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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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
 

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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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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.
 

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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...
 

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It may be an idea, unless you really have to, don't fill the gas tank up, just fill what you will use daily for a few weeks, I know this may be a little inconvenient, but until you get used to the weight a few kgs off the top will help. Your height and weight is not an issue, unless you're so weak you lift a paperclip without assistance :yikes:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all your replies and suggestions!

Although I put 8000 miles on my 250cc, I am still a novice, as I've only been riding motorcycles for 3 years.

I took the MSF course, and lowered the seat slightly by replacing the rubber bumpers with sorbothane pads.

I have the adventure model with crash bars which I've wrapped in washing machine hose for esthetic protection.

For other novices reading this thread, these are the things I have had to learn to do with this bike that I did not have to do with my 250cc cruiser:
1. Stop with handlebars straight.
2. Stop with head up, do not look down.
3. Only use the rear brake at slow speeds.
4. Stop with left foot down, right foot on rear brake (unless road is cambered to the right).

After some practice I can slow walk the bike at 3-4 mph using the friction zone and feathering the rear brake, and am much better at U-turns.

These 0 mph drops have been my only problem.

My last drop was a descent into a gravelly, pot-holed parking lot.
In attempting to park the bike facing uphill, so I could ride straight out,
I must have looked down to see if the front wheel was going into a pothole.
As greywolf suggested, this caused the handlebars to turn, allowing the drop.

Do you think installing lowering links help me with these 0 mph drops?
And if I do install lowering links, should I also not install a center stand?
Any other suggestions?

It would great if I could always stop this bike, and someday ride on unpaved roads, with confidence.

Thanks again,
Mike
 

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Mike one important thing I left out is to always turn your head to look at where you want to go. Yes, keep your eyes up, and also turn you head to the side, way to the side, as the first step in starting a turn.

About those drops--you're not putting the bike's stability on your feet at the time the bike loses stability by stopping. Lowering the bike can be a help, or is it more of a bandaid? Practice your timing so the stability goes on your one or two feet the same time the stability is lost from movement. The lowering links won't help with stability, they'll just get your feet 3/4" or so closer to the pavement. If you're thinking of anything except stabilizing the bike with your feet, it'll still go over. Concentrate on getting stopped and your feet down, then look around.

No problem with a center stand, just a slightly different technique needed. You may find yourself standing straight up with your foot on the centerstand lever and the bike still not up. Stay tall on the lever and give the bike a slight pull with your arms up & to the right. It'll go up.
 

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First of all, I'm a beginner and I have no problem with Wee's weight or hight. But I'm 187cm. Only other bike I was riding was XJ6 20 hours (mandatory) when I was training for licence. I feel like Wee is easier to ride.
Second, this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QQXm5H9YsI is mandatory if you want licence in some EU countries, maybe even all of them. New riders have to spend at least 4-5 hrs training this. It is mandatory that you drive all of it on exam without mistake.
Find an empty parking lot, and practise lesson 2. Alternately left and right foot, at least 6 times in one run. 10 hours if you have to, since you're shorter, but do it as much as you have to until you're confident you'll put correct foot down without thinking about it. Those lines are about 5m apart, I think.
lesson 3 drive between lines less or equal 5km/h. You'll have to fine use the clutch a lot. Look straight forward, not under front wheel.
lesson 4, cones are a little more than a bike lenght, lesson 5 cones are double from lesson 4 apart, but minimum speed is 30km/h. 6 or 7 cones on each lesson.

Train this until you're confident with your bike and you'll be ok.
 

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Great training. When he's making turns, note how he turns his head to look where he needs to go. Lesson 6, note the speed. Not fast, but not too slow. In the final lesson, he's going 30 mph.
 

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I was a short rider on a tall bike and with the help of lowering links, a lower seat and Daytona M-Star boots I was able to comfortably navigate my bike. The boots are incredibly well made and have an insole in them adding 2.5 cms to your height. My boots are for sale. I'm going to drop an add in the classifieds.
 

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IMO...going fast on a motorcycle is easy, going slow on motorcycle is the tough part. What helped me the most is doing a slow speed drill from a you tube video I saw. Youtube "Rampart Rider DVD" It's the first video, and skip to 40:00. I would stand on the pegs and feather the clutch so the bike would go at a slower than walking pace. It got me used to balancing the bike at extremely low speeds. Eventually I was able to come to a complete stop...pause without putting my foot down... and drive off again.
 

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short legs

I'm about 5'11" and 205 pounds but have short 28" legs. Rough uneven ground when fully loaded and with a passenger will always be tough for me; and I'm pretty experienced. MC courses teach right foot brake and left foot down at all stops. Well that's great on flat pavement; but I often want two feet on my stops. But front brake is deadly at slow speed unless the front wheel is pointed perfectly straight.
It's all a balancing act, you have already experienced your share of drops. Riding will get comfortable with practice.
Remember, once you're in second gear all is great!
 
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