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riding to work: not very smooth in the mornings

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by jekyll, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. I've come to really appreciate Pridmore's mantra of smoothness. Unfortunately, as much as I aspire to smoothness, I just can't manage it in the morning.

    Before the cocktail of stimulants I've come to regard as part of my standard operating environment have percolated their way through my nervous system, my riding is generally jerky, coarse and clumsy.

    I'm not a morning person, but I'd really like to address this as both a safety issue and an annoyance, and about half my daily travel is done in this sad state. On the way home, when I'm more alert, I feel I'm far less likely to come unstuck, largely because I'm much smoother with my control inputs.

    Does anyone else have the same problem? Any tips on how to overcome this?
  2. back to basics:

    Grip the tank with your legs.
    Relax your arms and shoulders.
    Pull clutch in FAST, let out sloooow.

    You'll be right, mornings aren't my best time for functioning either! :)
  3. Not sure about me - but my bike is definately more twitchy first thing!

    For the first 5 km or so in the morning when cold I find the engine splutters a little (like I'm out a fuel). Once things warm up I'm fine.

    Perhaps I'm not the best at getting the manual choke into the absolute best position when really cold?
  4. Ktulu - you could be right - I just need to focus on the basics, and treat learning to ride in the mornings like learning to ride in the first place.

    I think the clutch is a very large part of my problem: manual dexterity isn't helped by the cold and the fact hands give less feedback when frozen over ( and with my overgloves on especially).

    Dadagain - though it often takes a minute or so of wringing the starter on cold mornings, I can't blame the bike for this unfortunately. It's not fuelling, it's my inputs.

    cheers ..
  5. I find this too. I put it down to the fact that firstly I'm half asleep and secondly the brakes and clutch are more bighty when stone cold, same goes with tyres. I locked up the rear yesterday on the way to the gym doing what I normally do because the tyre was stone cold and haddent come up to pressure and it was probably the first time i touched the brakes for the ride.

    The only way i've found to avoid this is to just take it easy for the first few minutes. It's better for your machine to let everything warm up gradually anyway. You've also got to warm your own senses up too.

  6. Yep. I guess other things I could try to warm myself up are:

    * practice an e-brake or two before I hit heavy traffic if possible (conservatively)
    * slalom around a bit to get a feel for the bike's steering
    * concentrate on moving around in the seat / moving upper body while cornering

    All stuff I should probably be doing on every ride anyway ...
  7. Just slap yourself when you wake up and smash back a concrete milkshake before you leave.
  8. Mind your cold tyres...
  9. good to know there are others out there, i generally keep well below my normal pace in the morning. dont trust my reaction times to other peoples jerky movement. but i find if i leave 2 car lenths distance between me and the car in front another bonehead pulls in or some one starts tailgating. so its a no win situation. while coming back from work though its a totally different story.
  10. +1

    But all the same, I 'S' through my street so by the time I get to the roundabout, the tyres are happy.
  11. maybe the 'cocktail of stimulants' in your system is having some effect on your riding.
    i dont drink coffee coz i dont like the taste and for some reason it makes me buzz out like im on amphetamines.but a friend insisted i try some gourmet shit he made one night and an hour later,the ride home was just an erratic mess.i couldnt seem to get things smooth and flowing.just me maybe...
  12. Yep, just you. I can assure you I ride far better on dexamphetamine (which I take pretty much daily for ADHD) than in the mornings.

    Like I said, the issues I'm describing are because I'm still groggy from waking up and there's still too much blood in my caffeine system, not the other way around.
  13. I'm most alert and at my smoothest in the mornings. Tend to be a bit out of synch late afternoon/early evening after a mentally tiring day at the office. So I take extra, extra care then.
  14. Sounds like my morning toilet routine...... :grin:
  15. I get it too jekyll. Its a piss off hey... for that first 5 to 10 mins i cant get comfy, feel stiff through the arms and shoulders, im over thinking eveything coz im worried about coming off, get a bit of self doubt almost, my clutch control is woefull and spend have the time saying to myself "that was rubbish!!" every time i jerk on the throttle, clutch or miss an apex of an easy corner or totally stuff up a lane split etc.. I reckon you have solved your own problem though with the checklist of stuff to do.

    My way to get around it is to do what you said and also to ride really chilled out for the first part. No feisty gear changes, take offs or anything till you start to get a bit bored.. By then all your sences should have started co operating and your "unconsciencely competent" brain kicks in and your smooth sailing again...

    it is a little concerning that most of us are feeling out of it or on another planet when we are tackling the potentially most dangerous activity of our day! : )
  16. This is a fallacy. Swerving left and right like the racers do does very little to warm a tyre at road speeds. The quickest way to warm a rear tyre is by accelerating hard. The quickest way to warm a front tyre is by braking hard.

    Thus, two wheelies and the rear should be good, and two emergency stops and the front's ready for a stoppie. That's on mega-soft race tyres, mind you, but with those puppies the difference between cold and warm is very noticeable in handling characteristics and grip.

    It's worth noting that you probably shouldn't go accelerating flat-out to warm the tyres until the engine's nice and warm itself.
  17. In response to the original question, I can't relate really - as soon as I get on my bike in the morning and get out into traffic I'm into full-alert attack mode, no matter how tired I was when I hit the starter button.