Forum Replies Created
How to U-turn on a Motorcycle
especially at 7,000 RPM
And I find single-cylinder bikes very easy to control. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Yes, a KTM Duke is a bad beginner bike, but a DRZ400 is a completely different animal. The KTM 690 Supermoto has much more power than the DRZ400.
Not sure of the specs, but they are radically different bikes. If you like the DRZ400 get one. It’s a great bike, and a good choice for beginners, at least those with the inseam necessary to ride one.
I wonder if the server could smell the cigar smoke on my clothes?
Naaah. After browsing their web site for a (very) few seconds I can see they’d never allow me in their club.
a digital camera, and about 32 years riding experience. Give me time to get caught up with editing my astronomy club’s newsletter, taking photos at music festivals and riding my bike, and I’ll submit some reviews. I have a few pieces of gear to review. Some good. Some bad. Some middling.
Ben, Would you be interested in some how-to articles? If so, I’d be happy to submit a few over the winter.
*25 years as a journalist and technical writer
Who’d a thunk it?October 21, 2008 at 6:35 pm in reply to: favourite bikes (OMG someone lock away my credit cards !!!!) #14151
is the one I am currently riding. Usually my Suzuki SV1000N, but my best friend’s BMW K750S is a great bike too. We swap often. (Bikes, you perverts. Get your minds out of the gutter.)
I’ve enjoyed all the bikes I’ve owned, but I particularly miss my 1975 Honda CB400F. Great little bike.
When braking, practice squeezing the front brake lever gently to settle the suspension, then apply progressively harder brake. Start slowly and build as your skill progresses.
When downshifting do not blip the throttle; keep it open about 1/8 turn so the engine does not return to idle, and release the clutch slowly and smoothly after downshifting.
Smoothness is essential in all you do on a motorcycle.
and practice downshifting. Go down one gear at a time, matching revs as you go, and practice until you can do so without upsetting the bike. The only clues you should have are the engine speed rising and the bike slowing slightly. Think smoooooth.
While you are there, practice right turns. Take it easy and work on your technique. Again, practice being smooth. Slowly increase your speed until you can keep a good speed in the turns and feel confident doing so.
Oh yeah, and sign up for professional instruction.
Buy a Honda XR100 and practice in the dirt for a year before thinking of getting on the street. You don’t want to hear this, but you are much too young to ride a Ninja 250 on the street. Your brain is not fully developed and you have no appreciation of the dangers you will face.
Good thing you can’t buy a bike without your parents approval.
The standard around here is to recommend a 250cc bike for beginners, and I find little reason to argue with that. You’ll learn a lot more, and more quickly, on a smaller bike than you will on a larger bike. Plus, wringing the heck out of a small bike is more fun than putting around on a big bike.
That said, the GS500E is a good starter bike. Not too much power. Cheap to insure. Simple to maintain. Light enough to handle easily at low speeds. Given the scarcity of new Ninja 250s I think a used GS500E would make a good beginner motorcycle. You’ll have to try one on and see how it fits.
I still miss my 1975 Honda CB400F. I spent many happy miles on that bike and learned a lot riding it.
When I posted.
I think Elwood summed it up quite nicely:
“Your bike is a relationship . . . . you in the end have to try each and figure out what YOU think on this one. The two of you need to flow together with true comfort and ease . . . and to me that extends beyond mechanics. (-: Kind of like a woman, the right one is obvious when you find her. ((-: The ride feels natural to YOU. At least that’s how I feel when I ride now, I feel connected to my bike . . . I have eyes only for her right now. LoL”
Great post. And I have to admit my SV1000N feels constrained on my commute. That’s why I plan to do some track days as often as I can afford.
“Why any cruiser?” you ask. Simple.
Sit on the floor on your butt, with your hands out at about the level of the handlebars on a cruiser. Hold on to a table or chair lightly, as you would grip the handlebars on a motorcycle. Have a friend push your shoulder firmly. See how unstable you are?
Now sit on your knees, resting your hands lightly on the same table or chair. Have the friend apply the same pressure to a shoulder. See how much more stable you are?
That is the reason racers don’t race cruisers. You have much more control on a sport bike or a standard. Cruisers also force you into a seating position that transfers every bump straight through your tailbone to your spine. Standards are more comfortable than cruisers or sport bikes while still allowing you to control the bike in emergencies, and giving you reserves of cornering clearance necessary for accident avoidance and changing your line when you get into a turn too hot of see a hazard in your line while cornering.
I ride a standard.
It all depends upon the track and the organizer. Every track day I’ve attended (hundreds) there have been family and friends hanging out. I don’t remember people just showing up out of curiosity, but I suppose it happens. I’d suggest calling Reg’s school and clearing it with them first. You won’t be able to see much at the Streets of Willows, though, as there is no way to get around without crossing the track, and no organizer is going to let a stranger wander around there unescorted. You may be able to hang out in the pits and see how much fun everyone is having, at which point you’ll regret not joining them.
Go ahead and sign up for next spring. You’ll be ready by then. As I mentioned above, Reg’s school is geared toward beginning riders, and Reg and his crew are excellent coaches. Reg emphasizes smoothness and safety, not seeing how fast you can go. Sign up for two consecutive days if you can afford it. You’ll be surprised how much more fun you’ll have the second day. Even if you only sign up for a single day you will be a better rider after attending the school, and you’ll have a lot of good techniques to practice.
As you may be able to tell, I’m a huge advocate of track days for improving your skills. Track days are also the most fun you’ll ever have on your motorcycle. Prepare to get addicted.
I’ve attended many track days as a photographer and as a participant. None beat CLASS for beginning riders. Reg runs the Streets of Willow springs, which is a fun track, especially when it is not crowded, and Reg does not allow overcrowding at his schools.October 1, 2008 at 1:17 am in reply to: Me, 10 years ago, introducing myself…respond as you would =P #13080
I quit carrying photography gear on my bike a long time ago, and I was camping at a festival 275 miles from my home, so I took my Volvo V50. I used to carry two Canon bodies with motor drives, five lenses, a flash, and film on my Suzuki GS650E. I strapped my camera bag to the back of the seat, and could even carry a monopod and tripod with me.
If you want to discuss this further send me an e-mail: darron at fotobits dot com.
I may not be able to get back to you until next week. I have an astronomy club newsletter to finish this week before my wife and our best friends head off to Albuquerque for the Balloon Festival.