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  • #46
    Originally posted by psitzmary View Post
    I meant, I am NOW AND ADVOCATE against newbies learning to ride on bikes over 500cc. Sorry for all the typos.

    Mary
    Will I ever type this correct!!! Darn it.! Last try...

    I AM NOW AN ADVOCATE AGAINST NEWBIES LEARNING TO RIDE ON BIKES OVER 500CC! Wow, third times a charm. Sorry guys.

    Mary
    Novice~
    1985 Honda Rebel 250 (Blue)
    2007 Harley Davidson 883C Sportster (Black Beauty aka B.B.)

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    • #47
      Originally posted by psitzmary View Post
      What is the 'big bike' you are talking about compared to here in the USA?
      Big bike is the F650GS twin. 70hp vs 30hp and physically larger by a lot. Nearly twice the suspension travel (ok, that will be nice!), 20% bigger in every imaginable dimension, three times the torque, ABS, a real headlamp, peak torque is at 4500 instead of 10K (ha!), weighs 20% more, etc.

      It's a completely different motorbike in every imaginable way.

      Based on numbers only, I would take the Suzuki Gladius out instead, but I sat on it the other day, and my hips are just not wide enough for that.
      Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
      2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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      • #48
        Look at my avatar (profile picture). This bike will be a good one for you, I think. You won't feel the weight at all once you get moving.
        ~Teri
        Originally posted by Bugguts
        Hey, at my age running hot and loss of spark is a common problem.
        2013 Triumph Tiger 800
        2018 Triumph Street Triple R - Low
        2015 Ninja 300 (sold to a student rider, renamed Lloyd)

        sigpic

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        • #49
          Lesson 13: Autobahn again, this time with more stau. A bit of in town putting around, then about 60km of assorted exit ramps, entrances, open stretches, and about 2km of backed up traffic. I was quite pleased with myself for riding it out in 1st and 2nd and not putting my feet down once! More rules to review: following distance in meters is speed in kph/2. Go slower in the turns. Don't lean over so far, it looks too aggressive. Keep your body up, it's easier to see your head turn. This lesson was really focused on what the testing engineer will expect from me and also want to see, as opposed to riding technique. There was quite a bit of wind, so I found myself trying to lay down on the tank. That did not work, but I did spend a bunch of time working on body position and paying attention to how this affected throttle input.

          Stau is the German word for a traffic backup. It's a hundred times better than "traffic backup", because it comes from Rückstau, which translates to "the water that is coming out of a backed-up pipe."
          Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
          2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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          • #50
            Theory test - passed!! I took it in English, which contributed to me missing one question - the translation was bad. But at least I know that I did actually know the right answer.

            Twenty questions instead of thirty, since I have a car license already. Ten of basic traffic knowledge, and ten of motorbike-specific knowledge. The question I blew had to do with the sidestand - the british english was goofy and I missed one of the two correct answers of the three. I stared at it for a while, too. I kept trying to translate it back into German to see if I could remember if that one was also correct. But only three points off, of a permitted six, from a total of 72.

            Honestly? A total relief, but still pissed I missed anything.
            Last edited by atomicalex; 09-23-2011, 09:01 AM.
            Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
            2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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            • #51
              Lesson 14: Out on the F650GS. This bike is a 180 from the little Kawi. And honestly whoever designed the engine needs to be shot, multiple times, with a sufficient pattern to insure death. Around town a bit, traffic management, and then off to the practice pad for cone dodging. While the Eliminator went around u-turns under power, this one requires you to have all of your speed collected before the turn, because it will stall at turning speed. I was able to turn it after only a few tries. It feels a bit more comfortable to ride - the seating position seems more natural to me. I also had my first bad day - there was a ton of traffic at the practice lot, and I got spooked by a car driving way too fast in a crossing and braked too hard with the wheel turned. So that's what dropping the bike feels like. I went down smoothly, if that is possible. I knew I was going down, kind of lowered the bike as I went, and rolled out of the way. I was embarrassed and really beside myself, but my instructor was so calm - "it's a driving school bike. Don't worry, get your thoughts together, give yourself a minute, and get back on the bike and go." I wasn't able to pick it up myself (went down to the left and this was not covered in the training..) but with a boost from the instructor, it was back up and I was back on it, trying to chill out enough to continue. I felt like a fool - I knew what I did wrong - wheel turned - and I felt like I was watching it in slow motion. Overall, it was a huge success of a lesson - I transitioned to the new bike without major hiccups. Instructor was completely not bothered by my fail, actually was very encouraging, and is planning for my practical to be next week.

              Tomorrow morning: more work with the big bike - remaining cone dodging skills, stop-and-go, and more traffic.
              Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
              2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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              • #52
                Originally posted by atomicalex View Post
                Lesson 14: Out on the F650GS. ............... While the Eliminator went around u-turns under power, this one requires you to have all of your speed collected before the turn, because it will stall at turning speed. I was able to turn it after only a few tries.
                Will more feathering the clutch more allow you to use engine power during the turn? Not familiar with the bike and how the power is delivered.
                I still make a runny one now and then, but the goo is good on ice cream.

                -- Overcaffeinated

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                • #53
                  Yeah, it's all clutch on this one. By the end of the evening, my left hand was well-stretched!
                  Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                  2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Lesson 15: Back to the practice pad and the 30kph zones. Now is crunch time - will I be able to stand the practical exam on the BMW? After today, the verdict is yes, we continue with the big bike. We spend the morning working on the test skills - slalom, pressing, avoidance, stopping at full force, u-turns, and so forth. More 30 zones to check my traffic readiness. A bit of autobahn - during this, somehow I managed to forget about the extra 45hp this bike is packing, and got left behind by the peacock. I get more comfortable with the controls: the blinker cancel is killing me. I continue to struggle with the throttle and the torque curve, but significantly refine my clutch use and corner much more smoothly. Low speed moves are somewhat easier on this bike because of the extra mass - the momentum carries it through.

                    Two more lessons next week, and assuming an engineer can be found, practical on friday morning... nerves are already creeping in......
                    Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                    2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by atomicalex View Post
                      <snip>
                      A bit of autobahn - during this, somehow I managed to forget about the extra 45hp this bike is packing, and got left behind by the peacock.
                      Now you know why we call that twisty thing on the right grip the "fun stick!"
                      Chaz

                      "In terms of improving one’s mood and general outlook I consider the ukulele to be the big gun." - Loudon Wainwright III

                      '16 S1000XR "Raquel" - Red, the "energetic and quick-thinking" color!

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                      • #56
                        Ok, so I started thinking about the drop more and more.

                        When I went down, I had the wheel to the left, and I braked stupidly hard as a car came from the right and was doing about 40 in a 20. As I put my feet down, I could feel the bike falling. I tried to straighten it and wrestle it up, but to no avail. So down it went. I know that I yelled for my instructor as I was going over. I felt like I let the bike slide down my left leg, and it seemed that I somehow curled up and rolled away from it. I know that I ended up about two meters away, which would be consistent with me rolling out. I also know that I landed on my left hip and shoulder, and I recall feeling the armor pieces as I rolled. I can't remember if I ended up on my stomach or my back, I know I flopped over to my back at some point. I did not hit my head - checked the helmet and no abrasions or marks, and I would have felt the impact (I felt everything else...). I was definitely on the ground for a minute or two, bike did not shut off until we got to it and turned it off.

                        Is that what you are supposed to do - curl up and roll away?

                        It was very surreal.
                        Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                        2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Lesson 16: Posture, posture, posture!! Back to the practice pad, this time with the camera. Why didn't I think of that before?!? Much must practice with the slalom and other items from the exam. I experiment with a bunch of body positions, and finally come to the conclusion that when I prick up my back into a hyper-straight position, I ride great - pressing nicely, shoulders where they belong, nice tight turns, etc. Anything slouchier, and my whole form (and ability to actually ride) goes to hell. So I need to be a princess and sit up like my nose is in the air. YAY. But this solves a lot of issues for me. After an hour+ of u-turns, braking, and slaloms, we do some traffic practice - I get some über-rare praise for getting my looks in at the right time - and then we wrap for the evening.

                          Tomorrow - final workout before my practical on friday morning. Yeah, I'm a bit nervous. But the back thing is a huge weight off my shoulders (literally and figuratively). Now that I know what the answer is, I can handle it.

                          We also decide that I would be better served with a smaller bike. I am ok with this - not 125 small, just not 800 large. My instructor's exact words were "I think this is one size too big for you." That 800euro GSX550 that I saw on autoscout24.de is looking like a better idea every day. But no chicken-counting - have to pass the practical before I can seriously shop.
                          Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                          2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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                          • #58
                            Lesson 17: Oh, so that's how you are supposed to do it. With my newly discovered posture knowledge tucked undermy belt, I go to the practice pad to do the exercises for the exam. A quick detour on the Autobahn - proper lane discipline and so forth - and we get to basics. My improved posture translates to an immediate improvement in my riding - not only am I pressing and braking properly from the get-go, but my swerving and slaloms are very good, too. We try circles. I remember Crash getting dizzy and stop after three. I work on stop-and-go, getting my slow braking down to a science. We head home through town, and I successfully navigate a challenge - streets I have never seen with new signs. I manage to figure out the wacky traffic rules myself. I also perfect the technique of re-starting the bike after a stall, but while still rolling. My instructor is really happy about this session. It's a complete 180: from the F650GS being "one size too big" to it being a really good fit. All from a posture change!

                            The posture thing seems (to me) to be centered on maintaining a fixed position relative to the bars. When I was slouching a bit, I lost a lot of leverage and a lot of "centering". Today was night and day for me. I'm less nervy now about tomorrow morning.

                            This morning, I discovered the hard way that gloves can relieve you of rings. I woke up and noticed that the ring I wear on my right hand was missing. No luck finding it, either.
                            Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                            2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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                            • #59
                              Exam: I was a bit nervous, but not enough to goof me up. My instructor could read it in my face, and spent a few minutes to put me at ease with the examining engineer. She was quite cool, actually. The preparation for the exam during the lessons was outstanding - I had been on all of the roads at least once. I left the garage with none of the normal driving school insignia - it's not allowed during the test as you are to look like a normal part of traffic, not a student. We wandered around a bit to drop the engineer off at her office to collect something. This stop was good for my nerves. Then off to the Autobahn for a short stretch. In the process, a merging car tried to take priority (did not want to yield) on the on-ramp, but I held my lane. The car with the instructor and engineer got stuck behind a truck. Turns out this was exactly what the engineer wanted to see - did I know what to do, what was legal. This covered me for a variety of checkboxes on the form, all in one ten second stretch. Once they caught up, I took off to demonstrate riding at speed. We exited to the practice pad, where I started going through the exercises. First was stop-and-go (which I nailed, it's been a sore spot for a while), then long slalom, then hard braking. Both avoidance exercises were done, along with a bunch of u-turns. I got bonus points for rolling/no-feet restarts. Slow slalom, then back to the street. Lots of 30-zones, with no traffic errors (this is where people typically fail the exam). The only thing I was worried about was that I was a bit slow to check for a train at a tram crossing, but as I was first in line from the stoplight there and had been looking around anyway, I didn't get marked down for it. Then back to the garage.

                              The comment from the engineer was that I wander a bit in the lane and I should reduce that, but it was not a technical error. My instructor whispered "stop doing that, but only if the TÜV is watching. You looked fine." Of course, because he rides all over the lane! Also, he was complaining because I took one stretch of city road not as fast as he would like, due to delivery trucks. But overall both of us are happy with my performance.

                              The whole thing was over in about 45 minutes. Typically it is an hour, but as I did not have to repeat any exercises at the parking lot, there was not so much time there. You get two tries at each exercise if needed. It seemed so short. Now, I have to wait for my physical license to process, which will take a while because I still have to do my trailer course.... After I get my updated Führerschein (license card), I can start a thread in the beginner bikes forum!

                              And I found my ring. In the house. dur....
                              Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                              2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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                              • #60
                                Congratulations. Thanks again for doing a diary of the class, it has been interesting.
                                I still make a runny one now and then, but the goo is good on ice cream.

                                -- Overcaffeinated

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