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Pre-newbie with a few Q's saying "Hi"

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by LineNoise, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Just signed up tonight and thought I'd say "Hi"

    Been debating getting a bike for ages and recently decided to take the plunge and will be doing something about it as soon as I either get an IBL placement through my uni or get told I'm not getting one and find my own job.

    At this stage my experience is absolutly zero so I intend to do a HART course or equivilant and take it gently from there. I've always been fairly careful when it comes to driving and teaching myself new skills (not a scratch in 6 years) so I think I should manage to not kill myself :)

    I've been looking at what's around in the way of 250s and decided that I'm probably going to grab a Virago (or maybe a V-Star if funds allow) at this stage. I'm intending to stay on the 250 for probably 3 years as I'm back at uni full time after this year so I'm thinking the extra for the V-Star might be worth it as it's a little more comfy for me (and looks better IMO).

    Gear wise I think I've got pants (Draggin's good?), gloves and boots sorted and I'm still looking at jackets and debating helmet type (open, closed or flip face).

    This brings me to a couple of questions. Firstly, am I going to kill a 250 with long distance freeway trips? I regularly do runs from Melbourne to St Leonards, Torquey, Eildon, Euroa and the Prom and would be looking at maybe the odd Adelaide and Sydney/Hunter Valley trip as well.

    Secondly, any tips on what I should be teaching myself once I'm on my L's? At the moment I'm seeing low speed stuff as causing more problems then high, particularly tight U-turns, roundabout's etc. As for shifting and braking I'm presuming the concept is basically the same as a car? Basically be smooth, match revs when downshifting and manage weight transfer and brake balance for desired effect. I'm planning to just ride on local streets for a week or so, then do some highway/freeway runs off-peak, find some twisties and kill a day or two, then hit traffic and distance rides.

    Finally could someone alleviate/confirm some of my misgivings about various helmet types. For me an open face helmet seems the most comfortable due to better FOV and airflow but I'm a little troubled about what would happen should you try and stop a fall with your face. As for closed I'm concerned about the risks of misting on the visor and the amount of light the visor would cut out when riding at night. At the moment I'm probably looking at either a Nolan "Jet" or 100E flip face or similar presuming they'll fit my fat head.

    Anyway, look forward to hearing any suggestions or tips from you guys and hopefully I'll be out on the road in a month or so.
  2. Lovely post, welcome to the forum. Unfortunately you lost me when you said Virago, unless of course you're of the female persuasion, I wouldn't get one.

    They look good on the surface and even appealed to me as my first bike 5 or so years ago but when it got down to the nitty and gritty they are basically a GIRLS bike.

    BTW..do you play online games? I've seen a player with the same name as you on the GA servers and/ or forum.
  3. Yeah that's me on GA (and many other servers).

    Big thing with the Virago is that it looks like I can pretty much pick a price and find a good value bike for the money and should be able to get decent resale. I do agree though, they aren't my cup of tea either.
  4. Heh,,, cool I'll say gday to ya next time I see you in the forums. I'm ollybear there.

    Yah, they are really gutless and heavy and when I was enquiring about them in the Trading Post, all the owners (2) were chicks. It really turned me off so I bought a 2000 GSXF 250 Bandit instead and really loved it cos the extra 18-20kilowatts over the Virago made a huge diff and I never got bored in the 2 years I had it. Some ignorant people who don't know about bikes didn't like the Bandit cos it wasn't full fairing but thats the style of bike..haha. Now that i have the BB which is full fairing I would never get anything less than that. It really protects you from the wind at high speed and is a great rush.
  5. Power I don't think will bother me (as long as they aren't actually underpowered).

    As long as it will trundle along reasonably at 100, beat the average Conformadore away from the lights and pull up a hill when needed I'll be happy.
  6. G'Day LineNoise, welcome!!

    I wouldn't get anything other than a full face helmet, offers better protection from bugs, flying debris and the elements (especially when they aren't so kind) as well as coming into their own during a stack. As for your concerns,

    misting - opening the visor a crack will sort this out. You can also reduce it but using breathe guards, antifog coats and breathing 'down' the helmet rather than towards the visor.

    FOV - will be pretty much the same for all helmets

    airflow - full face helmets usually have good ventilation these days, and opening the visor a crack will also help. On really cold days however open face helmets will be a problem.

    light - unless you are using a tinted visor then just as much light is going to get to your eye regardless of which helmet you have.

    Best plan is to find a bike shop with a number of brands and work out which manufacturer/model of helmet has the correct shape for your head. Generally people are limited to one or two manufacturers based on this, and it is the most important part of getting a helmet.

    Good to see that you have started getting your gear before getting the bike...IMHO that's the best way to do it since it means you are not just getting gear with your left over change from the bike but are actually getting quality stuff.

    Draggin jeans are good for getting around town (I own 4 pairs myself) but if you are going on longer trips then a set of leather or cordura pants is a better bet since then will offer more protection.

    in regards to bikes do a search/browse in other learners posts in the bike section and you should find out at least some tips.
  7. Thanks for the info on the helmets.

    As for the leather or condura pants I probably will get a pair at a later date (definately before I head for Sydney or something) but to be honest at the moment the budget doesn't make it to two pairs of pants :p
  8. welcome to the forums and to riding

    you are 1/2 way there , you recognise that you are learning instead of an expert and that puts you in good stead over others , you will be learning for the rest of your riding life.

    if it within your budget , look at the hysong aquillia , bike 250 cruiser , look good , plety of guts , will cope with the highway easily and does its self justice around the city .

    if you need to chat with someone on the bike PM me and i will give you a email address to people who have owned them , they swear by there reliability and also being able to handle city and a lot of freeway riding .

    dragons good , prefer leathers myself , i would go the full face helmet , but each to there own (being a nurse who worked in head and spinal injury units from accidents)

    see post above about the aqillia

    dont worry to much , there are people here who will go out with you , they hold learner days lately getting tips on riding and practising skills and when it comes time to make the trip in to friday night coffee , we will arange an escort for you to help you out , you only need to ask when the time comes

    I ride at night with a blackened visor , a lot of people cant , but its easy fior me as i dont like bright lights ( im a gremlin)
    with a clean maintained clear visor , light isnt an issue , if you want crank open the visor and you have a open view , i prefer the full face , each to there own , but you could go 1/2 way and buy a flipp top and then you can see whats comfortable for you .
    in my opinion i want every inch of protection around me should i come off for any reason , i dont want to have to worry about my ugly dial sliding down the road with a open face helmet.

    do what feels comfortable , dont feel pressured , listen to peoples advise and take it on board , come down to coffee (see coffee post in rides section) and chat with them , look at there gear and bikes , ask questions etc , no need to worry that you havent got your bike yet , so come down meet the people , get some help , have a coffee and when the time comes and you are on your bike you will allready know a lot of us and will have seen and tried on differant gear , sat on differant bikes.
    pm me if you need any details or need to know where coffee is exactly
  9. Hmm...hadn't even heard of Hyosung and I can actually make it to a new one....just.

    Done a quick bit of research on the internet and seeing mostly positives. Seems concensus is slightly worse finish then the XVS but a lot cheaper and it certainly looks better then the Virago plus the little bit of extra go could be good. Not sure if the 12K redline is needed though :p

    Have to go and have a look and a sit I think.
  10. I agree with BB there are way too many good 250's you have left out by limiting your choice to just "looks" in the harley mode.
    Remember a virago or any other cruiser type bike have limited cornering abilities, and a seat position that will leave your bum numb as you tend to sit on your tailbone.
    Before you commit to one type of bike try the different ones around.
    You may be pleasantly surprised there are better bikes out there than just "cruiser" types.
    My recommendations for a 250.
    Honda VTR, Honda Spada, (both have no fairings and their motors are bulletproof) Honda cbr (sportier bike) kawasaki zzr and gpx 250 (again bulletproof) and *shudder* suzuki across. (they are like arseholes, everyone has one in this forum.)
    When you attend HART have a look at the bikes on offer and then make a choice.
  11. Check out the Honda V250C (the C is for Custom apparently... :roll: ).
    Its about the only 250 cruiser that i (as a sportsbike fanatic) actually appreciate. They look very sleek, and seem to go quite well.
    I've ridden a couple of times with a guy who has one and he seems to keep up when cruising; lose him in the top end or through the twisties but you get that on a cruiser.
  12. Newbie!

    Hiya guys!
    Well i just passed my test about 2 hours ago! Yippee!
    Motorcycling is something that i have wanted to do for a long time, but have never gotten around to it!...but now i have!
    I too am looking for a good learning bike. I am currently in Geelong, and have a brother in Melbourne, so will go up there most weekends...when i am game enuf to go on the freeway that is!! I will also use the bike for commuting to work each day which is only a few Ks away.
    I am not a fan of the racing bikes, and personally prefer the cruisers. I am a biggish guy...6'3" and about 125kg(ish), so i think i would look stupid on a race bike!
    groberts03, I had spotted the Hyosung aquilla a few days ago myself...and have fallen in love! I see that there is a local dealer in Geelong, and am going to see them in the next few days. I would be really keen to hear what other people say about this bike!
    Someone recommended the Honda V25 to me. But i think for value for money a Aquila is a far better option! Also I am only going to be here for about 3 months, does anyone know what the resale value on these bikes are like?
    I also wear glasses, and got sick of taking them off when putting my helmet on and off over the last 2 days! I am interested in a flip face one...but can you keep your glasses on when taking them on and off? Also, are they as strong as the one peice full face ones?
    Thanks in advance!
  13. Thanks for your responses guys.

    Smee, I actually ran into an old mate today who's gotten into riding and pretty much had a discussion about exactly what you are talking about. End result of the arguement was that I should at least try a few different models and styles (which I will) but that said I just haven't sat on anything in the 250 range that wasn't a cruiser that will work for me over any sort of extended time period but I'm willing to be surprised and will certainly try and get a ride of any potentials before purchasing.

    We're going to go on a little spree with a couple of friends who are also interested in a week or so and basically kill a weekend annoying shop assistants :) They are both looking at sports and tourers so I'll probably get a good opportunity to peruse a fair range of models.
  14. Well think I've got a jacket sorted out. Tried a mates Torrini jacket on and found it quite comfortable and he's come off in one before and said the armour did it's job pretty well.

    Going through my wardrobe I found I've got an old leather wastecoat that still fits and could be handy to give a little extra warmth around the kidneys.

    Now to find a helmet. I'm still tempted to go with a flip face but I think I'll get a full face. I'm presuming I should be looking at the various fibre helmets (glass, kevlar, carbon) over straight plastics?
  15. I was a die hard open face helmet rider but these guys & gals are slowly wearing me down! Since VTR Bob leant me his spare full face there have been many times when I've appreciated it! Btw welcome to the forum!
  16. It really doesn't matter what the helmet is made of, fit is the most important factor (the salespeople will be able to help here).
    The major differences between the cheap makes and the more expensive ones are better lining, graphics tend to be painted on rather than stickers, overall better finish and you'll find that the vents will (generally) work better. They're all noisy (you'll need earplugs if you want to keep your hearing) and they all offer similar levels of protection.
  17. Oooh, just noticed that I am now a "Lurker".
    How exciting!
  18. Well been doing more looking and I've come to a conclusion.

    Either I've got sucker written on my forehead or 2nd hand 250s are somewhat too expensive :\

    The way I'm looking at it now I'd be far better buying new and getting my warranty, especially if I could wrangle a discount on either the bike or some gear to go with it. I'm also getting a few people saying your insurance is that little bit cheaper if you've got a bike with Datadots which I believe all new Yamaha's have (yes? Not sure how far back this applied either).

    Am I right in saying this? To me the only risk would be if I completely totalled the bike but that's a risk you take with anything and frankly I'm hoping I won't be for my healths sake :p

    Edit: Should point out after some pretty extensive looking I've pretty well decided to get an XVS250 at this stage barring something popping up ludicrously cheap or that I haven't yet seen.
  19. thought i better add a g'day to the mix