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Too much too soon

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Treee, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Hello all,
    So I recently scored a little baby CB125e about 2 months now, done about 400km worth of riding since, most of it in the past week. Sneer at it you do? (Yoda) Well half rightly so, I was so adamant on getting it as it was cheap outright, new (reliable) and very inexpensive to run inc. rego etc.

    The good: Cheap, won't hurt if I stack it, makes an ideal commute for 0-70 short-medium trips, essentially a thrasher. Oh did i mention it was cheap?

    The bad? Read on if I sparked your interest...oh and get a coffee
    Part 1:
    Last Sunday I caught up with a collegue I worked with at 2013 MotoGP. He organised a cruise at, you guess it, the spur. The line up was a 1100 Shadow, 2 Ninja 300s and my chihuahua. The day started out dry but as we made our way towards the curvy roads it began to sprinkle. They say this is when the road is most slippery. I've never riden in moderate or heavy downpour but this limbo state of tarmac between dry and wet did live up to it's adage of "slipperyness".
    Anyways after a satifysing lunch at St Andrew's we began the cruise. I say cruise instead of carving because quite frankly we were, with the exception of the cruiser rider, new riders barely utilising the leaning capacity of the bikes let alone push it. We were all riding within our limits (or at least that what we told each others). This was around the time I finally tried countersteering for the first time. It was like an epiphany! I totally forgot about it! No wonder I only passed for my P's...
    Fast forward to the twisties. So I'm really enjoying myself and getting the hang of rev matching thanks to 4 years driving manual. Reals great getting back on the steel horse after a miniscule riding stint I had 4 years ago. But it's bloody FREEZING!! No thanks to the summer gloves I bought 4 years ago...
    So this next corner coming up is a slow hairpin. I slow down adequately and apply the knowledge I learnt from the books and experience from high perf car driving "smoothness". As I gradually open the taps upon seeing the corner exit, the rear tyre slid, my right palm hits the ground first and I bounce the chin area of my helmet tumbling over to land on my glutes. I must have slid about 10 metres. It all happened so quick and very unexpectedly.

    A few things I took from this (in the eyes of newbie):
    1. Naked bikes are awesome in terms of damage control. Exhaust shield was heavily scratched but that's an easy fix
    2. Having mates to cruise with are indispensible when it comes to support
    3. The CB125e was probably out of it's element, especially with those skinny ass tyres
    4. Damp roads are treacherous
    5. This is a low speed fall. Now think about high speed version...a grim reminder of our fragility

    I was actually in quite a bit of pain right after. Physical shock if you will. It wasn't unbearable but my whole body was so tense. Mentally I was okay but I needed help to get up. The right rotator cuff I presume hurt whenever I moved the arm around, especially when stretching upwards. It's getting better everyday tho, basically 88% healed now. We left after I regained my composure but I've lost so much confidence taking turns ever since, especially in the wet. I honestly felt like I wasn't even going more than 30km/h when it happened, lean angle was sensible and I was being smooth too!

    I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't heavily influenced by Chuck Hawk's article on good first motorcycles starting with the 125cc. I guess I tend to follow those who sound like they really know what their saying and I still believe the article was solid. However one thing he didn't mention which I also failed to take into account - off the line acceleration after lane splitting. Tyre width, well it seems I overestimated them. Or perhaps I need more seat time and it's too early to complain.
    Anyways thats the end of part 1. Wow I did not expect to babble on like this, hope you enjoyed it as much as I wrote it :)

    Part 2
    Scratched a side mirror this morning as I was getting too greedy combined with inexperience whilst discovering the wonders of lane splitting. The driver was cool about it but that's still coming out of my wallet. Not thru insurance tho thank god...

    I've got some photos to share but not sure how to upload...
  2. Yep. Ya get that sometimes.

    Welcome to Nutrider!
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  3. #3 GoldNine, Jul 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  4. welcome aboard & as they say it can only get better :]
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  5. Leaving aside obvious pot-shots at your riding ability, can I ask you, how old are the tyres on your bike and when did you last check the pressures? These things make a difference, and with two (in your case VERY ) tiny contact patches between you and damp road, you need to make sure they are at optimum standard.
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  6. G'day @hornet@hornet , just to clarify , wasn't having a dig at the OP , standard advice for new rider's in the Melbourne vicinity as is the equivalent Homebush sessions in Sydney. Sorry if it came across that way.
  7. Didn't come across that way to me, sounded like good advice. Hornet's point is a salient one too. Either tyres or too hard on the throttle probably. Only the OP can really analyse the cause. ie: signs of foam on the corner etc, tyres poorly inflated or worn, grabbing the throttle instead of rolling it on.
  8. GN I was NOT having a shot at you, what I was trying to say was that I could have had a pot-shot but chose to say something constructive :)
  9. No that's ok Paul , your comment just got me thinking that it COULD be taken that way . I just wanted to clarify for the OP's sake .
  10. On a lighter note, now that you've had your off you can trade it in on a 400 and power slide out of the corner :D
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  11. I'm guessing he was doing it sub-consciously beforehand.

    Even after all these years I never consciously think of counter-steering. I just ride.

    But I am a shit rider.
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  12. I only thought about counter steering after I did my learners, up until then I thought I was just riding.

    I wouldn't say I'm a shit rider, I'd say I'm average.
  13. Those tyres on the Cb125E are sketchy and very cheap hard tyres. I always felt very sketchy in the wet riding on my old 125E going around corners i just didn't trust the rubber.
  14. Current training courses seem to link significantand deliberate steering with the term counter steering.

    There's no other way to steer a bike, but many novice riders don't appreciate this.

    Hey Treee, it's good you and the bike weren't more damaged/scratched up. Good on ya for the post. A hairpin is typically a place for oil to accrete because of slowed vehicle traffic - or quite possibly some diesel, which with wet conditions means very low traction. Worth taking a look.
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  15. Thanks for all the replies and warm welcome fellas!! I didn't get offended at all for any of the responses, if anything maybe danny's reply summarising my post haha, sounds to me like he's sick and tired of hearing the same story over and over again, can't blame ya mate. Or maybe I sounded pretentious?

    Gold - my mate did mention there were some free riding tips in Melb CBD on the weekends so thanks for pointing that out. I'll def be showing up regularly once I free up some time.

    Hornet - I pumped the tyres a few days prior to Sunday to the specified specs - 29psi front and rear. At the minimum it was 28 cold that morning I'd guesstimate

    mcsenna - Already looking forward to my next bike lol, I am/have been deciding to commute by motorbike now especially since I'll be selling the car. shortlisted for now is the cb500x or sv650. I'd love to own a Yamaha MT-09 once I become proficient. Dat 3 cylinder note...

    onoff - Yeh I'm starting to think this may not have been the best choice for those who like to have a bit of fun. It seems I may have overestimated it's performance. or maybe I suck...have you guys seen that video of some guy taking his cb125e to Macquarie Pass? He seemed to be leaning the bike quite I bit! Partially the reason the cb125e was a solid candidate because it's "all about the rider" right?... Then again it was in the dry...

    justus - If countersteering is the ONLY way to steer a bike, I suppose I have been doing that, but I've never "flicked" it into a corner. Before this my turns were very slow and wide, I just used my body to lean and turned the handle bars at like you would that very slow speeds - left handle bar away and right handle bar towards body for a right turn. This doesn't sound like countersteering to me tho. Deliberate steering as robsalvv labelled is probably what I did.

    robsalvv - Thanks mate, I did spend more time and words than initially planned but that is the nature of the Treee hehe. Hoping maybe someone could take something out of it tho probably a bit much for a welcome post...I'll def be more cautious next time
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  16. Arh and it makes sense now go right push right; go left push left it is not the same as steering a car.
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  17. Maybe get a bit more experience before you go filtering and scratching people's cars?

    Even though I ride, if another rider scratches my car while filtering, i'm gonna be pretty damn pissed.

    Know your skills and what you can and can't do.
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  18. yeah and stay off the spurs until summer, in the mean time come on the sunday Lerner rides im out this week but usually go most sundays , oh bring your sister if you have one
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  19. yeh I felt like a bloody fool for causing that to happen, I also would be disappointed if that happened to me. Well hopefully this is the first and last time.

    Greg I thought it was held on Saturday? Oh and my sister passed away recently last year...

    Just kidding
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  20. Nah mate. I'm just a cheeky bastard! Stick around and you'll find out what I mean... :p

    More like reversing a trailer. (y)