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Basic Tips

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by MrsHninja, May 8, 2016.

  1. Hi, i have recently started doing lessons and needing some tips. My first lesson i was struggling with stopping as i kept on bouncing from one leg to the other and dropped the bike and stalled a few times. 2nd lesson was much better as worked out i was keeping my leg straight instead of bending it abit to help with balance, got better at stopping and was able to change gears. Went for a quick ride and on the first corner went out wide onto the other side of the road, got it back into control and got better as i went around the block with the instructor. 3rd lesson for some reason couldnt even get moving forward. Today started to practice slow starting with just using the clutch on my partners bike( which a can barely touch the ground on) stalled the bike then dropped the bike. Any tips would be great

  2. Tall heavy bikes and short legs aren't the easiest way to start learning but not impossible.

    I am significantly height challenged and came back to riding after several decades break and chose a 250 kg bike that I could barely tiptoe on to relearn on. My current bike is taller and heavier.

    Slow riding adds an extra degree of difficulty to a learner as bikes are inherrantly unstable at slow speed. By slow I mean under 20 kph or so.

    I would advise leaving trying to ride slowly until you get a bit more confident amend make it easier on yourself by taking off a bit quicker and riding a bit faster, say 20 to 40 until then. This means that if you are learning somewhere like a car park you should leave a bit of room in front of you when you take off in case things go wrong.

    If things do go wrong rember squeeze both levers. Then even if you freeze and hold the throttle wide open the bike will still come to a stop reasonably quickly. If you do have to do this, straighten the bars which will help stop the bike dropping.

    If you are going from one leg to another you probably don't have the bars straight and the bike is dropping to whatever side you are pushing. Most likely you have your arms locked or are bracing yourself while stopping using the bars which pushes on them. You need to relax you arms and if you need to brace to stop sliding forwards, grip with your needs.

    In the end it is all about practice so don't be put off and keep trying and keep asking questions when you feel it's not going right.
  3. G'day and welcome, MrsHninjaMrsHninja.

    At this early point in your learning process I'd avoid motorcycles that you cannot place both feet flat on the ground while comfortably seated on the bike.

    If you are having some issues coordinating the many other things like clutch, throttle and brakes, not being able to "flat-foot" the bike is going to make other things much harder to focus on and to get confident.

    I would stay within the safety of an empty parking lot or similar with an instructor until you're 100% confident with operating the controls and making the motorcycle go where you want, starting and stopping where and when you want it to.

    Once you're absolutely comfortable with these things, then it'll be time to head out onto quiet streets. Take a break whenever you need to. Sometimes learning things is improved by sleeping on it and having a another go in a day or so when you've reset.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. What he said ^^.

    And spend some time checking out learner tips on YouTube, watch twist of the wrist, practice basic start and pull off. A hundred times. Look where you want to go, your body will adjust. DON'T look at obstacles or where you don't want to go. So many tips, so little time. Car park practice, take your time!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. My 3rd lesson the instructor and i went to a carpark, all be it next to the harbour in about 40km winds, which may of had something to do with loosing more confidence in myself, all i could do was sit on the bike and completely forgot what to do to take off. The previous lession i could do it with out a problem. Which frustrated me more. Hoping to go back to the carpark next weekend, hoping for less wind lol. im also finding that i seem to be taking what feels like a long time to release the clutch to that bit point before i can take off. My partner test rode a v star last week and i was able to sit on it with both feet touching comfortably on the ground but unsure if i should learn on it or just stay with the instructors bike, incase i drop it again lol.
  6. Drop the instructors bike hahahahahaha. Thanks for the shorter shift lever, I don't actually mind where my foot sits after that ride ;)
  7. Wind is going to be, at the very least, a distraction. A 40 km/h gusting wind is going to make things difficult, even hearing what the instructor is saying some of the time. You can't always pick the perfect conditions but allow yourself more time (and then a bit more time after that!) to do one thing if they are not optimal.

    You could spend at least a whole lesson and more getting comfortable with releasing the clutch and finding the friction point where the engine's power begins to turn the back wheel. I've known people to sit with a motorcycle idling on level ground and releasing the clutch until they just feel the pull of the engine, then squeeze the clutch all the way in over and over again. When you build this into muscle memory, you're ready to move to the Next Thing.

    It's difficult to say. There are quite a few bikes that are ideal for Learners like the Honda CB125E that have low weight, lower seat heights and are therefore easier to control. It's a matter of sitting on as many as you're able to. Until then, the instructor's bike is probably your best bet.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. It just takes a while for your body to get comfortable on a motorcycle. When I first got my CB400 I felt like my legs were at maximum extension to flat foot it, now I have my knees bent and the bike almost feels a bit short. You just gotta relaaaax. You'll get it :)
  9. Practice, practice, practice.

    Stick with the instructor's bike, and read up on what the clutch does and how it is activated by the lever / cable - this might help to understand what you are doing when you release the clutch.

    If you struggle with balance - you might want to practice on a push bike to gain some confidence?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Tip no1) the more you drop other people's bikes, the more practice you'll have and won't need to drop yours when you get your own! :ROFLMAO:

    Tip no2) forget you have pride and it will 'hurt' less.

    I know it's hard now, but you'll get there. I dropped the bikes I learnt on many times :sorry: until I got enough confidence AND modified the bike to fit me better so I could touch the ground.

    I had to repeat my exam a couple of times cause I dropped the school's bike cause they didn't have any that I was able to touch the ground.

    Perservere and keep at it. It will come eventually. The accomplishment you will feel once you pass and get your bike will be much greater than for taller riders - savour that! ;)

    Tip 3) buy a 2nd hand bike to begin with so it won't be as harsh of you drop it as opposed to a brand spanking new bike! MrsHninjaMrsHninja good luck @ keep on keeping on!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. I think this is a good guiding principle but if I took it as an absolute truth I probably wouldn't be riding. There are few bikes I can flatfoot and so far as I know, none that I am interested in riding. If there was I would own one. I doubt if there are any that my partner can flat foot. Motorcycles are built for the average height person and we shorties just don't come close to flat footing them.

    However most people can get a fair amount of one foot down and that is really all that is necessary.
  12. One the instructors bike im not so much flatfooted but can comfortably touch the ground where as the ninja when it was up right couldnt touch at all so was on a bit of a lean to be able to touch the ground and took a bit to move from one side to the other. I told heavyninja to lower it for me haha
  13. I'd agree - height, and the ability to flat-foot shouldn't preclude riding many if not most motorcycles.

    Remembering what it was like when I first learnt to ride (as an early teen) I on a motorcycle I couldn't flat-foot, it made it harder - not impossible - but harder to learn to use and coordinate the motorcycle controls.

    Once I'd mastered the basics, the size of the motorcycle became much less of an issue.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Yup agree, I first learnt to ride on a postie bike on my dads farm when I was around 10, couldn't hold the bike up properly so my dad and brothers would hold the bike, I'd ride off until I started to run out of petrol and then ride home where they'd hold the bike for me to get off.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Tip one - get a smaller, lighter bike.

    Tip two - actually this is more a question - do you really want to ride a motorcycle or are you doing to keep your partner happy? Be honest with yourself and him.
  16. Are you seeing a professional instructor or is a friend teaching you. If it's the latter I strongly suggest the former. Where do you live ? Do you have access to a rider training centre ?
  17. She is riding with a proper instructor and she is not riding to please me. The reason there was no argument with me getting my licence was she always wanted to ride. With me getting my licence it gave her more reason to get hers.
  18. That's good HN, just seen so many cases over a range of sports where people really struggle with stuff that a good instructor using a systematic approach sorts out pretty quickly, thought it worth asking the question.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. I had to ask. I had a couple of friends whose wives suddenly decided to get their bike licences, but only because the husband had pretty well pressured them in to it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Yeah he is good. I used him and I was fully licenced in 4 lessons, mind you I also never struggled with riding and had a few rides with mrsH uncle. He will talk through everything, the first hour with him is just theory. He also trains new instructors as well.