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New boots - Now I feel like I can't ride (again) anymore!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by mattytj, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,

    As the title says I just got my first pair of motorcycle boots: Sidi Fusions. I walked around the house for a while making sure the fit was ok and trying to break them in. Then this morning I went to ride to work and as soon as I got on the bike (a VTR250), everything felt wrong. Because of that I decided to do some laps of the car park in my building and after attempting this I was persuaded not to get out on the street.

    Firstly the usual problem of changing gears in different footwear got me, but that's fine I've adjusted the gear lever position before, I can do that again. But besides this I felt like I couldn't actually find the lever without physically looking down at it because I can't feel anything through the boots.

    Second when I finally gave up and tried to straddle walk the bike around I could barely do this. The cuff of the boots around my calves meant I couldn't fit my legs between the foot pegs and gear / brake levers properly and walk as I normally would to straddle walk the bike. Even though the foot pegs were moving back to allow for movement, it still just wasn't working because the space between the levers and foot pegs in their most flush position just didn't seem enough. And I thought straddle walking was going to get easier with boots with the added height and grip. Perhaps this will be fixed when I adjust the gear lever on the left, but should I / can I adjust the position of the rear brake lever on the right? Either way somehow I doubt adjusting the height of the levers (which I think is all I can do) would give me more room to move between peg and lever.

    The last part really ticked me off. I spent what felt like 5 minutes of stubbornly trying again and again to find the side stand so I could get off the damn bike. This was after I parked front first in my space because I couldn't back it up in the boots because of the above duck walking problem. Again this inability to find the side stand might have been because I couldn't feel anything so couldn't feel when I was hitting the foot peg vs the gear lever vs the side stand hook. In the end I had to get off the bike, holding the front brake and trying not to drop the bike, sight the side stand and get it down standing beside the thing.

    Now I'm going to catch the train to work.

    Someone please tell me they had the exact same problems and it's just a matter of adjusting to boots. I think a lot of the problem would be solved by getting lower cut boots but I don't want to lose the shin protection! Bad start to the week.
  2. I had part of your problem when I got boots. I adjusted the gear lever up and that was that. Initially I kept locking up the rear wheel but I got used to that too.

    I don't have full height boots so I may have had an easier time than you.
  3. Just keep practising in them, it's even worse wearing race boots for the first time with a healing ankle... :D

    They'll break in and you'll get used to them, it will take longer than a carpark session though
  4. Hi Matt,

    I wear beefy boots (A* SMX-R) and used to ride a honda vtr250. Look it does take a little bit of practise to get used to but you will get there.

    As you said it's worth the extra hassle in getting used to these because the shin protection is worth it. I came off the bike a few months ago and felt my shins smash against the handle bars. I'm glad to say i still have intact shins!

    • Like Like x 1
  5. I had the similar problem when got mine. You just need some time to get used to them.
  6. I guess the fusions are a touring boot? Because I had the opposite effect when I got my Sidis - I could feel everything (I guess that's the point of a racing boot).

    Either way, as others have said, just persevere and you'll get used to the new feel. I found it worse with gloves though. I was using some lean summer gauntlets when I started riding late last year and wore them for 6 months. Coming into winter I bought some water proof padded jobbies and freaked out for a little while, because I couldn't feel a thing - felt like I'd just put 3 pairs of socks on my hands.

    The side stand thing you'll just get used to where your heel needs to go to flick it up and down. I have the same bike, took me a little while, but now it's just muscle memory.
  7. I found that the vtr's pegs don't favour a racier boot. You might be able to adjust your foot position enough to make it work but it always felt a little flat.

    As for the duckwalking... can you spread your feet wider than the space between controls and pegs? It sounds more like a height issue rather than boot.
  8. Thanks for all the input guys, having searched around and reading your responses I'm glad to see others have faced some similar problems as me. It was unnerving to feel like a complete noob again though.

    They're difficult to classify - they seem to be race styled and offer a greater level of protection than a regular tourer but perhaps have touring soles?

    It could definitely be a height issue, or rather a leg length issue. I'm 175cm, so not that short, but had trouble flat footing before the boots (I had to stand on the balls of my feet). Part of the reason I got boots was to help me with flat footing but it hasn't really done so - probably done the opposite.

    My next stop to resolve the height problem after my boots was to trim the seat down but that I think mainly takes away seat width, which would allow me to get my legs closer together on the bike thereby increasing my leg reach to the ground. Of course with the boots forcing me to straddle walk outside of the pegs I suppose any advantage of trimming the seat now when straddle walking would be nullified.

    Unless my logic is wrong. :)

    Either way I guess I've got nothing to lose, it couldn't make my problems worse. :-({|=
  9. It will take a little time for you to adjust.
    Riding a bike is all about feel. And when that feel changes in the slightest you really really notice it.
    Same thing jumping from bike to bike. It's pretty much the same thing to ride any bike. But it will feel different on every one of them.
    Couple of weeks and you will wonder what you were on about
  10. as others have said, it'll take a little getting used to.
    i tuck the jeans inside that cuff, so it doesn't rub against the bare skin.
    try going for little practice rides and spray some water on the boots. it should help em soften up a little bit.
    i bought my boots the same time i bought the bike, but i couldn't wear em and ride for about a week and a half atleast. they can take a few days to get used to.
  11. Your being stupid!
    Depending on how much and how long you ride, it could take you a couple of months to wear in your boots.
    You've pissed around in car park for an hour, spat the dummy and are now going on the train!?.

    Stop crying, and adjust to your new boots while they wear in FFS!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Having a bad day mate......
  13. Wow.

    I was wondering whether all of the issues I faced were simply a matter of wearing the boots in, given how extreme some seemed to me and my ability to operate the bike's controls, or whether it was a matter of me wearing the wrong type of boots for me / my bike and therefore needing to return them. Of course as soon as I went out for a proper ride my ability to exchange becomes nil. There was also the possibility of needing to adjust the bike itself, which has come up as a suggestion in this thread.

    I also didn't think it a great idea to do a 40 minute commute in peak hour traffic with my already mentioned problems.

    But thank you, and everyone else, for assuring me that it will just take time and practice, and some control adjustment. The helpful encouragement was very much appreciated - exactly why I read these forums!
  14. as noted, boots especially, because they are made of thicker material than leathers or jackets, are less supple to begin with....

    having said that I sold a pair of brand new boots once because the depth of the boot from the sole to the top was just a tad too high and I couldn't find any way of changing gear properly; I bought a pair with a 'thinner' profile and they felt fine straight away
  15. Yeah...a bit grumpy and frustrated today Mick....how did you know? (coff)

    Perhaps I should not have been so direct, but gee...at some point you have to think a bit...like wearing the boots on the week-end, where you won't be in peak hr traffic, and not blaming them for having to ride the train.
  16. In my defence as a new rider (or maybe just as someone who'd never worn boots before) I had no idea the boots would impede me as much as they did. I did "think a bit" that there'd be some difference but not to the extent that I found.

    Also I usually catch the train, I got the boots on Sunday evening and got home late, and wanted to give them a whirl on Monday as I was excited with the new goods.

    I'm sorry you had a bad day raven.

    As an update I rode around for a couple of hours with them on today, having adjusted my gear lever and doing another carpark session. Much more confident now but still some significant issues straddle walking and a couple of new ones but on the whole I'm feeling better with them on.
  17. My steal $129 boots used to feel really odd initially. You need to break them in...................

    What I did in the beginning was use thinner socks or no socks at all (to get better feel).............after a while when it started breaking in/getting used to the feel I wore my proper sock thicker................Also bend your boots around and sit on it to loosen everything up.

    BTW try to wear sock ASAP, you dont want a stinky boot :).............

    Right now it feels weired riding around on normal shoes, feels like too much space..............
  18. One pair of boots I had used to rub on my calves a bit.
    Solution, a pair of thin footy socks.
    Buy 2 pairs so you can at least wash 1 pair & still go for a ride! :rofl:
  19. There you go...just hang with them for a few more weeks, and they'll get better and better. My apologies for jumping on you.

    Beware. Wait till you have to get used to your first set of leathers! :)
  20. I know the feeling. I was a bit blunt in another thread the other day when some muppet said "16 and a bike, that's a death sentance".

    To the OP, if the boots are too stiff, dunk them in a bucket of water, put them on and wear them till they are almost dry. Used to do the trick with GP's.