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What I learned after an off

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Samhain, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Well, some of you would have read that I took a spill soon after getting my learners, and unfortunately wrote off my bike and busted a couple of vertebrae.... 5 weeks later, I have a replacement bike and took her for a spin last night - after 5 weeks of laying about resting my back, reading every post on every forum under the sun and watching alot of YouTube vids of crashes, I got back on my RVF400 last night (not the best weather but was dry) and had a ball... here's what I learned:

    1 - Buyer beware!

    My old bike (same make and model) didn;t handle anywhere near as well as my new bike - it was fast and ran well, but didn;t realy behave like a learner's bike should!

    My new bike is 100% stock standard. Standard suspension setup, Standard carbies, standrd brake lines, standard pegs and peddles etc etc... my old bike wasn't (not sure about carbies and itnernals, but I have some strong suspicions now!)

    I now have an enormous range of control at low low speeds and acceleration is more consistant throughout the range - making the bike feel more predicatable and stbale at all times :)

    My old bike was twitchy and faster... I don't miss the speed as I am enjoying the predictability

    2 - Target fixation breaks backs!

    When I came into a corner last night and was drifting out at about 60kph, I instantly got a pang of anxiety and fixated momentarily on the gutter (exactly what caused my off 5 weeks ago) though this time, I instantly and instincively forced my mind off the ugtter, turned the head, looked back through the corner, pushed on the right bar and around I weant.... this happened a few times and again today - at lunch time today I was even able to confidently twist a bit of throttle on correction of the line :) - feeling re-assuringly comfortable.

    3 - The front brake is not always your friend!

    Sooo many vids I watched involved dudes going over the top qafter grabbing a hand full of brake... this was also a contributor in my accident (although I did recover in that instance). Renewed focus on correct application of the front and back brake together is so so important when washing off speed to come into a corner.

    Once in the corner, don't touch the front brake - look, lean, push and have faith :)

    4 - Warmth at upto 100km/h in last night's cold cold weather...

    My dainese :Leather retro look jacket with thermal liner is warm enough with nothing but a T shirt underneath.... about 90% of the time... a thin jumper or thermals underneath would almost certainyl do the job.

    I was thinking maybe a microfibre long sleave T-shirt... anyone got any suggestions at all?

    5 - Same applies to the HellRacer gloves... need something thin underneath so my thumbs don't freaze.

    I have read about silk inserts? Anyone know about those?

    6 - My Arai Vector fogs up something terrible in cold weather and crusing down Cantebruty road through light fog with the visor up is not nice on the face.

    - bought a FogCity insert today (was supposed to the be the clear one, though it turns out to be the itned one, in a pack labeled clear! grrr

    Will let anyone interested know how it goes.

    7 - Practice makes perfect!

    I was going to go do corners and what not in a car park - though on this bike, and the way it handles, combined with my "study" while I couldn't ride, I don't think this is necessary any more (vs practice carefully on the road) and now understand why people responded the way they did to that thread!

    8 - My clutch hand is sore! hehehe

    9 - In summary

    Understanding and respecting a bike is much easier when it is predictable :)

    Recognising your own capabilities is a lot easier when the bike is consistant and predicatbale

    don't fixate, look, lean, keep your hand off the brake and push down on the bar! :)

    Having a great time - also, was it someone here who saw me stopped on the side of Boundary Rd Kensington yesterday, while I was flicking over to reserve? - The fact the fella stopped and made sure I was good to go (from accross the road) was a very cool experience - As he knew what I was doing and dbl checked I was good to go, I assume he was a rider.... was a nice change from cagers beeping their horn at me at the lights FOR NO REASON AT ALL.... I assume trying to unsettle me for some stupid moronic reason (happened twice).
  2. Good read, glad your back on a bike, enjoy it!
  3. Thanks, good to be back! :)