Tell me about motorbikes

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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by NNK @ Fri May 31, 2019 12:23 am

Wow, another biker. Well done

Actually I'm not sure I can be called a biker at present as its only the Vespa 250 in the garage at the moment, I am eyeing up a Husky 701 supermotard though
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:19 pm

I have to do another update for this thread, and I will, soon. Don't think that I've gone off riding though, after I dropped my bike. I haven't.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:25 pm

Ooh, and I need to talk about filtering as well. But I might do an actual thread for that, and I have to do something first.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:43 pm

My motorbike wouldn't start yesterday, when I hopped on to go to work. I went pretty instantly from baffled to furious, but then because I am well calm and tranquil nowadays, I hopped in the Shogun and commuted like a boss. I've only had it for three months, so I whined to the sales garage and they collected it this morning, to mend. In the meantime, Nery had diagnosed the fault in the space of one single text message, the beast. I'm going to edit a picture in here in a sec.

Image

Starter spinning like a nutter, engine having none of it.

So this morning a big van pulled up and Tormund off of Game Of Thrones colossally flung my bike up a little ramp into it. And like I've discovered always happens now I'm A Biker, we had a really interesting and friendly conversation about his work history with bikes, how long he's been riding, how the habit only ever gets bigger with time, how his friend died recently, and etcs. Every time I start a conversation with another bike person, it turns into a 'proper' conversation. It's fab.

I was forlorn not to be able to ride to work yesterday, and I'm genuinely pining to ride again as soon as possible. It is so, so brilliant.
Last edited by Damien Thorn on Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by NNK @ Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:51 pm

Damien Thorn wrote:Ooh, and I need to talk about filtering as well. But I might do an actual thread for that, and I have to do something first.


Dont do it so fast that you smash both your mirrors when the gap closes on you
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:17 pm

I'll have you know that I've only clipped someone's mirror ONCE.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by NNK @ Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:22 pm

Damien Thorn wrote:I'll have you know that I've only clipped someone's mirror ONCE.


Well you must be a very mature and safety conscious rider, I commend you.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:33 am

Right, another update. This time it's two thousand miles - but don't worry, I won't spam you with thousandly-mile guff every time.

And most of what I've got to say isn't really to do with the bike, either. It's to do with riding and the experience of being a biker. Which sounds a little bit like self-conscious wank, but is nonetheless something that still inflects the day to day use of the bike an awful lot. First, the bikeringness: everybody wants to chat. Really. A sweaty tattooed man with Clockwork Orange scrawled across his barrel belly and no t shirt on, a snaggle-toothed footie lad, a distinguished middle-aged fellow in textiles on an old Triumph, a semi-retired car detailer effing and jeffing his way through his bike history up to today's Harley bobber. Seriously. Everyone wants to talk about bikes. Their bike, my bike, just bikes. I've had more honestly good-natured conversations with total strangers since I've been riding than I ever have before. This week when I stopped at Aldi (@deev) to buy some curry sauce, a man complimented me on how well my choice of riding jacket (a Richa Daytona, facthunters) went with the retro-esque stylings of my naked bike. He also loved the finishing on the four header pipes as they curled around under the engine to the exhaust.

Thus:

Image*not my actual bike

And then of course there's the nod. Which everyone reciprocates, apart from people buzzing about on scooters. Scooter riders, nod back pls. Thanks. There's a real feeling of camaraderie when you see another rider on the road. Possibly because there's so few of you compared to cars (something like just 3% of road traffic is bikes, apparently), and that makes it feel like you've joined a friendly like-minded organisation, somehow.

Then there's the actual experience of riding about. Which is still so actually brilliant that I can't believe it's allowed. It's like being in a fast convertible, squared. Wind, smells, sounds, fresh air, rain, everything outside that you're coocooned away from in a car has a genuine impact on the ride. You can smell if someone was smoking in the car you just went past. The difference between drizzle that just smears the visor, and full-on rain that audibly clatters on the top of your helmet. The warmth on your back and the back of your gloves when the sun comes out fully. It's fab.

And then there's also the air tearing at you if you go faster, or momentum slinging you back along the seat when you wind on a bit of acceleration. I remember when I was learning feeling pretty intimidated by dc speeds. 70mph felt excessive. The instructor encouraged me once saying how we wouldn't want to ride bikes if we didn't like the feel of going fast. I recall thinking that 60 was propbably plenty fast, thanks. It doesn't feel like that now. I also remember the nerves of trying to follow a sweeping dc corner at about 70 when the bike seemed as though it wanted to wash wide and I couldn't confidently steer enough to maintain my lane position.

But I think that's because they don't actually teach you to ride, they teach you to pass the test. There's was no mention during the lessons of counter steering. Or transferring your weight around on the seat. Or off the seat. Or leaning. I like leaning, now. It's brilliant tipping in to a corner and knowing there's way more grip and capability in the mechanics of the bike and tyres than there is in my own ability or confidence so what feels like almost lying the thing down flat is nothing of the sort. Although I have actually managed to put some wear around the radius of the back tyre. I might edit a picture in here a bit later, so you can see.

Remember the cone slalom from the cbt? It you'd known about countersteering and moving your weight about, that would have been an intuitive cinch, instead of a bar-wringing stresser as you tried to actually steer it around.

A couple of other observations as well. It's really quite hard to not be a tw@t when you're filtering in the traffic. I try not to be, I really do. But my goodness, sometimes it's actual agony waiting for people to make progress instead of just lightly sweaving through. But dc queues are still absolutely hilarious. Bye!

And I've realised that there's a couple of other riders in my road but I think they might be a lot younger. In traffic on the High Street Thursday I heard one a couple of cars behind me, popping and thumping. I figured it was a Harley or something. A big twin. Bassy and obnoxious. It wasn't though, as I found when I pulled into my drive and took my helmet off, and then he turned into my road and walloped past. It was an L-plated MT-125 with a naughty pipe. Ha.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:21 am

Glad you’re having such fun Datho.

I saw a CCM Spitfire this morning which looked really smart.

Image
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:23 am

I can’t believe you nod at scooters! Stop it man.

Agree on the rest, it’s just brilliant isn’t it? I was equally amazed that counter steering wasn’t part of the lessons as it’s an essential piece of knowledge and one you need to know if a corner tightens on you at speed.

In my bike news I’m off on one of my road trips next month with a mate for 4-5 days. Will almost certainly be Europe again, just trying to decide where.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Disastrous @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:08 pm

I agree with all of that except nodding at scooters! WTF??
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:34 pm

Haha, is that wrong? Don't we like scooterists? I'm just friendly to everyone, soz!
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:55 pm

Oh look, here's the photo I was going to take (and did) of how far round I've managed to get some usage wear on my tyre. It's not WSB obv, but still.Image
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:58 pm

You’re supposed to have pitched battles with the scooterers on Brighton seafront, then one of them fcuks Lesley Ash in an alley.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:24 pm

S1K wrote:Glad you’re having such fun Datho.

I saw a CCM Spitfire this morning which looked really smart.

Image
That looks properly ace. Really smart.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Dirk @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:45 pm

Damien Thorn wrote:Haha, is that wrong? Don't we like scooterists? I'm just friendly to everyone, soz!

Just think, one day that Scooterist could be an ageing Welsh lech with a poorly controlled left foot
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:58 pm

Dirk wrote:
Damien Thorn wrote:Haha, is that wrong? Don't we like scooterists? I'm just friendly to everyone, soz!

Just think, one day that Scooterist could be an ageing Welsh lech with a poorly controlled left foot
And genuinely, I'd be delighted to say hello and buy him a (probably ghastly) coffee.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by thekungfury @ Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:06 am

Love how much you love it

Have you had many bellend bike conversations? Cycling people like to talk too and 9/10 it’s fine but you do get the odd dullard.

One of my suppliers is a right fcuking bore and he’s into motorbikes. When you’re not talking business it’s all he goes on about. To look at his greying portly exterior you’d assume they’re old slow Triumphs but he’s got some serious superbikes.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Andy T Archer @ Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:49 am

Damien Thorn wrote:
But I think that's because they don't actually teach you to ride, they teach you to pass the test. There's was no mention during the lessons of counter steering. Or transferring your weight around on the seat. Or off the seat. Or leaning. I like leaning, now. It's brilliant tipping in to a corner and knowing there's way more grip and capability in the mechanics of the bike and tyres than there is in my own ability or confidence so what feels like almost lying the thing down flat is nothing of the sort.
.


I did a couple of courses with Tom at I2I Motorcycle Academy. Just melted my head at how little we are taught to actually ride and what the bikes are capable of.
I cant recommend them highly enough. Just when I thought I was at the limit of what the bike could do in terms of lean and braking and everything, Tom would leap aboard whatever bike he could find and show us that we were nowhere near.
His party piece is a bit of full lock, knee down circles in less than the width of a normal road. Just when we are at the "Well done you - have some applause" stage he takes both hands off the bars and just carries on as though it the most natural thing in the world.

The best bit about that is that if you are brave enough (I wasn't) he teaches you that there is very little skill involved. Its all about confidence.

If you get the chance to do a course with him just do it. My riding improved but more importantly my enjoyment of everyday riding did as well.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:01 am

thekungfury wrote:Love how much you love it

Have you had many bellend bike conversations? Cycling people like to talk too and 9/10 it’s fine but you do get the odd dullard.


Haven't had any real bellendery so far, so I must still be in the nine out of 10. I suppose my own outlook also comes into it at this stage though, because I'm still interested in other people's experiences and bike stories.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:14 am

Andy T Archer wrote:
Damien Thorn wrote:
But I think that's because they don't actually teach you to ride, they teach you to pass the test. There's was no mention during the lessons of counter steering. Or transferring your weight around on the seat. Or off the seat. Or leaning. I like leaning, now. It's brilliant tipping in to a corner and knowing there's way more grip and capability in the mechanics of the bike and tyres than there is in my own ability or confidence so what feels like almost lying the thing down flat is nothing of the sort.
.


I did a couple of courses with Tom at I2I Motorcycle Academy. Just melted my head at how little we are taught to actually ride and what the bikes are capable of.
I cant recommend them highly enough. Just when I thought I was at the limit of what the bike could do in terms of lean and braking and everything, Tom would leap aboard whatever bike he could find and show us that we were nowhere near.
His party piece is a bit of full lock, knee down circles in less than the width of a normal road. Just when we are at the "Well done you - have some applause" stage he takes both hands off the bars and just carries on as though it the most natural thing in the world.

The best bit about that is that if you are brave enough (I wasn't) he teaches you that there is very little skill involved. Its all about confidence.

If you get the chance to do a course with him just do it. My riding improved but more importantly my enjoyment of everyday riding did as well.


Thanks Andy. I just looked up their courses on the website and it sounds like excellent stuff! You're absolutely right about how so much of it is confidence rather than skill - I've found that for myself in even my own limited riding experience.Even for such straightforward stuff as outright speed: as I said before I felt utterly bereft of control at 70 when I was just learning, but now with confidence in my own ability and in the bike 70 feels like nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if at times I may even have gone slightly faster.

Only recently the thought suddenly occurred to me about trying no-hands, and even though I'm certain of the straight-line stability of the bike, and have had one hand or the other off plenty, it's still a mental hurdle to do so any more than fleetingly. Not that that's a specific target accomplishment, but you know.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by thekungfury @ Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:42 pm

Damien Thorn wrote:
thekungfury wrote:Love how much you love it

Have you had many bellend bike conversations? Cycling people like to talk too and 9/10 it’s fine but you do get the odd dullard.


Haven't had any real bellendery so far, so I must still be in the nine out of 10. I suppose my own outlook also comes into it at this stage though, because I'm still interested in other people's experiences and bike stories.

Maybe you’re the 1/10? shrug
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:30 pm

thekungfury wrote:
Damien Thorn wrote:
thekungfury wrote:Love how much you love it

Have you had many bellend bike conversations? Cycling people like to talk too and 9/10 it’s fine but you do get the odd dullard.


Haven't had any real bellendery so far, so I must still be in the nine out of 10. I suppose my own outlook also comes into it at this stage though, because I'm still interested in other people's experiences and bike stories.

Maybe you’re the 1/10? shrug
Gasp! That must be it.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by NNK @ Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:57 am

Its great reading about how much you are loving bikes now.
I really do need another motard for summer I've decided.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:32 pm

With every little fiddling mod I do to my bike, I seem to have less actual bike left.

Today it has gone from this:

Image

To this:

Image
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm

Which means now, after a quick wipe down, it looks like this:

Image
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Aesgarth @ Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:38 pm

That looks excellent. Well done.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:03 pm

Nice. Could you lose the stickers on the (pretty ugly) plastic chain guard?
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:28 pm

S1K wrote:Nice. Could you lose the stickers on the (pretty ugly) plastic chain guard?
Yes, I've been meaning to actually. In fact, I've just been looking at a replacement chain guard in cf.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by thekungfury @ Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:14 pm

To my untrained eye it looks great

Did I imagine it or did you black up the badges and trim bits on your Shogun? Could you get rid of the grey altogether?
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