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CBR250R ABS, Red

My riding experience: MSF course 2 years ago.

Physicality: 5'5", 28"-29" inseam, 135-140 lbs. Tip-toeing on both feet.

Bought this bike today brand new, 0 miles for $5400 OTD. The plan was to slowly start riding in the neighborhood, but it was too intimidating, as I was having trouble starting from a stop (it's been 2 years). Moved the bike back to the side of the house to get some practice.

There was just enough room to go 4mph, but my focus point was trying to get a smooth lift off. I tend to wobble left and right when I get my feet off the ground. I know speed (not enough throttle?) and my body position is a big factor, as my wrist is hurting right now. Also trying to get the clutch and throttle control working in sync.

This was in 100 degree weather, mind you, so I probably got in only 1.5 hours of practice.

Any other tips you guys have besides more practice? Going to a parking lot, instead of practicing by the side of the house?
 

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Take MSF again if you don't remember the drills and need hands on training. Otherwise, practice the drills at an empty lot, using the training booklet that came with the bike as a guide. Two years is a long time to not be riding. Hell, I go back to the parking lot and do PLP if I haven't ridden for more than 2 weeks.
 

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As I was practicing, taking the MSF course again did cross my mind. I'll give it a few more practice sessions before I'll make a decision.
 

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While taking the MSF course again is nice if you have the money, I think the parking lot idea may be better if you have one close (price wise).

Starting off is kind of tricky, but don't be afraid to 'walk' the bike a little with your feet before picking them up completely. Even if you have to wait until the clutch is all the way out (probably should only try this if you don't use the throttle).

1. Don't look at the speedometer/tachometer, look where you are going and 'feel' the bike and the RPMs.
2. Let off the clutch slowly (at your weight you really don't *need* to use the throttle unless you are starting on a hill or trying to get a quicker take off). I'm 225lbs and can start off on level ground without using the throttle.
3. Once you are comfortable using just the clutch and the 'friction zone' (MSF term) to start moving, try to hold the throttle steady at 2 or 3k RPMs and let out the clutch slowly and start that way. Really the main take away is the clutch has just as much to do with your speed as the RPMs. You can go 5mph at 10k RPMs if you learn to use the clutch well.

Ride the clutch a little to get going and to shift, it's not a car your primary concern is smooth and controlled starts/shifts - speed comes with time ;)

Good luck! =)
 

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Book lessons with a good riding instructor in your area.
You'll need them to get your licence anyway.

Its cheaper than injuries, fairings and damage.
 

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If you feel you have forgotten a fair amount of what was taught 2 years ago in the MSF course, I would take it again immediately.

I think you need one-on-one direction from a trained instructor, not just time by yourself in a parking lot. You sound too unsure right now to safely venture out too far, so be careful.

You need to have confidence in your skills, while still knowing your limitations, to ride safely.
 

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Like Adurand said, clutch is king. Just like learning how to drive standard in a car, sit there and let the clutch out as slow as you can until you feel it start to grab. When it does start, you should be able to feel touch of vibration and the rpms may start to drop a touch. Just let the clutch out until you hit that first point where you can feel it start to grab, and play with that for a while.

After you have that down, play with throttle control a bit. Practice reving the bike up to exactly 3k or so, without going over. You can practice going up to some other rpms as well. Be able to do it both smooth and also fast if needed.

Now it's time to put them both together. Practice slowly and smoothly letting out the clutch while rolling on the gas a touch, and BAM!! You'll be set.

As far as the unstable takeoffs, trust the bike. If you think you're going to fall over, whenever anything happens that doesn't feel quite right you'll try and compensate for it, and most likely too much. Let the bike just go, it wants to stay upright while moving just as much as you.

Hope that helps.

Sent from my DROIDX using Motorcycle.com Free App
 
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Yes, I think you should have complete control of throttle, clutch, gears and brakes before you even think about going on a public highway. You'll have enough on your plate with everything else going on around you to even think about what you're doing to control the bike. Training is the way to go. We all had to learn once.
 

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Agree with retaking the MSF. A plus will be refreshing your previously learned skills on THEIR bikes, not your brand new one in which I think, the worry of dropping your shiney beautiful bike is upmost in your mind. Then go practice in a lot.
 

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Agree with retaking the MSF. A plus will be refreshing your previously learned skills on THEIR bikes, not your brand new one in which I think, the worry of dropping your shiney beautiful bike is upmost in your mind. Then go practice in a lot.
I just took the MSF a month ago and am considering going through it again now that I'm slightly more experienced. Alot of what was said to me would make more sense now. Can't get too much good advise. Wonder if they'll let me ride my bike.
 

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Any other tips you guys have besides more practice??
Buy a scooter.;)
I currently have three scooters and two motorcycles and owned lots of scooters and motorcycles in the past. Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother with the motorcycles any more. Scooters are easier to ride, more comfortable ( not always) have lots of storage and are very relaxing. These days you can buy a powerful scooter that will perform in the real world as well as most motorcycles.

I actually still enjoy motorcycles but I could never be comfortable on a new CBR250 and a bike you are not comfortable on is hard to ride. The seating and ergoes are for young kids who don't mind bending over at the hip in order look the part of a sport racer.:D

Seriously, the CBR is designed to mimic the look of a sport bike in order to attract young first time buyers. I get it. It looks cool but this is not the bike you want if you are looking for a comfortable easy to ride small commuter. I could see first time riders being turned off by how uncomfortable the CBR is.

The upcoming Honda street/trail 250 using the CBR's engine looks like it would make a better commuter although the seat height is uncharacteristically high for Honda.

Just keep practicing. You'll get better. I find that, for me, It is much easier and more relaxing to ride a more upright bike. The ninja 650r is a nice upright bike and I find it easier to ride than even my 07 ninja 250 which is more upright than the CBR.
 

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While an automatic scooter is easier to ride, the two problems of the OP are easily overcome with a little practice. Killing the engine on startup just needs a few more revs. The wobbly takeoff is from not looking far enough down the road.

Step one: set 3000 rpm and listen to the sound it makes.
Step two: look at least two blocks down the road.
Step three: ease the clutch out while maintaing that engine sound by adding throttle.
Repeat until smooth.
 

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I just took the MSF a month ago and am considering going through it again now that I'm slightly more experienced. Alot of what was said to me would make more sense now. Can't get too much good advise. Wonder if they'll let me ride my bike.
There is an advanced course and I think they want you to bring your own bike for it. Id think about taking that over the basic course.
 

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Even better than just taking MSF BRC again (or going to ARC, which is *NOT* a good idea for someone who doesn't have a good handle on the basics) is to book parking lot practice with MSF. Many locations do this for folks who already passed BRC... you get to go out and spend more range time with an instructor.

As for your wrist getting sore... RELAX YOUR GRIP

Throttle is rule #1. If you cannot control the throttle, none of the rest matters.

Practice practice practice. Relax your grip. You are not to EVER be "holding on" with your hands. This makes your "wobble" worse.

Here's my vids about relaxing the grip.
 

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CBR250R ABS, Red

My riding experience: MSF course 2 years ago.

Physicality: 5'5", 28"-29" inseam, 135-140 lbs. Tip-toeing on both feet.

Bought this bike today brand new, 0 miles for $5400 OTD. The plan was to slowly start riding in the neighborhood, but it was too intimidating, as I was having trouble starting from a stop (it's been 2 years). Moved the bike back to the side of the house to get some practice.

There was just enough room to go 4mph, but my focus point was trying to get a smooth lift off. I tend to wobble left and right when I get my feet off the ground. I know speed (not enough throttle?) and my body position is a big factor, as my wrist is hurting right now. Also trying to get the clutch and throttle control working in sync.

This was in 100 degree weather, mind you, so I probably got in only 1.5 hours of practice.

Any other tips you guys have besides more practice? Going to a parking lot, instead of practicing by the side of the house?
I am just about the same height as you, and was only able tip toe the bike at first. Buy really good motorcycle riding boots. It really helped me feel secure on the ground (With only toes) until I broke the bike in more (I can now almost flat foot it with just slightly leaning it to one side)

Once you have good boots practice getting used to the weight of the bike by leaning it back and forth between your legs while standing. This will help you get used to the weight of the bike, and train your legs for the added weight. (This is from the MSF course)

You wont feel as wobbly if you condition your body to recognize the bikes weight and feel.

NOW I would move on to finding the 'friction zone' of the clutch. You do not need throttle for this. Plant yourself as heavily on the bike with your feet down. SLOWLY release the clutch until it starts to grab and move forward, but pull the clutch back in before it goes anywhere. Then push yourself backwards with your toes, and repeat. The goal is to stay in the same spot and rock back and forth. Do that a bunch of times before adding the throttle into the equation.

Now you can start to let the bike move forward. Start with the friction zone but let the clutch catch, and literally WALK the bike forward (No throttle needed) Do not pick up your feet until or unless you feel comfortable.

Now if you start going to fast DO NOT GRAB THE FRONT BRAKE!! DONT panic, just slowly apply pressure to the front brake to stop. If you grab it hard, it will throw you off balance and you may fall.

You and the bike just have to get to know eachother, it will come with time and practice. I am also really new to riding, and had taken the MSF course a week before getting my license and bike, so a lot of this 'newbie' stuff is still fresh in my mind. I hope this helps!! =)

And if all else fails, take the MSF course again! :)
 

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As for your wrist getting sore... RELAX YOUR GRIP
You and your darn grip Dj; I swear you say that in almost every post lol. I have been thinking about that a lot as I ride around though. I am quite amazed at how much it does help.


Another reason your wrists may be sore is that you're putting too much weight on the handlebars. You don't need to put any of your weight onto them to control the bike. I would bet if you sat a little straighter up (putting more of your weight over the seat and pegs) and "relax your grip," you'll be good to go in that department.
 
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^Don't even need to put weight on the pegs really. Support the body with core muscles and squeeze the tank with knees and thighs. This helps with "becoming one with the bike". One just has to watch experienced riders stay on an upright bike without touching the bars. Relaxing the arms is HUGE.....relaxed arms do not transfer negative energy to the grips and thus steering.
 
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I actually still enjoy motorcycles but I could never be comfortable on a new CBR250 and a bike you are not comfortable on is hard to ride. The seating and ergoes are for young kids who don't mind bending over at the hip in order look the part of a sport racer.:D

Seriously, the CBR is designed to mimic the look of a sport bike in order to attract young first time buyers. I get it. It looks cool but this is not the bike you want if you are looking for a comfortable easy to ride small commuter. I could see first time riders being turned off by how uncomfortable the CBR is.
I must be aging in reverse -- no complaints, though! I traded a comfortable and relatively powerful Honda FSC600 Silver Wing for my CBR250R. However, I'll admit your post is generally correct; the average age of Silver Wing riders is quite a bit higher than CBR250R riders. You are exactly right there are scooters out there that would surprise more than a few motorcycle riders with their performance.
 

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^Don't even need to put weight on the pegs really. Support the body with core muscles and squeeze the tank with knees and thighs. This helps with "becoming one with the bike". One just has to watch experienced riders stay on an upright bike without touching the bars. Relaxing the arms is HUGE.....relaxed arms do not transfer negative energy to the grips and thus steering.

I know, but it's a good visual.
 

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If you can, retake the safety course. If not, try to connect with someone with a lot (multiple years) of in traffic riding. I'd stop practicing on your own, if you don't find yourself improving, learning comes by repetition, and works both for good and for evil, if you will. If you keep practicing bad maneuvers, they will harden themselves into bad habits. Habits are harder to break, just ask someone that quit smoking, or drinking alcohol.
Just my bit of advice, I've been riding 50+ years and still remember having to unlearn things I'd learned before and found a "better" way.


Doc
 
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