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Discussion Starter #1
Embarrassed, frustrating , got int to this bike to soon and I'm over my head ?

I can practice low speed maneuvers and do well, 6m circles, 4.5 x 3m slalom, emergency stops
and yet I keep running into situations where I do not switch quickly enough from regular riding to low speed riding and make mistakes

My mistakes are
stopping into slippery conditions, gravel , mud and used the front brake ... drop
panicked with target fixation looking at the curb on a u turn, grabbed the front brake - drop
I stopped without planning my exit and needed to move as I was in the way of traffic, stalled the engine when starting while turning - drop

I have not being hurt once but my bike mirrors and hand guards are all scratched

I have taken the basic class, a slow turning class, and I keep practicing

My plan is to keep practicing but I'm not sure if this goes away with time/practice or should I try something else

Maybe it is because when I drive everything I do is automatic, but when I ride the motorcycle I still have to consciously think about what I'm doing

Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks if you have any suggestions how to improve
 

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Hola and Seasons Greeting to you. Lots of us have had similar fall down experiences over the years. Diesel fuel, other slippery surfaces, awkward position when stopping, soft surfaces like dirt.
It's the higher speed fall overs than can do the real damage...how do I know that?
Just keep practicing and eventually the count will be so high you won't remember for sure. Isn't that a comforting thought?
 

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Jerry Palladino has great 'How To Ride Like a Pro' videos.
Here's his "Never Again Fear Dropping Your Motorcycle".
BTW - This works for all types of motorcycles!!! (y)


Below is a link to multiple videos.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hola and Seasons Greeting to you. Lots of us have had similar fall down experiences over the years. Diesel fuel, other slippery surfaces, awkward position when stopping, soft surfaces like dirt.
It's the higher speed fall overs than can do the real damage...how do I know that?
Just keep practicing and eventually the count will be so high you won't remember for sure. Isn't that a comforting thought?
Thanks for the reply , a very comforting thought indeed :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jerry Palladino has great 'How To Ride Like a Pro' videos.
Here's his "Never Again Fear Dropping Your Motorcycle".
BTW - This works for all types of motorcycles!!! (y)


Below is a link to multiple videos.
thanks so much for your reply and reminding me of this video
 

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what about practicing figure eights on a deserted county road? once you can do that you should be okay. If it's a problem try a smaller lighter machine. It can be fun. I like to do it regularly. https://www.ridinginthezone.com/how-to-ride-a-motorcycle-slowly/
for me the takeaway is....."When making tight turns, position your weight on the outside footpeg (the right peg for left turns) to let the motorcycle lean."
 

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Discussion Starter #7
what about practicing figure eights on a deserted county road? once you can do that you should be okay. If it's a problem try a smaller lighter machine. It can be fun. I like to do it regularly. https://www.ridinginthezone.com/how-to-ride-a-motorcycle-slowly/
for me the takeaway is....."When making tight turns, position your weight on the outside footpeg (the right peg for left turns) to let the motorcycle lean."
Thanks! Nice link with many useful tips

My biggest problem is starting while turning, ie: u turn from stand still

When I do 8's I rely on the idle control of the vstrom and control the speed with the rear brake, rarely use the throttle or disengage the clutch, I use my body as counterweight and I'm able to do the 8s in 18ft diameter comfortably
 

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All the classes help, and practice in parking lots and deserted roads helps, but you will only learn to ride by riding. And if it helps, I don't think you ever quit learning. Read everything you can find and watch all the videos. then go practice. Eventually you don't have to think about everything you need to do and you'll start really having fun. But you will learn that you can never allow your focus to wander; too many things can happen way to fast and on a motorcycle a lot of those things are very bad. That doesn't mean worry about all those bad things. It means keep your eyes up and as far forward as possible, except for when your checking for the problems that can come from behind you. Plan for what might be over the next hill or around the corner.
 

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Nice vid. After the first few minutes all the prior training I've had comes flooding back. If only I took the time to practice what I've learned and forgotten! Doh!
The used to be a radio program on KPFK that was motorcycle oriented called Friction Zone That was back in the 80's.
 

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Remember - ALWAYS look where you want to go. Never look where you don't want to go!!!
 

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"My biggest problem is starting while turning, ie: u turn from stand still "

Armando, that is a tough one, especially if your rear wheel is against a curb and the road profile is domed. Don't feel bad about a fail there. I'm guilty of not practicing and taking far too much ground for a U turn.
If you get a chance to go to a police rodeo, go. It's a hoot to watch the maneuvers those guys can do and horrifying at how many mirrors go rolling off the bikes in the fails.
My Ex Son in Law was the top gun in the LA area a few times. But he had a fair number of Oh Shits when chasing the bad guys. So it happens to us all.
 

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Hey Armando,

Don't be discouraged by a few drops. I started riding a little over a year ago, and I also dropped my bike several times in the first few months. I broke my brake lever in one drop, clutch lever in another drop, and then scratched up one Barkbuster after they got installed... you get the picture.

You DO get better with practice, be it official "practice" in a parking lot or just riding on the street. It all adds up, and every mile under your belt will help you improve.

I am a HUGE fan of a professional riding instructor in California who has created terrific instructional videos. He is a fantastic teacher! His YouTube channel is MotoJitsu. He has videos on EVERYthing related to riding- just check his playlists.

In addition to watching his videos, something else that helped me was finally getting a good feel for the friction zone in the clutch on my V-Strom. Once I found where to hold the clutch so the bike would not stall, it was amazing how much easier the low speed maneuvers became. I was shocked. Oh- and make sure you are looking where you WANT to go. That helped me as well, especially with the left or right hand turn from a stop as you had described. Look where you want to go, and the bike will go there.

Keep the faith, and keep practicing! Don't let a few drops keep you from riding bikes. Let us know how it goes.

Merry Christmas!
 

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You don't say how much experience you have, but you sound exactly like me when I started riding. After a few thousand miles it will get better. If you are a new rider, two things that worked for me. First, if you are uncomfortable with a maneuver, there is no shame in duckwalking the bike. So, if you know you can't do a U turn from a stop, sure you should practice it, but on the road just walk the bike around. Second, kind of counterintuitive, but hop on a highway and go somewhere. There is very little skill needed to just go straight down a highway. Putting a few hours on the bike where you are not doing anything challenging can get you more relaxed, but remember while you are getting relaxed you are not gaining skill. You will have to get back to real practicing.
 

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As long as you learn from each mistake all will be good.

If you keep repeating the same mistakes over & over maybe a bike is not the safest form of transport for you.

After saying that Stroms are not the easiest bikes to move around on slowly, there are bikes that have a much lower centre of gravity that are much easier to live with.
 

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It sounds like maybe you need to drill into your head - do not steer and hit the front brakes. That being said, I agree with the previous poster that vstroms are top heavy and pretty unforgiving compared to other bikes.

Be safe
 

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... I rely on the idle control of the vstrom and control the speed with the rear brake, rarely use the throttle or disengage the clutch, I use my body as counterweight and I'm able to do the 8s in 18ft diameter comfortably
My .02...

Low speeds = rear brake and slipping the clutch. No front brake especially while turning. You have to slip the clutch or the bike will stall when you apply the brake.

Keep your fingers on the clutch lever and ready to slip until you're into 2nd gear and moving right along. As soon as your RPM drops below 3k or so (in second) fingers back on the lever.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks so much for all the comments, really appreciate the time you took to provide suggestions

My mistakes keep evolving, I keep a list of things to remember

I do follow motojitsu and I can do his blue and brown belt but no knee dragging

Today I realized that during the u-turn from stand still I'm pulling away to slow

And yes I do go places and enjoy the rides
 

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Don't worry, all the drops adds character to the bike. Besides, they make decent story to tell.
 
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