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My Yellow Pony

4055 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  pushrod
Ok. My Ninja 250 isn't a pony, but riding it does bring the Pony Express to mind!
Small, responsive, and fast if you want her to be.
The plan was to ride my 1st bike home Sunday, with a friend following right behind me in his car. Just encase I got stuck somehow, somewhere, or freaked out crossing the long metal grated bridge I had to take from N.J. to PA.
I was nervous.. I hadn't been out on the road yet and the trip was 30 some miles.
Ichee Mama!
Plus, I hadn't even shifted the Ninja out of second since I'd only been able to ride it around the gravel driveway at J&L Cycle out on Rt. 12.
It didn't help matters that we'd never shifted above 3rd during the MSF course.
With this in mind, Saturday I got off work early, went over to J&L, put my plate on, geared up and headed out to get a few real road miles under my seat.
Then, out of no where, while standing astride, in the gravel where the driveway mets the road, my Ninja started a slow fall to the left. Dang! I tried hard to keep it up right, but down she went in slow-motion.
I dropped my bike and I hadn't even left the parking lot!
Behind me in his shop door stood Joe, watching, silent.
All I was, was mad at my own stupidity.
But it was just the slap in the face I needed to "drop" the nervousness and get serious.
It wasn't a big deal to pick it up myself, and I got back on, checked for traffic and rode the few hundred feet up to the traffic light, but on the paved shoulder :(
Making a right at the light I moved into the traffic lane, and at the posted speed limit rode the short distance to a middle school. In that safe area I took some time getting a better feel for the brakes and shifting on a paved surface.
Feeling better informed after 15 minutes I went back out and rode 10 miles, my highest speed 50mph.
Turning around I backtracked, got on the main county road, stopped and got gas for the first time, and took us both safely back to J&L.
I wondered if Joe thought I would even make it back in one piece..
After those first 19 miles the ride home Sunday was uneventful. Yet I was really happy to have my friends behind me backing me up.
Grated bridges are weird, and I found the second half to be worse then the first. Then, it was a really long bridge for my 1st one.
My impressions of the Ninja?
Maneuverable, soft suspension, shifts easy, front brake is sensitive and she dives just like I'd read it would if you don't use a soft touch. Two fingers is good but one is better on that lever.
She is a sweet responsive ride and has all the go I'll need for some time to come.
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yee ha, you're on your way now. Practice makes perfect and keep focused on your ride, keep your head on a swivel and keep scanning ahead for hazards. Once you get used to it it becomes second nature. Get out there and enjoy yourself
Well done, Joie! :)
Nice! Just keep practicing and most of the fear will go away. The day it all goes away, you are in for a big body slam!. Anyway, we did try to warn you about the dropped bike thing. Not to worry. I have dropped every bike I have ever owned at one point or another. Not a big deal really. It happens to everyone. Ms. Skywalker, you have just taken your first step into a larger world.........
Yay! An unforgettable memory has been made. Congrats.

Don't worry about those grated bridges. There's a million of them around here, and so far, I've never heard of or seen anyone crash because of them. Just ride over them normally and don't worry about it. - I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful. I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between the website and any other website on the net. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by motorcyclists, primarily motorcyclist patronship.
There wasn’t one person on who was screaming, “M-Fer, I want more content.” You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going on to a regular website on most any topic, in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were typing and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.
Thanks for your help and comments!
I haven't been able to ride since Sunday, but I do go out
to the garage after work every evening, open the overhead door and grin just seeing my little Ninja sitting there waiting for me :)
Anyway, I'm still shopping for a helmet, but till I find the right one am using my friends Shark. It's bright and fits well, but is out of my price range.
There are a few cold weather items I need too. Right now my question is, what do I need for the bike it self?
It has a dry house, my small, built in the early 1900's garage, but that's it.
I've read about a battery tender, is that something I want to purchase?
If I don't plan on servicing it on my own, do I need tools?

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Gravel BAD. Tarmac GOOD. Now you have a feather in your cap. ;-)
No service, no tools. I think the bike has a toolkit somewhere under the seat though. Not bad to have in a pinch, even if someone else is twisting the tin screwdriver they give you into a pretzel. Battery tender is a must for winter storage, as is some sort of fuel stabilizer in a full tank. I'd say the thing you REALLY need to is ride the hell out of it!
Yee haw!! Thursday the weather is supposed to be good and I plan on riding the pony to work. My 17yr. old is a bit annoyed at me because it means he will have to take the bus to school instead of having good ole' Mom drive him like she has for the past 7 years. lol
With the proper clothes I think I will be able to ride till Jan/Feb. About then the weather is too iffy to get caught out in ice or other various winter nasties here on the East Coast.
Unfortunately, the Ninja's owners manual and tool kit were missing, but it did come with a huge bike lock/chain thing and a decent cover.
You should be able to find the manual and toolkit in a bike salvage yard, if not on eBay. They've only built a bazillion little Ninja, so it's not like you're embarking on a quest.

Tools? You might want to get what you need to change the oil and filter, and to check the air pressure in the tires. Get a battery maintenance unit (i.e., Battery Tender, CTEK, etc.) and a bottle of StaBil for the fuel.

The Scorpion brand helmets seem to get great reviews, and are $200 or less. Buy your cold weather kit in a size that allows you to layer up to the amount of insulation you need.

Meanwhile, go ride!
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