Words to Live By

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1200 Sportster vs. 250 Nighthawk

You read the title of this post and said, "Really?" or "WTF?" Please allow me to elaborate. Yesterday when I got home from work, I told Big D I wanted to ride. Big surprise. So he said, "Let's go." (I'm pretty sure he was expecting this.) We went to the old Walmart parking lot to practice. I had never ridden up front on anything but the MSF's bike, the Nighthawk. I sat on the bike, got myself accustomed to where all the controls were, and played with the clutch a bit. Then I was off and running. First, Annabelle is LOUD. That threw me off at first, but then it was good. Then, I noticed it was EXTREMELY different than the Nighthawk in the turns. WOW! I'll have to really work on that. Then I found Annabelle's false neutral. Ain't that a bitch? That totally threw me. Annabelle wasn't running exactly right, so I decided to stop. I'm sad that I have class tonight and can't go ride. But there's always Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. And I told Big D we're getting up early on Saturday to go ride again! I really want to get myself accustomed to Annabelle. I told Big D one thing that was really making me nervous was the fact that it's his bike...not mine. I was afraid of dropping someone else's bike. Even though he's my husband, I didn't want to ruin anyone else's bike. So he said, "It's your bike now. Feel better?" Actually, I do. After a slight handlebar adjustment for more comfort, it felt tons better sitting on her. Big D will work on her today and get her in tip-top shape so I can ride tomorrow. :) I was contemplating buying a Nighthawk or a Rebel because I was so nervous on Annabelle. But I LOVE Annabelle and I really want to ride her. It's just that the only thing I had ridden to that point was an underpowered POS. My problem was this: I'm a woman, I want to ride with the boys, and all the boys we ride with ride Harleys. I know you're all thinking, who cares? Right? Well, I do. I want to play with the boys, and I don't want to take any crap about my ride. So I will take my sweet time getting used to Annabelle and her little quirks. And maybe someday I will buy myself a newer Harley with different quirks. :)

19 comments:

Kim Thomas said...

Nice job and attitude! Annabelle is lucky :)

Queen B said...

soooooooooooo jealous..... damn, if you keep blogging about this, I'm not going to be able to wait until after graduation......

B.B. said...

You and Annabelle are going to do great together, you just need to take the time to get to know each other. I am so proud of you! The next time we come out there I'm riding Patience and we are both going out on our own! Whoo hoo!

Paula said...

I totally understand about wanting what the others have! When I was 16, I refused to learn to drive an automatic first because most of the gang we hung out with drove stick-shift. It was VERY hard learning how to get mom's mini-van to go up a 45deg incline from a dead start vs a small car. (I know this is NOT the same, but still, I get ya.)

"Joker" said...

Hey, Frank Sinatra did it his way right? Why the hell shouldn't you? Go for it!

Webster World said...

Well Dear you just take your sweet ass time. If that is what makes you comfortable then yes do it that way. You want to be sure of yourself. You practice and you will do just fine. I practice chaseing mama around the house all the time. And when I get good at it I'm going to catch her:)

Mr. Motorcycle said...

You already love Annabelle, Wait till you get used to riding her. Oh Boy!

FLHX_Dave said...

Ann, it's like sex. Every bike is different...ride it enough and it will start to put out once you find out what it likes and dislikes.

Man, this is pretty exciting! It's a f'in new world isn't it! whoooooooooo!!! Hell yeah!!!!! You now ride and kick fear in the f'in face! Watch out world, Boston is on on the road baby!


World Tour! World Tour!

Allen Madding said...

Take your ever loving sweet time and get comfortable. Do NOT rush it. I can testify to painful lessons learned from rushing the learning curve.

-Peace

Jen said...

I mean.....didn't you just assume it was YOURS, now?

;-)

That's the part of the story that threw me for a loop. Congrats on learning how to ride!

mq01 said...

theres so much info that comes to mind to say, but, everyone is different. just do what feels right for you and annabelle. take your time, practice practice practice, and when you're feeling comfy, snap yourself out of it (LOL) and practice some more... CONGRATULATIONS!!! im looking forward to riding with you :)

Jane: a female given name of English origin said...

And I did start it out with WTF. You redeemed yourself :)

RazorsEdge2112 said...

You will do fine. Starting out in the parking lot is superb. I did that as well, but didn't have a teacher like you do. :-)

Since you opened this can of worms, I will stir it for a moment. Why? I rode a Rebel from Vegas to Kitty Hawk and back, and soon will finish almost the same ride on my 1200 Sporty Custom.

IMHO & YMMV of course.

The Rebel is close to the Nighthawk in that it has the same 250cc power plant and same power train. For me it is quite uncomfortable for anything over 200 miles and while I can ride with the big boys up to about 85, it takes me a while to get there.

My sporty has power to spare and 600 mile days are no problem.

BUT, escape planning is different. With my Rebel, powering out of a situation was really not an option. At first that may seem to be a detractor, but really it is good. On my Sporty I find myself relying on power for escape routes. That isn't good. It is great to have the option, but relying on it is folly. What if that 1200 cc beast backfires or hiccups? Than what is the plan?

Another thing, the Rebel is much easier to flick around on the road to avoid hazards. My Sporty lumbers to one side and the other rather than flick. Makes ground hazard avoidance a bit different and requires attention further out.

And the slow speed turning! It was a big change for me as well, transitioning from turning on the Rebel to Sporty. Took a lot of practice and a few drops but finally got it.

IMHO, love them both but would rather ride my Sporty. Giving my Rebel to my daughter to train with when she is ready.

Ride safe & congrats again!

Mister Zip 66 said...

I bet if you asked most of the guys who ride harleys, they started out on something different.

Dave said...

I learned to ride on a Bridgestone Chibi. :P

That was better'n 40 years ago. In nine days, I'm riding my '08 XL883 from Austin to Sedona, after being out of the saddle for ten years.

Some say the 883 is a "girlie bike", or "not a real Harley". I say, some have insecurity issues. If anyone gives you crap about your scoot, it's their hangup.

It's all about the ride, not what you ride.

mrs rc said...

no WTF here...guess i'm up on the inside scoop! LOL

glad you are on your own 2 wheels now. take your time and it will all come to you...probably much sooner than you think!

congrats again

Toni said...

I have to say I'm thrilled you are riding solo and so excited about it. I know you love Annabelle, but she may not be your bike.Dont' get discouraged. Give it a go, see how it fits. Trust me, you will know when you found YOUR bike. It may very well be Annabelle, it might be3 bikes from now.

As FLHX Dave said, think of it like sex. If you don't get your rocks off move on to something that knows how to make you scream. ; )

redbone said...

you go girl. never look back (i mean that figuratively, of course}

chessie said...

I've been having a running debate with someone...I say : Riding a bike is NOT harder than driving a car.

He says it is. But with every instance he gives me for an example, it's the learning process of the ride...learning to ride safely and learning the special dynamics of the motorcycle is hard.
Not the actual riding process.

As time evolves for you and your ride, You will find the curves become "thoughtless" (of course they are not, but you realize your no longer having tunnel vision over the event, you are actually mentally able to enjoy as well as plan your route as you ride.)

We rarely quit learning about ourselves, our bikes, and the world at large, but we do come to operate them in a seamless and confident manner, which in my mind lends to a joyful experience. Once the dynamics of your bike become ingrained in your consciousness, the unconscious is able to take over many of the actions both mundane and life saving...that when we are learning to ride seem to grip our entire focus...

Keep at it girl. Life on the bike, no matter if your gripping the handle bars or the waist of your man, is far better than life spent in a cage...

Be well,