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  • The Mess.net motorcycle thread

    So after 43 years of having absolutely ZERO interest in motorcycles, I saw one recently that made me fall in love at first sight, and my whole world was turned upside down. Fast forward a month, and I'm almost through a 4-day motorcycle course and about to take my Class 6 license road test. I have a very specific bike in mind that I'll be buying, photos of which will definitely be posted here this summer sometime.

    There's gotta be a bunch of members here who have motorbikes, and stories to go with them. Let's see what you got!

    Also, let's hear about maintenance issues and solutions. To start, we had a mechanic with 35 years experience come to our class today to talk to us about motorcycle maintenance; after about an hour of talking about tires and the importance of checking them for proper pressure depending on the loads you're carrying (you'd be surprised how many riders ignore them completely), one of the things I took away from it was to use diesel fuel to clean gunk off the chain, and to not cheap out and buy a K&N air filter that can be cleaned and re-used on the road (as opposed to a cheap paper filter which could leave you stranded if it gunks up on you in the middle of nowhere).




  • #2
    In class today we learned about emergency braking and push steering (or counter steering). Counter-steering is very counter-intuitive, and there's the problem. Basically you have to push the bike's handlebars in the opposite direction you want to turn, unlike driving a car or even a bicycle.

    Here's a terrifying video of the consequences of not understanding the principles of counter-steering.
    https://youtu.be/ZUWViatY_LA

    Comment


    • #3
      Almost got caught out with that in my very early riding days when I crossed the carriageway shitting myself as the corner tightened unexpectedly.

      Passed my bike test in 1996, currently got a ZX6R, an old one.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Stonecutter View Post
        There's gotta be a bunch of members here who have motorbikes, and stories to go with them. Let's see what you got!
        I don't have one and presumably never will. Which brings me to the story part. The older brother of one of my best friends is resting at the cemetery a couple hundred meters away from where I live. He got killed during a not self inflicted accident. A grandpa in a BMW thought it's ok to make a U-turn right into flowing, oncomming traffic, hit my mates brother and sent him flying at the curb. The guy was riding a Virago so not a bike you associate with racers just to mention it. The problem was that he had one of these multitools in the left brest pocket of his bike jacket which unfortunately must have gotten into a vey bad position as he landed and ripped off his aorta straight away so he basically died of internal bleeding within seconds. I was at the hospital with my friend and talked to the doc who was trying to do what he could that day. He told us that he got severe head injuries which would presumably have made him a nursing case for the rest of his life if the other thing wouldn't have happend.
        It's a very unpleasant experience if you get a call from a crying friend telling you "Benni is dead" I can tell you! We were at the crash scene and the hospital as I've already mentioned and it was like a freaking movie with retreving the bloody clothes and belongings in a plastic bag. I nearly punched a nurse into her face that day because she was so ice cold and acting like it was his fault.
        Ben actually was one of the guys that always joked with the "race bike" drivers that they'll get killed one day on their "yoghurt cups". Many of the guys I know have deregistered their bikes by now and only transport them to race tracks if they want to ride because it's simply too dangerous to drive in traffic. I can't count how many fractured hipps and other things I know about by now. I can just shake my head about how way too many bikers actually behave in traffic. Without any understanding what they're doing and who will potentially pay the ultimate price.

        Stay safe!

        Comment


        • #5
          ^^ I know, mate. I was at a call a few years ago where a motorcyclist actually and literally got ripped in half by a transport truck. Picked his heart up on the pavement. The bike I'll be getting will be mostly for country road exploring and camping. Going for our first highway ride today, it's going to be a 3-hour trip, some of it in the city. I'll have a better idea of how vulnerable I'll feel after that..

          Comment


          • #6
            There is an existing thread here somewhere. I will see if I can find it.

            My username should be a hint as to my love for motorcycles.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softail

            But, truth be told. I do not ride that much anymore.

            ***

            Stonecutter I think there are different opinions on factory oem and K&N air filters. I ran K&N filters for many years on bikes and cars. My bike still has one. However, I don't use one on my Jeep.

            My bike doesn't see dirt.

            My Jeep does.

            Supposedly, K&N filters are not as good as factory in dusty environments. Dust particles and combustion chambers don't mix well long term.

            ***

            Edit: Link to the existing thread:

            http://themess.net/forum/off-topic/3...-scooter/page1
            Last edited by GB_FXST; 15-06-2017, 06:57 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ah, that's why I didn't find it when I did a search prior to posting a new thread topic. Searched "motorcycle", not "scooter". lol Guess this one can be deleted then.

              Comment


              • #8
                For the first time in over 40 years I no longer own a "street only" bike, both are now dual sports. I own 2008 Kaw KLR650 (bought June of '07 so it's now ten years old) and a 2016 Honda CRF250L. The Kaw has just over 45,000 miles and the Honda is new with less than 500. The Kaw has been remarkably trouble free considering it has led a rough life and has become my favorite all time motorcycle. It is very comfortable, handles well and is by far the most reliable and user friendly bike I've ever owned. It's the KLR in RobertKLR, and yes, I am a militant K'LaRista. The Honda is to new to make any calls on it yet.

                The Kaw's maintenance is simple, change the oil and filter every 2,500 miles. I still use the stock air filter and clean it often with gasoline and oil it with 30 wt motor oil, nothing special or fancy there. It is carbureted and still starts instantly and gets about 50mpg (the fuel injected Honda can get 81mpg!). I recently removed the gas tank, fuel valve and the fuel vent and cleaned them all. I figured after ten years and thousands of miles of dirt roads those parts needed some TLC. I recovered the seat on the Kaw after an eyelet on my boot ripped a gash in it when I threw my leg over it. That was the first time I ever did that. I learned how by watching a few videos on how it's done and it turned out really nice. If you do a search for a Kawasaki KLR 650 electrical schematic you'll probably find the one I created about 8 years ago. It has become the schematic everyone uses when dealing with the bike's electrics. It is far more readable than Kawasaki's schematic.

                I have never cleaned a chain with diesel fuel and I don't know anyone else who ever has and I think it is a completely unnecessary task. I just lube my chains every 500 miles or so with PJ-1 and wipe it off with a rag. I got 18,000 out of the last chain before the teeth started to hook on the sprockets. I always change sprockets and chains at the same time because a worn sprocket will wear out a new chain quickly just as an old chain will quickly wear out new sprockets.




                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marsch View Post

                  I don't have one and presumably never will. Which brings me to the story part. The older brother of one of my best friends is resting at the cemetery a couple hundred meters away from where I live. He got killed during a not self inflicted accident. A grandpa in a BMW thought it's ok to make a U-turn right into flowing, oncomming traffic, hit my mates brother and sent him flying at the curb. The guy was riding a Virago so not a bike you associate with racers just to mention it. The problem was that he had one of these multitools in the left brest pocket of his bike jacket which unfortunately must have gotten into a vey bad position as he landed and ripped off his aorta straight away so he basically died of internal bleeding within seconds. I was at the hospital with my friend and talked to the doc who was trying to do what he could that day. He told us that he got severe head injuries which would presumably have made him a nursing case for the rest of his life if the other thing wouldn't have happend.
                  It's a very unpleasant experience if you get a call from a crying friend telling you "Benni is dead" I can tell you! We were at the crash scene and the hospital as I've already mentioned and it was like a freaking movie with retreving the bloody clothes and belongings in a plastic bag. I nearly punched a nurse into her face that day because she was so ice cold and acting like it was his fault.
                  Ben actually was one of the guys that always joked with the "race bike" drivers that they'll get killed one day on their "yoghurt cups". Many of the guys I know have deregistered their bikes by now and only transport them to race tracks if they want to ride because it's simply too dangerous to drive in traffic. I can't count how many fractured hipps and other things I know about by now. I can just shake my head about how way too many bikers actually behave in traffic. Without any understanding what they're doing and who will potentially pay the ultimate price.

                  Stay safe!
                  Sorry to hear about your friend.

                  I've been riding for 30+ years.

                  I've had a few off-road "offs" entirely, self inflicted, and got hit from behind by hit and run driver that earned me a concussion 15+ years ago.

                  Accidents happen. I've been to a couple of motorcycle related funerals. A tiny fraction of all the funerals I've attended.

                  Everything worth doing in life has associated risk.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I learned to ride on a Kawasaki 90. I had never ridden a motorcycle and there was no rider training like today. I didn't even know anyone who knew how to ride. I was so ignorant of the basics I didn't even know the bike had terrible brakes because I didn't know what good brakes were like. The brakes were drums about the size of a tuna can and past 15mph were not capable of slowing the bike down much. Actual breaking was accomplished by rapid downshifts, clutch work and engine compression. It would be two years before I rode a bike with real brakes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Flagg View Post

                      Sorry to hear about your friend.

                      I've been riding for 30+ years.

                      I've had a few off-road "offs" entirely, self inflicted, and got hit from behind by hit and run driver that earned me a concussion 15+ years ago.

                      Accidents happen. I've been to a couple of motorcycle related funerals. A tiny fraction of all the funerals I've attended.

                      Everything worth doing in life has associated risk.
                      Well said.

                      There are also strategies to lower that risk:

                      Always Wear a helmet / or ATGATT
                      Never drink and ride
                      Take safety courses
                      Get a license

                      ***

                      The Hurt report speaks to this:

                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurt_Report

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GB_FXST View Post

                        Well said.

                        There are also strategies to lower that risk:

                        Always Wear a helmet / or ATGATT
                        Never drink and ride
                        Take safety courses
                        Get a license

                        ***

                        The Hurt report speaks to this:

                        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurt_Report
                        I remember when that came out. From that I learned the most common car/motorcycle accident came from car drivers making unsignaled turns into an oncoming rider's path. It was a life saving warning for the riders who read it. Once aware of the issue I was more alert for such things and avoided some potentially serious accidents. This is also when I began to use the front brake more aggressively because it is the bulk of the stopping power (about 70%). I know riders who have been riding for years that rarely use their front brakes because they are afraid of them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RobertKLR View Post

                          I remember when that came out. From that I learned the most common car/motorcycle accident came from car drivers making unsignaled turns into an oncoming rider's path. It was a life saving warning for the riders who read it. Once aware of the issue I was more alert for such things and avoided some potentially serious accidents. This is also when I began to use the front brake more aggressively because it is the bulk of the stopping power (about 70%). I know riders who have been riding for years that rarely use their front brakes because they are afraid of them.
                          The single most important thing I did was take the advanced MSF class, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth in 1992.

                          The whole silly myth about not using the front brakes was aggressively dispelled during that class.

                          I suppose it's origins has to do with poor brakes, dirt riding, and general confusion about braking before a lean, not during a lean. I suppose there is something to be said about controlling a rear slide, as opposed to a front slide, but still.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The first round of accessories for the Honda 250 ... tail tidy, luggage rack, skid plate, radiator guard, folding shift lever, 1 inch bar risers, taller seat and windscreen. The windscreen vastly improved the aerodynamics and made 6th gear usable against the wind. It runs at highway speeds much easier now.





                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stonecutter View Post
                              In class today we learned about emergency braking and push steering (or counter steering). Counter-steering is very counter-intuitive, and there's the problem. Basically you have to push the bike's handlebars in the opposite direction you want to turn, unlike driving a car or even a bicycle.
                              So i was on my bycicle again today and............

                              Actually you do countersteer intuitively.
                              Not when youre slow but once youre fast enough

                              The first time i heard about countersteering i had the wrong impression, i thought it was for the whole turn, but it is only for a blink of a second.
                              Unless you drive moto gp, they want maximun leaning.


                              Now that i understand countersteering i only need............... money.
                              I saw a GSX R years ago and i still want it

                              Comment

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