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.

New rider advice wanted

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Compleks, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Finally bit the bullet and bought myself a bike, a 2012 Yamaha xvs650 classic.

    I know nothing about bikes to be completely honest. I don't have any friends who ride either, so thought I would turn to you guys for some advice.

    I'm after that basic information that you probably don't even think people would need to know.
    How often should I have my bike serviced?
    What should I do to keep the bike in good condition? (simple things like letting it warm up before riding etc...)
    Riding tips?
    Etc... (I know nothing)

    I've put in nearly 300kms of practice this week. Just taking things pretty easy and riding in good conditions for the most part.

    Any advice you could offer a new bike owner?

    Thanks all.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. It would also help if we knew where you are. There is no point in suggesting you roll up to the local practice if you are interstate or offering to mentor you if you live the other side of the city.

    Did the bike come with an owners handbook? That will contain basic info regarding servicing and maintenance. If you don't have one try Googling for it and you may find one online.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Yeah, my bad on the placement. Didn't see this section earlier, sorry boss.

    No owners manual with the bike, but should be easy enough to find online. Cheers GreyBM

    I live in Melbourne.
  4. Ok, then come on down to Saturday practice when you're ready. In the car park next to the marina, behind the BP on Beach Rd Elwood. Starts around 10 ish and goes until the last person leaves. Has its own thread (someone will link it here for you - my skills at doing that are minimal), which you should check around 8am in case Hawklord has cancelled it bc of inclement weather.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Thanks Greydog.
    I know exactly where you mean. I'm working saturdays at the moment, but will look into it when I'm off.
  6. Hi C, the xvs' are pretty forgiving but always let it warm up fully before taking off. That means at least one full minute from cold. Check your oil level and tyre pressures regularly.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. I'd change the oil every 5000km.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Welcome, Yamaha say every 10,000ks for this model.
    Yes warm the bike up and let the oil circulate, different opinions on this but most people start the bike, put on their jacket, helmet and gloves and by then it is ready to go.
    Check your tyre pressures regularly, lots of handling problems can be traced to wrong tyre pressures.
    You don't have to worry about oiling chains as you know, bike has a drive shaft.
    Find a quiet spot and practice emergency braking. Start slow and work your way up. The New Rider Tips section has lots of good info.

    • Like Like x 2
  9. Xvs650 = pretty bulletproof. Enjoy your ride!!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Cheers gentlemen.
  11. Welcome to a fellow noob...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I've noticed a few habits forming already, and not sure if it is correct riding.

    Approaching lights or traffic I am shifting down gears to wipe off speed. I'm barely using the breaks at all.
    When I do break, I am using almost exclusively the rear break.

    Is this bad riding practice.?
  13. Using rear almost exclusively is almost certainly a bad habbit. The main stopping power of a bike is the front brake and at any sort of speed the rear won't do much to slow you down.

    Additionally, even on a cruiser which will usually take a bit more rear than a sports bike, it is likely to lock up fairly easily and dump you on your arse if you use it hard, which if that is all you are used to doing, you are likely to do in an emergency situation. Additionally, using the rear so much probably means you aren't getting a feel for your front brakes which also means that in an emergency you are likely to grab, lock up and get dumped on your arse even more spectacularly.

    Think back. What did they teach you about braking when you did your Ls?

    I use my rear a fair bit compared to lots of riders but to give you some idea, some riders virtually never use it.

    I'd start getting a feel for front brake quickly and as soon as you get a free Saturday get yourself down to the practice sessions and ask for some braking instruction.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Welcome, Compleks.

    Bad riding practice..... well, yes and then again no.

    Where you see say a red light well ahead of you, gently reducing speed, changing down, then using the back brake for the final few kph to a stop is fine.....

    But, as a learner you do have to get used to using the front brake properly, too.

    The danger is that, if you become too accustomed to only using the back brake, when you do find that you need to stop quickly, you'll just stamp on the foot brake and not use the front brake at all...... this is not good.

    If you can find someplace safe to practice "quick" stops, using front and rear brake, it's worth doing it, if possible, every time you go out riding.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Thanks Guys.
    I remember the instructor saying that 80% of the bikes braking ability is in the front brake.

    I've noticed if I need to slow down or stop more abruptly then I am relying on the front brake a lot more. But it hasn't happened very often, so I will be sure to practise that.

    When driving my car and approaching lights I just flick it into neutral and slowly apply the break until I stop.
    When riding I'm taking off 95% of my speed just by engine braking (last 5% with rear brake), and wasn't sure if that was correct riding, or good for the bike.
  16. What part of Melbourne are you in? you may be able to find a mentor that lives nearby.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. I'm in St Kilda, so will head down to the saturday practise next chance I get.
  18. When riding in traffic never ride side by side with a car as they may not notice you and lane change into your piece of road so either ride ahead or behind them where they can see you in their mirrors as some of the drivers may use their mirrors.
    If you pull up at the lights behind traffic rather than filter to the front always have an escape route planned in case the car behind is busy texting etc and is going to wipe you out due to inattentiveness.
    Try and ride in the right hand wheel tracks of the lane as the middle of the lane is where cars leak oil and things like stones and nails etc gather making it a little slippery compared to the well used area of wheel tracks.
    • Like Like x 3
  19. Disagree. I reckon a new rider would find it easier to filter than execute an escape.
  20. I generally just sit in traffic rather than filtering.
    I apply a bit of brake early so the cars behind know that I'm slowing down. Never thought about having to execute and escape though to be honest.

    It could be lack of experience, but I feel the xvs650 is reasonably wide and I'm not confident filtering at this stage. Unless the gap is quite obvious, but I've found most appear too narrow for me at this stage.