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My first bike & journey

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by brothermuffin, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Hello fellow riders,

    I am 33 and single! I finally decided after sooo many years to grow a pair and bought my first bike, a 2014 Ninja 300 ABS last week. I decided to buy it brand new. A lot of my friends who ride did laugh at me and told me that I will regret buying my first bike brand new. As I will drop it.

    I know I know. But like a little boy at the toy store, I want my toys shiny and "untouched" by nobody.



    As you can see I went and bought a big ass chain and lock. I chained my new baby to the pole as I live in a flat and my neighbourhood.. well let say its not the very best. After doing some research, I am now chaining the bike's back frame and wheel instead of the front to the pole. That's suppose to be most secure way.

    I am still a noob in riding. I was pretty terrified when I took it out the first time. I am now practising by riding on the little roads in front of my apartment instead of the main road. I remember the sensation of my beating heart when a big 4x4 was tailing my ass during my first ride.

    I am still learning clutch control. Trying to change gear smoothly (up and down). I find that the bike acceleration is pretty rough and I am having a hard time trying to maintain a constant speed and smoothing out the acceleration. Any tips? or is it because the bike is brand new and needs time to break-in?

    My tank is getting empty now about 1/3 left in the tank and the petrol station is on the main road. I am still not confident enough to take it to the petrol station. That's how green I am. I am thinking of taking it during the early mornings or late at night to avoid traffic.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Hello Merv! Nice bike :) Hope riding goes very well for you and brings a lot of enjoyment as well as being practical transport. About not being smooth, it is probably that both the bike and you are quite new... it will settle down with time.

    One thing you may wish to consider are crash bungs. You probably will drop it at low speed or while parking at some stage and crash bungs will prevent damage to that nice faring.

    The other thing is your chain. Unfortunately it is hopeless; I can tell that even with this low resolution photograph. It could be cut with a pair of (admittadely relatively large) hand bolt cutters in around 30 seconds. If you want to make your bike impossible to steal without power tools then you could consider a 16mm chain made by the likes of Almax or Pragmasis.

    The Almax website that I have linked below has some Youtube videos of chains much like your being cut in seconds.

  3. Hey Merv

    I'm a relatively new rider too (only been riding a couple of months), but I had similar issues with clutch control, smooth gear changes and acceleration too at first. I was gripping the handle bars extremely tightly, which made everything jerky and even unpredictable at times. Try to hold on to the bike with your knees and relax your grip - it will help you develop that smoothness. It might take some time to learn to relax the grip, but keep practicing, it'll come.

    As for fuel - if you don't want to get out on the main road, maybe get a jerry can and top it up at home?

  4. #4 brothermuffin, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2014
    Thanks for the information creampuff. I will definitely do some research

    Hey Tom, yeah I am thinking of doing the jerry can or I could just suck it up and ride to petrol station after a few practise sessions on the little streets to gain confidence.
  5. #5 Jem, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
    Welcome Merv,

    Would highly recommend the practice sessions at Elwood every Sat morning at 10 am.

    Link here the info in the first post is still current- https://netrider.net.au/threads/saturday-10am-basic-skills-practice.115150/

    If you are not confident post up in the thread and I am sure one of the regulars will offer to ride in with you.

    Well worth going, great people a safe environment to practice in and you will get great advice from some very experienced riders.

    Enjoy, Jeremy

    PS where in Melbourne are you?
  7. Hey brothermuffin, from one noob to another. I'm in pretty much the same position as you (only a good deal older). I was forced to take my bike out for a couple of rides amongst traffic on Monday, to get the (unregistered) bike to and from the garage for a blue slip. I was concentrating so ferociously I didn't exactly realise I was scared 'till I got to the garage and realised my hands were shaking when I got off the bike. But that's OK, I think. So long as we get back on again.

    Again like you I lack smooth clutch and throttle control. I'm in no position to offer tips, obviously, but I can just point out what the similarities show: this is just what being a noob is like! I didn't have time for a ride yesterday but I'm planning to head to some quiet streets this arvo and just go round and round a couple of blocks. Start, shift up a few gears, shift down, stop. Again and again for as long as I have time and can concentrate for.

    For what it's worth from things I've read, I think aiming to relax grip on the bars might help with keeping things smooth. Grip with the thighs, not the hands. Also keeping the RH wrist down helps reduce unwanted throttle movements. They're things I'll be practising today.
  8. Somehow stuffed up that post (post like I ride) meant to say:

    "Sounds very familiar. Yes first time filling up was an issue – I chose a quiet time at a large station, well away from everyone else. I swear my bike muttered “idiot” as it fell on me just to make the point that I’d forgotten the side stand. Only time I've dropped it on the left side!"
  9. #9 brothermuffin, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2014
    That's awesome let me check out the thread.

    Gonna be practising as well slow n steady
  10. Is there anything protecting the paint on the wheel from getting scratched from that chain?
  11. Do a you tube search for how to fill up your bike. Take to a petrol station, fill up a few litres, pay and go. Next time fill it as far as you dare. You will work out how the pump stops.

    Every new challenge in owning a new toy is about going out there and just doing it, and farck the haters who dare to look at you. Stare them down.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. one day all chicks must leave the nest
    • Like Like x 1
  13. It happened today. The one thing that's always been in my mind when I first started this journey and as I ride. I dropped my bike today! f**k!

    My poor brand new 2014 Ninja 300 ABS :(

    It was my fault. I tried to balance my bike as I was slowing down at the intersection to turn left, instead of dropping to 1st gear, brake and put my feet down. I lost my balance as I tried to take off in 2nd gear and fell to the left. Stupid I was rushing, impatient and overestimated my feeble skills.

    As a result, I bent my gear shifter lever. Luckily my fairings is alright just minor scratch on the bottom and 2 small paint chips. No cracks thank god!




    Luckily it happened near my home. So I just push my bike back.

    I am a little concern as I cannot shift the gear up or down. I even tried to use my hand to push and pull. Its stuck. It won't move up or down Is that normal? Do I need to take it to the workshop?

    I consulted my bike mate and he suggested I changed the entire lever myself. Just get the parts online.

    I managed to sourced out the part from http://www.mototech.com.au.

    I bought the lever and also the long rod thingy just to be sure. The total is about $85

    This is what I ordered from http://www.mototech.com.au.

    1. LEVER-ASSY-CHANGE,PEDAL ( #13242-0088) - $68.73
    2. ROD-ASSY-TIE ( #39110-0307) - $15.77

    Can I can please get an expert opinion on whether I ordered the right thing? My bike is the 2014 Ninja 300 ABS model.

    Thanks guys,
  14. bad luck but put it down to your progress.
    Get to Saturday practice and do some superslow riding to get used to all aspects incl the dreaded low speed U-turn.
    You could bend is straight with a partially open adjustable spanner/shifter/crescent (depending where you're from lol) but seeing as you have already bought a new one just throw that on and straighten the original and keep as a spare.
  15. Hi Merv,
    it looks like your lever was pushed up when the bike has fallen, and now is caught above the gear linkage (tie rod). Once you undo the nut at the base and slide off the bent lever the gear shift should act normally. It doesn't look like it needed a new rod, and you probably could have straightened the lever out if you were careful, but if you have them now then never mind.
    Put the new ones on and keep the old ones as spares. While you have a new lever to compare the old one to see how you go straightening it out.
    The mototech site wouldn't let me any details so I couldn't compare the parts you bought.

    Where are you based ? If you need access to a vice let us know.
  16. Hi guys,

    thanks for the advise. I will wait for the delivery and change the lever. The mototech site is not very user friendly. Thanks for the offer for the vice stever42. Have to say paying $85 for a lever and rod is pretty ex. Its only $40 from the states at http://www.kawasakipartshouse.com/. Unfortunately they dont ship to AU.
  17. Hey mate,
    you should be able to fix it with a spanner with a socket wrench on one end. Loop the socket over the lever and face the spanner end towards the footpeg. Then apply pressure on the spanner and u will feel the lever bending back. keep going till you get it as straight as posible. Id suggest not sourcing a new part this early.. unless it has cracks running through the neck. these sorts of repairs tend to add up over time..
    good luck bro,

    i got a ninja 300 as well.. bought a new one last friday :) GREAT GREAT RIDE :D
  18. @brothermuffin@brothermuffin. I feel for ya! I had a minor episode with my bike last week (only a week into riding), and it's been off the road since. The parts I need should be arriving today. Don't know about you, but I'm heading straight out for a ride the moment I have the bike ready. My 'incident' has made me a bit toey (heart thumps slightly at the thought of setting off), and I don't intend to let that get the better of me.

    Best of luck getting your Ninja back in action.
  19. #19 brothermuffin, Jul 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2014
    Hi Vaz,

    Thank you for the suggestion. I tried to bend it back at on the spot when I dropped my bike but I heard a crack. I really don't know what I am doing to be honest. Didn't know if I caused more damage, so I decided to just replaced the whole thing.

    Yo Cris,

    i ordered mine on Monday and the parts is still not here yet. I called moto tech and they say they haven't got the parts from Kawasaki. Damn if the parts are not available please say it on your website! So i don't buy them from you!
  20. Ah, that's annoying -- selling 'online' like it's the 20th century.