Hi. Name's Laurie. I was born in the UK but moved to Japan about thirty years ago. Started out on bikes about forty five years back, beginning with a CB125S, following on with a Kawasaki S3 and a Suzuki GT750. Then married bliss came along, followed by kids, at with point the beloved kettle got traded in for a car.Had a brief return to biking about 25 years back with VT250. Now with the kids all grown up and the mortgage a distant memory I'm back in the saddle with a CBR250R. At least I will be when it arrives later this week. Hoping it will be all the fun I remember it was, and also hoping I can remember how to ride the darned thing. But hey, it's like riding a bike... isn't it???
Welcome... I have no doubt you'll have a blast on your new CBR250R.
I too started riding about 50 years ago, and you're right it is "just like riding a bike". One big difference today IMO, is that the roads are far more dangerous, what with all the distracted drivers talking & texting on their cell phones. Needless to say that back in the day we motorcyclist's didn't have that to contend with. Nowadays it seems the automobile driver who isn't using a cell phone while driving is the rare exception. Be alert out there!
Welcome Laurie. Shame you missed so many good riding years.
I had a very enjoyable couple of weeks in Honshu in '98 staying in Tokyo and Kyoto and touring by train and bicycle. It was a highly memorable trip and I'm quite envious of you getting to live in that country. If you've got the time, a CBR250R makes a great lightweight touring bike with good comfort and fuel range and from what I remember of my Japan trip there won't be too many places where you'd have the space to feel lacking in power.
I spent a few years importing and selling used Japanese bikes, mostly 250 traillies, but a few road bikes too to make up the numbers. One of them was the VTZ250 I ran for several years prior to getting my CBR250R. I'd love to go back to Japan and it'd be great to see a few pictures of the area you call home.
Many thanks for the welcome, folks. It's true that I've missed a lot of years riding but as with so many people, I guess, there are only so many things to cram into the day, and only so many things that budget will stretch to. Now I've a little leeway with both, getting back into the saddle is something I'm really looking forward too. Tell the truth, I did ponder the issue - whether I might be just a little long in the tooth, and also the safety aspect. After about six months of watching bike clips on You Tube my missus just said, "Go ahead and buy one if that's what you want. Just make sure you buy all he right gear to go with it." So I did.
I live in a small seaside town in Wakayama prefecture. Population about 30,000. Beautiful coastal road running north to south and nothing but mountains behind. There is absolutely nowhere Ill be able to open the bike right up (side from the expressway, and I see no fun in that) but lots and lots of winding roads to enjoy. And as True Faith said, if you find a pothole, you've got yourself a collector's item. And Keith, Japan is indeed a beautiful and fascinating place to live or just to visit. Glad you had the chance to visit. I'll try and post a few pictures to give you an idea. Nothing like the bustle of Tokyo or Osaka (great to visit, but not where I'd like to live). This is rural Japan.
Finally got to ride the thing today. About a week later than expected but worth the wait. First time on a bike in twenty years but it all came back fairly quickly. That's not to say my skills don't need an awful lot of polishing - in fact, I'm absolutely certain that they do. I shall be taking it very steady for a while.
It's a busy little bike, isn't it? My corner of Japan has lots of hills and twisty roads which means I spent a lot of time going up and down the gears, though in fairness, it has a lot more torque than I expected.
Handles well enough, though at first I felt I had to push the thing through curves. After about half an hour I tried hanging a knee and for whatever reason it immediately made a difference. We seemed to go through curves so much better. I'm really not sure what to deduce from that, other than my technique could use some work.
Only downside - if you can call it that - is that my first ride coincided with the coldest day of the winter so far. About seven degrees C and an arctic wind howling down over the mountains. Bloody freezing... but who cares? I'm back in the saddle
The CBR single is torquey as heck, which is one of the things I really love about it coming off a Ninja 250R twin.
Don't "baby" the engine. It doesn't like to be lugged, especially going up hills.
The more you ride it the quicker you'll learn that the engine loves to be up in the higher RPMs. It becomes the bike it's meant to be above 7000 rpms. You need to be consistently flirting with the redline if you want to enjoy the full potential of this bike and if you haven't hit the rev limiter at least once by now you're riding it way too conservatively.
Thrash it and your CBR will be a happy bike and will always reward you for the effort