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technical tips

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Old 07-13-2017, 06:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikejunky22 View Post
...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
You are riding your own ride. Good for you for not getting in over your head by trying to keep up.

Second the suggestion of reading Sport Riding Techniques. CLASS would be great. Used to see Pridmore with his trailer at Streets of Willow all the time, good guy. In addition to seeking out some one on one professional instruction you may want to choose one of the more level-headed guys you know locally and pick their brain for some mentoring.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:20 AM   #22
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Here is a video of a guy we were riding with earlier this year, he came upon a curve and was afraid to lean it over so he jumped on the brakes instead even though he could have easily made the corner.
Remember if you are going down its a lot better to lowside than stand it up and highside or hit something so don't be afraid to lean it over and drag your elbows.
Luckily there wasn't any oncoming traffic and he just touched the guardrail and kept it up.

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Old 07-13-2017, 09:22 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotfz1 View Post
You are riding your own ride. Good for you for not getting in over your head by trying to keep up.
+ 1
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
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.
Welcome to the rest of the world!

Gravel shows up in corners everywhere. Bad road maintenance? Come out and ride "The Loop" on Mines road out here and you'll find out about tough conditions.

Ride you own ride, never EVER try to "keep up". Leave your ego at home or it can get you seriously effed up.

Practice. Read. Learn.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:18 AM   #25
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Did anyone mention TRACK DAYS? Find the organization (just ask the beeb) that runs track days in your area. They have coaches that cater to novice riders and you will learn more in a day than in years of do-it-yourself on the bike training.

My story - I wasn't afraid to lean. I thought I leaned pretty good. Until I saw a video of myself. Hahaha. I had a coach tell me that I needed to trust my tires, so OK, I told myself I didn't care if I crashed, I will trust my tires. Next think you know I got a knee down for the first time. That will scare the crap out of you, but you'll come up smiling in your helmet.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:22 AM   #26
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Lean angle, start small:
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:28 PM   #27
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Quote:
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
It really isn't all that far. I've scraped the shifter and brake levers on my bike. If you go into a corner too hot do what my friend Jim does: lean and BELIEVE. I also echo taking a class and I applaud you for riding your own ride.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:45 PM   #28
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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.
This is true everywhere. Part of riding a bike is learning to process information quickly.

So you catch that corner and suddenly find loose coldpatch all over it - like my buddy and I did on a recent excursion to the Twisted Sisters. Don't give up on the corner and let the bike wash out - you should be processing information way ahead of that. Is there runout space that will allow you to carefully let the bike stand up a bit and go wide? No oncoming traffic? No trees, armco, barbed wire, or other obstacles? If you're good to go, let the bike find its line, keep it upright, and live to fight another corner.

And my buddy and I aren't ashamed to admit at all that the loose gravel from the coldpatch slid both of us to the grass opposite the corner. But we did it safely and rode on.

And yes - go to school!

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Old 07-13-2017, 06:46 PM   #29
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Your tire age/condition (and tire choice) as well as your suspension set-up have BY FAR the most affect on the comfort/feeling experienced at a lean.

With even a moderately tuned suspension (the r1 shock is a must), and decent tires (T30/PR2-3-4/etc) you should have no problem dipping in- even without any body position.

Soapbox moment- a common misconception is that major body position changes are necessary on the street. This is near-universally not true. Proper body position can help, but unless you have experience and proper instruction, your best bet is to stay comfortable and put a little more weight through the pegs rather than on the seat.

You dont need to work on body position until your ready for intermediate level sessions at a track day.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:06 PM   #30
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Always watch for sand or other dangers.
Never outride the ability to stop/avoid a hazard.
Back in the day on smaller bikes I practiced a lot, doing left right weaves, squaring corners, etc. Gradually.
Picked some deserted roads, made a slow run looking for hazards then ran and reran the course.
Off season indirect access to parks and forests were good.
I do admit my 71 CL350 was a great bike for this. Though I started street riding on a 66 125 4 stroke Benelli single 4 speed. Taught "conservation of momentum and fast cornering.

Also true back in the day my crazy cousins could always outrun me by riding riskier than I was willing to. This has not changed. Young riders I've ridden with who believe "they are all that" give me the "not bad for an old guy" comments.
I find them too willing to trust the road, traffic, and their skill.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:15 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvmyfz1 View Post
Lean angle, start small:
Hahhahah! Wtf! Thats awesome!! Hahhaha, cant wait to show the wife and envision my boy in that spot!
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Old 07-15-2017, 01:16 AM   #32
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Quote:
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
Yup, welcome to the real world. If you don't want variables, track days are the place to be. They also let you safely push your limits, so that you know what you can do when the variables come in to play on the streets.
The FZ1 is not a good beginner bike, at all. It's heavy, very. It has lots of power, which makes it easy to get in over your head as well. It's tough to "toss around". I sure wish I had started on something tiny like a Ninja 250, but I didn't, and I learned my painful lessons on the FZ1.
There's nothing wrong with anything you're doing, just keep in mind, it's all in your head. Any modern street tire is perfectly capable of leaning until your knees and elbows are dragging on the ground, so don't worry about the tire. Scraping a peg, especially on these bikes, is not that far. FZ1s are not known for their ground clearance with stock pegs.
Best thing you could do is take a track-day, and/or get a smaller bike to learn on comfortably.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dschult2 View Post
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.
All of this nailed it perfectly.... First couple times I scraped my pegs, it definitely scared the crap out of me. Now if it happens, I'm just annoyed because my knee hasn't touched first.

I follow the same rule of thumb with the speed limits, maybe a little less on roads I'm extremely unfamiliar with.
Roads I am familiar with, I always do a run-through first at an average pace to make sure the roads don't have random spots of gravel, sand, debris...

Lastly, you described perfectly how I've crashed both times. I've since gone back to the turns I freaked out on, and gone through them at much greater speeds with no issues. Target fixation is a bitch.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:09 PM   #33
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Lots of great advice.

My 2 cents:

1) Upgrade your suspension - shock and forks. A good handling bike will be MUCH easier to control.

2) Desmo is right - Take a CLASS or some other instruction oriented day at the track. Then do more track days rehearsing what you learned.

3) Never try to push yourself into the zone of being uncomfortable. Push yourself to be smoother and better all the time, practice your set up, body position, leaning, entry and exit speeds, etc. But never to the point of "Uh Oh" uncomfortable. With repetition and practice, you'll not notice it but you'll be going faster, more in control in the turns with less or no uneasy feeling about leaning.


4) Stop riding in groups - at least for now. Just practice what you learn at the track school by yourself. One day you'll just try to keep up, push a bit, not have the feeling of being in control, and bad things will happen. Or find a group of Harleys to ride with. Shriner parade speed should be manageable. (I kid, I kid.... )
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:20 PM   #34
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Lots of good advice in this thread. Take that bike on a 2000+ mile tour on unfamiliar roads. You will be at one with it by the time you get back.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:34 PM   #35
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Lots of good advice in this thread. Take that bike on a 2000+ mile tour on unfamiliar roads. You will be at one with it by the time you get back.
Got to push back on that a bit. Doing a lot of riding without training will make you really good at riding poorly.

Get instruction (not MSF classes, you're beyond that), and practice what they teach you.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:57 PM   #36
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Quote:
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There's just too many variables for me especially where I live.
It's no different than anywhere else. Public roads are always an unknown and therefore require dialing it back some. There is a road I ride to work that has some great curves in it, including a nice decreasing radius turn that I have learned to navigate quite nicely. Sometimes I push it a little harder than maybe I should, but I always know that good road surface around the bend is never guaranteed.

Quote:
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
Practice is the key. Just like others stated, track days and advanced riding schools will help you. Regardless, when you ride in a group, don't ever be pressured to keep up. Always ride you own pace. To do otherwise is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:35 PM   #37
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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
Hey Bikejunky,

Have you had a chance to watch this yet?

https://youtu.be/6OQF7tygAi0
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:44 AM   #38
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Got to push back on that a bit. Doing a lot of riding without training will make you really good at riding poorly.

Get instruction (not MSF classes, you're beyond that), and practice what they teach you.
Understood. I did not articulate myself very well in the reply. My advice was in addition to all the other suggestions including classes.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:11 PM   #39
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I also want to say that training is key. You don't *have* to take a class if you can read and practice techniques in a book, but not many are truly committed to that approach. An open track day would be perfect safe environment for pushing your limits IF you were practicing techniques you had read about. Otherwise, get an instructor.

I don't lean the bike anywhere near what it's capable of, but I've led and been on quite a few group rides where my pace was considered "good".

Going back to gravel/debris. There is a principle taught in the UK called "limit point", and it applies to both riding AND driving (taught to all motorcyclists but only in *advanced* driving courses). You never go faster than you can stop in the distance you can CLEARLY see. That means if you can't tell if there's danger, you slow down to an appropriate speed.

Many people drive (and ride) on the assumption that if they can't tell if there's danger, it must be safe. They pull out in front of fire engines with their lights blazing because their brain simply doesn't recognize that as quickly as an approaching car. It's why they turn in front of oncoming bikes as well. If you, instead, only proceed when you can confirm it is safe to do so, as opposed to assuming it is safe because you don't see any danger, you'd be a lot more confident on the bike. This applies to pretty much all aspects of riding (and driving)..
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:57 AM   #40
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If you showed up at the East coast/Gap rally, I am sure the folks here would give you some pointers on one of John's early morning runs through the Gap, when all the miscreants are hungover, or waiting to be bailed out, or both. (This year we did it in Georgia but there were similar roads there.)

Benefit of the track is no oncoming traffic of any kind, so that is still preferable if you can spare the dough.

Good luck.
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