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Old 05-10-2012, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
TrainingWheelz
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Default New rider confidence

I'm a new rider and have about 2 weeks and around 500 miles on my bike. I'm having a lot of issues with low speed maneuvers and general confidence around town. When I make it out to nice two lane roads I feel very confident and safe, but I've terrified myself a few times at low speed.
I took the msf back in April and feel like I got quite a bit out of it, but I find myself lurching, bucking, stalling, and threatening to tip over just about every time I go out. My bike is a CBR250r and I have about a 28" inseam and can't flatfoot the bike, but can get one foot down all the way.
Any tips for building up my low speed confidence? I know this will be a learning process, but I would like to improve quickly so that I can enjoy my rides rather than being racked with anxiety each time. Thanks alot!
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Give it time.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Practice and time.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Practice, practice, practice. Hit up an empty parking lot and just ride around as slow as you can.

Two more specific tips:
Keep your eyes ON THE HORIZON!!! This will help you balance.
Balance WITH YOUR HANDS!!! All it takes to balance the bike are your fingertips. Use your countersteering. It works at all speeds. Only difference at SUPER slow speeds is you countersteer first, then turn the bars into the turn.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrainingWheelz View Post
I took the msf back in April and feel like I got quite a bit out of it, but I find myself lurching, bucking, stalling, and threatening to tip over just about every time I go out.
It's a little hard to say without watching you ride, but it sounds ot me like you're trying to let the clutch out too fast. It's a pretty typical noob mistake. Go to a parking lot and practice getting the bike moving without using the throttle AT ALL. Ease the clutch into the friction zone, let the bike start rolling slowly, then a little more, a little more, a little more, etc. That's a great way to practice fine clutch control.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Go hit a parking lot and practice with the friction zone for a while. That's the cause of your lurching and will help build your confidence. I find myself being a little rusty each season, especially this year since I had an injury that kept me from riding last year at all. Give it time and practice, you'll get it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Shave the seat a little to allow you to flat foot the bike... or have the suspension adjusted for you. Take the advanced motorcycle class with your own bike. Practice in the empty parking lot... a whole lot. Also before doing to much practice get frame sliders to save your plastics when you drop the bike.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Seat time.

That's the only cure for that. Go to the parking lot and practice in a big lazy square/oblong. Stop on the long sides and the short sides... Do it 100 times. Then do it 100 more. You will be bored to tears. I spend the first three weeks in a tennis court parking lot. Literally three weeks. Ky neighbor rode and he was a bit of a poser but he was incredulous I spent so much time trying to get my fundamentals down.

I still do parking lot work.... Three years later- easily three or four times a season.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How do you build confidence on a bike? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Great quote!
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrainingWheelz View Post
but I've terrified myself a few times at low speed.
I took the msf back in April and feel like I got quite a bit out of it, but I find myself lurching, bucking, stalling, and threatening to tip over just about every time I go out. !
first off, passing the MSF doesnt make anyone an expert rider. We are always learning new things. Good job getting a 250 to start.

Now, when you say you find yourself lurching, bucking etc at slow speeds, it sounds like you need to practice the clutch control segment from the MSF. Go to a parking lot and remember, the clutch is your friend. whenever you are doing slow speed manuvers, always use the clutch. it will keep the bike from lurching.

The stalling issue is also related to the clutch, just practice some of the same drills from the msf, feeling the clutch point. it takes time to get used to on any new bike.

Tip over-bikes lean, this is normal. remember though, at slow speeds, counter lean. Did you do the figure 8 in four parking spots? find a lot with where four parking spots (two wide by two long) and practice doing figure 8s in that area, use the clutch, not the throttle and counter lean. also, look over your shoulder as you come through the corners, dont look at the ground or the apex. look where you want to go.

Hit youtube for some figure 8 videos or other MSF drills


and make sure you have gear. If you dont have a lot of cash, cyclegear has some ok stuff for a good price, it usually goes on sale or hit the classifieds for some used like new stuff.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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For sure it sounds like you can use some parking lot practice time working the friction zone.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerythus View Post
How do you build confidence on a bike? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall.
The Lincoln Tunnel?
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerythus View Post
How do you build confidence on a bike? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall.
Blow the conductor?
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