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Back on the bike after 7 years

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Post  Mapman Tue Feb 28 2012, 23:56

Hi folks,

Finally got my 1998 Cat back on the road today after a very long lay up in the garage. I started fettling with it at the end of summer last year and it took me much longer than I thought it would to sort out my forks, brakes and carbs etc. So it feels great to finally have a roadworthy bike and an MOT to prove it Very Happy

Now the weird thing is I went for a wee blast before and after the MOT and it feels really weird back on the bike again. Not sure if it's just me or I'm not used to the bike yet but I couldn't get comfy and had sore wrists after only 10 mins. I kept on slipping forwards in the seat and wasn't sure if my toes should be on the pegs or should my feet be placed further forward??? I've read loads about the Cat being such a comfortable bike and I know we're all different and so different strokes for different folks etc., maybe the Cat's just not right for me?

I'm 6ft 2 and around 13 stone and I'm sure there are bigger riders than me on these out there. Maybe I just need some refresher training to get myself setup better on the bike as well as the obvious back to biking tips that I should re-learn for saftey's sake.

Has anyone else out there been through this experience or should I just crack on and enjoy the learning curve? Would appreciate any thoughts and feedback from anyone.

Cheers,
Mapman.
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Post  HEHORE Wed Feb 29 2012, 00:14

i would say , contact a local bike training centre and try get a back to biking refresher course as step one , with regards to feet , im 6'2 ish and 15 stone, i have my foot central(ball of my foot) on the pegs slighty pointing outwards so i can twist my foot in to use brake or change gear , only ever have my toes on pegs for long distance motorway travel as its more comfortable to tuck down. with regaurds to your wrists its normal for them to get sore as there not used to the postion of riding a bike

hope this helps ,
steve


Last edited by HEHORE on Wed Feb 29 2012, 00:25; edited 1 time in total
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Post  past-it Wed Feb 29 2012, 00:18

It'll take awhile to get used to any bike, I had the same problem and thought that the Cat a little strange, but after a few miles it just got better and better. Try riding with the balls of your feet on the pegs, grip the tank with your knees and take some weight off your arms by using your stomach muscles. If you lean on the bars it also slows down the steering, which makes you work harder and that will make every thing sore. As in any new activity your muscles will have to be retrained for the body position and movements that bike riding requires. Give it a few months of riding then book yourself in on a Police bike safe day, well worth it.
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Post  Ezzy's Mum! Wed Feb 29 2012, 07:41

Congrats getting back on the road - i'm only 5'3 so i'm afraid i can't help with the other questions - i get pains in the wrist but thats due to arthritis and short arms - i actually ride with the pegs butted up to the wedge part of the heel of my boot so my feet and pointed out and down slightly so i only have to flick my feet. Being short i also tend to ride right up against the tank so i can grip it with my thighs! (and anyone who says anything about the vibrations !! Very Happy )
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Post  weasley Wed Feb 29 2012, 09:58

+1 to balls of the feet on the pegs- then just slide the foot forward to use the levers and then back again.

Also, you should be supporting most of your weight in your 'core', so in the torso - you might just need to get match fit again!

And finally, make sure the levers are at the right angle for your hands and wrists - you should be able to operate the levers without a bend in your wrists.
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Post  Wooster Wed Feb 29 2012, 16:07

HEHORE wrote: i have my foot central(ball of my foot) on the pegs slighty pointing outwards so i can twist my foot in to use brake or change gear

I hate that 'ten to two' feet thing, from behind it looks like they're sitting on the bog reading a paper. Laughing

Like others have said, I prefer to keep the balls of my feet on the pegs...you can apply more pressure through them that way.
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Post  Snowcat Wed Feb 29 2012, 16:27

If you read any books about riding position etc it tells you riding with the balls of you feet on the pegs gives you more steering control by, as Wooster said, allowing you to apply more pressure and "force" the bike down more into the term.

Also agreed knees in hugging the bike gives more stability and use your torso and core strength to hold you up rather than leaning on the bars as this not only puts pressure on your wrists but also because youre elbows are probably locked and stiff transfers any road movement through the bars making you feel every bump and jerk.

As long as you are holding but not gripping the bars in as relaxed a way as possible and try to keep your elbows loose and forearms as parallel to the ground as possible this relaxed posture will make you feel less of the stresses and strains of riding on our great British roads Smile
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Post  past-it Wed Feb 29 2012, 16:33

[quote="Wooster"]

I hate that 'ten to two' feet thing, from behind it looks like they're sitting on the bog reading a paper. Laughing



[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Thats one of the best ways I've heard that put, do we get numpty points for riding like that from now on??? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Post  Mapman Wed Feb 29 2012, 16:59

Thanks for all the replies and advice folks - most appreciated.

Looks like I'll just have to clock up some miles to get used to it again which is no bad thing. She's only done just over 13k so there's plenty of catching up to do Very Happy

Next on the shopping list is a Double Bubble screen, some smaller lights and maybe and undertray tidy thing. So if anyone has any advice on what to get or what to avoid then I'm all ears (or eyes in this case).

Cheers!
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Post  Rosco Wed Feb 29 2012, 17:24

[quote="past-it"]
Wooster wrote:

I hate that 'ten to two' feet thing, from behind it looks like they're sitting on the bog reading a paper. Laughing



[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Thats one of the best ways I've heard that put, do we get numpty points for riding like that from now on??? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

You should get them if you end up wearing your boots away on a trackday though. wall
Especially if you thought you were grinding your toe sliders.
Hero to zero in under 5 seconds.

Plenty good advice already given.
You and your body will re-learn in good time I'm sure.

Cheers
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Post  past-it Wed Feb 29 2012, 17:32

Easy things first, Philips X-treme or Osram nightbreaker headlight bulb, and a box of plasters and swear box to fit it, a good service, strip and clean the brake calipers, set up the carbs and throttle position sensor after that its simple things like wider mirrors, at some time as the Yam ones will leak stainless downpipes (http://www.delkevic.co.uk/) start spraying the down pipe nuts with a freeing oil now they might come off when they need to, followed by a Exhaust can after that the skys the limit or more like the wallet's the limit Rolling Eyes There's not alot wrong with the bike in standard trim to be honest.
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Post  0ldcat Wed Feb 29 2012, 18:13

Set of these link would look nice me thinks
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Post  Wooster Wed Feb 29 2012, 18:24

past-it wrote:.. do we get numpty points for riding like that from now on???

It depends on whether they have a valid excuse. Wink

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(That's a 16 litre naturally aspirated hbog bowl with 0 miles on the clock there btw Cool )

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Post  Mapman Wed Feb 29 2012, 21:38

past-it wrote:Easy things first, Philips X-treme or Osram nightbreaker headlight bulb, and a box of plasters and swear box to fit it, a good service, strip and clean the brake calipers, set up the carbs and throttle position sensor after that its simple things like wider mirrors, at some time as the Yam ones will leak stainless downpipes (http://www.delkevic.co.uk/) start spraying the down pipe nuts with a freeing oil now they might come off when they need to, followed by a Exhaust can after that the skys the limit or more like the wallet's the limit Rolling Eyes There's not alot wrong with the bike in standard trim to be honest.
Cheers mate, that's a cracking wee list. I noticed one of the bulbs has gone in the instrument cluster so got to dismantle the front at some stage soon anyway so would be as well putting in a brighter headlamp bulb at that stage I guess.
I've already done a decent service, sorted the brakes etc. Still need to balance the carbs though as it's a little lumpy but hardly noticeable. On first blast yesterday it pulled strong and hard through entire rev range, well chuffed.

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Post  Wooster Wed Feb 29 2012, 21:45

Don't take it to the same place as Dean-J did for the carb tuning. Shocked

It might just need a wee bit of a blast to clear the carbs, mine's usually does after one damp Scottish winter sitting idle, let alone seven. ponder

(Btw, you might be able to get into the back of the instrument cluster by just taking the screen off..it depends on how big your hawns are.)
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Post  Mapman Wed Feb 29 2012, 21:49

0ldcat wrote:Set of these link would look nice me thinks

Now that is a "must have if ever I've seen one". Defo on the list, nice one. Had a look at the carbon ones too but they look terrible. Just had another search on fleabay and there's a UK supplier --> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] If only I could work out how to use that LINK button Crying or Very sad

If anyone has fitted these before (or something similar) then what do you do with the old indicator stalk holes?

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Post  Mapman Wed Feb 29 2012, 21:52

Wooster wrote:Don't take it to the same place as Dean-J did for the carb tuning. Shocked

It might just need a wee bit of a blast to clear the carbs, mine's usually does after one damp Scottish winter sitting idle, let alone seven. ponder

(Btw, you might be able to get into the back of the instrument cluster by just taking the screen off..it depends on how big your hawns are.)

Carbs are fine (now), had to strip and clean them twice. When I first put them back on the bike would start fine but just wouldn't idle without the choke on so turned out the idle jets were blocked. I thought my mechy pal was joking when he said you should be able to see right through them when he held them up to the light. After a couple of hours of the jets being in his ultrasonic cleaner, sure enough, you could see a pin sized hole through them. All clean as a whistle now. Thumb
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Post  HEHORE Wed Feb 29 2012, 21:57

Mapman wrote:
Now that is a "must have if ever I've seen one". Defo on the list, nice one. Had a look at the carbon ones too but they look terrible. Just had another search on fleabay and there's a UK supplier --> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] If only I could work out how to use that LINK button Crying or Very sad

If anyone has fitted these before (or something similar) then what do you do with the old indicator stalk holes?

Mapman.
link<---- that one ???? , sorry off topic but above the typing box there is a little button that looks like a chain link , click that then two little boxes pop up under it , in the first box put the link , in the second put : 1 : with no spaces and you should have this---->link
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Post  ScoldedCat Thu Mar 01 2012, 10:38

Mapman wrote:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


These are at the top of my "mods" list when I eventually collect the bike (not that I'm impatient...) and then to fit a set of flush mount indicators where the originals are currently (to reduce fairing damage in the event of dropping the bike and I think the indicators are one of the only areas that really "age" the bike).
From the pictures I've found of these, the mounting bolts are moveable, so possibly you'll be able to use the existing holes?
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Post  Mapman Thu Mar 01 2012, 11:01

ScoldedCat wrote:
Mapman wrote:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


These are at the top of my "mods" list when I eventually collect the bike (not that I'm impatient...) and then to fit a set of flush mount indicators where the originals are currently (to reduce fairing damage in the event of dropping the bike and I think the indicators are one of the only areas that really "age" the bike).
From the pictures I've found of these, the mounting bolts are moveable, so possibly you'll be able to use the existing holes?

I've no doubt the mirrors will simply bolt on to the existing bolt holes and you're right they're slightly adjustable as they're not Thundercat specific and will do a few models. But won't your bike look a bit daft with flush mounted indicators also fitted in place of where the original big ones were? Shocked

Surely you just blank off the old hole with something - and that's what I'm trying to find out. Actually just had another thought, maybe flush mounted indicators aren't such a bad idea but leave them disconnected... I've got some small cracks around that area where the bike has been down in the past (not by me!) and so this might cover them up nicely ponder
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Post  ScoldedCat Thu Mar 01 2012, 14:07

Mapman wrote:
I've no doubt the mirrors will simply bolt on to the existing bolt holes and you're right they're slightly adjustable as they're not Thundercat specific and will do a few models. But won't your bike look a bit daft with flush mounted indicators also fitted in place of where the original big ones were? Shocked

Surely you just blank off the old hole with something - and that's what I'm trying to find out. Actually just had another thought, maybe flush mounted indicators aren't such a bad idea but leave them disconnected... I've got some small cracks around that area where the bike has been down in the past (not by me!) and so this might cover them up nicely ponder

Just found a thread on the USA forum about fitting these, there's a little bit of modification if you want to use the new bases (or you can just modify the new stalks to fit the original base apparently) How to fit Indicator stalks.

I'm happy to have two sets of indicators on the front (the bike will always look normal compared to the twit sat on it, so no worries there Laughing ), and I think it'll give greater side visibility for the indicators, as the mirror lights point forward mostly.

There will also be a set of LED lights to go on the front from BikeVis... so it'll look like a low flying UFO, but hopefully should improve visibility for blind cagers.
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Post  Snowcat Thu Mar 01 2012, 14:35

So it's not just a case of wiring into the existing circuit, I assumed theyd just be a straight swap?? Or have I read the other forum post wrong? scratch
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Post  ScoldedCat Thu Mar 01 2012, 15:52

Snowcat wrote:So it's not just a case of wiring into the existing circuit, I assumed theyd just be a straight swap?? Or have I read the other forum post wrong? scratch

I don't believe they are, as you're also dealing with LED's Vs the original filament bulbs, so you have to do something about the circuit loading for the indicators to flash correctly.

Can't really give any more details as I haven't even collected my 'Cat yet! pmsl
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Post  SteveCat Thu Mar 01 2012, 16:03

The poster of that article is also a member on here, so maybe will be able to shed some light.
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Post  Rosco Thu Mar 01 2012, 16:37

Wooster wrote:
past-it wrote:.. do we get numpty points for riding like that from now on???

It depends on whether they have a valid excuse. Wink

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(That's a 16 litre naturally aspirated hbog bowl with 0 miles on the clock there btw Cool )


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