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Balance Hills & Turns?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by ceska, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Hi, I've had my bike 3 wks now & had the seat adjusted to suit my height & been out on the road all of last week practicing at nite. So, Sat was the first time in daylight with medium traffic. As Hurstbridge has had its back roads sealed recently it was a brilliant location for practice - even though its mostly inclines & declines :(

    Hubby & I headed up a hill, turned @ an off street half way up, circled through the court & back towards the exit. My intent was to perform a RH turn on exit & head away from the off street continuing up the incline.
    My set up:
    - Clutch in, 1st gear engaged
    - Right hand on front brake
    - Right foot on ground for balance
    - Left foot on peg
    - Looking at direction I wanted to go, body not so convinced tho....

    I couldn't work out how to balance left given that was my decline side & still exit Right?? In the end I chose to turn left & switch right hand & foot to throttle & back brake position - defeat on this one :shock:

    Is it just a matter of practice practice practice with hill stops, starts, turns etc? Or is it more understanding of technique, preparation, rider height / balance etc required? The balls of my feet touch the ground on level surfaces & I think I'm starting to auto leaning right for balance...

    On a positive note - Gear awareness, changing, counter-steering, engine braking & leaning is all making loads of sense so suppose its not all bad :grin:

  2. Any reason you couldn't put both feet down (albeit your left foot may only be on tippy toes)?

    Don't get too hung up on which foot to keep on the peg and try changing so you are used to using either foot.

    Maybe someone who is also vertically challenged can offer more specific advice for balancing on side slopes?
  3. im assuming u were using the front brake for two possible reasons.

    reason 1: u were on a slight decline so as to stop u rolling forwards.
    well as soon as u want to go, release the brake, and u begin to move forwards. using a bit of throttle, and slipping the clutch to allow a smooth take-off, u can then begin to turn and accelerate up the hill as planned.

    reason two: u were on a slight incline, and the brake was to stop u rolling backwards.
    in this case, no need for brake once ur stopped. simply use ur right foot for balance still, and with the throttle on a bit, slip the clutch just enough to equal the force trying to roll u back. thus u stay still. when u want to begin up the hill, just release the clutch more, and apply the throttle, smoothly taking off and turning up the hill.

    both options, u are still on your right foot for balance, and no need to use the rear brake or get onto your left side somehow.

    must be a pain being short :? definately do not try to lean onto your left however, to get your foot down. too much lean on the bike, and it will go down like a sack of spuds, guaranteed. they get rather heavy rather suddenly lol, been there. keep her upright, and just juggle your controls, and theyre light as a feather :)

    practice what ever works for you, and you will have it in no time! :grin:
  4. hmmm I am not sure if I have been in this situation, but I would think I have since I ahve ridden all over the place on all sorts of roads.... so if I try to project myself into that position.... I would tend to lean into the hill so as not to encourage the bike to topple down the hill... in this case it seems like you;d need to use ur right foot for that - hence no back brake.

    If u were also on an incline, I WOULD use front brake to stop the bike moving. I would not personally ride the clutch as I feel that would cause unecessary wear, but more to the point, invite a slight roll back or lurch forward if you didn;t quite getthe pressure right, ebing new to the bike and all...

    When time to go, with bike in 1st, I would give it a bit mroe revs than usual and ride that clutch out nice and long to ensure a smooth slow take off.... the entire time the bike could be leaning to the right slightly until you got rolling a reasonable speed, then u just straighten her up... if u are leaning the bike a lot if u are on a really steep hill, u'd have to (and probably naturally would) counter balance with ur upper body as you take off...

    I gather your hubby was riding too and is more experienced or is he too learning / was he driving?
  5. +1 Robin
    Tell me about it
    Just wanted to add: If your bike has a clutch cable .. try and have your brake covered. God forbid it breaks and sends you into the intersection :shock:
  6. Thanks everyone...

    Nibor, reason 2 is spot on, I'll give ur suggestions a go & keep practicing till I'm right. I instinctively felt insecure leaning left, with too many variables popping into my head, so given its my practice territory, with reduced risk I was able to change my mind :) The reason I went for the front brake was b/c the bike began to roll back.

    The other thing is hubby was riding next to me on his bike, feet firm on the ground saying "you need to cover the back brake, so you can take off with your right hand" which I couldn't do or my brain couldn't coordinate!! :eek:

    We've had an on/off discussion about changing my suspension to achieve flat foot, but my argument has been to leave it, as in 90% of situations I'm comfortable now & the 10% will adjust as my bike craft develops. He's been riding a dirt bike the last few months, so has come off plenty & developed thru experience, it's becoming clear now that our styles are already different & maybe also the way we need to learn...

    Vinnie - The VTR's are brand new so hope that wouldn't happen! I've changed the clutch tension, shortened the range, so assume it is cable with what I played with - didn't even consider the possibility of this breaking :shock: will be mindful. Funny what you learn when you have to fix something...

    Being short doesn't normally bother me, but in situations like this its been nothing but frustrating!!
  7. It sucks being short...

    I have yet to learn the front brake take off up a hill... :(
  8. OK, I finally had the opportunity to get back out there today & try some of these suggestions.
    I went back to the same place, set up for a RH turn & again couldn't do it. I've worked out why now. Unfortunately the decline is too gr8, so if I try to balance only with my right leg I roll backwards :shock: so went left & come back to repeat the exercise.

    Set up exactly the same way, right foot on the ground, 1st gear, right hand holding break... I started to balance the friction & throttle & whaala! right turn underway!!!! So excited I overturned off the road a little :oops: cos I was looking at the ground, but quickly rectified this :LOL: Will continue to practice as its a tricky hill yet a gd lesson. They're all over where I live & routes hm, so my choice to not master these is not negotiable.

    All in all 2 milestones today..... 1. Solo ride 2. Completing RH turn :)

    Gr8 day :grin:
  9. good job! :grin:

    seriously, do that like 5 times and you will have it down pat, no worries :)

    Rabbit, you needa find youself a nice hill to practice starting on! it's a handy ability to have, lest you need to do it and you cant.

    you dont wanna fiddle with the suspension, ceska. it's bad enough as it is :LOL: if you can manage for 90% of the time now, you will be fine in a few weeks/few 100km of riding :grin:

    have fun!!
  10. nibor said:

    You are still too new to the bike and you will get a lot more comfortable with more experience. Also as you ride more the physical exercise of manhandling (personhandling?) the bike will build more muscle, which will also make it easier.

    Are you wearing proper riding boots? I'm short and can't flatfoot my bike. I found when I first got my boots I gained more clearance. Probably only about 10 cm but every little helps and it was enough to noticably improve my feeling of confidence.

    However the main thing to remember is this.

    You will get better.
  11. GreyBM - Yes I am - however they don't have an inbuilt lift, yet I'm looking to get at least an inch added but only if its done properly...

    Rabbit - There's plenty of hills my end of town for the both of us :eek: :LOL: