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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK. I'm having issues with riding. I keep hoping time and casual riding will help it pass...but it hasn't. If anything it feels like it's getting worse.

The background:

Been riding for 5 years. Picked up my Aprilia after a year and a half or so on a beater Katana. A month later, I lowsided in some gravel avoiding a deer. The next season I was on a casual ride and for whatever reason I thought I launched too hard on a left turn from a stop sign. I backed off the throttle and the front of course washed out on me.

I was essentially unhurt in both cases and rode the bike home from both. Fixed it up after the first one. Less so after the 2nd.

However, I have now developed some sort of mental block. As I ride into turns at a speed that I _KNOW_ I should be able to make the turn, but still involves a significant lean...I panic. I tense up. I have an incredible urge to roll off the throttle that it takes my full concentration not to give in to.

I can handle normal day to day riding. I even deal with cagers doing stupid things. But as soon as I try to up my "pace" even a hair...forget it.

As I said in another thread ( http://forums.sportbikes.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1824404&postcount=10 ) I feel like, even if I went out to do a trackday now, the first curve I tried to carry any speed through, I'd be straightening up and heading into the grass. :(
 

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Posttraumatic Stress. There is a simple treatment that may help you called "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming" http://www.emdr.com/

It sounds really nutty from a logical perspective but I've met enough people who've used it successsfully to help recover from all sorts of traumas to believe that it works.
 

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Maybe try to focus on what exactly you're doing next ride. Are you always keeping head level with the ground? Looking through the corner where you want to go? Making sure you pushing on the bar in the direction you want to go? -- (not pushing AND pulling on the opposite bar) Keeping only a light touch on the bars (no death grip)?

The survival reaction when you lean over is to let off the throttle. Takes a lot sometimes to get over that. And then you just have to trust the bike and the tires. Bikes will lean over way farther than you think (especially the Aprillia). Just keep on countersteering, feeding throttle and looking where you want to go.

Another thing that really helps is riding around a beater dirtbike in the ice and snow. Ya learn a lot about physics doing that, let me tell ya!. I'd always come back from one of those rides in the snow and be asked - "Well, how many times did you highside today?"

My answer would usually be 'one less than yesterday, because I stayed on the throttle and rode it out' Though I'd still highside multiple times out there, I'd learned something hahaha
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
FZ1 Matt said:
Maybe try to focus on what exactly you're doing next ride. Are you always keeping head level with the ground? Looking through the corner where you want to go? Making sure you pushing on the bar in the direction you want to go? -- (not pushing AND pulling on the opposite bar) Keeping only a light touch on the bars (no death grip)?

The survival reaction when you lean over is to let off the throttle. Takes a lot sometimes to get over that. And then you just have to trust the bike and the tires. Bikes will lean over way farther than you think (especially the Aprillia). Just keep on countersteering, feeding throttle and looking where you want to go.

Another thing that really helps is riding around a beater dirtbike in the ice and snow. Ya learn a lot about physics doing that, let me tell ya!. I'd always come back from one of those rides in the snow and be asked - "Well, how many times did you highside today?"

My answer would usually be 'one less than yesterday, because I stayed on the throttle and rode it out' Though I'd still highside multiple times out there, I'd learned something hahaha
Countersteering, yes, that's quite natural to me.

As to keeping head level...I'm not sure. I don't think about my head. Looking into it with "20/20 hindsight", I'd say I often look through a turn at first, then something catches my eye...tarsnakes, gravel, whatever...and I doubt the ability to hold the line....and on comes the survival instincts.

I don't go into anything with a "death grip" but I start to develop one once my concentration has been lost.

And yeah, I know it'll lean over really far. Before I washed out avoiding the deer, I don't recall even being concerned with whether or not I could hold a turn. In that moment, I probably went from an unrealistically strong trust in my tires to an unnecessarily weak trust in 'em. I think I had maxed out my lean (I seem to remember a tug on my shoe toe) and just as I started straightening up the front end hit a bit too much gravel and went byebye. I'm about as certain as I can be that I didn't chop throttle on that one because I remember consciously thinking to add throttle as I leaned further. I thought I was "through" with the situation right up until my shoulder hit the ground and I watched the bike slide away.
 

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Teej - To me it sounds like a bike setup problem.

Only a bike with correct rear-end geometry will "turn in" on the gas (tighten it's line). I had to add about 15mm of rear ride height to my RSV-R in order to get the anti-squat I needed to "Turn in" on the gas properly.

If the rear is too low, you'll squat under throttle. This will cause you to run wide. his will make you NOT want to get on the throttle!

I'm guessing that if you raise the rear and get the proper geometry, the bike will tighten it's line on the gas, and you'll thus gain a lot more confidence in cracking the throttle...

...and confidence is what it's all about.

Also, I find that the Aprilia, when contrasted with every other bike, doesn't like to be counter-steered through corners. It really likes to be steered with your feet and knees... how's your body positioning?
 

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Just forget about your mishaps, Roll off the throttle upon entering and on the gas in the apex. You are still alive, You fell off your little toys as a kid now you fell off your big toy as a big kid. it is always going to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thrdrcr said:
Just forget about your mishaps, Roll off the throttle upon entering and on the gas in the apex. You are still alive, You fell off your little toys as a kid now you fell off your big toy as a big kid. it is always going to happen.
Thanks. It's not as simple as growing a pair. ;) If it were, I'd be afraid to ride at all. I'm not. I banged myself up a few good times skydiving and kept on jumping after that.

This isn't a rational "I'm afraid of xxxx", this is an irrational response that I know is pushing me to do the wrong thing. (shrug).
 

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have you read twist of the wrist 2, there are some great pointers in there. I read a couple chapters and i could instantly transfer what i read to the street. Just those couple chapters have really improved my riding. give er a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
fengler said:
have you read twist of the wrist 2, there are some great pointers in there. I read a couple chapters and i could instantly transfer what i read to the street. Just those couple chapters have really improved my riding. give er a try.
Yeah. I have. The problem isn't understanding the material, it's my subconscious rising up against what I know to be right. :(
 

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PM me if you want more information about overcoming traumas. This is really not a big deal at all but it won't go away from reading books, getting a different attitude, or changing some settings.

I did a trauma education campaign for Montgomery County, Maryland after the Beltway Sniper thing. I know this stuff.
 

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Well I hope you get it all sorted out. I know that I have crashed a few times and it took a while to get back N the groove. Still a lil hesistant to throw up the front wheel at times. I haven't reallly rode N over a year so I have some jitters but I know with time they will go away with more miles.

Take your time and work through it.
 

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I am definitely not as confident as I was before my crash either. I don't lock up, but I find myself "taking it easy" and thinking more about the risks than I ever did before the crash. I think a track day or two would do wonders for getting my confidence back, but I can't afford to be off from work or injured right now, so I haven't got back out this year.
 

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WaynesNside said:
Well I hope you get it all sorted out. I know that I have crashed a few times and it took a while to get back N the groove. Still a lil hesistant to throw up the front wheel at times. I haven't reallly rode N over a year so I have some jitters but I know with time they will go away with more miles.

Take your time and work through it.
Are you riding now Wayne?
 

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WaynesNside said:
Well I hope you get it all sorted out. I know that I have crashed a few times and it took a while to get back N the groove. Still a lil hesistant to throw up the front wheel at times. I haven't reallly rode N over a year so I have some jitters but I know with time they will go away with more miles.

Take your time and work through it.
WOW :eek: sound advice and no tities - who are ayou and have you done with my boy.... :eek:nfloor :neener
 

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For what its worth, I'd find a big empty parking lot and just practice doing figure 8's. Might as well take it back to the basics.
 
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