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Learn to Ride a Motorcycle – Step 3: Training
Under the “tool kit” in the little plastic tray that it goes in under the seat.
I haven’t had any rear-wheel rising, so I guess I’m doing something right.
I do like the whistle idea. It’s just too weird to have a set of cones mark where you’re supposed to brake. The only time you ever will deal with that on the road is a marked line at an intersection, and there (hopefully) won’t be a need for an emergency stop there.
Sorry, had to reply to my own post.
Much easier to understand than the MSF diagrams.
I like how they show the parking spaces in their diagrams. Very useful!
OK, practiced cone weaves today and emergency braking.
Low speed maneuvering was a mess with me so far. I honestly wonder if I was on the range for two days or not in MSF class, or if it was all a dream.
Emergency braking — 20 feet or a few feet less at 15-20 MPH. I’m not sure if that’s a good number or not. I’m trying not to let myself brake before the cones, because I know that’s a deduction in MSF.
There isn’t much room under the seat of the Baby Ninja, but I got the set of 8 disc cones to fit in a nook near the brake light.
I have my skills test to get my endorsement scheduled for the 25th, and by damn I’m not getting up early when I work third-shift to fail.
Oh, man. Please tell me that’s not going on your helmet?
Though, I’ve actually thought of getting one of those. No, not to make some fashion statement. But because those ‘faux-hawks’ are so ridiculous, it might just be enough to get people to notice me on my bike. Still… I do still have my dignity…
PS: Pick up a HALO reflective band for your helmet, while you’re looking at helmet accessories. The viability is priceless! It’s $15 that you will NOT regret.
You guys probably already know where I stand.
For me, it was budget, mostly.
I love my EX250F. It’s sporty enough for me (and apparently middle-aged men in sports cars who seem to think I want to race) but within the budget. I’d rather have it than any standard bike or cruiser, regardless of cost. Chrome ain’t my thing, and neither are Lazy-Boy’s on two wheels. Not ruinin’ anyones buzz, but that’s just not my thing.
Although I love the looks of any 600cc sportsbike or even the 08+ Ninja 250, riding was more important than looks. No need to go outside my means just to ride.
Thanks for the replies guys.
Am I going to lose sleep over the, what, quarter extra I spent on 92 octane? Probably not. If I truly pi$$ed it away, then I guess that’s one less gumball I can buy from the gumball machine.
I never said that I was using body wind drag for braking. What I was saying is… when approaching a potential ‘trouble’ spot, like an intersection above 55, going standard has two benefits. One, all my training has been in standard position, so I’m ready to react better. Two, it does cut down the speed a little from the get-go without doing anything other than sitting upright. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten what that little lever above the throttle is for.
I’m going to stop by the library today and give the books I read before I took MSF and started riding make more sense now/
I’m glad someone sanity-checked me on that.
I figured out within the first week and with each passing day, that if it’s under about 5K, then it’s just gonna be a slug. Do heads turn when revving it higher? Yes. Is it noisier? Yes. Are either a bad thing? No. I’m not going to turn this into the ‘loud pipes’ debate, but maybe the loud pipe guys might be onto something.
It’s still tricking me. I hear the engine getting noisy, so I upshift. Then it’s quiet, but has &#[email protected] for power. It’s just hard to get used to hearing it rev so high.
Here’s my story.
I originally was wanting a Blue Yamaha R6. Then I read this site and books, and found out that it wasn’t a probably good idea to start on a 600cc sportbike like that, especially since I didn’t know how to ride at all. And I would have had to take out a loan for it. Seemed silly to take out a loan for something until I was sure I actually like riding at all.
Then I lusted for the Green Ninja 250 08. Especially when I saw the price tag of it new, compared to the R6. But everyone on Craigslist wanted way too much for them IMHO, thinking that I would help them with getting cash so they could get a 600. I had under 2K to work with.
So, I spent months and months hunting on Craigslist.
My favorite was the kid in Cincinnati who had a black Ninja 650 who kept lowering his price by $200 a day in the end of winter on Craigslist. I think at one point, it was down to $2600. I wanted to jump on it, but a) I hadn’t taken BRC yet, and had no clue how to ride, and b) it was still outside my budget, even though I could have just as easily traded it in the spring for a nice 250 and some cash.
Most of the bikes in my budget limits were some serious learner bikes that had the dents in the gas tank mysteriously about the limit of the handlebars and Monster Energy graphics on the fairings (to cover up the drop damage.) Yes, I wouldn’t have minded starting on one of those, but people still wanted way too much for them. Then there was the Ninja 500 that a guy was selling that in an earlier life was swapped around in some girls sportsbike club in Cincinnati and needed work. No way.
The search continued.
Until I found my EX250F. It was a guy a few miles out of town. It was nice. Blue, not green, but blue works too. I remember looking at it. It was damn near perfect. It was too nice, I kept thinking to myself. The only thing that stuck out was that the previous owner didn’t ‘dig’ the Nike swoosh stock graphics, and pulled it off clean. But there was still the tip of it on the gas tank, under the clearcoat. It was garaged. The wife’s bike. She hardly ever rode it, he did most of the miles on it just to give it a workout once in a while. His kids were too young for a streetbike.
He had an awesome supersport in the garage, and seemed to know a lot about bikes. Answered my questions about how it was stored for the winter before I even asked. Seemed to know what he was talking about. And he even came down to my price range for his lowest offer. Even trailered it to my place, so I wouldn’t have to ride down the 55 MPH highway to get it back in town (and at that point, I don’t know if I honestly had the skills to have pulled it off.) By the end of the week, it was sitting outside my place, and the keys were in my hand. And his kids were excited about the dirtbikes they were going to be getting.
I remember taking it for that first clandestine license plate-less ride around the apartment complex. Hearing myself breathing so heavily in the helmet. It rode like a dream. The shifter was very smooth. The controls were smooth. The bike was really easy to control. All the hours I spent reading reviews were right — it didn’t punish you for making mistakes, but it let you know that it disapproved.
I remember telling my buddy that I honestly couldn’t believe I got such a nice bike in my budget. I felt a little guilty. A little overwhelmed. The thought of my first bike being “oh, well, if I drop it, who cares? It’s a POS anyway” was completely gone my my mind.
So, my EX250F might not be the hottest looking bike on the road, but it’s mine. And I love every minute of riding it. I promised to treat it right and it returns the favor. And that’s the way it’s going to stay as hard as I can try.
When I took BRC, the difference between the Honda CB125T and the Honda Nighthawk 250s was very noticeable.
I liked the CB125T more than the Nighthawk 250 personally. The Nighthawks seemed heavier and were beasts to handle.
Or maybe it’s because the CB125T looked more like an Ninja 250 “F” than the Nighthawk.
At any rate, even the 125s were overkill for going around in circles in a parking lot at 20 MPH max.
Keep in mind, there are people who commute to work daily on 125s, so don’t knock ’em too bad.
But I absolutely have to say, do not just buy a bike without taking BRC first. Yes, the low-speed maneuvering stuff is annoying, and I have yet to do a U-turn in a box in real life. BUT it’s better to get surprised by how much braking power a bike has at 15 MPH on a training bike and drop it than at a higher speed on your bike with a car behind you. The end results are probably not going to be the same.
On the 250… 7000 RPM @ 60 MPH in 6th. LOL
It depends, like a lot of things.
1) The newer 650s are FI. That means you don’t get to play the choke game, like I do on the 250. It’s nice to understand how it’s done should you go to a carb bike sometime in the future.
2) The 650 has a more linear throttle response, due to how it does FI. The 250 is more like other sports bikes, in that when you get to the high end of the power band, you go from fast to really fast. Not so much on a 250 as a 600 or 1L though, from what I’ve heard. That could be a downside if you trade your 650 for a R6 or Gixxer and get spooked one day not realizing that when your hand slips on a bump, you’re going to need to hang on.
3) The 650 isn’t much heavier than the 250, and the seat height isn’t much higher. It does have bigger wheels than the 07- 250s, so it might not turn as tight.
4) I’d steer clear of the 08+ 250s. Why? They have less power than the 07- 250s. Looks aren’t everything. Also, people selling them used paid $500 or $1000 more than 07- and expect to make it up from you.
5) Yes, the 250 seems a little underpowered for anything above about 50 MPH. It could just be that I need to figure out the shift-points better, so take what I say with a grain of salt. On the other hand, it could save you a ticket. Around town, I’ve found the 250 able to accelerate and handle much better than my car, hands down.
PS, am I the only one who doesn’t use a dark windscreen on their helmet? I still say the two-way eye contact with cagers is VITAL.
I’ve been looking at LED lights for a while now, and I’ve just about given up.
A lot of LED lights only have the LEDs facing the rear. OK, except there’s a nice reflector in the assembly that will reflect the light more evenly across the lens.
Add in the lack of specs on the mcd figures for the LEDs of some bulbs, and it just seems like too much voodoo.
The reviews I can find are unscientific. Pictures of the LEDs being brighter over incandescent lights don’t do it for me. Get a light meter and measure it from different angles and distances.