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About 2 Weeks ago, I was out for a relaxing ride in the area, and on the way home, I was turning left from a stop. I am a new rider, and still learning the in's and out's of riding, and the wee is my first bike. I'm 6'4" and pushing 270lbs so the bike fits me pretty good. The Honda Rebels in the MSF class were so small my calves ached using them. Anyways I was turning left and believe that I suffered a case of target fixation, lost control of the bike and ended up crashing onto the right side. I had just installed a new set of SW Motech crash bars the night before, and now I have a scratched one:headbang:

Any words of wisdom from those who are much smarter/wiser than I.

yankeepac
 

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Scratch the left side for a matching set :jawdrop: Actually, parking lot practice will help you a lot. Get some "ride like a pro" videos to watch and use their practice set ups. You just need more saddle time but practicing will give you more muscle memory to help avoid such mishaps. I've been riding over 40 years and still go out and practice with the cones.
 

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Practice. At low speeds. I live on an old, quiet road, and I often do a couple figure eights in the road, and sometimes a couple panic stops, all at low speeds, before I get out to the main road. It's fun, too !
 

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I didn't think it was possible to high side a wee...:mrgreen: At least you're ok... chaulk it up to the riding learning curve...
 

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I had just installed a new set of SW Motech crash bars the night before, and now I have a scratched one:headbang:

Any words of wisdom from those who are much smarter/wiser than I.
You should have bought a lottery ticket that night. :green_lol:
 

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wow, hope you are okay and aren't you glad you installed crash bars night before?
 

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My 1st wipe out was on a 650cc BSA Road Rocket that was in 1969 you always remember your 1st. There have been more since then but trust me you will improve your skills don't give up but you must work on staying safe
 

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High side means that the rear skidded then regained traction and flipped you over the top. commonly this is from locking the rear, getting crossways, then releasing the brake. Is this what you did? If so, never ever stomp on the brake. Learn how to apply some rear, then ease off the rear as you increase the front as weight transfers to the front and off the rear.

Target fixation means that you looked at a hazard and drove into it. Is this what you did, or did you fail to counter steer hard enough to turn inside the hazard and miss it? How do you turn a motorcycle sharper?.....Countersteer harder.

as said above, teach yourself to look where you need to go. Better yet, point your chin toward the path you need to take. It is important to keep your eyes level as you look where you need to go, so point your chin to the exit of your turn.

PLP. Parking Lot Practice. Practice the slow speed parking lot maneuvers a hundred times. Really. Think of one thing at a time, and practice and practice until you get smooth in the slow speed maneuvers keeping your eyes up, your chin pointed at you exit of the turn, and smooth front and rear braking.
 

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[...]

Any words of wisdom from those who are much smarter/wiser than I.

yankeepac
Yeah; I would've given them to you sooner, but you didn't ask and you wouldn't have listened.

The strom doesn't make a good beginner bike at all. While it is very nice and forgiving, it is only that to a rider that knows what they're doing; experienced riders don't need to think about the bike, but beginners do.

You will crash it again; the next one might put you under some oncoming traffic.
My suggestion: park the strom, get yourself a beginner bike and ride that for the first year.
 

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Okay. You wrecked. Everyone does or will.
Now you know what it feels like to crash and live.

Now get back on the thing and

ride a little slower
look a little further down the path
practice for a half hour in a parking lot IN FIRST GEAR ONLY
practice riding in smaller and smaller circles
ride for the fun of it
remember the instructions your MSF instructor gave you and ride it ride it ride it ride it ride it ride it
enjoy the great bike you have

do not be afraid of crashing - be afraid of apathy in your focus to make it home alive.
 

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Any words of wisdom from those who are much smarter/wiser than I.

yankeepac

training wheels, or perhaps trade it in on a taurus?

2 wheels are not for everyone....


glad to hear you were not injured.....
 

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Yea I disagree, the vstrom is a great beginner bike. Linear power delivery and light weight for its size. If you had a high side you shouldn't have panicked in the low side. A low side is always better. My advice is don't use too much throttle in a turn and never use rear brake in a turn.


Yeah; I would've given them to you sooner, but you didn't ask and you wouldn't have listened.

The strom doesn't make a good beginner bike at all. While it is very nice and forgiving, it is only that to a rider that knows what they're doing; experienced riders don't need to think about the bike, but beginners do.

You will crash it again; the next one might put you under some oncoming traffic.
My suggestion: park the strom, get yourself a beginner bike and ride that for the first year.
 

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Yea I disagree, the vstrom is a great beginner bike. Linear power delivery and light weight for its size. If you had a high side you shouldn't have panicked in the low side. A low side is always better. My advice is don't use too much throttle in a turn and never use rear brake in a turn.
Agree. This incident had nothing to do with the bike itself and target fixation could have happened with any bike, beginner or no. The Wee is a very forgiving bike in so many aspects except in regard to top-heaviness at very low (or no) speed.

To the OP, if you're a big guy and the bike's size makes it more comfortable to you, then get right back on and keep riding it, including the aforementioned parking lot practice. Parking it and getting on a smaller bike is step in the wrong direction if you are going to be uncomfortable to the point of distraction.

Be glad that you have been granted the opportunity to learn from your mistake and atone for your sins by many hours of parking lot drills to reinforce the stuff they taught you in the MSF class. If your local DMV is not far away and has a motorcycle skills test / obstacle course on it that is available after hours (many are) then it's a good idea to head down there and put yourself through the paces. There, you may find that you are not alone and may find others trying to prep for the test or who just like to keep their skill sets sharp (I make a point of hitting it once a month for fun, even after many years now). Frankly I'm not convinced that being able to skip the DMV tests because you passed the MSF course is always a good thing. As you have seen, the MSF class helps you prepare but is not absolute proof of skills mastery - that takes much time and repetition, as I'm sure they pointed out.

Something to think about in continuing your self-improvement regimen is to purchase David L. Hough's books on Proficient Motorcycling volumes 1 and 2, read and go practice the lessons after each chapter.

At least now you know what you need to do, go do it and have fun doing it. Good luck!
 

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Yank, Don't worry about some of the nay-sayers here, it's kind of a right of passage on motorcycle forums. As I and others have stated, videos, reading and practice will help you tremendiously. I just saw that you are in NC and there happens to be a Ride Like A Pro course there. I have helped teach classes at the Los Angles Ride Like A Pro and I strongly recomend that you look into the one in NC. Rent a bike from them if you can for less worries.
Home—Ride Like a Pro - North Carolina
Many MSF teachers also teach private lessons.
Don't get too frustrated at your fall, just use appropriate avenues to learn all you can
 

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Discussion Starter #16
High side means that the rear skidded then regained traction and flipped you over the top. commonly this is from locking the rear, getting crossways, then releasing the brake. Is this what you did? If so, never ever stomp on the brake. Learn how to apply some rear, then ease off the rear as you increase the front as weight transfers to the front and off the rear.

Target fixation means that you looked at a hazard and drove into it. Is this what you did, or did you fail to counter steer hard enough to turn inside the hazard and miss it? How do you turn a motorcycle sharper?.....Countersteer harder.

as said above, teach yourself to look where you need to go. Better yet, point your chin toward the path you need to take. It is important to keep your eyes level as you look where you need to go, so point your chin to the exit of your turn.

PLP. Parking Lot Practice. Practice the slow speed parking lot maneuvers a hundred times. Really. Think of one thing at a time, and practice and practice until you get smooth in the slow speed maneuvers keeping your eyes up, your chin pointed at you exit of the turn, and smooth front and rear braking.

perhaps my terminology isn't correct regarding high siding. I just couldn't explain why the bike went over on the right side when making a left hand turn. I may have been using the rear brake, may have even locked it up, but given I doubt I was moving faster than 10mph and hand only been traveling for say 60 feet, I really didn't have a chance to lock up for long.

As for the target fixation I believe this played a key factor. have been finding this in the parking lot practice, and trying like crazy to break myself of the attraction/habit. I have also been practicing push steering and getting the bike leaned over more in my turns. haven't scraped a peg yet, but give me time. I wear my protective gear all the time for even practice, so not really afraid of falling off again, especially in the parking lot.

Only road I have been on since my mishap is to get to and from the school to practice in the empty parking lot.

I did consider getting a smaller bike initially, but after taking the MSF class, and being put on their biggest bike, a Honda NightHawk I knew I needed something bigger for my 270lbs and 6'4" height. the small bikes were so small that my legs ached from being cramped up, and I had difficulty using the foot controls. I also considered the vstar 650, but the cruisers didn't seem to fit me as well, and I wanted to be able to stand on the pegs if the need did arise. Plus the V-strom 650 just looked so cool, and I wanted to hang out with all of you.
:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yank, Don't worry about some of the nay-sayers here, it's kind of a right of passage on motorcycle forums. As I and others have stated, videos, reading and practice will help you tremendiously. I just saw that you are in NC and there happens to be a Ride Like A Pro course there. I have helped teach classes at the Los Angles Ride Like A Pro and I strongly recomend that you look into the one in NC. Rent a bike from them if you can for less worries.
Home—Ride Like a Pro - North Carolina
Many MSF teachers also teach private lessons.
Don't get too frustrated at your fall, just use appropriate avenues to learn all you can

thanks for the link, I actually thought about doing a more advanced course at the end of the summer, never thought about contacting MSF instructors about a private lesson, will look into that as well. great advise.
:hurray:
 

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from going that slowly i think you grabbed the front brake with the handlebars turned.
remember your stopping in a turn exercise from the MSF class.
straight then brake, keep your eyes up and don't stare at the ground.

pratice in a parking lot.
find a ridding buddy and follow them, make sure that they know that you are a beginner and have them ride at a slower pace.
don't stare at obsticles.

after all that
have fun!
 

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One of the riding clubs experienced riders told me..."Look where you want to go. >>>NEVER<<< look where you don't want to go." It had burned me like it did you, but the advice has kept me out of trouble since. I'm thinking you were looking at the target and rode right into it.
I was entering a turn on the BLue Ridge Parkway once and looked straight ahead off the mountain. Yep, almost drove off the mountain with 1,000 ft of air ahead of me. The last second I remembered the advice and looked into the turn and the bike seemed to swing into the turn itself. Don't know why but on an MC you tend to go where you look. Happens in a car but to a lesser extent. I'm your size and won't ride any other MC.
 

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Yeah; I would've given them to you sooner, but you didn't ask and you wouldn't have listened.

The strom doesn't make a good beginner bike at all. While it is very nice and forgiving, it is only that to a rider that knows what they're doing; experienced riders don't need to think about the bike, but beginners do.

You will crash it again; the next one might put you under some oncoming traffic.
My suggestion: park the strom, get yourself a beginner bike and ride that for the first year.
Wow. Any one CAN be an expert on the internet!

I also disagree with Mr. Duck. At your size and weight the Wee is a great first bike. The much higher-strung version of that bike (the SV650) has LONG been regarded as a wonderful starter bike.

I did the exact same thing about a month ago. was making a left out of my side street. The back tire slipped, regained it's grip and over I went like a rag-doll. Ouch. Still. I picked the bike, checked it out to make sure that it was mechanically sound and confirm that it was operator error and took the thing for a half hour ride. I MADE myself do it. If I didn't I might never have gotten back on. I have been riding ten years. First get-off on the street and I don't know why it happened. I'm 90% sure it was me. It was the first ride of the season.

I also LOVE my SW Motech Crash bars!!!
 
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