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Thread: Marital advice please

  1. #16
    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Marital advice please


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    I've long felt that people nowadays are encouraged to ride bikes that are too big for their abilities, maybe because they can, maybe because others enjoy them and can ride them and think others should too. My view is start small and work up. Not only does that let a rider get used to the power of a bike (which is generally much faster accelerating and nimbler than any car they have used) but the smaller bikes are physically lighter and easier to right if they start to topple (not to mention easier to pick up if you have to). With practice builds confidence.

    I guess it depends how important a manual drive bike is to you. You can tour on scoots, let alone superscoots. If manual matters maybe aim for something 250-300cc and go from there. Sports style bikes are harder to handle as well so look at other styles. There are some good 'adventure' type 250s out there, and the upright riding position makes them very easy to handle. Mini fairings or flyscreens give touring ability.


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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post
    I've long felt that people nowadays are encouraged to ride bikes that are too big for their abilities, maybe because they can, maybe because others enjoy them and can ride them and think others should too. My view is start small and work up. Not only does that let a rider get used to the power of a bike (which is generally much faster accelerating and nimbler than any car they have used) but the smaller bikes are physically lighter and easier to right if they start to topple (not to mention easier to pick up if you have to). With practice builds confidence.

    I guess it depends how important a manual drive bike is to you. You can tour on scoots, let alone superscoots. If manual matters maybe aim for something 250-300cc and go from there. Sports style bikes are harder to handle as well so look at other styles. There are some good 'adventure' type 250s out there, and the upright riding position makes them very easy to handle. Mini fairings or flyscreens give touring ability.
    The 'best' touring bike is the one you have got, and cubes are not everything.

    I am at the other end of the scale, old and getting older. My next bike is likely to be smaller, lighter and considerably less powerful. That won't stop me riding it to Italy if I want to.

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    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    The 'best' touring bike is the one you have got, and cubes are not everything.
    I partially agree. But like a dog walking on its hind legs, the wonder isn't how well it does it, but rather that it does it at all. You can go round the world on a Honda plop, that doesn't make it a good touring bike. In the end it's horses for courses and given the choice of what to ride anyone is best advised to get what suits them best rather than try to force themselves on the wrong style of bike because it suits someone else.

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    Go for the tour anyway. 125 scoots will go abroad, they just go a bit slower. And she will be a better rider when she come back, so the A2 will be a piece of piss.
    That's the plan, now, CJ. It's the only option, given that her wrist, albeit not broken (probably - nothing has shown up on the x ray but they can't be certain at this stage) needs to stay in a splint for a fortnight. There won't be time after that to do the training, test and buy a new bike. In any case, since our son will be on a 125 she won't 'need' a bigger bike to 'keep up'. (I'm the one who'll need patience )

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post
    I partially agree. But like a dog walking on its hind legs, the wonder isn't how well it does it, but rather that it does it at all. You can go round the world on a Honda plop, that doesn't make it a good touring bike. In the end it's horses for courses and given the choice of what to ride anyone is best advised to get what suits them best rather than try to force themselves on the wrong style of bike because it suits someone else.
    I'm not disagreeing, just encouraging people not to put off going places because their bike isn't 'suitable'. Suitable often only means fashionable anyway, and the current fashion seems to be for 1000+ cc bikes. Unless you are crossing continents 2 up and carrying all your wordly goods that sort of size isn't necessary. It may be nice, but it isn't necessary.

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    Sorry to hear that and hope the injury isn't too bad and heals quickly...

    Ideally, my advice would be:

    1) use the time when stopped to double-check the machine's gone down to first.

    2) try to get to 1st just as the bike stops, go down through the box whilst slowing, rolling to a halt in 2nd and selecting 1st just as the bike rolled to a halt. Stopping in a higher gear is always possible, but the problem is that the machine then doesn't actually change gear when you nudge the gear lever. So you think you've tapped it down to 1st and it's actually stuck higher up the box. I grew up with a Honda that was almost impossible to get into 1st if I wasn't rolling slightly when I selected it and have never really got out of the habit.

    3) even if you are stuck in a higher gear, if you have good clutch control you can overcome the issue. You can ride off in top gear on any bike if you slip the clutch enough. So it's the point at which you start to release the clutch lever, and feel that "something's not quite right" that you need to remember NOT to let it out... but keep slipping it. We all get stuck in the wrong gear from time to time, so on the one hand it's 'chalk it down to experience', on the other it's 'work on clutch feel'. I did get trainees to practice pulling away in a higher gear from time to time, as it really does improve feel for the clutch.

    What's she learning on, out of interest?
    Thanks for all that, Spin. I didn't know it was possible to pull away in ANY gear!
    Bike was (she thinks!) a CB650F.

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    BTW how did she catch her wrist? Somehow I avoided personal injury-I think I knew for sure that even with my pretty strong thigh muscles that there was no way I could bring it back, so got clear. However, I started directly on 500s, so knew the mass & inertia right from the outset. You could say that I never knew any different.
    Stuck her arm out, I think. Taken by surprise, so it all happened quickly and she didn't have the presence of mind to 'lay the bike down'.

    Lots of horsey stuff
    I decided many years ago that horses were far too unpredictable for my liking. At least if I come off a bike it will probably be my fault rather than because the bike wanted to throw me

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    Lots of good advice.
    Thanks.

    Are you going to discuss this with her instructor? What's he(?) said so far?
    I haven't spoken to him myself, but I believe he knows we are on a tight timeline and has agreed to refund the course cost. So we'll look at re-booking after the trip.

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Scoots, box, yada yada

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Scootabout View Post
    Thanks for all that, Spin.
    No worries... good luck with the trip

    I didn't know it was possible to pull away in ANY gear!
    I wouldn't recommend it on a Ducati, but I've demo'd it a number of times when trainees have been blaming the clutch for their problems. In the old days of the on-the-road exercises, I've done top gear U-turns on roads where trainees have said it wasn't possible to get the bike round


    Bike was (she thinks!) a CB650F.
    OK, I've not ridden that model but I doubt it's significantly different to any of the other 600 Hondas. One tip - ladies usually have smaller hands / shorter fingers. It's usually a hulking great mechanic that sets up the free play on the clutch lever, and often to about 1 micron. That means the biting point is right out at the end of the clutch lever's free movement and very difficult to control smoothly - there's no strength in the fingertips. So use the cable adjuster to wind in some slack. Hondas usually have pretty 'clean' clutches and you can do this without fear of it dragging... makes it a lot easier to control it.

    If you need any other, more practical, help, I'm not far away - NW2 these days.

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quick update from proud dad, here: my son passed mod 2 of his test last Friday. 7 minors. Not bad, I think, after 2 months riding and not a huge number of miles. Off to France soon!

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Have a great trip!

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    I am a very small lady who rides a largish bike (R1200 GS) but I had a crisis when I went to learn. I had a male instructor who kept barking at me to do things as he did them paying no attention to the fact he was about 6 ft 2 and I am 5 ft on a good day (when it hasn't been raining and i have reduced height in the rain). I told him to shove it (or rather my husband did when he heard him having come to collect me) and found myself a lady instructor who rode a huge bike but understood how you need to ride differently. I don't know if you guys have noticed but us ladies are a different shape so gravity and centres of balance are slightly different and we don't have the upper body strength or leg length that you do. I wonder if you could find her a lady instructor (don't know where you are based but if you are near London I can recommend one) who has an appreciation of her size.

    Once I found a lady instructor I had no problem passing my test and we've been all over Europe on the bikes - also my husband is incredibly supportive when we are riding and doesn't try to "tell me how to do things" - unless I ask. There is something about building her confidence. As I can assure you there is no bike you can't ride so long as you can actually get on it........

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem View Post
    I am a very small lady who rides a largish bike (R1200 GS) but I had a crisis when I went to learn. I had a male instructor who kept barking at me to do things as he did them paying no attention to the fact he was about 6 ft 2 and I am 5 ft on a good day (when it hasn't been raining and i have reduced height in the rain). I told him to shove it (or rather my husband did when he heard him having come to collect me) and found myself a lady instructor who rode a huge bike but understood how you need to ride differently. I don't know if you guys have noticed but us ladies are a different shape so gravity and centres of balance are slightly different and we don't have the upper body strength or leg length that you do. I wonder if you could find her a lady instructor (don't know where you are based but if you are near London I can recommend one) who has an appreciation of her size.

    Once I found a lady instructor I had no problem passing my test and we've been all over Europe on the bikes - also my husband is incredibly supportive when we are riding and doesn't try to "tell me how to do things" - unless I ask. There is something about building her confidence. As I can assure you there is no bike you can't ride so long as you can actually get on it........
    I teach a lot of women at advanced level - probably far more than most advanced instructors actually, without counting up my ratio this year is nearly 50/50 - so not all male instructors are bad at training ladies.

    To be frank, I don't think that looking for a female instructor is the right answer. I've met some shockingly bad female trainers just as I've met some outstanding ones.

    The fact is, if you're a decent trainer you can coach anyone, male or female, short or tall, nervous or confident. And that's because a good instructor understands both the dynamics of the bike / rider system, has a good eye for spotting specific issues and knows what the correct solution is, and is able to put it across to the trainee in a non-threatening manner.

    And that's why looking at what the trainer offers, and trying to find out about their track record is more important than worrying about gender.

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    Default Re: Marital advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    I teach a lot of women at advanced level - probably far more than most advanced instructors actually, without counting up my ratio this year is nearly 50/50 - so not all male instructors are bad at training ladies.

    To be frank, I don't think that looking for a female instructor is the right answer. I've met some shockingly bad female trainers just as I've met some outstanding ones.

    The fact is, if you're a decent trainer you can coach anyone, male or female, short or tall, nervous or confident. And that's because a good instructor understands both the dynamics of the bike / rider system, has a good eye for spotting specific issues and knows what the correct solution is, and is able to put it across to the trainee in a non-threatening manner.

    And that's why looking at what the trainer offers, and trying to find out about their track record is more important than worrying about gender.
    I suspect you may be the exception that proves the rule Spin. The two male instructors I had both had good pass records but hadn't got any stats on gender break down. Having said that I did some training with the BMW school in Wales as I was having real trouble doing U Turns on my bike. The instructor (male) spotted immediately that the problem was my arms weren't long enough to hold both clutch and throttle as I turned and stuck with me sorting out a solution. Involved showing my OH a bike with a fitting which brought the bars a bit closer which he immediately ordered and fitted and now I can do a u turn (though it is a finger tip one!)

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