How can I protect the bike for slow-speed practice? - 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 #1 of 39 Old 04-03-2019, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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How can I protect the bike for slow-speed practice?

I'm committed to taking more rider training, but I have an ongoing fear of dropping the bike.

It's not that I'm overly concerned about injury, though that's always in the back of my mind. Rather, it's just that I worked and saved for a long time to get the bike I have -- I really like it and don't want to start dinging it up by dropping it. Plus, I don't know how much abuse my Givi plastic side-bags could take.

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?

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.
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post #2 of 39 Old 04-03-2019, 01:25 PM
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post #3 of 39 Old 04-03-2019, 02:18 PM
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Go dirt riding ...best practice for you ...softer landing
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post #4 of 39 Old 04-03-2019, 03:03 PM
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This is exactly why I like to see someone on a cheap dirt bike learning to ride.

Not to say you will drop your bike. It happens to all of us at one time or another. But one drop, even sitting still, usually results in hundreds of dollars in damage. Just price a replacement side case and you will see how quick it adds up. Sure, you can live with some minor scratches and dents, but then again you saved up for this and those detract from the bike.

If you don't have a choice, just do the best you can. Wear boots that have very good traction soles. Sit on the bike without the engine running and get the feel of it. Move from side to side a bit . Easy to feel when it becomes heavy!
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post #5 of 39 Old 04-03-2019, 03:24 PM
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Dirt or grass.
Take the side bags off and get some boating side buoys (foam) to strap on to the racks. (or stuff some duffel bags with dirty clothes and strap on.)

Or you can be like me and realize "Shit is going to happen to this bike." Then let the dings and scratches act as mental trophies for "That one time!"
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Last edited by Fynlcut; 04-03-2019 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Because I can't speel
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post #6 of 39 Old 04-03-2019, 03:24 PM
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Put some frame sliders on the bike. Take off the side-cases. Put some duct tape on the ends of the handle bars and maybe be prepared to replace the bushing at the ends (after you get past the worry about dumping the bike.) Some duct tape on the side panels, at the sticking-out parts, could help.

I like having frame sliders on my Wee because, if the bike goes down with my leg underneath on pavement, the slider ensures there is room for my leg without being pressed down by the 500 pound bike while sliding.

A point to keep in mind is that a spill during maneuvering practice is likely to be at low speed. You generally have a chance to let the bike down more gently than just letting it crash. (I speak from experience with my lesson regarding stopping hard during a slow sharp turn.)

If your concern is with crashing during high speed maneuvers, it is either overwrought or you intend to be too reckless for advice to help.
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post #7 of 39 Old 04-04-2019, 08:01 PM
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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.
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post #8 of 39 Old 04-04-2019, 08:29 PM
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Oem handguards suck. They are really only wind protection. Buy some bark-buster style handguards that have an aluminium bar running thru them & chincom knock-offs work well. You can pad the engine guards with split 1" rubber hose, then wrap with gorilla tape....ain't pretty, but will give lots of protection. Do you have pannier racks? If so, pad the with hose and tape too.
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post #9 of 39 Old 04-04-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of great suggestions already -- thanks!

Can anyone recommend sliders that can be attached to the OEM engine guards? (Assuming such a thing exists)

Quote:
stuff some duffel bags with dirty clothes and strap on.
This reminded me that I picked up a pair of soft bags on craigslist for $10 right after I got my bike. It was too good a deal to pass up, and I figured I might use them if I ever decided to do any mild off-road riding, instead of putting the hard Givi bags at risk. I could strap those on and fill them with clothes or other soft stuff to protect the rear of the bike.

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.
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post #10 of 39 Old 04-04-2019, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bajakirch View Post
Plus, I don't know how much abuse my Givi plastic side-bags could take.
When my wife dropped her Kawasaki ER-6N at 10 or 15 KM/H, the Givi V35's were scratched up a bit, but that's all. That was sliding along pavement covered with gravel. They're tougher than you'd expect from plastic. But I still like the boating bouy idea.
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