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Learning from mistakes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Opal, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. They say you learn from your mistakes, well, in that case, I learnt a lot on the weekend.

    Firstly, I got up at 5am on Saturday in order to get to a local car park before it got busy. I wanted to practice starting and stopping (I'm always stalling). Anyway, that went fine until the early morning shoppers started to arrive so I thought it was time to depart. Rather than going directly home I thought I'd ride around the local streets, this was when my bike started to play up. I was getting revs but no power.

    I pulled over and reviewed that I was doing things okay and managed to get going again, however, when I went around a corner the bike cut out completely. I could start the bike, but every time I released the clutch, the bike cut out again. At a complete loss to explain what was going on I had to push the bike home (very embarrassing, and not to mention tough going).

    Still scratching my head it finally occurred to me to check the fuel. Doh!! Sure enough, I had run out of fuel.

    I refueled the bike and took it out for another run to just ensure all was working fine.

    Back home, I parked the bike on my driveway but had to move it so the lawns could be mowed. Rather than simply pushing it the two metres it had to move it I thought it would be safer to get on the bike and then push it forward (would be balanced better ... silly me ...). I sat on the bike and about a second later both myself and the bike were lying (somewhat uncomfortably) on the lawn. I don't really know what I did, but I suspect I put my right foot down flat (not a good move as I'm short and putting my foot flat will guarantee the bike to lean) and perhaps when I straightened the bike from the left I went a bit far to the right.

    Anyway, I learnt two valuable lessons:

    1. Bike needs fuel (and I've learnt the signs of low fuel)
    2. Always get on and off bike as if it is owned by someone else (and perhaps in a showroom!).

    Oh ... as for the dropping incident, the bike came off better than me.
  2. Think of it not as a mistake but as the two of you getting accquainted !

    Hope your okay & there will be better days ahead Im sure :grin:
  3. Uhh wouldn't your bike have a reserve tap? Or did you not realise till you got home?? :p

    I remember my first ride with a bloke I just met when I was on my L's. Not only did I run out of fuel (well, hit reserve but I had to pull over and spend 5 minutes working out what was going on), half way up maquarie pass (NOT the place to pull over) but I then realised I had forgotten my wallet and this bloke had to pay for my fuel for me to get home. Haha good times.
  4. What nixon-chic V3 said. On the fuel issue, i don't know the vtr, but you should have a reserve setting on the tank that is meant to be used for just such an occasion. I also fill every 300 k's and reset one of odometers, an that give me plenty of grace.
  5. Yes, my bike does have a reserve setting on the tank, but using that would have required me to have realised I had run out of fuel ...

    It really didn't enter my head I had run out of fuel. When I bought the bike it came with a tank full of fuel. I read the manual which suggests you get 40km per litre (based on doing 60km/hr). So, I figured I could do hundreds of km before needing to refuel, and I had only done over 100 km.

    After all, if you get 40km per litre at 60km/hr, surely you would get more if you go slower!!! Okay, I realise now that that logic is well and truly flawed ...
  6. Well Opal I hope your not hurt, Still it all happens to the best of us.

    Oh yeah and damn lesson 1, it always kills the fun. :)
  7. Ahhh usually the way after a slow or standing still drop. Trust me I know & a couple of people in here have seen my brusies to count for it :LOL:

    As the fuel thing, I'm damn sure everyone in here has done that @ some point, just forgotten all about the reserve, even if they wont admit it.

    No reserve switch on my bike just an idiot light, reserve about 3lts,i think. Light hasnt come on & dont plan on testing it out either. Just get into the habit of filling it even if you dont think you need to, rather have a full tank then an empty one.
  8. Hey Opal - I wouldnt worry too much about it - once you've made a mistake once - you'll never do it again... :grin:

    I'd had my srx250 for a month or two when I noticed the 'brakes' werent working particularly well - the bike seemed to be harder to ride and felt like it was slipping - so I phone the place where I bought it to complain about the brakes - they said yeah thats fine - bring it in and we'll have a look at it for you...

    Sure enough I took my bike to them to look at - they checked the brakes - everything was fine - then they checked my tyre pressure...funnily enough my tyres were below pressure - causing my bike to not ride how it had when the pressure was right...needless to say I left with a slightly red face - and check my tyre pressure relatively often these days....and sure enough - once I'd left the garage with my bike with proper tyre pressure - my bike rode amazingly well again... :LOL: :oops: :LOL:
  9. Hehe I had a similar mistake today. Up at dawn to avoid traffic so I don't die too much, and headed north for about half an hour (normally takes 20-25 minutes by car, I was going slow and got alot of lights). Anyways on the way back I could feel the revvs dropping, and throttled on but little happened.

    I knew something was wrong so I pulled over and as I did the bike stalled. Couldn't get it started, so I looked in the tank and it seemed a little low, so tried the prime then reserve and got it started. Had no money either so tried to drive home economically so I should be able to make it to a station later on.

    So that was my newbie problem, but I guess you're right, its all about making mistakes and figuring out whats going on. Just have to hope the mistakes I make are minor.
  10. I think what Opal was saying is "Fuel" wasn't in his mind at the time.. that's why he pushed the bike home instead.
  11. dam sounds like everyone has dropped there bike at one stage or another.. i been riding for bout a month now and still no drop so that means i got one to look forward to.

    hope it doest build up. like the longer u leave the drop the bigger it will be lol.
  12. Yeah, I pushed my bike up a long hill, nearly killed me, when I first got it, having completely forgotten about the existence of 'reserve' in the 15 years since I last rode.
  13. Hey Opal,
    Ive been there. I rode my bike to work all through winter and always did what Mithel suggested - saw how many kms i got from the tank, filled up and reset my trip meter. That way you will always know. EXCEPT for this one time i only had $10 on me so i didnt reset the trip meter and guessed.
    I was riding down the hwy and noticed at a set of lights that my bike was acting funny.
    I had to keep the revs up otherwise it was going to cut out on me.
    I got going again and just as i got to my turn off my bike started to cough and splurt, i lost power and it finally died right on the exit.
    I rolled out of the way and got onto the grass when i realised i couldnt put my right leg down because i had stopped on a massive ditch!
    Little awkwardly i fumbled with the reserve hoping it was the right guess - and it was all good. I was so glad i didnt have to push it home! Im lazy.. haha
    Anyway, good to know theres nothing serious wrong with youre bike when you find that its just fuel..
  14. speaking of funny fuel stories...

    I had to fill up my bike for the first time after reaching reserve... I had read that my bike does about 200km with a full tank and no more so to be on the safe side I pull over and switch over just before hitting 200km... ride for about another 15km pull into the servo do the business and pull away. Anyway after filling up I forgot to switch the tap back in position... riding down the street... I tried to feel for the tap without looking and was pretty proud to turn it back.

    I pull up at a set of lights and the engine stalls... failing to start her up again... the bloke in a cage in the lane next to me shouts out the window "sounds like you ran outta fuel!" Whatever Mr. Cage, I just filled up 5 minutes ago!! Thinking to myself what would you know... Thankfully I did not voice that! Tilted my head down to find I had moved the fuel tap to OFF potition rather than ON. I switch it over give it a thumb start... and again... give Mr. Cage the thumbs up and I'm off riding again... feeling a little embarassed. But hey, at least I didn't have to push it home. :grin:

    Lesson: not all cagers are ass hats.
  15. It's nice to know I'm not the only one learning from their mistakes.

    And generally I'm fine, a few bruises, I had my wrist in a bandage for a few days and it is still a little tender, but I'm healing nicely.
  16. pfft...of course YOU'RE alright.. more importantly, how's the bike?!

    I'm still paranoid about dropping my bike; you just hear SO many stories about everyone dropping their first bike at one point or another. I've had my zzr since January and so far so good, though I wrenched whatever muscles are in my back saving it in a failed u-turn a while ago! Note: Why is there ALWAYS someone nearby when you have a low-speed, highly embarrassing 'incident'?
  17. I didn't know what was happening when I first ran out of fuel either. I was splitting to the front of a multi-lane intersection and it very quickly chugged and died! So much for the 2nd-stage fuel light on the Across.

    I thought maybe it just needed a cleanout, so I gave it a good rev and the beautifully clean, brand new, white volvo 4WD behind me disappeared in my brown/grey cloud
    I basically ran it the rest of the way across the intersection up onto the center strip, to find a petrol station just on the other side of the road
  18. Yeh you're right, not all cages are asshats. The ones who aren't are bikers trying to disguise themselves as cages. But it is folly, for we can't hide our true form :)
  19. the classic with fuel taps is when you run outta petrol, switch to reserve and pull into the nearest station; fine fine, but you should always remember to turn it back OFF of reserve. it sucks when the ole injun starts a'splutterin', you reach down to flick it to reserve and ... ah. thought the mpg were up a bit high