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New Rider in Melbourne

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' at netrider.net.au started by Teak, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Hi guys! Just picked up my first bike this week (Honda CBR250R ABS in profile pic) and this seems like a good place to come to for tips. I rode a fair few Honda Waves and Dreams while living in the north of Thailand for nine months last year (100-125cc, gears but no clutch). Since I anticipate spending a considerable amount of time over there throughout my career, I figured it would be wise to upgrade to bigger proper bikes and learn to ride safely while I'm in Australia (living about 20 minutes from Melbourne CBD atm and moving to Canberra next year). Thailand encouraged some bad habits I need to get out of now such as riding in shorts, t-shirts and sandals with no helmet, carrying far too much cargo, riding bikes in not such great shape mechanically and heading through town during Song Khran (that last one's pretty uniquely Thai though :p). Can't wait to get back to those mountains up north though :)

    I was going to buy second-hand, but Honda just dropped their prices apparently, so I opted for a brand new one instead. Spent about a grand on gear, not including the nice leather motorcycle jacket I've ordered for when I want to look a bit dressier once I reach my destination. Got about 300kms on the bike after a couple of days, but working the rest of the weekend unfortunately :(

    I went for a ride to Geelong and back, have done some inner city riding at day and night and checked out Yarra Boulevard today (took it fairly slowly for now to learn the road). I'm getting a bit more confident, but still getting a feel for the bike and adjusting to using a motorcycle clutch (I drive a manual car, so that's a plus). This is where I could maybe use some advice.

    Going from my Kia Rio Sedan to a sports bike is proving to be quite an abrupt shift in style of vehicle. I've never really been much of a rev-head in cars and tend to drive rather conservatively. I feel like I'm perhaps being overly hesitant to rev my bike too much. I'm starting slowly compared to others on the road and other bikes that pass me seem much louder than mine. About how many RPM should I be at for shifting up? Based on my Kia Rio intuition I'm shifting through lower gears at around 3-5000, but I suspect I can maybe go a bit higher before shifting without it being rough on the bike?

    I'm gradually getting better at shifting down. I understand in theory about the revving before releasing the clutch when downshifting, but I haven't really got the hang of that at all yet.

    The other main thing I need to work on is slow riding. I felt like I did really well on this when I did my learner course and test (on CB125), but it all of a sudden gets a lot trickier when I'm having to transition between fast and slow riding in the presence of other road traffic. I had a few very awkward u-turns and busy intersection turns today. Right turns at Stop signs on busy roads are particularly stressful. I tend to be going way too slow and wide around tighter low-speed corners. This is particularly problematic if I veer into the wrong lane. I guess practicing this in an empty parking lot or something would be a good idea. Can anyone recommend good spots relatively close to St Kilda East? Also, should my clutch be fully out or at friction while making a turn after traffic lights turn green? Should I be in second as I go around the corner or stay in first?

    Final question. How is the accuracy on the speedometer of CBRs generally? I feel like mine is about 10kph out, but don't want to chance getting booked all the time because I'm guessing at my actual speed. When I ride at the limit according to my bike, everybody else on the road seems to be speeding a lot more than they usually do when I'm in my car. Is this normal?

    Sorry for fairly long post :p
  2. welcome aboard :] congrats on the bike and gear purchase, I will leave the riding tips to other more experienced riders but will say ride at your own pace and don't stress about what the other traffic, bike or cage is doing.
    As for the downshifting I'm still getting wrong occasionally.
    Enjoy the ride
  3. Welcome.
    Bikes thrive on revs. Look at your tacho and see where the redline STARTS.
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  6. Welcome to the Forums.. May your rides be enjoyable and your roads twisty!
  7. Welcome T, watch out on the Boulevarde, someone's been spreading tacks and nails over it.
    You probably don't want the experience of a deflating tyre, or pushing your nice new bike just yet.
  8. Welcome to NR..
  9. Welcome to netrider fellow cbr rider! The 250 has no slipper clutch so downshifting is slightly tricky. You can either be cautious on clutch release so you wont lock up the rear wheel, or rev match on downshift.

    The speedo on mine is approx 15kph out. on the freeway (my speedo says im doing 115, but is exactly 100 gps verified).

    As for the rev's to change at. I have some handy stickers to remind me where to keep my rev's at. anything under 6k rpm will struggle to get over a hill. GOPR0159.JPG

    Head down to the sat pratice sessions to improve you slow riding skills. It will help.
  10. welcome aboard mate. enjoy your new ride
  11. Welcome, you and your questions have come to the right place...a lot of these could be resolved with an appearance or three at Saturday Sessions, but even more so, with lots of time on the bike. Changing gears between 3-6K would save on petrol, but that's hardly the point of being on a bike...
  12. hahaha those stickers are amazing
  13. Welcome mate