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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New here and wanted to share my experience...

Yesterday, I completed a basic skills refresher riding course. After an 11 year gap from which I first completed the MSF and never sitting on another motorcycle, completing the 5-hour course on a 100F proved more than humbling...it knocked some sense into me . I spent the last couple of months becoming familiar with concepts but nothing comes close to tried-and-true practice of any exercise. I admit, the layoff caused a bit of a struggle at first but by the end of the day some of the concepts from that initial MSF course started to come back. Perhaps if anything, it made buying that first motorcycle easier (which has and will always be a 250).

The bright spot for me was the lot of new exercises that I don't recall ever performing (many focused on turning through different curves and weaving, braking through curves, tight s-turns, u-turns in smaller spaces, etc. but strung together.) While this sounds similar to the MSF (I believe it is) It is also possible that the curriculum may have changed between that time as some of the exercises seemed more advanced in approach. Ideally, this was a class that would have followed after the MSF.

After nearly dropping my 250 a few times, I realized I have a long way to go in building skills and forming good habits. Riding a motorcycle seems to be a lifelong learning process. Simple things like target fixation, gauging corner speed, even basic turning and weaving require more work than I previously expected. I'm sure I'll become better through deliberate practice and nothing else. I really don't know how anyone could start on a larger bike and ride the street without any type of formal training. I plan to attend an advanced rider course in the future when I finally pull the trigger on buying a starter bike. If anyone has any experience on advanced cornering information, please share. I have a couple books I plan to reference and may head to Summit Point to enroll in some training at some point in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Thanks ZX6RRNewbie. I haven't posted to forums in a few years but these forums have been helpful. Hope to contribute my experience a long the way (and possibly vlog some of it).
 

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Welcome! I'm a new rider who has recently completed the MSF course and know exactly what you mean. I ended up watching "Twist the Wrist II" and it provided me with a much better understanding of how to approach turns. I also read "Proficient Motorcycling - The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well" by David L. Hough, which went over things like how to react in certain situations. I'm finding I am much more confident on winding roads, but I still become anxious when having to make a 90 degree (or tighter) turn from one road to another (no stop signs - I live in the country). I end up slowing down, probably excessively, and treat it as a slow maneuver. I'm looking forward to the advice that others leave for your question and am glad you asked it. :)
 

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but I still become anxious when having to make a 90 degree (or tighter) turn from one road to another (no stop signs - I live in the country). I end up slowing down, probably excessively, and treat it as a slow maneuver. I'm looking forward to the advice that others leave for your question and am glad you asked it. :)
Carry on treating your 90 degree turns from one road to another with great caution. The absence of stop signs makes that maneuver more dangerous than if signs were there. It is a slow maneuver.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome! I'm a new rider who has recently completed the MSF course and know exactly what you mean. I ended up watching "Twist the Wrist II" and it provided me with a much better understanding of how to approach turns. I also read "Proficient Motorcycling - The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well" by David L. Hough, which went over things like how to react in certain situations. I'm finding I am much more confident on winding roads, but I still become anxious when having to make a 90 degree (or tighter) turn from one road to another (no stop signs - I live in the country). I end up slowing down, probably excessively, and treat it as a slow maneuver. I'm looking forward to the advice that others leave for your question and am glad you asked it. :)
I found out I'm truly ambidextrous when it comes to turn. I almost dumped my bike turning right instead of left and I'm right handed...this is odd because for most it would seem to be the opposite. How did you like Twist the Wrist? I'm determining which books make sense for me to pick up at the library. I plan to track at some point but I'm determining that I need a bit of parking lot time :D
 

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Carry on treating your 90 degree turns from one road to another with great caution. The absence of stop signs makes that maneuver more dangerous than if signs were there. It is a slow maneuver.

Rob
This is what I find myself doing on 90 degree turns:

Right or wrong this is what I do:

Before approaching the turn I slow down and I find the correct gear by downshifting. Then when I get to the turn I pull in the clutch while still slowing down and I coast into the turn, as I do this I start releasing the clutch very slowly and I apply more throttle as I get into the turn. This way I can modulate my speed with the clutch and the throttle and I don't rely solely on modulating the throttle to get up to speed. The throttle on a ZX6R can be kind of twitchy on very slow turns, specially after I just serviced the throttle and grip. I find that doing this makes for a very smooth application of power when turning into a 90 degree street without a stop sign.

I don't do this on twisty roads or any other turns, it's only on those slow 90 degree turns where you don't stop but you slow down a bunch.

I hope this helps.

;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is what I find myself doing on 90 degree turns:

Right or wrong this is what I do:

Before approaching the turn I slow down and I find the correct gear by downshifting. Then when I get to the turn I pull in the clutch while still slowing down and I coast into the turn, as I do this I start releasing the clutch very slowly and I apply more throttle as I get into the turn. This way I can modulate my speed with the clutch and the throttle and I don't rely solely on modulating the throttle to get up to speed. The throttle on a ZX6R can be kind of twitchy on very slow turns, specially after I just serviced the throttle and grip. I find that doing this makes for a very smooth application of power when turning into a 90 degree street without a stop sign.

I don't do this on twisty roads or any other turns, it's only on those slow 90 degree turns where you don't stop but you slow down a bunch.

I hope this helps.

;)
This is a great tip...I was trying to refresh the friction zone concept and driving a manual in my car, I'm predisposed to down shifting and giving throttle while riding the engine out (w/o acceleration)...Getting away from this concept on a bike is going to take some practice but I visualized it as soon as you typed it...

I really need to get my bike. Having a difficult time deciding on using this Kawasaki demo dollar for $500 on a new bike or buying used. It seems buying used is much more challenging than expected.
 

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I found out I'm truly ambidextrous when it comes to turn. I almost dumped my bike turning right instead of left and I'm right handed...this is odd because for most it would seem to be the opposite. How did you like Twist the Wrist? I'm determining which books make sense for me to pick up at the library. I plan to track at some point but I'm determining that I need a bit of parking lot time :D
"Twist the Wrist II" was great! I watched the DVD. What I liked was the fact they show you what happens when certain things aren't done correctly. It mentally burns in what you should be doing. It helped me with street riding, but it will help you even more if you're going to take your bike to the track. Ride safe!
 

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This is what I find myself doing on 90 degree turns:

Right or wrong this is what I do:

Before approaching the turn I slow down and I find the correct gear by downshifting. Then when I get to the turn I pull in the clutch while still slowing down and I coast into the turn, as I do this I start releasing the clutch very slowly and I apply more throttle as I get into the turn. This way I can modulate my speed with the clutch and the throttle and I don't rely solely on modulating the throttle to get up to speed. The throttle on a ZX6R can be kind of twitchy on very slow turns, specially after I just serviced the throttle and grip. I find that doing this makes for a very smooth application of power when turning into a 90 degree street without a stop sign.

I don't do this on twisty roads or any other turns, it's only on those slow 90 degree turns where you don't stop but you slow down a bunch.

I hope this helps.

;)
Thanks Newbie! That makes me feel a bit better, and hopefully helps the OP as well. Do you use the clutch even if you're still in 2nd or 3rd? I've been reading that doing so may wear the clutch faster, but I'd rather have a worn clutch than a worn body part. :eek: ... I bet I'm just not slowing down enough on some of these turns and/or picking a low enough gear (the lightbulb just went on).
 

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Thanks Newbie! That makes me feel a bit better, and hopefully helps the OP as well. Do you use the clutch even if you're still in 2nd or 3rd? I've been reading that doing so may wear the clutch faster, but I'd rather have a worn clutch than a worn body part. :eek: ... I bet I'm just not slowing down enough on some of these turns and/or picking a low enough gear (the lightbulb just went on).
It's fine to slip the clutch in 2nd or 3rd. You're not feeding enough power through it to do much harm in turns like this, and wet clutches are designed to be slipped.

Depending on your speed you can either coast into the turn or start applying a little power as you enter it, but don't fully engage the clutch until you're coming out of the turn and can start to accelerate firmly.

On the approach it's fine to pull the clutch in and keep it in while you downshift if you have to shift more than one gear - the trick is to have a gear selected all the time that matches your road speed, even if you're holding the clutch in. That way, when you're ready to start accelerating again you can start to ease the clutch into engagement, slipping it as much as you need to, without worrying too much about the gears.

As others have posted, this is only for slow speed corners such as intersections, but the same techniques work when filtering through congested traffic. For example, about 25 mph in 3rd going past a line of cars, pull the clutch in and coast for 40 or 50 yards then as the speed starts to drop off re-engage the clutch, slipping it a bit, to push the speed back up. With practice (and a little rear brake at times) you can control your speed much closer than you can trying to do it on the throttle with the clutch fully engaged. If you need to slow, let the speed bleed off, shift down to second and carry on the same way.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Clutch vs. Braking technique

It's fine to slip the clutch in 2nd or 3rd. You're not feeding enough power through it to do much harm in turns like this, and wet clutches are designed to be slipped.

Depending on your speed you can either coast into the turn or start applying a little power as you enter it, but don't fully engage the clutch until you're coming out of the turn and can start to accelerate firmly.

On the approach it's fine to pull the clutch in and keep it in while you downshift if you have to shift more than one gear - the trick is to have a gear selected all the time that matches your road speed, even if you're holding the clutch in. That way, when you're ready to start accelerating again you can start to ease the clutch into engagement, slipping it as much as you need to, without worrying too much about the gears.

As others have posted, this is only for slow speed corners such as intersections, but the same techniques work when filtering through congested traffic. For example, about 25 mph in 3rd going past a line of cars, pull the clutch in and coast for 40 or 50 yards then as the speed starts to drop off re-engage the clutch, slipping it a bit, to push the speed back up. With practice (and a little rear brake at times) you can control your speed much closer than you can trying to do it on the throttle with the clutch fully engaged. If you need to slow, let the speed bleed off, shift down to second and carry on the same way.

Rob
I guess this is one of those things I am trying to determine...Driving a manual for 17 years now, I'm use to coasting into gears around corners with relative ease...However, according to the instructor during my cornering exercises, he mentioned that slipping the clutch into a corner puts the rider at a disadvantage from a braking perspective (notification to brake) for any followers in the rear. This didn't even occur to me as I'm so use to engine braking and accelerating out, I save my brakes a bit on my car. Just another example of how things can be slightly different on a motorcycle for safety reasons.

What's your thoughts on this?
 

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I try to avoid heavy engine braking while driving a car in public roads. Pads are much cheaper to replace than transmission parts and the person tailing you can pick up the brake light cues instead of relying on perception. On the track, I'll heel-toe down the gears to get the best of both worlds.
 

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It's fine to slip the clutch in 2nd or 3rd. You're not feeding enough power through it to do much harm in turns like this, and wet clutches are designed to be slipped.

Depending on your speed you can either coast into the turn or start applying a little power as you enter it, but don't fully engage the clutch until you're coming out of the turn and can start to accelerate firmly.

On the approach it's fine to pull the clutch in and keep it in while you downshift if you have to shift more than one gear - the trick is to have a gear selected all the time that matches your road speed, even if you're holding the clutch in. That way, when you're ready to start accelerating again you can start to ease the clutch into engagement, slipping it as much as you need to, without worrying too much about the gears.

As others have posted, this is only for slow speed corners such as intersections, but the same techniques work when filtering through congested traffic. For example, about 25 mph in 3rd going past a line of cars, pull the clutch in and coast for 40 or 50 yards then as the speed starts to drop off re-engage the clutch, slipping it a bit, to push the speed back up. With practice (and a little rear brake at times) you can control your speed much closer than you can trying to do it on the throttle with the clutch fully engaged. If you need to slow, let the speed bleed off, shift down to second and carry on the same way.

Rob
Thanks Rob. This is the technique I've been using and it's getting much more comfortable. I'm happy to know I'm not destroying my clutch doing this. I flash my brake while slowing to ensure the vehicle behind me knows what I'm doing. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
*Update*

Sorry to dig this up from the grave, but after a long summer of waiting, I finally purchased a Ninja 250r and have spent some time getting acclimated over the past 2 weeks. Learning how to ride IMO is like learning how to play golf. Rarely can anyone really teach themselves how to play good golf without a system/discipline/practice. This has been a great educational process but I realize much of it starts before I get on the bike.

In life both mental strength and deliberate practice are keys to success. I've focused more on these things while gaining road time, some parking lot practice, urban and back roads soaking in as much as possible. I've tried to write down things that I've done well vs. things that I need to work on. I highly recommend this to any new riders out there who may at times feel intimidated in heavily congested areas or with their abilities.

Also, Sport Riding Techniques by Nick Ienatsch is a great resource for anyone who is first starting to ride. One chapter had a neat tip...Take a book, open it and quickly close it. See how many things you could recall in the flash of a half-second or so and repeat it with different pages. This little nugget of wisdom in practice seems to be incredibly useful on the road. It seems that every time I glance at the open book on my coffee table, there is a little nugget of wisdom that sticks.

Another pretty good resource I may add is the Ride Like A Pro series. I will probably challenge myself to an advanced cornering course at some point next year to tie it all together, but the video instruction is pretty informative also.

I don't have a lot of experience yet...but I plan to make each mile count and share . Hope to get a camera and share soon step-by-step.

PS - Out of the box GPS mounts can stick to your motorcycle under simple conditions..forget about it with wind...
 

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Thanks ZX6RRNewbie. I haven't posted to forums in a few years but these forums have been helpful. Hope to contribute my experience a long the way (and possibly vlog some of it).
check out this website on vlogs. If and when you start be sure you get on here so others can check them out.

http://wrekage.com/

I just started riding full time this year and have been riding friends motorcycles in the past. I love watching vlogs that talk about techniques and experiences. I say share on.
 
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