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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have just bought my first ever bike (Honda CBR500RA (ABS)) yesterday.

I live in Australia. I am 52 years old (an old man now).

My step-son (22yrs) got his first bike last week (Kawasaki Ninja 300 (ABS)) and he thought it would be nice for us both to go riding...so I agreed :) It is a nice gesture for a son to suggest this with their step-dad :)

Anyway, so today I went and bought a bunch of gear (AU$1000+) on Helmet, Jacket, Pants, Gloves. I have work boots that be ok I think.

I haven't had the courage to ride my bike yet, quite nervous. I did the mandatory learners course a few weeks ago and it was fun. But it's in a controlled environment. My step-son thinks I am a chicken...LOL

So I am watching youtube clips on riding skills and hoping to overcome my fear of corners...which is weird because I have spent 30 years building and driving fast cars...hmmm

One thing I noticed is that my bike has solid mirrors that do not swivel inwards like my step-sons, and he has some mirror extenders that make his mirrors higher so he can see over his shoulders better. That would be good for me because I am quite tall.

Anyway, I am looking forward to chatting with other people here and getting out of my driveway soon :)

Cheers

Pookie (Australia)
 

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Welcome to the madhouse Pookie.

Just start by riding round the block until you feel confident. Then a gentle trip around some country roads and don't try to be a boy racer out and about with your step son.

I have been riding motorbikes since I was 12 (over the fields) now over 70 and still enjoy riding bikes.
Also I have 12" high motorcycle boots that protect you ankles etc. Learn't the hard way when I got side swiped and damaged my ankle and nerves to my toes when only wearing shoes.
 

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Welcome to the forum. As OldRocker said, start slow & take it easy. I have no idea what taking up the sport at 50+ would be like, but I imagine you will do fine if you read & watch instructional materials, there is plenty out there, & RELAX. At first cornering will seem odd compared to an auto, but after enough practice it will feel like poetry. Just take your time & don’t rush things. A more advanced training class might be in order as well at some point after you get comfortable with the basics. While work boots are better than shoes, proper motorcycle boots are best. It is a large initial investment, but a small price to pay in the long run. Cheers, mate.
 

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Look for days & times of day when the traffic is absent in your neighborhood.
I find 10:00 AM to be good where I live. My wife started riding when she was 60, on a scooter.


Enjoy. You have a good bike for a learner.
 

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You have probably noticed, the reference of "old man" seems to attract us like-minded riders. Sort of like waking up in the morning and automatically enjoying a cup of coffee... while I'm checking the morning paper's obituaries to see if I have time for a second cup... before I'm forced to check into where ever I'm assigned.:laugh: Ride Safe and Enjoy your new Bike.
 

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1967 was a good year, from one 52yo to another.

In all seriousness, don't let yourself be cajoled by your step-son into doing things you may not be comfortable with nor ready for. Take things at your own pace. The ideas espoused above re riding around the block and when traffic is minimal are great.

Be careful if you go riding with him; don't be goaded into riding faster than your own comfortable pace, don't try to keep up nor race. 22yos aren't known for having great judgement and when they fall they bounce like toddlers; we old farts are far more conscious of our frailties mostly because we don't heal up as fast as we used to.

I think when you get some saddle time you'll relax a bit. Always wear all your gear and enjoy the ride.

Summer is close to starting "down under"; there are a lot of us in the Northern Hemisphere that are very envious as we store our machines for a long, cold winter.
 

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1967 was a good year, from one 52yo to another.

In all seriousness, don't let yourself be cajoled by your step-son into doing things you may not be comfortable with nor ready for. Take things at your own pace. The ideas espoused above re riding around the block and when traffic is minimal are great.

Be careful if you go riding with him; don't be goaded into riding faster than your own comfortable pace, don't try to keep up nor race. 22yos aren't known for having great judgement and when they fall they bounce like toddlers; we old farts are far more conscious of our frailties mostly because we don't heal up as fast as we used to.

I think when you get some saddle time you'll relax a bit. Always wear all your gear and enjoy the ride.

Summer is close to starting "down under"; there are a lot of us in the Northern Hemisphere that are very envious as we store our machines for a long, cold winter.
Blackfin & Pookie
You are only 20 years behind me :beers
 

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...One thing I noticed is that my bike has solid mirrors that do not swivel inwards like my step-sons, and he has some mirror extenders that make his mirrors higher so he can see over his shoulders better. That would be good for me because I am quite tall.
If they are stock mirrors they should be able to swivel inwards, might be a bit stiff, but definitely designed to rotate at the base on the R models.

Welcome to the forum, didn't see if you mentioned where in Oz you are, I'm in Brisbane ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi everyone,

Thank you for your kind greetings and advice :)

I have checked my mirrors and they definitely do not swivel, they are bolted to a block that is bolted to the bike. No swivel possible :(


I haven't had much chance to ride since last week due to starting back to work. I did have a couple of short rides in my cul de sac which were ok, but when it came to turning at the end of my dead-end it was not fun :( I found myself almost running up the gutter a few times and slowing down to almost a stop while turning. I need LOTS more practice at turning.

I will try again over the weekend. I don't know why it is such an issue for me? I love anything dangerous, loud, fast, scary, etc.... but for some reason I have an issue with turning a bike :/

It's getting frustrating...

More practice, more practice ..... ok..

btw, I am in Wollongong NSW Australia. It has been extremely smoky here this week due to bush fires nearby.

Cheers

Pookie (Phil)
 

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Turning at low speeds is difficult. Usually you can do one way (left or right) easier than the other way.


From a stop, be sure to go straight forward a bit before starting a turn.


My wife puts her feet down and "duck walks" when making a 180° turn even if there is traffic.
But she started riding in 2010.
... and it is a scooter.


Keep up the practice. and have a Merry Christmas
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hi,

Yes, I find lower speed turns that I tend to stagger since I tend to turn the throttle to much then let it go. Makes for a wobbly turn :/

I have taken not of your advice to go forwards first before turning :) thank you kindly..every bit helps :)

I have been absent of my PC for a few weeks getting back into work in Sydney after a few weeks leave. Anyway, I have revised all the kind replies here and have picked up some confidence due to not feeling so alone now :)

I actually went for a ride today. Not far, but maybe 5 mins here and there. I went out on the highway which I found enjoyable, but I didn't get about 50kph :) mainly because I had trouble finding/getting into 4th or higher gear due to my boots.

I ride wearing my work boots, and finding them very chunky underneath my feet. I measured that with the work boot rubber sole plus the foot-peg rubber part, my actual foot sits 3 inches higher than the gear lever. And it is also a tight squeeze to get my toes in between the foot-peg and gear lever to change gears, I have to almost point my toes down to the ground to get my boot under the gear lever.

So, what to do? Go spend more $$ on riding shoes/boots? Wear joggers? Change the foot-pegs if possible? Hmmmmm..Anyone else with CBR500 have this issue solved :)

I found these boots online. Does anyone have them ? Are they ok? Cannot paste links here for some reason :(
<Place = the helmet warehouse, Yagoona, Sydney. Boot = dririder-urban-boot-red. $127.45 on sale.>

Otherwise, I have a nice time riding today. I will venture out a bit more over the Christmas break.

Time to go wash it now :) I got some dust on it during today's ride :/

** Merry Christmas to all **

Cheers

Phil (Wollongong)
 

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Phil: The gearchange and rear brake lever positions on your bike are adjustable for height, especially the gearchange lever. You don't need motorcycle specific boots but sturdy boots that are not too thick across the toes help in changing gears.

By the way, to all you 52 year-olds strutting around like ancient roosters, bragging that you still are able to ride in your dotage, I was 31 when you were born. The insolence of youth appalls me. Show some respect to your elders, knaves!

Ralph
 

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good advice from all, it will really depend on how much commitment you make to practice, plan where to go and how to get there, start with familiar routes as this will help ease the tension and you can concentrate on your bike skills rather than what road to take.

always go out with a plan of what you want to practice in these early rides, it will help reinforce the basic training you have been given and build muscule memory.

I really started riding 2 years ago at 58 (hadn't ridden motorcycle since i was 19 - off road only), the more km's you clock up will the training is in your head the better.

welcome to the freedom and enjoyment of motorcycling.

I''am in Gippsland, Victoria Australia.
 

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Hi,

I found these boots online. Does anyone have them ? Are they ok? Cannot paste links here for some reason :(
<Place = the helmet warehouse, Yagoona, Sydney. Boot = dririder-urban-boot-red. $127.45 on sale.>

Phil (Wollongong)
I've got a mate who says those boots are great, he's worn out a pair already but he rides his bike a fair amount and does Pizza delivery on the scooters. They lasted him a year and a half being used almost every day. As well they look like normal shoes too so they're not that bad in looks.

The sole ended up breaking apart on him since they had more walking than most motorbike boots.
 

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Turning at low speeds is difficult. Usually you can do one way (left or right) easier than the other way.


From a stop, be sure to go straight forward a bit before starting a turn.


My wife puts her feet down and "duck walks" when making a 180° turn even if there is traffic.
But she started riding in 2010.
... and it is a scooter.


Keep up the practice. and have a Merry Christmas
We call scooters "Peanut Roasters" oops :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Phil: The gear change and rear brake lever positions on your bike are adjustable for height, especially the gear change lever. You don't need motorcycle specific boots but sturdy boots that are not too thick across the toes help in changing gears.

By the way, to all you 52 year-olds strutting around like ancient roosters, bragging that you still are able to ride in your dotage, I was 31 when you were born. The insolence of youth appalls me. Show some respect to your elders, knaves!

Ralph
I adjusted both levers, much better now :) I also bought and installed a gear indicator LED thing which helps a bit with seeing what gear I am in. Problem is that it doesn't seem to work with down shifting too well because it only shows the gear 'after' the clutch is released, which is too late if I down-shift into first and let clutch out when going too quickly :/ anyway, its better than nothing I guess. I also have mirror extenders/risers coming next week which will give me alot better rear vision.

I also bought some riding boots that look more like converse shoes, but they seem to be fairly sturdy and certainly better than my work boots :)

Happy Days :)

Cheers

Phil
 

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Glad you’re getting some things sorted out, Phil. Welcome to the addiction.

Good advice from others above.

Regarding slow speed turns, don’t feel silly walking it for a while, and don’t be afraid the feather the clutch. It takes a lot of abuse to cook a wet clutch; these aren’t cars. I assume the rider course you took covered this, but it’s usually good to hear things more than once and from different sources: Keep just enough throttle to go about the max speed you’d want to go in your sharp turn, and modulate the clutch to control your speed (keep the throttle where it is).
Seat time is your friend.
I hope Oz gets more help with the bush fires!
 

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+1 on the relief from those bush fires. Australia's burning and Indonesia's flooded from a monsoon. Death tools and displaced families from both. I guess I should reconsider my attitude concerning my winter's weather. Late greetings for an enjoyable and safe New Year in 2020.
 

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Hi all, another late 1960's Aussie, living in Perth. Not new to riding though, had my license about 30 years.
I can't get enough of this bike, commute when the weather looks like being ok and get out in the hills and highways when I can.
I also shadow the occasional learner if asked nicely just to give a bit back and another excuse to get out.
Ride safe guys, relax and enjoy rhe ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi everyone. I'm back from a break due to family illness (all good now) ...way too long :(

Anyway, I've been out riding as much as I can under recent circumstances with the isolation restrictions stuff.

I found that my low-beam is very very dull, maybe need replaceing. What do people suggest for good bright headlights? High-beam seems ok.

Cheers..

Pookie
 
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