drops at stops, any advice? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 45 Old 10-12-2014, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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drops at stops, any advice?

Relatively new to motorcycling, and have put about 1000 miles on my 2013 DL650.
My prior bike was a 250cc cruiser.

So far I have dropped the DL650 seven times at 0 mph.
All the drops but one involved coming to a stop without the handlebars perfectly straight.
The other drop was from putting the wrong foot down on a steeply cambered road.

A few of these drops happened while practicing very slow speed maneuvers, such as figure 8's in a parking lot.

I am 5' 10" tall, weigh 190lbs, and have not lowered the bike.

The bike handles great at low and high speeds.

I am disappointed that I must be SO careful when coming to a stop-
to have the handlebars perfectly straight, to watch for camber to put the correct foot down, etc.

I cannot see riding this bike on dirt roads,
something I want to do,
because stopping on uneven, gravelly, sloping ground will almost certainly result in a drop.

I appreciate any advice!

Thanks,
Mike
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post #2 of 45 Old 10-12-2014, 06:00 PM
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big tip

do NOT let you feet touch pavement until velocity = zero

its tempting to put your feet down when still rolling slowly - this is a recipe for disaster

I have only dropped my DL650 once on pavement - in my cul-de-sac; and once on each side in my garage!

I did drop the EX250 a few times - mostly on gravel.

My inseam (for pants) is 30", rear of bike is lowered 3/4", front is lowered zero - and its just fine at speed.

I recently added frame sliders - its cheap and may reduced fairing damage if I ever drop the DL650 again.

BTW - I commute to work, and park on an uphill street near the office.

Current Bike: 2007 ABS Wee, rebuilt forks with Cogent DDC, Elka rear shock, tapered roller steering stem bearings, fork brace, Admore top box lights, LED side-only turn indicator lights, Powerlet outlet, frame sliders, Givi windscreen, Givi top box.

Prior Bikes: 2003 EX250, 2007 DL650 (non-ABS)
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post #3 of 45 Old 10-12-2014, 06:01 PM
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The usual problem comes from looking down when coming to a stop. Look at the horizon. Get an idea of the surface conditions well before stopping. Looking down is what causes the handlebar movement.

I'll mention again I think any V-Strom is a poor choice for a novice.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #4 of 45 Old 10-12-2014, 06:03 PM
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Same height and weight as you Mike (although inseam is the true measurement here) and what I did was take the black bumpers off the bottom of the seat and I can get the balls of my feet down. Pays to watch foot placement when stopping but just a little bit less height may be all you need. I have frame sliders on my bike, but some type of protection would be a must for you until you get better used to it (I am sure you have discovered this already). I ride mainly on gravel roads and they should be no more cambered than pavement and just require a little more vigilance when you plan to stop to judge whether you have appropriate traction.

Brad
12 DL 650
00 KLR 650C
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post #5 of 45 Old 10-12-2014, 06:33 PM
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Use only the rear brake when moving very slowly. The front brake can cause the front wheel to tuck under, and...crunch. Practice this many times until it becomes automatic.

When coming to a stop, concentrate on getting stopped and one or two feet down, then look around at traffic. Right foot on the rear brake pedal, coming to a stop, give your waist a side kink that moves your shoulders to the right and your hips & bike to the left. Put your left foot on the ground, and you're stable. If the road drops away to the left, then you need to put your right foot down after you straighten the steering and stop with the front brake.

When making slow tight turns, try just a sliver more speed. If you're falling to the inside, you don't have enough centrifugal force holding you up. Centrifugal force comes from speed. Not much, just a bit. On a slow straight run, maybe along a painted line in an empty parking lot, go slow, very slow, slow, very very slow, slow. Use your clutch let out just the smallest amount to increase speed, then squeeze it in a very small amount and a bit of rear brake to slow. Feel wobbly...let the clutch out a very small bit to stabilize the bike. This is to get the feel for very small clutch movements that stabilize the bike.

Now, try easy circles, maybe 3 parking slots wide, or 3-1/2 slots wide. Let your clutch out just a little bit to stand the bike up and the rear brake and a bit less clutch to drop into the turn. Fine control with your left fingers on the clutch lever is the goal. Reverse directions of your circles. Left is usually easier, I think because the clutch hand is stretched away on right turns. Practice both directions. Next make left, right, left, right U turns across 4 parking slot lines, then 3-1/2 slots wide, then 3, then 2-1/2, eventually two slots wide. Practice, practice, practice.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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44 B.C.

Last edited by PTRider; 10-12-2014 at 06:50 PM.
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post #6 of 45 Old 10-12-2014, 11:49 PM
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Have you taken the MSF course yet? it's got good beginner instruction. After that, practice a lot in a vacant lot where you can be by yourself.
We all fall down occasionally even after years of experience.
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post #7 of 45 Old 10-13-2014, 01:37 AM
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You didn't say why you are actually falling on the stops with the straight bars. If it is a matter of not finding a good footing you might try slightly turning the handlebars away from the side you are putting your foot down. I think most riders would put their left foot down and if that is the case for you then turn the bar to the right a bit just as you stop and put your left foot down.

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 193,000+ km, 120,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.


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post #8 of 45 Old 10-13-2014, 06:22 AM
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Some good advice here, but I'd agree with greywolf. I don't believe a 200kg + high centre of gravity bike is a good choice for a "learner". A 250cc cruiser is a huge leap to a vstrom
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post #9 of 45 Old 10-13-2014, 07:23 AM
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I'm 6-4, now about 260 pounds, quite strong for my age, and I've dropped mine at least three times (probably four or more times) at rest (never on roadways - always on parking lots, in grassy areas, in my parking spot and once on a steep dirt / gravel "road" that had recently been used to remove timber from an area of a mountain ridge) over the past 2.5 years. A Wee is a handful if a person's not properly positioned to handle the weight. Even as big and tall as I am it can easily get away from me if I'm not careful. I hope I've learned to be more careful.

Since your thread title includes the words "at stops", the only comment I can think to make that's not already been made is to make sure the kickstand is fully in the correct before tilting the bike onto it. Not doing this (gently "rolling" the bike in my parking spot at work (checking for a rear brake dragging issue)) accounted for one of my drops.

2007 Wee. Blue. Bought at 5K miles. Sold at 32K+ miles. Gone but not forgotten.

2012 Wee2 Adventure. Black. Bought at 26K miles. Now 44K+. Love it!
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post #10 of 45 Old 10-13-2014, 08:50 AM
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I'm 5'9" with a short inseam (somewhere between 29"-30"). 9,000 miles on the Strom, and never dropped it (which, of course, means I'll drop it today). I *have* dropped bikes in the past, for various reasons. But, I believe the most salient reason this one hasn't dropped, is I lowered it 3/4" w/ links, and raised the forks an equivalent 19mm (lowered the front, too).

Both lowering the COG, and having better purchase on the pavement (even on cambered roads) gave me MUCH more control and confidence. IMHO it *is* a tall bike for a new rider... so, it's a simple (and relatively inexpensive mod) to make it a not so tall bike...

P.S. I use a Sargent seat, that is the same height as the stock.
P.P.S. The only downside (that I've experienced) for lowering the bike, is scraping the pegs occasionally, during *very* spirited riding... But, that's why they're designed to fold...

[B][I]Barry[/I]
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