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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm Starfire from Christchurch, NZ. I've wanted a motorbike of my own since I was old enough to ride pillion with my Step-Dad, mumble, mumble (20 ish) years ago, I've finally got around to doing it. I got my learner licence last week and have a 2013 CBR250R in red/black/silver. I've got a 50Km round trip commute, mix of open road & city riding & I'll be doing it on the bike most of the time now.

Had my first ride on it yesterday, I took it out on the back roads of the small town I live in, then into Christchurch along my usual commute route, I can't wait until all the roadworks are done (6 set of roadworks on a 25Km trip). Unfortunately also had my first experience of a driver failing to see me, old guy pulled out right in front of me as I was coming round a roundabout. So now I know what it feels like when the back wheel starts to slide out :eek:, could of done without that on my first ride.

Had some trouble to start with getting used to needing to keep the rev's much higher than my car, but I seem to be getting it figured out.

biggest problem at the moment is moving of from lights etc. gods know how many times I've stalled when doing it. Any tips for how to get better? Aside from just practice?

Any recommendations for luggage that will fit & look good on it? I'm particularly looking for something that will take a 17" laptop, but non of the soft paniers I've looked at will fit it. Tall tail bags are a definite no though, My backpack was killing my back this afternoon, so I strapped it onto the pillion seat, not doing that again, I need a freaking mounting block to get my leg over it :ROFLMAO:. Leaning towards smallish soft panniers with the laptop in a padded case strapped across the top atm. Really tempted by the Oxford P50R panniers in red, has anyone used these? What are they like?

On a related note, what's the best way to secure soft panniers so I can leave them on the bike with my leathers in them? Not to worried about serious thieves, where I'll be parking the bike is pretty secure, just want to prevent someone getting into them easily or grabbing them off the bike as they walk past.
 

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Hi Starfire and welcome to the forum. :)
Taking off with the CBR 250 isn't that much different than on any other vehicle with a manual gearbox. Just raise the revs a little and ease the clutch into the biting point. You'll get the hang of it in no time. :)
 

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Greetings & Salutations Starfire! :)

On 250s, to start, I always immediately use 100% WOT throttle (let out clutch at matching speed). Might beat VW Bug across intersection that way.

Good job avoiding geezer at roundabout! They are treacherous!!!
 

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Welcome from the U.S.

I would strongly suggest getting some type of formal instruction.

Traffic today is just too intense in most places, and leaves no time for thinking about what to do - you need to know what to do. You need to know how to operate the cycle without much conscious thought.

One of the most important things to learn is how to efficiently use the front brake. It's the one that will slow the bike rapidly without the "sliding-out" of the rear when over-used.

I've been riding and racing for over 40 years, and rarely use the rear brake. I use it mostly for slow speed maneuvering and in low traction conditions. For everything else I use the front exclusively. For it to work safely you much have quality tires and practice your technique.
 

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While I haven't been riding as long as jk357 :) , only 37-yrs, I learned early on to primarily use front-brake. In fact, rear brakes on my 34-yr old VF500F are original ones that came from factory!!! I've gone through at least 10 sets of front pads and rotors.

While mild braking can use 50/50, as you demand more and more stopping power, the deceleration throws more and more weight onto front-end, thus reducing weight and grip from rear end. Maximum braking at +1G has ALL weight on front-tyre with nothing available from rear. Don't worry, with street tyres, you'll slide front before going over.



Take what you'll learn from class or instructors and practice tonnes in safe and controlled areas (big parking lots). Practice:

- braking, gradually increase braking force by squeezing front brake harder. You'll be amazed at how much faster you can stop than cars! Squeeze your knees together to prevent your weight from being tossed onto your hands (which makes modulating brakes difficult).

- Figure-8s. Really teaches you to flick bike back & forth

- U-turns into boxes. Teaches decisive steering inputs and shifting body around.

Stay away from geezers and have fun!!!
 

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Thanks Danno. Original rear brake pads on my '06 SV as well.

Many new riders think the rear brake is adequate for stopping because it works fine at slow speeds and moderate braking.

The problem is, when speeds increase and significant braking is required it doesn't. The rear brake becomes almost useless during hard braking when weight transfers forward and the rear wheel contact is reduced to almost zero.

It is also going to lock easily as contact is reduced, and the rear will step-out to the side - complicating your ability to maneuver if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the welcome everyone.

We have government subsidised courses called 'ride forever' in NZ so I'll be doing those. Did the first one, the 4 hour urban/commuter course yesterday in fact and booked in for the next one in the beginning of December. I'll be getting private instruction as well, when I can afford it from the same instructor who I'm doing the courses with. I've had about 3 hours of private instruction so far and there was only one other person taking the course with me yesterday. The instructor is great, she actually rescheduled yesterday's course so I could attend it. it was originally in the morning when I had to be in class, but she knew the other rider had the whole day off, so moved it to the afternoon.

I did use both brakes when the geezer pulled out in front of me, but it was on a small single lane roundabout so I was turning fairly tightly and he pulled out with less than two bike lengths in front of me. :rolleyes:

Thanks for the advice on taking off, fortunately I drive a manual car (uncommon over here) and have for years, so it sounds like I'm on the right track and just need to get used to where the clutch starts grabbing and needing much higher rev's than the car.

Traffic here is nothing like as crazy as I suspect some of you deal with, the small town I live in has less than 15,000 people and the population of Christchurch's, which is NZ's second largest city, is just under 400K.

Any advice on panniers/carrying stuff? My back is killing me today after carrying my laptop and everything else in my backpack yesterday.
 

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Slamming on both brakes, maintaining balance AND avoiding geezer is great for starting rider! :)

For longest time at university, I would just lay my backpack full of books (15kg) on back-seat and strap it down with stretch-cords. Then unwrap at destination and wear it to class.

I tried using paniers for shopping, but I found that they tended to rotate when loaded unevenly and some people have had bottom of bags burnt by exhaust if it shifted to that side. I suppose if there was some sort of criss-cross strapping system underneath, it would hold steady. I'm just not familiar with those.

Currently, I've got 40-ltr top-case that holds helmet and textile 1-piece snuggly. It locks as well. But I still prefer to bring them into office for safe storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I tried the strapping my backpack to the pillion seat with bungies the day before yesterday, but it's too hard for me to get on the bike with it there. I've got bad hips & my current riding pants wont let me raise my leg high enough to get my foot over the bag.

Fortunately I have a car to do my shopping with, I just need something to carry stuff for classes, draughting tools, laptop, charger, water bottle and note taking stuff and a change of clothes for when I get there.

I'll only be leaving stuff on the bike for 3-4hrs generally and the bike parking is right outside the main doors of the building, so I'm thinking it'll be secure enough if I lock the zips and make sure the pannier attachment straps can't be easily undone or cut. Does that seem reasonable?
 

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Slamming on both brakes, maintaining balance AND avoiding geezer is great for starting rider! :)
Slamming on brakes is never a good advice to give to people who are new to riding. I guess you were not serious but just to clarify:

@Starfire
Always ease into the brakes. Let the weight of the bike transfer to the front wheel and gradually apply more front brake power without locking it up (the more weight gets transferred to the tire the more stopping power you can apply without locking it up). Easier said than done but if you pull the front brake too quickly with no weight on the tire you can lock it up easily. (that's why I chose a bike with ABS because I'm, not convinced I could handle to balance maximum stopping power and not locking up the wheel in an emergency situation).


I tried the strapping my backpack to the pillion seat with bungies the day before yesterday, but it's too hard for me to get on the bike with it there. I've got bad hips & my current riding pants wont let me raise my leg high enough to get my foot over the bag.
You can actually climb on the foot rest with the bike being on the side stand without tipping it over. That way you don't have to lift your leg that high to get over the saddle.

I wanted to buy car 250 less kms ridden bike I need members help
I have no idea what you just asked for.o_O
 

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I tried the strapping my backpack to the pillion seat with bungies the day before yesterday, but it's too hard for me to get on the bike with it there. I've got bad hips & my current riding pants wont let me raise my leg high enough to get my foot over the bag.
(SNIP)
Depending on the size of your laptop, a tailbag may work. Tankbags aren't usually big enough for a laptop, but they are handy.

When get on the cycle with a tailbag in place, my foot goes over the rider's seat (between the tank and the bag) - I don't try to swing it up over the bag.
 

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yes, by "slamming" I mean "quick" braking.

Can you do jkv357's mounting technique? Like mixte/step-through bicycle. Or perhaps try combination of both techniques by hopping on with bike still on side-stand:

1. strap backpack to pillion seat

2. put right hand on backpack

3. step on left peg with left foot and stand up on it

4. lift right foot over front seat towards right side of bike

5. sit down on seat

Here's review of panniers: Motorcycle Saddlebags Buyer's Guide

For locking security, you can get locking strap: Steelcore Luggage Locking Strap (Single Strap)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the advice, I'll try the standing on the foot peg to mount, I' might try with someone to steady the bike first though, I'm a little nervous about it falling over on me.

My legs are short enough I can't get both heels firmly on the ground at the same time when I'm on the bike & I don't have enough flexibility to lift my foot up to my hip level in front of me and over the seat instead of leaning forward and swinging my leg over the tail, not sure if that's just my current riding pant's though, since I have to tug the upper thigh up every time I go to get on anyway or it bind's & I can't get my leg over at all. I guess I'll see once my custom gear arrives & maybe go back to dancing again :p that should help in the flexibility department.

thanks for the luggage links, I've seen the steelcore straps, just not sure how to use them for something like these:

44512


These are the Oxford P50R bag's I'm leaning towards atm, with a low profile tailbag to fit just the laptop over the seat.
 

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I have the Givi rack and then a large Givi mono lock box on my CBR-250RA , it's great can leave a helmet in there and heaps of other stuff. The box locks pretty well, probably not the best for a high crime area but good enough for most parts of Christchurch I would have thought ... If you change bikes you can keep the box and just get a new rack for the next bike.

I used it when I rode to varsity in West Australia everyday and it was brilliant.


I also have a Kriega R30 MC backpack ... I can't leave a helmet in it, but these ones are built for riding and VERY comfortable. They are also very waterproof in the main body. I carry heavier stuff in there as well as valuables, phone / wallet / keys.

Beware putting too much weight in a top box, many of them have very low maximum weights due to the mount points and it also impacts the handling. You also don't want that weight moving around as you lean the bike. Beauty of the big Givi's is just open it and put helmet, gloves and boots in there if you don't want to drag them into work. The big Givi's also have a big red reflective strip so they make you a little easier to see. I think some can even be hooked up to the brake lights.

You can also use both which would give you the best of both worlds. Heavier stuff / books, valuable etc in your Kriega backpack to keep C of G where it should be and cavernous Givi for bulky light stuff you can leave with the bike.

Good luck.
 
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