Slow-mo excercise in parking lot - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-13-2006, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Slow-mo excercise in parking lot

Lurking this beloved forum for a while I have seen already a lot of posts regarding excercising in parking lots. I have been always wondering what it is all about. Recently I finally experienced it.
One of my fellow participated on a course guided by a policeman instructor. Here are the photos about that session.
My friend told it to me and I was immediately infected, asking him to teach me. We went out in a parking lot and all I can say it was fantastic.

He told me what the instructors told them. Basically these are 3 key points:
1. Bike control
2. Body movement
3. Sight

These are almost the same what is written on motorman's site except two things: body (suggested by policeman) and clutch friction zone (suggested by motorman).

1. Bike control
- Feed some throttle and engage the clutch completely.
- Grab the right hand grip AND the handlebar end weight to keep the rpm constant.
- Control your speed ONLY by using the rear brake. Forget the clutch and the front brake lever!

2. Body movement
- Lean the bike pushing it down with your arms while your butt moves to the OTHER side and your bust keeps vertical. For example you want to turn to the left: push down left the bike by the handlebar, your left arm is straight, move your butt a bit to the RIGHT and keep your bust vertical.

3. Sight
- Look at the imaginary origo of arc of your curve

Beleive me, I tried it and it works!
We used PET bottles with water as buoys and arranged similar tracks like these.

After two hours I could managed the first two excercises with one hand almost without mistake. The only thing which makes it a bit difficult with the Strom is its V2 engine which isn't so smooth at low rpm as an inline four. I kept the rpm around 2000 (braked).

I do recommend to excersise to everybody irrespectively of what kind of bike they ride! It has to be part of a mandatory course to every new rider!

1. I recognised that my bike (and also me) can do a lot more than I expected/thought before!
2. I am now much more familiar with my bike's behaviour.
3. I am not jaundiced anymore on riders (such as postmen or policemen) who can and do tight turns slow 'cause I CAN do it as well.

Here is my friend, look at his straight left arm:

...and his vertical bust:

an other "Bandit" looks in the right direction:

And here is the pro. Full lock steering:

...also with one hand...uhhhh (don't try it!)


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post #2 of 19 Old 09-13-2006, 04:49 PM
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Slow game is my favorite game. Coming to stops with out putting my feet down, tying to scrape my pegs on U turns and tight corners, parking my bike with minimal backing up by setting up right while pulling in to the spot.

I can now do a full lock U turn with in 2 compact car spaces with out duck walking the bike. Give it a try its not as easy as it sounds.

Most dropped bikes occur at this slow parking lot speeds, and I believe it is some thing every rider should master.

Get the Motorman videos they are excellent!!
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-13-2006, 06:31 PM
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Second the Motorman "Ride Like a Pro" videos. Dumb jokes but great information.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-13-2006, 09:13 PM
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Cool pics and it looks like a good course. I haven't practiced this in a LOOONG time. I guess I should again. I have found the Wee to be really hard to keep balanced at slow slow speeds in a strait line. I was actually ditch riding today trying to do with the Wee what I do with my old dirt bikes. Its rather hard to stand, keep the trottle up, work the clutch and the rear brake all at the same time Well I'll keep working on it and see if i can get the Wee to be more stable.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-13-2006, 10:14 PM
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Also if you have taken the MSF (and if you haven't go take it!!!) the U-turns, weaves, and other exercise that you do in the course are good too. I watched the Motorman DVDs before the class, and the class before I got my bike, and found the information from both excellent. I do need to do a lot more parking lot practice on the Strom especially the low speed friction/rear brake drills.

In a year or so I will probably go take the Advanced class as I thought the beginner MSF was so great that the advances has got to be great too.

May have to go find some cones .

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post #6 of 19 Old 09-14-2006, 02:35 AM
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I haven't done this with my Strom yet, but it is a fun exercise. I took the Harley Davidson beginner rider course, for which they supplied us Buell Blasts. We did about 35 miles in a parking lot over the course of 2 days, and it really improved my slow speed handling. And I learned what it was like to drop a bike without having to pay for any new fairings I want to take their advanced course where you bring your own bike at some point in the future. Very good instructors, at least in Santa Fe anyway.

The biggest trick to making slow speed work is look where you are going. If you don't look, you're gonna mess up. I was amazed with what I could do with a bike after learning this trick.

I like to play with slow speed stuff when out riding too. Coming to stop, using both brakes (sometimes doing an emergency stop, no tire lockups) without falling over, going as slow as possible maintaining balance, doing u-turns without putting out a foot. Fun!
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-14-2006, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by NoVA-Strom
May have to go find some cones .
Good trick:

Go to a tennis club or sports store and find the bargain bin tennis balls (or used/dead ones). Pick up a couple dozen of these cheap low quality balls, then cut 'em in half. TADA!! Cones on the cheap!

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post #8 of 19 Old 09-14-2006, 12:44 PM
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The Harley-Davidson Beginner Rider's Course is the same exact thing as the MSF Basic Rider Course. I've taught both - same material for the instructors, exactly.

The Buell Blasts car really turn - if you will lean them, turn your head and look where you want to go.

The MSF Experienced Rider Course is a great course to go out and get some real hands-on experience on your motorcycle.

Check for a course near you
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-14-2006, 12:56 PM
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great info. thanks, and i will be practicing since i have found the strom a little harder to control in the slow stuff than the bandit.
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-15-2006, 08:54 AM
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The MSF Experienced Rider Course is good and fun. Lots more slo-mo exercises, and then they kick the speed up a bit.

But if you REALLY want to have some fun and learn how to handle your bike well, sign up for a Streetmasters course. I took this a year ago, and lots of stuff came together for me. It's held at the Willow Springs raceway in the sunny Mojave Desert. Yes, it's a bit $pendy, but well worth it. Here's the link. --Gene[/i]

It's not the destination that matters...

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