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hume
Derestricted Danger



Joined: 07 Sep 2019
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PostPosted: 06:42 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Newbie blues Reply with quote

I'm a new rider. Until three weeks ago I had only been on a scooter for about an hour. Three weeks ago I did my CBT on a scooter. Last week I did a conversion course for a geared bike. I absolutely loved it.

I know nothing about bikes and didn't want problems out on the road so I did my research and brought a new Honda CB125 R. Yesterday was my third day out on the road and for the first time I thought I should pack it in.

My main failings are I don't keep up with traffic and turning corners is erratic. I also barely remember to signal. The good news is my gear changes are getting better and I stall the bike less often.

As an aside a problem I've noticed with the bike is if on an uphill incline and I accidentally put the bike in neutral I can't seem to get the bike into first gear without having to rock the bike forward for a bit. Has anyone noticed this problem and is there a specific cause for it?
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GSTEEL32
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PostPosted: 09:26 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all relatively normal when you first start.

12hp 125cc's are rubbish. You'll be lucky to keep up with the seasons, let alone traffic.

You're probably running wide on corners. Experience will sort that out.

Your clutch sounds like it might not be fully engaging. If its brand new, take it back, as I'm not sure whether it's a hydraulic or cable jobby.

Get something more interesting than a Honda, it'll make you want to go out on it more often.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 12:09 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

GSTEEL32 wrote:
This is all relatively normal when you first start.

12hp 125cc's are rubbish. You'll be lucky to keep up with the seasons, let alone traffic.

You're probably running wide on corners. Experience will sort that out.

Your clutch sounds like it might not be fully engaging. If its brand new, take it back, as I'm not sure whether it's a hydraulic or cable jobby.

Get something more interesting than a Honda, it'll make you want to go out on it more often.


Agreed. A 125 is a make-do or stepping-stone until you're allowed a proper bike. It seems odd but as you go up in engine size you generally have a more stable, accurate and easier to control bike... we could have a discussion about at what point a bike becomes so large it becomes unwieldy (e.g. touring bikes, cruisers.)

That being said you might want to practice turning and tight manoeuvres in an empty car park. You need to get your brain to realise that the bike can do amazing things and isn't going to fall over if it leans half a degree. Practice makes perfect Smile

Keeping up with traffic? Unless you're going on a main road (60mph... but in reality more like 70) a 125 shouldn't be too big a problem. Okay so it'll take you a while to accelerate so you won't be cutting up ppl at traffic lights Wink Are you saying the bike physically can't keep up or is it your state of mind? Thinking

Quick check on the neutral thing. Once the bike is warmed up (clutches behave differently with hot vs cold oil) get it in neutral on a flat surface. Pull the clutch in fully and get in first... give it a little revs. Do you feel the bike trying to move at all? Definitely needs adjustment if you do! If not, with a touch of revs, SLOWLY release the clutch. At what point do you find the biting point? If it's not roughly half way through the clutch travel the cable needs adjusting.

I have to admit I felt really kewl riding out on my faux-cruiser (hey, I was young, I knew no better Wink ) but your Honda looks like a decent enough bike to be out and about on Thumbs Up
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Howling Terror
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PostPosted: 12:40 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Re: Newbie blues Reply with quote

hume wrote:
I'm a new rider. Until three weeks ago I had only been on a scooter for about an hour. Three weeks ago I did my CBT on a scooter. Last week I did a conversion course for a geared bike. I absolutely loved it.

I know nothing about bikes and didn't want problems out on the road so I did my research and brought a new Honda CB125 R. Yesterday was my third day out on the road and for the first time I thought I should pack it in.

My main failings are I don't keep up with traffic and turning corners is erratic. I also barely remember to signal. The good news is my gear changes are getting better and I stall the bike less often.

As an aside a problem I've noticed with the bike is if on an uphill incline and I accidentally put the bike in neutral I can't seem to get the bike into first gear without having to rock the bike forward for a bit. Has anyone noticed this problem and is there a specific cause for it?


1st gear is usually a clunky affair. You'll get better at it.
As for not keeping up with traffic I guess you're on about A roads because on 30-40mph road a 125 should be good enough when you wring it's neck.

Your cornering will improve if you look through the corner not at it...when you're in the right gear....when you're applying some throttle i.e not coasting through it.
Don't rush it (even if it is more fun).

Bikes rule.
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dynax
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PostPosted: 12:44 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rode from Doncaster to Lincoln and back last Thursday, had no problem keeping up with traffic varying road conditions and speed limits, Xena is 12hp and heavy 172kg kerb weight, 125's are fun to ride, and going for another ride this afternoon somewhere, enjoy the freedom Thumbs Up
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linuxyeti
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PostPosted: 13:39 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:


Agreed. A 125 is a make-do or stepping-stone until you're allowed a proper bike. It seems odd but as you go up in engine size you generally have a more stable, accurate and easier to control bike... we could have a discussion about at what point a bike becomes so large it becomes unwieldy (e.g. touring bikes, cruisers.)



Not strictly true, I currently have a 700, 650 and a 125, the 125 is great around town, and, surprisingly good on a long run, Wolverhampton to Lincoln & back, and it will happily sit at 70, granted, it's also at the top end power wise for a 125, but i've had plenty of 125's, and, despite purging them from my garage, always seem to go back to having 1 in there
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Current rides :- Hyosung ST7, Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor, F.B Mondial HPS 125
Previously owned bikes :- Chituma CTM-125, Jinlun JL250-5, Honda VTX1300, Suzuki GS500, Lifan LF400, Lexmoto Arrow 125, Yamaha XJ600 Diversion,Triumph America, Skyteam ST-125 V-Raptor, Royal Enfield 350 Bullet, Mash 400 Roadstar & Honley RX3 Venturer (Zhongshen RX3),CFMoto CF650TR,


Last edited by linuxyeti on 13:46 - 08 Sep 2019; edited 1 time in total
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Riejufixing
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PostPosted: 13:43 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Re: Newbie blues Reply with quote

hume wrote:
I'm a new rider (just bought) a new Honda CB125 R. Yesterday was my third day out on the road and for the first time I thought I should pack it in.

My main failings are I don't keep up with traffic and turning corners is erratic. I also barely remember to signal. The good news is my gear changes are getting better and I stall the bike less often.

As an aside a problem I've noticed with the bike is if on an uphill incline and I accidentally put the bike in neutral I can't seem to get the bike into first gear without having to rock the bike forward for a bit. Has anyone noticed this problem and is there a specific cause for it?

Your bike should do about 80MPH, so keeping up with traffic is probably down to you and your lack of experience rather than it. You will get the hang of it in due course. Don't be afraid to get it "on the boil", but don't thrash it mercilessly all the time.

Remember to signal, it's important from various perspectives. Perhaps you could think more deliberately about what's coming up in front of you as you go, and imagine yourself giving arm signals (but use the winkers instead...) as a "reminder"?

Not stalling and doing good gearchanges is experience (or lack of it) too.

If you have trouble getting first from neutral, try releasing or easing the clutch lever, then pulling it in and trying to get neutral again.

You've only had 3 days! It will take hundreds of miles, maybe 1,000 before you're reasonably used to your bike.

Don't forget the maintenance (shop scheduled I guess for your new bike) or that will bring frustration in a different way.
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McHattrick
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PostPosted: 21:26 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Re: Newbie blues Reply with quote

hume wrote:

As an aside a problem I've noticed with the bike is if on an uphill incline and I accidentally put the bike in neutral I can't seem to get the bike into first gear without having to rock the bike forward for a bit. Has anyone noticed this problem and is there a specific cause for it?


I returned to biking last year after many years and I also bought a Honda CB125R.
Great choice. Thumbs Up Brilliant wee bike. Once you get a bit more experience and confidence you will love it.
Keep it slow on corners (2nd gear) to begin with you will soon get the hang of it.
Don't worry about keeping up with traffic. You have L plates. That's their problem not yours. You will soon have confidence enough to keep pace.
And ignore the nonsense spouted by the anti-125 brigade... its jealousy. Very Happy

I don't understand the problem you are having with selecting 1st gear!!
Accidentally selecting neutral suggest you are in motion, but you say you need to rock the bike which suggest you are stopped so neutral would not be accidental.
Anyway, I have never encountered any gearbox probs... nor any other.
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Analogkid
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PostPosted: 21:58 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are accidentally putting the bike in neutral when at a junction, lights etc, if your clutch is still pulled in it often wonít engage gear, instead of rocking bike, let clutch out and pull it back again and it should find the gear.

Remember keep the revs up, the bike needs to be revved, you'll think it's gonna break, it isnít, it's not a car, keep in a lower gear than you currently are and progress in speed and round the corners will be better. My daughter post CBT wasnít using revs enough, so we went out with some Bluetooth communicators on, I asked what gear she was in, she was in 4th when 2nd would have been more appropriate, once she had mastered that and when to apply throttle and safer cornering lines she was much more competent, we did 170 miles over 5-6 hours and she improved dramatically, remember the CBT is only a 1st lesson, go back to the school and pay for more training or go out with more experienced riders, hell even you tube would help, but whatever you do keep at it.
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kgm
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PostPosted: 22:16 - 08 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

GSTEEL32 wrote:

12hp 125cc's are rubbish. You'll be lucky to keep up with the seasons, let alone traffic.


Rubbish. Even on my old CG125 I never had trouble keeping up with traffic, particularly in town where I was normally making better progress than most other traffic. Even on back roads it wasn't an issue, I often managed overtakes on the more twisry sections as well although admittedly they had to be very, very well timed.

The only times it was ever a struggle was on fast dual carriageways and motorways or when there were particularly strong headwinds or steep hills. Even then it got by without being dangerous.

Purely down to rider experience. If this wasn't the case my 125 would never have been used over my 500 and 800.

---

Some bikes do need a little rock occasionally to get from neutral to first however make sure the clutch is adjusted correctly as that could have an effect.

As for the rest of the OPs problems - more training will help.
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hume
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PostPosted: 04:04 - 09 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Agreed. A 125 is a make-do or stepping-stone until you're allowed a proper bike. It seems odd but as you go up in engine size you generally have a more stable, accurate and easier to control bike... we could have a discussion about at what point a bike becomes so large it becomes unwieldy (e.g. touring bikes, cruisers.)

That being said you might want to practice turning and tight manoeuvres in an empty car park. You need to get your brain to realise that the bike can do amazing things and isn't going to fall over if it leans half a degree. Practice makes perfect Smile

Keeping up with traffic? Unless you're going on a main road (60mph... but in reality more like 70) a 125 shouldn't be too big a problem. Okay so it'll take you a while to accelerate so you won't be cutting up ppl at traffic lights Wink Are you saying the bike physically can't keep up or is it your state of mind? Thinking

Quick check on the neutral thing. Once the bike is warmed up (clutches behave differently with hot vs cold oil) get it in neutral on a flat surface. Pull the clutch in fully and get in first... give it a little revs. Do you feel the bike trying to move at all? Definitely needs adjustment if you do! If not, with a touch of revs, SLOWLY release the clutch. At what point do you find the biting point? If it's not roughly half way through the clutch travel the cable needs adjusting.

I have to admit I felt really kewl riding out on my faux-cruiser (hey, I was young, I knew no better Wink ) but your Honda looks like a decent enough bike to be out and about on Thumbs Up


My CBT instructor agreed with you about bigger engined bikes. He said they're easier to control.

When putting the bike on a flat surface it does seem to allow me to select first gear.

Keeping up with traffic is down to my mental state. Poodling along is well within my comfort zone. It's only when I get sick of cars overtaking me do I get my act together.

The biting point is half way through releasing the clutch unless I'm having the neutral problem on an upward slope.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 10:35 - 09 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

hume wrote:
My CBT instructor agreed with you about bigger engined bikes. He said they're easier to control.

When putting the bike on a flat surface it does seem to allow me to select first gear.

Keeping up with traffic is down to my mental state. Poodling along is well within my comfort zone. It's only when I get sick of cars overtaking me do I get my act together.

The biting point is half way through releasing the clutch unless I'm having the neutral problem on an upward slope.


I initially thought they just said that as a confidence booster Smile But no, a 125 has an edge on agility but I prefer something bigger for stability.

With regards to traffic speed... oh dear! Some old scooter - that's something you'd just live with but a 125?!

The first time I rode a geared bike on the road was on my CBT. It was all going fine until I came to a hill and then it happened - I got "torque addiction" Laughing

There are so many wonderful things about a motorbike: some people like going as fast as possible, others it's taking a bend at the perfect speed... getting all your gear changes buttery smooth or maybe cutting up BMWs Wink Personally I find it very satisfying powering up a moderate hill - somehow speeding back down the other side feels like cheating. There's no sense to it Smile

If there's some aspect of biking you really enjoy, build from there. I would hope there is otherwise why bike?

Is its a brand new bike? It will "loosen up" a little as things wear in. Bear with it until you've had the first service then go out when it's quiet and give it some whellie! Some nice, straight roads to start with. I remember the first time I took my 125 down the A3: all but needed a change of underwear @ 55mph and carried on the rest of the way at 45 Shocked It took a fair while until I could quantify it: I just didn't have a great bike! But your Honda should be much better that what I inflicted upon myself Smile

Just focus on progress: are you getting better, day by day, yes? Then don't sweat the pace of progress Very Happy
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KevAmiga
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PostPosted: 10:36 - 09 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, im new to road riding too, and like you I had problems with indication!

I found it became second nature once I had my hand knowing where the indicator switch was without looking for it.

And yeah, the cornering thing, that just gets better with experience, when your smoother etc.

Enjoy the ride (i know I am!!!)
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 11:36 - 09 Sep 2019    Post subject: Re: Newbie blues Reply with quote

hume wrote:
As an aside a problem I've noticed with the bike is if on an uphill incline and I accidentally put the bike in neutral I can't seem to get the bike into first gear without having to rock the bike forward for a bit. Has anyone noticed this problem and is there a specific cause for it?


The cause is it needs running in - a lot of new bikes just have to get some miles on them before their internals mate sweetly. I had a very nearly new little suzuki 125 that took a few hundred miles before it was happy with itself. And the issue of finding neutral was the main thing.
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hume
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PostPosted: 20:12 - 09 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my worst day on Saturday to my best day on Monday.
Something I forgot to mention in my original post was I had misplaced my motorbike gloves when I did the conversion course. Since owning my bike I've been using a pair of work gloves. These are threadbare summer gloves with the tops of thumb, middle and index finger missing.

On Sunday I went out and brought the same pair of gloves I had on the conversion course. The difference in my riding is the difference between night and day. Proper gloves allow me greater control of the clutch and the throttle which gave me the confidence to signal, keep my speed up, use my mirrors and enjoy the ride to and from work.

It's such a relief not to look at my bike and think 'Your days are numbered' to now thinking 'We've only just begun!'


Last edited by hume on 20:18 - 09 Sep 2019; edited 1 time in total
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dynax
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PostPosted: 20:18 - 09 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's surprising that something as simple as gloves can make such a difference, glad all is well and your able to move on and enjoy your rides Thumbs Up
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UM Renegade Commando Classic 125 named Xena.
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annemarie
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PostPosted: 11:57 - 10 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also essential for me is carrying a spare pair of gloves in case you get caught in the rain and still have a long way to go. (Or you can just get waterproof gloves, I only ever use leather gloves cause it gives me a good control of the bike, but they soak through quick.)
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GSTEEL32
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PostPosted: 19:49 - 10 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

kgm wrote:
If this wasn't the case my 125 would never have been used over my 500 and 800.
.


I can't think if a single situation where it makes more sense to hop onto a 4 stroke 125 over a middleweight 500.

Especially if it's a geared 125. That's even worse.
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dynax
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PostPosted: 20:13 - 10 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

After riding to Lincoln and back last week i know for definate that i personally don't need more than a 125, my next long trip i plan to do is the east coast Brid or Hornsea Laughing
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Leearchertog
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PostPosted: 18:52 - 15 Sep 2019    Post subject: great post Reply with quote

Although I dont have this issue or knew the solution, ive found this post so helpful in the fact the advice is it takes time and miles to feel good on a bike.
I felt so wrong on the cbt bike today and just thought how terrible I was, and did think how I was taking in the info AND getting used to a bike.]
Think its great the advice you guys all give. thanks
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kgm
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PostPosted: 23:07 - 15 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

GSTEEL32 wrote:

I can't think if a single situation where it makes more sense to hop onto a 4 stroke 125 over a middleweight 500.

Especially if it's a geared 125. That's even worse.


100+ mpg, lighter, cheaper to buy and run, fun to thrash about town with the throttle wide open... Just because it doesn't appeal to you doesn't mean it doesn't work and isn't enjoyable to others. Plenty of other replies in this thread alone to evidence that. There's not a single road in Scotland I wouldn't ride the 125 on, although for some motorways I might like to be on a bigger bike. Never once have I found myself holding up traffic to any meaningful degree and I regularly overtake on 60mph backroads.
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Ribenapigeon
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PostPosted: 21:21 - 17 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never found keeping up with city traffic a problem on my WR125. Just learn to keep the revs high. B roads are great fun as well and getting a corner "right" feels good whatever your riding.

To develop good riding habits try talking yourself through your ride, so, ssy to yourself "approaching junction to my right chrcj for car turning" "chanfing lane look over shoykder make indication cancel indication" etc.
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GSTEEL32
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PostPosted: 22:42 - 17 Sep 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ribenapigeon wrote:


To develop good riding habits try talking yourself through your ride.


That's good advice. A 125 wont get you out of a hole if you leave something too late or pick the wrong gear. Thinking ahead is good practice generally, but more so when you move onto your full test as your road craft will be better.
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