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Is it possible not to be strong enough for your bike?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by lopsided, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Okay I'm a non-bike person so this is all in very simple language. This has happened to me about half a dozen times:

    I will be on a curve in the road and leaning into the bend and full on pushing on my handlebar. But (arrggh this is gonna sound really wussy :roll: ) even though I am all out pushing with all of my strength, I can't get it to go any further in the the direction I want. Has this happened to anyone else here??

    This has happened once on Frankston-Dandy Road, once on the Frankston Freeway, and about 3 times on Citylink, and it is quite scary. The only thing that will work is slowing down.

    Last night I tried to lean the bike more than push the handlebars, but with limited success. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong? I've never heard of anyone not being strong enough to maneouver their bike at higher speeds.

    Thanks all for your feedback.

  2. hi,
    U should be able to push the handlebars from lock to lock. It should be easier to push side to side while at high speeds rather then just stand still. Unless ur steering bearings are rooted.
    Maybe u are pushing as far as u can, so if u try crouching over a little this will give u a bit more extention. Ur belows should be bent when riding, to give u more range of motion, and to absorb more force transfered through the bike into u.

    Good luck

  3. Either:
    a) your steering head bearings are so r00ted you shouldn't even be riding it, or
    b) While you are pushing with one hand, you are subconsciously pulling back with the other one. I used to do this, and it's a bad habit.
    Fortunately it's easy to break (grip with your knees, and release your outside hand almost entirely!). Don't get into the habit of only leaning, that's not how to do it.
  4. Yeah I didn't think my problems were from not leaning, cause I tried to lean further and it didn't help.

    Also, I'm pretty sure it's not a mechanical problem with my bike, because it's only got like 4000k on it.

    But good tips guys, becaue

    1. I *have* been pulling back on the opposing handlebar. Logic kind of went push with one, pull with the other. I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to. So I am going to try being really loose with one hand and see how that goes.

    2. I hadn't thought that it may be the short arm problem. Might test that at a standstill, making sure I can fully push the handlebars from side to side from sitting upright or if I need to crouch down a bit....

    Just want this sorted before the thursday mystery ride so I don't make a dill of myself. :roll:
  5. agreed. and even though you say the bike is only new. get it checked to be sure all is set up correctly and then book yourself in for some rider training and technique courses. cause i think you maybe steering/riding with bad technique and it is better to learn now than feel it later.
  6. heyi jsut looked at your profile. nice pic!.

    jsut for interest. my gal is 50kg and probably jsut on 158cms tall.
    she rode a vtr during Ls and now has a cagiva 650. they weigh 190kgs. but feel light. she is not a strong person, but has no worries with the bike.

    maybe looka round for an intermediate course like stay upright and get some advice on postiioning and sterring techniques... might help. but still get hte dealer head mechanic to check ya bike.

    have fun.
  7. erm...this is a little odd...your bike should be pretty light and nimble (comparatively speaking), so it should'nt take too much effort at all to turn?

    The push/pull method discussed is actually not wrong...Ideally, you should be slack on the outside handle bar, and pushing on the inside bar, however, sometimes, pulling on the outside bar can assist.
    What would be wrong is pushing on both bars...a subconscious thing that happens with new riders...even experienced riders in a panic situation sometimes.

    I think you just are'nt pushing far enough forward somehow...maybe afraid of the lean angle in induces??
  8. May be a silly question to most but not so silly to some....
    When (for example) you are turning left, do you push the left or right handlebar away from you? :-k
  9. If you want to turn left, push the left bar, (inside) and really relax your other hand (right outer)
    As above but opposite to turn right :grin:

    I found it good to practice on roads with medium bends say posted speed 65-75kph. Sit on the speed limit and when you approach the corner place your outer hand on the tank and lightly push with your inside hand. I wouldnt lean the bike at all doing this as the idea is to get use to counter steer.
    When your more experienced and riding faster on tighter roads this technique comes in really handy when the end of a corner tightens up, just push on the inside bar and around you go :p
  10. The faster you go the harder it is to turn the bars (apart from stopped and very low speed). Yes you do need to develop the lean. Someone with some skill at it should explain far better than me but the very basics is shoulder into the corner, leaning forward as well, look the way you want to go. After you've got that down pat, lean off bike into the corner slightly, and progress this (will take some time) to shifting weight and basically hanging off bike. That last point is only for when you're going hard though obviously.
  11. just a question but as no one else is seeming to ask it, as your say pushing left to go left are you looking thru the bend if your not, your head will stop you making it through the bend, your brain will send messages saying i cant see around there so i am not going to let you go there, you must conciously look throught the bend
  12. speedfreak: yes, I do tend to focus on the vehicle in front, so looking further ahead where I want to go will maybe help (like at roundabouts) ta :)

    grim: I didn't know you could do the one-hand-cool-sportsbike-rider thing on bends. Hmm! Will try that on my commute tomorrow (uh but on slower right hand bends first)

    flipper: No it's not an obvious question, I am pushing left to go left. :p But what seems to work at lower speeds isn't as effective for me on the freeways.

    phizog: that's it, it is definately harder. *sigh of relief* I didn't think I was imagining it! The handlebars feel really, really, really heavy and resist my pushing them. Like, REALLY heavy.

    raven: yes it definately is odd! Maybe I am stressing out and pushing on both bars and not on one? :? not sure will pay attention tomorrow. But yes, it is a nice nimble bike, there is a double roundabout on the way to work, and it is superfun to ride. :grin:

    twoguns: definately plan to book into more training, someone actually seeing me ride could probably spot the problem pretty quick and set me straight. Will mention it to the service bloke next time too, can't hurt.

    Good also to hear that your other half is also not massive but she manages, cause that means it is possible... i just need to figure out how to do this right.
  13. higher speeds it is harder to maneuver the bike but i don't think your doing those highers speeds, sooo +1 to what everyone else said.
  14. I think turning left at freeway speed, person is pushing right handle bar forward and pulling left bar back. Either that or something is really weird.
  15. I'm with the others on the push left to go left .. I actually thought I was doing it for the longest time and then I started concentrating on it one day cos I didn't think I'd really "mastered" the concept (not the action, just the concept). The day I truly discovered push left to go left was a magical day ;)

    If you're not already, really concentrate on the push and make sure you're doing it. If you are, the bike will just lean for you and it's a matter of how far you lean and how hard you push from there.

    Those who've commented on making sure you look where you're going are also spot on - give it a go consciously not watching (maybe in a carpark) and then consciously watching and you'll notice a massive difference :)

    Last thing I'd recommend is checking your tyre pressures. My bike was all over the place the first few times I rode it because I made the stupid a$$ mistake of assuming they were new tyres and wouldn't need to be checked regularly. Turns out I have some kinda leak in the front tyre and I need to check it every time I take it out otherwise it's all over the road (and noticeably so).

    To those way more experienced than I, please correct me if I've said anything at all that's wrong :)
  16. It sounds like you're tensing your upper body. You're consiously trying to push the bar and because of the force exerted by tense arms it feels like you are pushing, but it's happening at both ends so the bike goes straight. Sit up a bit and relax your arms and wrists. Let your hands just rest on the bars and let your arms flap around. With little weight on the bars, gice the bar a nudge forward and your bike will happily tip in. :)

    You don't need to hold your bars at all for the bike to continue moving happily so relax the grip, take some breaths and try to go loose. :)

    This is just a guess cause I haven't seen you ride, but I'm fairly confident. :)
  17. Whatever hand you push with is the way you will go, so pushing with the right hand will make you go right, as weird as it sounds.
  18. Hey lopsided, how did you go today?
  19. I believe the problem is that you are a ghost, or that you are slightly out of phase with our space time continuum.

    (Check the pic in profile to see what I mean)
  20. Now you're talking Scott. You make the most sense so far!!!