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Dropped gsxr 750 thrice in a month!! help!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by NeilChristian3, May 24, 2014.

  1. hello folks, just want know how normal is it to drop a bike at slow speeds (driveways mainly) when you first get it.

    I upgraded from my lams gs500 to the gsxr 750 K2. been riding it for 1 month and have already dropped it 3 times in driveways. twice i have had a broken indicator light and lots of scratches (no oggy knobs)...the 3rd time was tonight and i am really disturbed. Is this normal? Am i doing something wrong? Perhaps i should be using the rear brake more at low speeds like that? The gs500 i had dropped twice when i first got my license last year.

    I am not sure what is going on but i am losing my confidence at low speeds and parking it. Plus seeing all the scratches on it is making me cry :cry: :bigtears:

    So is dropping a bike in my situation normal? I feel so confused and stressed:arghh: . HELP!
  2. Are you vertically challenged?
  3. Hi, and welcome. A nice introductory message would be good.
    Yes you have a problem.
    When you slow down all the balance issues get magnified and many riders have dropped their bikes at low speed, when trying to pull into a driveway or pull a u turn. You need to use the rear brake more to make the final stages of stopping, and slowing, smoother, and ease off on the front brake as you do slow down.
    If you have time on a Saturday visit the new riders practise in Elwood. They will coach and help you sort out the balance and control issues, and minimise the amount of tears. . .
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  4. You're not at the bottom of the class. Plenty have done the same thing. But it sounds like you could use some hands on help.
  5. Im 178cm so average height. When i am stopped im supported on half of my foot...if that makes sense.

    Hello, I have been around here for a while now, not really a newbie although i dont comment much on the forums, i read a lot and turn up to rides, normally ned's rides...we obviously havent met so Hi!!

    I was thinking of heading down after my exams, possibly next week and getting some pointers. I know that the few long timers there were very helpful in teaching me earlier when i was on my learners.

    So my case is not so unusual right? except now i am almost thinking of waiting for a nice stack so i can claim insurance and get my bike all pretty again... almost...
  6. Secret is to not ride at low speeds. Maybe try a bit of throttle. The slower u go the harder it is.
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  7. @Stever42@Stever42, his introductory thread was in January. ;)

    @NeilChristian3@NeilChristian3, at low speed, the bike's own reactions that hold you upright (not so much gyroscopic effects, but front geometry effects) virtually stop happening, so you need to do them yourself. If you're falling over toward the left, turn the bars to the left, and try also to keep the bike moving, if possible. Sometimes, especially if you have short legs (as I do), the bike starts to topple, and by the time you get your foot down, all you can do is to slow the bike's fall a bit. There isn't much I can tell you to help once you're at this stage, other than prevention is the key. At low speed, use counter-balancing (yes, that's crossing up/leaning your body opposite to the bike) to get the desired balance. Controlling the bike's position with the knees also helps, because, if nothing else, when it topples, you'll know about it earlier. Just don't forget to catch the bike (either by putting your foot on the ground if you're stopping, or by using the throttle to keep you moving and counter-steering the bike back upright).

    There's a book by (I think) Lee Parkes. I think it's called "Total Control". It has a section about sliw riding, and the info is very good! See if your library has the book, and have a read of that chapter. (y)
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  8. #8 GreyBM, May 24, 2014
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
    Bikes certainly react differently at slow speed and without the gyroscopic effect to hold them up (I am not a Physicist so if this is wrong I happy to bow to whatever other force/effect keeps them up) they can go down pretty fast.

    As danny_tb says for shorter people like myself, the bike is usually leaning more by the time before we get a foot down properly and this means we take greater weight than if it was upright. So do anything wrong at slow speed to get yourself in trouble and a shorter person will have a harder time correcting that, meaning more likely to drop. Lams bikes are usually lighter and usually have slightly lower seat heights (to assist newbs), so probably your feet were more likely to be firmly planted and you were taking less weight on the old bike.

    There is also the simple issue that the bike is different and will feel and handle differently than the old bike even when pushing it around in the garage. You need to get used to it.

    So it is probably not uncommon that if you are going to drop a bike, you do it while you are getting used to it BUT this doesn't make it a good thing. On the upside if you are going to drop a bike, slow drops are usually better than high speed drops.

    What worries me is your question about rear brake. It implied to me you were using front, which depending on the circumstances could be OK but could be a disaster and the cause of your problems.

    In normal riding situations, as I am sure you are aware the front brake is the main means of stopping the bike. For any noobs reading this, this is for two reasons - (1) the front break provides stopping much more stopping power than the rear and will pull you up faster and (2) it takes very little pedal pressure to lock the rear which at speed will send you into a slide and drop you on your arse.

    At low speed (walking speeds) the situation reverses and we use little or no front brake. At these speeds we are often manouvring the bike and have the bars turned and even if not manouvring if we are riding slowly enough we will unconciously make turning adjustments with the bars to maintain balance and the combination of slow speed. At low speed when we use the front brake with turned bars, particularly if we grab at the brake, the front wheel tries to collapse on itself asn the bike will drop to the side very quickly. At very low speeds use rear brake only.

    On a final and perhaps unrelated note, when riding slowly I see a lot of people put a foot down or even paddle their feet in just in case the bike starts to tip. Usually the bike is more stable if you ride it with your feet up and putting your feet down can unsettle it and make it more likely to drop. Once you understand the technique, you can actually ride at say very slow walking speeds. So make sure you ride the bike wherever possible and only put feet down when necessary.
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  9. One "typo" correction to @GreyBM@GreyBM's excellent post, above:

    "At low speed (walking speeds) the situation reverses and we use little or no FRONT brake."

    I'd say Dave meant to say front - he does actually know what he's talking about. (Y)
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  10. Oops Fixed
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  11. Are you using the front brake while trying to turn? And the bike is throwing you over the opposite way to what you want to go.
    1. Don't use the front brake at slow speeds ..... till you can compensate.
    2. Use the rear brake, the clutch, the throttle and your eyes.
    3. Practice slow speed riding in a strait line till you can do it in your sleep... slip the clutch, drag the rear brake and use the throttle against it.
    4. Then go do slow speed slaloms till you can do them in your sleep. Get some old tennis balls and cut them in half.
    5. Then do those fig 8's till you can do them in your sleep.

    You should never drop a bike again.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Remember sports bikes are designed to handle at speed. The cost of this is being unstable at low speed. (If a bike is too stable it won't tip in going fast). Apart from what they said above, quite a few of the advanced courses do slow riding.
  13. Thanks guys for the responses. Im thinking of the drops and what Dave and bretto61 pointed out seems to be true in my case.

    My drops:
    1) This was pure silliness, leaned the bike to get off it and realised that i hadn't put the peg down. Don't know what i was thinking. Pure idiocy.

    my last two drops have happened on the right side, broken the indicator twice.
    2) This drop happened, trying to navigate a steep driveway and i believe the bike felt like it was running away from so i grabbed a fistful of the front brake. Since the front tyre was already turned it went down.

    3) Last night's drop happened very quickly. From memory i turned in but i thought i was going to hit the car parked in the driveway so braked using the front and again, like last time since my front tyre was not straight but turned, the bike felt that way.

    Hmm, seems like a pattern is emerging where I am not using the rear brake in slow speeds. I think the reason is possibly because it feels very weird. u=Using the rear brake on the gs500 felt quite natural due to the body posture on the bike.
    With the supersport however, the act of moving the right foot from the front sole to the ball of the foot (if that makes sense, my sole is resting on the peg so need to move the ball of my foot onto the peg) to reach the brake pedal feels quite strange and unnatural. Hence i think i have mainly been using the front for most instances.

    Thinking through the last month of stops at traffic lights and stuff, I think i can see this pattern of aversion to using the rear brake emerging... My stops at traffic lights dont seem smooth at all. Atleast with traffic lights and stopping on the road, the bike is always facing straight but with slow moving, my front is not straight as it is turning so it has been causing problems.

    Thanks a lot people for the responses!! I will have to practice the slow moving exercises that you guys are suggesting. Will have to try and make it down to the sat practice next week to sort this issue out.
  14. @NeilChristian3@NeilChristian3, dropping it is frustrating but we've all done it. Just keep practicing, once you've 'trained your brain' to use the rear brake at low speed, it'll become a habit.
  15. If the steep driveway is the problem, move house!! :LOL:
    Seriously though, the other people are right about low-speed manoeuvring, throttle control, etc. I suspect the different seating to controls position of the GSX from the 500 might be a contributory factor too....
  16. Possibly stating the obvious but apart from using the rear brake have you adjusted the lever to suit your foot position so it feels more natural to reach for it ?
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  17. Just a thought... When you stopped on occasions 2 and 3, was the bike leaning when you stopped? If it was, that certainly wouldn't have helped.
  18. Not normal at all.

    Definitely, more throttle and rear break to keep you steady, use more clutch too.

    Also, now that it's in your mindset, I'm sure you're probably thinking about falling before you actually do.

    Think about falling and you probably will.
  19. As above.

    But isn't "Thrice" a great word
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  20. The peg will snap off. You need to put the side-stand down instead. Are you still drunk?

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    • Funny Funny x 1