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Am I dropping it too much?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by gs500noob, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Hi people!

    I'm a 33 year old from Penrith, NSW and I'm on my L's. I bought a Suzuki GS500 (my first bike ever), and I'm using it to commute 50km to the city every day. The ride itself is fine, but I had a question about dropping the bike. I've done more than 800km in my first week of riding, but I have dropped it four times. Is this normal? It has all happened when riding slowly and conditions suddenly changing in a way I didn't notice:

    - Trying to stop on a slope where I didn't quite reach the asphalt with my foot, and the bike went down (with me) (this happened twice)
    - With the engine off, trying to back out of a place where I had parked the bike, miscalculated the angle, hit a side and dropped the bike
    - Trying to ride up my house's dirt entrance, slipped and fell

    So, I'm wondering if this is normal at all... seems a bit excessive to me.

    - gs500noob
  2. Sounds like you really need to practice your slow speed work.
    Throttle against the rear brake and modulating the friction point in the clutch.

    All three of your problems are because you are dropping your eyes I would say because of lack of confidence. Keep your eyes up. And don't look at what you don't want to see or hit.
    1. Push on your left bar as you come to a stop and the bike will ALWAYS lean to the left. So you will always land on your left foot. Leaving your right to hold the rear brake to steady the bike.
    2. The crank in the bike causes a small amount of righting motion when the motor os running. Aiding in making the bike feel a little lighter. If your sitting on it and moving it have it running. You never know and it might just help.
    3. For dirt keep your eyes up. Loosen your arms and keep a consistent speed. And take a direct STRAIT line through it. Do Not try to turn.

    4. Nope 4 drops is no biggy...glad you have not hurt yourself or wrecked your bike.
    Now go practice being able to be stable at 5 k's an hour.
    The easy way is go to a car park and potter alond at twenty. Keep the throttle postition you have and slowly increase the rear brake till you are doing ten k's an hour. Then seven then five. You will feel how much more stable the bike is. Then use that to do single lane u turns and fig 8's all things slow
  3. I would add 'plan ahead'.

    Look at where you plan on stopping, is it a slope, am I going to be able to reach the ground? Alternatively, am I stopping in a patch of oil, will I slip?

    This ties in with confidence.
  4. Yes. You are dropping it too much.
  5. 4 times in a week sounds a little excessive, but this is what happens when you're new to it. This is why we keep trying to tell newer riders to get older, lighter, more rugged bikes. When you're new to it all, you don't know about all the awkward little traps for new players. You'll find them by experience. If you have a flash new bike, that experience doesn't come cheap.

    Even when you've done this stuff a lot, it doesn't mean the thing never falls over. I think you could make the argument that right now Casey Stoner is the best and quickest rider in the world. I watched him run wide last night and run out of room to get it stopped and turned for the next corner. Pure rider error. He ended up in the kitty litter and then had to throw it on the ground to not head-but the guard rail. Ten minutes before that, he set the fastest lap by a motorcycle ever, on that track. Ten minutes later, he went out on his spare bike and went even faster. My point - it can happen to the best, while they are the best. So it can happen to any of us.
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  6. You are dropping it a bit. But no real big deal. All situatons you described are perhpas slightly tricky, if you like, and more experienced riders would have recognised the issues and taken extra care/preventative measures, probably without even thinking about it.

    For example I still chuckle at learners on rides who park their bikes with no regard to how hard it will be to get it out from where they have parked, e.g. nose in on a downwards slope.

    The other thing is that as a new rider you probably haven't even learnt yet the best way to wheel your bike about and hold it up. With more practice you will both develop skill and muscle and be more likely to catch such little drops before they occur.

    Brettos's advice concerning slow riding is good and will help avoid the embarassing low speed drops that lots of new riders make. You just seems to have done them all in a short space of time.

    Put it behind you and keep practicing.
  7. Great advice KD. They should embroider this as a sampler and hang it on the wall of the new riders thread and make every rider who can't decide between his Ninja or Hyo recite it a thousand times. But they all want their new toys.
  8. Thanks people! Your replies are excellent. I'm going to do more practising at slow speeds. I'm sure I'll get better as I get more confident.
  9. So what do you suggest? Should I give up? How many times did you drop your bike within your first 800km?
  10. I never did. Sent it down at at 1200 and wrote it off around 3000. Laid the replacement down foolishly in the garage once, and it was only once because I managed to catch it the second time round.

    Shit happens, duct tape and cable ties are your friends.
  11. OK, I've been out doing some 8s and slow riding, and in general it feels fine, as long as I don't go below 5 km/h. I just don't quite know how to control the bike when it's very very slow - say, a slow walk pace. I kept almost dropping it and it choked on me a few times. I feel like it's very very heavy, and I don't quite know when to get my foot out.
    I've also noticed that I'm terrified of accelerating, so instead of doing that I keep braking and trying to stop.
    Total noob, I know! I just want to make sure I don't have an accident before I learn how to do this properly... maybe there's some sort of course I could take?
  12. I try to organise things so I'm moving, or not moving. Creeping around at less than walking pace is very awkward and clumsy (more so on some bikes than others) and you are in a prime position for a simple, stupid, clumsy drop. The minimum speed the bike will be comfortable at, usually, is about a quick jogging pace, so I aim for that or standing still. Come to a halt in a positive, forthright way, and get rolling the same.
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  13. Absolutely not. But you do have to practice a bit.

    There are many courses you can take. There are also free self-help mentoring and advice meetings every weekend put on by the good people here at NetRider. Where are you?
  14. gs500noob....you live near the best half assed race track of a housing estate...do some slow speed riding around some glenmore park streets...practice stopping on hills ect and stopping at every round-a-bout...the attention span you need for this might help hammer it home
  15. Did it once doing a slow u turn but that was after the first service. Don't give up. Slow riding is hard. I occasionally do a practice session with HART here in Vic and ride one of their bikes around slowly with someone coaching. Also I still do car park practice a few times a week on the way home.

    You need to keep the centre of gravity of you and the bike above a line through the contact patches of the tyres.

    Use the rear brake if the wheels are off centre.
  16. Dont give up! I remember when i first started riding my gs500 i droped it twice in 3 days. A few idiots on this forum told me that I shouldnt be on a bike ect. That was 8 months and 5000kms ago and i havent had a problem since. I did an extra motorcycle course and spent abit of time in car parks practicing u-turns.

    keep going!
  17. Thanks for that! Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Where did you do the extra course? Thanks!
  18. Don't be dis-heartened, it'll come together.

    I wish my early 'drops' were at walking pace ;)
  19. I'd say practice going as slow as you can over say... 20 meters, without letting your feet touch the ground.
    This will teach you better balance. Try and balance as long as you can without moving, then using the clutch, brake's and throttle to control your speed (or lack of!) to Creep slowly forward.
    Standing up on the pegs may make this easier.
    It'll take time but this will greatly improve your confidence and skill.

    Once you can balance the bike a bit better, try doing the Fig 8's using the same theory.

    This is a great skill to practice, no matter how good a rider you think you are. I often have "slow" races with mates (in the right environment).. its harder and takes more skill than a "go fast" drag.