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So I wanted to be a rider

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by astrodil, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone, newbie here

    I'm a 22yo guy who's about to finish uni at Sydney and start post-grad at Canberra. After watching tonnes of motorvlogs on youtube for months, I realised I was very intrigued by motorcycles. I was never very interested in cars, nor the adrenaline of high speed, hence I think a cruiser might be more suitable for my personalities (Intruder 250, Vstar 650 are looking really appealing).
    However as I still live with my parents, naturally they would disagree and to a certain degree I also share their worries (I wouldnt be too comfortable doing something my parents are against to). I know under all the fun and convenience, motorcycles can be lethal, and I dont want to be blinded by the excitement. Especially after looking though some statistics, I realised Sydney is not a very safe place for newbies, although ACT looks more forgiving (I wonder if I should learn riding there instead).
    So here I am, wanting to be a rider, yet also troubled by its safety. Thus I would love to know what I can do to minimise my chance of becoming a statistics, enjoy the ride without constant paranoia, and give both my family and myself a peace of mind.

    p.s how do i view some of the resources here, they keep saying i dont have the permission to view the contents
  2. #2 Jem, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
    Welcome aboard.

    You need a certain amount of posts up (10 from memory) to get into certain areas of the forum. Stops the spammers etc.

    As to riding and learning.

    1. Do the learners courses
    2. If you are still in Sydney when you do get to the Saturday morning practice session
    3. Find a good mentor
    4. Start slowly and build up to things
    5. Read @robsalvv@robsalvv noob 101 threads
    6. Practice more
    7. Read the road craft thread
    8. Ask all the questions you want here no matter how silly they may seem
    9. Practice your slow ridding, your emergency breaking etc every day for the first two months
    10. Everytime you are out from now on be it in a car, on a bus or whatever start looking at the traffic and thinking about what are those cars going to do next, why what would I do if I was on a bike behind them?

    That should do for a start. Plenty of wiser heads will give you better advice

    Cheers Jeremy
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  3. Firstly, welcome!

    Motorcycles are not inherently dangerous. They are, however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, arrogance in incompetence. It is unfortunate that they do not discriminate as to whom is responsible for those things.

    You cannot eliminate the risks you will face while riding, but there are behaviours that you can adopt that will help control those risks and may bring them to what you consider an "acceptable" level.
    For example:
    -Be aware of everything that's moving around you and adjust your space buffers to compensate.
    -Be aware of how your bike is behaving and ride accordingly.
    -Keep your bike in good condition. eg Low tyre pressure can affect your handing and braking in ways that are hard for a new rider to compensate for or predict.
    -Wear your gear. While only the helmet is legally required, decent riding gear can not only help mitigate the damage incurred in many types of spills it can help prevent spills by keeping your body temperature under control and so helping to keep you alert and reacting effectively. Being too hot or too cold can be very bad.
    -Understand that there are old bikers and there are bold bikers, but there are very few old bold bikers. It doesn't hurt to be patient and cautions.
    -Always treat a new bike as a stranger and take the time to get to know it before pushing things. It might not react the way you think it will to hard braking or sudden control inputs.
    -Practice your manoeuvring, braking, and traffic observation skills
    -Practice them again
    -Seriously, do it again.
    -One more time
    -Now do it again next week
    -Now do it every week

    This is far from a complete list.
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  4. From what I understand as a Brisbanite, studying in Canberra and about to get their Ls, there's decent pros and cons to both cities. If you want variety when choosing a bike - especially secondhand - and would like a choice of instructors, Sydney is probably the better choice. However, from what I've seen of Canberra roads compared to what I've seen from Sydney motovloggers, Canberra is infinitely better. It has its risks, but because it's a planned city most of the intersections and speed limits make perfect sense. I wouldn't say any of Canberra's roads are interesting, but interesting is usually synonymous with risky, and as a learner that's probably not a good thing :p

    As Canberra is a small city, everything here is smaller than compared to elsewhere too, including the motorcycling community. But, I get the sense that it's pretty close-knit and welcoming, so if you can find a small regular group of learners, you'll get to make consistent friends with people. Also, Canberra is really bicycle friendly, so if motorists can watch out for peddle-pushers, surely they can watch out for motorcyclists, right??
  5. To put safety into perspective, more people win lottery than die in motorcycle accidents in Australia. So while comparatively higher risk than a car, you're chances of hurting yourself badly is pretty low.

    You can help those stats with the advice of others. But don't let the "motorcycles are dangerous" bullshit scare you too much. They are fun practical and for the most part very safe.
  6. welcome aboard :] plenty of good info here @Jem@Jem & @Dark Angel@Dark Angel have covered it well also, my advice take your time with bike and gear choices
  7. Welcome mate. Very good advice by all here.

    Have you ever ridden a motorbike before?

    I think if you jump on one and ride it you will know if its for you or not.

    Now, in saying that i dont mean that if you throw a leg over and are instantly good, then its for you. Chances are you will be a noob, as we all were once upon a time.

    When getting on you can judge how comfortable you are on one, how much you feel you enjoy it and if you think riding will be a part of you for a long time to come.

    As soon as i went for my tests and a few rides i just loved it and ever since i have been hooked.

    You will be the best judge. In regards to the parents thing, let me give you this one piece of advice. It is alot easier to get someones forgiveness rather than their blessing.

    I just went out and got my license and it was done with. Parents were left with no choice but to live with it.
  8. Wow, this forum is amazing, I certainly didnt expect this many great responses this quick, thanks everyone. it's fantastic that there is so much support amongst riders, it definitely boosted my views on riding motorcycles. I do plan to take the pre-learners course by the end of the year, I have very high hopes for it. And I am glad to hear Canberra is bikes friendly, I think I'll actually have a great time there. So by the looks of it I just need to practice more and communicate more with other more experienced riders. Easier said than done I know, but I will no doubt value all the advices from you guys, and hopefully one day I will get on the road too with my very own bike. Thanks guys.
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  9. Welcome Dil :)

    Some very helpful clear info here and has given me some pointers too, as I am starting out myself. I have an Intruder 250, yet to ride it myself but have had a ride on the back and I love it , and that was my first time being on a motorbike. Throughly enjoyed the experience, we went up to Stanwell Park through the Royal National Park, looks even more beautiful on a motorbike.

    Even at my age my mum was on the disagreement side or more the protective side I would say. But that's what parents are there for, to protect.
  10. Check out the beating the odds link in my sig.

    Welcome to NR.
  11. If you've got good access to a machining workshop during your post-grad then it is a good chance to do a restoration project.
  12. Welcome . I find it is fairly safe if you treat riding like driving a car . I ride a cruiser and i ride it like a cruiser . I dont filter in and out of traffic i dont try to pass anyone thinking ive got the power to do it easily . Take all the time you need to get comfortable with the bike . Ride how you feel safe not try to immitate others if they can go faster etc . And as one member said . Ask anything you need to know . We all started in the same way .
  13. Um... say some more about how riding like a car makes you safer.
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  14. #14 danny_tb, Nov 3, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
    If you don't lean, you won't fall over... :roflmao: ;)

    Oh, and welcome to Nutrider! :wacky:
  15. You have a lot more faith in humanity than I do then.
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  16. Perhaps i used the wrong wording . . I dont take risks in traffic just because im on a bike . Ive had and seen plenty of close calls from drivers either not seeing or just deliberatly pulling in front of the bike. .. you are missing the point anyway . We all ride our own way to stay safe on the road and this post is about a person wanting to become a rider so they need to ride their own way that feels right for them . ...faith in humanity ???? When im on my bike i have faith in no one but myself .
  17. #17 smileedude, Nov 4, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
    You're not selling your style very well.

    To the OP, once you master roadcraft and threat identification and use a bikes width and agility to your advantage. You should rarely if ever have near misses with cars.

    It's not just filtering but using the width of your lane and rapid acceleration/decelaration to put your bike in the most obvious and least risky position.

    Riding just like a car is the worst of both worlds.
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  18. When bikes don't filter, they put their faith in the driver behind for their ability to see the bike/rider, stop with appropriate space, not get destracted by the phone (or the car's radio, good looking babes/dudes on the footpath, or in other vehicles), etc. I know two people who have definitely been rear-ended by cars (while on their bikes), maybe more who I haven't realised. I know nobody who has had anything more than knocking mirrors with cars while filtering. I know which is the most dangerous situation, and it isn't filtering.
  19. I guess I can understand where @wombat007@wombat007 is coming from, I have to constantly make myself noticed by other drivers (maybe this is where cruisers' loud pipes come in handy), and avoid going unnecessarily close between cars. Treating all the car drivers as blind to bikes will probably decrease my chance of hitting one, no? In terms of filtering, I've seen a lot of people doing that on youtube, always shocked by how fast they can go through tight spaces without a single scratch, perhaps i'll start by doing that at the lights first when everyone's stopped before filtering at high speeds.
    All this discussion really gave me quite a bit of insight into riding, I've started to noticed too that there are many drivers make you question how they got their licenses. And I find it makes a lot of sense that bikes' agility and narrow widths can be helpful to get out of tight situations, well that's if I have the skills. This is why I find it more interesting learning how to ride than drive, so much to learn, and much more engaging than just a wheel and a pedal.
  20. Canberra is also very friendly towards bicycle commuting, which can be faster door-to-door. It takes me longer to get my over-pants, jacket, boots, gloves and helmet on and off than it does to commute to work!
    Mt Stromlo is a brillant MTB park. I've found that the reflexes developed on the MTB transferred OK into the motorbike. Of course clutch and throttle control is a big part of motorbike riding that needs to be learned.
    Stay Upright offer courses in the ACT: http://www.stayupright.com.au/stay-upright-act-0
    I recently got my L's on the coast near Canberra (Tathra); fantastic place to learn to ride! So good to be on windy 2-lane bitumen, with very few cars. The biggest risk here, and in the ACT, is hitting kangaroos. I've stuck a "shoo-roo" whistle on the bike and learned the brake-and-swerve animal dodging technique as a priority.
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