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joshg

New Rider - Expert bike dropper

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joshg
Hey All! New to riding a bike (2 weeks) and just bought a new FZ-07 in liquid graphite. I just passed the Basic rider course two weeks ago and decided on the FZ for my first bike.
 
The learning curve has been a bit rough so far, I'm commuting to work each day but I've dropped it about 3 times on cement practicing low speed turns (albeit in bad spots). I've come to terms with the fact that it's my first bike and is going to get a bit scratched, but I was wondering if there was any specific tips you'd have for this bike's characteristics in low speed handling (past the basics). What's worked for you?
 
The bike is a ton of fun. I've ordered frame sliders and shorty clutch levers so far as I've managed to mangle my current clutch lever already. I'm excited to get as much riding as I can under my belt and get up to speed.
 
 
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bmwpowere36m3
Dragging the rear brake during low-speed maneuvers and feathering the clutch.

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magsz18
Get frame and axle sliders immediately.
 
If you've dropped the bike three times you should also probably spend at least a week or so in parking lots before you go out onto the streets.

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joshg
Thanks - I have ordered sliders. These instances have been during isolated practice, not on the streets. I had been practicing making tight turns and just have run out of room and stopped with the wheel turned. Definitely avoidable if I had practicing in a parking lot instead of a back street with curbs. I plan on doing some more practice as soon as I get the frame sliders installed in an open parking lot. I want to feel confident making any kind of narrow turn.
 
I had an almost perfect score in the rider's course, so I have a good idea on the concepts of handling it. I think I'm just having difficulty with the extra power and higher ride height (5'7") of this bike as well as missing the confidence of being on a weaker bike that's low. Definitely need some parking lot time!

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joshg
Counter balance your weight on the outside peg, drag the rear brake and feather clutch. You can keep the rpms up, control is all in the clutch.  
This book contains exercises you can practice.
 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0760336741/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0760336741&linkCode=as2&tag=webbikewcom-20
 
 
 
Awesome - I'll check that out :)
 

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hippiebikerchick
Welcome joshg! The advice given here ^ ^ ^ is right on. Don't feel bad about the clutch lever; I bent mine shortly after getting the bike.  ;-|
 
Keep practicing!  :)
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phicurious86
For slow stuff it helps to scooch over on the seat towards the opposite direction of the turn a bit. Also, big +1 on feathering the clutch + dragging the rear brake. No power to the rear wheel (aka fully engaged clutch) during a slow turn and the bike is almost guaranteed to fall over.
 

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djdiddles
I'm a new rider for the road, but have been riding enduro off road races *75miles distances* for about 10 years or so. What I've found to be extremely helpful is this:
 
Your clutch is your friend! The FZ07 has a wet clutch just like most dirt bikes, which means you can ride it a bit and it won't hurt anything. Practice just using the clutch to perform the figure " 8 " in an empty parking lot. As you ease out the clutch, you'll feel it grip and you'll start to move, but you wouldn't have let the clutch out fully. Using the clutching zone so that you're never fully letting out the clutch. This is called Feathering the Clutch. You shouldn't need much throttle if any at all so don't worry about using your right hand for gas.
 
Start with a large figure "8" and after each pass *starting with a 20 foot figure 8. then goto 18ft, then 15, then 13, then 10, ect.
 
you should be coming to a crawl the smaller you go, but doing this gradually will help you adjust slowly and you'll get the handle of super slow turning and the limits of your bike.

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nerd
Just to echo all the previous members... clutch control, counter balance your weight, drag the rear brake and you should be good. Where did you take your BRC? They should have covered and let you practice all of those aspects as when I took BRC (on a military base) it was all sub 30mph most sub 20. Also, look where you want to go. It makes a world of a difference with tight turns.

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jerryv
.....and don't grab a handful of front brake, especially if your wheel is turned. That will cause the fork to dive and tip you in that direction. I've done it too, on my first bike.

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yamahaha
Don't be so mean to your bike! Practice something easier for a while. ;)
 

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wickedtwister
Also echoing the rear brake comment. Using front make when turning sharp causes the bike to fall that direction. Rear brake is tons better for that sharp stuff. Also I practiced with me leg on the direction I was turning down. Left leg down when turning left. In slow speeds I've caught my self plenty of times. Also don't think about it too much over thinking causes you to stress out about it and your brain gets in the way of your body movements. I practiced large circles in an empty parking lot then progressively got tighter and slower. To me circles are easier than figure 8 because its easier to gauge the size with parking lot lines. I started out with circles outside 3-4 spaces wide then worked down to inside 2 spaces. When turning that tight I still but both legs down and feather the clutch. Be careful with throttle response as it can jerk the bike enough and cause you to drop it as well. Good luck and keep it up.

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mjh937
I think your biggest mistake was practicing in a narrow area. Find the largest empty parking lot you can. There is a church near me that has a gigantic parking lot where I practice (except on Sundays of course). If there is a curb nearby I will hit it :)

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jerryv
That's target fixation, covered in lesson 2 :)
 
 

I think your biggest mistake was practicing in a narrow area. Find the largest empty parking lot you can. There is a church near me that has a gigantic parking lot where I practice (except on Sundays of course). If there is a curb nearby I will hit it :)
 
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