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New VTR 250 member

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Titanium, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. G'day all. Been lurking for a while and have found some good information. Got my Learner's a few weeks ago and picked my new toy, a 2004 VTR250. Didn't have the confidence to ride it home from the seller so got my brother in law to do so. When we got home (he beat my by 10 mins...my car can't lane split!) I was so excited that I wanted to go for a ride there and then. (Thursday evening).
    Got my jacket helmet gloves boots and jeans on, jumped on the bike without adjusting mirrors (STUPID) and proceeded to roll down the (downhill road). Managed to rememer to indicate right and also to cancel the turn signal. Still haven't seen a car at this point. Get to a T-junction and see my first car. I proceed to slow down with front and rear brake but as I squeeze more front brake I start to open the throttle....so bike is revving hard now and brakes straining so grab the clutch and shift down. Whilst grabbing the clutch I inadvertently press left thumb on horn so basically as I reach the T I am jerking forwards, revving the t*ts off the bike whilst the horn is solidly on.
    Manage to sort myself out, turn left and then back onto my street. Change up a gear or two and decide better go home. As I am pulling into driveway I forget I am in 2nd so stall as I reach the driveway. Loser! Walk the bike into the garage.
    Go to bed Thursday night disillusioned with riding. Why am I doing this. My L's instructor said I was a good learner. Picked things up quickly. Feel like I can't ride at all! I am a decent car driver, have won some (minor) awards in car club track days so surely I can't be that unco-ordinated.
    Anyway next day I proceeded to clean bike and then decide to think about what the L's course taught me. Set up my mirrors. Spent heaps of time playing with the controls in the garage with engine off. Go to bed without riding. (Friday night).
    Wake up 7am today (Saturday). Head out early concentrating on friction point, balancing. Go round a few cul-de-sacs. Do some tight-ish U turns and practice hill starts. Manage to remember my head checks. Get back home, wife says we need eggs. I say no worries and ride down to shops (still quiet, small village shops). Have some cars behind me but check my mirrors and all seems ok. Pass a Harley, no reaction. A few minutes later I pass a guy on a sports bike....no idea what type, too busy concentrating, but he gives me my first nod and I nod back and raise index finger of throttle hand. Feels good. First greeting. Get to shops buy brekkie stuff, feeling pretty cool walking in carrying my helmet.
    Ride back home, gearchanges smooth now. Get home and back into garage smoothly this time. Feel great. Exhilarated. Understand that riding is actually fun. Realise I have been riding for almost an hour. Happy with how this went compared to Thursday.
    Anyway, looking forward to becoming a rider and part of the community. Thanks for all the advice about a VTR250. Great fun so far. Looking forward to learning as I practice.

    Cheers, Ray. :grin:
  2. Well done Ray!

    And welcome to NR.
  3. Sorry mate .. I just could not help myself
    [​IMG] just the mental image of you revin the bike, front brake on, horn beeping.
    I almost cried with laughter.
    Seriously, don't stress. You'll do fine, just keep practicing as you are. You will soon learn to become more comfortable with the bike and it's controls.
  4. Hehe! Don't worry I told two mates who ride and they both pissed themselves with laughter. So have I. I keep laughing at the fact the guy passing me at the T in the car probably thought I was road raging with my horn on and revving considering he can't see the L plate on my bike looking from the front.
    Ray :grin:
  5. :LOL: :LOL: Ray!
    you're killing me
    re: roadrage
  6. Hey Ray, welcome and hear hear re: your incidents :p

    I had my first "road" ride today around the couple of streets near Jeff's place. OH MY GOD scary experience. I stalled it about 7 times at a roundabout because it was slightly uphill and I kept letting the clutch out too quickly.

    Then proceeded to go into the roundabout with correct throttle control and though "oh ****! I'm going too fast" when I wasn't - so I closed the throttle. BAAAAAAAAAAD move. :sick: Bike decided to fall and I had to put my left foot out quickly and touched the ground to "kick" it back up. It was the most horrible sensation. :eek:hno:

    Then I decided after 4 rounds that that was enough for my first road ride. I hope I can be as smooth as you during my second time around! :)
  7. Good on ya Ray.......really enjoyed your story.............it really sums it up beatifully for a first ride.

    I was exactly the same....daamn its a nervy experience first time, I thought I would be better too.

    Its like anything though, experience will lead to everything being second nature.

    I'm sure everyone remembers driving a car for the first time. :oops:

    BTW...............fantasic choice on the VTR250.

    Keep it up mate... :wink:
  8. that was funny :LOL:
    practise makes perfect we've all done dumb things
    i'm surprised you didn't have the rear wheel spinning up as well :LOL:
  9. this reminds me of when i picked up my CBR125 from the dealer.

    So im slowly riding towards the main road to get me back home and I reach the T-intersection where i need to turn left (only about 10m from the shop).

    I see a cop car approach so i stop and remember to indicate but instead of hitting the indicator i hit the horn ... horn ... horn. I was trying to indicate but kept hitting the horn !! I finally gather myself and indicate .... properly. The police give me a good stare then drive off ... hahahahahah
  10. VTR250 so fortunately not enough herbs for spinning up the rear wheel (easily any way).
    Had a good day Sunday. Did about 100kms just in the local area. Getting much more comfortable. Finding I am going a bit too wide from standing turns so read the other post about this and got some good tips about dragging rear brake and riding the clutch a bit. Will try this out. I understand how important this is to get right because I don't want to go wide into oncoming traffic. Strangely I seem to be doing it turning right because I give more throttle to cross the intersection to the other side then turning too late. Seem to keep it tighter when turning left.
    Any other tips?
    Cheers, Ray.
  11. Look through corners, be physically relaxed on the bike - light grip on bars. Download / buy some riding tips books and give em a read. Ride alot, practice everything, ride in all conditions, make the mistakes you need to. Don't try to play keep up. Learn at your own pace. Have fun.
  12. Welcome to the clubs (bike, Netrider, VTR250, etc).

    I had a similar, though somewhat more tame, experience when I picked up my bike just over two months ago (feels a lot longer than that though). First ride home, actually first corner, stall it, nearly drop it, but manage to just hold on. Very wobbly the whole way home, lucky for me it was just around the corner.

    Spent about two weeks riding in light traffic - back streets and industrial areas on weekends, quiet roads late at night. Had a few minor scares, but nothing too exciting beyond nearly falling over, nearly running up the back of a car or two, stalling here and there.

    Remember how wet February was? I was forced to ride in medium-heavy rain about 3 weeks after I got my bike for about half an hour. Scary at first, but now I'm grateful I had that experience.

    Once I had a bit of confidence up, went on a ride down through Kangaroo Valley (think it was about four weeks after buying my bike). Did something like 370km over the day, which was a LOT at the time. Highly recommend you do something like this with people who will go slowly with you once you've got a bit of confidence up.

    Last hurdle for me was commuting in heavy, peak hour traffic. First ride wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. Didn't do any filtering/splitting at first, but have been commuting for over a month now, and regularly do both.

    Take your time, slowly expose yourself to new conditions, including rain, even if you have to deliberately ride in the wet at some point. I'm definitely no expert, but it's amazing how quickly you learn and build confidence.

    Apologies for the somewhat lengthy post but hopefully my experience can help you.
  13. if your running wide(r) from standstill turns, like turning right at an intersection, u just need to practice a bit more. no need for trailing brakes or anything, just throttle/clutch control. you should be accelerating through the corner, assuming its all clear and safe, so no need for brakes.

    as you get more comfortable with the bike, you will fix this little problem no worries. just relax, look through the corner, and push on the bars a bit more - turn more. the only you run wide, is you dont turn as much as required.

    and the VTRs can spin up the rear easy enough :wink: they prefer the wet though lol.

    enjoy it mate, i do :grin:
  14. Thanks guys. I am managing to pull it in tighter on right turns without the brake. I have been slowing down my release speed of the clutch. Initially I was really treating it like a light switch, on or off. The general consensus seems to be practice and this is spot on.
    I have been practicing emergency braking in a straight line. Really easy to lock up the rear as weight transfer goes to the front. Not planning on locking up the front (intentionally anyway). Apart from that the main thing I have learnt is how early morning dew and mist on the road makes the ashpalt so greasy. Not something you notice much on 4 wheels but very obvious on 2.
    Cheers, Ray
  15. Welcome Ray and good to read your post

    I did have a little chuckle... not at you, but it did bring back a few funny episodes I had whilst learning.

    During my first week out I kept hearing somebody beeping me. It was strange and I couldn't figure it out who was doing it.....Only after a week and feeling like I needed therapy did I realise it was me pressing my own horn :oops: :LOL:

    We all make mistakes when learning. That's what it's all about.

    Have fun and stay safe.

    Jen :)
  16. Welcome. Ah, your post brought back some not-that-distant memories ...

    Are you braking (front) with two or four fingers? It's harder to accidentally apply both throttle and brake lever if you use four, so see if it works for you. Also practice, whenever you're slowing down on the next few rides, making a single motion out of releasing the throttle as you reach for and squeeze the front brake. It'll become second nature in no time.

    And like Whippet said, don't try to trail your brakes into corners, racer style. If you brake before each corner and set your speed so that you *can* roll on the throttle through the corner, you won't scare yourself and the bike will be happy and stable under mild accelaration.

    If you feel you're running wide, part of it might be you need the confidence to lean and push on the bars - but before you worry too much about that, master setting your corner entrance speed to give yourself room to breathe. It's more fun seeing how tightly you can corner when it's not compulsory :)
  17. Thanks for the laugh Titanium!

    I only recently got a '05 VTR250 myself, first road bike - I love it, it's a great little bike.

    If it makes you feel any better Titanium, when I was 14 my dad got a hold of 2 Aggies (could call them farmers bikes) and taught me to ride (by taught I mean laughed every time I came off and said that I was on longer than last time) . I was a terribly reckless rider - ran into, over and through everything. Even snapped half the engine guard off one time and if it wasn't for those metal hand gaurds - I wouldn't have any fingers. After about a month I wasn't crashing so much and having a ball - when I FINALLY realised what a clutch actually does, and that it's a much smoother ride when it's USED (those old Aggie bikes are tuff as s***, start on hills first go and more)! Yes, I was told to use the clutch but in all the tumbing and stacking I'd forgotten all about it.

    I must have it out for clutches though. The first day I rode the VTR it went without a hitch until I stopped on a wierd angle, put her down and snapped the leaver in half. Only make that mistake once I can tell you.

    It's so discouraging to have "bad ride" in the early days, but it's just one of those things you'll never regret sticking with. I don't have any advice on how to be a better rider - road bikes are still a bit new to me. Just thought I'd share my story.
  18. Re: Thanks for the laugh Titanium!

    Get one of these for starters. Will provide relief from
    arse itching/poking whilst riding.

    Result is improved ability to concentrate on ya riding :wink:

  19. Thanks Titanium

    Thanks for the post Titanium. It's amazing how much better I feel about getting started when I read other newbie posts and realise I'm not alone in fumbling around. I too laughed aloud when I read your post.

    I too am a newbie and picked up my bike three days ago, yes another VTR250 on the road. I was just a little anxious as well, so rode the back streets for a half hour before joining the real world. Rode from Ringwood to Aspendale @30 Km and despite being a bit tense, LOVED IT!!!!!!!!.

    Great forum site. I'm sure to be an avid visitor.
  20. Thanks guys. I've been riding to work last 2 days and feeling much more settled. Wide out and tight in when cornering. Also feeling much more confident. Bought some Draggin Jeans to go with the Dri-rider jacket.
    Going out for a ride with my bro-in-law tomorrow as he is experienced.
    And guess what guys. No accidental horn activation this week :grin:
    Cheers, Ray.