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practicing slow stuff- effect on new bike?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by helent, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Hi
    (not sure whether this is the right forum,or whether it should be maintenance or technical , but as I am a new rider....... :? )

    Anyway, I have a brand new gpx250, and am in the process of learning. Riding is not going too badly in general, but the u-turns are still giving me the sh1ts and this is what I need to practice at the moment, more than anything else. But I am worried about the effect on my new bike, all that clutch and rear brake stuff. I am trying to only spend maybe a few minutes doing it before I go for a few minutes ride around the block, to give the bike a break and then back to the slow stuff again.

    How long is too long doing the slow stuff?

    And whilst I am here, any tips on getting the u-turns right will be well received. I have read all the stuff about clutch slipping, and using the rear brake to steady myself etc, but am still only managing about 1 in 10 turns without putting my foot down, I seem to get half way round and the bike just wants to fall over so I put my foot down!. I can do more open turns OK, but I am consciously trying to get the turning radius down at the moment to something resembling what I will be asked to do on the test. What RPM should I be doing this at? Also, I am wondering if I am tring to use 'too much' rear brake and stopping the bike from actually going anywhere, hence why it wants to fall over :shock: .

    Waaaahhhhhh :cry: I feel like I an NEVER going to get these u-turns off pat and will be resigned to being on my Ls forever, forever destined to have to go out on my bike with someone else (stupid WA laws, at least if I was elsewhere in Oz, I would be able to ride myself to a car park to practice).
  2. +1

    yeah u turns are annoying me too... doesn't help that it was a u turn that i royally stuffed up on and sent me and bike monoing accros an intersection. :(
  3. get your head turned WAY the hell around, look right back over your shoulder. Too far is just enough.

    Secondly, lean your body the opposite way your turning the bike to counter balance the whole show.

    Give those things a go.
  4. Yeah i'm practicing the whole trail rider look while doing this... bum on edge of seat leaning away from the bike.
  5. Perfect, get the head turned as well and youll be u-boltin all over the place.
  6. Do this, especially the 'turning the head right around' stuff. Keep your head turned around as you turn, so you keep looking virtually behind you... this is a case where if you straighten your head as you turn, your turn will become less sharp, so exaggerate that head movement.

    A loose chain/sloppy drive line won't help smoothness in this situation.

    Don't worry about hurting your bike: your clutch will be well tough and your rear brake is not suffering until it is as hot as a stove. You don't kill a GPX that easily.
  7. i'm trying..... i think the fact that i'm not familiar with how far the bike can lean isn't helping and as i feel it go, i think "oops!!" and try to pull it back up a bit.

    Will get it with practice i guess and getting used to the bike in general.
  8. Yo Helent, as long as you're not revving harder than the run in limit for the gpx the bike will be fine. if its a really hot day and you buzz round and round in first it will get hot, but until your temp warning idiot light comes on, your ok. 250's are tuff lil things.

    As for your U-turns, as stated above, look, counter balance. Try practicing little circles round and round. Get them smaller and smaller until your doing full circles on full lock, or if you've got space go bigger and go lower and lower until your pegs drag. These get you to understand just how tight you can turn and how damn low the bike will go before it falls over. Believe me, it's lower and tighter than you think.

    And it's fun :grin:

    When trying to turn really tight you need to relax your upper body more than usual 'cos you're using much more steering angle than the vast majority of riding situations.

    I found my main problem was I was tensing up and thus restricting the bike from turning, kinda pushing with both freakin arms, poor bike didn't know where to go, so it went straight....

    relax, you'll get em right, just practice and let the learning soak in, then go back and build on it.
  9. Ok, been thinking some more about it all, and I am definitely not letting the bike lean as much as it probably should. So my next aim will be to try the counter balance, and also, I reckon although this stuff is supposed to be slow stuff, I presume, I can try to go too slow? Maybe I need to to up the speed a little bit more?

    It really doesn't help that I live miles from anywhere, and the only place I can practice this is at the end of my road which is a dead end, but very very gravelly and with steep drop offs at the edges (although only small, but I still don't fancy heading down them). So I do not have the confidence to not look where I am going (trying to though) and cannot start out wide and get smaller going round in circles. I need to get to a car park! Can you believe I have to ride for about 40 minutes to get to the nearest suitable car park? And that is down a busy rural highway with 110km/hr limit and loads of road trains. And it is straight - so no fun going round corners!
  10. Can't add much more than the above as there is some solid advice already - except if it annoys you then do it more! We all have manoeuvers that we are better at than others. This one is an important one to get right. You won't burn out the clutch or ruin the rear brake, remember to keep the revs and throttle steady - in other words don't suddenly pour on the revs half-way thru. Look where you want you and the bike to be from doing the u-turn. Revs need to be just a tad higher than normal. 'Bars need to have a little arm pressure on them and preferably not on full-lock.
  11. I've been practising my u-turns for the last couple of days and today I finally got to the point where I can lock the bars to either side and just go round and round.
    All I can suggest that hasn't already been mentioned is to get the constant power right first before you try doing the turns. You will never get your turns right if you vary your speed and throttle too much while turning.
    In the same vein .. if you de feel like you are going to fall over you aren't going fast enough. Increase your throttle a bit but at the same time give a tiny bit of back brake to stabilise it ....

    Umm yeah. Just practice practice and remember the Target fixation(Look where you want to go not where you are going), That is the real key to doing good turns!
  12. Yeah time for a car park session it sounds like.
  13. HI all
    I had another go when I got home last night, and somehow or other, I seemed to have got the hang of it :grin: Trouble is, I am not sure what I am doing differently, so it could just as easy go all horribly wrong again. But last night I was well impressed with myself. I think I just went at it with a bit more attitude, and probably picked the speed up a bit more.

    It felt great!!!! Now to get my test booked!! (well, maybe I'll try them again on the weekend, just to make sure......)
  14. If you're getting it right dont think about it and just do it.
    Thinking too much can put you off. Although your bound to do it on the day. Sux but it happens.

    When I did mine the I was doing ok but still missing it now and then during the practice run.
    The instructor told me to push my opposite knee forward along the side of the tank.

    So turn right push left knee forward etc. It helps to balance the bike a little. It helped no end.

    Everything else...as above.

    good luck
  15. helent, You're not out at Bullsbrook by any chance? I seem to remember it was about 40min to Midlands from the Base. If you're a RAAFie then there is a good carpark at the Gym that you could use or Airmovements if they let you.

    Don't panic too much about u-turns. I'd just practice riding real slow and turning etc. If you can balance like a trials rider then a u-turn is nothing. I can't really give too much more advice because I learn't balance and slow speed stuff whilst mucking around with dirt bikes when I was a kid. We used to have the old "slow race" and stuff like that just for some fun.

  16. Hi Andrew, I don't live in Bullsbrook, but I do drive through it every day - I'm even further north, in Lower Chittering, another 15 mins away. And I'm not a RAAFIE, so I suppose that means I won't be able to use their car park then? :)

    I take it you know the area well then? Did you work at the base?
  17. If this was a new GPX with zero-4 km on the clock and has not been run in yet, start asking for an experienced rider to do the run in for you by giveing the bike a hard time. It may be too late, maybe not.

    The main problem on the new motor is wearing the rings in to get a good seal, a new engine runs the risk of "glazed bores" not running the engine in.

    Glazed bores will not wreck the bike, just take away power/response due to slightly lower compression.

    To master the U-turn, try takeing a bit of the weight of your bum from the seat. So don't stand right up on the foot-pegs, but just stand a little to maybe help you shift your balance easier.

    Acceleration will tend to stand a bike back up straight through a U-turn while de-celeration will coax the bike into leaning further into the turn. So throttle control alone can raise or lower the bike into a corner.

    Remember, it's not the U-turn that is hard but rather the lack of practice. We all learn eventualy.
  18. I should think the damage done (if any) practicing low speed riding would be less than not practicing and dropping the bike! :eek:

    Regards, Andrew.
  19. anyone tried sitting on the opposite site when u turning. I tried it after reading it in some bike magazine feels funny at first but im used to it now.
  20. Hi, well, my husband rode the bike home first (50kms or so) and that was up to highway speeds, although he was probably taking it gently because the manual says do not go over 4000 rpm for the first 800km (although he had to ignore this to get home - as it equated to about 60km/hr, and the road speed limit was 110km/hr). It has done another couple of similar long highway runs/mixed traffic since then, and I have been hooning around our rural estate most weekends. So the bike is not doing 'only' slow stuff. I just have to hope that what I am doing on it is ok, since I have gotten mixed messages about how to run the bike in - manufacturer says keep the revs low, others say the bike needs to be ridden hard within the first 50 kms. By the time I heard the 'run the bike hard within the first 50 kms' opinion, the bike had already done about 70kms. Now it is up to nearly 300kms. So I guess I just have to get on with it now.

    And fingers crossed that I have now gotten the hang of the dreaded u-turns :grin: