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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had no prior experience riding besides learning to stop and go and turn on my 250 before the class. I was pretty excited after MSF that I went through the canyons (Santa Susana Pass http://maps.google.com/maps?sourcei...___US269&q=santa susana pass&um=1&sa=N&tab=wl ) It was either go through freeway or the pass to get to work and I chose the latter :)

I had so much fun that I've decided to go through there every commute as it is relatively safer cause there's barely any traffic and if there is a car in front of me, they'd just be going about 35mph or less. Riding back (12am) is pretty scary as there are no street lights and the hairpin on the way home is elevated with very limited visibility.

I now have just over 100mi on the bike but the rear still feels skittish when I'm leaning on the pass' curves. I initially thought it was the tire pressure so it's at spec (cold 28f/32r) and also removed the tire shine on the sides with some orange hand cleaner and a scotch pad. It's a lot less skittish but it's still there. I haven't touched anything else.

I'm thinking it's just my subconscious trying to make the bike straight and it's upsetting the suspension, my preload has to be increased (I'm 5'4 160lbs), or the sides of the tires still have to be broken in... any ideas?
 

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I run 28/28 tire pressure and rear shock on number 3 but I weigh more than you. I believe you just need more experience. You can try rear shock level at number 2 and rear tire pressure at 28 but I think you will find the more you ride the more confident you will feel.
 

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The skittishness is the bike controlling you and not the other way round, a bike needs way more input and interaction than a car. Just ride more and increase your skill and confidence (hopefully). Even for an experienced rider it takes a while to learn a new bike, they're as individual as getting a new girlfriend, you got to learn what makes them go!

Seriously, a 'skittish' feeling is completely normal while you're still learning a bike. It will pass.
 

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+1. I've got about 1500 miles on my Ninja now (my very first motorcycle) and while it felt quite skittish at first, it hardly ever feels skittish anymore. Now, I think I was the skittish one.
 

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ya i was the same way at first but after a few hundred miles you will get better at it, iv only had mine for about 2 months and put on almost a 1000 miles and im alot more confident, im 5 9 160 pounds myself and i have the preset at 2 but i might try 3. like every one told me at first, just keep driving the same roads and get used to them to build up ur confidence and ability.
 

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Sounds like you had a good first ride :). The thing to keep in the forefront of your mind EVERY time you're on a road like that is, no matter how often you ride it, or how familiar it becomes to you, there could be something unexpected around every corner. Gravel, a stopped car, bicyclists, or animals can turn your daily ride into a nightmare. Stay sharp, be prepared, & wear your gear.
 

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the haynes manual i have for my 250(pre 08) says 32psi in the rear tire is only needed if you weigh over 210 and if you weigh under that just keep it 28 in both tires. So try that and see how it works.
 

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Yeah its a nice road with some nice turns. I used to drive my car down that road at over 60 :D (have some suspension mods). but i will definitely hit it up again once i get my bike.
 

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Had no prior experience riding besides learning to stop and go and turn on my 250 before the class. I was pretty excited after MSF that I went through the canyons (Santa Susana Pass http://maps.google.com/maps?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLG_en___US269&q=santa%20susana%20pass&um=1&sa=N&tab=wl ) It was either go through freeway or the pass to get to work and I chose the latter :)
You're in my hood........:) I wanted to try to take the Pass once I got more confortable on the bike, but that didn't happen. Once she's up and running again, I will definately had to take the Pass at least once for experience. Glad to hear you are doing well on it.....
 

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I now have just over 100mi on the bike but the rear still feels skittish when I'm leaning on the pass' curves. I initially thought it was the tire pressure so it's at spec (cold 28f/32r) and also removed the tire shine on the sides with some orange hand cleaner and a scotch pad. It's a lot less skittish but it's still there. I haven't touched anything else.

I'm thinking it's just my subconscious trying to make the bike straight and it's upsetting the suspension, my preload has to be increased (I'm 5'4 160lbs), or the sides of the tires still have to be broken in... any ideas?
First, define what you mean by "skittish"?

I'd leave the preload stock for now. What were your tire pressures before you put them to spec?

I have found that for twisty work, the pressures enzo suggested work better than the factory recommended pressures. I run 27 psi F/R but most of my riding is twisty stuff. I find the recommended pressures felt way too hard for me. Try lowering the tire pressures to 28/28 and see if that solves the problem.

gl... take it easy as you are still learning and proper bike control is something that takes a long time to learn and (if ever) master. Please wear all your gear.

have fun, ride safe
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for the recommendations. I was following the manual's specs and before I changed it, it was 28/29 cold. I'll tinker around with the rear psi before I set the pre-load. I'll keep at it as well :D

First, define what you mean by "skittish"?
The rear feels like it wants to oversteer, feeling of not being fully planted- could be caused by the cracks on the curves?


what kind of gears do you have on?
icon airframe rubatone; a* t-rc-1 air-flo, octane boots, sps gloves; denim jeans.


Sounds like you had a good first ride :). The thing to keep in the forefront of your mind EVERY time you're on a road like that is, no matter how often you ride it, or how familiar it becomes to you, there could be something unexpected around every corner. Gravel, a stopped car, bicyclists, or animals can turn your daily ride into a nightmare. Stay sharp, be prepared, & wear your gear.
When I first got the bike and road around the block I thought I was going really fast- looked down the speedo and it said 20mph. Thought how the hell am I gonna go on the freeway?! MSF helped a lot and the slaloms gave me more confidence in leaning. I love riding cause my eye level's so far up compared to about 2-2.5ft off the ground on my s2k so I can see more of my surroundings. It just sucks I can't ride it home on fridays cause a lot of people want to drink that night.


You're in my hood........:) I wanted to try to take the Pass once I got more confortable on the bike, but that didn't happen. Once she's up and running again, I will definately had to take the Pass at least once for experience. Glad to hear you are doing well on it.....
Sorry to hear what happend. I sometimes think i'll be rear-ended cause I don't accelerate from a stop quick enough yet (break-in). Hope you get her up soon cause you're missing out :)
 

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When I first got the bike and road around the block I thought I was going really fast- looked down the speedo and it said 20mph....It just sucks I can't ride it home on fridays cause a lot of people want to drink that night.
:Laughing rolling: I felt the same way....I'd feel like I was hauling all kinds of ass driving around my housr the first few days, then I'd look down to see I was going about 35 mph. I can't even imagine what it feels like to go freeway (101 and 118) speeds....The fastest I went before I went down was about 55-60 mph over on Madera/Olsen.

Sorry to hear what happend. I sometimes think i'll be rear-ended cause I don't accelerate from a stop quick enough yet (break-in). Hope you get her up soon cause you're missing out :)
It's okay. It sucks that it happened, but I am really looking forward to getting back out on the road. And thanks for rubbing it in...LOL!
 

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As far as I'm concerned the recommended 'break-in' is just a disclaimer statement so riders take it slow on their new bikes and don't get themselves in too much trouble. But with the 250, following that break-in makes you a road hazard because you have to accelerate very slowly and go slower than the flow of traffic, which is dangerous...

*anyway...*
 

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:Laughing rolling: I felt the same way....I'd feel like I was hauling all kinds of ass driving around my housr the first few days, then I'd look down to see I was going about 35 mph. I can't even imagine what it feels like to go freeway (101 and 118) speeds....The fastest I went before I went down was about 55-60 mph over on Madera/Olsen.
I felt this way too at first. Now cruising at 75-85 feels normal. Just one of those 'get used to it' things I guess.
 
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