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Noob questions and experiences

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by cygnus, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. So I finally jumped back on the bike after my last fall, which took me out of action for 2 months! Now I only have 3 months before my L's expire!!

    So a few questions:

    1) When parking the bike on a slope, which is the best way to park the bike? a) parallel with the slope front facing down
    b) parallel with the slope front facing up
    c) perpendicular to the slope side stand facing down
    d) perpendicular to the slope side stand facing up

    1.5) What about parking on flat-ish ground?
    a) front wheel turned towards the side stand
    b) front wheel turned away from the side stand

    2) I think I figured out why I fell off the bike last time, or at least contributed. When I turned last time, I leaned inwards with my whole body, so that means the centre of mass must have been too far over. So when I turn, am I supposed to lean the bottom half of my body / bike into the turn and the upper half of my body away (keep up right) from the turn? I tried to do this a couple of times and it seems to work?

    2.5) Is the above achieved by counter-steering? I tried to counter steer a few times. Is there a "best" way to do this? Pushing with the inside arm or pulling with the outside arm or both? I find that I tend to do a bit more pulling with the outside arm.

    3) I overfilled my tank with petrol today... Just gave the tank a rinse afterwards and a wipe down. Last time I fill the pump clicked when it was full, this time it didn't.
  2. Its too late in the morning for all the perpendicular stuff, but at least the side stand question i can answer :). Front wheel toward the stand.

    Cornering isnt my forte, im only learning too, but petrol tank, i never trust the handles there are too many stuffed ones around, just get it nearly full and put the last in by watching carefully down the filler hole.
  3. Point the bike uphill (and if it's really steep, leave it in first gear to stop it rolling backwards). Make sure that the bike is leaning onto the sidestand satisfactorily, such that it can't just teeter over to the right. You may need to point the bike at an angle (but still generally uphill) to accomplish this.

    a) front wheel turned towards the side stand

    Lean angle doesn't really have an influence on whether or not the bike can make it around a corner, provided nothing is scraping on the ground. From what I can tell from your other post, the cause was either:
    * Brand new tyres, not yet scrubbed in, possibly even cold. New tyres are super-slippery due to the silicone mould release. You need to be supercareful on brand new tyres. Cold tyres are not very grippy either, especially sportsbike/sportscar compounds. Go gentle until warmed up and scrubbed in.
    * Decreasing speed while making a corner will cause the bike to "fall into the turn" unless you turn more tightly to compensate. This is due to centrifugal force holding the bike up against gravity. Slow down, and the centrifugal force decreases. (Yes, physics nuts, centrifugal force is an 'imaginary' force, but it's less complicated this way)

    When it comes to leaning, there are really two modes of operation for a motorcycle:

    Slow riding (~15kph and below)-
    Either sit upright, or lean your upper body out of the corner. This forces the bike to lean into the turn to offset your weight which, for reasons of a technical nature, allow the bike to perform U-turns even tighter than if you were to sit upright and lean with the bike.

    Riding at speed (everything else)-
    Either sit upright (relative to the bike - so when it leans into the corner, you lean with it), or shift your weight and lean your body into the corner. This forces the bike to sit more upright in the turn, reducing the risk of the footpegs/etc scraping on the ground.

    I'm not sure what you mean by leaning your lower body one way and your upper body the other. I would advise against that.

    If in doubt, squeeze the tank with your thighs and simply lean your upper body with the bike in a neutral position. Arms bent and 'loose', body supported by the thighs and abdominal muscles. It's a good, stable position and won't hinder your cornering speeds for a long time.

    All turns on a bicycle or motorcycle are initiated by counter-steering, though it's most noticable at speed (and virtually undetectable when slowriding). Forceful, conscious countersteering is a useful skill to have for emergency swerves and to quickly initiate a turn. :)

    I was taught to push with the inside arm, "Push right to turn right, push left to turn left", but I'm sure there are riders out there who pull with the outside hand instead. It's not that important, I suspect. Though since your arm might be partially supporting the weight of your body, pushing away makes better sense to me...

    What is important is that your two arms don't fight each other when you try to turn. If you're supporting your body's weight with your arms and try to countersteer, you'll usually find the steering feels extremely heavy and that the bike does not want to turn into the corner. Especially if you have your elbows locked, and a deathgrip on the handlebars.

    Keep your arms bent and "loose", support your body's weight with your thigh and abdominal muscles instead of your hands, and consciously push with the inside hand, consciously making sure the outside hand doesn't apply force to the handlebar. (If you're a push/push person, anyway).

    Pumps usually only cut off when the tip of the nozzle becomes submerged... Though even then it's not a guarantee that they'll stop. Best to simply look at the filler neck and see when the fuel is getting close to the top, rather than trusting the auto-cutoff.
  4. I always park my bike in 1st gear that way i know its not going anywhere and no one can roll it away on me lol I also use the steering lock .

    When i park on flat ground i do the above and make sure the front wheel is facing my stand.

    Petrol, the first time i ever filled up i sprayed petrol all over my freshly washed bike WAS NOT HAPPY JAN! I hadnt even touched the trigger yet, it was just what was left in the nozzle from the previous user..so now i fill up whilst im sitting on the bike, i hold my bike upright ( i dont let it rest on the stand) this give a flat tank so u get the correct level of fuel....I carefuly place the nozzle in so i get no over spray and i can watch the petrol go in and get high off the fumes at the same time lol

    A mate of mine taught me how to counter steer, I find gently pushing the side u want to turn to works best, i use body weight also...
    Im still practicing my u turns but i see to be doing well, round abouts are great practice for that sort of thing, ill go right around a round about if no one is around just for the turning practice, of course that only works for the right hand turns lol u need to practice the left ones else where...
  5. A week or so ago I parked my bike on a slightly downhill gravelly park in neutral and of course it moved forward as I got off and it dropped sideways throwing me to the ground as well (oh my poor knees). Anyhoo, Im parking it in first gear now, ta!
  6. Spots knows stuff. His advice is usually good. Listen to him.
  7. I don't understand why people park their bikes in neutral. I cannot think of 1 advantage that comes close to or outweighs the fact that you are so much more likely to drop your bike when parked on a slope..

    And in regards to parking on hills, the steeper the hill the more parallel to the road your bike should be. Pretty common sense really. On steep hills I sometimes put my bikes back wheel in the gutter. It's similar logic to parking a car on a steep hill - you angle the front wheels so that if the handbrake fails, the back wheel of the car will swing into the gutter and bring the car to a rest rather than rolling 100m down the hill, across an intersection and killing someone.