First ride, finally!!!
So after a little delay I got my 250 this morning. Brought it in, tried to start it and nothing... oh boy! Went inside to get user's manual and in the pictures I see the engine cutoff. Silly me, I never turned that. So I go out again and try to start it; this time the engine turns but it doesn't start. I had already checked that there were gasoline in the tank and turned the choke on. My next guess is the fuel valve, but at this point we had to leave as we had an appointment somewhere else.
4 hours later I return home and look all over the user's manual for the fuel valve and I find it nowhere, so I can just assume there's none in here. I try to start it again and, voila! the engine starts and immediately stalls. I turn the choke on, try again and I have a "mean sounding" 250R running. I'm happy.
I let it warm up for a little while until I can turn the choke off and the bike keeps running. It doesn't take too long (less than 5 mins., easily). I turn it off and proceed to change the rear suspension from 5 to 3 (I'm not that heavy, and don't plan to ride with my wife just yet), which I cannot do because of limited space and I didn't want to screw anything yet.
My next assignment is to raise the bike, since the previous owner was a 4'7" lady and I'm 6' tall. She had someone put lowering links that I can just turn to raise back up. Which I do. Once I finish, I try the "power walk" exercise seen in the MSF course, to get familiar with the clutch on this bike. By this time, it's time to have dinner. After that I gear up. It's the first time I try all of my gear on and I start getting hot right away. I struggle to handle keys with the gloves, and look around with the helmet, but not too bad.
Get the bike started, open up the garage, go out and stop just outside the door so I can close it, and very slowly I go down the ramp as I am afraid of the sidewalk bump, but I get through that easily. I start my ride around the neighborhood. I have to admit that besides not feeling ready to hit major streets, the bike doesn't have license plates nor registration yet, so I definitely keep it in the quiet street of the neighborhood, and never got over 35mph.
So anyway, a couple of stops, a couple of rough gos, but everything is OK. There is a road that is very rarely traveled and has a couple of twists. This was by far the highlight of the ride, as I was able to consciously get a feel for counter-steering, even at 35mph. Oh, right along here I hit a dead end and as I am turning back the bike stalls in first gear; I start it back and go my way, but I do feel a little embarrassed.
On the way back I have a little hard time shifting gears smoothly; it's either a very quick clutch release or too little/ too much throttle. All of this time, the hardest part, by far has been using the turning signals. I have to think about putting it on, sometimes I have to look down and almost all of the time I forget to turn them off. However, the biggest revelation comes while approaching a stop sign I notice a vehicle approaching me, really fast. So I move over to the left of the lane, in case [s]he wants to turn right at the sign; at the same time I'm trying to measure the distance, since I'm not familiar with the mirrors yet, and when finally getting to the stop sign, I start to down-shift, but it feels very hard. I think about that and I realize that I'm not pulling the clutch lever... stupid me! I pull the lever and go all the way to 1st gear. I continue straight and the van keeps going behind me, so I consciously turn the turning signal on, down-shift once and make a right turn to finally get home.
I decide to try going up the ramp with my feet up, so I move wide left to get the ramp at a 90o angle and I do so without any problems. But as I stop close to the garage door, I forget to either put it in neutral or disengage the clutch, and of course, the bike stalls. Having a hard time reaching my pocket with the gloves I reach the door control, open it up, start the bike up, press rear brake (remember, I am uphill right now), slowly disengage the clutch while rolling on the throttle, and as the bike starts to pull, I release the rear brake; go inside and close the door. And I power the bike down.
So the revelation is, I am in no way ready to take the bike to traffic. I need to practice using the controls until I don't have to think about that and concentrate on traffic. It will probably take a week if I practice enough. Another thing is that I have been reading "Proficient Motorcycling" (about half-way done), and I also have to make those guidelines, such as scanning around for hazards, turn lanes, etc., second nature so that I don't have to think about that while also dealing with traffic.
Anyway, sorry for the long read but I wanted to share how I'm doing so far. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to post them here.