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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this noob question should go in this forum, but here goes!

The MSF course taught the counter-balancing method for the tight, slow-speed turns, but what is troublesome right now is the touchiness of the Wee's throttle. Besides more practice, is there a trick that will help? Seems like letting it idle through the turn has a high risk of killing and dumping it.

Thanks!
 

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hold at least 2000 rpm and slip the clutch
 

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Practice, mostly keeping the revs up to at least 3000rpm and controlling the speed with the clutch and the rear brake. Do that in a straight line until it becomes second nature. Then practice the turns looking where you want to go. In a tight turn, your head should be at about 90 degrees off the line of the bike, looking over your inside shoulder.
 

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low speed

I regularly ride the same twisty bumpy loose gravel cottage road and often with a passenger; and the biggest problem is the speed. At very slow speeds my Vee steers like a bicycle but at about 20kph and faster of course it counter-steers. It's a technical challenge riding at the speed transition in tight corners.
Go too slow and fall down? Go faster ?
Faster is better; unless you are going to crash. Good luck
 

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They are correct,it opposite of road riding and is a dirt ride technique. Counter balance. It may help you more if you keep your knees spread away from tank and use them more as a counter balance, also look further thru and into the turn as you normally would do and previsualize where you want to be. Next is the most trickiest...throttle control.
If you follow these tricks in the order I presented, you should be able to smoothly use the throttle to set it up, then abruptly chop the throttle and counter balance into a tight apex,smoothly roll on again completing the tight quarter 180.

so the senario would be identify where your gonna do your 180,slow to a crawl but not too slow, with knees spread. roll your ass to the opposite side of seat keeping body upright, elbows high. look through turn all the way to the upright exit point,chop throttle, hit apex,and rollon throttle. all the while using your knees and ass for counter balance. At first you made need more throttle control until you master it. Typically the setup into the turn will take more time, the apex swing is fairly quick.The bike will loosen up considerably when you chop the gas,so its importent to have used your eyes and look through the whole area you will be passing through, and using counterbalnce during this point, then focus on the exit. Soon your body, wrist and machine will be as one.

Base on other comments, the clutch slipping is also a good idea if you must,as the higher RPMS with clutch in will tend to keep the machine perpendicular to the ground. Just be careful with the clutch and throttle use obviously. (This is an old slow race tactic to keep you feet on the pegs and going as slow a possible)
 

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Here's a video. Watch the rider's head and notice the brake light is just about always on. Also, the engine noise is always up, not chugging.

 

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Don't use your front brake for slow speed U turns and such, just the rear. The front will cause the forks to dive, even at low speeds and low braking pressure it's enough to upset the balance of the bike. The rear won't do that, keep your foot covering the rear brake and modulate as needed.

As others have said, use the clutch to moderate speed at crawling/walking paces, not just the throttle. V-twins make good low end grunt, but too low RPM and they start chugging, you don't want that. I don't really look at the tach for such things, it's more of a feel/sound thing, you'll know when it starts lugging and chugging too much.

A little practice in an empty parking lot etc goes a long ways. Do some circles, U turns and figure 8s. Remember at super low speeds keep your body upright and push the bike down like a dirt bike, don't try to lean with it like a sport bike.

Oh and most important of all... look where you want go! This sounds absurdly obvious, but you'd be amazed at how many people will fixate not much past their front wheel. If you look where you want to go, you tend to make the bike go there without even thinking about it. Kinda the opposite of target fixation.
 

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Here's a video. Watch the rider's head and notice the brake light is just about always on. Also, the engine noise is always up, not chugging.
Great vid, GW, thanks.

This is something I resolve to practice.

From day #1 with the Wee, my biggest complaint has been the un-refined FI system. I could (mostly) do those low-speed maneuvers on my K75S, even though it was more top-heavy and tippy, because that FI system had much better resolution and didn't jerk at the on-off transition. It annoys me to no end that I have to resort to digital gymnastics on this bike to control it at low RPM.

I realize the DL is hardly unique in this regard, but I also know that not all FI bikes have this problem, so I refuse to call it acceptable. I do, however, need to learn to deal with it gracefully if I want to make U-turns in less than 4 lane widths ...
 

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Turn your handlebars all the way to the left while stopped. Slowly release the clutch while you gun it at a lean. You'll be going in the other way before you know it.:thumbup:
 

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I'm not sure my knees are heavy enough to offer any counterbalancing, but shifting my rear end and putting my weight on the outside peg (also a dirt riding technique) helps a lot. And as everyone else has said, work the friction zone of the clutch and look where you want to go.
 

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When I bought my VTX1300, it was my first bike and I was very concerned about my low speed handling skills. A friend of mine had purchased a video from this guy ridelikeapro.com. He is a retired motor cop. Some of his stuff is a little hookey but, his rider training is first class.
 

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You can just let the strom idle in 1st or 2nd gear, or hold 2000 or 3000 rpm. If you choose a higher rpm, try putting your right thumb on the twist grip on both the rotating part and the stationary part to hold the throttle steady. Whatever, don't use any throttle action.

Use all clutch action. To turn sharper, give it a sliver less clutch; the bike will fall into a sharper turn. To straighten up, give it a sliver more clutch; the bike will stand up. The clutch is slipping all the time.

Counterweighting isn't necessary. It does help the bike turn sharper. The main thing is to make yourself turn the bike. You don't want to, and that is what's stopping you. Tell yourself to turn the bike, then do it! Use all the good tips in the postings above (the head turn is essential), and gradually get slower and tighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The main thing is to make yourself turn the bike. You don't want to, and that is what's stopping you. Tell yourself to turn the bike, then do it! Use all the good tips in the postings above (the head turn is essential), and gradually get slower and tighter.
I think you nailed it right there, I still have some apprehension turning the heavier V-Strom. I knew there had to be more to it than what was in the MSF class when it started lugging around around the turn. I'll practice the clutch-slip/braking like everyone mentioned, and I like the comment about "locking" the throttle with my thumb against the fixed portion next to the grip.

Thanks a million! :thumbup:
 
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