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My beginner rides

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by portablejim, May 2, 2014.

  1. So I decided to post the ride-y bit of my introduction to motorcycles here, in a new thread (instead of using the post in the welcome lounge).

    I decided to get my Ls. Here in Dubbo it is just the computer test. I realised I was licensed to go hop on a bike and go 90km/h by myself on something that I had not ridden on yet. That made me scared.

    A friend at church rides an street-legal off-road style bike and allowed me to have a ride on an oval. I had no protective gear on and the oval wasn't that big (was football field sized), so I kept the speed low going in circles. Well, I did, once I stalled it a few times. I was the opposite of smooth, leading to a very bumpy ride. I did get to second, which was a bit better and was able to get into "counter-steering mode" and check that my push-bike skills carried over (well some of them anyway). I actually did it. I rode a motorbike for the first time and didn't drop it. It was amazing.

    I bought I helmet (all I could get at the time - money in the wrong account) and went and tried out a ZZR250. I was confident enough that I wouldn't drop it (and turn myself to mincemeat), as long as I went slow in corners, kept clear of cars, kept on a straight road and didn't have to brake with much force. Thankfully I found a road and was able to get up to a 'fast' speed of 50km/h and test the gears a bit. I get too excited by the ride to pay attention to much, but after a few minutes decide to head back. Don't have it yet. (see below)

    I got to have another ride of my friend's bike again, but now with almost-full gear (hiking boots instead of riding boots). I rode around in the quiet streets where I live. I tried to settle my throttle control and actually use my clutch for speed control. I kept stopping in the middle of the road, but that wasn't a problem (thankfully) due to the lack of cars.
    The worst thing that happened was I stopped at a T intersection, almost dropped the bike and a car pulled up behind me. I was able to turn and sulk to the side of the road.
    I was able to go around corners at decent speed (read: speeds you countersteer at) thanks to watching Twist of the Wrist II (thanks for the suggestion, whoever it was (oh, and google as well)). I struggled to keep my weight off the handlebars, as I was unable to grip well with my knees.
    To finish up I decided to go on a few less-quiet streets (going around the bigger block) and realised I was not exactly ready, having done mostly engine braking. Thankfully nothing happened and was able to return back nicely.

    All up it totals to about 1-1.5 hours of riding total.

    Soon I will be able to go and actually buy the ZZR250 and am going to go on a ride home. I have thought that the ride home would be a good time to practice. So I have thought of these things to focus on:
    • Smooth gear changes / Throttle and clutch control
    • Braking so I don't effect the throttle. Well, actually using my front brake. (And, so I don't break while braking)
    • Body positioning so I don't lean on the handlebars (even when braking) and be loose with my arms
    How is this for a practice list for the ride?

    On riding lessons, things may align that I may be able to be in Sydney for the training course there. Do you actually need a bike for the Stay Upright Intermediate course?
  2. Welcome to Nutrider!
  3. Welcome!
  4. welcome aboard :]
  5. Welcome aboard - the forums have some great sticky posts about things to think about for beginners (cornering etc)

    Good luck, have fun!
  6. my 2c.

    you're very new to riding with no formal training, picking up an unknown bike along way form home.

    take the main road home, the roads you have planned to take are rough, and not often traveled if you break down or come to grief it could be a long time before anyone comes along it could be days before anyone finds you if you leave the road.

    A few short trips around town are not going to prepare you for when you hit your first blind corner that gets a bit tighter than expected and you do everything wrong.

    better yet drive your mate with a license out there and have him ride it back or trailer it home, get some practice in on your local streets before biting of more than you may be able to chew.
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Before anything else, I don't agree that the bike is far away (in country terms - most places are separated by a 30 min drive). But I can also see the angle that it is the longest trip I have taken on a motorbike

    And although I say to myself that I'll take it carefully, I can see the point you are making. The lack of traffic, which I thought would be safer (no other vehicles to hit), is a danger as well. Plus the quality of the roads will make it more likely to crash.

    The highway is fairly straight, having mostly 95 rated corners in a 110.

    So I will at least think a bit more carefully about the trip, having regular contact with my parents so they can come and find me if I don't SMS for a while. OR maybe I'll consider the highway for the trip. It just seemed like such a good practice opportunity.
  8. Or the simple answer...

    I assume you aren't walking 40kms to go pick up your bike? So just ask whoever giving you a ride there (maybe Mum or Dad) to follow you home.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Take someone with you as iClint and mexiwi have said. Having an escort helps a lot. Don't be afraid to stop and have a rest along the way. It can be a bit overwhelming at first. You'll be Ok (y)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I rode it home. My mum was able to follow me for part of the trip. I actually went a slightly different way as apparently it is a nicer way.

    I actually missed a turn of while travelling because I was enjoying it too much. I could really tell that my attention was divided when turning so that I was paying less attention to the road ahead. I kept having to look down to my speedometer to stay below the speed limit, and my blinkers in order to signal correctly. There were a few occasions (exiting from roundabouts) that a heard a horn and thought "Oh no! did I cut somebody off? I'm sure there was no car there. What did I do to annoy the driver behind me?". After the ride I think, given the lack of cars behind me after the roundabout and the apparent uniformity of the horn, I am strongly leaning to the conclusion that it was my own horn that I was pressing myself trying to cancel the indicator.

    As for what I practised, I was able to change up and down smoothly (not continuously, but getting there) and was able to brake well (including hard braking) and was able (mostly) to keep loose on the bars. My hands are a bit sore, but my leg muscles are a bit sore as well.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Good on you, motorcycling is generally about the nicer way not the quickest way. :)

    Once you get more used to the bike you will start to remember gear and rpm combinations that keep you at standard road speeds, 60, 80 etc. You will need to look at the speedo less often because the bike will communicate its speed from knowing your gear and feeling the revs.

    You need to work on your situational awareness, what is ahead and behind, what is that car going to do etc. As you get more experienced this will come. Move your head look well ahead where you want to go. Most new riders aren't looking far enough ahead.

    Find a quiet area to practice, your bike fitness will improve and the muscle pain will subside. Keep at it, you are doing well. (y)
  12. Well, I dropped it :-(. This road got to me tonight. I forgot the side had a loose surface, so was pulling up to a mate's house and turned too sharply (plus probably was leaning on the bars too much) and I think I might have applied the front brake as well.
  13. these things happen, the good thing is that it's a second hand bike and not a brand new one off the showroom floor.... keep your chin up and enjoy your riding
  14. Yeah, don't beat yourself up over it, learn and move on. Look at it that you have done two new tasks, dropping the bike & picking it up. You don't need to do them again. ;)
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Been building confidence on the bike, riding it around town.

    However, tonight I was coming home and going around a roundabout my front slid, but then recovered as I panicked. Thankfully there was no car on the roundabout with me. I think I may have been holding on too tight to the bars, or maybe I was accelerating too much. I am not sure. It was a bit of a scare.
  16. Roundabouts are always something to be careful of, cars drop oil, trucks spill diesel the road surface can be slippery. Good to hear you are increasing your confidence. Acceleration will generally not cause the front to slide, more often the rear to step out. Holding the bars too tight is bad practice but again should not cause the front to slide.

    Braking perhaps, were you still braking at the point of the slide? My guess is you hit a slippery patch on the road, just stay steady, ride it through. No sudden inputs to steering and definitely not to brakes.
  17. Keep up the practice... You're doing very well..

    Read up on the forum...lots of excellent tips here to help you improve..

    Keep reading and keep practising..

    Nothing beats the feeling of being on a bike. ;)
  18. We haven't heard from you in a while @portablejim@portablejim How are you going in your bike development? All OK?
  19. Yes going fine. Nothing notable to speak of.
  20. #20 cjvfr, Jun 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
    Good to hear, have you gotten any riding buddies in the area yet or are you soloing it?