The bike unloaded, the delivery person paid, I then rushed for my camera phone to get those obligatory oh-so-important first shots. The brochure, my phone, any camera doesn’t do this bike the justice it so greatly deserves. If there is any bike that absolutely NEEDS
to be seen in person, this one is it.
The second I saw it, I knew I had made the right decision.
Such a pretty little thing!
Puppy taking a nap in front of my bike? Why there?
I love how the ZZR stickers on the sides aren't silver, they're reflective. I also love that it doesn't have 250 written all over it. It looks a lot bigger than it really is!
It looks so small from behind!
Following the impromptu photoshoot was the starting of the engine. I pulled out the key that I’d placed in my pocket eons ago, gently nudging it into the ignition while adjusting the choke. I took a deep breath, turned the key, and pressed the starter in hopes that my bike would do the same.
I cringed. “What’s wrong? What did I do? It’s not broken already, is it?” The glaring red button on the right handlebar was staring me in the face. I guiltily looked up at my expectant parents. Their eyebrows arched upwards, wondering if the bike was truly the good idea their daughter somehow convinced them it was.
“Oops. Engine kill switch.”
Fixing that, the bike roared to life. The neighbours stared, the dogs barked, and that ear to ear grin returned.
I made the decision to acquire my bike before the training classes so that I could get a feel for the controls, which I assumed I would have the most difficulty with. I have never ridden a motorcycle before, and have only driven a manual transmission car once. And badly at that. My worst fear is to fall behind the class and be asked to withdraw. The course is a non-refundable $350 with a long waiting list. Not only is that an amount I’d rather not toss carelessly into the wind, but who knows when I’d be able to take the class again.
With that in mind, it was time to practice! The bike now turned off, I straddled it and pushed it into our grassy backyard. I figured that if I was going to drop it, it would probably happen sooner than later and that the grass would be much more forgiving than the concrete driveway. I’ll admit it, I did almost find the “point of no return”, but with much effort I managed to keep the bike upright and intact.
While straining along, I realized that I won’t ever need a bike bigger than the 250 I have now. My current self couldn’t manage anything heavier, that’s for sure. This insight made me even more ecstatic! After I had finally made it to the grass, I attempted to put it up on its center stand. Step down, pull bike back. Looked easy enough, I’ve watched videos of it being done, and the wonderful salesperson did it himself to show me how it was done.
“Step down, pull back… why isn’t it moving? Come on bike, move!”
Ten minutes later of struggling and nearly dropping both myself and my new toy, I admitted defeat. So it’s too heavy for me to put it on the center stand by myself. A slight disappointment, but now I’m REALLY glad I didn’t go for a larger bike. With a careful shove from Dad, the bike was up and I was on it. Going through the basics, Dad coached as I tried to keep track of whichever gear I had switched up or down to. Putting the bike back down was the easy part, but now it was time to put the bike into first gear for real.
While waiting for this day, I looked for videos or information about typical beginner mistakes and this one here stuck out in my mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa3pt6ngjJ0
I could just imagine myself and the bike flying across the yard. So I did the complete opposite. I put the bike into first, slowly released the clutch and refused to give it any gas.
Stutter, stutter, stall.
Surprised that it didn’t go as planned, all I could do was shake my head and laugh. But three attempts later, I was rolling for the first time.