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My first 'freak out'

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by panayiotis, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. All up I've done about 300km total riding on the road, mix of freeways and main roads so not all back roads. Anyway this afternoon I was heading citybound on the Monash just passing the Nylex sign doing about 80km/h when I feel the bike get a bit 'soft' underneath me going around one of those sweeping bends going downhill. Unfortunately for me I just freaked out, to the point were I tensed up, bring me up from my lean and a slight brown jocks moment as I ended up on the other side of the lane. Immediately I lost all my confidence that I have built up until then and freaked out. Tried to settle myself down going through the tunnel and was OK by the exit of it.

    I have to say, this is my achilles heel in my riding, freeway speeds on the Eastern are fine, but the Monash is doing my head in with its 'tighter' high speed (80-100km/h 8-[ bends). Is it a matter of practice makes perfect and hold on, or is there something I should be doing that you don't do for low/medium speed corners.

    Its a bit of a :nopity: but I thought Id just share.

    On a side note, my rear tyre was only inflated to 35psi instead of the factory recommended 41psi, would this affect the handling of the bike to a large degree? I've been wondering if the previous owner had changed any settings (preload etc) that would adversely affect the bikes handling to the point where it feels a bit vague around corners? Its only done 5,500km.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. My opinion is that 35psi shouldn't result in a soft feeling like you describe. Interesting though that the recommended pressure for solo riding is 41psi? The GSX says 36psi normally, and 42psi if you're carrying a biatch...
    As for the suspension settings, your owner's manual should have a page that tells you the factory settings so you can check...
  3. 35psi shouldn't have made a difference enough for you to feel uneasy about the handling, at least not to the degree you describe, I wouldn't have thought.

    If you were doing $180 at the time, I'd say, yes :LOL:

    you may have hit a slippery patch on the road.....
  4. Sorry, but you never had any confidence in the first place, if that's all it took to bring undone. You had the illusion of confidence, while everything went smoothly, only.
    Not nitpicking at you, but riding requires brutal honesty with oneself.
    You're only 300 klms old. I would'nt expect to be too confident, so don't swet it.

    The tyre pressure is low, and i would keep it above 38, but 41 is a bit high whether they recomend it or not.

    Keep at it, take it seriously, and get more biketime. You'll be right, if you ride smart.
  5. Has the bike possibly done that whole 5,500 km on the same set of tyres? Do they possibly have a tread depth of 2mm in the middle and 6mm at the edges?

    There are a great many things that might conceivably contribute to a nasty feeling at moderate lean angles at 80k, but the one that immediately jumps out at me is a tyre which is worn in the centre but has never even been scrubbed in at the edges.

    If you have a buddy who's a gun rider, you might ask him to do you a big favour and take the bike for a good strop along the black spur or the old road or mt cootha or whatever piece of swervery is nearby. In the absence of that, you might want to think about throwing on some fresh rubber.
  6. Sounds like you were fighting the bike through the turn up until the point it went “soft” which was the bike tipping in as its meant to, I’ve only been riding 7 months but did this myself for a month or so. Try relaxing your arms more, the “chicken wings” technique is good for this.
  7. Not sure if the guys have covered this directly - a thought just crossed my mind which may/may not apply in your case here, Panayioti.
    If your tyres (and you) are '300km old', what riding have you done during this distance travelled - mainly upright riding or have you progressively leant the bike over (not saying till you get a knee down !) to the point where tyre wear is progressively and evenly worn outwards towards the tyres edges ?
    Assuming your tyres were brand new, or near new, there could be a slight chance the 'feel' you experienced was from the 'loose' feeling one gets when exploring an area of the tyre not properly 'scrubbed' yet. I always feel this 'lightness' on the ride home from the workshop with a brand new set of tyres, and that 'feeling' remains as such for at least 200km (run in time takes approx 100-160km), unless the tyres have had a good seeing to early in the piece.
    Just some food for thought. I agree with the views of all above, and perhaps a look at your suspension settings might prove worthwhile ?
    Best advice, which was given above is to get more km's under your belt. Ride as often as you can. You'll experience more of these 'scenarios' in your daily rides as you gain a trusting feel and appreciation of what your beast can do for you, and this will take time.

    Listen to the advice many experience riders in this forum have to offer, get your bike/tyres (pressures ?) looked over and invest in some rider training/courses to build your confidence levels.

    Good luck and rubber side down mate.
  8. #8 minglis, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    You didn't just go over one of those nice steel expansions on the bend did you? New tyres on the steel?
  9. #9 panayiotis, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I see your point, what I meant to say is that I lost all the confidence that I had built up until then, not that I'm actually a confident rider.

    That is an interesting point, the tyres I assume have been there since new as they are the standard fit tyres. Previous owner was an old bloke, so I may have a look at the tyres tomorrow. I do have a good mate that can take it for a squirt through the hills. Problem is that he'd probably prefer to do it on his S1000RR! Going to the footy tomorrow with him, so I might see how receptive he is to the idea, if indeed it is uneven wear.

    Thanks mate, as above tyres are as old as the bike.

    I wish it was that simple, but I'll tell you, they aren't much fun either the first time!
  10. You've done 300 k's don't be too hard on yourself. If this caper were easy everyone would be doing it and then it wouldn't be as fun!
  11. I thought 36psi (rear) was the correct setting with OEM tyres for a GS500F (assuming that your avatar reflects your ride) - see the tyre pressure sticker on the left side of the swingarm so you were only down 1psi.

    As others have stated, you've only done 300k's so unless you have had years of dirt bike riding, you're still at the bottom of the learning curve.
  12. many more freak outs to come.
    train yourself to react differently.
    whatever caused your bike to do that, could be anything. you stay relaxed and keep looking where you want to go and ride it out. any negative feedback you give that bike will make it worse. don't chop the throttle or brake, just keep leaning and keep looking.
    stay ahead of the bike. it's behind you following your head. if the rear wants to piss around mid bend, ignore it. just stay nice and smooth.
  13. As others have said, you go through waves of increasing confidence followed by a little fright, rebuilding, knocked down again and so on. That's just normal. That's just a part of learning.

    There are few activities where confidence is as central as riding a bike. Public performance, being a musician or stage actor perhaps.
  14. old doesn't always mean they're scrubbed. my 800ish km old rear isn't scrubbed fully and feels slippery when i lean into the un-scrubbed part (and it kicks when i tense in reaction to the slip)

    just a thought
  15. Bit of a blunt object here so be prepared to duck. The Mash corners aren't tight at 80-100, and yes i know you said 'tighter'. What I'm saying is they're easy corners to get around and if you ever head up the Bolte loop and can't corner you're in strife.

    The bike's feedback 'fading' from underneath you could be all manner of things so it's hard to put the finger on it via the keyboard. Have a good look inside your tread grooves for cracking of the tyre's surface. If you see some bin them immediately.

    Get yourself down to Saturday practice and run through the basics of cornering to lock them in. Then head to a faster tighter road to practice them. Stay away from the Kew Boulevard. I can't remember the name but I think it's the Yarra Boulevard. Much wider and forgiving.

    Don't over inflate your tyres.
  16. I had a good look at that section of road on Friday, Its a mess, there are tar snakes everywhere and the surface is very patchy. FWIW I reckon you hit one of those tar snakes.
  17. come down to sat practice! I cant stress this point enough
  18. Not wanting to be pedantic, but when I mentioned tighter I meant in comparison to the eastern freeway, made mention of this as to indicae its not that Im scared of riding at 100km/h.

    I do plan to head down to the sat practice, last time I went into town, I did go through yarra boulevard (not sure which one kew boulevard its though as yarra bouleavrd is in kew), didn't have a problem with it, apart from the 911 driver who was right up my butt.

    I drove through it on the weekend, and I think you may be right....

    Definitely, weather is a bit rubbish this week, but when I can I will.
  19. +1 to this, good advice
  20. You are jsut inexperienced and you tensed up. More time in the saddle will cure this. You've only done 300km. I did that on sunday. All it will take is practice, your bike is fine if its only done 5500kms