What to pratcice on a new bike?
August 21, 2008 at 9:27 pm #1944
I have heard people talk about doing specific things to practice on a new/used bike so you get familiar with it. I have taken the MSF class so I’m familiar with setting up a quick stop and a swerve with cones/bottles. I think someone mentioned I should try the quick stop at higher speeds because the bike reacts differently.
So I have:
1. Figure 8
3. Quick stop (at different speeds)
4. Decreasing radius turn?
5. Staggered weave?
I do have a road about a mile long that dead ends near my house that I figured would be good for shifting practice. I can just keep u-turning at the ends and go through the first 3 (?) gears or so.August 21, 2008 at 9:44 pm #10914BoOZe P-ti MotardParticipant
uh uh uh first and first i think you should know your bike’s friction zone… and then everything goes on easy to learn and do… and yeah, shifting and u-turns are also important… but the key is… friction zone…
here is a guide doc i downloaded from a site someone posted in here:
THE FRICTION ZONE
The friction zone is the area of the clutch between completely open and completely closed. Let’s begin. Now, pull the clutch in and put the motorcycle in 1st gear. Put your right foot on the brake, begin by letting the clutch out and begin feeding a little throttle and stay in the friction zone.
You should be feathering the rear brake so that it holds the motorcycle back slightly. You now have 3 ways to control your motorcycle, the clutch, the throttle and the rear brake. You must keep power to the rear wheel and stay in the friction zone and feed a little throttle. Now, let’s try the slow race.
LEARNING TO LEAN THE MOTORCYCLE AT SLOW SPEEDS:
Remember, the further you lean the motorcycle, the sharper the turn you can make. Start by making circles in a parking lot, try to find a lot with lined spaces. At first try making a 30′ circle to the left. Remember, stay in the friction zone, feather the rear brake and keep your head and eyes up. Do not look down. NEVER touch the front brake while making these circles. If you do, it will pull you to the ground like a magnet. Make sure to keep power to the rear wheel. If you pull the clutch in all the way, or release the throttle when the bike is leaned over, the motorcycle will tip.
Practice these circles in both directions, left and right. You might find it easier if you have someone standing in the center of your circle. Focus on their eyes or the top of their head. Try and work the circle down to at least 20′. The idea is to lean the motorcycle over as far as you can, if you pegs or boards start to scrape, don’t panic, this is just a warning that you’re approaching the limit of your lean angle. Your speed in the circle should be between 3-5mph.
THE OFF-SET CONE WEAVE:
Refer to your diagram you received with your video for the correct measurements. Basically, what you have is 2 sets of cones. The first set will be set at 30′ apart and there will be 5 of them. The second set will also be 30′ apart, but will be offset 12′ from the first set of cones. Between the two sets of cones, start with 24′.
As you start to maneuver around the cones, make your first turn to the left around the first cone, as soon as your tire gets to that 1st cone, turn your head and eyes to the left and focus on the 1st off-set cone. As your tire reaches that cone, snap your head and eyes to the right and focus on the next cone. In essence, you will be turning your head and eyes and the motorcycle from side to side. As you approach each cone, do not look down at it. Keep your focus at least 4 to 5 feet above the cone. Head and eyes is extremely important in this exercise.
Make sure to stay in the friction zone keep your head and eyes up and avoid looking down. Make sure to keep power to the rear wheel and keep feathering the brake. The further you lean the motorcycle, the easier this exercise becomes.
SLOW CONE WEAVE
You will need 6 small traffic cones. Set them up in a straight line about 12 feet apart. The idea is to weave through the cones while in the friction zone. Do not attempt to coast through the cones.
The trick to this exercise is to focus at least 2 cones ahead of the motorcycle. If you can, focus only on the very last cone. You’ll be able to see the cones you are weaving around with your peripheral vision. If you look down at the cones, you will hit them or you’ll have to put a foot down. Remember, if the bike is in motion, your feet belong on the floor boards or pegs.
Now, simply weave through the cones by pushing your handlebars back and forth. Allow the motorcycle to lean from side to side as you weave through the cones. If you find that having the cones set at 12′ apart is too difficult, start with the cones at 14 or 15 feet apart and work down to 12′. Remember, you must stay in the friction zone, if you let the clutch out all the way, you’ll be going too fast to maneuver around the cones.
In this exercise, you want to go as slowly as you possibly can and focus your eyes straight ahead at least 5 to 6 feet off the ground. You must avoid the temptation to look down at your handlebars or the ground immediatley in front of your motorcycle. If you look down, you’ll have to put a foot down or possibly tip the bike over. If you begin to lose your balance and feel the bike is going to tip, simply let the clutch out all the way and the motorcycle will straighten back up. Once you regain your balance, pull the clutch in and re-establish the friction zone. You need to practice the slow race until you can consistently ride between 3 and 5mph.
When practicing the U-turn, measure off an area of 30′ to start. Ride the motorcycle into the 30′ space while in the friction zone, with your foot on the brake. Let’s assume you are going to make a left hand turn. Pick a point on the right side of the allotted space and aim your front tire towards it. Again, keep your focus 4 to 5′ off the ground.
The idea is to allow the bike to dip to the right as soon as you reach your turning point. Then, immediately turn your head and eyes to the left as far as you can and allow the bike to lean as much as possible. Never look at the opposite edge of your allotted space, even a second’s glance in that direction will cause the motorcycle to move 2 or 3 feet in the direction you don’t want to go.
The further you turn your head in the direction you want the bike to go and the further you lean the motorcycle, the tighter the U-turn will be. Depending on the type of motorcycle you have, you should eventually be able to turn within 20′ or less. Make sure you practice the U-turn in both directions, turning to the left and to the right.
have fun practicing..
Solomolo RiderAugust 23, 2008 at 4:50 am #11002
Went out for my first ride today after putting the new plate on. Just rode around the neighborhood in 2nd and 3rd gear. We have some dead ends so I could do some u-turns. The yields and stop signs were good practice too. I picked up some cones from Dicks and I can now do some of those other maneuvers mentioned above.August 23, 2008 at 5:08 am #11006megaspazParticipant
From your other post… Downshifting…
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 26, 2008 at 2:00 pm #11205
Anyone know the dimensions they use for the MSF figure 8. Pretty sure the width on the evaluation is 20 ft but I’m not sure about the length? Maybe 40 ft?August 26, 2008 at 6:16 pm #11210
Sweet. So it’s 60′ by 20′ and the dotted line they have you start on is a 24′ width.August 26, 2008 at 9:10 pm #11216
I’ve taken the class and I’ve had my Ninja road ready since Friday. I haven’t practiced u-turns since I got the bike and when I had to do one on a dead end road it was harder than I thought. Part of the problem was knowing that outside the lines would be bad because of all the grass, weeds and junk there. That led to a form of target fixation where I was thinking about not going off the road that it messed up my u-turn.
I think with some car park practice I will be able to manage 20 feet. Right now that road has too many distractions for me. There are no consequences for going over the line in a car park.
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