question on sport bikes for Eternal, Mega, or anyone who can help.
August 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm #4174
Some of you may know my first bike is a 500 Vulcan. You may also remember that last year I went to the Dallas motorcycle show and test rode cruisers and sport bikes. I even remember posting how I laid around thinking about my ride on the Ninja’s and FZ6R and Eternal said “oh oh that’s how it starts”.
Well on Friday I bought a used 2007 Ninja 650R. I never really thought I would switch from cruiser to sport, but here I am. Well I have both bikes for now.
I really feel the weight on my palms so help me out with the riding technic please. I am trying to hug more with my knees. And today I have tried putting more weight on my feet, which I could never do on my Vulcan.
Please share advice and thanks to all. Man this is fun!August 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm #27442
If anything, the basic riding techniques that were taught to you in the MSF class apply more to sportbikes/standards than they do to cruisers. Things such as putting the ball of your foot on the peg, initiating the turn using the SLPL procedure, etc.
The important thing to remember is that there is an emphasis on the LEAN portion of the equation that isn’t there so much in cruisers. I couldn’t get the hang of riding cruisers because I felt that with my feet out in front of me on the floorboards, I wasn’t in control. My bodyweight and how I balanced it wasn’t a factor like it is with sportbikes which made me feel disconnected from the whole process. You need to learn that in reverse. YOU are a part of the machine on a sportbike in the way that you aren’t on a cruiser. You’re not riding it, you’re a part of it. And you need to work the balancing of your bodyweight and how you apply pressure to the bars and footpegs into the process as if it were mechanical in nature.August 16, 2010 at 12:54 am #28093
If you haven’t already done so, I would suggest reading the BBM article “8 Great Beginner Riding Habits”.
I think Ben may have wrote it, but I’m not sure, and his first bike was the same as mine, the GS500F. It really helped me when I started riding, especially the “heels in” and the “chicken arms” parts.August 16, 2010 at 3:31 am #28094
Grip the tank with your knees and use your core to keep the weight off your arms and wrists. Balls of your feet on the pegs.August 16, 2010 at 5:19 am #28096
Search up an old article “Master Yoda’s Riding Position”.August 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm #28097
I was about to post “Maybe you’ve just been riding on your tailbone too long and need to adjust your posture.” but then briderdt pointed you to the MYRP ( Master Yoda Riding Position ) Sure glad someone else wrote that, don’t think I could do it without using the terms “weighting the pegs” and “lowering your centre of gravity”August 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm #28102
I think the biggest mistake I was making was sitting on my butt and not my legs/feet. Realizing that I can lift my butt up and almost be standing on my feet like when I ride a bicycle seems like it will really help.
I love my Vulcan 500, it is so comfortable and easy to ride.
But I am so excited about my 2007 Ninja!
Thanks guys.August 17, 2010 at 8:41 pm #28121
One thing I like better on my Vulcan is the width of the mirrors. I can see a whole lot behind me.
So you sport bike riders, where do you set your mirrors? What I mean is how much of the end of your hands and handle bars do you see in the mirrors?August 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm #28122
I ride with bar-end mirrors, and have a great view.August 18, 2010 at 2:45 am #28126
My mirrors don’t see my hands. They around my shoulders. If they’re looking at your hands you’re either sitting wrong or have your mirrors positioned weird.August 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm #28136
I can see just the outside edges of my shoulders (usually the rubber badges on my jacket).
Seems that even on a sportbike with clip-ons, if you can see your hands, your reflected field of vision would be looking at points on the ground behind the motorcycle.August 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm #28168
Using your lower body to hang on to the bike (usually by gripping the tank with your knees, like Mega said) and your core muscles (lower back, obliques, abs, hip stabilizing muscles, etc.) to support the weight of your upper body is the key to taking weight off your arms. You will work your back muscles, and they will get sore initially if they are weak. Try to keep your back straight (not just for posture, but to avoid the back pain caused by long-term slouching), and really work to lift your upper body with that back rather than with your hands/arms. Once you figure this out you’ll find that you can get all the weight off your hands and make much more articulate inputs on the controls.August 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm #28169
You don’t want to lose contact with the seat on a sportbike, not even when hanging off at the track and switching from side to side. At higher lean angles (we’re not talking Rossi at Mugello lean angles here, just what you get when riding the twisties), your legs will work hard enough just to keep you on the seat. If you’re also expending leg strength lifting your ass up, you’re going to get tired REAL fast.August 20, 2010 at 3:23 am #28177
which provides me with the most important areas I need to keep an eye on. Otherwise, for a slightly different view, I’ll change positions a bit to see the mirror at a different angle. Just keeping the stock mirrors on my GS500F, I’ve never felt like I needed more. However, I haven’t ridden too many other bikes, so I don’t have anything much to compare back to.
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