Got my first bike EVER today and my first ride!
May 26, 2011 at 4:43 am #29610
eon has been riding a couple of years longer than me (I started in May 2010), so I would listen to him…but I don’t think you “messed up big time”, I think you gave up a chunk of your control but not all of it…you still had your brakes and steering, but being on the throttle slightly throughout the corner does settle the bike down and it seems to “hook up” when you do it right. Just using your steering and brakes through a corner makes the bike feel a little unsettled with more weight on the front tire…that makes the front pull double duty (kinda) and it doesn’t respond to your inputs quite as easily, when you are on the throttle more weight is transfered to the back wheel and leaves a lighter feel to the steering and takes away the wobbly or jello feel (less spooky).
As for the BRC, he is dead on…I remember the same thing, I thought there was more to it…but really, the parking lot stuff is the hard stuff…riding down the road, is the same as driving except you are at a huge safety disadvantage so you need to pay more attention…but the rules of the road are the same, and once underway the bikes are pretty stable (as I’m sure you have noticed by now)…so the hard stuff is the parking lot, or slow stuff…and having the experienced eyes watching you and letting you know when you are not doing something right does really help…they must have told me 50 times to look at the horizon…they never said it, but they were trying to drill into me that I need to be set up for the corner before I got there…if I wasn’t set up right, just forget that corner and plan the next one (in the parking lot of course, not on the road…that’s why we practice in the parking lot)…if I was trying to steer through the corner while I was in it, I was too late and I was doing it wrong…I know I said that retarded, but hopefully you can understand what I am trying to say…?? Pretty much you should be looking and thinking about the next corner or transition point, where you are at the moment should have been planned already not at the last second…
Anyway, I have babbled enough…just pay attention to what they are trying to teach you during the course…don’t over think what they are telling you (especially counter steering…think of it as push steering), just practice and listen…then practice some more…
Later.May 26, 2011 at 5:48 am #29611
Perhaps we are arguing semantics here but I still think going round a corner with the clutch in is a bad mistake. To me it means you have lost control of the situation and are dangerously close to a crash. However, this is meant as constructive criticism, not a put down. God knows I made enough mistakes in those early days and you quickly learn from them. Congrats to jsan for posting them on here and getting feedback. It’s sure is quicker to learn from other peoples mistakes than your own, and potentially a lot less painful.
As you say, with the clutch in you will get that wobbly/jello feel that saps your confidence and makes the bike hard to control. Being on the gas ever so slightly will settle it down and it will feel planted, inspiring confidence for you to lean over and make the turn. Don’t want to get into the physics too much (mainly cause I don’t understand it) but I think it has more to do with getting the suspension working in the sweet spot than anything else.May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am #29612
…the heavier the bike, the more important it is to keep that engine engaged and in control of the rear wheel braking. If I came into a corner hot with my K100RS and pulled in the clutch to use only brakes to slow down, I’d be into the rhubarb or guardrail for sure! either that or the rear brake would do little at first and then lock up the back wheel uncontrollably. Given a choice between only the engine to brake the rear wheel or only a rear brake, I’ll take the engine any day.
I had a complete rear brake failure on a TY175 in the first loop of an event and after a much better rider said “ride without it, you don’t need it anyway” I persevered and finished the event with a second place position. He was totally right and I learned from that experience, I had been over using the rear brake all along. The front provides the lion share of the brake force and the rear just needs enough force to hold the rear wheel from passing the front! Using the engine to brake is like having anti-skid rear braking. :(as long as the engine doesn’t stall or lock-up completely)May 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm #29613
If you are going race speeds, pulling in the clutch to coast or brake in a corner probably will cause a crash. For normal street speeds, this method is less comfortable, and it is a distant second choice to braking before the corner and using some throttle in the corner. If you are going a little too fast, it is usually best to lean more instead, if the pavement is clean and dry.
Many racers do late braking to pass, going faster than normal into the turn and putting on some back brake and/or engine braking in the turn, and much less likely some front braking before or after the apex (the middle of the turn with the maximum lean angle), but they know they increase their chances of crashing when doing this.May 27, 2011 at 2:56 am #29614
That going into that turn with the clutch pulled in was a mistake, if nothing else. lol
So far the little city riding that I have been doing has helped me with cornering, turning and counter steering. I already feel more confident on the bike. Braking before the turn, then rolling on the throttle through the turn, like eon said, definitely inspires confidence between me and the bike. I feel like I can really get a good lean and feel planted. And yes about the suspension, I can really feel it start to “press” down I guess you could say during leaning and its a good confident feeling. Have also been getting good practice starting on hills in real world traffic and remembering following distance. One thing I need to work on are the escape plans. Reflecting on some of the rides I realized there were a couple times I stopped at a stop light and didn’t really think about watching my rear…I was just kind of watching the light. A bad habit no doubt developed by driving my truck, where it may be ok, but not on a motorcycle.
Oh and it’s gettin’ hot here! Those afternoon rides sure do get warm but a little bit of speed + wind gives a good cool down. I have a scorpion exo 700 helmet that breathes very well, and keeps my face cool, a shift mesh “backdraft” jacket that also breathes very nicely. As for pants and gloves I got a pair of those shift torque jeans which i love and shift chaos gloves. Shift makes some good stuff! Got a smokin deal for that jacket ($99) and helmet ($125)
I’ll have to grab me a copy of that book you guys are talkin’ about.May 27, 2011 at 11:50 am #29615
Shift is getting out of the street gear business and focusing on their dirt gear, so there are a lot of good closeout deals now. I wear one of their kidney belts designed for dirt riding- it makes long street trips less tiring and gives me a little more protection during a crash.
I would like to add the Bohn armored underwear with mesh so it is not as hot, and the Sidi boots with a lot of ankle protection, but I have not spent the money to buy them yet- my wife is not too happy with the $5500 I spent this month for a second bike, and my back tire blew out yesterday (a big bang) from age and being parked on the same tire section for years; luckily it happened at 5 mph near our house- I have another big expense to replace both tires, even though they have less than 500 miles on them during the last 4 years.
This guy below survived because of his safety gear, and he should have added a steering stabilizer for that type of stunt riding that is illegal on the street:May 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm #29616
I’ve seen that video a couple of times, it’s videos like that which assure myself that I will never get that stupid on a public road.
What are some of the best leathers you can buy as far as brands,quality, and protection? I heard Dainese makes some really good stuff but I really wouldn’t know for sure.June 2, 2011 at 12:00 am #29618
Armored underwear? Do you really need that for everyday riding? I didn’t know that existed. I’ll have to check it out. I could use a pair of summer socks tho, its real hot now and my feet are gettin heated. I just got a pair of tourmaster sc roadboots (low cut) and I love em.
Dang those are some expensive suits/leathers!
Is there a certain foot you should put down when stopped? I put my brake side down and hold the front brake…is that bad?
On stop signs I use engine and both brakes to come to a stop. I scan upcoming intersection, come to complete stop, brake side foot down, scan again, and accelerate. While stopped I hold the front brake.
On hills I put the clutch side down and hold the rear brake because I noticed it was a lot easier to accelerate out of a hill with the rear brake pressed instead of the front. But usually I will come to a stop, use the front brake to hold the bike, then put both feet down and theeen put my brake foot back on the rear brake and release the front brake. I realize it would be easier if I just put clutch side down from the beginning but I’m in the habit of putting my brake side down first.June 2, 2011 at 12:36 am #29619
I put my shift foot down first, so I can use my back brake longer, then I put both feet down. After a car stops behind me, I shift to neutral and let out the clutch lever. When taking off, I keep my right foot down and shift into first with my left foot. At slow speeds it is best to use just the back brake. At high speeds it is very important to use mostly the front brake- it has most of the stopping power.
The more armor the better, but it does get hot in the summer. I am planning to buy this underwear below eventually, with mesh so it is not as hot:June 2, 2011 at 1:44 am #29620
…oh you mean at a stop light;)
Jeff’ method works for me except I don’t generally go for neutral unless I need to tie up a boot lace or something, I touch down the left toe only, goes back up on the peg on takeoff.
Right foot seldom leaves a brake ready position!
….makes for a shakey stop if your right foots down before the bike is stoped, even worse when riding 2 up. When I do ride 2 up I put down both toes at the lights, just incase the passenger weight shifts.
It’s very confusing if you ever ride older English or Spanish bikes that have the foot controls reversed, I find I need to ride the rear brake a lot, just to remind myself where the brake is!
underwear?June 2, 2011 at 4:01 am #29621
I always put my left foot down, for the simple reason it’s easier to be consistent and you’ve found out hill starts are easier when you are on the back brake. That and before I come to a complete stop I’m off the front brake and on the back brake only. Kind of hard to put that foot down when you are still using it!June 2, 2011 at 11:00 am #29622
Well looks like I’m goin back to the parking lot for a little bit to break the habit of putting my brake foot down!June 2, 2011 at 11:03 am #29623
I landed hard on my butt during a motorcycle crash in 1984, and during a bicycle crash 2 years ago. The bruises were less painful and healed a lot quicker when I was 25 instead of 50. I was not able to lay down to sleep or able to sit for 3 weeks after the last crash, because I bruised my tailbone and pulled tendons in my back and belly- there was no way to lay down or sit that did not hurt, even with Vicodin. I paced back and forth all night, and took little naps until the pain made me get up again.
The armored underwear looks like a much more useful item, if you ever crash without it like me and wish you had it on.June 2, 2011 at 11:10 am #29617
For the street in the summer, I recommend these because they are not nearly as hot as leather, and you can add dirt bike knee and shin armor and armored underwear underneath them:
In his book, Lee Parks recommends the Aerostitch Roadcrafter textile (nylon) suit for the street, and leather for the track. He recommends leather from Z Custom, Bates, Vanson, and Syed; with Syed having the most protection and Vanson with the best fit and finish. For higher end clothes, getting them custom fit does not usually cost much more than off-the-rack, and is especially important if you do not have a typical body shape.June 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm #29624
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