Let’s Get Tipsy…
January 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm #4322
‘Ello BMM, I’m back!
It’s been a minute since I’ve visited the BBM forum. I wanted to come by and share some experiences with any new riders out there. I got my bike in August of 2009. I crashed her that very month and broke my right ankle in two places. I believe that was about the last time I was on here. Well, most of you familiar faces (erm, call signs) will be glad to know I didn’t give up on riding. In fact, I’ve ridden at least 5 days a week since that accident. I like to think I have some experience under my boot now, so I’d like to share some noob sport bike tips that I wasn’t made aware of before I started riding. Let’s get into it:
- Wear footwear with good soles that grip. If your foot slips out at a stop, guess what…
- No matter how mature you think you are, the bike will bring out the hoodlum in you. Prepare for this. Tame it at the track.
- If you will ever ride west after 4pm, get a tinted visor.
- Clean your chain every 500 miles, and learn to do it properly.
- After getting new tires, ride very easy for 50 miles at least.
- Ride at your own pace, don’t let anybody push you or pressure you, including yourself.
- Leather gloves will only last you about a year if you wear them daily.
- Nobody NEEDS more than a 600cc I4 engine. I’m still running my 650 V-Twin and it’s power is more than adequate.
- Riding with a pillion changes all your dynamics. Brake early.
- Right-hand 90 degree turns from a main (45mph+) street onto a residential (25mph) street are still the most challenging maneuvers for me. Don’t get in the bicycle lane to let cars pass as you make your turn. Keep some speed, start outside, apex inside, finish outside. Don’t watch the car behind you more than the road in front of you.
- Get a helmet with a visor. Rocks WILL hit it.
- The key to comfortable turns is the lean.
- On a sport bike, squeeze your legs on the tank to relieve pressure from your arms. Otherwise you will wear out in 30 minutes.
- Put your registration in your tool kit.
- Gas stations and parking garages provide little traction.
- Parking on a grade? Back up into it. Leaving will be MUCH easier if you are facing uphill.
- Need to turn around in a tight spot? Lighter bikes can actually pivot and spin around on their kickstand. Practice and try it at your own risk, though.
- If you’re parking somewhere where you might get towed, don’t lock the steering. The tow guy will jack up your locking mechanism if you end up getting towed.
- Start your bike before gearing up. This will let your bike warm up. Also, I have gotten all my gear on just to find out my battery was dead…3 times. Not fun.
- You’re gonna need at least one rear stand (I prefer Pit Bull).
- If you’re switching from conventional to synthetic, make sure you transition with part-synthetic for 3k miles in between the two.
- Your headlights will be almost useless at night (varies). If you’re expecting night, bring your clear visor.
- If possible, just avoid the rain. Your gear and your bike like it less than you do.
- Your speedometer is a big fat liar. Figure out how much it is off by having a friend drive next to you at ___mph, and then keep that in mind during your rides.
- Listening to music can be fun, but you have lost an entire sense. Don’t freak out when that emergency vehicle comes whizzing by you at mach 3 since you couldn’t hear it coming.
- Sport bike mirrors are a legal requirement, but they are useless. Do a quick shoulder check.
- Don’t get a receipt at the gas station.
- Cops consider a full stop one where you put your foot down. I have seen them ticket someone who’s bike stopped, but they didn’t put their foot down. Lame.
- Never, for any reason, put tire shine on your tires. Not even on the sidewalls.
I’ll probably be posting more on here as they come to me. Stay safe and keep your rubber down.January 19, 2011 at 4:07 am #29090madjak30Participant
You’ve had a busy year learning all that stuff…hope you didn’t loose it too often in the “learning curve”…
Oh yeah, welcome back…
Later.January 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm #29108ranetteParticipant
“Don’t get a receipt at the gas station”…? OK, I’ll bite. Why not?
One very minor thing that I disagree with, at least in my personal situation is keeping the registration in the tool kit. My tool kit is under the seat and my seat is a PITA to take off. Last thing I would want is to be struggling with the seat, giving impressions of incompetence, with a police officer over my shoulder. I keep the registration with my license, in my wallet.January 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm #29111eonParticipant
“If you will ever ride west after 4pm, get a tinted visor”
Or wear sunglasses. Depending on how long you are riding you may end up riding in the dark. Easier to carry sunglasses than two visors IMO.
“The key to comfortable turns is the lean”
The key to turning is to lean. I found the comfortable part only when I slowed down enough before the corner so I could be on the throttle the entire way through it. Getting good at corning is whole book unto itself!
“If possible, just avoid the rain. Your gear and your bike like it less than you do”
Not possible here in Seattle and probably not possible for everyone 100% of the time. For me it’s just another part of riding and I don’t think people should go out of their way to avoid it. Sooner or later you are likely going to do it so I don’t think it should be built up in your mind as a big deal. And it’s really not an issue for most bikes, even my Italian scooter with questionable build quality.
And I’m with Ranette on keeping the registration in your wallet. If the bike was to be stolen I would prefer to still have the registration papers.
But other than that, good list! And welcome back.January 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm #29113
Ya, like any advice, not all this is going to apply to everyone, everywhere. Your mileage may vary.
Ranette, I recommend not getting a receipt at the gas station because I ride in full gear all year long, and I assume most safe riders do. When I’m in full gear, taking a receipt out of the machine and finding a place to unzip/velcro/stuff it (with my gloves on) is a pain. Especially when it’s 110 F outside or more, seconds of immobility are worth a lot to me. My tool kit is under the pillion, so it’s a snap to access. Everyone is entitled to use their own system, that’s just what works for me.
Eon, good to see you are still around the forum. Good point on the sunglasses. I suppose I didn’t consider that because I wear prescription glasses already, so I’ve never had that option. As for the rain, my bike (electronics) and my gear (leather) HATES water. Nobody wears rain gear in AZ!January 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm #29114Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
I wear prescription glasses, and I add clip-on sunglasses when I ride on sunny days, either the ones that came with my glasses, or the several extra clip-on sunglasses that I bought at Walmart for about $8 each, so I have a pair for each vehicle and a pair at work and at home. I had to bend the earpieces for my new glasses so they would slide into my helmet easier- take glasses off, then put on helmet, then put glasses back on.
Several people recommend the new Bell brand full-face helmets that come with a visor that automatically darkens and lightens. There are also a few helmets with a sun visor that slides up and down inside the clear visor.
I move my chin down during heavy glare, so the top of my helmet blocks more light, and I adjust my helmet lower than normal at the bottom front, even with sunglasses when the glare is bad, going east in the morning or going west at dusk.
Welcome back!January 21, 2011 at 1:42 am #29116eonParticipant
I recommend contact lenses! I only wear my glasses around the house and put my contacts in if driving or riding. It’s just another layer to reflect glare in front of you, not to mention it gives you severe tunnel vision. No more flicking your eyes to see whats to the side of you.
On my first helmet I purchased a dark tinted cellophane strip that attached to the top of my visor that worked pretty well. When riding into direct sunlight I just had to tilt my head so I was looking through the tinted section. Unfortunately it wouldn’t stick to my Arai visor due to the vents in the visor. I like the sound of the internal sun shades that raise and lower but they are only available on a few helmets. Not worth buying a new helmet over but if you are in the market it would be worth looking at I think.
Yeah, I guess it doesn’t rain much in AZ and when it does the roads are probably really greasy. I can see just avoiding it would be an option there. I’ve read on forums some folks who ride into work in the sunshine then freak out when they have to ride home in the rain. That I think is silly and potentially dangerous.January 21, 2011 at 2:11 am #29118TrialsRiderParticipant
…I love riding in the rain,
besides, consider this; it’s -10 C here right now and there is a sick amount of road salt on all the roadsJanuary 21, 2011 at 6:29 am #29122madjak30Participant
I have only got caught out in the rain a couple of times, but if you are dressed for it (I wasn’t…thought I was going to beat the rain) it can be quite pleasant…even if you aren’t, once you are soaked it just doesn’t matter anymore…it’s when the rain turns to hail that you need to seek shelter and wait it out…or feel like you are getting shot with a pellet gun, correction fully automatic pellet gun…
I still feel a little nervous about cornering in the rain, but that is an experience thing that will come in time…I need to trust in the grip of my tires, but for now I just take the corners a little slower…
As for the weather, we are having a chinook right now…it is +2 @ 11:30pm…our normal temp is -15C…I’m sure the roads will be sheer ice tomorrow, I’ll have to give myself extra time to get to the office in the morning…
Later.January 22, 2011 at 10:40 am #29131eternal05Participant
Welcome back, and sorry to hear about the ankle.February 2, 2011 at 4:43 am #29201
Yeaahhhhh buddy! Waddup eternal?
Watch the weather guys, crazy stuff happening all over. Even here in the wild west, there is wind sheer like you wouldn’t believe.
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