The Motorcycle Thread


#1

Any riders here in GD?

I’m about to take riding classes in the first week of May, so I can get my license updated. Planning on buying a 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Sport in like a month. I’m mad hype–it’s gonna be my first bike!

Anyone got general tips for newbie bike riders? Recommendations for stylish and durable gear? Recommendations for customizing my paint job (skins) and/or decals? General maintenance?

If I end up really liking this, I might find a stunt bike group and learn stunt bike riding. Shit’s gonna be ill!

Share your biking experiences, peeps. And post pics if you have 'em!


SRK Threads Ordered by Subject
SRK Threads Ordered by Subject
#2

Don’t try and be a motogp racer when your drunk. I crashed and bashed my chin open. Lucky i was right in front of the hospital so i just walked in and got stitched up.

I’ve never taken any lessons or anything, i just learned how to ride when i bought my bike. I got a used NSR 150. I’ve drove my friends CBR 250 and VFR 400 a couple times, but i’m pretty comfortable with 150 right now. The power behind the 400 is pretty scary.


#3

I couldn’t find the other motorcycle thread so I’ll bump this one. I recently took the msf course over the weekend. Like I mentioned in the GD thread, the first day of the course in the afternoon, I low sided going 12-15mph. It’s funny that such a small bike that I used, 250cc engine, had enough power to speed the back wheel underneath me. It was a number of factors that was in the class in the morning that was the reason why I wiped out. Fatigue from drinking a red bull in the morning to have the energy crash by lunch, the wet surface from a morning rain, target fixation from a slow student a head of me, and most important factor was rider error that had a couple other factors with in that. Almost called it quits on the course but I manned through and by the second and final day, I got confident on my riding, and passed the test.

Today I had a buddy pick me up to drive me to the motorcycle shop to pick up my new ninja 250r. Had trouble leaving the parking lot due to the engine not being warmed up enough(weather was chilly and the salesman forgot to tell me to wait a little longer). But after having a mechanic double check everything, all I had to do was wait 5 minutes and it was ready to ride. I learned today that going 55-60 feels a lot different than a car even though I’ve gotten close to that on my snowboard when I lived in the rocky mountains. With that, I had to tuck my head in as it was windy and that helped a bit. Also at stops, I sometimes didn’t down shift all the way to first and was in second so I got to work on that a little bit more. Signalling is also something I need to work on as I seem to be using the clutch when I’m going to signal to make a turn, so I think I need to signal before I use the clutch. I only got to ride for a little bit but it was very enjoyable, more exciting than in a car.

So far so good, I’m happy that I am taking smaller steps and starting off on a 250r instead of a 600cc super sport. I’m going to get the most out of this little bike, master the fundamentals and maybe even start doing track days with it later on so I can learn the art of knee dragging which is what I’m all about with riding bikes.
As for gear, I got an AGV helmet with the clear and tinted black visors, and Alpine stars perforated GP jacket, and carbon street gloves. The boots I used for the msf course sucks compared to my skate shoes which I used today, so it will have to do until I get to a level of track riding, then I’ll step it up to race boots and either race pants or a race suit. This summer is going to be fun!


#4

Lol…“riders”

Sent from my Nexus S 4G


#5

A month later and some miles in, I got into some situations on the highway that made me want to up trade the 250r sooner than I thought. It’s one thing that if you are commuting in town that any 250cc or even smaller will be amazing. The bike is light and nimble and fuel economy was just fantastic. If I lived in a climate that was warm the entire time and was able to do everything within the town or little to no traffic, F a Prius, I’ll take a 250r with a yoshi slip-on any day of the week.

The down side was obviously on the highways/interstates. People say, and even the Kawasaki website states, that it can handle it’s own on the larger roads. What they don’t mention is that once you get up to a level of speed, which is 55-60+, the bike has a difficult time to accelerate like how it does on lower speeds. Just a couple times where I almost got clipped because the bike was struggling.

So because I’d always wanted a super sport, since when I was in the military and was fascinated on my co workers’ bikes and the culture, I had the money to take a slight loss and do this up trade. What I up traded was not the Yamaha R6, even though that was my original first choice. Great track bike, shitty road bike. Honda CBR600RR was the second, but they are on the expensive side and what you get is refined “old” technology. As a magazine puts it “you’d see the cbr600rr relaxing at a jazz bar” But what the article also said “…though you’d see the kawasaki zx6r at a rave trying to lick it’s own eyeballs” and was my end decision. It’s do able for the road, yet has the power if I want to do track days or find an empty scenic route to open her up.

Bought it new but it’s a couple years old so I got a decent deal with my trade in. I then decide to put on some extra goodies and I have to say that this bike is amazing. Rides a lot more smoother than the 250r, if it wasn’t for the seating position being aggressive, I’d say it’s easier to ride than the 250r as long as you know that if you pin the throttle you better know the outcome to that decision. I’m glad I got a little bit of some seat time on the 250r, but since I do a decent amount of riding away from towns and cities, I’m glad I have the opportunity to upgrade this quick.


#6

My baby. Been riding everyday for the past year and a half now. Sold my car and all that about 4 months in. Couldn’t be happier. I figure I can get a cage when I actually have shit in life to worry about. Right now all I gotta do is get to class and work and might as well have some fun doing so.


#7

+1 on shoei RF series helmets. I find their helmet shape to fit most comfortably and their ventilation does a great job of preventing the visor from fogging up. I would also highly recommend Scorpion helmets which are much less expensive [150 bucks new] but just as good in every aspect as the Shoei [comfort, ventilation, wind noise].

Safe riding guys =]


#8

This past weekend I put around a few hundred miles, some in and around town, and a lot on scenic routes. Very enjoyable weekend, though the first day I got saddle sore and was cramping up towards the end. Also I got hit by some paint balls with wings and my new gear is starting to look not so new. I’m now getting close to my first maintenance schedule during the break in of my new bike. Speaking of which, I vouched to do an alternative method instead of babying it the entire time. Even if I did try to do what the book says, on highway speeds, it’s impossible to keep it under 4 grand. So I’ll take it easy at first, until the engine is nice and warmed up, and then I’ll do spurts of progressive acceleration and deceleration. There’s a website that explains why you should not follow the manual because of how the piston rings won’t seat properly and how the cylinder walls wouldn’t get the optimal scoring for the oil passages so basically, if you baby a new bike, you might end up with less than favorable end output on power, torque, etc etc.

I’m also starting to get more comfortable leaning the bike more on turns. It would be nice to get a nice even wear from one sidewall of the tires to the other, aka getting rid of those chicken strips. Hopefully by the end of the season this will happen. And once the full break in is completed, I need to learn how to properly down shift by rev matching, as in blipping the throttle all while holding the front brake, clutch and shifting. It’s a hell of a lot of multitasking in a very short time to do it.


#9

It’s been a few months since I last posted and I don’t know if any one on SRK rides/still rides motorcycles but I’ll keep this thread from flat lining with an update:

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So I got almost 3 thousand miles on the Zed X. It’s been fun, but my job has been sucking the life out of me, if I was working any other job that wasn’t so high demand, I’d probably double the amount of seat time miles.


#10

Full face helmet and gloves all the time without question.

Boots and a jacket almost all of the time (for me its 90%).

Find a mentor. Through a website or whatever…some older guy that REALLY rides. (Not some jackass who just “likes” bikes a lot and polishes his chrome so he can ride in a straight line from bar to bar revving his straight pipes.)

Ride like you are invisible and nobody can see you…a lot of people will not see you.

Do not ride outside of your ability…always ride well under your limit.

Don’t keep it real, cars and randoms may hate you for no reason…be polite, don’t let assholes instigate with you.

Ride away from trouble always.

Just because you technically have the right of way doesn’t mean you really have it, if they fuck up you die.

Don’t be an asshole…stunting and racing on the street will get you hurt/killed and fucks it up for the rest of us.

Track days aren’t that expensive, look around for beginner/group day ones…most fun you will ever have on two wheels promise! Your skill will increase big time.

Do your maintenance, get a shop manual and a Haynes/Clymer for perspective.

Have fun, motorcycles are a blast but of course very dangerous…be cautious but never ride scared.

Don’t ride when you are emotional, buzzed or wasted…seriously ha.


#11

Good advice, I broke a couple rules from that list, but learned from them. You definitely need to keep your cool when sharing the road with cagers. A woman in a Mazda mini van almost took me out completely a few weeks ago, luckily my brakes are grabby and I was able to emergency stop to weave out of the way.


#12

I have my license. I just never owned my own bike. I’ve wanted one forever but just never bought it. Maybe soon since I’ll need it to possibly ride across the country.


#13

If you are wanting a bike for long distance, search for a type of bike that will be suited for that. No way in hell I’d road trip my sportbike, some people can pull it off though. As the riding season, in the US, is coming to an end, you can start finding deals on bikes in shops and private sellers alike, but from I hear, dead of the winter is the best bet for the best deals.


#14

Yeah winter time you’ll get the best deals on bikes but only in the northern half of the country. Cruiser bike is no doubt the most comfortable but for anyone who has gone over 5 hours on a bike knows that shit gets uncomfortable and therefor dangerous to do for a long time.


#15

My dude, you’re thinking about all the wrong things. You should be focusing on riding well and not parlour tricks that are not going to be beneficial to you in any way whatsoever. Reading all that made me think you are a tool rider. I am being honest here.

Why do you need to learn about rev matching? Is your clutch broken? It’s not some mythical prostar rider technique so forget about it. Focusing or talking about it before you can even ride for shit doesn’t make you come across as a bike enthusiast or prostar.
Why are you so worried about chicken strips? You’re going to have those naturally because of your regular riding, which evidently does not involve riding ass off bike. Shit, do you really lack that much confidence? That was a rhetorical question - you are lacking. Absence of chicken strips doesn’t mean you’re a good rider. That lie will come out and when it does, it won’t be good for you.
You’re also overestimating the costs of track days and severely underestimating riding skill, in general.

I am only telling you this because I have this fearful thought that you may end up someone who joins a group ride, is in way over his head, and bad shit happens. From one rider to another, I do not want that to happen to you or for your family. I felt like you needed a reminder that you should aim to become a better rider and not just look or sound like one. You might not like it but I’d rather take that than the alternative.

As for track days, I can’t speak specific to your location but if you want to experience the track, then take a 1-2 day track course which usually cost 3-400 dollars. Then if you get more serious about improving your riding skills, look to join riding communities [motorcycle forums in your area] and look for organized track days where the cost is usually lower since the group will split the track rental fee, trailers, and motel. You’ll meet a lot more helpful and knowledgeable people too.
You’re really overestimating the cost of track days. I highly doubt you’re in a position where you would be running through even a single set of tires. Race tracks are around 13 miles long and you’ll probably be able to go through 10-15 laps before you call it a day. Even then, in none of those laps will you be in a position to be wearing down tires. Honestly, your first several track days are going to be no different than riding around your city in terms of wear. Same thing with tire warmers - you won’t need to worry about getting your tires to peak condition when you won’t be anywhere near a position to push maximum grip. You don’t need ‘‘special race fuel’’, what your manual suggests will be fine. I don’t know what specific track fees you have to face but where I live, it’s just a track fee. Gear you really should already have so I won’t count that as an additional cost.

Above all else, I get the sense that you’re really stuck on the idea that track days are about going fast and racing like it’s one big operation. It isn’t. It’s more of a school. You’re going to get a reality check on what it means to ride. Every rider wants to improve their skills but fail to realize that there are too many factors preventing that on the street. When you get on the track and experience sections of a track that quickly change in elevation leading to technical corners, you’re going to shit yourself even if you’re going 10mph. And you’re going to shit yourself again when someone passes you in a corner.
Make sure you go with good attitude riders who know what it’s all about. There’s nothing worst than paying the fees, going to the track, then wondering why you can’t take your laps or are stopped every 5 mins because dumbasses keep trying to hot dog ‘‘woooooo, track day, time to go top speeeed’’ and then bin it on the first novice corner causing lap stoppages. It happens more often than you’d think in open sessions. You should trust riders you do not know as much as you trust cars on the road - you don’t.


#16

Completely took my posts out of context.


#17

He’s just trying to help.


#18

I focus on improving my skills all the time. I don’t care if doing tricks won’t benefit for my riding, has nothing to do with it other than having fun. For being honest, fuck you very much.

LOL, looks like you have no idea what you are talking about. Rev matching isn’t some “mythical prostar rider technique” it’s very beneficial mechanically and drive ability. Worried about chicken strips? I mentioned it once and it wasn’t a big deal. How did you even come up with this confuses me: “Shit, do you really lack that much confidence” The hell does that have to do with chicken strips? Track days are expensive where I live and have stricter guidelines meaning more money involved.

Well just like your honesty, you got the wrong impression. I mentioned a little on the expense of track days, and you make another fucking ridiculous assumption.


#19

Damn, BBQ.

The dude came off kinda toolish, but I’m sure he just doesn’t want you to end up in a casket and be buried by your parents. It happened to a friend of mine right around New Years… from time to time I think about him, and his death never sits well with me. I can’t imagine what his family goes through when they do the same.

I never got my bike license because the MVA fucked me over, as they do everyone else, so I used the money I was going to buy the bike with at Evo that year :rofl:


#20

Cool, I took your post out of context then. I may have come off as toolish and in hindsight it was not my place to give a shit at all about you but sometimes as a rider or knowing someone who rides, you see things and it ruffles some feathers.

I stand by my track day comments. You ‘‘mention a little’’ on the expense of track days but they turn out to be the primary reason on why you are giving up on the idea of them. I suggested ways to mitigate those costs since specific costs you mention in detail [track tires, tire warmers, race fuel, gear] are not necessities for a new rider and you did not mention what the other major costs were, if any. You only listed those and then glazed over ‘‘license fees, other fees, more fees’’ and it gave the impression that you were deterred for all the wrong reason. It’s as if you couldn’t be bothered to go and improve at a closed technical circuit. For the record, 300 bucks is a fair price for a track day.

Instead, you choose to go learn stunting. New rider, stunting, chicken strip concerns, are red flags in the riding community. Maybe you are a safe rider in the city, I don’t know and don’t want you to answer that because I doubt I will believe you. I may be concerned for nothing so I will get out of the thread.

Ride safe and do not cause trouble for yourself and others around you. Don’t end up ‘‘that guy,’’ that’s all.

SWB - sorry to hear that and I can empathize. The news itself is terrible and when you consider the factors that lead to it can make you feel even worse. As a rider you can’t prepare for everything but you and the people around you will feel a lot better knowing that you prepared for the things you have some control over, namely good riding habits and technical knowledge. One recurring thought some will have is not ‘‘why didn’t I stop them?’’ but ‘‘why wasn’t I more supportive?’’ Big difference between nagging about how dangerous it is and what if x accident occurs vs. encouraging them to get better or ride enclosed at a race track. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, the more you talk about a worst case scenario the shittier you are going to feel when it does happen - it’s like you willed it to happen. I hope that wasn’t the case with your friend and his family.

Razor - if you want to tour you may want to look into a sport touring model since they’re designed to handle various riding conditions, luggage, and to be ergonomically comfortable. BMW makes some really good ones.