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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I went to Doc Wongs motorcycle maintenance class and I learned a lot, got to talk with other riders and generally enjoyed myself. They have a ride sunday but I need to work on my turns more before I go on the ride. Prior to the class, I rode the same 56 miles to class that I always do, but then I took off for the Doc wongs

The beginning of the ride was fine but by the time I hit south san Francisco I felt winds that tried to knock me over standing up. The traffic was stop and go so I didn't even have speed to help me fight that crap. It was only 40 miles to class but it took HOURS. I was tired and stopped once to refuel on snickers :lao before just grinning and suffering it out.

I've never been to Redwood City and almost missed the shop. I stopped as I began to pass the driveway, managed to get in and then between the bikes, being shaken from almost missing the stop and people saying hi, I balanced wrong as I was parking in neutral. I dropped the fizzy not too much damage, wasn't even moving. Scratched a mirror, turn signal, bar end weight and the front break lever. Nothing to expensive to replace or buff out but I was embarrassed and sad. I hadn't dropped it once and it was all a matter of being flustered.

The guy that was saying hi helped me pick her up and asked if I was okay, I was fine since I wasn't actually moving :bitchslap he admired the fizzy, looked at her real close and decided that I made a good versatile choice in a bike. I felt pretty good since he had been riding for a while and it sort of reenforced my own thoughts. The other riders showed up and they used the fizzy as the demo since she was due for her 600. we talked about chains, oil, filters etc. several people were newbies, a couple were experienced escorts for there newbie girlfriends and a few hard core enthusiasts with more advanced questions and just plan Doc Wong friends.

Doc Wong was awesome and funny. Very warm and chuckled when I told him I hadn't figured out the center stand thing, then actually showed me how to get the bike up by myself! I asked a lot of questions and felt at home with this man. I hope to log enough miles to be able to start going to his monthly class/rides soon as the people were just awesome.

On the way home it was 10pm, and the winds were worse. I fought it hard. pulled over once for cash and then made a promise to myself that I wouldn't pull over unless it got to be too much. I fought and fought, I counter-steered like crazy just to go straight. I got to the Petaluma wind area and I noticed that I wasn't crouched! I was just riding. The entire area from SF to Santa Rosa I rode in a totally upright posture even-though it was midnight when I got home and I was tired. I thought the wind must have been lighter or something, but when I rode to the hotline today, I noticed the same thing. Then I looked at the trees and they were waving like crazy. I looked at my body and realized that I was counter steering without even realizing it. So I thought about it and figured that the high wind area must have trained me somehow to not even really notice the Petaluma winds.

I got home and looked up the winds in the S San Fran area for friday night and learned that I survived 19-28 mile per hour winds with 40 mile per hour gusts coming in 5 different directions. I didn't even know winds could get that fast! and now I am starting the wonder about my ability to go to his other classes but last night was a good night.

I need to work on my turns, I took the same twisties to hotline today that I dumped the man unit's bike on and made it, but I wasn't smooth. I countersteer but I think my trust in the bike or my sightings are off. So I'm gonna do some exercises today, any suggestions are welcome, and read twist of the wrist tonight.
 

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I love reading your posts. It shows the women out there that they can also do what your doing with little or no experience. But also, I get a good laugh, cuz I've been in your shoes before, and have forgotten how strong winds feel when you're a n00bie rider. I can remember how I felt when I experienced my first really strong winds and how tired I was when I got home. How I rode white knuckled for hours and didn't even realize it! :lol Like I said before, after a while you wont even noticed that wind. You will naturally see the cars in front of you swerve a little from gusts and you'll naturally do the same.

Also a great big welcome to the "first down" club! :welcome We've all done it, and those that haven't will. It comes with the territory. At least your first drop was at a stand still, which come to find out most n00bs do. I've spilled plenty of bikes in the yrs I've been on um. To many in fact! HA! At least you didn't hurt yourself and the damage which you described is minor. It is embarrassing, but if you noticed, you didn't get any crap for it. Even the most experienced rider has been down at least once.

Your doing the right thing by riding as much as you can and also by taking a mechanics class. The more saddle time, the better you'll be come, and it also seems that you know your limits.. And that's a good thing. Most n00bs don't know nor care and will hit the street balls to the wall and injure or even kill themselves. Also reading "Twist of the Wrist" is a GREAT idea! It's teaches ppl a lot about lines, SR, how to go into and out of a turn smoothly, descending and ascending apex etc etc... Seems Keith Code was only semi "high" when he wrote this book, unlike his first when you were asking yourself "What the HELL is this man smoking"?! ha!

Again, congrats and keep us informed of your progress. When you do go on ride with this group of ppl you met, please come on in here and post up your ride. We LOVE to read these types of things!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will be posting my experiences, I think it will be a nice chronicle of my progress and I'm glad you don't mind reading them :)
 

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WOW, what an awesome idea for a class!! I learned this week how to change my own oil, how to change spark plugs, and I know how to put on a new swingarm, but that's it. I think a maintenance class would be great. I must look into that and see if there are any in my area. As for the turns, I've gotten in extensive practice in parking lots though I'm a complete newbie myself- I've practiced turns, tight turns, figure eights... its always harder turning right for me, but I can say this for you: just keep looking through your turns, relax, and trust your bike. Go back to the basics, to a parking lot, set up an obstacle course and weave through it. Then set up a tight turn, head into it at like 20mph, and practice coming into and going out of it... again and again and again.
As you were writing about the winds, all I could think was, YOU ROCK GIRL!! I hope I can handle my bike as well as you apparently can when I end up riding in windy weather, which is bound to happen soon.

And definately post up about a group ride, how you handled it- and even pointers would be great!!

Keep up the good work, you are a true role model!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ZXXX6RN said:
WOW, what an awesome idea for a class!! I learned this week how to change my own oil, how to change spark plugs, and I know how to put on a new swingarm, but that's it.
Thanks for the compliments. BTW, how do you know when spark plugs need replacing? We didn't get to those since the bike was so new but I'm curious about it.
 

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Well, either when your bike starts and doesn't stay started, or when you take them out to check them they are all blackened on the bottom. I think. I'm not 100%, I'm STILL not an expert. My bike only has 3,000 miles on it, maybe this is one of those 3,000 mile things like the oil??
 

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There are lots of good refs on line about plugs. My last bike ate plugs (dry on one side, wet on the other!) so I got really interested in the pictures of the different symptoms. I think you can get .pdfs of both the FZ6 owner's manual and the service manual (there's a thread about that over in the FZ6 group right now) and those documents will tell you how often and what to look for, and how to replace as needed.
 
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