Stuff I’ve learned……

I’ve been riding two-wheeled vehicles for about 4.5 years now, and hopefully I’ve picked up a few things along the way…….

Even so, there are still lots of things that I don’t know (or claim to know) but that’s part of the fun…..and learning something about my bike, or me as a rider each day is what makes it all worthwhile.

So what things have I learned?

One thing I was taught during one of my earlier licensing courses was countersteering….. and I remember thinking at the time that it one of the most amazing things I’d ever been shown………..once I got my head around the idea of “steering left to go right….”

At that time I was on a 125cc scooter and we were out on the road-ride component for M.O.S.T  (Motorcycle Operator Skills Test) – we stopped at a cafe for lunch and our instructor asked everyone to try this technique on the ride back……After conciously giving it a go, it then became second nature and is now something I do all the time.

Another thing that I was initially hesitant about, but as my confidence grew I was amazed at the level of grip and lean angle that I could acheive on a bike.  We’ve all seen MotoGP and other road racers lean their bikes over at insane angles when negotiating corners on the track.     The maximum lean angle for a MotoGP bike on a dry track is about 60 degrees!…one article I read reported that Colin Edwards pulled an unofficial 71 degrees in practice one year at Qatar….

I’ve posted video of my own on-track adventures at Willowbank Kart Track a few years ago, and that was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had on a bike.   I still remember the stories and the laughter from some of the assembled riders at the track when the scooter riders took to the road.  Even on the night that I was there, it was obvious that the high powered quad, motard and road racer guys all took pleasure in having a chuckle when the 50cc – 125cc boys and girls hit the track……but after a while they began to see how much fun (and for such little money) we were all having.   Eventually there were some of them who brought along scooters as well so that they were able to spend even more time on the track during the night.

When I upgraded to the Derbi GP1-250, my confidence grew even more.  That thing inspired confidence and handled like it was on rails.  Its small wheels and well-balanced chassis made it handle like a bike, with automatic simplicity.    Now after over 6 months on the V-Strom,  I often come to corners that I have ridden on both bikes and can can clearly feel the difference between the two bikes.

And now what have I learned on my “real bike”?   Quite a lot…….firstly, the bike is bigger, heavier, faster and way more powerful than the scooters, I’ve also learned that it demands even more respect and concentration, but I’ve also come to understand the rewards that it can offer……the sound it generates when pulling out of a corner, the ease with which it allows overtaking of other vehicles……

The V-Strom is a fantastic bike, and perfect for me with the roads that I ride and the gear that I often need to carry.

I’ve learnt a lot in the last 4.5 years……more than I could write here, and I know that learning will continue.

But I’ve also learned that simple things bring a smile to my face while on the bike………Riding a bike is great and something that I enjoy each and every day.

I hope that this week is a good one for all of you out there, have fun and stay safe,

Cheers,

Anthony

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~ by anthony on January 31, 2011.

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