The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

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The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#1 Unread post by DMV Messiah » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:16 am

Hi,

Nice to meet you all! I'm DMV Messiah, a 30 yr. old from Austin, TX. I'm a writer by trade (some of us do actually make a good professional living that way) and just took up our mutually beloved hobby. I always knew I would, but just got the means to start this. I took the MSF class (with my beautiful girlfriend, pictured below), got completely street-legal, then bought a bike.

Before last month I'd never been on a bike. Not even on the back of one. Now I own a 2001 Suzuki Savage LS650 that I picked up on CL for $1650 (US)--with the guidance of this forum, I might add. I had to get some electrical "poo poo" fixed (blinkers and horn and such) before I was ready to ride this beast, but I did and now it's perfect.

And why would this mere 650/single cylinder be a "beast"? Well, perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of this bike is the sound. The previous owner outfitted it with a Supertrapp Megaphone exhaust with ZERO baffles—a straight pipe that roars like Zeus just got kicked in the balls every time I even look at the throttle. Pedestrians plug their ears and urinate themselves. But the upside? I guarantee you that everyone knows this bike is around (at least 4 or 5 blocks--no exaggeration). A particular perk that gives me confidence since my girlfriend is going to be riding it too.

It's been three days that I've owned this bike, and I must say that I have never known any pleasure greater than experiencing the world on two wheels. The sweat, the smokey smell of the road, the acute awareness of your surroundings. You're attuned in a way that you aren't in a car. It's flying without leaving the ground; it's a joy I never even imagined.

I have a lot to learn. A lot of obstacles to overcome as a rider. I look forward to meeting all of them (safely, of course). I'll go into plenty of detail about my rides in the days to come, but for now I just thought I would say hello. :)

I'm so glad I found this community. I look forward to growing as a rider with all of you. And here, of course, is a picture of my bike.

ENJOY :)

DMV
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#2 Unread post by Wrider » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:25 am

Welcome, nice bike and cute girl!
As a pointer, if you add the baffles back on (the supertrapp is adjustable when it has them on), it'll sound better to most and perform a whole lot better as well.
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#3 Unread post by DMV Messiah » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:18 pm

Thanks for the advice Wrider. I'm kind of liking the loudness for now though. It might "pee" the neighbors off, but I live in a pretty bad neighborhood and at least this way I can hear if anyone tries to ride my bike out of the garage.

Well, I did my first long ride today and had a few minor "fudge" ups, but I live to tell about it.

Yesterday I took a corner (not incredibly sharp) at about 30 and leaned like a "person of questionable DNA", but it still wasn't enough and had I not drifted into the lane next to me, I surely would have been down. There must be something, technique-wise, that I'm missing about turning at faster speeds.

After that I came home and rested my mesh jacket on my handle bars. It fell down on the muffler and melted a big chunk of the sleeve off. Smooth move, right?

I was going to ride up to work today (35 mi. round trip), but opted not to this morning since yesterday's ride sucked so badly. As soon as I got home, however, I put on my gear and did drove almost all the way there and back--probably 25 miles total.

It's the first time I got the bike up to 60 and, damn was that scary. I need to learn to relax on the bike, because once I get above 35 I'm a bundle of nerves. I can't seem to get past the fact that I'm hurdling down the road on a chunk of metal filled with gasoline. No major problems, except for the bus that didn't see me and almost mowed me down. I was aware of my surroundings though and knew I could brake without issue if he did something out of the ordinary.

Aside from that I'm having a blast riding every day.

Oh, and I noticed this weird thing with my helmet. When I take it off after a ride my ears and head are buzzing like crazy. I feel a little disoriented for a while. The longer I ride, the worse it seems to be. Is that normal?

Also, is there some secret wave or something I should do when I see other motorcyclists? I feel like we should have a joint sense of camaraderie or something, but I don't know if we have a secret code or something.

Thanks! Glad to be here. Thanks for reading :)

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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#4 Unread post by ceemes » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:17 pm

First off, welcome.
Second, nice girl and bike.
Third, put those bloody baffles back in for gawd sake. Sheesh, the myth that loud pipes saves lives is just that, a myth. All it does is annoy the hell out of the cagers you are either in front of or beside, almost to the point where they will run you off the road. One of my pet peeves is getting stuck behind some yob (usually a Harley wannbe outlaw poser) with baffleless pipes, having that roar bouncing around and echoing in my helmet is enough to turn me homicidal, to the point where I want to pull up beside the noob and kick his front wheel out from under him.

As for the wave, yup we have one, but you have to pass a gruelling and humiliating initiation and promise to wear nothing but unwashed lederhosen Image for the rest of you nature, or rather what with you being a writer (Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein noted that, "Being a writer is nothing to be ashamed of, but do it private and wash your hands afterwards :lol:) and all, unnatural life before we pass it on to you. :lol:
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#5 Unread post by agraebner » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:40 pm

I know two people who are so ignorant with the loud pipes mess that they admit they don't want to ride their bikes because of the noise.......
ceemes forgot the part about the rubbing of the poison ivy in the lederhosen......
Don't feel alone about the gear touching the exhaust been there done that.
The msf course (as everyone says on here already) doesn't prepare you for more than a parking lot. Best thing in the world I did was ride with my now ex brother in law who was an instructor for a good while with my learners permit. Second best would be find an experienced person to walk you through everything and ride with you a little. This is where the typical US system falls on its face. The system thinks people are out LEARNING when they have a learners permit. I will not get into specifics cause of recent threads. There are a lot of different ways the same thing can be achieved. Even professors get into arguments and I am far from them. This is a list of some things that affect cornering ability. Lean angle, My experience has been lean angle takes care of it self and I just flow with it. (normal riding) Throttle, A little throttle makes the bikes turn. Brakes, braking reduces turning ability.(most cases for normal day to day riding) your position on the bike plays a large part in the equation as well.
Remember its best to have scrubbed excess speed before the turn then accelerate through it.
You go where you are looking, keep your eyes well ahead of you and I find level to the horizon. This WILL help.
After a while you'll find yourself riding along paying no attention to your input to the bike it will just happen.
As you've already discovered drive like everyone is out to get you. Be aware of EVERYTHING and think about what would you do if situations. Where would you go would you need to BRAKE or ACCELERATE. I have stopped my CBR in 30 feet +- from 55 mph. I have dodged many cages with a fast acceleration. Please don't ride with a passenger till you have these issues worked out. Practice practice practice. The fine people on this site are a great resource.
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#6 Unread post by storysunfolding » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:39 am

DMV Messiah wrote:I live in a pretty bad neighborhood and at least this way I can hear if anyone tries to ride my bike out of the garage.
Most of them roll it out of the garage and push it a bit down the street for that very reason.
There must be something, technique-wise, that I'm missing about turning at faster speeds.
Make sure you understand the concept of countersteering. At speed to go left, you need to push forward on the left handgrip. The reason it is called counter steering is because you are in essence, turning right in order to go left. When you go wide in a turn, press more and it will tighten up.
After that I came home and rested my mesh jacket on my handle bars. It fell down on the muffler and melted a big chunk of the sleeve off. Smooth move, right?
Happens to lots of new riders. Plenty of advice for how to get that mess off, but I like to use oven cleaner and make sure NONE of it gets anywhere but on the pipe (if it's not a painted pipe)
I was going to ride up to work today (35 mi. round trip), but opted not to this morning since yesterday's ride sucked so badly. As soon as I got home, however, I put on my gear and did drove almost all the way there and back--probably 25 miles total.
Good. It's important to realize that sometimes YOU are not ready to ride.
No major problems, except for the bus that didn't see me and almost mowed me down. I was aware of my surroundings though and knew I could brake without issue if he did something out of the ordinary.
Remember, while it's important to have superior skills, it's more important to have superior judgement. Make sure you practice swerves and quick stops, but look for adjusting situations so you aren't forced to use them.

Aside from that I'm having a blast riding every day.
Oh, and I noticed this weird thing with my helmet. When I take it off after a ride my ears and head are buzzing like crazy. I feel a little disoriented for a while. The longer I ride, the worse it seems to be. Is that normal?
Only for guys with loud pipes. Start wearing ear plugs AND put the baffles back in. Once you lose your hearing, you are never going to get it back.

Honestly though, loud pipes give people confidence that is not warranted. All that noise is pointed behind you. You can hear it from a few blocks away if you're stationary, but most of the time in a car at speed you will not hear loud pipes. It's the same way that Fire Engines, Ambulances and Police cars can outrun their sirens- and they have them pointed forward!
Also, is there some secret wave or something I should do when I see other motorcyclists?
Do whatever you want, but realize that I'm judging you for it ;)
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#7 Unread post by NorthernPete » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:13 am

Very secret wave. Google motorcycle wave. Lol. Here. http://www.bikerlawblog.com/media/blogs/wind/storm3.jpg

As for the ears, they will ring a bit normally, mine do and I've got a little putt putt twin japanese bike. But with the baffles out, you will definately have issues. Loud pipes do sound pretty cool sometimes ill admit, but as someone who works shift work, I've wanted to throw a rebar through the front tires of some of those unbaffled bikes. I'd suggest putting them back in.

Turning, just look where you're going. Helps a lot.

Enjoy the ride!
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#8 Unread post by fireguzzi » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:16 am

Just wanted to reiterate learning about countersteering. Once I figured that out a whole new world of cornering smoothness opened up to me. I was fighting the bike before I learned countersteering. I would just try to lean the bike with my weight but I was fighting the handle bars with my arms. Once I read about countersteering and accepted that at speed you essentially turn the bars to the left to go right and vice versa everything fell into place. I became a MUCH more relaxed and MUCH smoother rider.

And don't worry about the initiation for learning the secret wave, it only hurts for a week or so.
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#9 Unread post by DMV Messiah » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:14 am

What the hell happened this morning?!

I was suited up ready to ride to work and the bike just wouldn't start up and stay running. Plenty of gas and I just rode it yesterday. I got it to the end of my street and it just died. I could get it to run by giving it throttle, but as soon as I sat it upright (off the kickstand) it would sputter and die. Had to walk it home (the walk of shame).

Perhaps it could have something to do with the engine being too cold? I've never ridden the bike when it was below 100 degrees outside. This morning it was about 73 degrees. I gave it choke, but didn't give it a lot of time to sit and run and warm up before I set off. Anyone have an idea what could have caused this?

Anyway, thanks for the advice everyone on counter steering. I will definitely look into learning about that.

As far as the noise thing ... the bike came without any baffles in the pipe. I've been in touch with Supertrapp and will get some replacements and then install them myself, but it will be over $100 so I may have to wait a few weeks to get the money.

Thanks!

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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#10 Unread post by storysunfolding » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:31 am

Sometimes you need to run the choke for a few minutes to get it to warm up. I tend to find that suzuki single cylinders are notorious for needing this. Leave the choke on while riding for a few minutes, then turn it off and see what happens.
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#11 Unread post by NorthernPete » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:14 am

When its cold out ill let my bike run with the choke on until it runs smoother, then unchoke and let it idle for another 5-10 min. Just so I know. Usually would go start it, then go brush my teeth. Now, if you live in a bad neighbourhood that may not be practical.
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Re: The World on Two Wheels (a DMV Messiah Blog)

#12 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:05 pm

Hi.

Yes, nice girl and bike.

As for the choke and cool mornings, my old XS650 needs to sit there on the choke for a few minutes before I can even think about riding off. Some bikes are just cold-blooded.

I don't think that ringing ears are normal. Does your helmet have anything like the visor hinge sticking out into the airstream, right where your ears are? Anything sticking out can cause turbulence, which causes a constant rumbling right in your ears. I had a helmet like that, about drove me crazy.
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