First Streetbike Experience

by: Joe


I made the right turn at a green light and proceeded up the hill and heard some noises behind me that didn't see normal. I heard a slight rev then a motor stall. Next thing I hear is a throttle go WFO and glance in the rear view to see my buddy sliding across the pavement...


It all started about two months prior.  Spring was just around the corner and my buddy, well call him Dave, suggested that we get some bikes. I had been feeling the itch ever since I sold my f4 a year before that and agreed that sounded like a good plan. I made a trip to the dealer I purchased my last bike at and purchased a brand spanking new '02 F4i. Since Dave claimed he had minimal riding experience I suggested he might want to get something a little bit older and cheaper. A few weeks later he said he found a bike
and asked if I would go pick it up with him. Come to find out to, him a little older meant a '01 F4i.  I should have known considering we were always trying to one up each other. We pick it up and the bike is in great
shape and has had some after market work done including a pipe and filter among other cosmetic upgrades. I started to worry a little when he asked me to drive it into the back of the truck for him because he wasn't comfortable with it. I should have known right then and there that he had probably never been on a bike before.


After a few days he gets insurance and DMV all straightened out and some nice riding weather.  I meet him at his place and he come out of the house in a nylon jacket, no gloves and tennis shoes.  I guess at least he had jeans on.  I told him without proper gear I wasn't going to ride outside of the development with him.  At this point I get really worried when he asks me to go over the pedals and levers with him again since "its been a long time" since he last rode a bike.  Now, I know were not going any further then the neighborhood even with riding gear at least for a while.  So I give him the street bike 101 course outside his apartment.  I had taken him riding on my old F4 several times so I knew he was at least capable of
keeping his balance.  Anyhow I get fired up and I hear him behind me with that good old dead battery starting sound, you know when the lights dim and hardly anything happens.


Skip to next day.  After a new battery and a new set of plugs (another story in itself) we get fired up and go over everything again.  And tell him ill watch him run around the block a few times while I stand there and watch.  So he takes off and was looking good until he comes up on turn one.  I think he panicked when he got next the only parked car on the block which also happened to be in turn one. At this point he claims mind 'blank syndrome' and gives the front and back brake a hard squeeze.  A little too hard, and he does an endo that would rival some of the best stunt groups I've ever seen.  He comes down hard and lays it over on its side. I run over and at that time he is brushing himself off and picking the bike up.  By the grace of God he missed the car and himself, and he and the bike came out with I think about one scratch a piece.  After that he does fine and makes about 50 laps before we call it a day.


The next riding day since he purchased some gloves and put on some boots I agreed to go ride a local 25mph route.  Pulling out of the parking space in front of some buddies he slips the clutch a little hard, manages to stop, but is late putting his feet down.  Hence crash two.  So we run the short 25mph route without a hitch and are getting ready to exit the end of the ride through a local university.  We ride through the university and stop at the light at the exit.  Which brings us to the beginning of the story. I made the right turn at a green light and proceeded up the hill and heard some noises behind me that didn't sound normal. I heard a slight rev then a motor stall. Next thing I hear is a throttle go WFO and glance in the rear
view to see my buddy sliding across the pavement into oncoming traffic.  I get ready to turn around when I see him pick it up and get back on it before any cars come.  We ride back home and besides a banged up knee, scraped up lower fairing, and pipe all appeared to be well.


He is progressing well now, but may have severely injured himself if we hadn't had taken it easy.  I guess the moral of the story is that a hot 600 may be a little more then a beginner needs to learn on.  If they want to start that way anyway, do the right thing and send them to a motorcycle safety course.  If they wont do that then at least be pal and keep them out of harms way as much as possible.  On a final note, after careful inspection himself of the clothing he had been wearing the only places he had road rash was where he wasn't wearing the proper gear.  His jeans were torn and his knee had some nice road rash. His jacket shredded on his side and had a few minor abrasions. But his ankles, hands and head were perfect because the proper equipment took all the abuse.

Ride safe,
Joe Feaga