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Hold On!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by garudabird, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. After riding around for month I am finding a couple of things I'm not sure about. When accelerating out of a corner a couple of times I didn't feel like I had a good hold on the handlebars, the body weight shifts back and I almost feel like I am holding the clutch rather than the bars. I guess I need to lean forward more and get a better hold on the bars with my thumb - maybe operate the clutch with two fingers and have 3 fingers holding the bars? Also, at times, I don't feel like I have a good "feel" on the bars and controls. Anyone like to recommend gloves that are known to not feel thick and clumsy or is that the nature of the beast? I'm using Dririders at the moment.

  2. Hi garudabirdgarudabird ,
    I don't know which gloves would be best for you, it's personal preference.
    Many riders have a few pairs depending on the weather and temperature so I don't think that they will make much difference.
    I think the issue is that you're not holding on to the bike and tank enough with your legs.
    Try some grips on your tank so that you feel more connected to it and use your core muscles more to keep yourself nearer to the bars if you feel like they are getting away from you.
    You shouldn't need to grip them too tightly, or hang on to them. You need to keep your arms relaxed and loose to make the best steering inputs on the bars too ensure you're going exactly where you need to go.
    Hope this helps.
    Have a read of some of the cornering basics threads.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. You shouldn't need to hold onto the bars at all. Lean forward.
  4. Can't really comment on the "good hold", short of agreeing with lean forward. I probably wouldn't drop back to 2 fingers on clutch while still holding the grip, mostly because I'm paranoid I won't pull the clutch in enough and break something, and really you shouldn't be using the bars to hold you on the bike anyway.

    As for gloves, I have "summer" and "winter" gloves. The winter gloves were so thick and unresponsive I just stopped using them and go with soggy leathers, considering selling when winters coming again and trying a different set.
    That being said, when I wore them for a few days in a row the feeling started to come back a bit. So I get what you're saying about feel, but think that will come with time (assuming it hasn't been a long time already).

    If you're really thinking the gloves are bad, my favourite at the moment are A* GP-Tech (around $270). Felt really natural from day one, only part that needed to settle was around my fingers, would hurt the skin after a long ride.
    I also have A* GP-Plus, they're good, but the palm tore at the stitching, possibly because of the said "soggy leathers" above rather than shoddy quality. I use them on wet days now so new gloves don't get as ruined as they are.
    I'm sure good gloves can be had for much cheaper than that. That's just what I decided to throw my money at.
  5. Together with some of the aforementioned advice, check the alignment of your levers with your wrists, I prefer to see a straight line down your arm to the lever when in your normal riding position. People often seem to have their wrists cocked which can cause wrist pain and provide less control.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. I think this is a matter of personal choice, so not disagreeing with you. But some of the riding schools teach you to ride with wrist cocked (knuckles up, wrist down) so that, if for any reason (bumps. emergency braking) you suddenly put weight on the throttle hand, it doesn't translate into unexpected acceleration. In other words, the throttle will push closed rather than open. It's probably something that's more important for noobs.
    Stever42 has it - hold on more with your thighs, lean forward and let your core support you.
    I'm using some RST winter gloves that have excellent feel.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Any idea on model name? Making a "to buy" list for next winter. Figure I'll sell off the Dianese EVO things and buy something less fancy but more feely.
  8. Check your thumb is closing on the bar as well, if you have it "open" and use 4 fingers for clutch duties you may feel somewhat disconnected.

    But in general you shouldn't need to be hanging on for dear life (well not on a 300 anyway ;)) - grip should be light like holding the steering wheel when driving a car. There may be times when you tighten up the grip for sure, otherwise you need to keep arms relaxed, grip relaxed. Has anyone told you about flapping your arms to relax them? The reason I mention this is that you may be clinging on too tight most of the time, hence the feeling that you're coming detached when clutching.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. A few things to look at here, thanks for the advice. I'm definitely holding on too tight with my arms and hands - my arms feel stiff and tense - so leaning forward should help here. I'm reading through those Noob 101 articles too. It's probably inexperience as much as anything else but sometimes I don't feel as though I am in control, I feel like I am just along for the ride whereas I should feel as though I'm the boss and the bike will do as I tell it - which it will, but I shouldn't have to wrestle with it - is that right?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Absolutely. Key is to relax...
  11. Bars are for touching and pushing more than holding as such. Two fingers on the clutch is plenty for changing gear. I only use four when stopped so my hand doesn't get as tired in traffic.

    Paranoid is right you should stop worrying. Quick two finger flick is all a gearchange needs. Clutchless shifting is a good thing too.

    My perspective on gloves changed recently when I upgraded to a pair of Velocity Gear gloves which have a not thin Kevlar chassis under the leather and armour. At first I thought them unthinkably too thick; this changed as I got used to it after a few rides. Now I love them, yes they do feel slightly more vague but I've realized this is ok. Stick with what you've got and relax, relaxing is mighty.
  12. I've got a pair of winter gloves from Dririder, and yes, they feel thick and clumsy compared to the summer ones I have. I find during winter, when my arms ache due to the cold and my RSI, I can put up with the thickness as it saves me a lot of pain, plus after a short amount of time they feel fairly natural again. Otherwise the summer gloves are much more comfortable.
  13. Er, can't remember, sorry. They are a few years old now. I just had a look at the current range and things like the RST Blade or Alpha are closest I think. I don't use really thick gloves because I've got heated grips (thick padding negates the benefits).

    For feel, I think what's important is that the inner doesn't move around too much against the outer. Needs to be securely attached at the palm/fingertip areas (not an issue with summer gloves).
  14. Most of the technique things of motorcycle control are very small, very subtle. You could try bending the elbows a little more (but not much more) particularly the inside elbow as you corner.
    It might make a world of difference. Or not.
    For summer I'm using Held 'Short Race' gloves. Best summerweight gloves I've had in 40 years. They have kangaroo skin palms and kevlar lining.
  15. Looking at your OP again, are you covering the clutch the whole time? If not, only cover the clutch when needed, exiting a corner is not that time. Having said that, with a relaxed grip and loose arms, it shouldn't be an issue if you do. Also, maybe your gloves are the wrong size?
  16. Hang onto the tank tighter with your knees. Makes your body more stable and you don't need to hang onto the bars. Tank grips can help. (Techspec or stompgrip) You sort of know you're getting the hang of it when your response to stress is to grip the tank tighter with your knees rather than the bars with your hands.

  17. Yes on both counts. :) The first 12-18mths are a steep learning curve.

    For want of a better description, the bike has a speed that it’s comfortable pootling along at, which in most cases exceeds the ability, mental processing etc of very new riders. It’s a bit of a catch-22 as the bike feels comfortable at that pace – which is very appealing – but too fast for you to process/feel fully in control which results in you feeling a bit like a passenger in over your head. This involves developing your basic bike control skills and especially points to your throttle control (lack of at this stage).

    Couple of things you can practice that may help:

    - find a stretch of curvy/twisty road in your local area and ride it just using your throttle ie. no brakes, no braking to enter corners, adjust your speed in advance of entering turn using throttle only (but of course use your brakes if really need to) and progressively, smoothly roll on as you exit (ref robsalvvs riding/cornering threads that’ve been stickied).

    - local car park, pick yourself up some cones or whatever’s available there to use as markers, eg. end t-points of painted carpark lines to weave through. Practice weaving along using these points as markers using your throttle only. Mix it up. Then practice using combination of throttle and clutch. Then use combination of throttle, clutch and rear brake (very slow). Also practice your slow (walking pace) straight line speed control while at it.

    And braking. Whatever “new” speed achievements you attain, eg. 40, 60, 100 remember to practice the commensurate braking from those speeds. Knowing you’re able to bring your bike to a smooth, controlled stop from whatever speed you’re travelling at is one of the biggest confidence boosters to be had.

    Lots of tips to be found around here, just be conscious of 'information overload'.

    As others have said you shouldn’t be gripping bars for dear life. Anchor yourself to your bike by gripping with your knees. This has multiple benefits. If you’re feeling anchored you’ll feel less tense (unlikely you’re able to equally concentrate on gripping with your knees and your hands at same time), leaves hands free to operate controls. Another trick is to flap your arms like chicken wings. I prefer suggesting gripping with your knees as it builds towards other things. Consciously focus on gripping with your knees every time you feel a bit insecure/tense, every time you pull to a stop etc. Soon it will become second nature and at a more subtler level it will be helping to actively build your ride fitness.

    And, as McSenna suggested, check the positioning of your levers. Most very new riders don’t think to adjust them, they may need slight adjustment eg. rotating down slightly to better align with your hands/arms/riding position at this stage. This may change a bit as you progress.

    Happy glove hunting :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. I fitted Eazi-grip strips to the Ape but I don't like them (I bought evo instead of pro and don't like the smoother profile) so will be replacing them with stompgrips. upon opening the package it recommends you use the Adhesion Promoter Kit for an improved result. well I didn't get any so now not sure if I should fit or get some of this magical sticky stuff.

    has anyone used it? did it make a difference? is there a local alternative that won't damage paint/bodywork stickers in case of removal?
  19. When I was doing the accessories for the XSR, we mentioned grip pads and all the guys in the accessories department said no, don't do it. No matter what they tried there, nothing seemed to get them to stick properly. I wonder if the Tuono has a similar issue with the finish on the tank?
    • Like Like x 1
  20. the Eazi-grips went on without any issue (easy?) and even though I've only had a couple of short rides with them on they feel ok but would like them a bit 'grippier'. the stompgrips I bought are universal fit because they don't yet have them cut to size for the 2016 Tuono so I may have to trim them a bit but I think they will be ok. in doing a bit of a 'dry' fit I see that the curvature on that part of the tank goes horizontal and vertical so maybe that's the issue the Bikebiz guys had.

    just not sure whether I need additional adhesive or not. I reckon I'll just try them as is. I would hate to apply them and then remove/replace them at some future stage only to have them remove the factory stickers and have to pay hundreds to replace them.
    • Agree Agree x 1