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Ninja 400 Newbie's First Day Trip - Niagara Region

Well, I had been planning this day trip for two weeks and was definitely a bit nervous to head out on a first long solo ride. I have to say that I got through what I wanted to accomplish--an amazing solo ride to get to know some beautiful wine region roads, get to know my bike and abilities better and end up at one of my favourite places to look at, Niagara Falls. After a crazy few weeks at work, this was something that I was really looking forward to. I couldn't sleep I was so excited! The weather was just amazing and everything just worked out well that day.

Highway 81 was involved, which is apparently a known riding route in Ontario with some twisties that were more than enough for me at my current riding level. The scenery through some of the vineyards was also really cool to see from a bike. I was more than comfortable handling the curves at just above the posted speed limits, on all sorts of great to horrible road surfaces. Definitely a learning experience!

All said and done, the ride really got started around 2pm and I managed to get back by 9:15pm, just after it started to get dark outside.

As far as the bike goes, I love it. It is not only very forgiving, but well balanced and easy to operate. The ride was comfortable and the bike has more than enough power to pass, take off faster than most cars and brake effectively. I also love the colour and look of this bike. I'll definitely write more about it in later posts.

Some route and equipment info below with pics to follow.

The trip:
Leaving Toronto heading west via Lakeshore Rd.
A brief stop at the folks house for lunch in the burbs along the way
Back on the road by 1pm and back on Lakeshore Rd through Burlington
Continue onto the Beach Roads through Burlington and Hamilton to Centennial Parkway
South on Centennial Parkway to South Service Rd.
East on South Service Rd to Christie (Town of Lincoln)
South on Christie to Hwy 81
East on Hwy 81 to Niagara Stone Rd
North on Niagara Stone Rd to Historic Niagara-On-The-Lake
Follow Niagara Falls Parkway to the Falls. A beautiful ride along the Niagara River!
Ride past the falls and back up to Clifton Hill to check out the kitch.
Say hey to the cruiser get-together on Victoria at the Golden Griddle Restaurant -- in between the Love Boat restaurant and Imperial Hotel.
Ride up to the Fallsview Casino and park at the Four Points Sheraton/ East Side Mario's across the street for a bite since a friend is a manager there.
Time One Way: 3.0 hours with multiple short stops and two longer Tim Hortons stops (Grimsby and Niagara-On-The-Lake)

The Gear:
Luggage for overnight stuff (just in case): Borrowed Oxford Sport Saddle Bags
Jacket: Icon Overlord Textile Jacket with upgraded Icon Stryker CE back protector.
Pants: Jeans
Boots: Alpinestars Blacktops
Gloves: Standard leather riding gloves
Helmet: HJC black full faced helmet - SNELL and DOT approved (picked this up along with a classic leather jacket at Bob Weaver's Motor Sports during an early spring day trip to the Niagara Falls/ Tonawanda, New York area)

Pics - Group 1
My apartment parking spot, next to my my neighbour, an Aprilia Shiver. Yes, I figured out that the saddle bags were on the wrong way eventually. haha
Pics at the folk's place after a quick stop for lunch. Ok, it wasn't all about the food, it was also to say hi and all that :)
Just past the Burlington Skyway and lift bridge. Riding over the metal lift bridge in that wind was a bit terrifying....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Group 2
Pic 1 - First stop at Niagara Gateway for Coffee and a break!
Pic 2 - It's not always about the bikes. I loved this Corvette--modified with scissor doors to make it much easier for its octiginarian owner and wife to climb in and out of. They were having a blast! I hope we can all be that healthy and happy later on.
Pic 3 - Made it to Niagara-On-The-Lake's historic centre after an awesome drive on Hwy 81. This pic is in front of the Prince of Wales Hotel.
Pic 4 - Canada/ US border lookout and picnic area, after a really cool ride along Niagara Falls Parkway. Just had to keep ahead of all the tour buses ;)
Pic 5 - A closer look at the Lewiston/ Queenston bridge to the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Group 3
Pics 1 & 2 - The Niagara River has some might to it. Who would have thunk it? For the other geeks out there, here's Ontario Power making good use of it.
Pic 3 & 4 - The infamous Clifton Hill tackiness. I love it.
Pic 5 - A family tradition when my sister and I were kids. We had all of our special occasion dinners here. Behind me, there are parked about a 50-60 cruisers in the Imperial Hotel parking lot with all the riders hanging out at the Golden Griddle. They were still there when I left Niagara Falls about two hours later.
Pic 6 - Four Points Sheraton Hotel across from the Niagara Fallsview Casino, home to an IHOP and East Side Mario's.
Pic 7 - A view of the casino
Pic 8 - My restaurant of choice, especially since a friend manages the place and because it's not 2am IHOP time ;)
Pic 9 - All you can eat Italian Wedding Soup. Worth it, even on a hot day!
Pic 10 - The obligatory falls shot, heading home.

That's a wrap! If anyone has any comments or suggestions on how to better work the pics into a report like this, please feel free to let me know. Also a newb to this forum layout :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for comments! BlackBoar-it was definitely a great trip and what a feeling of accomplishment after getting home. Sleep was an amazing thing that night!

NDog, hopefully you can make it up this way one day. One of my favorite trips ever was to Louisiana with my high school class in the early '90s. Would love to go back again now that I'm old enough to actually drive and ride.

^That's awesome! It really is a great ride. Burlington Harbour seems to have so much more life to it than, say, Oakville. Did you make it to Port Dover last week?
 

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If your ever down here let me know. We have a group on facebook with 20 active riders. Ive just been a passenger but im gettin my permit hopefully in December and getting my Motorcycle endorsement soon after that.
 

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I've been absolutely horrible with the forums over the last summer! It took me a while, but I found where I had all of my login details. This past season, I was just out riding whenever I had a chance and work wasn't crazy busy, leaving the internet behind for a bit. Had a great time at the Motorcycle show this year and what a tease it was. I'm itching to get back out there.

So, since this post, I've know logged about 4,000km on my 400, including a few trips up to Wasaga and down to Niagara. I managed to change my own oil without too much of a major mess, took on a few chain cleaning/ waxings, etc. It's been a phenomenal experience. Looking forward to sharing more pics.

I'm signed up for a technical training course in April and then a few weeks later, my M2 Exit course with Rider Training Institute here in Ontario. I thought it best to do it before my M2 license lapses.

I hope everyone is having a great winter!
 

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Ive always wanted to ride to the lakes. My only problem is that im in southern Louisiana. Too long of a drive for me. 908 miles, 15 hours.
ndog you should take the trip to Austin Texas on the bike in april and go to the motoGP race its a good ride plus racing. You dont live far from me and i made that ride last year it was about 9 hours with stops but a real easy ride
 

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I just got my M1 last month and my first motorbike 3 days ago... I am very anxious and so excited to get my first ride.

Everyday when I get a chance I turn on the engine of my 2012 Ninja 250 and sit on it and moving back and forth inside my garage. The weather here in Milton, Ontario is still cold... But I see the forecast next week might finally my dream will come true...

One time while I was warming up the engine, I pulled the clutch then as I tap the gear lever from neutral to first gear then engine died even while my clutch was disengaged.. This happened a few times.. At that time I thought maybe the engine might still be cold. But it happened again while I think the engine is already warmed up. So I tried to apply some gas even while the clutch was disengaged and that seems to preventing it to happen... I really hope there is no problem with this bike... I bought this from brampton powersports... So I expect this bike should be ready for action since I bought it from the dealer..
 

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I just got my M1 last month and my first motorbike 3 days ago... I am very anxious and so excited to get my first ride.

Everyday when I get a chance I turn on the engine of my 2012 Ninja 250 and sit on it and moving back and forth inside my garage. The weather here in Milton, Ontario is still cold... But I see the forecast next week might finally my dream will come true...

One time while I was warming up the engine, I pulled the clutch then as I tap the gear lever from neutral to first gear then engine died even while my clutch was disengaged.. This happened a few times.. At that time I thought maybe the engine might still be cold. But it happened again while I think the engine is already warmed up. So I tried to apply some gas even while the clutch was disengaged and that seems to preventing it to happen... I really hope there is no problem with this bike... I bought this from brampton powersports... So I expect this bike should be ready for action since I bought it from the dealer..
Kickstand down? It has a kill switch that kills the engine if in gear with the kickstand down...

Hopefully that is ur only problem.
I've done it myself more then once...








 

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Kickstand down? It has a kill switch that kills the engine if in gear with the kickstand down... Hopefully that is ur only problem. I've done it myself more then once...
LOL maybe.. I will try it again today.. Thanks for the reply.

Also whenever I gear up from neutral to first gear even while the clutch was disengaged the bike nudges forward...
 

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The nudging forward is normal.......:thumb:
Mine a girlie bike 650......:facepalm:
I have the idle set up a bit more then normal...:popcorn:
The Bitch likes it like that....:thumb:
If i go from neutral to first it will lunge quite hard......:eek:
So.....I only use neutral to warm my bike up.....:rolleyes:
I'll start it in first gear...clutch pulled when i'm ready to ride.....:dance:
Then all i gotta do is let go...a da clutch to go.....:popcorn:
Ifffnnnnn i'm at a long ass light i just shut da bike off so i don't hafta hold the lever in 4 evea.......:thumb:
Short normal lites ain't a problem.....:thumb:








 
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