Tell me about motorbikes

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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Thu May 02, 2019 6:30 pm

I've got a thousand-and-then-some mile update for you, now that I've ridden my bike about 1200 miles. I use it every day to commute, and still for every possible use outside of that: nip to the shop for some tinned tomatoes? Go to the polling station to vote in the local election? Doctor's appointment? Buying beer? I take the bike. Somehow it has morphed from being something weird and novel into something I do now. I ride a motorbike. But it's still always exciting, still always feels like an event. Even though it's feebly-exhausted, thumbing the starter button gives me a little flare of excitement every time it fires up ("what does it sound like when it's running?", said Nervy, the shit).

And talking of N, luckily my bike hasn't been rendered snailesque and tedious by my experience of his splendid bikes. It's nowhere near as fast or accelerative, ofc, but the thrill is still there the same. And I've found a few things that I learned / discovered / Nerv showed me riding the bigger boy's bikes have filtered into how I ride my bike too:

I've been trying to lean into corners for a while, but he noticed that I was leaning in from the head down - if that makes sense? Shifting my weight to one side with my head and then my shoulders, which works but did leave me feeling a bit slow-witted in bigger corners - like when you're in a car and realise you haven't got enough steering on and need to add lock partway through a corner. So now I'm trying to start my lean from the bottom up - pushing down on the peg on the inside of the turn I want to make, and then catching the lean angle with the other foot on the outside peg. It sounds a bit loopy to try to describe, but like counter-steering it's just one of those things that makes sense in the action. And I've become much more mobile in my seat too, since I discovered that hanging an arsecheek off the side tips the bike right into a corner with next to no other effort. So combining my mobile backside with my pushy feet means that I can comfortably swoop into fast corners with real confidence, knowing that I can readily tighten up my line if I need to just by repositioning myself slightly on the bike, rather than having to wind off any throttle mid-corner - which is a horrible idea as it unsettles the bike something dreadful.

What else? I can leap on and go now, without having to think through all the things I ought to be doing. I just do them. The muscle memory is starting to become autonomous and I don't have to devote any actual concentration to making the bike go along and go where I want it to, and stop. I can instead concentrate fully on my surroundings, which is brilliant. I still do make plenty of mistakes ofc, fluffing a downshift with a big ugly parp of revs forex, or lurching awkwardly out of a junction into traffic - but less and less.

I genuinely love doing this. It is the best thing.
Last edited by Damien Thorn on Thu May 02, 2019 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Greg66 @ Thu May 02, 2019 6:40 pm

Every five or six years I get a bit of a hankering for a motorbike. Something fast looking, like a big Ducati. Which is odd, because I can't ride a motorbike.

I'm in one of those hankerings right now. And your posts aren't helping, Datho.

The prospect of ending up like bits of a dismembered rag doll scattered across the road usually pulls me back to reality. That, and a sound beating from Mrs 66 for even thinking about a motorbike.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Thu May 02, 2019 6:48 pm

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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Thu May 02, 2019 6:55 pm

Greg66 wrote:That, and a sound beating from Mrs 66 for even thinking about a motorbike.


Mrs Thorn is /was the same. Except I just booked my DAS course and told her about it afterwards. And then the same with buying my bike : I told her I was going to do some test rides and that was that. Astonishing really, as I'm not brave.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu May 02, 2019 6:57 pm

Nothing to say other than good datho, glad you continue to love it. I can't imagine not owning a bike at any point in my life, they bring such unique freedom.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Thu May 02, 2019 7:47 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote: I can't imagine not owning a bike at any point in my life, they bring such unique freedom.


They're so fun I can't actually believe they're allowed.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Greg66 @ Thu May 02, 2019 8:44 pm

S1K wrote:Original video page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU_Nt-H0bAE


Surely that only works if you Velcro your undercarriage to the saddle and superglue your hands to the bars.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat May 18, 2019 4:36 pm

Phoof! Took off my top box fittings and finally got the tail tidy on. A half-hour job I successfully completed in a scant two hours.

It would have been quicker if I hadn't fitted it twice and had to take it back off again twice because I missed grommets or spacers or wev off. Before fitting it correctly in the end and leaving it on.

Definitely worth it though, eventually.

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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat May 18, 2019 4:37 pm

Now I just need to buy a big enough rucksack to fit my beer in when I go shopping. I could get an 18-can case of beer in that top box, fyi.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Sat May 18, 2019 4:39 pm

Looks good. Also, your down pipes are looking surprisingly well kept - effort or just how they are?
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat May 18, 2019 4:54 pm

Bit of both. They've yellowed up nicely with the exhaust heat, but I periodically wipe them down with a microfibre cloth damped with WD-40. Then wipe it back off. It's a very easy/lazy way to stop them crudding up.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Sat May 18, 2019 4:58 pm

Well worth the few seconds it takes!
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Sat May 18, 2019 5:07 pm

Incidentally, I’ve just bought my daughter some kit and am slowly introducing her to pillion riding which she absolutely loves and I wondered if you’ve taken your son on it yet?
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat May 18, 2019 5:14 pm

Funnily enough it's my daughter who's more keen. She came with me when I was first looking to buy a bike, and tried on all the kit in the local Kawasaki dealer. And she came to J&S with me so she could look at junior helmets.

She's itching to have a go, but my first year's insurance doesn't cover me to take a pillion (or "panini", as my son always misremembers it).

Also, I suspect my wife would flat out murder me.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Sat May 18, 2019 5:19 pm

A good excuse not too at least while your wife gets used to the idea! Do her feet reach the pegs? I had it in my head she was younger than my daughter, whose feet juuust reach.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat May 18, 2019 5:44 pm

She's 10, but tall and stupidly long-legged.

Look:

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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Sat May 18, 2019 5:46 pm

That’s crackers, why did think she was younger than my eldest?!
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by thekungfury @ Sat May 18, 2019 7:32 pm

Snap

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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat May 18, 2019 7:50 pm

Fab!
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by minimoog @ Sun May 19, 2019 8:02 pm

Bike looks tres cool there Dath.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Fri May 24, 2019 5:36 pm

Re: daughter. I caught her pretending this week.Image
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Fri May 24, 2019 5:58 pm

Was she making the engine noises? I’d have to if I was her.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by GingerNinja @ Sun May 26, 2019 10:05 am

If you’re still after a backpack, Kriega are generally considered the best for biking......

https://kriega.com/
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sun May 26, 2019 11:34 am

Thanks GN, but they're too rich for me at this stage. I've got a cheapo Course hardshell one for now.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed May 29, 2019 7:44 am

Oops! Dropped it this morning.

Traffic lights were on green so I sped up to get through, but then they changed and like a fool I decided to stop. But braking so hard unbalanced me and as I came to a stop I tipped over and lay it down.

I actually burst out laughing, it was so ridiculous. Checked it over and there are a couple of scratches, including a short scrape on the engine casing - but you'd have to be looking for them to see them.

What a tw@t.
Last edited by Damien Thorn on Wed May 29, 2019 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Aesgarth @ Wed May 29, 2019 7:51 am

Damien Thorn wrote:Oops! Dropped it this morning.

Traffic lights were on green so I sped up to get through, but then they changed and like a fool I decided to stop. But braking so hard unbalanced me and as I came to a stop I tipped over and lay it down.

I actually burst out laughing, it was so ridiculous. Checked it over and there are a couple of scratches, including a short scrape on the engine casing - but you'd have to be looking for them to see them.

What a tw@t.

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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed May 29, 2019 7:55 am

Yup. A whole queue of traffic. The van driver behind must have thought I'd gone bananas as I struggled to pick it up and I was laughing the whole time.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Deuteronomy @ Wed May 29, 2019 8:29 am

I still heart how much you love it Damo
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Wed May 29, 2019 4:33 pm

I don’t know if they taught you this when training so sorry if I’m teaching my grandmother to suck eggs but the best way to lift a motorcycle is to squat down next to it, grasp the lower handlebar with both hands and use your legs to stand yourself and the bike up.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed May 29, 2019 5:28 pm

Yes, I think that's right. The trouble I had was that I needed both hands to lift it but it lay on its left side - so I couldn't put the brake on at the same time and it kept wanting to roll back down the hill when I lifted.

Eventually I Hulked out and flicked it back upright one-handed.

e: I would have been better to leave it in gear instead of panic flicking down through the box when the lights changed.
Last edited by Damien Thorn on Wed May 29, 2019 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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