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The First Six Months [long]

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by darklightBoy, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Well with 6 months and 4700km under the wheels of the VTR, I thought I'd share a few thoughts I've got so far...


    Yep, I'm still stalling on the rare occasion. Also finding that after doing a long stint without needing to touch the controls my hands are a bit slow to respond. This gives mixed results of racing the throttle, jerky clutch movements etc. Some days I'll still forget to cancel the indicator too, but I'm hoping this isn't necessarily a newbie thing :p

    I can still remember the 10-15 minutes EXTRA I was out on my L's course learning the emergency braking stuff. A few regular practice sessions in a near by car park has helped me get the hang of it more, I think that's also helped by the fact that I know the controls now too, it was a bit of brain overload on the learner's course.

    Occasionally I'll lose a little bit of balance on the low-speed rolling stops, which can lead to a wobble and putting the foot down in a hurry to make sure I don't fall over in a clumsy heap. Definitely gotta get the hang of that. Which leads me to:


    I've got a bonus here. leaving home, and also to park the bike at work I need to do a full-lock slow speed U-turn, so my right turns are getting better (don't ask me to go left though :p). I still have issues with a jerky throttle when controlling my speed, so I need to pay more attention to using my rear brake methinks.


    There's not a lot to do here, but I'm definitely getting a windscreen before going to the mainland. Long highway stints leave my arms and neck quite sore from the wind buffeting, I'm yet to discover if this is normal, or the result of having a naked bike. I've done a few ~150km runs, plus a day up to Launnie and back (~500km by the end of the day), and found it a bit tiring. I'm guessing a lack of match fitness contributes to that. Something to do more of as well.


    Depends on the road, and if I know it. A short twisty stretch near where I live that's a 60k road I find myself nudging 80-85km/h on it these days (when there's no cars about). After yesterday's Bothwell run I'm feeling a little more confident in the twisties, I thought I did well keeping up with Techno on the Duc600 along that road (unless he was waiting for me :p). I've overcooked a couple of corners slightly on different times, and need to get myself out of the habit of looking at the impending doom. Luckily they've never led to me coming unstuck, but I've ended up a bit shaken.


    I don't know if the drivers in Hobart have gotten progressively worse over the past six months, or maybe my awareness has increased A LOT. Either way, I don't remember noticing such a high level of bad driving from cagers before I was riding. I definitely have my eyes open and watching vehicles around me more these days.

    I was hesitant at first about filtering at lights, but now I'll do it whenever I can. I don't split in moving traffic, but on Hobart's roads there's really no need, we don't have that much traffic in comparison to the north island. But when the traffic's moving, I'm more aware of the spaces around me, and I'm more likely to drop back and avoid being boxed in on the bike than I am in the car. I haven't had the "reality check" that comes with nearly being taken out yet, and hopefully I can keep my roadcraft up so that I won't get into one of those situations anyway.


    Well it took me six months, but I discovered there's a little bit of extra oomph in the mini-monster's engine once you go above 8000rpm. Until yesterday I made a point of keeping the revs between 4-6k, don't ask me why. Maybe it's the annoying buzz that the exhaust gives in the higher ranges. Either way, I think my fuel consumption's gonna go up on ride days now....

    I'm starting to want a bit more power, which I think is bad. She gets to the speed limits easy enough, just takes a while, and it's that instant arm-ripping torque that I crave :p Someone said in some other thread "when your confidence starts to build, that's when you take it easy and let the experience catch up." I get the feeling I'm reaching that point.


    They're all well behaved. One of my friends that was constantly lecturing me about the dangers before I got my licence and just after I started riding has calmed down these days (maybe it's cause I told her I'd quit riding when she quits smoking, which ain't gonna happen :p). It's part and parcel of life now, no "bikes are dangerous" stories, the "wow" factor from everyone's died down too :( except my 2yo nephew of course, who according to my sister, whenever he sees a bike he's asking if it's me :D how cute.


    Six months in and I'm loving it more than when I started! I know I've still got a lot of skills to develop and improve, but that's the thing about being on a bike, you're constantly learning. I'm planning on going to my first track day at the end of August, I've been told by a few people that you learn heaps there about bike control. When my tax return comes through in a few weeks I'll be booking my P's test. Thinking whether it's worth doing one of those "skills refresher" courses beforehand to make sure I'm up to par, they're only $50 down here.

    So to anyone who's not sure if they want to get their licence, or is in their first month or two and feeling a little unsure, stick with it! It can be a little daunting at first, but as you get your experience you start to feel less worried out there. Just remember to keep your eyes sharp out there, learn to see potential problems before they become real, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!! :D
  2. Nice

    Hey there,
    Nicely written. I really enjoyed reading that. Thanks
  3. very well written and was interestin to read wish there was more like that
  4. No. In fact its mandatory for all cruiser riders. :grin:
  5. Thanks for the write up mate...as new rider on the roads alot of that sure does come in handy!
    Wouldn't mind heading down to Tassy for a ride down the track. Heard its beautiful down there.
    Cheers :)
  6. Shitte! how different people are.

    I was on my second 1000cc bike (sold the kawa and got a Blade) after 6 months, plus two track days. Got my licence in the UK when you could get straight opens after a 4 day course.

    Suppose difference is in how much you practice and if you have an affinity for. Track days are great to learn respect for the real power of bikes. The road, well..., it certianly sharpens your dodging skills :LOL:
  7. The best part is that you are obviously thinking and reflecting on your riding. It's ultra important to self-critique and really be honest with what/how you are riding, as it will speed up the learning process for you - well done! :grin:
  8. AmBam, the roads in Tas are built for motorcyclists, I have done at least 5 trips down there and am planning to go back again. Pick a decent time of year though or the weather will play havoc with your riding.
  9. I'm in a very similar position to oyurself. I started riding at the start of Feb and in the 6 months ! have been riding , I will clock up 6,000 Klms when I go to Tues Night coffee.

    I found that about 4 weeks ago I discovered that the bike really, really loves to get over the 7,000 rpm range. I got sick of only just being in front of the traffic and made a conscious effort not to change gears too quickly. It has made a huge amount of difference.

    I'm feeling that the VTR could have another gear for highway riding and also feel I am at the stage where I would like to get a bigger bike now to keep up with the other bikes, but having done a couple Thurs Night mystery rides and coming back from the Blakc Spur with Seany, etc, the only place the 250 is really lacking is getting to speed quicker and at high speeds, it doesnt have the ability to just accelerate as quickly as the bigger bikes do to get you out of trouble.
  10. Really good post of your experience thus far – gives encouragement to us other noooobs out there! Thanks.
  11. Great write-up dlboy, sounds like i might having troubles keeping up with you on rides now :LOL: That is until i get a new bike :twisted:
  12. Great write up.

    I started out on a naked bike, like you, and I got sick of the wind buffeting, so I swapped to a faired bike - much better! :cool:
  13. good read squire!
  14. As a fellow noob I say bravo for this post. Once my 6 months ticks over I'll post something similar :)
  15. Good article. Thanks for sharing.

    The only comment I can offer is to caution against overconfidence as your experience grows. Not too much of a worry as you sound like you've got the right attitude.