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bifcake
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Cruising

I haven't driven a car since I left the US 6 months ago. A car is impractical and expensive here (SE Asia). Everyone drives a scooter/moped and even though I had never driven one before, I was able to zip around town on my Yamaha Nouvo within a week. It's a very practical mode of transportation. you don't feel the traffic, you zip between cars, and driving from 25-40mph, the moped is at its best. I tried taking it on a highway and even though it can generate speeds up to about 65mph, I gave up at 50mph. I was scared. As you drive, you feel that you'll be in deep shit if you hit a pot hole and that your life is hanging by a thread as a moped is not exactly a precision instrument and hasn't been designed for highway driving.

I decided to try my hand at something bigger and rented a small cruiser bike. Oh my God! It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys! I never understood the attraction and the whole riding experience that bikers talk about until I got on this thing. It all makes sense now! It's so much fun, I'm giddy with joy!

tom collins
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Re: Cruising

congrats alex. riding has been one of the main pleasures of my life for the last 30 years. i know that training may be hard to come by over there, but you should seek it out. when you return home, please take a motorcycle foundation saftey course and get your license. then join us on the road. also, wear earplugs. after 20 years of not doing so, my hearing is not what it used to be. i have used ear plugs for the past 10 years, but most of the damage is done. its the windrush that damages hearing. i did not start to get back into this hobby until about 5 years ago and i wish i had my original hearing back. you can use simple foam plugs that cost a few dollars for half a dozen. they last about a month a pair. you can still hear other sounds around you, but it is the wind that they cut. around town it may not be so bad, but on the highway, you can get damage quickly. ride safe.

tom collins

j_j
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Re: Cruising


Quote:
congrats alex. riding has been one of the main pleasures of my life for the last 30 years. i know that training may be hard to come by over there, but you should seek it out. when you return home, please take a motorcycle foundation saftey course and get your license. then join us on the road. also, wear earplugs. after 20 years of not doing so, my hearing is not what it used to be. i have used ear plugs for the past 10 years, but most of the damage is done. its the windrush that damages hearing. i did not start to get back into this hobby until about 5 years ago and i wish i had my original hearing back. you can use simple foam plugs that cost a few dollars for half a dozen. they last about a month a pair. you can still hear other sounds around you, but it is the wind that they cut. around town it may not be so bad, but on the highway, you can get damage quickly. ride safe.

tom collins

I'll second the whole article.

As an aside about hearing protection, in fact if you use a set of plugs that's pretty uniform level reduction across frequency, and you'll find out that your ability to resolve sounds increases if the SPL is over 85dB or so, due to basic overload issues in the ear.

It sounds odd, but it's the same mechanism that makes it easier to understand people talking at loud concerts when you use ear protection.

And ear protection is always a good idea.

bifcake
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Re: Cruising

It's really difficult to get any kind of instruction here. I'm pretty much teaching myself. What I need are emergency handling procedures.

Thanks for the tip about ear plugs. I'll get those ASAP. I have no plans to come back to the US, so I won't have access to the safety clubs or workshops. If you can recommend some reading material, I would be most grateful.

Thanks

KBK
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Re: Cruising

Say Alex, what the heck made you end up there, anyway?

As for the powered bikes: Always be careful with the front brake. That's the one that can take you down in a panic stop.

bifcake
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Re: Cruising

It's a long story about how I ended up here. It had to do with reassessing life's priorities and seeking a different way of living and looking at the world.

I know about being gentle with the front breaks from driving the scooter. I need a pamphlet or something on emergency handling procedures.

tom collins
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Re: Cruising

alex: look for "proficient motorcycling" by David Hough. that will give you a good start. if you can get your hands on either some old copies of "rider" magazine or "motorcycle consumer news", you can learn a lot.
also, practice with that front brake. there is a lot of mythology about the front brake, but essentially, that is where 90% stopping power is. basically, a balanced stopping with both brakes is safest and quickest. practice in a vacant parking lot, if such a thing exists there. good luck and keep the rubber side down.

bifcake
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Re: Cruising

Awesome! Thanks man!

KBK
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Re: Cruising

Good for you Alex. Say what you want on this forum, due to that one thing - I will always maintain respect. Heck, this is just a forum anyway, not a face to face meeting -so how can I know anyone here, ie to lay judgement? That's a fools game. It takes a strong person to pick up and make that kind of change. I've done it a few times myself - it's a freaky kind of fun/fear. I love it. That month long headache as your brain tries to make sense of all the new and organize it.

misterdecibel
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Re: Cruising

Now that you've tried a cruiser, do you plan to try a sport bike next?

bifcake
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Re: Cruising

I sat on a sports bike and I don't find it very comfortable. The feet back position makes it very uncomfortable for me to shift gears and break. I think that I may try a standard bike, but that's the extent of it. I have no desire to ride a sports bike, although an off road dirt bike may be a necessity if I go to Cambodia again as the roads are horrible there.

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