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Hello,

So I figured I would combine my first post with my first, real ride. First introductions; My name is Seppel and I ride a Star 250. I'm still in the process of learning as I have only ridden 1,200 miles. I guess this story I'm about to tell will have some saying I might be crazy, but I don't feel it was too dangerous; at least not compared to new riders going out and buying 600cc sport bikes anyway.

So I decided after taking in my bike for its 600 mile maintenance that I would ride from Las Vegas to Cali and back for the weekend. I knew it might suck a little, but I knew from driving in my cage that there is a stop every 50 miles that would aid in fatigue or any other problem that might happen. Having a whopping 600 miles under my belt, I thought it would be a new experience that would teach me more than my usual trip to work and back.

The ride to Cali wasn't overly eventful; some little learning things with semis and learning to not be distracted by beautiful scenery and that 250s suck when it comes to going up hill, but nothing really worth mentioning.

The ride back, however, was a suck fest until 30 miles outside of Vegas. Let's start at breakfast. I tell my mom I'm leaving with friends (she can't know I have a bike yet), and she says that it sucks I'm leaving today. Upon asking why, she says the Santa Anna winds are starting up today, and it will be pretty bad. Fuuuuuuuuuuuu.......... says my mind.

Saying that the winds were crazy would be an understatement. Not where I had to lean at a ridiculous angle or anything, but I could feel them trying to move my small bike and I across the freeway at points, and them hitting me head on and slowing me down to only being able to do 65-70 (mostly 65, and at one point only 50 as I was also going uphill)

Now, during my pitstops, I ran into a few fellow bikers. One was a group of cruiser riders, and the other was just one dude on the biggest and loudest sports bike I've ever seen. The first group wanted to just look at the bike and thought I must be from around the area. Upon telling them where I was from and where I was going, they thought it was "cool sh*t; be careful, and have fun. If you feel in danger, get off and wait a bit for the winds to cool down and for you to get your nerve back you ballsy sun of a b*tch" and with a laugh they left. True advice and I quickly learned some things: 1.) I want that little pad thing that straps to your throttle so all you have to use is your palm. 2.) despite being of the opinion that windshields take away from the looks of the bike, I want a removable one for my dream bike.

So battle of the wind ensues from apple valley to about baker. Hills suck on a 250 in the way that as a kid on a bicycle sees a hill and thinks "God, why me?"

I get to my last pit stop outside of vegas (right before a giant hill that goes from 4,000 feat to sea level). This is when I meet Alex, the man with the huge sports bike. Now, I'm filling up gas when I hear this giant roar (like, jet engine status roar). I look back and see the biggest sports bike ever pull up to the pump. Out of sheer curiosity, I ask Alex what size his engine is. After finding out I'm new to the world of motorcycles, he verbally gives me a full specs list on his bike and how much he loves it. (I'm standing with my mouth open loving every bit of info and tips he's giving me) After he finishes, he asks me where my bike is. I move aside and he sees my little 250. I imagine him ready to burst out laughing, but instead he walks over to it and says "Wow, this is the 2012 model, right? That's sweet. I learned on an older one." That hit me more than anything I read on any forum or any advice a biker gave to me about riding. I would say my advice outside of riding is always be nice to every rider you meet; it makes riding more of an experience for everyone.

So, Alex then informs me that after this stop, the hill that is coming up is probably the best part of this trip and if I would like to join him for it. I happily agree. We get to the top the hill. I look down; it's one of those "holy sh*t, I'm king of the world moments." I hear Alex's bike as he gets in front of me. He gives me a thumbs up, we roll on the throttle and start flying down this hill. The only way I can describe it is the last scene from Toy Story, where Buzz and Woody are on the rocket, falling from the sky with their faces' pulling back in the wind. It was, honestly, the best moment of my whole trip.

So, made it back safe but a little sore, lessons learned and body intact. Any feedback for a decent but still new rider is always appreciated, and if you think there's anything I should have done differently, let me know.
 

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Wind is a little easier to navigate if you relax your arms and fight the urge to hold on with a death grip. That way you won't transfer your body's motion from the wind to the steering, which can magnify the effect. (I'm not sure if you already know that trick)

The 250 isn't ideal for cross-country trips like that, but you proved it can be done.
 

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You did well.
Strong crosswinds can be a bit** on a light bike.
You either have to grit it out ... or ride when the weather has calmed down a bit.

A windshield can be a big help - but realize that narrow windshields can do funky things in crosswinds. My shield is narrow, and it sets up a weird turbulence in crosswinds (vibration) that's tiring on my helmet & head. so go with a wider shield when you decide to buy.

dT
 

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Sounds like you had a great time which is what really count. AND you learned a few things.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
distantThunder - What would you consider a narrow windshield? I haven't looked to much into them, but now I definitely will.

Dodsfall - I did discover that holding the death grip wasn't working for my muscles at all and adjusted, but I didn't think to much about how that would affect the handeling.
 

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I have this one on my cruiser. Shield is a bit too narrow for cruiser use.

http://www.memphisshades.com/metric-shades/metric-sportshields/speed-demon

that shield is 21 inch wide ... but the way it tapers at the top makes it too narrow. it's fine if there is no wind or if the wind is aligned with the road, but not fun in crosswinds.
you'll have to make adjustments for sports bikes because you are riding with a different posture. but think about it.

dT
 

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Welcome to the Forum. Sounds like a GREAT ride!!! I would have loved riding it with you. That little flat thing for the throttle you speak of is called a Cramp Buster or Throttle Dog. I paid $9.?? for mine...it was under $10.00 tax included. I love mine!! I also put a windshield on my bike 1st thing. You will find that most folks don't care what you ride, as long as you are riding. Continue to have fun out there & stay safe!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sounds like a great time to buy a bigger motorcycle!

Great story, thank you
My dream bike is the Suzuki M50. I really do want to run out and buy it this second, but I still have things to learn and I want to pay of the 250 first so I can trade it in toward the M50. You can imagine how torturous it was when I walked into the local shop and they had one, in the color I wanted, just from the factory with no price-tag on it yet. I almost died.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have this one on my cruiser. Shield is a bit too narrow for cruiser use.

that shield is 21 inch wide ... but the way it tapers at the top makes it too narrow. it's fine if there is no wind or if the wind is aligned with the road, but not fun in crosswinds.
you'll have to make adjustments for sports bikes because you are riding with a different posture. but think about it.

dT
Sweet site, thanks for the link. I might get the Alley Cat style one in the future, but I can see why you got that style, looks Bad a**. Would you say it's so much of a problem that if you could, would you go with a different style now?
 

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Welcome to the Forum. Sounds like a GREAT ride!!! I would have loved riding it with you. That little flat thing for the throttle you speak of is called a Cramp Buster or Throttle Dog. I paid $9.?? for mine...it was under $10.00 tax included. I love mine!! I also put a windshield on my bike 1st thing. You will find that most folks don't care what you ride, as long as you are riding. Continue to have fun out there & stay safe!!
Funny how $10 would have saved me so much pain. Thanks for the name, the guy who was telling me about them couldn't remember either. Do you still get some cramps in your hand? and if so how long can you go before it makes you want to take a rest stop. I found on the trip that I could go about 60 miles at a time before I wanted my hand to just fall off.
 

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As mentioned here already, one of the keys to riding in the wind is to relax and not let your body motions be transferred to the bike. Most times, the bike is less affected by the wind then you are. IOW, your body may get blown around, but the bike stays pretty stable. It takes getting used to.

Also, you learn to anticipate when the win will affect you. Like when passing a truck, or when you come out of the wind shadow of a building, copse of trees, or something similar.

Windy conditions is when I wish I had my old Vstar 1300 back. Most times, I am happy with my honda 919.
 

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Man that trip especially the point at the top of the hill sounds like good time! :) Maybe one of these days when I get the courage I'll do a little trip myself, 2003 CBR RR rider here, nearly 1 month riding. Thanks for the story
 

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Seppell,
Since I have had it my hand no longer gets to hurting. I have since ridden a 500+ mile day and had no issues with my hand. My body was getting tired, but my hand didn't hurt. Prior to having it I had to stop about every 70 miles as my hand got to hurting so badly that I couldn't feel it & had trouble holding the throttle on.
 

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My dream bike is the Suzuki M50. I really do want to run out and buy it this second, but I still have things to learn and I want to pay of the 250 first so I can trade it in toward the M50. You can imagine how torturous it was when I walked into the local shop and they had one, in the color I wanted, just from the factory with no price-tag on it yet. I almost died.
I bought the M50 3 weeks ago. It's a pretty cool bike. Not a lot of aftermarket support for it just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Seppell,
Since I have had it my hand no longer gets to hurting. I have since ridden a 500+ mile day and had no issues with my hand. My body was getting tired, but my hand didn't hurt. Prior to having it I had to stop about every 70 miles as my hand got to hurting so badly that I couldn't feel it & had trouble holding the throttle on.
Nice. I knew it must help, but 500 miles with no pain is more than what I thought. Definitely going to add that to my ever growing list of gear to buy.
 

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Do you guys recommend the throttle clamp over a lock?
 

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Sorry meant cramp buster or what ever that other one is call. The one you use your palm or the clamp type
 

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Critter, I have a "Cramp Buster" which is a piece of plastic that fits over the throttle and you turn it backwards around until you get it where you feel comfy when giving the bike gas. It is only about 1 inch wide so that you have room for your hand beside it and don't have to use it if for some reason you don't want to. They also sell a chrome one which is called a "Throttle Dog" which is the same thing only it's chrome. I wanted one really bad, we have a local store that sells some MC stuff and only had the plastic ones so I bought it. I would have ordered the chrome one but when I found this one I bought it. I know they also make 1 that fits INTO the end of your handle bar. But it's not as big, you had to slide your hand 1/2 way off of the bar and seemed to me like it would be harder to use. You have to make sure to get the correct size for your bar/throttle size. If something happened to mine I would be finding another very quickly. There may be other styles, but that is the 3 I've seen.
 
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