes concentration/maturity/skill.

    i'm still taking baby steps but thats what ive learnt so far. long way to go

    a big hello to other learners out there and a salute to the veterans.....stay safe!
     
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  20. and IS about to pull their most stupid stunt yet.

    I know all you guys just starting out have probably heard it a million times already but if you ride with this attitude you'll be amazed how much more smoothly the day goes - it's all just nice surprises when someone doesn't try to knock you off. ;-)
     
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