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technical tips

Go Back   FZ1OA Message Board > FZ1 & Fazer Owners Association > Riding Tips & Techniques

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Old 07-12-2017, 11:42 AM   #1
Bikejunky22
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How to get over the fear of leaning

So since I started riding bikes on the street a lot, I've always had this issue with leaning. I'm afraid to low side a bile. How do I know how far I really can lean it? When following a group I always put myself in the back as I know I take corners way slower than anyone else. I've been getting better about it but have any of you had this issue? How did you get over it. And how do I know how far I can lean in on a turn without low siding
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:18 PM   #2
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Everyone has their own limitations. I applaud you asking the question, but I fear that if you are afraid of leaning your FZ1, that maybe the FZ is not the right bike for you.

what's you experience level? Realize, that the bike itself want's to stay up, just like a gyroscope.

I don't drag knees like some on this forum. I'd say my chicken strips are about a 1/2". I ride in my comfort zone. but sometimes I like to push my limits. usually more when on roads I know and when I'm riding solo rather than in the rare group ride I do.

It's possible you don't have good sticky tires. or perhaps old tires. new sticky tires will certainly give more confidence. I don't buy the super sticky sport tires as I need more longevity and go for sport touring style. But I've also never had a tire last more than a year so they don't get old and slick.

Have you ever ridden on dirt? I've not had a dirt bike for a while now, but riding dirt even on a small single cylinder is great practice for working on leaning and forcing yourself to deal with traction. I miss my little TTR125 which was really great for improving my street riding skills.

I know people who intentionally avoid gravel roads on their street motorcycles. they fear it. I don;t seek them out, but I don't shy away from them either. I just adjust my riding. it's good to be able to handle any situation and gravel roads happen. plus I used to live on one so I had no choice.

I'm sure there are better people here who can offer better assistance/advice.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:44 PM   #3
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I think it's a feel thing that comes with experience. Sorta like the first time you scrape a peg. First time scares the shit out of you but then you get used to it and know what your bike feels like when it's leaned over that far. I can guarantee that you have way more clearance than you think you do. A good rule of thumb for how fast you can take a corner is whatever the suggested speed is you can usually double it, and that's with shitty body position to boot. If your doing everything right you could probably double it +10. Best thing to do is find some twisty roads and have fun. Just push yourself a little bit further each time over a familiar stretch of road. It'll come. I wouldn't worry too much about low siding your bike. Most people (especially a rider with only a few years of experience) crash because they feel they are entering a corner too fast so they slow down, stand the bike up, target fixate, and run off the road. In reality they had plenty of lean left and would have been just fine had they leaned a bit more. When in doubt - throttle out.

Last edited by dschult2; 07-12-2017 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:55 PM   #4
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^^^Everything said above but I will add that you may want to take a road/racing course. We have one up here called FAST that is amazing!
http://www.fastridingschool.com/
Great for finding your own limits and pushing those boundaries based on professional feedback and instruction.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:05 PM   #5
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^^^Everything said above but I will add that you may want to take a road/racing course. We have one up here called FAST that is amazing!
http://www.fastridingschool.com/
Great for finding your own limits and pushing those boundaries based on professional feedback and instruction.
Yep, track days are awsome for learning yours and your bike's limits.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikejunky22 View Post
So since I started riding bikes on the street a lot, I've always had this issue with leaning. I'm afraid to low side a bile. How do I know how far I really can lean it? When following a group I always put myself in the back as I know I take corners way slower than anyone else. I've been getting better about it but have any of you had this issue? How did you get over it. And how do I know how far I can lean in on a turn without low siding

Watch this over and over and over again:

https://youtu.be/6OQF7tygAi0
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:39 PM   #7
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There are several track day providers that offer rider training as part of the first track day. I did ART with Team Pro Motion and it was one of the best things I've done on two wheels. It gave the opportunity to learn the track, lines, and work at my pace to find my limits.

Once on my own in the afternoon sessions, I found I was running a pretty good pace in the novice group.

I'd recommend the track over the street to practice. There is some expense with going to the track, but it's worth it. You have instructors and fellow riders to ask questions of, corner and medical workers in case you go down, and you don't have all the hazards of the street to deal with.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:41 PM   #8
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Trackdays. It will come naturally.

Then, know the difference between the track and the street. Especially when you are on unfamiliar roads, or haven't been on a road you know in a while. On the track things are very predictable (most of the time) but on the street, conditions change all the time. If you are going fast enough to drag your knees on the street (understand lean angle is a function of speed and the corner radius) on a road you have not traveled on already that day (or at least very recently) to make sure it's clean and clear, you are asking for a crash. Sand, rocks, leaves, oil, etc - any of these can put you down if you are maxed out.

I also suggest you read Nick Ienatsch's book Sport Riding Techniques. Learn body position and braking skills, and your riding will be vastly more confident and less scary.

Know your own limits. Stay within them. Slow growth is good.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:09 PM   #9
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I echo track days. Easier to learn on a small bike like a ninja 250/300 or R3. I can tell you from experience that a Fz1 is a challenging bike to learn on.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:22 PM   #10
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READ. Practice. READ. Practice. Lather, rinse, repeat.

As grommet points out, anything written by Nick Ienatsch will help you become a better rider, as long as you physically practice, and practice correctly, what you read. Of course, the more you ride you "should" get better, but it will help greatly to know what to think about and how to improve specifically.

Another highly recommended read is by Lee Parks, Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques. It is an easy and interesting read, even for any potential passengers you may have.

Glad to see you are asking the question publicly and realize the importantce of knowing to ride your own ride. You're on the right path.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:31 PM   #11
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I remember when a good friend of mine was in your situation. Then we convinced him to go take a "CLASS" with us at Sears Pt.

The day after the school we all went on a ride. I shit you not when I tell you that his skill level had at least tripled. He was smooth, confident, and having a blast.

At CLASS he had a lot of time to follow instructors and work with them.

I cannot recommend a track school more highly. NOT an "open track day", but a school with instructors who can work with you one on one.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:44 PM   #12
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Like everyone else has said on here, track days!!

It's the fastest and safest way to learn the limits of your bike and yourself.

If you've got the cash, invest in a cheap track bike. Any 600cc Supersport will do the job nicely.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:49 PM   #13
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If you have any friends w/dirt bikes, try to get some seat time on one. They will teach you a lot of bikes in general without the fear of crashing a road bike.

It's hard to remember in the heat of the moment, if you ever find yourself too fast going into a corner, the 1st instinct is hit the brakes, which will stand the bike up, always try to lean as much as possible, as your bike usually can make the turn.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:49 PM   #14
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To answer your actual question: I have not seen you ride or seen your bike/tires but can state with 99.9% confidence that your bike will lean Substantially further than you think and substantially further than you are currently leaning. Just sitting straight up on the bike it will lean over far enough to drag the foot pegs and not lose traction. So if you have never touched a peg down then there is more lean angle available.

As other have stated, usually accidents happen because riders 'fear' they cannot lean enough to make a corner and stand the bike up. The standing comment for new riders that come here to ride is "lean until you fall over!" If you think you are to hot for a corner, Keep Leaning!

The only way to become comfortable and confident in you and your bikes abilities is to Ride. Get out and have some fun.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:03 PM   #15
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There's just too many variables for me especially where I live. They do shitty road work and you never know if there's dirt on a corner until you're on it. I figured generally you can lean a bike far enough to scrape a peg but damn that seems far. It's just a tough thing to crack. I'm definitely getting more and more comfortable. I've road dirtbikes, owned a few etc. Not the same feeling for me. I just hate that I fall behind in the pack because the other guys start to really get going and hit the corners hard and I just stay at the speed limit haha
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:25 PM   #16
YamahaMan444
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Body position is a huge thing too. You will have to lean less at a given speed if your body position is proper.

That being said, TRACK DAYS. Same corners, over and over, and only you, your speed, and body position are the variables that will change.

Or you can lowside at the Dragon, first time there, like me, inexplicably, and then that's when you know what too much lean feels like.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:01 AM   #17
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There's just too many variables for me especially where I live. They do shitty road work and you never know if there's dirt on a corner until you're on it. I figured generally you can lean a bike far enough to scrape a peg but damn that seems far. It's just a tough thing to crack. I'm definitely getting more and more comfortable. I've road dirtbikes, owned a few etc. Not the same feeling for me. I just hate that I fall behind in the pack because the other guys start to really get going and hit the corners hard and I just stay at the speed limit haha
Too many variables exist everywhere on the streets. It is just the reality and part of the game.

Probably the most significant advice I can suggest for you right now is to resist the urge to keep up with the pack. You must ride at your own pace. Fast is not necessarily smooth or in control. In time, if you focus and practice on your riding abilities, you will be able to run with the pack. If you are patient, practice correctly and so desire you will eventually run faster than the pack!
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:05 AM   #18
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Too many variables exist everywhere on the streets. It is just the reality and part of the game.

Probably the most significant advice I can suggest for you right now is to resist the urge to keep up with the pack. You must ride at your own pace. Fast is not necessarily smooth or in control. In time, if you focus and practice on your riding abilities, you will be able to run with the pack. If you are patient, practice correctly and so desire you will eventually run faster than the pack!
FOR SURE. Don't ever try to keep up with Glory, Grommet, Torchysporty (spelled it on purpose) or Harry at the NW Arkansas meet up, just don't. I ran my pace, those boys are lightning!

And if you know roads around you have gravel and such, scout em out before hitting them harder or worrying about going faster
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:10 AM   #19
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Always go at your pace. At midwest colors last fall i was like WTF when i saw Torchsprt, Bradd, Drt, woody, toni, hexxis etc taking off in the curves. I had no chance of keeping up and didnt try. I rode at my pace and didnt end up a story. Best part was they put no pressure on me to keep up. Getting to know your bike is a yuge thing...yuge! Being in the city my practice curves are non existent....just ride safe man..dont feel pressured.

Blackjack road in Galena was fun with Woody last Saturday. Wish i couldve done it a few more times.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bikejunky22 View Post
There's just too many variables for me especially where I live. They do shitty road work and you never know if there's dirt on a corner until you're on it. I figured generally you can lean a bike far enough to scrape a peg but damn that seems far. It's just a tough thing to crack. I'm definitely getting more and more comfortable. I've road dirtbikes, owned a few etc. Not the same feeling for me. I just hate that I fall behind in the pack because the other guys start to really get going and hit the corners hard and I just stay at the speed limit haha
At a track day, I have no problem carefully exploring my limits. On the street, I always ride conservatively. Each of the last few rides I've been on I'm glad I was. Nothing like coming round a left hander to suddenly find an ambulance blocking both lanes. No problem to get stopped, but if I'd been cooking right along.....different outcome.

I'm going to do a few trackdays next year, and it's been a while since my last. So I'm making a list of things I need, budgeting for them and next spring I'll be ready.
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