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Old 06-09-2006, 11:02 PM   #1
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I was a baaaad boy

Did I wait for the tip over bars? Did I wait for my MSF training? Nooooo. I couldn't sit at my computer and just talk about motorcycling one more day. I hopped on, weaved (badly) to the end of my driveway, and took off--well, after stalling it out a couple times. First gear is a little more difficult to get into than in my car. I spent a month of studying the whole "counter-steering" thing on the internet, and still didn't totally understand it--two minutes on the bike and I got it. I decided to take a ride just down the road and turn around--you know, just to try it out. 1.5 hours and 50 miles later I was pulling back in my driveway, my wife sitting on the steps with her cell phone and home phone in hand. It...was...AWESOME.

I drove on windy back roads, I drove through a town, I even went on the highway. I cranked the throttle and got it up to 85 before getting nervous and backing off. I pulled up next to a few semis to get a feel for the blowing around. I tried some heavy braking on the back roads. I waved to the motorcyclists I came across.

I saw another Connie (the pet name for the my bike, the Concours) too but was behind them so I don't think they (2-up) saw me. A Harley guy at a gas station I stopped at (for a drink, the fuel gauge barely moved) said "nice bike"--and I think he really meant it.

I had a few problems with oversteering and understeering, nothing that can't be fixed with practice. The biggest issue I had was in the traffic circle by my house. I went around it at about 20, and had a momentary lapse as I was trying to figure out whether to counter-steer or steer. I was able to hold it up, but I must have looked like an idiot with my legs splayed out and the bike jerkin' around. The circle was more of a square for me today . Low speeds will take some getting used to. I didn't know when to put my feet down or pick them up. The new boots I got today helped a lot--before I was just touching on either side, now with the 1/2" or so of extra rubber my feet are solidly on the ground.

It really helped that I drive a stickshift car, it eliminated a lot of thought process that would be distracting.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:45 PM   #2
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Not bad for a first time out. Congrats on getting your "feet" wet.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:51 PM   #3
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Sounds like you had fun. How was the feel of it?
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Old 06-10-2006, 12:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Sounds like you had fun. How was the feel of it?
I really don't have anything to compare it to, as it's my first bike. Once I figured out how to turn I was golden, and at high speed just a tiniest touch sent it where I needed it to go. By the end I was leaning pretty far and feeling confident. The throttle is really finicky, getting started off was a little rocky a couple times.

Low speeds were kind of hairy, I spent 5 minutes at some stop signs figuring out how to get going again . Then there's that traffic circle. The bikers I watched go through it make it look easier than it was for me.

But man, being out in the open air--I don't know which was better, the back roads and the turns, or the highway and just being able to open it up. It was like taking a nice long bicycle ride, but much faster and without all the pesky pedaling. It's not a loud bike, and the fairing and windshield keep the wind noise level down while still blowing enough air on me to be cool in my gear. Put it this way--wacko that I am, I've been riding in my car for the past few weeks with the windows down and sunroof open just to get used to the noises. The car is louder than my bike, both in wind noise and engine noise.
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: I was a baaaad boy

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Originally Posted by shawmutt
I was able to hold it up, but I must have looked like an idiot with my legs splayed out and the bike jerkin' around. The circle was more of a square for me today .
LOL that was an entertaining mental picture!

Glad you enjoyed it, just please, i beg of you, don't become the type of biker that feels you have extra privleges on the road because you're a biker. More often than not those people end up beneath other vehicles in accidents that could have been avoided.

So... how much heat did you catch from your wife? Did she throw just one or both of the phones at you when you got back?
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Old 06-12-2006, 01:31 PM   #6
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In my hometown, it was standard practice for unlicensed riders to ride solo to the 'ridden test' location, unquestioned.

riding is the only way you learn and the only way you get better. just take it at a nice easy pace.

Also, your clutch will 'wear in' a little bit, and you'll feel it slip in/out like you can on your car. plus its just different to clutch with your hand than your foot.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:02 PM   #7
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haha sounds excellent.
won't be long and you'll be wearing your foot pegs down and scraping your farings from cornering to hard.
Tip1: Steel belt radials make excellent new soles for worn boots.
Tip2: Invest in a set of frame sliders. (Don't worry, everybody drops their bike at least once no matter what bike, in my case...many times)

glad it went well, good luck and godspeed.

Matt.
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