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My friend just got a motorbike as well

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Patski, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Hi All,

    Just wanna share my experience of how my best friend got a bike and how it effected me. Curious if others had similar feelings when best friends/friends get a bike because you did.

    So my best friend of 9 years(basically my brother) just got his first bike, a brand new R3! When I started riding 1.2 years ago I was an absolute natural, I hopped on a bike the first time and after 2.5 hours I had my open RE license. Two day later got my CBR500r.

    After 1 year of watching me riding he decided to get a new bike and I had very mixed feelings. On one had I was really excited to have someone to ride with(I'm pretty introverted so I never group rode or anything) and be able to share the joy of riding with him. On the other hand I know he's not as coordinated as me and if anything ever happened to him I would blame myself for getting him into it and I don't know what I would do with myself.

    He had 4 lessons and when I went for my R test I took him with me so he could get his RE(it's the same test just different CC bikes). I even signed him up for a refresher course so he would have 2 hours of practice before the test. This was the first time I saw him ride and it scared me because he seem a lot less experience then I had expected after 4 one on one lessons. It almost seemed as if it was the first time he was on a bike.

    Before to the test he explained to me the bike handles completely different to what he learnt on( GS500 to CB150). He said he is struggling to break habits he learned of how much front and back brake to use and the handling/ weight difference. He actaully didn't even get to do the test as the tester was not comfortable with his ability on the road ( Even though my friend had been on the road a few times now).

    A few days later he had one more lesson and did his test with the other company and passed. To be honest I was actually that happy due to what I saw on my test day. I personally didn't think he should be on the road especially by himself. But he assured me it was all in the difference in the bike. Of course I did believe him but there was still that part of me that was sceptical.

    Two weeks later(This weekend) we pick up his R3. I ride it back as it was over one hour away and rainy weather. First thing I noticed about the R3 is how close the clutch point is, You barley release the lever and the clutch drops. I even stalled it twice taking off. Once at mine the weather cleared up and we wanted to go for a back street ride. He hopes on and practices taking off in my long drive way. He stalled it almost every single time. I advise him to trhoatle first then slowley release the clutch other the bike will stall, he starts to get the hang of it but his stall rate was still at 40%.

    I live on a main road and wasn't comfortable with him pulling out of it let alone riding to his place 30 min away which includes serveal main roads, highway off ramp and corners. He instead we both ride to his place and he will just need to get used to the bike but the best way would be just on the road. We wait for night time and take off with me behind him the whole way.

    He pulls out ok but then is having trouble keeping speed, he is wobbly and when we pull up to the first set of lights he starts slowing down way too early then stopping 5 meters before the line. I tell him he needs to engine break more and wait to get closer to the lights before starting to stop. We take off and he stalls, once moving I notice he hits his foot break every time he gears up. Again he start breaking much too early. I tell him this time about his foot brake and to try to brake even later. The next stretch I notice he is no longer wobbly, didn't foot break and he braked a lot closer but still not great. I feed this back to him and tell him his cornering is really good in fact and he never forgets the indicator, I see his confidence lift.

    We get to the high way then take the off ramp and stop at lights which is on a little hill and a right angel turn. By this point he has no trouble keeping speed, his gearing is good, corning surprisingly like a pro and never forgetting indicators. How ever he still breaks too early, stops too far from the line, stalls during take off and almost stacked it taking of from the lights on the will with the turn but recovers.

    We stop at a shopping centre near his place with a massive car park. He I make him practice taking off but enforcing the throttle first then clutch, You cant throttle too much only too little. Then I get him to gain speed and stoped before a certain point repeatedly. Having trouble I hope on and show him what happens when you slam your front break on and only some rear break. The ABS kicks in and you stop very quickly and if your legs out bike will naturally lean that way when stopped. After he tries this his breaking improve 10 fold. His fear of not having enough time vanishes, he no longer is scared because he knows what the bike will do.

    After just one hour I can't believe what I'm seeing. He is riding as if its been 6 months. He told me it's understanding how the bike works and knowing what it is actually capable of. We take to the streets and it's as if its a completely different person riding in front of me then 2 hours ago.

    We ride around for 3 hours and when I leave his place, while I still naturally have some worry I am not longer stressed and have confidence in his ability to ride solo.

    tl;dr friend got bike because I did, Stressed me out, would blame myself if anything happened, Turned out to have a positive outcome so far.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Sounds like he has a great friend helping him along.
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  3. Firstly, good on ya for helping him.

    But, unless you talked him into learning to ride, you carry no responsibility for anything that happens from here on.
    As an adult, he is free to make the best choices for him. Try to remember that.

    I would also encourage him to attend further training, particularly low speed stuff. It can cause new riders all sorts of embarrassing problems.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Mick speaks a lot of wisdom here, you can't be responsible for another's choices. The best you can do is encourage and support him through this initial learning phase. Good on you for being there for him and soon you will be ready to get out on the open twisty roads together. (y)
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  5. +1 for this. Being a new-ish rider I will totally back this haha.
  6. My brother's wife decided to let him have a bike (yes...I know!!). I thought I'd look forward to it but it's so friggin annoying as now I've suddenly become the guru in all things motorcycling! No one in the family has even given a festering ball of dog snot, but now I'm the expert on what bike to buy as well as boots, jeans, leathers, commuting, filtering...every-friggin-thing!

    But that's not the most annoying thing! Whenever he asks a question I will give my answer/opinion...only for him to tell me he's heard different from someone else!! WTF man! Don't play me you goddam A*hole!!

    *Rant over....for now*
    • Funny Funny x 2
  7. I think instinct plays a larger role than we give credit for. Instinctive riders I think are the safest riders.

    If your instincts are telling you he's not safe, then he's most likely not safe.

    I don't think you can train everything.

    However he wanted to do this, what happens next is not your responsibility. If you can't get past the feeling, sit him down and tell him you don't think he's safe. If he decides to push on, at least you have told him what you feel.
  8. BMWRXBMWRX is my brother who got his bike first. He probably had similar feelings that you are experiencing in worrying about a loved one taking up the hobby after them.

    Though he doesn't seem too stressed about the situation these days.
  9. Yes and no. The worry never disappears entirely.

    Seeing someone you're close to getting onto a bike is a testing time as you know yourself all the scary moments you first experienced and managed to come away from unscathed (or not). Once that person gets passed that stage and comes to grips with the fact that motorbike riding requires far more attention than driving a car and the many perils that come with it, then the worry is alleviated slightly. That is, until the person starts getting over confident and you need to tell them to pull their head in, and the cycle starts all over again.
  10. This is a great story and a great outcome.
    Can I just add that it's never over and done. You may need to help him re-learn the same thing a few times before it gets properly bedded in. I've worked with some friends on their riding who took a few revisions to get in ingrained. It took a little while, but now they are at a level above me, which I am (grudgingly :p ) happy about.
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  11. I feel similar about my bestie getting a 500c as his first bike with no riding experience except dirt biking as a little kid (a LONG time ago as we're in our 30s)...we are both on our Ls and I've got my 250cc and am happy learning on that and wont think about bigger and faster until I feel I'm MUCH more experienced than I am now. He wanted a 300cc but then test rode a 500cc and now is all about it. I've said my piece and am leaving it at that. I don't agree with his choice, but it's HIS CHOICE and he's a grown-ass man.
  12. Isn't that always what happens when you give advice to friends, family, kids? I don't think I was any different. If we would actually take on board advice from parents, the older and the more experienced we would be fully grown up at the age of 12 and could start riding bikes then:troll: