Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Confession time or finding your inner balance

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Oldmaid, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. So I have a confession to make, Zeddee and I are currently struggling to make our relationship work well.
    Now whilst some on NR may slap their thighs with glee and light up the torches for a NR burning, I am not admitting defeat. No way Jose.
    Yep I am a novice and don't ever pretend on here to be a shit hot rider but I will push myself maybe beyond my capabilities at times.
    But I am incredibly nervous about stopping on Zeddee. I overbalanced the other day and really came within a whisker of dropping him. It is not the weight but the height still. I panic and grab at the front brake...a real amatuer mistake. Haven't dropped him yet but the more apprehensive I become the more likely my nightmare will happen!

    So after a horrendous effort trying to get out iof a really tight spot where I parked at work tonight , I thought something really really has to give here. And now.
    I am quite okay on the move, feels fabulous and great at any speed:) but show me an incline with lights and this has me in a cold sweat.

    So what I did when I got home in the pissing rain, was to park on the flat in my garage ( after drying Zeddee off!)
    sit on Zeddee with the stand up, rock Zeddee from side to side, putting alternative feet flat down, practicing moving that enormous butt check from side to side along woth the flat feet, putting alternating feet on and off the peg, putting both feet down making it the balls of my feet. Then trying to balance the bike with both feet on the pegs for as long as I could. I did this for about 30 mins.
    Zeddee felt so much more comfortable and the feeling of balancing on him so much more "natural"

    I am going to do this routine every day and for a few minutes before I start riding.
    Some of you may also have other constructive suggestions for me as well.

    This exercise may also help others having balancing issues on unfamiliar bikes or who are new to riding.

    I can now get the sidestand down no probs at all and don't need to look.

    I will be able to handle Zeddee confidently in all circumstances soon and won't be changing him for something else anytime soon.
    • Like Like x 15
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. I am very lucky to be able to flatfoot my bike AND have my knees bent. Yet I know only too well how heavy it is when the wheels stop rotating. Gravity is a very tough mistress, especially to noobs.

    You are one very determined and strong woman OldmaidOldmaid, it's only a matter of time until you tame your wild stallion, and he will respect you the way you respect him. Perseverance, hard work, determination, clever thinking, and courage to face your fears is the making of a good rider. You have made it Jane, and you will be fine (y)!
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Like Like x 2
  3. PSYKCPSYKC and chillibuttonchillibutton the height lowering was not as effective as I expected. Because of the extra seat width this somewhat negates the overall lowering
    I can flat foot on one side at a time or balls of feet with both down.
    Do I regret my decision...no, not at all but Zeddee will require some extra effort on my part to get it all together.
    Handling when riding is quite exceptional and for a bike that is 221kg wet, it feels so light in the corners, and the giddyup. Phew. I respect the throttle but do open him up when I can.
    I really don't find the weight an issue but I guess taking 10-11kg off with a full arrow exhaust system has to have some benefits if I am honest
    I have ridden him five times now including today. Got the kickstand just got to find my balance on him.
  4. I figure that one who gives up easily, would not have succeed in becoming a qualified physician.

    Draw on the qualities that have made you strong, and this will become a mere bookmark in your personal story.

    Go, Jane!
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Miss Jane, get your seat customized, get it made narrower!!!
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Your balance excersizes are going to be a big help to you so persevere with them and extend the time you do them for. Not only are you getting the feel of the extra weight you are strengthening your legs and core. Handling the bike will get much easier and you might experiment with a couple of other tricks. Thicker soled ride boots will help and check to see what setting the suspension is set at. Some bikes are set to carry pillion weight + rider so don't compress as much. A softer setting will give you a lower seat height at rest. Also the seat and suspension will settle slightly lower over time but the biggest adjustable factor is your strength and mindset too.
    Practices leaning the bike over as far as you can at rest with the stand up and then paddling Zeddee around on the garage floor. Build this up to paddling around on a slight slope. This builds strength and confidence.
    Having followed your riding career I have full confidence in you and Zeddee's partnership. Don't be hard on yourself, stepping up to a big bike is huge and we have all had doubts in the early days of such a move but given time you will look back and go WTF was I worried about. You may park Zeddee on his side accidentally so be prepared - maybe some frame slider/bobbins to keep him safe ? My Monster laid down on my second ride when I made the mistake of cutting across newly mown grass (slight slope). Didn't touch the brake but the weight just made the front wheel slide sideways and down we went. Most embarrassing as it was outside a cafe and I was sneaking across their lawn instead of riding the long way round.
    Take your time and build the partnership - don't worry about other riders just concentrate and relax. Just watch the extra MOMENTUM that comes from a bigger bike when cornering hard, they are a lot harder to throw around than Wasabi but again time and practice will cure that.
    If you have a few jitters get out on the open road and open the gates. You will be surprised how easy it is to ride slow again after 20-30 high speed Kays and your grin will be back for sure.
    Hope you have a few riding buddies up there to give you support. You WILL conquer these hiccups and please continue with your Netrider reports......
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Put a couple of extra lbs pressure in your tyres, just as a trial. No more than that, and obviously get a feel for the change before committing to hard cornering. It's amazing how something that small can make a bike feel lighter and easier to handle.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. When coming to a stop, remember to be looking well ahead and not immediately in front of the bike, you probably know this already though, but it plays a big part in your balance as you come to a stop, less likely to grab at the front brake. Also, being a short arse myself, plan where you intend to stop to help avoid difficult situations, surfaces, slopes etc that may unbalance you. It sounds like your staying calm about it though, just keep at it.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. hornethornet will investigate the seat
    Given the "fun" way the rider's seat and pillion seat have to be removed together and that once you lift the seat, hey presto, there is Zeddee's electrical guts for all to see, I am not sure it is doable. There is a little gutter around Zeddee's electrics that the seat protects, maybe to stop water etc. so this may limit it also.

    East Coast CruiserEast Coast Cruiser I am a nigel rider up here but your advice is really lovely and appreciated thanks :) the suspension is set pretty firm so will crack out my manual and his tools and investigate. I did a 45 point paddle turn in the garage before doing my Zeddee calisthenics.
    I refuse to let myself get phobic about stopping or he worse scenario dropping Zeddee. I am confident to pick him up but probably mostly worried I will be pinned and no bastid will help me out from under him :(
    The boots have been hovering in my mind but have visions of looking like Gene Simmons from KiSS :woot:
    Frustrating because I reckon an inch would do it...my slow riding on Zeddee surprises even me...creepin jasus at the lights, someone'll get out and thump me soon but gee I have got really bloody steady and good at it to avoid the foot down!!!
    I will nail the bloody thing eventually!
    Non-riders at work reckon I am overthinking or over analysing it all.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I think that is exactly what I sometimes do! When giving my Zeddee gymnastics routine in the garage, I tried focussing on the blinds on the house across the road.

    Ummm when I am moving along relaxed but once I get into traffic situations I could crack macadamias with my butt cheeks and nearly bend the handgrips with tension. I really talk to myself, try to relax and rationalise it but after a few wobbles was feeling a bit precious hence my garage session today.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Definitely consider this, most can alter you seat narrower at the front, lower, with denser foam so as not to reduce comfort (using the existing seat base). Might be a few hundred dollars, but so are most factory seats or even more for after market. The only negative is when selling the bike if it's not something a potential owner may want. But, that's a future problem :)..
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Perseverance will pay off OldmaidOldmaid! If you have a large-ish / flat-ish empty carpark nearby, you may find it worth your while to run through a few of the slow-speed drills from the MOST / HART, etc. to help build confidence, including coming to a controlled stop from moderate road speeds (get comfortable with that before practicing the emergency stop!). You did fine the other day, so just keep doing what you're doing -- its far better to know where the problems are and plan around them rather than discover them in a hurry, without a plan! ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  13. You'll have the hang of it in no time at all knowing you.

    Get someone to help you set the suspension pre-loads for your weight. Look into getting your seat modified (if not thinner they can reshape the form to get it narrower which will get your feet down straighter). What about some very thick soled riding boots? May give you the crucial few mm you need to feel more comfortable.

    Again, please take into context what you have achieved so far after only 5 trips. Don't rush things. Keep up the 'exercises' to get used to the weight and balance. You're on the right track.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. You might want to increase your core strength. From personal experience it makes a huge difference. (I can touch the ground with both feet on tippy toes) Taichi is also good (and is good for fast riding. Some racers do martial arts for the body movement stuff)
    At gym they gave me this exercise

    for motorcycle riding. Still can't do it nearly this well after 2 years but my slow riding is much better.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. From one shorty to another ( although im more of a midget at 161cm with short legs )

    - get your seat shaved!!
    - lower Big bro Z some more if possible ?
    - LolliLolli could point you to the right direction for some boots with concealed heels.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I am 155cm legs proportionate to the rest of me, sort of in a Frankenstein humpty dumpty kinda way :p
    Don't believe the bike can be lowered any further unless I want to give up cornering
    Yep gonna look at taking the vegetable peeler to the seat
    And seriously thinking about some 80s glam rocker shoes (OMG)
    Either that or femur bone grafts...

    Ba har har twistngotwistngo I would so love to attach a gopro to me doing that stunt on those ball thingos har har
    scare dogs and young children that would har har :rofl:
  17. Maybe I should've gone into footwear design for rider chicks..maybe some of us could get decent looking and " additional height " (for those who are vertically challenged) boots that doesn't look horrendous hahaha !!!

    Good luck OldmaidOldmaid !! Definitely get the potato peeler out for the seat, had that done for my first bike and got 2.5 cm shaved :)
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Being able to flatfoot on one side or the other only is not that uncommon and it will feel more secure in time.

    The static drills are a great idea!

    Gotcha's when you come to a stop :
    Loose bits on the road, gravel twigs etc - it's not a nice feeling when supporting foot slips out from under you.

    Road camber - indescribable sick panic when the ground's not there like you expected.

    And novice just means you're not a shit hot rider...yet!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Shaving the seat should help, although it might affect the comfort factor. I didn't do it - I'm a little taller than you, so just lowering was sufficient.

    You could try asking streetmasterstreetmaster about it. He also has a Z and shaved his seat (did the job himself). He's also on the short side, but found that with the sides of the seat shaved, he didn't need the lowering link.
    • Like Like x 1