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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, So I just got my bike and finally took it out for my first ride around the block. Loved it but I also fell. I'm happy I pushed myself but sad that I'm confused about where I went wrong.

So after my first ride I have two issues:

#1. Controlling the bike at very slow speeds. When you're going slow the bike seems to become like a way too heavy bicycle with a motor that's very hard to steer and control. So taking off was confusing as the handle bar would suddenly turn to the left and I'd panic let go of the throttle and try to bring it back. I'd give throttle and find I'm going too fast to the other direction. That was hard, confusing and pretty scary.

#2 Tight corners. The other issue was where I fell. Since I was around the block, I had to go very slow on turns, but then on a slightly less tight turn I tried to see if I could roll more throttle and take the turn less "bicycle like" but then when I did that I either gave too much and I felt like the bike took off super fast and I knew I didn't have control. I did the obvious dumb thing, I pulled in the clutch and hit the brakes on that quick turn. And obviously I fell down on my left side to the concrete and the bike fell and slid to the right. The floor was also wet.

I'm excited that I pushed myself through and tried even though I fell. I just feel confused about where I'm going wrong.

The other thing is I don't know whether it was my fault or the bike. The bike seems to have a sticky throttle so when you roll the throttle and release the throttle is still running and is very slow to close itself. I think this is partly to blame for why I fell.

Because even though I gave it a bit more throttle. I released and I felt like the throttle was still going strong so I panicked and hit the brakes.

Help me guys.

  1. What's the right way to control the bike when you're starting off slow?
  2. What's the right way to make turns around the block? Should I just go super slow and steer like a bike instead of trying it faster.
  3. Could a sticky throttle be the culprit?

P.S. When the bike fell I also noticed the engine was still going this why I feel like it has a sticky throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Annoying cagers

I found this great article on turning. Didn't know about counterweight, but I can't post the link here until I get more credits.

What pissed me off was that after I fell I get back up, pick up my bike and ride down the block so I can come back up.

I was a little nervous about too much throttle on any kind angle so I'm walking my bike up to get even with the rode before giving throttle and this guy in a pickup truck drives down the hill, pulls his car right next to me, rolls down his window and literally just looks dead at me for like 15 awkward seconds.

I'm like? Are you looking to park the car here? And he's like "No I just saw you walking the bike. I live around here." Stares at me and just drives off.

Now I know how it feels to ride. It's like it's own culture.
 

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It's all about control. Specifically throttle and clutch control. Depending on the bike you have, that can easy or difficult for a first timer. Less engine is better here.

But, don't feel like the lone ranger. I wish someone had a camera to film my first ride. It was very much like a bucking bronco.

Too much throttle to near wheelie and complete back off to near stop. Repeated over and over. People had to busting a gut watching me from their picture windows.

Just getting started was like rev'ing the engine to near redline and the bike not even moving because I wouldn't release the clutch. That right hand left hand coordination is critical.

Now I didn't even attempt going all the way around the block for a long time. I just went straight, walked the bike around to come back. And the sweat was pouring off me.

So I did that until I had the hands working better. So my first time actually going around the block I didn't fall but it was still jerky in the corner it's self.

And it was done steering the bike not leaning it. Plus I never got out of first gear. That didn't happen for a month of just going around the block every night after getting home from work.

So shifting was the next comical adventure. You are not alone. That's why we suggest to never buy a new bike as your first bike. You are going to make a lot of mistakes that result in the bike being on the ground.

And a small engine bike so it won't get away on you. It's all about survival to start with. Practicing where you can't get hurt. But the key is control with hand coordination and only with enough speed to not fall over.

Don't expect to just get on and ride like you might have been doing on a bicycle. Do you remember how well you did your first time on a bicycle? I cried and wanted to give up.

It's no different with motorcycling. At least it wasn't for me. Just keep at it and don't try being the know it all macho type. Take it slow and easy. Baby steps if you will.

Good luck.:71baldboy:
 

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The throttle should snap back to idle when released. I would get that fixed before riding, because it could be dangerous as well as difficult. The grip might be pressed up against the control housing causing it to stick. See if wiggling the rubber part of the grip outward a couple millimeters will help.

Control of the motorcycle at low speeds takes smooth coordination of the clutch and throttle, along with maintaining enough momentum to remain stable.

Tight turns from a stop can be tricky at first. Too slow, and it gets wobbly. Too fast and you lose directional control. This just takes practice. Ideally, you want to find the friction zone quickly then use the clutch to moderate the speed of the motorcycle. Very tight turns will need some counterweight like you mentioned above.

I would recommend taking a basic motorcycle course. They cover a lot of the low-speed maneuvering, cornering, shifting, braking, and emergency procedures as well as strategies that can help keep you safe on the street. It will save a lot of trial and error and give you a solid foundation to continue learning to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. It's always great to know you're not alone. I was sweating and my body super tense.

I feel weird because I have a good friend who just bought his bike and his first ride rode on the highway home for 50 minutes and said it was easier than he thought. He's very brave.

But to be honest with myself, it's actually HARDER than I thought. Maybe because I'm starting around the block which may take more skill than going straight. Maybe people just have different natural rhythms. I got to take my own time with this though.

I do find the bike has a mind of its own often. I find myself swerving to the left lane if I'm not careful. So I'm wondering wow what's that gonna be like when I'm in traffic.

I noticed that it feels like there's too many controls to focus on, clutch, brake, throttle, shifting, back brake. I also have no idea what gear I'm in if I try to go to second. I'm thinking am I really in second? i really wish it said the gear.

But right now I'm trying to focus mostly on the clutch and throttle and stay in first gear around the block.

I need to practice, but I do want to get that throttle checked out just make sure it's safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did take the MSF course and got my license but it was a while back. So it feels new again.
 

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You might be well served by spending some time working on the friction zone drills that MSF starts out with, both rocking the bike and walking it, until finding the friction zone is more automatic. I'm also a new rider and spend some time on drills in a parking lot almost every time I ride. As individual skills become more automatic for you, you will begin to feel less overwhelmed as you have more time to process things mentally. Right now, it sounds like you are probably behind the curve on operating the bike because you are overwhelmed. Focus on the skills you can isolate in a safe environment (maybe get your friend to ride your bike to an empty parking lot for you) and you'll make progress.
 

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I do not know if the MSF course is free or not where you live but here in PA, it cost nothing. I have taken the MSF as a refresher several times & I know of seasoned riders that take the advanced course every-other year on their own bike. With the changing times of technology along with the use of cell phones, texting while driving and cagers just not paying attention, it is worth taking the course again.
 

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I think you are doing the right thing by concentrating on clutch and throttle control. Until that becomes second nature, you will struggle trying to do anything more.
Today, after about 50 years of riding, I still start the bike every day and practice finding my friction zone while I use the engine to turn the bike around to face the street by going back and forth in the driveway. For me, with my experience, that is plenty to remind me exactly where my friction zone starts but without that reminder I might be a fraction off when leaving a red light. When the bike weighs 900 pounds you sure don't want to be stalled in an intersection with the bike on its side.
 

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You might be well served by spending some time working on the friction zone drills that MSF starts out with, both rocking the bike and walking it, until finding the friction zone is more automatic. I'm also a new rider and spend some time on drills in a parking lot almost every time I ride. As individual skills become more automatic for you, you will begin to feel less overwhelmed as you have more time to process things mentally. Right now, it sounds like you are probably behind the curve on operating the bike because you are overwhelmed. Focus on the skills you can isolate in a safe environment (maybe get your friend to ride your bike to an empty parking lot for you) and you'll make progress.
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Good suggestions. :71baldboy:

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