All Gone Wrong.....from dream to fear...
Hi, I wrote several weeks back about my excitement to get into motorcycle riding. I even bought a lovely purple Yamaha V-Star 650...sitting and waiting for me to take her out on the first ride.
I eagerly with childish excitement, waited the day my motorcycle safety course would begin.
The day came and I was one of two students. I was instructed the old Yamaha 400 was going to be mine and I nervously climbed aboard, to discover my toes only barely touched the ground. Never could I move that bike backwards to park it, the instructor had to drag it backwards.
Nevertheless, I was brave and determined. The instructor would tell us what to do, and his eyes and his help was always on the older gentleman in the course, as this was his second time taking the course and he was nervous. I was nervous too, but determined. I wobbled and warbled but was able to get the stuff done. Till, suddenly, splat...the engine stalled, I couldn't hold it up and down went the bike. That was day 1.
I was doing tight turns, and looking down at a stick, and down went the bike..again!! That dropping of the bike I understood, because I was looking down. Lesson learned...the hard way.
Then, in the afternoon, I was instructed to sit outside the bike saddle and lean my shoulders out because I needed to put more weight into the outside to be able to do the tight handlebar circles. It was going very well, until...something happened and the bike fell down on the inside, hurling me over its side and slamming my head into the pavement, cracking the helmet. I needed to get a new helmet and I was beginning to taste fear.
I went and got a new helmet and came back because my partner told me on the phone there was no quitting. But, he was very concerned that I was not able to put my full feet on the ground. He was very worried.
All of these "falls" happened without my instructor seeing them, as all of our riding, my instructor paid attention only to the old man. So, never was he watching me and able to tell me the clutch was in too far or there was not enough friction...or speed. I was just teaching myself and it was hurting!
Then, the clutch broke all together and class ended as the instructor had to take the bike back to his house to repair. It had come loose from the inner makings of the bike, and now I was worried. What if that happened during some fast maneuver, I would be killed!
I showed up.
on this day we learned counter turns, and fun stuff, but then we went back to slow maneuvers so that we could get tested for the skills portion for our license.
The clutch was obviously fixed and so here we were again, doing tight slow work....splat...there went the bike again.
and once again, the instructor didn't see.
and off we went on the road to do our skills test in front of the government agent.
Needless to say, I was terrified, any tight turns and I knew the possibility existed that somehow, we could suddenly go down. So, I went so slowly, and used my feet a bit to tap the ground and hold up the bike on turns and so, of course I didn't pass.
I got home that night and was a ball of nerves. I am bruised, sore knee, head ache, terrible loss of confidence and think that I should trade in my V-Star 650 for a 250 or just throw in the towel.
I did mention this to the old man that was in my class with me and I told him I wasn't cut out for this after all.
He told me that the first course he was in, there was a girl put on the bike I had been riding, and on the first day, she fell off the bike 6 times, cracking her helmet and having to get another and on the 2nd day, she fell and broke her arm and had to be taken away in the ambulance.
I was shocked, then very hurt thinking that the instructor never thought to consider that maybe there is something wrong with the bike or maybe it is just too darn big for ladies.
Anyways, I have 3 hour credit with my instructor, but I am now terrified. He has said he will lower the seat on his bike, that he will give me private lessons. he also said that he was sorry he hadn't spend much time with me, but that I had grasped all the exercises so well and had shown ability to maneuver through all the obstacles so that each time I fell, it was a very big surprise to him.
This is a nice young man whom loves his motorcycle, and is just starting out giving instructions. He has no money, and a crappy bike.
But, I am afraid to get on his bike, even if he lowers the seat, but I am also very afraid to now get on my v-star 650. I could use either bike, but the thought of either bike scares me.
I am bombing around my farm with my old Honda CT-70 and loving it. But the thought of anything bigger than a 250 has me worried now.
Both my partner and the motorcycle shop advise that if I was to sell my 650, I would regret it because after a few months, I will have outgrown the 250. They also advise that the Yamaha V-Star 650 will be so much easier to ride and that I will be amazed how well it handles. But, I am now looking at its floor boards and worry how I am going to be able to use the clutch and breaks in the forward position, and it is still a big bike.
Bluntly, I am in panic mode now.
Please let me know your thoughts. I am very brave. I have shown cutting horses and won championships in Canada and in the US. I have ridden and shown jumping horses. I ride quads. I can do this...but..when given the opportunity, it didn't work for me.
I can handle your suggestions. I am also very very interested in your thoughts on how a 650 v star handles.
I am 5"4, and weigh 125 lbs.