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Meh, don't need motorcycle instructor... [Mar. 25th, 2009|11:52 am]
Whee, I've got my Ninja. It is very green, a Kawasaki Ninja 250. Learning to ride, watching vids on youtube. This morning I actually drove to a gas station and filled it up, whee. $5 of 93 octane fills the tank about 3/4 of the way. It is a lot of fun. I just got it Monday. Except for the gas station I'm just riding around the neighborhood. Maybe I'll be ready for the license exam this weekend. I feel totally comfortable on it, the handling is totally intuitive. Only problem is I still haven't got the clutch mastered. Every now and then I get it backwards and release the clutch while braking and thus stall the bike, but I'm making that mistake less and less.

I signed up for the JJC riding program, but the only standby seat I could get was in June, I'll almost certainly have my license by then, but completing the course may help insurance...

[User Picture]From: bkwyrm
2009-03-25 06:52 pm (UTC)
So, wait - can you ride it legally without a motorcycle license?
(Admittedly, motorcycles scare the CRAP out of me.)
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[User Picture]From: blade_bunny
2009-03-26 05:47 pm (UTC)
No, not legally. But lots of people do anyway. A neighbor I spoke to said he rode for six years before he got his license. I hope to get mine this weekend.
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[User Picture]From: sighris
2009-03-30 03:44 am (UTC)
p.s. taking a riding class is one of the best things I have done in my entire life. They can teach you an amazing amount of things in a short time, like "counter-stearing" which is important if you will be driving faster than 30mph.

Get your license ASAP. It should be easy on a 250.

Be careful!
- & remember: Cars drivers might not see you!!!
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[User Picture]From: blade_bunny
2009-03-30 08:28 pm (UTC)
Funny you should mention that, I was practicing counter-stearing just yesterday. I'm not quite sure if I've got it. I've been riding a bicycle a lot, and apparently counter-stearing is a common thing to do on a bicycle... So it feels so natural I'm not quite sure if I've actually got it! But the street I live on is great for practice and I've got a neighbor that has a lot of experience, so one way or the other I'll get it.
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[User Picture]From: sighris
2009-03-31 05:27 am (UTC)


You wrote: >
> I've been riding a bicycle a lot, and
> apparently counter-stearing is a common thing to do on a bicycle...


"Counter-stearing" is the opposite of what is done on a bicycle!
The saying is "push-right to go right!" meaning push on the right handle-bar (with your right hand) to get the bike to go right if you are going faster than about 30mph.
It works like this: the front wheel is a gyroscope. Depending on its mass and speed it has a certain momentum, and when you are driving forward above 30mph (and to lesser extent when you go slower) and you push on the right handle-bar (and thus the axle of the gyroscope) the gyroscope/front-wheel will cause the bike to lean to the right, and thus (due to motorcycle front-fork design) go to the right. For a few seconds/feet the contact point between the front wheel and the road will actually move to the left a few inches at the same time your head and shoulders are going to the right (a foot or two, maybe three in a sharper turn).

The front wheel of a bicycle does not have enough mass (and you are usually going much slower on a bicycle than you do on a motorcycle, thus much less rotational momentum) to make this happen, plus I think (90% sure) the front end of a bicycle does not have the rake of a motorcycle, so leaning on a bicycle does not cause the bike to turn, only turning the wheel which acts like a rudder on a boat, and notice on a bike you "push right (and pull left) to go LEFT" - so just the opposite!!!

When I was first told "push left - go left" I did not believe it... but I tried it, and sure enough it worked. The faster you are driving the better it works, but of course the faster you go the longer your stopping distance and the more momentum the bike engine & frame have which will "want" to go straight forward... so again, be careful!!!
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[User Picture]From: blade_bunny
2009-04-02 09:49 pm (UTC)

Re: counter-stearing

I've been playing with it, and you can do counter-steering on a bicycle too, but it doesn't really give a solid feel for it. I've been practicing swerving on the motorcycle a lot. I've done counter-steering consciously, played with... I'm still not quite sure if what I'm doing when I swerve is counter-steering. Need to practice more... working towards the license.
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[User Picture]From: blade_bunny
2009-04-03 05:27 pm (UTC)

Re: counter-stearing

Just confirmed this morning, counter steering on a bicycle definitely works, and it works at speeds as low as 5mph. Also see here:

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[User Picture]From: sighris
2009-03-30 03:41 am (UTC)

short hello (please read)

Practice quick breaking!!!
- It can save your life.

The clutch will come to you quickly, just practice.

On such a light bike the three most important things to remember are: Cars might not see you (be SUPER careful in intersections), practice quick breaking, and Cars might not see you!!!

The most important thing is to ride with-in your comfort zone (skill level)... bikes don't kill people, bike riders stupidities and car drivers kill motorcyclists.

BTW, while I am here, know anybody who wants to rent an apartment in Chicago? (see the last post on my LJ)
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