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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
Drive less, ride more...
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What the Pros do

For those new to motorcycling, or for those who just want a review of what separates the so-so from the really good, read (and also practice up) on the following:


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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 09:39 PM
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Good info! Going to practice it. Thanks!

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by theauhawk View Post
For those new to motorcycling, or for those who just want a review of what separates the so-so from the really good, read (and also practice up) on the following:

You know back several years ago when you took the actual riders test in KY,The License examiner set up th cones and you had to do the slow speed maneuvers starting from a parked position and ride parallel to the cones while shifting up through the gears make a tight left turn around and come down the other side of them, downshift ,come to a complete stop as close to a line head drawn with chalk and pull back out without dabbing a foot down and then thread back and forth through the cones.

I had been riding on a temporary permit for two summers on the street before even attempting the test.I saw Guys slide through the stopping area with the back brake locked up running over cones and every thing else including fall down.

I was actually dreading my turn on that old Electra Glide .Alll the others were riding 550's and 650' s that I knew were a couple of hundred pounds lighter than mine at least.

Here's the kicker.One guy who showed up on a KZ1000 only had his right arm,no artificial left arm or nothing,he had moved the clutch lever to the right side and used it and the throttle both at the same time.After watching him ride through the test without a bobble ,I made up my mind that if he could handle that 1000 Like that I could pass the test too.

I made it through fine and The State Trooper that gave the test told us all to gather around then he told us that as long as you hadn't fallen down he was going to pass you on the test,But that it amazed him how much practice some of them needed.He also did point out that there was a one armed man on a very fast motorcycle and another one that was 5 and 1/2 feet tall on a full dress touring bike that did exactly what he asked and told three of them to stay and he would show them how to ride slowly gave the rest of us our score sheets and told us to go to the clerks office and have our License changed to have The M endorsement added except the guy that fell down and he told him he could stay and he would ive him some pointers too and to do some more practice and come back in a couple of weeks.

The guy with one arm rode up until last Nov,when he tore his rotator cuff when e fell off his back hoe and grabbed at one of the hand rails ,He sold his V star 1100 and ATV and Bought a Rhino because he said after being pretty well helpless after the shoulder surgery.He thought it just wasn't worth the risk of tearing it up again.

The article is right, all it takes is timing and coordination,it doesn't even require two hands if you have the will and practice.

Good tips for any one and "this is a true story ,the names have been withheld to protect the innocent" Dragnet Quote

If you see it on my bike I did it
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010, 12:15 AM
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I never actually took the test, I took the written test at one of the department of safety centers. I lived so far out in the boondocks that the DOS would set up at the community center. I rode the bike to take the test in the rain the girl that was there asked the trooper if she had to set up the cones and watch me ride in the rain. To which he replied "no I have been watching him ride around town for months" ( I graduated high school with his son and received a few speeding tickets from him). they printed me a license on the spot.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010, 08:56 AM
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Very cool, that's now in my favorites. I might read that once a week.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010, 09:24 PM
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When I got my new bike, I was a bit concerned about dealing with slower speeds , like riding around trying to find a parking spot in a busy mall.

The FJR weighs a good 600+ pounds, and because of the added seat hieght, I can just barely get both feet down on the ground....that with my legs straight....not bent at the knees at all. Being able to put a foot down solid with a your knee bent gives you that bit of comfort that if the bike should begin to fall, you might be able to "kick it" back up using your leg muscle and save yourself embarressment.

Although iffy on the Vulcan anyway, this manuver would be impossible on the FJR. ...at least for me.

So , to avoid finding out the hard way , I headed over to the local elementry school here on a sunday...which is completely empty and has a fairly large parking lot. Although I do own some traffic cones, I was a bit worried about hitting one at slow speed and it actually causing a crash.

So to lay out some kind of practice course, I used some of my kids left over sidewalk chalk. The yellow chalk stood out pretty well on the black top, and I just ran a squiggly line from one end of the lot to the other, drawing out right curves and left curves, nothing too sharp to start with.

I followed the line , doing my best to keep it exactly a foot to the left of my front tire. I rode the course as slow as I could, using the reccomended techniques mentioned in the link. I drew out several courses...it did take awhile to learn how sharp I could draw out a turn...(that I could handle) but after awhile I got the jist of the bikes and my limits and the last course was the one I ended up using for the longest time.

I did come very close to dropping the bike...but as it was a large empty space, any time I felt I was going too slow or turning to sharp and close to "stalling out" and falling over...I would just straighten out and hit the gas....as I did not have to worry about hitting anything.

I suggest if you have never done this on your bike, you go and do it. Bring a buddy along so if you do go over .. someones there to help you pick up the bike. (I did it alone, but luckily never went over) I also suggest you use parts of your road course to practice backing the bike up....something alot of folks are pretty scary at doing....lol. ( I actually back into my driveway and back the bike into the garage...a good 25 feet to the garage and not level at all...and can now do it pretty damn fast...)


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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 06:15 PM
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I really enjoyed that article. The instructors for the safety course that I took in Illinois did their best to teach those techniques. Since we were so new, we did not get the full benefit of what they showed us at the time. The reinforcement from this post is much appreciated, and a great reminder to practice these life, and bikesaving methods from time to time. The daily commute does not require this level of skill normally, but long term cycling does. Thanks for a great post.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 03:20 AM
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So... what's the proper way to back up a bike?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ceal View Post
So... what's the proper way to back up a bike?
I don't know if there is a written down guide on it, nor if the following way is the "proper" way to do it, but it works for me.

You need to be able to put both feet on the ground and hold the bike up straight. Kickstand up...if down you'll likely just hurt your leg on it.

Sit on the bike and hold the grips , hand on the front brake lever. push off backwards with one leg...your butt is what will be actually pushing the bike backwards, so moving back untill your butt won't slide back more should be done first.
Slowly walk the bike back, alternating your legs just as if you were walking backwards yourself without the bike under you. Look back moving your head as needed, but keep an eye on the angle of your front tire. Many folks mess up by turning the bars too much because they get disorinented looking over their shoulder. I ususally suggest stopping the bike first before turning your head to look back.

Do not go faster than you would normally walk backwards, and use the front brake to slow you if moving back down an incline. If trying to move up an incline, you can use both feet to push off with...using the front brake to hold the bike from rolling back while you move your feet back for another push.

If making a turn...DO NOT try leaning the bike. Remember to straighten out the bars before you stop...this is what causes many to drop the bike...they stop with the front wheel cocked to one side and forget the bike balances different.... or they have the bars turned and stop too hard, which hastens that process as the bikes mass tries to push itself over.

The real key is maintaining balance, and this can be hard to do if you have your head turned to look back..so remember you can use your mirrors to see where you are headed....but it still is worth stopping for a moment and looking back just to make sure there is nothing in the way the mirrors might have missed.


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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 07:12 PM
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I have some major grip problems with my shoes lol I need new ones but I haven't given myself the time to go buy a new pair. So what I've done is shift the weight of the bike toward the foot that I'm using to push the bike back. So I end up alternating the weight of the bike at each step I take. New shoes should make it a lot easier though lol.
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