How can I protect the bike for slow-speed practice? - Page 3 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #21 of 39 Old 04-17-2019, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertBike View Post
For me that's the hardest part. Believing the bike will go where I'm looking, instead of hit something or fall over.
Take the "hit something" out of the equation. Practice in a empty parking lot that does not have loose crap all over the surface. You can use anything for a figure 8, spray paint/coke can/small traffic cone/tennis ball/etc. Then just practice. When you get tired of that direction, go the other way. Get bored, do some circles, or used the parking lines as if they are a wall or a car and see how tight you can turn in them. Use your imagination and you will learn at the same time.

To shake out the tight brain from practice, or to warm up before practice, we would go on what we called a "Breeze Out". It is a follow the leader(so yeah you need another rider). You have to copy what ever maneuver the leader does...jumping curbs, circles, turns, grass, weaving in and out of trees or other obstacles. Breeze Outs are fun and you end up learning without all the tension. They can be all off pavement, all on, or a combination of both. They are not about speed, but about control and precision. Best place to do them is an abandoned industrial complex....look around they are out there. As your skill level goes up then the Breeze Out can become more challenging. We did them with as many as 12-15 bikes in a conga line.....lotsa fun

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post #22 of 39 Old 04-19-2019, 11:15 AM
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I love slow-speed practice and have done a lot of it on a lot of bikes (I had a problem keeping a bike for a long time..... I'm on the road to recovery right now)....

Empty parking lot. For me, I usually pick something like a bank after 1700 (lord knows those workers are NOT going to stay late...) and there's usually a separate area from where the drive through ATM is. Also, school parking lots on the weekend are fantastic. Yes technically a cop could ask you to leave... but I've yet to meet the cop who is mad that you're practicing being safer on a motorcycle, in a safe environment.


Take a piece of plywood, place it up against your tires, and then start lifting the other side. Whatever it touches first will be the first things that scrape. After that, raise it more and more (it'll skid out away from the tires) and you'll have an idea of what will hit first and what sticks out the most if the bike tips over.

After you figure that out, get some cheap dense foam, and duct tape that *&^% around the parts that are likely to touch down first. It'll look silly as hell. But you're not leaving it on there permanently, only for the few hours you're going to practice.

Alexi
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post #23 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 01:03 AM
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For those recommending (and actually doing) parking lot practice. What sort of circle radius or figure 8 length would you consider reasonable? Does anybody get that specific?

I think that like all things, it's about practice. I find as I get older, I just want to be "good" right off the bat, but taking the intentional time to practice makes a huge difference. That and logging a tonne of miles. I remember when I was still learning, I enjoyed every ride more than the last one as my skill improved. (It's like golf that way - the more you do it, the more fun it becomes.)
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post #24 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 10:32 AM
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I think that having some sort of visual reference is a part I'm missing.

It's perfectly fine to go practice in an empty parking lot, but without some way to measure your maneuvers, it's hard to be sure if you're actually doing it right. It's easy to run wide when there's nothing to run into.

Might be time to buy a set of those short squishy plastic MSF cones. Dunno how else I'm going to keep myself honest.

You can use parking lot lines, maybe, but I feel like the brightly-colored cones are going to work better. All the lines sort of look alike in peripheral vision.

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post #25 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BurkevilleJosh View Post
For those recommending (and actually doing) parking lot practice. What sort of circle radius or figure 8 length would you consider reasonable? Does anybody get that specific?

I think that like all things, it's about practice. I find as I get older, I just want to be "good" right off the bat, but taking the intentional time to practice makes a huge difference. That and logging a tonne of miles. I remember when I was still learning, I enjoyed every ride more than the last one as my skill improved. (It's like golf that way - the more you do it, the more fun it becomes.)
Read the post from Motor7 in this thread:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/riding-...k-turns-2.html

half an hour's practice with those instructions and I was doing circles with the steering in the lock position in each direction. Haven't quite got to figure eights yet, but I'm getting closer.
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post #26 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertBike View Post
For me that's the hardest part. Believing the bike will go where I'm looking, instead of hit something or fall over.
It takes practice. Turning too slow with the bars turned sharply will cause a fall even if your eyes are trained on the next time zone. Start in a church parking lot (it's God's house, He won't mind) on a week day. Start with with big, wide figure 8s. Train your eyes to look to where you want to be when you are at the straight part of the "8", once you are there, look into the next turn. Practice noticing "hazards" ahead of your track- the gum wrapper in your planned track, the crack at the apex etc. On the road, practice consciously thinking "look ahead, look ahead." I still need to make conscious effort at times.
To thine own self be true; every close call or near run-off I can think of that I have had (still) can be attributed to misjudging speed vs condition i.e. sand in the apex, closing radius, off camber grade, all of the above. Same in traffic. Always maintain an escape route, plan where you will go if the car behind you doesn't appear able to stop in time. Assume the vehicle turning onto your right of way does not see you. As a semi truck driver, Pul-eez stay in view of the mirrors! Don't move way over to the left shoulder when overtaking where you "disappear' from view. The driver needs to keep track of you. Overtake or slow up; don't ride alongside, if it can be avoided. Thanx.
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post #27 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bajakirch View Post
I'm committed to taking more rider training, but I have an ongoing fear of dropping the bike.
My Wee has the protection of OEM engine guards and hand guards, and that's about it.
Is there anything I can do to better protect the bike as I seek to become a better rider?
No shame in not wanting to drop your bike. Although I think that knowledgeable Strom riders/ buyers will understand that a bike going over is not the end of the world or the bike, we still want to avoid damage. I wouldn't find advice about getting a beater bike really helpful, though I understand that that is the most complete solution.

I'd certainly take the hard bags off. No point in damaging a case or some small mounting hardware. I also have the OEM hand guards, and I'm certain that those will be broken pretty quickly. I'll probably take them off for my off-road intro course in June.

One other thought that occurred to me is to use pipe insulation to wrap some parts of your crash bars. It is lengths of thick foam tube, with a longitudinal split so that it can be put over hot water pipes in a house. Some of that, with some fancy duct tape and you would have a bit more scratch protection on crash bars and possibly some other sticky-outy bits. Use the plywood sheet method to see which are the points most likely to impact.
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post #28 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 02:32 PM
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The slow-speed practice is a valuable thing; I think it is easy to undervalue it. And because a lot of the skills and techniques are counter-intuitive (at least they are to me) getting tips from a variety of sources is helpful. @America First recommended the motojitsu U-Tube site. His low speed maneuvering vids are quite good. They are at or near the bottom of his video page, and are about 2 years old. I think this is the link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0F...uBjM0jA/videos

@BurkevilleJosh you may find some ideas about distances and ways to practice here that are easy and helpful.

Damon
2017 DL 650 and maybe another Vespa?

I'm having an adventure- so, its an adventure bike.
Now that summer is here, I'm retiring so I can ride full time.
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post #29 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 02:34 PM
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The slow-speed practice is a valuable thing; I think it is easy to undervalue it. And because a lot of the skills and techniques are counter-intuitive (at least they are to me) getting tips from a variety of sources is helpful. @America First recommended the motojitsu U-Tube site. His low speed maneuvering vids are quite good. They are at or near the bottom of his video page. I think this is the link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0F...uBjM0jA/videos

@BurkevilleJosh you may find some ideas about distances and ways to practice here that are easy and helpful.
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Damon
2017 DL 650 and maybe another Vespa?

I'm having an adventure- so, its an adventure bike.
Now that summer is here, I'm retiring so I can ride full time.
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post #30 of 39 Old 04-23-2019, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugzy View Post
My advice is to go out and drop it, then you lose the fear of dropping it.

I know, you want to be that guy that NEVER drops his bike, but you know, that is a myth, there is no such guy, we all drop it once in a while.

A scratch or two, who cares, when it gets to 40k miles you will likely sell it anyways, you can touch up any scratches then.


I agree, I've dropped mine twice, once I wasn't even on the darn thing, I was backing it out of the garage. I busted my brake lever both times dropping it. Once was on the grass and the other was on pavement. Minor scuffs on my exhaust, but the crash bars saved it from any other damage.
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