Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Looking into riding but not sure...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Gem, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Hey, I'm new.

    Since JokerAU got his licence I have been tagging along as pillion on a few rides, one of them up to GinGin and back which was about a 7 hour (?) round trip. Anyway, I'm hooked and love it.

    The problem is that I'm miniature and as much as I'd love to ride myselef I'm a little worried about not being able to handle a bike, not being able to pick it up etc.

    On the ride last night (Vic Park meeting) one of the riders (you'll have to forgive my terrible memory) let me sit on his bike, a Suzuki VL250 Intruder. I found it very comfortable, and felt like I might be in control of something like that. It wasn't too heavy to hold up and it was nice and low so I wasn't worrying about not having my feet on the ground. I fell in love with it on the spot, it's so pretty as well!

    Anyway I'm still more than a little concerned, being so small and all, and having been only driving (car) since August, I don't have a lot of general road experience yet.

    I'd be interested to hear people's suggestions/opnions in regards to this - though Jason (Jack?) and JokerAU have been helpful already.

    Looking forward to reading posts etc to find out more about all of this - I' not going to rush into it without knowing a little first.
  2. G'day Gem.

    I'm new to riding motorbikes myself, so thought I'd give you a rookie's perspective, to contrast the impending 'old-hand' responses.

    I got my Learner's last month. Like you, I was initially worried about things like the weight / seat-height being too much for me to be able to control when stationary. I'm not very tall, and only of average build. I've ridden a few bikes, but chiefly the CB250 learner bikes, and my baby, a Yamaha SRV250. They both seemed deceptively tall, but when you sit on them, the perspective changes (as well as some suspension compression).

    If you can ride a bicycle, I would say don't stress greatly about the balance on a motorcycle. Once you're moving, centrifugal force (the force created by objects rotating) will want to hold the bike upright. It's the slow-speed stuff that is more technical to get a hang of.

    In Victoria, Honda's teaching arm - HART - offer 90 minute free try-out sessions at their various locations. I took them up on one of these and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I felt. I had a quick squiz on their website, but they don't list any WA branches. Perhaps a quick Google of your nearest major town and the words "motorcycle testing" (or licensing, etc) will garner a similar outfit that will lead you through the basics. I can't recommend it enough.

    In regards to your road experience, I can't comment I'm sorry. It's 7 years since I've started driving, and you'll never learn faster than when you're new. It's taken a lot of time for me to get to a state where I can more objectively assess risk and take appropriate action. Take note of your driving when you're pissed off, and when you're on top of the world. I bet when you're mad, there's nothing but jerks on the road, and when you're happy, you're far more forgiving of everyone's innocent mistakes. That last paragraph is just my 2c - sample size of one, and your mileage may vary :grin:

    Hope this was all of some help. I appear to need some Oral Immodium. :wink:

    Welcome to the lunatic fringe.
  3. There is always a bike to suit no matter what height & weight you are
    (as you already have seen yourself).

    See you on the road one day. :wink:
  4. I recon you should get a few more K's under your belt in the car, make the standard mistakes most new drivers do in relative safety, get to learn the road rules and dynamics of the other traffic before moving onto a bike. A bike does take quite a bit more mental effort and physical skill compared to driving a car when you first start. Get the car driving 2nd nature, then look at a bike. Plenty of bikes out there that you will feel comfortable on. Good luck, safe pillioning and hopefully the bike soon enough.
  5. I'll second that. I was driving for about 2 yar before I gots me bike license. You really need to know the road and it's hazards well before you learn how to handle a bike. It makes the learning a fair bit safer, and as we all know - you can never be too safe.
  6. Hello again Gem and welcome to the forum.

    As I said last night if you feel more comfortable getting driving/road craft skills first then do that.

    I didnt have much time to mention this or I just forgot heheh

    The Intruder is very similar to my old Maruader and they are great bikes as first bikes especialy for us shorties,a lot of ladies in particular like the virago as well so why not make time with Joker or Jac and have a look at them too.

    They are not as scary as they seem once you get out and have a ride.My instructor for the first lesson had me riding less than 100 mtrs up and down his street at no more than 20ks to get used the the brake and clutch whilst he walked along side me which at the time was irritating but in hindsight was a good thing I guess.
  7. +1

    +1 or should that be +2 - i get confused :grin:
  8. depending on what you want to do, a scooter isn't a bad way to start.
  9. My first vehicle on the road was a motorcycle, at age 17. From age 18 I was riding in Melbourne traffic, Sydney Road Brunswick, the city, Punt Road, and the centre of town, as I attended RMIT in Swanston street. These were some of the busiest streets in Melbourne at the time, and not particularly bike friendly. Of course, I started on dirt bikes when I was 14 or 15, so I knew how to use the controls, avoid obstacles, and so forth. I didn't get a car until later.

    So, from my point of view, if you want to ride a bike, you should do it. However, you should gain some skills first. Do a free day at a training school. If you like them, do some more training with them. If you can, get some experience off road or on private property, away from traffic. Perhaps actually do some dirt bike riding, as it does get you used to the idea of the bike moving around on the road, and under you. A dirt bike will also get you used to not being able to put both feet flat on the ground, and balancing the bike anyway, not to mention just balance of a heavy machine on two wheels. Nothing worse than a road biker who seems glued to the seat and rides it like an armchair. ( :p to all those about to flame me. :grin: )

    Even if you just get the training, take note of it, get a bike, then ride in safe locations for the first six months, you will pick up the skills required to enjoy riding and do it safely. Just don't decide to do it, get your license, then go off riding without building up your experience.
  10. Get your L plates, have the chance to play. don't stress about if you pursue riding or not. just start on the path.

    If it isn't for you then give it up later.

    The only way to learn is to give it a go
  11. Well, I always claim people should learn on bikes and progress to cars rather than the other way around. The logic behind that being that while bikes do have a steeper learning curve, they are also more likely to make you a better, more aware road user. I also like the fact that any mistakes you'll make will be more dangerous to you than other road users, though I understand your views on that point might differ :)

    So go on, just get into it! I think traffic in Perth is really sedate in comparison to Sydney or Melbourne so you've got that going for you... just take it easy.
  12. How long have you had a car licence for Gem? Also, my instructor at HART was a slim woman, who happened to ride a VTR1000 if memory serves me correctly......so once you get confident then you'll be fine.
  13. My 2c:

    Wait till you've had your Ps for a few months before you start riding IMO, the experience you gain in that time could save your life.
  14. On seat height and weight...

    Remember dirt bikes are your friend :eek:) Not the 8 feet tall DR650, but something like the TW200 would be perfect. (And I've already sold mine, so it's not a plug guys :grin: )
  15. Do it, do it, do it.

  16. Thanks everyone for the quick flood of responses.
    I will definately be gaining more road experience before even thinking about it, I'm no where near aware enough of my surroundings (on Ps since August).

    An interesting point from cb250goespop, I think JokerAU has said something to that affect before as well, along the lines of - if you can't pass your bike licence you shouldn't be allowed to get a car licence. I believe it would make me a better driver, but the way I learn will probably be by making mistakes and I think I should be making the majority of those mistakes in a nice big hunk of protective metal first. Besides, it's going to take me that long to save enough money :p

    I liked RoderickGI's idea of the trial training and just staying around relatively quiet/safe areas for a while, that sounds like a good plan.

    I'm feeling a lot more reassured about the height/weight issue from everyone's responses and comments that you can always find a bike to match. That was my main concern because even with 20 odd years road experience, if the height/weight was an issue I wouldn't do it.

    I will probably respond in more detail later, but thanks a lot to everyone who replied. :grin:
  17. Hey Gem, welcome to the forum :) The guy whose bike you were riding is crumpetman, and I'm JokerWA on here :p I told you there'd be plenty of people here willing to help out. Like I said, I agree that you need a bit more RoadCraft under your belt, but a couple of early lessons, perhaps with Simon in Lathlain in the carpark on his CB250, or even on my Kwaka once Blakjak hits his 4 year anniversary, coule be good to give you an idea whether you really want to pursue it.
  18. Gem, welcome.

    The truth is we are all a bit shaky to start out. Being cautious makes you a better rider.

    Within a few weeks of riding you will be used to it and whatever first bike you have will seem small, light and underpowered.

    So son't hesitate to buy a bike that feels a little big and heavy as you will soon be used to it. buy a bike that suits what you want to do with it.