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Discussion Starter #1
My first season of riding is coming to an end soon. I hate the thought of having to put the bike away, but the clock is ticking. Season one has been a success for me. I only dropped a bike once, not enough to do any type of damage, thank god. Hey, we all done it. I'm confident that I got what it takes to be a good safe rider. Not afraid to admit I still have some fear, but some fear is a good thing. Keeps you from doing something stupid.

There's still two more things I need to do before the season ends. One is getting on the highway. I need to learn how to get my speed up quickly in order to safely merge into traffic. Not going to try it during rush hour, just to be on the safe side. But if I don't try it, I just won't know.

The second one also involves a highway, but it also includes an entrance ramp with a decreasing radius corner. If you look at this entrance way from the sky, its a hell of a turn. Cars have eaten guardrails by misjudging this corner. I've taken some nice L corners on the bike, but not a C corner like this one is. But I gotta do it......I've got to go slow enough to safely make the corner, but fast enough to be able to accelerate once out of the corner to merge.

Cannot wait to find out what Season Two has in store for me.......
 

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Female Rider
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Sounds like you've had a great 1st season. Try getting on that highway on a Sunday morning. It's really not that bad unless it's rush hour or in a big city. The decreasing radius curve isn't that bad either. I'm sure once you do it you will be asking yourself why you were so afraid.

Give yourself a big pat on the back and Welcome to the withdrawals many of us northerners have. This Forum helps keep me sane in the winter.
 

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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Get up early one day and hit the highway before traffic picks up, and get yourself used to the ons and offs before you try navigating rush hour.

We're lucky here in that we usually have at least a couple of weekend days a month where I can ride for a few hours. I'd go stir-crazy up North.
 

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sounds like a great season for you. I was told when i started riding that it was good to be nervous, kept you on your toes and paid attention in traffic better. Not sure if that is true for everyone.
 

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One thing about the highway is semi tractor trailers passing you (or you them) can have a wind factor.
I posted the other day about being on the freeway.:)
 

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If you wait, all that happens is you get older
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The second one also involves a highway, but it also includes an entrance ramp with a decreasing radius corner. If you look at this entrance way from the sky, its a hell of a turn. Cars have eaten guardrails by misjudging this corner. I've taken some nice L corners on the bike, but not a C corner like this one is. But I gotta do it......I've got to go slow enough to safely make the corner, but fast enough to be able to accelerate once out of the corner to merge.
Remember you go where you look so do not look at the guardrail


:71baldboy:
 

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Congrats. I'm finishing up my 1st riding season as well. i still have 2 off ramps that I'd like to tackle myself. I've been on the highway and I've had tractor trailers pass me and it is nerve racking.
 

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Congratulations zippy it's great to get that 1st year successfully accomplished!! Remind me again, what riding history you had before this year?

This is also my wife's 1st year street riding and she too is thrilled with her achievements. She put over 10,000 kilometers on the bike herself(!) Initially she assumed she might barely get out of our small town by years end :D but in actual fact we got in some nice long highway rides. She also did manage to drop the bike 3 times :eek: during the year, but each of them the bike was either stopped or barely rolling. No damage to her or the bike except 1 drop did kill the windshield :( which wasn't so bad because she hated that windshield anyway LOL and now had a reason to get 1 she really liked.

Winter is soon approaching here too :icon_mad: we're really bummed out thinking about hanging the bikes up for winter hibernation..
 

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No getting around it, that first highway ride is nerve racking. But once you've done it and you get a little comfortable you'll realize it is actually safer than in town riding. I go along with others in suggesting early Sunday morning well before church as being the best time. You won't have near the merge concern and you can more or less take your time getting to what will seem like the speed of light. Of course the traffic will depend on where you are located. But even Dallas traffic is much better early Sunday morning than any other time.
 

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I'd recommend signing up for the msf arc next year. They cover decreasing radius turns.

Year one is the second most dangerous time for riders statistically. Between year three and four is the most dangerous, especially so if a different motorcycle is ridden that year.
 

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Corners

Good for you. Well done.
Those corners that tighten up, are the traffic engineers way of getting us to slow down. We can also practice braking as we go around a corner.
Use the appropriate amount of brakes to get slowed down initially, then ease the pressure as you continue to scrub off speed. Can change from a full fist on the front brake, to two fingers. The rear brake may require a bit more conscious thought, depending how sensitive it is.

On my Suzuki, one finger on the front works, with normal pressure on the back.
On my bigger Yamaha, I use all fingers on the front and a harder push on the back.
On my small Yamaha, I try to break the lever for the front, and stomp on the back with my heel. Only one disc on this bike, and a drum on the back.

Year two is only a few months away.

Unkle Crusty * That's my new over 65 sign.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Congratulations zippy it's great to get that 1st year successfully accomplished!! Remind me again, what riding history you had before this year?
Not very much at all. When I was in my teens, I did try to get on a dirt bike. I made it maybe 5 feet before I dumped into a pricker bush of all things. Other than that it was just mopeds around the campground, but like maybe 5 miles an hour tops was all you could legally do (though what they couldn't see......) I have ridden on the back of a bike most of my life. Most of my boys I hang with ride or rode. So I was atleast familiar with how a bike operated . But when everyone I knew who rode gave up the bikes for some reason, I still wanted to go on. I spent many many painful years trying to convince the other half to let me buy a bike. One day, I said heck with asking, I just went out and brought one. I had my blankie ready for the dog house. But now we both say, "why did we wait so long". I got him back into riding also.
 

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Congrats on the 1st year. When it comes time next Spring to get the bike back out you will be pretty rusty again. Do yourself a favor and find a quiet parking lot to get used to the bike again. If you can get the "Ride Like a Pro" DVD online, I would highly recommend it. It will help you master the bike and become a better rider.

Curves are easy no matter what the radius does when you trust yourself. Always ride outside,inside, outside on a curve to make it as straight as possible and look through the curve as far as possible. You ride where you look. If you look a short distance in front of you and down you will have trouble. Most people when they 1st start riding (myself included) don't look far enough ahead. At 30 MPH you will travel 44' in one second so you need to anticipate at least 6 seconds or more to make any avoidance possible. In other words, looking 50' ahead of you at 30 MPH is water that has already went under the bridge before you can react. :71baldboy:
 

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Grats! :71baldboy:

Yeah, that first full speed limit interstate ride is a rush. I had a death grip on the bars the whole time. It'll be no time before you're flying down the super slab, side saddle, with no hands, posting on the forum. :p
 

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Zippy, quick acceleration on an on-ramp is the same as quick acceleration on any clear road, rpm's is your friend, shifting early is an acceleration killer.

Your single cylinder 650 will probably easily do 30 in first, 50 in second, 65 in third, I had a 500cc single cylinder that easily did those speeds, but you are probably shifting at speeds where you are in 5th by the time you reach 55mph.

Rpm's are your friend going around curves too. To prove it or disprove it to yourself go out and do a curve at 50mph in 5th, come back and do it at 50mph in 4th, then again in 3rd, you will feel the difference.

You've probably heard/read go into the curve slow and accelerate when you reach the apex........while this comes from racing, it can be used in everyday riding, but keep in mind this is coming from the race track, when they talk about acceleration they mean the front wheel is trying to come off the ground, they don't consider the acceleration they do starting the curve as acceleration, and they do accelerate going into the curve, they just aren't trying to lift the front wheel.

You want a driving force from the back wheel thru out the curve, going from 50 to 51 in a minute is acceleration but not what the racers consider acceleration, but it is providing a driving force from the back wheel. It is much easier to provide a small amount of acceleration in a lower gear than it is a higher gear.

So, slow down before the curve, start at the outside of the curve, wait until you have to start turning(aka go deeper into the curve) and when you start leaning also start accelerating(mildly), ideally when you reach the inside of the curve you have also reached the point where you start coming out of the curve, and at this point you can start accelerating more.....if desired.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I learned early on, acceleration actually helps in corners. When I first started out, I was well, very skittish on corners, I'd practically be to the point where I was off the throttle through out the corner. I was taking some corners too wide, which is a killer. Joe taught me that you want to get your braking in first, be at the point like you say, right at the apex, throttle on. When he said the faster you go in a corner, the easier it is to handle the bike, I was mystified, but he was right. Now, I'm not talking kill yourself type of fast, but the right speed to get around the corner and not feel like the bike is wobbly. And that's how the BRC instructor taught us, get up enough speed through the straight, brake, and then throttle. That's how I learned smooth.

Here is the entrance ramp I will be trying this weekend......
 

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I learned early on, acceleration actually helps in corners. When I first started out, I was well, very skittish on corners, I'd practically be to the point where I was off the throttle through out the corner. I was taking some corners too wide, which is a killer. Joe taught me that you want to get your braking in first, be at the point like you say, right at the apex, throttle on. When he said the faster you go in a corner, the easier it is to handle the bike, I was mystified, but he was right. Now, I'm not talking kill yourself type of fast, but the right speed to get around the corner and not feel like the bike is wobbly. And that's how the BRC instructor taught us, get up enough speed through the straight, brake, and then throttle. That's how I learned smooth.

Here is the entrance ramp I will be trying this weekend......
Easy peasy lemon squeezy! It looks like you have a long & straight acceleration lane before you hit the main road. Once the bike is on the straight just pour on the coals and ride it like you stole it. You should be able to merge at highway speed.
 

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Congratulation on your first season of riding, fear is a good thing as long as you don't let it control you.

I have several decreasing radius turns on my daily commute, after a while they will be no different than any other.
 

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There are a couple of those in my area...we call them clover leaves...that are a bit intimidating. I just went at them with caution the first time, figuring it is easier to speed up in a corner than it is to slow down. There is one that l take to school that is particularly ugly because it is two lanes, and just on the other side is a turnoff to a REALLY busy highway that gets super backed up. If you don't keep a sharp eye out you will find people switching lanes to avoid the slowdown. I drove to school the first 3 days before l finally said phukit and went for it. And you know what? No one can take away the self-esteem l gained from taking that corner and feeling good about it :)

One thing l really like about you is that you are honest with yourself, about your fears, your ability, the challenges you want to conquer. I think that self-awareness is a remarkable trait. That in itself makes your first year a success :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Hawk. I feel you have to be honest with yourself, if you lie to yourself you are just shutting yourself down from learning how to improve.
 
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