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Newbie experience

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Mad_Maca27, May 13, 2013.

  1. G'day all,

    Just wanted to share a few thoughts on experiences so far. I've been riding now for about a month and have delibratly trying to use my bike as an everyday commute, as thats what i bought it for regardless of weather. I have gotten my hands on some decent wet weather gear and it makes all the difference.

    Last night i rode for the first time in a night/raining environment and i have to admit its itersting the different challenges it throws at you. but i think come down to common sense just has to kick in. (plus i've got a decade driving experience behind me too)... but we all know they are two different worlds. It just comes down to slowing it down a little. i was lucky enough to be taking roads i know very well and had my old man as an escort just in case something happened. i found the combination of the oncoming cars/rain covered visor at times a challenge but it has been something i have wanted to try. at no point did i feel unsafe or unsettled. i feel it just comes down to pacing yourself, but testing your self each time. Mt Dandy tourist road is my local mountain twisties. which each time i go up or down i try and lean that little more into the corners, or go those few k's faster and learn to feel the bike. this practice i feel helped me greatly on the weekend (sat) as i went for a ride from warburton, through reefton, over to marysville, then down to healsville and back to lillydale. Practice really is the key to gaining confidence... ok rant over and thanks if you've read this far, feel free to leave any thoughts etc bellow.


  2. Hey Maca,

    It sounds like you're really enjoying the whole riding experience, which is great! (y)

    Being out on the road in the rain puts a whole new perspective on riding, and I think it's when you really learn what your bike is all about..just make sure you give yourself lots of stopping room and watch out for the rainbows!

    If you haven't hit the learners session out your way, give it a go - I hear the people are awesome :)
  3. Hehehe a bit more practice and one night whenl it is dark, raining and you still have a few hours to go but some chump is in Lane 3 on the motorway while not actually overtaking. Then you will be trying out 100km/h bad weather filtering ;)
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  4. Yeah was goin to attend last week, but went on the ride instead. so this week it is. Finding any excuse to get on the bike though... aw i need to go to the local shops, ok lets take the scenic route home... the old $50 hamburger cause ya ride so far.... the thing i finding is there must be some unwritten law that utes must drag me off at lights or try and beat me up the mountain twisties.
  5. #5 raven, May 16, 2013
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
    You've not heard of the 'Ute' Law?
    Lol. (Kidding)

    Don't get suckered in...pretend they aren't there and you'll stick a pin in their balloon head.
    Just ride you're ride. If something unexpected happens, a car can stop faster than a bike, so chances are that you'll be the one that hits something.
    Besides...all the other cagers are sitting there looking at some wanker in a Ute wanting or trying to beat an 'L' plater. It's just a bit pathetic. Worse if you just ride normally and aren't sucked into anything stupid. Cagers will respect your maturity. :)

    Sounds to me like you've immersed yourself in biking, and that's the thing to do. Primarily, you need to gather experience, so time in the seat is imperative. At the same time, you need to keep yourself focussed on your skill and road craft development, while resisting trying to do stupid crap. Save that for when no ones around.

    Build your self confidence, and note that after 6mths and 15k, where you are starting to feel pretty good on the bike...that's when you are likely to be in danger, so keep your head screwed on and keep it real. However good you may think you are....you're actually not...so don't get cocky. Seriously.

    You should be well on your way by then, hopefully. But you are still quite vulnerable, with a lot of stuff out there that well see you face planting the road in a heart-beat, so keep your head in the game. Stay focussed, recognise your limitations and respect them.
    By then it will be summer, and you'll be able to switch over to all the summer riding skills, that aren't yet developed and must be learnt.

    Keep at it!...you'll be right. :)
    You are on your way...

    Ps. Have your riding checked out by a senior rider every few months, to make sure no bad habits are starting to develope, and for an appraisal on your riding, overall.
    If you are having trouble with anything, ask for help. Not putting your hand up, is a FAIL.
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  6. Yeah Raven, your right, its easier to plod along, if they wanna take themselves off the side of a mountain trying to keep up or outrun me then thats their issue.

    I'm "lucky" in the regards that my mum has borrowed my car for the last week, so i've had no choice but the bike. which i really am loving on days like today (typical Melbourne weather). just to take it easy and learn to feel the ways of the road. Aiming to attend the practice ride on sat to get some assesments and be open minded to ideas. riding is just one big learning curve. and ya do find yourself thinking of things as you ride, lane placement, scanning, learning to try and read cages and all the reactions... i've even being practicing my "quick stops", granted in the dry, but still. even just to feel how the bike wants to slide when it locks up (mainly backs, so i need to work on feathering the peddle more).

    Thats also why i joined netrider, as a place to pick up tips, learn and get involved in rides etc. Have to admit learning limitations is intersting, but again with some things its just common sense. i have filtered a few times but i try and ensure that its in a situation where the light will still be red when i get there and yeah just to test and utilise my judgements, i wouldnt feel confident enough to do it on days like today yet. enjoying occupying the lane too, just to try and make myself more visible etc.
  7. Hey Maca,

    Awesome to see some honest opinions of someone who's a few months ahead of me :)

    Can I ask why you went with the VJF and how you've found it?
  8. G'day mate,

    Okay where to start... Basically the old man has a strong preference for Hondas, but here in melbourne a lot of the honda dealerships seem to have disapeared. so we went shopping for me and came across the VJF at a dealership (A1) that dad had good dealings with before. Took it for a test ride and to me it just felt comfortable. plus as dad was footing the bill he was happy with the 5k price tag for brand new with a 2 year/unlimited k warranty on it. plus (from my understanding) Daelim use Honda components anyway, so its pretty much a rebaged Honda. (google pics of the VJF vs the Honda SP1)

    Pros & Cons:

    • Economy - I knew bikes could be good but i find the 350-400k's from 15 litres pretty suprising but again i am a newb.
    • Power - Its fuel injected, single cylinder engine to me has enough power for someone starting out. can take off from the lights reasonably quick, nice to ride through the hills although i have found in steeper sections that 4th gear works better then top gear even on straight sections. i feel safe on the bike at almost any speed.
    • the only thing i would say is if planning to overtake at 100+, check well ahead. this bike has no issues goin 0-100, but after 100/110 she lacks punch, that said i have had it around 30k's faster again, but you need open roads and that really is its top end
    • Comfort - Comfortable from the moment i sat on it. i have ridden this bike for over two hours, no breaks and still felt comfortable sitting on it, and i'm known to have a somewhat boney arse. its nice and easy to hug the tank or sit up a bit more, stability of the bike i find amazing, it weighs 173kg (according to the book) so i find it nice and light, so easy to manouver at low speed or walking it around.
    • It is quite a quiet bike, so i am thinking of upgrading the exhaust when i get back into work.
    • Parts seem to be cheap, although i have only needed things like a new speedo cable, because i broke mine when i forgot to take the disk lock off. Mechanically it hasnt skipped a beat, and since the 19th april i've racked up almost 3000 k's
    • also just for comparison i am 5"3 and 75kg
    hope this helps and gives some insights. if anyone views this and wants to comment feel free.


  9. Wise words indeed @raven

    There are a few (very few) people on this forum that are worth listening to. When they lay down advice I sit up, pay attention, and take in the meaningful information.

    Raven is one such member.

    @OP Keep it up - be safe and just ride :D
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. You're Mad Maca!
    But then, so are the rest of us.
    Seriarsely, well done with amping up your experience in a variety of conditions.
  11. Still tryin to find any reason to ride, even just for a coffee or just for the ride... Got pulled over on sat by local highway boys for RBT and license check, again it was raining and i had been on the bike for all of a 2 minutes (literally). Cop said he rides too but he wouldnt ride in that weather but understood the experience side... appoligised for pullin me over after just after leavin home.

    Anyone else have a weird thing with feeling more safe on the bike then they do in a car now?

    like i feel more on edge now in a car then i do the bike... maybe its having less room on the road.

    Wanna start lookin at doin a few rides i think. And true Bitsar, worthwhile advice is priceless
  12. Helpful tips, thank you.
    Also wanted to ask when its raining how this affected your vision?as there is no wipers or demistrs like in a car, and what the right procedures when water build up on your helmet ? is it to stop and wipe the helmet or what ?
  13. I have gloves that has a small wiper on the left index finger, i have also applied a chemical stuff to the visor to help the water bead... So personally i just make sure i have a few seconds free and scrape the visor with the small wiper, whether it be on a straight or at lights... that said i find with riding. you focus beyond the droplets so its not totally vision blocking.

    Daytime riding its not to bad, i find fogging more of an issue, as i wear glasses as well. as i said i find you focus in the distance doesnt interfere to much...

    Night time - its a little different, it does effect your visual distance due to your looking closer in your headlight range... so its not to bad on your own... however riding into traffic can be a little difficult as you normally have to deal with the lights, but the water on the visor, not amplifies it, but i find it spreads the light over the visor more so can make it a little harder to pick up the lines at the side...

    i find the key to dealing with it, as with the rain, is just take it a little slower... make yourself feel comfortable, even if thats 10k's under the limit or start with with small local rides, even just some back streets to build some confidence and get a feel for how the bike feels in the wet.... oh and one other thing, decent wet weather gear is a big help. if ya dry ya feel more comfortable etc.

    hope that helps a little, be safe with ya riding...

    just as a random thought... spray your visor with water, with a spray bottle or something and you can get some understanding without really needing to be on the bike just to give you a little idea... perhaps even at night and stand near a road or try looking at your car headlights or something... random but perhaps a starting point


  14. Must have been "Pull over the local newbies" weekend, I got the same Sunday in Seville. Haven't been pulled over in a decade or more in the car, but three weeks on a bike........
  15. Similar, never been pulled over for a RBT in car, Speeding once in car, but thats it in almost a decade... Bikes seem to be a magnet for it, second day i had it got flagged into a booze bus. as i turned onto main st, outta castella st, i saw two highway cars go past, one went right, the other sat in the left lane. and i thought will i sit behind him... na, i'll be right... went in the right lane, get up past macas heading towards coldstream and i see the indicator come on to slip in behind me and on went the lights.... then had to skillfully jump three lanes back over to stop on the left... bastards... but it was all good so i cant complain to much
  16. #16 raven, Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
    Bear in mind, that at night with rain, it can be very difficult to see clearly.
    And WE are looking pretty hard. Now picture the safely cocooned driver bumbling along, who really isn't under any direct threat of pain and injury. They can't see much either! But what's worse is...he/she/it, is not trying that hard.
    You bump into them, and YOU go sliding on your face down the road...they bump into you, and YOU go sliding on your face down the road. See a pattern?! :)

    I resent having to sound like a Vic police 'speed' ad (especially being a poster child for adding on 100), but speed does happen to be the major contributor to your sense of danger in these conditions. As your range of vision gets closer and closer to you, so does the threat. And the threat is very real. A little speed reduction and the development of 'spidey senses', makes a huge collective difference in safety margin.
    If you don't adjust, you will be riding on assumptions. They aren't necessarily bad assumptions, but the traffic is NOT playing by the same rules.

    Out there in the darkness, just beyond the range of vision, is a white pointer cruising the depths. And it eats motorcycle riders. Rushing headlong into the void, based on what might be considered as reasonable assumptions is a coin toss. Fluking success a few times, leads you to believe that your sense of 'judgement' is pretty damned good. Except for the next time when your assumptions (which appear to you as 'judgement'), turns out to be dead wrong.

    Try like feck to push your vision out and away from you. The second you gain can easily be NOT putting your head through the windscreen of a car. But if you can't because the veil of darkness and rain has closed in tightly around you, then speed reduction gives you the most precious resource you have - time.

    We make assumptions all the time. It's part of everything we do. But at night, in the rain, immersed in a sea of headlights...keep them reigned in.

    Having said all that...including the cheesy analogies, I quite like the challenge of the evening commute, in the dark, in the rain. Gets the ol' adrenaline pumping :)
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  17. Agreed... whats the point if your not going to challenge yourself... and you dont really need to get out of your comfort bubble to challenge yourself at huge steps either. It maybe focus on one particular thing on one particular corner that you want to work on... take different roads, explore... there is always something you can practice, focus on & improve.

    Tempted to go for a ride now, but not sure which point of the compass to follow
  18. It's always easier with a destination, eh. And aimlessly riding around, makes Jack a dull boy.
    I need one...because I have a reason to be going through there, over that, and around this...and if I have a reason, then I have purpose, and that gives me focus.
  19. Aimless wandering would be... i dunno i find i'll go to say Yarra Glen, Then decide to keep going up the slide, then turn off to toolangi and loop back around through healsville, just because i can. but also decide to focus on say cornering postions and how the bike turns and feel the bike.
  20. Feckin damn it.... broke the specticles today... luckily i have a back up pair..... except they are tinted so i dont think night riding is a good idea.... also goin for my HR truck license on the 15th so i'll have to work out something before then