Motorcycle Firsts

One of the many exciting things about riding a motorcycle for the first time is experiencing things you’ve only heard or read about. It’s fun talking to fellow motorcycle riders about them because everyone has a different story.

Some of my recent firsts:

  • Having a bee smash into my visor at 100 km/hr, feeling like a rock thrown at you. One hit me in the leg, too. It hurts.
  • Scratched my nose at 100 km/h. On a motorcycle wearing a full-face helmet this is an accomplishment. A stupid one, but still.
  • I did an emergency stop when a vehicle in front of me quickly slowed down for a turn without putting its signal indicator on. An emergency stop on a motorcycle is: pressing clutch, kicking down into first gear, and applying all your brakes without locking up. It’s nerve-racking at first, not knowing if you’ll stop in time, but a bike’s stopping power is greater than that of a car.

Other “firsts” I expect to occur soon: dropping the bike, getting stopped by a cop, running out of gas, riding in snow…

Post your own motorcycle firsts in the comment section.

47 Replies to “Motorcycle Firsts”

  1. Maxing out the speed of the bike.
    Your first wheelie.
    First stoppie/endo.
    First time you get hit in the chest by a rock kicked up by a transport truck. First time you hit a junebug while riding at 140km/h (more solid than a bee, it’ll actually damage your facemask a bit). First time a stupid old woman or man almost runs you over and when you yell at them they say “bikes shouldn’t be allowed on the road” and you yell back “but stupid old fuckers who can’t drive SHOULD be allowed on the road?”.
    First time riding in a pack with a few of your buddies.
    First time getting caught in a downpour on the highway and hiding under an overpass until it clears up a bit or wait until it at least wipes all the crud off the road so you don’t go sliding off it.

  2. I didn’t ride to work today because the stupid weather people PROMISED it would rain and have thunder storms today, but it hasn’t yet. That’s the last time I pay attention to weather when I want to ride a short distance.

  3. I sorta dropped the bike today. Pender and I went looking for a beach, and at the end of a dirt road I put the kick-stand up, walked away, and the bike fell. I tried to save it, but that was futile, giving up after a second, not wanting to break a leg. It’s a dual-purpose that’s been dropped many times, so no harm done.

    I get my own bike tomorrow; the CB550 I posted about earlier. Oh yeah.

  4. ouch! welcome to the club….hey relax and have fun tommorrow…let me know what you think of the 550 cause we have not yet purchased the one we were looking at…yet…

  5. i dont think this counts as the one of the “firsts” you were hoping for but it is the first time i have noticed those google adds and there was something I was interested in….bike gloves…

  6. I bought my first motorcycle. It’s the CB550K I posted about earlier. Here’s an email I sent to my biking buddies about it:

    What a beast compared to the 225 dual-purpose I was driving. EVERYTHING is different: throttle, clutch, brakes, shifting, handling…

    The first surprise was its light indicator: it beeps, so there’s no way you’ll forget to turn it off.

    Second surprise was how fast I could go without switching gears (I’m comparing it to the 225 I was driving, which had to be put in 2nd right away). The clutch’s release is far, so that’ll take some getting used to.

    One stretch I kicked it up a gear (3rd to 4th) and it didn’t catch – the gear wasn’t engaged; I had to kick it up harder, even though it wasn’t in neutral.

    It has a fairing but I’m going to take it off: I was WAY too hot driving around.

    Getting up to 80 on one stretch, the wind was buffeting me but the bike wasn’t moving around at all, which was a strange sensation, not having to keep the bike straight due to the wind.

    The brakes squeak a little when I’m going slow, so I just won’t go slow.

    It’s quieter than the 225, which I like a lot, and more comfortable.

    I love it.

  7. I thought the kickstand was on today when it wasn’t. I put the steering lock on, then started to get off it as I leaned it to the left as usual when I noticed it was leaning FAR more than it should when I noticed the damn kickstand wasn’t down. I managed to pull the 430 pounds upright again, cursing myself. I didn’t touch the ground.

  8. oiy! Hey I ll pass this tale along to you…bobby my biking buddy who only drives big noisy monster harleys pulled into get gas with his wife on the back and did the same as you except that with the weight of the bike and passenger there was no way to hold the bike…luckily he has those “jesus” bars I do not know what they are called…I just figered they must be jesus bars cause if you need to use them thats probably what your muttering prior to the bars useful implementation….no worries just ride!!!

  9. Pender and I drove through a lightning and hail storm today. Approaching the ominous, dark gray clouds was cool: the temperature dropped, the wind started to pick up, then hail began to pelt us; at least, the rain felt like hail. My 450 lb. bike was being pushed by some gusts, which surprised me. I had to lift my face-plate at times to see; I was worried about driving through deep puddles since I hadn’t drove in wet weather before, but I had nothing to worry about: the bike handled great.

    I was soaked when I got home; had to change every article of clothing except my shirt. I was tired too: driving in poor conditions take a lot out of you.

  10. Is 450 pounds heavy for a bike? (Is it heavier, say, than Pender’s bike?)

    By the way, is it possible me to reverse the order of the comments? Reading messages backwards feels unnatural to me, always has. I read my emails in chronological order too. (Yes, the internet should conform to me, not the other way around.)

  11. Pender’s bike has a bigger engine than mine but his may be lighter because there’s a lot of plastic and modern, light-weight metals on it. Mine’s made out of iron, being made in the 70s. 450 is average, I think.

    I can reverse the order of comments but not just for you; it’d have to be for everyone, so we’d need a vote on the matter.

  12. While putting my kickstand down, part of my sole scuffed the muffler and melted rubber onto it. I couldn’t easily get it off so I posted to a forum about it. In the end I used Nevr-Dull, which appears to be a can of rags soaked in kerosene; but it worked.

    This morning I noticed a tiny tear in my vinyl seat, goddamn it.

  13. jody two week after riding, having polished and pampered the machine, I went to move a ladder in the market so a vendor could retrieve it latter in the day and i failed to properly lean it up and it fell striking my gas tank denting it and scratching the side…I felt horrible for a week…but it happens to everyone…just ride! Ironically i store the bike in the market in order to protect it from the local hooligans…how do i protect it from me…

    oh yeah i concur with phil on his comments about the comments….

  14. This morning, after I put the key in the ignition and bent down to turn the fuel on, I noticed a ticking sound coming from about the bottom of the seat area. It sounded like a goddamn clock was under the seat. First thought: who the fuck hid a clock in my bike? Second thought: There ain’t enough room to hide a clock in my bike. Third thought: That Pender! Then I noticed my turn signal was flashing; it was left on when I took the key out last night, turning back on when I put the key in this morning.

  15. I locked the brakes for the first time yesterday, skidding 15-20 feet, almost into traffic at an intersection. The bike wobbled a bit, but I had no trouble keeping it in control. I made a nice skid mark on the road.

  16. Yesterday I kicked start by bike for the first time. I don’t think they make bikes anymore with kickstarts; bikes have electric starters now. It was easy, too: turn the lever out and kick down and vroom! – she started. Cool.

  17. Today I almost dropped the bike for the first time. I was exploring some backroads and came to a deadend, so I went to turn in a gravel driveway and down the bike started to go. I think I yelled at myself and managed to keep it from touching the ground, though I probably red-lined it since as I was holding up because I don’t want to let go. I think I managed to hit the kill swtich.

  18. found a helmet that fit anja and took her for a ride yesterday. Was suppossed to be just for an hour and we were gone for 4 hours about 2 and a half on the bike. First time on a bike for her and first time for a passenger for me.

    In ontario at the end of the month anja will have to be transported in a booster seat..but no lawbreaking if i transpot her on the motorcycle. Just out of curiosity attempted to find studies about car seats difficult to find.,..I know that on a emotional and “commen sense” level they must help..but the science seems not to exist…I m starting to wonder is this just a wonderful marketing ploy…because to quesiton it you appear to be a moron…I have no problem with that…do car seats actually work…because at roughly a 100 bucks a pop there is a load of money to be made…(I have two children and have spent over 350 on these devices) I know I know what is a childs life worth I am not arguing that…I just want to know if child seats make a difference….

    sorry jode went offf a bit had a great ride yesterday…

  19. phil i will come visit can ride my cannot be kick started..we maybe but not according to the manual…

  20. I had to put the bike on reserve today, for the first time. This morning when I started it it began to sputter. I thought the cold was fucking it up, but it was because it was out of gas.

    And then, while driving to work the bike suddenly died on me. I pulled to the side of the road and couldn’t figure out why the stupid thing wouldn’t start. Someone in a pick-up stopped and tried to give me a hand, when I noticed the stupid Kill switch was on. I NEVER use the Kill switch, but I must’ve accidently hit it. I didn’t tell the buddy who stopped that, not wanting to look like an idiot (too late, I know).

  21. hey jode my first wintering of well my first wintering after riding hte bike…went to a bike show in london…okay..anyway we have had a bit of a warm sunny spell here and took the bike out to clean it …was tempted to put the battery in and start it…its coming soon….I am trying to tie down a date for this “burial at sea” thing but cant get any firm dates…will let you know….

  22. I almost ran out of gas for the first time today, but I did it on purpose to see how far I could travel before putting it on reserve. 177 km on about 13 liters. I’ve been keeping track of my mileage, like I do with my car. I get about 45 mpg on the bike. I was hoping for better.

  23. I left my key in the bike this morning AT WORK. I had to go somewhere and I couldn’t find the key in my jacket or pants, then I see it there still stuck in my motorcycle. It was there for about 2 hours. NO ONE STOLE IT! It’s the only key I have for the bike, too. I gotta get it copied soon.

  24. I’ve left my key in my motorcycle on a couple of occasions. At work and in my driveway. I once left the key in the bike in my driveway for TWO DAYS!!!

  25. I ve done this on ocassion…but i live in a small town…and i have seen other bikes with keys in them…thing is the theif unless he has a helmet is kinda fucked…you really stick out on a bike with no helmet….bikes around here get stolen by 4 guys and a pick up truck….

  26. can’t get to sleep so i went out for a ride here in peterbourough..yeah I know I know you should always wear your protective gear…wore the pants..but left the coat…it is a great night..slightly cool…perfect…anyway to my motorcycle first..this is the first time i have gone on a course for “work” and i get to claim milege…42 cents a kilometre…so I am getting paid to ride my bike…it was a three and and a half hour ride today and the weather was perfect…was a great ride….270 kilometres one way…12 bucks for gas….good thing this policy is getting changed…soon… if we have to travel more then 75 km we have to rent a car…which is a good thing..and the rental company we will be using has a couple of hybrid cars so it might be neat to try….gotta get to sleep…oh yeah the other bike i got…failed certification….the throttle is sticky….#$##@! yeah i am sure a throttle control for a a 1971 beemer is a stock off the shelf item…so it goes…it will get fixed….nighty night….I would have emailed you jode but this laptop is still having some teething problems…

  27. > so I am getting paid to ride my bike

    Nice. We considered moving farther out in the country, which would give me more opportunity to ride the bike, except for the fucking winter.

    I had to replace my clutch cable last week – the 30 year old cable finally gave out. I’m afraid what part will give out next while I’m cruising down the highway.

  28. I got my first flat tire last Friday. I thought my rear wheel was falling off. Scary as hell.

    I was making a turn off the bridge into Riverview when the rear end wobbled a little. I just drove over a rough spot on the road, so I attributed it to that, although I slowed down, just in case. Half kilometer later the rear of the bike starting oscillating a lot; it felt like the tire was falling off. I immediately pulled to the side of the road and took a look: flat tire. Shit. A nail. I called my wife who brought a pump, but the air didn’t stay; it was a large hole. I was surprised I got as far as I did. So I called a nearby bike shop, who’s fixing it this weekend.

    If that happened on a highway, I’d be dead.

  29. ((I did an emergency stop when a vehicle in front of me quickly slowed down for a turn without putting its signal indicator on. An emergency stop on a motorcycle is: pressing clutch, kicking down into first gear, and applying all your brakes without locking up. It’s nerve-racking at first, not knowing if you’ll stop in time, but a bike’s stopping power is greater than that of a car. ))

    This from an old man: you were following too close! Also, if both your front and rear brakes have the ability to lock up your tires, why would you waste time involving your gears in an emergency stop? One less thing to worry about.

  30. > This from an old man: you were following too close!

    No shit, but sometimes it can’t be helped in heavy traffic, with some fucker always cutting in front of you if you DO try to maintain a reasonable distance.

  31. Just got my “new” bike out of the shop today…just in time to put it in storage…some firsts

    – driving with a side car
    – driving in the snow…good thing it had a sidecar
    – driving with no form of windsheild…was great…
    – driving on slushy wet roads….this was icky…but was great riding this

    jody i now have a bike like yours well kinda…I have to drain the carbs and stuff for winter…do you do this with the honda…this is a 1971 bmw r750….it is a blast to drive…completely different then the k bike

    oh yea other firsts

    – driving without insurance for said vehicle
    – driving without a licence plate…used the one off the other bike
    – drivig without safety certification

    hey it was only for a 15 minute ride….I know bad … but again was great driving this thing….can not wait until spring to drive with all the proper documentations

  32. My solution….

    All Harley scumbags should be taken into custody immediately and subjected to a 72-hour sleep-deprivation (just so they can get a taste of the effect they have on entire neighborhoods, the sleeping baby, sick parent or shift worker. On each subsequent violation, the sleep-deprivation treatment is extended by an additional 24 hours. This guarantees that individuals who re-offend 3 or 4 times are either driven insane or it kills the bastards. Preferably the latter.

  33. first really stupid thing I have done with bike….I was running an event at market and had to go to another event to give “greetings” from the city…was running late so hopped on bike and drove the 2 k to the other event…hopped off the bike….was taking my helmet and gloves off when a car came by…rather closely so I leaned back..against the tailpipe….yup I had shorts on …. the burn is about three inches by four inches….second and third degree….of course I did not know this until I went to the hospital four days later because my leg was turning green….yes it hurt…but I am an idiot…the emerge doc verified that diagnosis….I am now on antibotics orally and topically….and have to go back this week for a labotomy….it should assist with poor decision making…..

  34. Did you drop the bike when you got burnt? Of course ya didn’t! And that’s all that matters.

    I burnt my hand once soon after I started riding motorbikes, not knowing what parts of the bike got hot; otherwise, I always drive with long pants and my bullet-proof jacket and helmet.

  35. I rode a bike with a side car….a side car adapted for a wheel chair….I have an associate here who purchased the rig and a number of us get together to take him for rides…it is a harley set up…..I like riding…anything…but the germans and japanese sure make nice bikes….the riding position with the feet forward was very odd for me…today on the beemer everything felt just right….just whatever you get used to…..

  36. some new firsts

    – parked bike, massive rainfall washed out area where bike was at…came out to find bike lying in on its side in the mud…something sad about a bike lying on the ground…

    – had a bird strike on my upper leg…hurt like hell, sorry did not see where bird went, was choking back tears as I cried like a baby from the pain…do not tell me any secrets..I would admit as soon as the torture started…

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