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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those of you who have just bought your first bike and its the Ninja 300, well done, you have picked a very nice bike to start off your motorcycle addiction with:D

I started riding motorcycles , a dirt bike when i was 7 years old on my grandfathers farm about 31 years ago and rode assorted dirt bikes many for years. I bought my first road bike in about 1996, a Honda CBR 250RR, then a VFR800 and had the VFR800 as well as a BMWK1200RS together for a number of years and traded them both a BMW K1200LTSE had it for a number of years as well and picked up my current ride a Suzuki GSX250F Across about April 2012 . I have also rode my VFR800 17,922 kilometres around Australia via highway number one in 2001, awesome trip it was. I have accumulated well over 250,000 kilometres in 17 years riding road bikes so i have seen and experienced a lot and i think i have a reasonable good idea on what im talking about when it comes to riding on the street.


in no set order here's some tips for you new to riding

ride within your limits. this means use what’s between your ears before you use your right wrist.in other words, don’t get full of adrenaline and think your Wayne Gardner or Mick Doohan when your not.

Ride to the conditions of road. If is pouring down rain, best thing to do is find somewhere out of the rain like an under cover car park at a shopping centre and let the rain hammer down for at least half an hour before getting out and riding on the street again. the reason for this is the rain mixes with the oil left on the road left my the cars and its like riding on snot very slippery.

when stopping use both front and rear brake at same time for shorter stopping distance.however, there is some exceptions to the rule. when im riding at less then say 20 or 30 kmph i use the rear brake only like if i was in a car park or in slow moving traffic. reason being i don’t want to lock the front brake up and lose balance and drop the bike.

buy a compact air horn like one from Stebel and fit it to your ride, the volume of it will one day save your life when some moron cage driver decided to change lane and not look before changing lanes

http://www.stebel.it/stebel2012/products.asp?IDserie=6&uso=1&tipologia=auto

invest in some half decent riding gear. if you have the money to buy a motorcycle worth a few grand get some gear so when you do come off and wind up in hospital the nurses don’t have to scrub you down with scrubbing brushes to remove the tar/bitumen from your skin and you don’t have to scream in pain.
no need to race out and buy million dollars worth of leather racing suit.leather was great about 40 years ago when there as nothing else, but thankfully times have changed and there’s alternative products that weigh less, cost less and your not married to maintenance wise.yes i have owned a full leather race suit before today i had it for 12 years, i had a mars leathers suit

http://www.marsleathers.com.au/detail.php?nod=1507


the suit on the right is the one i had. one thing no body ever tells you about leather is when it gets wet, it absorbs the water and gets very heavy and takes ages to dry. and if you don’t maintain the leather with something like "dubbon" your suit will rot.
and contrary to popular belief you can ride with leathers in 45 degree Celsius and hotter weather if needed.

one of the alternatives to leathers is dragign jeans and jacket
http://www.dragginjeans.net/
i have had mine now for 17 years and they are still going strong.probably due to the fact i think i have only washed them a handful of times and the grease,oil,dirt stains make them waterproof in the rain, lol.

they are kevlar reinforced denim and if you wish you can put extra body protection under them as well.
remember always out your gear on everytime you ride even if your going a few blocks to the shops to get supplies.

i also suggest you look at RHOK Kevlar Jeans also http://www.rhok.com.au/jeans.htm

check these riding jeans out from one of our site vendors - http://www.kawasakininja300.com/forum/62-riders-discount/46985-lean-angle-jeans.html

spend some time doing a motorcycle course, talk to your local motorcycle dealer and see if there’s anyone in your area that does them and go and spend a few hundred bucks on yourself and do it.better off doing it and learning how to ride well, then wind up as a statistic and be dead and buried and never see your wife, kids, family, friends any more.

if there is no courses near by,don’t panic. get two books, they are called

twist of the wrist (link to book)

and

twist of the wrist part 2 (link to book)

the supplementary DVDs for the books, these DVDs *DO NOT* replace the books (link to both as a set)

both are written by kieth code.get them and study them, they were designed for a race track, but the knowledge in them is absolutely 100% relevant to street riding as well and if you think its not, then your kidding yourself.when i got my cbr250rr in 1996 where i lived in outback Australia the closest place to get a course was over 1000kilometers away so i ordered these 2 books from a local book shop and went to a abandoned car park every weekend and trained myself. it didn’t take long and soon i had a number of other riders turn up and we all worked together to improve our skills and my books did the rounds.i still have the books infact my wife is still reading them since getting her licence only a few weeks ago and her own motorcycle as well.

also invest in some half decent gloves to cover your hands. skins doesn’t last long while skating along tar and your hands are a valuable asset to look after.don’t skimp on a helmet either. get what ever you can afford.i have in the past bought a Suomy helmet in "gambler" paint theme and payed over $600 for it. worth every cent. it was the lightest and most comfortable helmet i have ever bought.now days im on a budget and i buy "kbc" helmets.
also make sure you replace your helmet every 4 years no matter what and replace it if your in an accident.when replacing the helmet, take the old one and cut it in half with a 9 inch angle grinder or similar.don’t cut the straps off it and put it in the bin, some moron will get it from the rubbish rip recycle shop and wear it on the street i guarantee it, then kill them self and then we will read in the news about another motorcycle rider killed. the governments of the world don’t want us here now so lets not give them any more ammunition to try and outlaw/ban us.


invest in some decent riding boots, i love Sidi boots
http://www.sidisport.com/eng/splash.php?macro=2&id=2
my first pair of boots lasted me about 12 years and even were on my feet when i went round australia on them, 2nd set lasted about 5 years.cant complain, very comfortable and durable boots.
you want something decent on your foot so when you fall off your foot has a god chance of surviving the fall as well as your ankle. plus you don’t want to have shoe laces getting caught in your chain or your foot peg. its a bit hard to put your foot down if the laces are caught and you will look like a tool when your laying on the side with your bike on your leg crushing you while your in pain with a hot engine as well and no one around to help you.

and when out riding with your mates, don’t think your mick doohan and race on the streets, this is yet another way the rest of the motorcycle riders get a bad rep from morons like you who do this.you want to race, goto a race track, that’s what they are for.when your riding too fast and your not experienced enough to know what your doing , that’s when accidents or death occurs, its that simple.learn to control yourself, its self discipline at its simplest.

*Riding With Pillion*
if your going to take a pillion passenger with you, don’t just throw them on the bike and ride like mick doohan either.have a talk to the pillion and explain to them some basic stuff like don’t hold on to my shoulders and twist and turn cos im the one who has the handlebars and you do that and we are going to crash, we need to work together on this bike or we will be dead.its that simple.if your scared tap me on the left shoulder and i will stop for you.just simple stuff like that. they need to be aware that riding is fun but there’s risks with it as well and we don’t have the protection of a steel cage around us when we crash and it hurts when we do.Also make sure you kit your pillion passenger out with decent riding gear as well so they wont be real happy when they have to scrub gravel/tar/dirt from their arms/legs/backside.
tell the pillion to hold on to your hips if possible, but not your shoulders, if he/she moves your shoulders, your arms, move and so does the handlebars and your history.
also, tell the pillion to only get on/off the bike when the rider tells him/her to, if you don’t and your not ready for it you will dump the bike.
remember, a pillion will magnify any of your bad riding habits like too heavy on the throttle/brake & can cause you to bang helmets or passenger to slide forward into you and jam you against the fuel tank

don’t be afraid to spend some money on a decent tool kit and service manual and fix the bike rather then be a visacard biker and take the bike and your visacard to the local mechanic every-time you need something fixed.

also make your you check your tire pressures once a week as well.i learnt years ago on my 1996 model cbr250rr to keep front tyre at 38 psi and rear at 42 psi have done it on every road bike i have ever owned/ridden and it works a treat.if tyre pressure is to low it wont go around a corner with out you fighting it and it follows the contours of the road and is not a fun riding experience at all.experiment a little and see what works best for you.

i think i have covered the basics, but most importantly have fun and ride*RESPONSIBLY* when riding don’t be a moron and give all motorcycle riders a bad name just because you are a tool, the nurses and doctors at your local hospital don’t enjoy scrubbing you down and fixing you up after your accident cos you were too stupid to ride with decent gear on in the first place.


and most importantly if your new to riding motorcycles and this is your first, find some where to practice riding in a safe area be it a a car park where no one is or a new housing estate with no body living there. practice, practice, practise, there’s no substitute for it, and before you go for a ride, change the way you think. if you think that no one can see you , your invisible and everyone is out to kill you, then your going to last a lot longer then some moron with more money then brains who only knows how to turn the throttle round and use it as a on/off switch, remember the throttle is proportional, not just off and 100% on.

also remember, what you look at is were your going to go, look at an object too long and you will hit it for sure,its target fixation.look where you want to go and your body/bike will do the rest

when you stop at traffic lights/intersections, don’t stop on the oil patch left by cars, move over to the left/right and put your motorcycle tyres where the car tyres go.keeps oil and crud off your tyres so you don’t slide down the road.

make sure you go over your bike at least once a week and check oil/fluid levels, and all lights work and horn. best idea is to check all lights/horn work before riding away as soon as you get on everytime, a good habit to get in to.

There is a great video that was released in Australia in about 1998 that has Aussie motorcycle legend Wayne Gardner in it produced for new/rookie riders and is a great source of information



(if above video fails, use the below links)
http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2005/video/Introduction_with_Wayne_Gardner.flv

http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2005/video/Bike_Control_Skills.flv

http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2005/video/Mental_Skills_to_Recognise_Harm.flv

http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2005/video/Self_Control_Skills.flv


there is a great PDF booklet that goes with this video, grab it here

http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2005/pdf/Ride_on_booklet.pdf


This video link is a training video about off road adventure riding, a lot of the techniques displayed can be applied to street riding, and it also shows the correct way to pick up any motorcycle off the ground without hurting yourself


If your going to buy a motorcycle make sure it has ABS



Honda Fireblade ABS vs Non-ABS


ABS Info on motorcycles

ditch the stock horn for a compact airhorn

http://www.kawasakininja300.com/forum/12-ninja-300-appearance-modifications/1119-mounting-stebel-nautilus-compact-airhorn.html#post16138

Another good idea is to keep some spare fuses under your seat as well, buy an assortment pack from a super cheap auto store or similar.

Here is a very good book from USA - Motorcycle Safety Foundation a very good free book for beginners.(infact if you turn to page 20 it says -Always apply both the front and the rear brakes at the same time.

More Books


Proficient Motorcycling and More Proficient Motorcycling and Street Strategies - A Survival guide for Motorcyclists by David L. Hough


Total Control: High-Performance Street Riding Techniques by Lee Parks


How to Ride a Motorcycle by Pat Hahn


Sport Riding Techniques by Nick Ienatsch


Smooth Riding the Pridmore Way by Reg Pridmore


Performance Riding Techniques - The moto GP Manual
by Andy Ibbot


The total motorcycle Manual - 291 skills you need : by Mark Lindemann


Other interesting reads

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig


Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart


Perfect Vehicle: What It Is about Motorcycles by Melissa Holbrook Pierson


Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon


Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World by Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman


Long Way Down: John O'Groats to Cape Town by Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman


Motorcycle Camping Made Easy by Bob Woofter


Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon isn't moto-related at all, but it suits the vagabond spirit.


Blood, Sweat and 2nd Gear: More Medicine For Motorcyclists by flash gordon, m.d. covers medical, health, and emergency tips for motorcyclists.






And another good book from USA - Department of Motor Vehicles , California (click for pdf)

Found a web site in Victoria, Australia for rookie riders - http://www.spokes.com.au

Australian Design Rules for Motorcycles - http://www.mraqld.org/index.php/aust-design-rules-adr.html

The good gear guide - Australian Department of Infrastructure & Transport

**IF your a rider in Queensland, Australia, then this motorcycle web site will interest you http://www.motorcyclesafety.qld.gov.au/ ** and this PDF will as well

a great web site in New Zealand about motorcycle safety - http://www.rideforever.co.nz/

some great advise/info on this USA site http://www.msgroup.org/articles.aspx

The essential rider guide for gear from the U.K click here

Iron Butt Association tips for riding long distances , please click here

If you live in Australia and are looking for a list of LAMS approved bikes and photos of them (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) then click here

hope this might help a few of you and maybe even save a life or two , feel free to copy/paste this to what ever forum you want, just include a link back to this so i might get some credit for my work.thanks

a great skill to have is clutchless shifting & learning how to slip the clutch to keep the bike moving at very slow speeds with out putting your feet down

http://www.kawasakininja300.com/forum/29-new-rider-section/3466-clutchless-upshift-downshift-stock-300-se-abs.html


also just for kicks, watch this Honda safety video form the 1960's


If you find this post useful , please click the "thanks" button in the bottom right corner



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If I may add something, most importantly (and yes this goes for me too) be safe but nearly as important is HAVE FUN! If you're not enjoying the ride and the experience you'll be less inclined to be a,"pilot" and more inclined to be a,"passenger"

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Discussion Starter #4
If I may add something, most importantly (and yes this goes for me too) be safe but nearly as important is HAVE FUN! If you're not enjoying the ride and the experience you'll be less inclined to be a,"pilot" and more inclined to be a,"passenger"

mate this is so true. going back a few years when i had both the VFR800 and the K1200RS my dad died and about a year or two later i traded both bikes in for the BMWK1200LTSE

i had too much sentimental attachment to both bikes and i was getting depressed to the point i would come home from a ride on either bike and i was tears i missed my dad so much and riding with him and having him ride the K1200RS i just couldnt take it any more, nor could my wife.

she told me to go and trade both bikes in and get something very nice for the both of them that will make me happy, and as luck may have it i walked in to the shop i bought my vfr800 from in the first place , found the K1200LT , took it for a test ride and was in love with riding again, traded both bikes.

i really do miss both the VFR800 and the K1200RS. the vfr800 in particular i miss the roar of the V-4 engine and the high pitch whistle from the gear driven cams.... oh man oh man, thats just pure music right there, and the K1200RS was the first bike i owned with ABS and the paralever telelever suspension taught me how good a motorcycle suspension *SHOULD BE* right from world go.
the suspension under the BMW would soack up the roughness of the road and make any road like silk, just sensational stuff. no matter what i did to the VFR it wasnt even close to it.

both were absolutely sensational bikes and i cant speak highly enough about either bike, if you ever get the chance to take one for a ride, then absolutely dont hesitate and grab the opportunity with both hands and go for it, you wont be disappointed at all.

I do miss riding the LT as well. funny ya know for a big heavy bike that weighed over 300 kilograms, get it above 20 or 30 kmph and the weight just magically vanished, the honda goldwing is the same.the K1200LTSE was a sensational bit of kit and misses_cruzin would give me a hard time about riding an "old mans bike" when i was in my early 30's, lol, but never said no to me when i asked her if she was jumping on the back to go out for a spin, lol

the LT was good fun, could scrape the pegs on it just like a sports bike just as easy as i could on my CBR250RR, great bike. the hardest part about working on the LT as well as the RS was trying to get the fairing on and off it, lol, im sure who ever designed the things had shares in the bolt factory down the road from where they made the bikes, lol
 

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Good write up mate,
As a newbie this kind of information is invaluable, by all means learn in your own time and ride your own ride, but it never hurts for feedback or a second look on things.

If there's one good thing I've learnt so far, it's don't be afraid to adjust your speed to avoid a dangerous situation. Whether it be backing off or exceeding the posted limit considerably, if it gets you out alive it's worth it. A license won't keep you breathing, using your head will. I don't mean speeding past everyone everywhere just to be ahead, but when overtaking mr. Jeffries in his potato truck do it quickly, you never know when he's going to decide life isn't worth living any more and swerve into that tree across the road. Conversely, you never know if his potatoes are just going to break loose and fling themselves at you like angry vegetableised cannonballs, so take the time to slow down and leave a gap when there's no passing opportunities or he's in a big hurry to the market.
Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mic this is a good point you raise, slow down and get there in one piece. its a road not a race track, slow down and enjoy the ride, ya never know who or what you might see if you do
 

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Plus going slow for a beginner allows you one to get their "sea legs" so to speak

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when overtaking mr. Jeffries in his potato truck do it quickly, you never know when he's going to decide life isn't worth living any more and swerve into that tree across the road. Conversely, you never know if his potatoes are just going to break loose and fling themselves at you like angry vegetableised cannonballs, so take the time to slow down and leave a gap when there's no passing opportunities or he's in a big hurry to the market.
Just my two cents.
I will be keeping away from all potato trucks!

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
just a word of warning when you drop your bike and your brake/clutch ever is bent, its pretty much guaranteed if you straighten it or try to , you will snap it

buy yourself a new pair of brake and clutch leavers now and carry them everytime you ride

(yes they will fit under the the pillion seat under the little plastic flap, thats where i keep mine)
 

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Hard to take advice from a country that drives on the wrong side of the road. Just sayin... ;):p

On a more serious note though, that was a pretty good video for beginners. I should've shown that to a buddy last year when he first bought his Ninja 250. I watched him stab the brakes and drop it in the middle of the street while walking it around a u-turn. Some people's children... LOL
 

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just a word of warning when you drop your bike and your brake/clutch ever is bent, its pretty much guaranteed if you straighten it or try to , you will snap it

buy yourself a new pair of brake and clutch leavers now and carry them everytime you ride

Had a buddy that did this, first time I saw them in his bagI laughed sooo freakin hard!! Few days later, I was following him in my car to a resturant, he went down bent the hell outta the clutch lever. He digs in his bad and looks at me and I bust out laughing!! He says, " See THIS is why I have them"!! So laugh now ppl but wait till it happens!! Very good info on this topic in general.
 

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If I may add 2 things learned from my 52 years of two wheel riding...
1. Always consider your self as invisible to other drivers no matter what they are driving even if they are looking right at you.
2. Remember you and your bike will go in the direction your eye's are looking. ( especially helpful for new riders who find them selves taking curves to wide )
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If I may add 2 things learned from my 52 years of two wheel riding...
1. Always consider your self as invisible to other drivers no matter what they are driving even if they are looking right at you.
2. Remember you and your bike will go in the direction your eye's are looking. ( especially helpful for new riders who find them selves taking curves to wide )

i have already mentioned these in my first post


also remember, what you look at is were your going to go, look at an object too long and you will hit it for sure,its target fixation.look where you want to go and your body/bike will do the rest





and


if you think that no one can see you , your invisible and everyone is out to kill you, then your going to last a lot longer then some moron with more money then brains who only knows how to turn the throttle round and use it as a on/off switch
 

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I agree with the points made above and I don't think it's possible to overemphasise that "you go where you look".

Consider the situation where a car crosses the centre line.

In this scary situation it's easy to fixate on the car and if we do we are almost certain to hit it. What we have to do is look at our escape route. There will always be a gap of some sort between the vehicle and the edge of the road. Try to ignore the car and look at that gap and there's a good chance the bike will take you there.

Just that exact scenario happened to me on a bend in a narrow, rough, twisty road (about the only sort we have here) and I was just composed enough to focus on the small gap left between the vehicle and a pile of loose gravel on the road edge. I count myself fortunate to have threaded that particular "needle" without incident.
 

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These are great tips, I particularly like the ones about riding gear. When I was shopping for boots, I thought to myself: "Get cheap ones, they'll last a while and you'll be fine!" But while at the store, I tried on one of the best pairs and my choice was made. I still tried the cheaper ones, but they didn't fit right. I'm also very glad my boots have about 2 inches included in them. (I'm quite small, 5'3") Those Dragging Jeans you posted about are pretty impressive! I will be looking to buy a pair in the near future.
 

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Thanks a lot for the sound advice mate
Just wondering if there's any way to get your quick n dirty parts list without subscribing to scrbd or have them post to my fb friends?! Thanks again
 

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I'd like to add:

It's never a good thing to lock your rear tire. If the bike stays straight you can let go of the rear brake and recover, but if the back end goes sideways on you your are faced with two choices, lowside by holding the brake in or highside by letting it go.

Regarding "Laying the Bike Down" to avoid an accident. This is also not a choice. It comes down to friction and what can generate the most of it. This will be your tires, stay on them. If a crash is unavoidable, it's much better to apply threshold braking and crash as slowly as possible, than to put the bike down, use your gear and possibly skin to slow down and hit the object (or have the bike hit the object and you hit the bike), faster than you would have if you had braked properly. Put it this way, if you lay 'er down and miss ahead of what you were trying to avoid, your best course of action was to accelerate past the obstruction/vehicle. If you lay 'er down and miss behind the object, then braking would have stopped you fast enough to avoid the accident altogether. If you lay 'er down and hit the object, either braking would have stopped you in time, or it would have at least made the crash as slow as possible. Much slower than sliding on metal and plastic.
 
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