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reality check

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by jphanna, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Guys

    After 2 months of my new found love and freedom on my Eliminator, I decided to suss out the place of my attempt to get my ‘P’s. Oaklands park The mission was to practice on the various weaves, u-turns and straight line test on my own without any pressure. Prior to yesterday, I had just gotten on my bike and headed for the hills. I had done NO u-turns or weaving before.

    Was I in for a rude shock or what. I couldn’t get within a BULLS ROAR of the limits required initially. In fact for about a full hour, I was all over the place. I was amazed on how I just could not control the bike at slow speed. Then I started to get into the zone. I could do a U-turn on FULL lock on either side. I still just couldn’t get within the rectangle they painted though. I attributed that because of the long wheelbase of my cruiser.

    Although I got my throttle/ clutch/ brake/turning system working nicely now on my cruiser, it may not pass the test, as its turning circle is huge compared to the small bikes they supply.

    The question I got for you is do they allow for bigger bikes, or do you have to use their bikes to pass the test as it’s a ‘known’ quantity? I got 2 months before I got for it. if I am on full lock with my bike, and it wont turn within the lines, then do I have a choice?

    I must have been worked up and working damn hard to practice yesterday as it was 12 degrees in Adelaide…and I worked up a sweat that soaked my tshirt and jacket!
  2. u-turns are not entirely governed by the lock of your steering. You can get more out of bikes by the way you lean them.

    If all else fails you can borrow/hire a bike for the test.
  3. when I did my L training day, a bloke on a harley was doing continuous circles on a dot. Your bike can definitely make it, and I doubt they make provisions for larger bikes. If you keep practising you should make it. All else fails then hire a bike.
  4. Cruisers can definitely make the turn. You just need to work out the solution that works for you.

    If you have your throttle/clutch/back brake control working well and still aren't managing the turn then you will need to do a bit of counter leaning. That is, lean teh bike into the u-turn like you would a normal turn but counter balance the bike by leaning your body in the opposite direction.

    Give this a go and see if it helps. Work up to it little by little. On my bike (which can do the u-turn easily without counter leaning) the distance required with only a minor counter lean is much smaller. Up to a meter difference than with no counter lean.

    Also, as some encouragement there was a guy at the Syndey L practice sessions a week ago with a cruiser who went round the u-turn like he was on rails with at least 30 cm's to spare. Did his test the next day I believe and passed with no problems.

    Oh - And this --> http://www.youtube.com/user/motorman857#p/u/27/yz2XWi2YzbY

    Fun Ha!
  5. omg that link ohmigosh is awesome!
  6. Dont be discouraged, keep practising. I learnt how on my cruiser, pretty much the same wheelbase I imagine.

    I never really developed the counter lean though, couldnt figure out how to slide my lazy arse off the lounge seat while going slow, but if you can do it as Ohmigosh says it will help. I did figure out a couple of things that might help too:

    1) eyes up and whipping that head around and really looking back over your shoulder really helps
    2) not going too slow. If you do the turn really slow the bike is very upright, a little bit faster and it naturally leans anyway and the turn is much tighter. Takes some experimenting.

    I'm not sure what the deal is in SA, but here in NSW if you do the course but fail the test you only have to repeat the test, not the whole day. If its the same there then I'd recommend booking yourself in with time to repeat the test before your Ls expire if you need to.
  7.  Top
  8. i suspect that i was countersteering to a degree as my 'hip muscles' are both tight today. also my shoulder muscles are tight, hense the total 'workout' i had. doing my regular open road riding, i dont think i moved the bars more than 2 inches.

    i had to force myself to use all the lock to overcome my fear of dropping the bike at slow speed.

    before my 'L's i UNDERestimated how hard it would be to get my licence. i was proved wrong.

    one thing that is wrong is the hordes of people telling me that a 250....ANY 250 would be boring and useless going around the hills where i live. well my 'gutless 250 can pull easily from 40kph in 6th gear without hestiation. i can do all the hills, including haripins in 3rd to 6th gear for the whole trip! it has reached 120kph (fiance has full licence -ZZR600)with PLENTY of throttle left. once i get my 'p's i wont need any more grunt to do what i do.
  9. Hey Devo - The NSW MOST cone weave is an offset cone weave and not in a straight line. The rider needs to take the outside line and not the shortcut line.

    So the coneweave in the video is showing a much easier test than we have in NSW. Mind you the video also shows an offset cone weave like we have but with the offset MUCH greater than ours.

    Fun Ha!
  10. Might be that you were unconsciously counter leaning with your upper body. Might also be that you were very tense due to the unfamiler slow speed and fears of dropping your bike. Make a conscious effort with the counter leaning and see how it goes. Try to relax as much as you can, and work on your vision. Look where you want to go. When you begin your turn you should be looking as far back as you can and not at the ground. Don't worry too much about how wide your u-turns are at first but work up your skills and confidence and they'll get tighter as you go.

    Good fun isn't it :D Try increasing your speed slightly through the turn as this will help you lean the bike more and make an escape from the "spiral of death and bike droppiness" easier to achieve. Again work up to it. Don't just crank into a u-turn at 25KPH - or if you do have friend video it for us all :popcorn:

    In a little while I reckon you'll be thinking you overestimated how hard it would be ;)

    Good on ya mate. Enjoyment is what matters. ;)

    Fun Ha!
  11. +1 to what every one has already said, but if I may interject with one thing...

    Don't just learn enough to be able to only pass the test.

    take it further and "master" your low speed riding..

    There is nothing more impressive than someone on a bike who can handle just about anything in low speed condition. Even the cagers will appreciate the skill you show.

    And there is nothing worse than wobbling around, until you finally trip over your own bike in the middle of a car park full of shoppers on a sunny saturday afternoon, because you are clearly out of your depth. (even though you may have passed the test). No respect, no cred, no cigar!
  12. My 250 goes hard. Not as hard as my missus' 400 admittedly...

    Heres one you guys might like.
    Dont think i can directly host a movie on here so ive got it on my server. May be a tad slow if a few people hit it at once, but the file is only 3 megabytes...


    edit: then again, might not, its a cop on a bike :p.
  13. True that...anyone can ride fast..it takes real skill do master very slow speed riding.
  14. Others have provided links to "how to U-turn REAAAAAAAAALLY tight" videos and the like, so I'll simply offer encouragement to learn slow-riding techniques.

    If you get into a really masochistic mindset, it can even become a bit of a game - Every traffic light is an opportunity to attempt a trackstand like the cyclists and Trials riders do; every U-turn is a chance to turn so tightly that light itself cannot escape your motorcycle singularity.

    Take heart in the fact that just about any motorcycle can achieve the U-turn test, with a bit of rider finesse. Sure, the 'standard'/naked bikes have a bit of a head-start, but sportsbikes and cruisers can do it too with a bit of technique. :)

    Good luck!
  15. sig'd (y)