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ch3rryghost

Took the plunge [San Diego]

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ch3rryghost
I'm going to apologize in advance for this drawn out post (Go to the bottom for TLDR) but this is something that I need to process; I hope its achieved through this post.
 
 
 
Black Friday was the culmination of years, easily a decade, filled with daydreaming and fleeting thoughts of owning a bike. A few months back, the realization of "Sh1t, I'm turning 30" pushed me to sign up for the MSF course which I successfully completed in October. To complement the aging factor, I've noticed a pretty radical change in the way I drive. No more rage or frustration, even in traffic, no more feeling of being in a 'rush,' I still have my fun but its more intelligently placed. Going into the class I told myself it was "just for fun" to see where it may or may not head, despite understanding 99% how things were going to go..it lead to Black Friday.
 
 
 
The only sure thing was knowing I wanted a bike, all other questions that friends and salesmen were asking were up in the air which made deciding on what bike to buy very difficult. Intended use, what size engine, usage rate,etc. I toyed with a 300cc bike, I thought that my perspective on cars would likely carry over to the two-wheel road, i.e. I enjoy wringing out a more 'gutless' car 100% of the time than to have a beast whose power I can't experience a majority of the time save a suspended license or an expensive track day (shameless side plug: If you or anyone you know is looking for a B7 S4 avant [low mileage!], OR you want a free pool table [needs to be re-felted, see picture] please PM me). In addition to, THEY'RE CHEAP! Main reason I didn't go that route was the worry that I wouldn't have to power to get out of any hairy situations I may find myself in. Then I had my mind set on an SV. I've told myself that'd be my first bike if I ever made the leap--this was back in 2004 and I was honestly convinced of it. But two things: 1. They're a bit hard to find and 2. I realized I didn't have the guts to test ride someone else's bike seeing that I'm greener than greenbacks. The more I shopped the more my mind went back to the day my eyes fell on the FZ. It was on promotional display at Costco--I had no idea what it was but I loved the size and look of it. When I got home, I actually found the bike and subsequently you guys, so I've been lurking for a couple months now :). All the talk about "it's your first bike, you should go used, you'll drop it and hate yourself" I apparently don't care about because on Black Friday I succumbed.
 
 
 
I'll spare you the details of how the purchasing process went but through it all it surprised me how much I doubted myself and the how little joy was felt when the keys were handed to me. All this build up, and what? Only that uneasy feeling in my stomach. The lack of support from my husband didn't help, neither did the fact that the bike was being bought a couple months earlier than planned but I suppose a majority of it can safely be attributed to it's just in my nature to doubt and question decisions.
 
 
 
But I'm here with you today and I regret nothing! She's found herself a spot in the garage that my husband and I cleaned up specifically for. Since delivery, it's gone out three times for a total of MAYBE 4 miles never above 30 mph, pathetic I know. Up until my ride last night time spent on the bike has been feel with anxiety, nervousness and a lot of sweat. It's been a very humbling experience to say the least; I never thought it'd be this tough of a transition for me because of my higher-than-average-experience for a lady in motorsports and my tendency to be 'reckless' (my husband's words, though he has some solid evidence to back his claim, in this instance I'm equating ballsy-ness with having a quicker learning curve as opposed to someone who plays it ultra conservative). Last night, I took it out later when there was less traffic and felt so much better; you don't understand the relief I felt when I realized my anxiety was due to having other drivers around me. Riding within my comfort level means that it's been confined to residential streets but my confidence was certainly boosted last night. I wanted to ride more but as embarrassing as it is to admit--I had hand fatigue and this was only after 10-15 mins riding around practicing stop/go around my house. Geez, has anyone else had that problem? Although visibility is obviously lower at night, I quite like it because the likelihood of me leaving the blinker on is dramatically decreased! It looks like clear weather is back in San Diego so tonight I'll have another jaunt around the hood, maybe my riding radius will even increase! And if you're reading this and you happen to be in San Diego and you HAPPEN to be a really cool person that wouldn't mind showing an eager n00b that thinks of herself as a quick learner the ropes, please contact me! Sadly, none of my friends ride (just yet!) so I'm all alone on this one.
The future is bright; I can't wait to learn more about the FZ and bikes in general, especially when comes the time to wrench! And I'd love to eventually see some track time to better my riding technique and because SPEED!
 
 
For the lazy, TLDR; Wanted to get into a bike for a long time. 30 came, took MSF. Couldn't decide on a bike, through all the going back and forth it always went back to the FZ, bought it, rode it a couple times, felt terrible and shaky. Rode last night and I'm reinvigorated. Most importantly, I HAVE WEAK HANDS. 
 
 
I know you all know what the bike looks like but I didn't want to post w/o a picture. Dealership had this color scheme and Rapid Red (?) I chose the better of the two  :D
 
FZ @ home
 
 
Also, it should be mentioned that since the bike has been brought home, the S.O. has been much more supportive. So supportive that he says he'll take the MSF course with a close friend of ours come the new year. It'd be a dream to share a hobby together with him! 
 
 
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hippiebikerchick
Welcome and congratulations ch3rryghost! Nice to have another lady rider on the forum! I couldn't see your picture so I still don't know what color you got, did you use a hosting site for the link?
 
What you're experiencing sounds pretty normal for a brand new rider. Just keep riding and slowly expanding your horizons. Riding a motorcycle can be learned in a weekend msf course but perfecting the skills and nuances of riding take a lifetime (or more). Also, 30 isn't "old"!   ::)

Illegitimi non carborundum

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ch3rryghost
Hippie,
 
I wasn't sure if that was going to work but it's up on imgur now--didn't embed because it was HUGE when I did. Do they call that color Graphite? Thanks for the kind words, can't wait to get more proficient we have some great rides down in SoCal.
 
Amber

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hobbs
You bought the ticket, now it's time to take the ride. Welcome to the forums!
 
 

Everything went braap.

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jake
I almost had a bike in 2001 a Yamaha Warrior. so 14 years later 37 years old I'm getting a bike lol.
I don't get pissed when driving anymore either when I cut the jerk off driving in the passing lane going 1 mph faster than the guy he passing, I don't get mad about it I just make the move and go on to the next challenge ;)
 
I am also in the works to get the wife one too. I think its good to play together!
 

2015 FZ-07 2003 2014 GSXR 1000

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wr250x
Congratulations!  
I'm in san diego too and have been on the edge of buying for a while. ..
 
 
 

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rmdet
Congrats on the new bike, and welcome!
 
Hand fatigue -  do you have a death grip on the bike when you ride? I noticed over the first 200-300 miles that I was WAY over gripping (not quite to the point of fatigue, but to the extent that I was clearly feeling it in my hands and forearms). I finally overcame it once I noticed just by consciously focusing on it over several consecutive rides. It still comes back once in a while, but I can catch it pretty quickly now and relax my grip.
 
FWIW, the majority of my initial rides were very short, and on residential side streets. Quick little spins around the block and such - just to increase my comfort level and get familiar with the bike. Around 100 miles (a few weeks), I was no longer feeling as challenged/excited about just riding the neighborhood, and jumped on the expressway (when traffic was REALLY light). Then, got back off at the first exit. Did that several times, a few days in a row, then slowly worked up to longer trips and heavier traffic.
 
My opinion is to take your time, stay safe, and enjoy the small steps along the way as you go.  :)
 
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rotaryryan24
Congratulations!   I'm in san diego too and have been on the edge of buying for a while. ..
 
 

 
do it

You do or don't
Then your dead.
 
To order a tail tidy click
One-off-fabrication.myshopify.com

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lonerider
My opinion is to take your time, stay safe, and enjoy the small steps along the way as you go.  :)
That's a great advice. ch3rryghost, you'll have a blast riding when you'll be in your comfort zone. And keep in mind that nobody is too old to become a motorcyclist. ;) 
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past bikes: WR250X, KLR650, V-Strom 1000, DR650, FZ-6, SV650S, Seca II, GS400S, Seca 750, YZ80.

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Guru
Welcome @ch3rryghost, great to have you here. Like others said, just take it slow and easy, There's no shame in that, It's your bike and you can do whatever you want with it.
And rmdet is right, you are probably over gripping or white knuckling your grips. There is no need to hold on tight. The bike wants to be driven and will point in the right direction without much user input. You will notice that when you have some more experience, you will hardly be using your handle bars for steering. The buns on the saddle is what you will be using. You basically look at where your want to go and your body does the rest.
Bets novice rider advice I ever had: Look far ahead to where you want to go when cornering, don't focus on the part of the road right in front of your bike. You are too late to react on whatever you see there anyway.
 
Oh, and 30? pffffffffff  (rofl)

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Guest August BB
Grats on the purchase.
 
Kind of strange how your husband is the one initially being unsupportive. It should've just been incentive for him to get a motorcycle too! :P
As already been said, relax your death grip and your hand won't fatigue so much.   Just relax overall.
I too am a beginner rider, FZ07 being my first bike.  I also had similar beginner's anxiety when it came to riding.  As in, thinking, "should I ride today?" and dare I say "do I have to ride today?"  And what not.  Anyway this disappeared for me after a month or so of owning the bike.  Now its more like, "can I ride today?" when it was 33 degrees with ice on the road but alas, I had to put the bike away for winter.
Take it easy and relax, you'll settle in to it.
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rotaryryan24
@ch3rryghost what part of San Diego do you call? I live in the far East county(Boulevard). If you are somewhat near by I could give you some pointers if you would like, I've been on bikes for quite a while.

You do or don't
Then your dead.
 
To order a tail tidy click
One-off-fabrication.myshopify.com

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jerryv
Congratulations .. I remember picking up my Triumph 13 years ago. I was a noob and first ride was leaving the dealership directly onto the highway. I had the same self-doubts "did I make the right choice, can I handle this, what if I don't like it?". Well, it's 13 years later and I have 1600 miles on the FZ (put 23K) on the Triumph. You will love it. You are doing the smart thing, taking a class, not riding beyond your means. Just continue to be smart (get the proper gear) and gain some experience and confidence. Did you say "aging thing", turning 30!?!?  :o  I'm about to turn 30 TWICE.  

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ch3rryghost
WOW! I come back to check on my thread and was quite surprised to see all these replies, thanks everyone for taking the time out to do that. Before I respond, this weekend a very exciting development occurred that I'd like to share with you guys/gals. My friend who had originally intended on purchasing a bike in the new year, pulled the trigger this weekend. He's always been in the 'bigger is better' camp and got a deal on a 2014 Vulcan. Its funny how bike choices parallel what choices you make in a car. Friend always drove SUV/pickups--goes for a cruiser. I've always driven sporty/coupe--I chose the FZ. Although, I'd be willing to be there are a handful of people that have both a cruiser and a sports bike. I can see the appeal in both. 
 
To share some limelight with my friend, this is the bike waiting to get prepped at the dealership. It feels good to have a partner in crime :) 
 
20141206_143525.jpg
 
 
IS THERE ANYWAY TO MULTI-QUOTE REPLIES INSTEAD OF REPLYING TO A QUOTE ONE-BY-ONE? 
 
 
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ch3rryghost
Congratulations!   I'm in san diego too and have been on the edge of buying for a while. ..
 
 
 
 
 

You should try and take advantage of any end-of-the-year deals, although if your heart is set on an FZ I think you'll be hard pressed to find any 2014s left. Where in SD are you located? 

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ch3rryghost
Congrats on the new bike, and welcome! 
Hand fatigue -  do you have a death grip on the bike when you ride? I noticed over the first 200-300 miles that I was WAY over gripping (not quite to the point of fatigue, but to the extent that I was clearly feeling it in my hands and forearms). I finally overcame it once I noticed just by consciously focusing on it over several consecutive rides. It still comes back once in a while, but I can catch it pretty quickly now and relax my grip.
 
FWIW, the majority of my initial rides were very short, and on residential side streets. Quick little spins around the block and such - just to increase my comfort level and get familiar with the bike. Around 100 miles (a few weeks), I was no longer feeling as challenged/excited about just riding the neighborhood, and jumped on the expressway (when traffic was REALLY light). Then, got back off at the first exit. Did that several times, a few days in a row, then slowly worked up to longer trips and heavier traffic.
 
My opinion is to take your time, stay safe, and enjoy the small steps along the way as you go.  :)
 
 
 

I'll try and be cognizant of that next time I'm on the bike! Thanks for sharing your experiences, it makes me feel a lot better about my current trajectory as a motorcyclist :) Last ride, I went through a local golf course road that has a couple nice twisties which definitely put a smile on my face. Can't wait to take a ride to Julian.  

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ch3rryghost
Welcome @ch3rryghost, great to have you here. Like others said, just take it slow and easy, There's no shame in that, It's your bike and you can do whatever you want with it. And rmdet is right, you are probably over gripping or white knuckling your grips. There is no need to hold on tight. The bike wants to be driven and will point in the right direction without much user input. You will notice that when you have some more experience, you will hardly be using your handle bars for steering. The buns on the saddle is what you will be using. You basically look at where your want to go and your body does the rest.
Bets novice rider advice I ever had: Look far ahead to where you want to go when cornering, don't focus on the part of the road right in front of your bike. You are too late to react on whatever you see there anyway.
 
Oh, and 30? pffffffffff  (rofl)
Thanks for your reply Guru, I've definitely experienced consequences of target fixation (running wide) and the difference is night and day when done correctly.  
The most immediate area of concern is braking and learning how to do it evenly and smoothly. Occasionally, I get nervous when coming to a complete stop and trying to keep the bike straight and predicting which foot to plant down (is there a preferable side? or is it completely up to the rider's preference?) My intention is to dust off the practice cones and set up a braking exercise in a parking lot. The amount of engine braking is pretty significant on this bike, I was quite surprised by it and am still in the process of adjustment. Currently, when coming to a stop the clutch is engaged from initial braking until I come to a complete stop, during that time front and rear brakes are used and downshifting is done simultaneously so that when I am at a complete stop, the bike is sitting in first. Eventually I'd like to utilize engine braking along with smooth blips of the throttle during the downshifting process. 
 
The one area which I'm proud to say I have down is shifting through the gears, the bike is surprising easy and smooth when shifting up, throttle is lifted slightly before gear engagement. First couple run throughs I was experiencing a big drop off in RPMs which, when coupled w/ the extreme engine braking didn't make for a smooth or very comfortable gear change. 
 
 
 

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hippiebikerchick
WOW! I come back to check on my thread and was quite surprised to see all these replies, thanks everyone for taking the time out to do that. Before I respond, this weekend a very exciting development occurred that I'd like to share with you guys/gals. My friend who had originally intended on purchasing a bike in the new year, pulled the trigger this weekend. He's always been in the 'bigger is better' camp and got a deal on a 2014 Vulcan. Its funny how bike choices parallel what choices you make in a car. Friend always drove SUV/pickups--goes for a cruiser. I've always driven sporty/coupe--I chose the FZ. Although, I'd be willing to be there are a handful of people that have both a cruiser and a sports bike. I can see the appeal in both.  
To share some limelight with my friend, this is the bike waiting to get prepped at the dealership. It feels good to have a partner in crime :) 
 
20141206_143525.jpg
 
 
IS THERE ANYWAY TO MULTI-QUOTE REPLIES INSTEAD OF REPLYING TO A QUOTE ONE-BY-ONE? 
 

Well, your husband is going to have to step up his game!   
Cruisers definitely have their appeal. I also have a Shadow Aero that I dearly love although it can be a cranky diva. It's comfy and perfect for the super slab. Plus if I'm going downtown and parking and leaving it I know no one is going to mess with it. I would never leave my 07 like that.
 
Have fun riding with your new partner in crime.  8-)  Maybe after a while he'll let you ride it.

Illegitimi non carborundum

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valhalla
Congrats on the new bike, and welcome! 
Hand fatigue -  do you have a death grip on the bike when you ride? I noticed over the first 200-300 miles that I was WAY over gripping (not quite to the point of fatigue, but to the extent that I was clearly feeling it in my hands and forearms). I finally overcame it once I noticed just by consciously focusing on it over several consecutive rides. It still comes back once in a while, but I can catch it pretty quickly now and relax my grip.
 
FWIW, the majority of my initial rides were very short, and on residential side streets. Quick little spins around the block and such - just to increase my comfort level and get familiar with the bike. Around 100 miles (a few weeks), I was no longer feeling as challenged/excited about just riding the neighborhood, and jumped on the expressway (when traffic was REALLY light). Then, got back off at the first exit. Did that several times, a few days in a row, then slowly worked up to longer trips and heavier traffic.
 
My opinion is to take your time, stay safe, and enjoy the small steps along the way as you go.  :)
 
 
 

I'll try and be cognizant of that next time I'm on the bike! Thanks for sharing your experiences, it makes me feel a lot better about my current trajectory as a motorcyclist :) Last ride, I went through a local golf course road that has a couple nice twisties which definitely put a smile on my face. Can't wait to take a ride to Julian.
Staying local is all well and good but remember that most motorcycle accidents happen within 5 miles of home. According to the Dept. of Transportation, more than half of all motorcycle accidents involve riders with less than 5 months or 500 miles of experience. However, a motorcycle cop once told me that if a newbie survives his or her first 300 miles on a bike, the risk of having a [strong]serious[/strong] accident drops exponentially. As a former commercial pilot and certified flight instructor I think riding a motorcycle in many ways is not unlike flying an airplane. It's all about managing risk. And the best way to become a proficient risk manager is to consistently gain as much experience possible in the shortest period of time. Stretch out the learning process too long and you may begin to forget all the stuff you've already learned.
I know it's winter "Up North" and it may not be possible right now to accumulate that all-important experience and the subsequent confidence that results from said experience, but in my view the best approach to learning how to ride (or fly) is as follows...
[em]Eat, Ride, Sleep...[/em][em]
[/em][em]...Lather, rinse, repeat![/em] 
 

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ch3rryghost
Grats on the purchase. 
Kind of strange how your husband is the one initially being unsupportive. It should've just been incentive for him to get a motorcycle too! :P
As already been said, relax your death grip and your hand won't fatigue so much.   Just relax overall.
I too am a beginner rider, FZ07 being my first bike.  I also had similar beginner's anxiety when it came to riding.  As in, thinking, "should I ride today?" and dare I say "do I have to ride today?"  And what not.  Anyway this disappeared for me after a month or so of owning the bike.  Now its more like, "can I ride today?" when it was 33 degrees with ice on the road but alas, I had to put the bike away for winter.
Take it easy and relax, you'll settle in to it.
The recent purchase has definitely piqued his interest! He'll be taking the MSF course in January with a couple friends--I even bought him a helmet this weekend to scoot this agenda along :D. But to touch on your point, he's just a very risk adverse guy which I'm completely fine with but we couldn't be anymore different in that department. Thanks for the support! :D
Posted by rotaryryan24 Dec 6, 2014 at 1:53pmch3rryghost what part of San Diego do you call? I live in the far East county(Boulevard). If you are somewhat near by I could give you some pointers if you would like, I've been on bikes for quite a while.
 
 
 

@rotaryryan24  
I'm in the South Park area pretty close off the 94. Please shoot me a PM or something if you're ever coming that way. Hopefully by that time we can go for a short jaunt around the hood. 

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hobbs
It's all preference but I plant my left foot.. right foot covers the brake, left hand on clutch.. bike always in gear. I leave enough space ahead of me to GTFO if someone comes up hot.
 
I don't like sittin' around in neutral, cramps my style.
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Everything went braap.

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motomeek
Welcome! Another one in SoCal!
 
Congrats and I think most have already given plenty of advice here on your venture. Hope you're enjoying this warm winter weather we're having!!
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Instagram: @meekmade | You don't need to flat foot a bike to ride it.

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p0k3yiii
Congrats on the new bike, and welcome! 
Hand fatigue -  do you have a death grip on the bike when you ride? I noticed over the first 200-300 miles that I was WAY over gripping (not quite to the point of fatigue, but to the extent that I was clearly feeling it in my hands and forearms). I finally overcame it once I noticed just by consciously focusing on it over several consecutive rides. It still comes back once in a while, but I can catch it pretty quickly now and relax my grip.
 
FWIW, the majority of my initial rides were very short, and on residential side streets. Quick little spins around the block and such - just to increase my comfort level and get familiar with the bike. Around 100 miles (a few weeks), I was no longer feeling as challenged/excited about just riding the neighborhood, and jumped on the expressway (when traffic was REALLY light). Then, got back off at the first exit. Did that several times, a few days in a row, then slowly worked up to longer trips and heavier traffic.
 
My opinion is to take your time, stay safe, and enjoy the small steps along the way as you go.  :)

what he said ... exactly how i started back on the bike

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hobbs
There's some pretty good information in Twist of the Wrist Vol II. It's heavily track oriented, but translates to smoothness on the streets. The bit that covers bike set up and design characteristics would probably help a new rider better understand the demands of a 2 wheeled vehicle. There's a video and book.

Everything went braap.

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wr250x
I'm near fashion valley..and that looks fun bike center? Their inventory is amazing but for any service i recommend  ivans fast bikes shop, he's just on the other side of the highway from fbc.  He use to be a mechanic at fbc years ago..
I have yet to hear a fz07 in person...but graphite would be my color

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