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New member from Melbourne

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' at netrider.net.au started by iamthejoker, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Hi there

    I'm new to the world of motorcycling and having a look through these forums over the last few days convinced me to join up. I figure the best way for me to get involved would be to explain how I got here. Be warned, not all of it directly relates to motorcycles.


    When I was around twelve years old I had a math assignment in which I had to find a way to spend $5 million. In researching for that project I picked up a copy of Wheels magazine. Within that fateful magazine was a short, quarter page article on the then just released Lamborghini Murcialago Roadster. I had no idea what anything in that article meant. Power was just an abstract term to me. I'd never even heard of torque before and the top speed and 0-100 figures were meaningless as I had nothing to compare them to. But looking at the pictures I knew it was something special. I'd never seen anything that looked as fast as that. Long story short, I was in love.

    Now, fast forward about a year. I've spent my time reading more magazines about cars. Browsing websites about cars. Watching the fast and furious movies (there were only two at the time) and pretty much trying to memorize every stat about every car that was even moderately fast. About this time I decide to join a sports car forum. Spending time on there my love affair with car grew even faster and I started learning stuff beyond just the numbers. It was around this point I started becoming interested in motorbikes. Hearing (reading) a few members on that site who were also riders wax lyrical about motorcycles I started to appricate them as well. Not to the extent I did with cars, but an interest was there.

    However my Mum, a former rider herself, was massively against the idea of me getting a bike so I kept the idea on the back-burner.

    Fast forward another few years. I'm nineteen, have lived in a few cities ( another story) and have just sold me first car. A 2003 Astra that I drove over from Melbourne. Around the same time another member of the car forum I'd been on for several years was selling his near pristine condition 1994 200SX. With mates rates I got a fantastic deal on a lightweight, turbocharged, RWD hoonmobile that hadn't been molested. I was stoked. So I did the natural thing a booked myself into the soonest track day I could at Collie motoplex. I loved it but unfortunately life got in the way and I didn't get another chance to get out on track for a year and a half. During this time I started to realize that I like small, lightweight and nimble cars. See where I'm going?

    So, march this year. I'm back in Melbourne. Working full time and studying part time. I've got a bit of cash in my pocket so I get myself into another trackday. This time at Sandown. For those of you who been there you'll know it's absolutely killer on your brakes.

    I did my four or five session. In the two laps or so of the last session I notice my brakes aren't working as well as they were before. It's not the fluid boiling. I know this because the pedal isn't going to the floor and I've been doing plenty of cool down laps. My brakes are still mostly working so I figure it's just my imagination or I'm pushing the car harder or something.

    I come in at the end of the session. Grab some water and let the car cool down, say my goodbyes and head home. Now, driving through the race track complex I notice a squealing noise coming from the rear of the car. I put on the brakes to as I come to a stop to turn onto the public roads and there is a terrible screeching sound from the rear again. This continues the whole way home. Squealing while I drive and screeching on the brakes. I can still brake just fine so I continue on my way. Possibly a little more cautiously than normal.

    After I get home I have a look at my brakes. The front pads look like they need replacing. The rears don't. They looked like they needed replacing before I went on track. At this point all that's left is the metal base of the pads and the bracket thingo has carved a nice a small canyon into the rotor. I guess I should have checked those beforehand eh?

    Two weeks and about a thousand dollars in parts, labour and tow trucks later my car is back on the road.By this point I'm thinking I want to do more track days and possibly get into amateur motorsport. But I can't afford to have my car out of commission like that again and I don't have room for a second car where I live.

    So I start thinking about motorcycles again. I had just bought a helmet for said track day so I'm halfway there right? (Well, not really, but I'll use that as an excuse.)

    A few weeks of research later and I've booked into a learners course at StayUpright for mid April. I've never ridden a motorbike before so I'm nervous as bloody anything. Turns out it wasn't that bad. I spent a lot of time mountain biking in my teen years so I understand the basics of two wheeling already and I've only owned manual cars so gearboxes are nothing new to me. The only thing that really got me there was the difference between a car's clutch and a bikes. That, and my mountain bike instincts made me keep pulling the clutch in instead of going for the rear brake. Otherwise I was as happy as could be. Don't get me wrong, I was no speed demon and I still found aspects of the course challenging. But I passed the test with no issues and got issued my Ls.

    A few months pass. I've been researching bikes, gathering funds and just generally procrastinating getting a bike because that's a big scary step and I've only spent that kind of money twice before. Late June rolls around and I get my cousin to go look at a few bikes with me. I sit on a Ninja 300 and rule it out instantly due to it's size. I'm 193cm or so and about 100kg so smalls bikes just aren't going to cut it. I try and organise a few test rides with private sellers. Most of them either bail, sell the bike before I get there or tell me something at the last minuet that puts me off. ("Oh, btw it's unregistered and the brakes don't work.")

    Finally I get to organise a viewing and test ride on an 07 Suzuki SV650. I bring my cousin along as he's an experienced rider and a much better mechanic than I am. He test rides and come back saying it'd be a good learners bike. Everything works as it should, etc etc.

    Now I don't want to buy the first bike I see so I decide to talk to Peter Stevens. They've got a few bikes that look interesting in my price range. Namely a Ninja 650 and the Hyosung 650s. I head in. The Ninja has sold but there's a Hyosung on sale. It's a silver, 2011 GT650SL with 0 kms on the clock. Sitting on it, I can tell the size is perfect for me. Not too big but way better than the gorilla on a tricycle feeling I got with the Ninja 300 or CB125 I did my learners on.

    I tell the guy I'd like to get my cousin to test ride it before I commit. He say's that's cool and I come back on Saturday. There's a bit of faffing around and eventually my cousin gets sent out with their test ride guy. I'm waiting for a while then he comes back. Gets off the bike and the first thing he say's is, "This is the bike you should buy."

    I go back inside and tell the sales man. Do me a good deal and I'll put a deposit down now then come back Monday morning with a bank cheque and pick it up. Done.

    Monday comes, I'm excited as anything. We pick the bike up, My cousin rides it back to mine and parks it up for me. I give him a lift back home and he agrees to come back after work with his bike for a lesson in riding on the road. That was the 21st of July.

    Fast forward again. It's today. My odo has just ticked over 300km. I'm feeling reasonably confident in my ability to ride on the average road without too much traffic. I've ridden to work a few times as I don't have much traffic to deal with the times I work. The majority of that ride in along Beach rd, St Kilda st and the Esplanade between Elwood and Mentone.


    Now I'm getting to the point where I'm itching to push my boundaries a bit and I really want to get on some properly twisty roads. So I'm thinking of heading up Healesville way either this weekend or next. Is anyone interested in joining me? Either as a mentor or just a companion/safety buddy. I'd appreciate it and I'd be more than willing to buy you a coffee or reasonably priced lunch.

    I hope that story wasn't too badly written. It's 3am and I'm a few bourbons into the night right now.
  2. Hello, welcome and phew.
  3. Best-written intro ever!!!!

    Welcome to the road on two wheels, and welcome to Netrider. Quite a few of us moved across to bikes from a passion for cars, it's an interesting journey.
  4. come to the saturday learner session , i will be leading a ride from there up through the hills from 12.30
    oh and dont forget to bring the bourbon
  5. Thanks for the warm welcome guys. I promise that'll be the longest post I'll ever write on here!

    Unky Greg, is the Sat practice session still on at Marine Parade Elwood at 10? I don't really have the patience to check through all 700 odd pages in that thread. Otherwise, that sounds great. I'll be there.

    Although I don't think the bourbons going to last till then. I've been having an "interesting" week at work.
  6. cliffs?

  7. #7 uncle greg, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2014

    I thought mine was
  8. Welcome to NR ! Great intro - like you I was obsessed with reading anything to do with performance vehicles from a young age.
    I'm very sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but once bike's get into your blood/under the skin , you've had it - it's an addiction like no other ! Enjoy !
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Welcome to NR...

    Awesome intro there. Try reading it on a smartphone screen. ;)

    But.. You're here now so try coming down to the sat prac one of these days.
  10. #10 iamthejoker, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2014
    Thanks again for the welcome. I'll do my best to be at the practice session on Saturday.