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new rider chit chat

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by helent, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Hi guys
    Fairly new here, first time ever on a bike was last month. I have had a couple of lessons so far (I'm in WA). After the first lesson, I went out and treated myself to a Hyosung GV250. Things are going OK but I'm finding the slow circly stuff round the car park really hard going!

    In my second lesson, the instructor was getting me to do figures of 8 round the car park which was going OK til he told me to try and lean the opposite way to the bike for balance which I just found uncomfortable and weird. And then I had to go round in circles with the rear brake on. It goes OK for a while and then I just seem to lose it!!! How small are these figures of 8 and tight circles supposed to get and how fast/slow am I supposed to be going when I do them? It feels much easier in second (on my own with my new bike) than in first with all that revving and lurching!

    I notice other people have said that in their first attempts on the bike their instructors have taped up the throttle or upped the idling speed to stop stalling, but my instructor didn't do any of that with me! Also feeling petrified going round in these circles that I will drop the bike. Every now and then I feel as if the handlebars are just turning that little bit too much or the bike is leaning a little bit too much and I get scared and whack the throttle up to stop it falling over! Will I ever get the hang of this????

    One lesson learned this weekend - hubby got the bike out for me to go for a ride around the block. Off I went, all going well until I started to go uphill, when I lost power, it conked out and wouldn't start again!. I started to walk home when eventually I was missed and they decided to come and find me (they thought I had stacked the bike!). Hubby had forgotten to switch the fuel to 'on' and in my panic at the bike 'breaking down', I had forgotten all about it. Well, at least I won't do that again.
  2. i remember that feeling first trying figure 8's...

    you'll get it... just keep going hard aye
  3. hey helent,

    yeah you'll get there mate, just keep working on it. how tight do you need to get the figure 8's...well what you need to be able to do is do a U-turn within the width of one lane. You dont have to do an actual figure 8 in the test, just a series of u-turns. Instructors tend to still teach figure 8's because it teaches good slow bike control wich is very important for car parks/bumper to bumper traffic etc.

    Oh, are you doing your lessons on your GV or on the instructors bike?
  4. I should just clarify that...

    when i said do the U-turn within one lane, i meant within a one lane road, ie one lane each way. Obviously if you did a u-turn within the lane you would be driving up the wrong side of the road!
  5. Sounds a lot like me on the bike for the first time. Terrified.

    You do get past it, but yes, it does take a while.

    Not to be mean or bleak, but you will drop the bike. We all do at times. I've dropped mine 3 times, and all 3 have been my own stupidities. Luckily, the last time, I managed to catch her before she went too far.

    Oh, and as to the fuel tap, I did the same just last Tuesday. :)

    Welcome to the nutfarm.
  6. Hi, I had the revving lurching problem on my course and dropped the bike and failed. The mention of tape being used on the throttle on another thread really kinda made sense to me - wonder why more courses don't use it?

    Good luck with it all!
  7. hey all........

    that tape/throttle incident was me!!!!!!

    when I was doing my first set of laps (avec tape) I was like "oh my gosh... how fantastically wonderful am I at this bike riding malarky"... when the tape came off it was much more "holy sh*t-ola... I am SOOOOO bad at this it's unreal!"

    when my two instructors started talking about leaning the opposite way/counter-steering I was totally befuddled! In fact I'm still trying to figure it out!!!! (can anyone explain???) I understand (i think) why it's needed, but I just can't quite get my head round it...

    I guess practise makes perfect!!!!!
  8. Of course you will.
  9. Well, I feel a bit better now thanks everybody.

    But I don't want to drop my bike though!! :( Maybe I should buy a really cheap dirt bike that I don't mind dropping and ride it around my block until I am happy. Or push the limits in my lessons on my instructor's bike - I won't feel so bad about dropping that one either :grin: (apart from the embarassment factor).

    Duffman - yeah, I am using the instructor's suzuki gn250 for my lessons. It does seem easier to get it to go round corners than my hysoung, so I figure if I practice on mine at the weekends I will find it easier on the suzuki in the lesson. (that's the theory anyway).

    Ah well. We'll see how I go on my next lesson tomorrow! The instructor is starting to get a bit ratty with me now cos I keep forgetting to use the footbrake, I keep thinking I am on a pushbike and using the front brake or putting my feet out to stop myself :shock:
  10. Helen, I was having a pre-ride coffee with a few of the Perth Netriders on Sunday, and the subject turned to training. Now it's a long long time since I did my test, but I'm pretty sure one of the 'youngun's said that the figure 8's had recently been dropped from the WA test in favour of simply circling in one direction only. Somethig to do with figure 8's being illegal on a real road I think.
  11. Hey Helen...

    You kinda have to be prepared to drop your bike, but I havent actually done it yet.... :grin:

    I nearly dropped it off the curb onto myself at Monday night coffee a few weeks back when i was on my little 250 - and people had to make a run to grab it for me...but thats the only time I've come close...so long as you take your time and dont rush things you might get away without dropping it at all...which is what we all want...but if you do - its no big deal... :grin:
    Its all part of the learning curve... :grin:

    Just keep practising and enjoying your time on the bike and you'll forget to worry about dropping it and just enjoy the ride...
  12. Hi HelenT. The circles and figures of 8 are difficult at first, but you will get them down to full lock in no time. Practice makes perfect.

    PS: Don't worry about falling off whilst doing them, the best and worst of us do it!

    Take Care,

  13. You are quite right incitatus. Figure 8's are not part of the test anymore.

    The story goes that a policeman was re-sitting his test and when asked to do the figure-8 he buggered it up and consiquently failed. He then kicked up a big fuss and complained that he shouldn't have failed because they shouldn't have asked him to do a figure-8 because doing so requires the rider to be riding down the wrong side of the road for a short period of time. He threatened to go public and the cops gave in and just changed the test.

    The circles that you now have to do are simply a series of U-turns, is you do a u-turn then another u-turn, then another and so on. Although it eliminates the figure-8's it actually introduces further difficulty with so many head checks and indicating every time you do one of the U-turns.
  14. U turns & figure 8's are all about slow speed control, these skills are important where just like golf the short game is hardest to master, everyone can smack a ball 200m down a fairway & everyone can travel 100kmh down a freeway on a bike, no skills required for these 2 things, its chipping your ball onto the green where you need skill not to take to many strokes, like the slow speed stuff where many people drop there bikes.

    2-things needed for slow speed control.

    1. Head&Eyes - don't look down in front of you near your front wheel at slow speed, you will drop your bike, the ground will become a magnet and your bike will be drawn to it, keep head up and eyes looking at the direction of where you want your bike to go, don't look at the gutters or the line on the road, all these things will be taken in with your peripheral vision and processed by your brain automatically, do not worry about them.

    2. Power to the rear wheel - this will keep your bike upright at low speed, maintain power ON, always. keep speed low by applying some REAR brake on, LIGHTLY.
    Do nothing with the front brake, leave it alone, depressing the front brake lever whilst low speed turning will turn the ground into a magnet.
  15. Another tip for slow riding is to loosen up and relax. The reason people often get worse the longer they practise in any given day is they start to tense up after the first wobble.
  16. Remember...that with slow speed turns you do NOT lean with the bike...allow the bike to 'tilt' underneath you while you remain upright or even leaning a little in the opposite direction...This allows you far greater control in SLOW speed turns..
    Of course it's the exact opposite once you a re moving along - then you should be leaning with the bike as per normal.

    On the question of counter-steering - and assuming you are travelling along at normal speed - simply put - to turn the bike to the left, you push on the left hand-grip....to the right, you push on the right hand-grip.
    This is something that we all do without thinking about it, but it's important to make it a conscious part of your riding skills. You need it to turn at higher speeds, and it is very important for taking quick evasive manouvres..

    To get the feeling of it...cruise down a road at 30-40k's and then just push on the left LH grip, then on the RH grip...do it a few time each and you will start to feel the effects of how counter-steering works.