When is it time for main roads - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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When is it time for main roads

I'm a first time rider 37 yr old daddy and got his first moto sickle. A used 2007 1600 even. I've putted around the neighborhood in first gear. Plaid with second. (Book said first gear was good to 15mph) learning to make turns. Was real wide a lot of times. Haha close Throttle, break, then downshift to first. Haha

Just took MSF class. Stuck my fat butt on some small honda bike. But passed the class. Still felt a little to quick. But learned about the whole head turn stuff . Kinda neat how that's saposed to work and help with turns.

So I rode around the neighborhood again. Felt better about my turns. But not sure when to hit the main road outside our housing track. Wife says I'm probably over thinking it. But the first thought that comes to mind is....

Downshifting when traffic comes to a stop light or sign. And how or when to downshift? Even in the 3 day MSF class. Second gear is all we used... or what I used.

So I'm a little apprehensive with hitting the main road.

When traffic is slowing down from 45mph. I'm guessing that's 3rd gear. Can I just close the throttle, break, and when I hear the motors tone change, pull in the clutch and gear down to first. And just leave the clutch in until we take off again?

I read about ppl says to always be in the correct gear. But if I'm in say forth, when I down shift, it's like a engine break and the motor revs up a bit a d I'm guessing I won't be able to clutch into each gear by the time the car in front of me is stopped.

Or I feel I'll be downshifting letting out the clutch through each gear as I'm down shifting. And I'd think that would make me ride really slow as I make my way down to first gear and stop.

A part of me is thinking about taking a late night or real early morning ride and memories what speeds the books says second is. And no matter what gear I'm in. Close the throttle, slowly breaking, pull in the clutch, and when I reach that speed the book says second gear is for. Then maybe let it out and then pull it back in before I come to that stop.

I wish the MSF classes were longer. Imo...

If you read my post down this far. I really do thank you for your time and understanding of my questions and conserns.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:21 PM
WEG
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Hi DDW

When I first read this title my initial wise guy response was, "When the roads from NH end". Yeah I know, pretty lame. Anyway after reading you post and not seeing any replies yet, I thought I would throw in my two cents. If you know someone who has motorcycle experience and can give you a ride go for it and pay attention on the drivers shifting, braking, etc. if no one is available see if the class instructor can give you some one on one time or recommend someone who can.

Your comments and questions give me some concern to recommend you take to the roads unless it's deserted. After getting some more instruction You should find an empty parking lot and try out the new information. I also would recommend you make sure you have good protective gear, boots, armored jacket and pants, gloves, and of course a real helmet, full face or modular. Being a Dad you have some additional responsibilities to come home in one piece after riding IMHO.

Good luck and be careful out their.

WEG
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Oh ya, I got the full face. Wont go Half helmet for a while. I even thought it would be funny for a sticker on the back of it saying "student driver" haha

Other then the Apex and BOX we did in the MSF class. I see im doing everything everything in the class in my neighborhood.

Its just thinking about downshifting on the main road that I had questions about. Ways of downshifting. OR what others do when they downshift.

In my neighborhood I get up to 2nd gear. Its just looking for tips to getting to the main road. And traffic coming to a stop.

A part of me is thinking id even just wait till the motors sound starts to bog down a little, then pull in the clutch and coast to a stop, as im pressing down on the gears as the clutch stays in.
And if I have 3rd and 2nd memorized (the speed ratings in the manual) then I "think" I should be good to let out the clutch in them gears if traffic picks up all a sudden. ?

Sound good?
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Cool

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Hi DDW
haha, I like that. My wife told me to use this Nickname. hahaha
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:45 PM
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Hi DDW

As for down shifting and not down shifting, don't go crazy with thinking it must be perfect or even done. You can use your brakes with clutch in to come to a stop. Most of us, we'll me anyway, shift pretty much by sound and feel of our bikes. There is quite a bit of RPM range per gear and each person probably shifts at a different RPM. My bike doesn't have a tach, so I use my ears and ass to tell me when to shift 😊.

If you can't or don't wish to get some more instruction, or have a friend to ride with, then find yourself an empty parking lot and run through the gears, then slow down by down shifting. You will soon get a feel for just about how fast per gear feels and sou ds right. You also will make some mistakes and the engine will let you know it doesn't like that gear at that speed. So have at it. Practice practice then practice some more. And good choice on helmets, your chin will thank you for being able to stay on your face and not becoming part of the road 😳

WEG
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:28 PM
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If you have to ask then it's not time man. Like previous poster mentioned
Find an empty parking lot and practice some and get used to it. You don't need to be thinking about gears while in traffic. That should come naturally with a bit more practice.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:38 PM
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Hey DDW! I was 55 when I got my first bike and license. I can relate to what you are going thru. I dropped it twice the first weekend I was out practicing. The first time I got on a road outside of my neighborhood and got up to 50 mph, I almost $#!t a brick, smiling for ear to ear the whole time. What a rush!

You do not have to engage after each downshift, but you do want to learn when to downshift, so, as you said, you will be in the correct gear if you need to execute an escape route. You will only get that thru practice. Try to find some time when you can ride on streets with higher speed limits, but a minimum of traffic. Practice slowing down, engaging each gear to see how it feels. Practice emergency stopping downshifting as you go, but not engaging, and downshifting to a particular gear then engaging and accelerating. Knowing how to do that has saved my butt a couple of times.

It's a catch 22; you can't learn it if you don't do it, but you have to work within your skill set and confidence level. You will be surprised how quickly some skills become natural while others you have to continually work on to keep from developing bad habits.

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Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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When I downshift too soon. And I slowly let off the clutch. Engines rpms go up as the motor is slowing the bike. (Aka engine breaking) does that harm a bikes tranny or motor?
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:43 PM
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Depending on where he lives, and where he can practice, he may have to get on the road in order to run thru higher gears. That was the case for me. I tried to find a parking lot real close to home, but they turned out to be more dangerous than being on the road. I had to go several miles to find a suitable parking lot for slow maneuvers practice. Practicing in the neighborhood will only get you so far.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
__Brake Light Modulator, LED License Plate Holder
Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
Lucky Mirror Extenders
Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

LET'S RIDE
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sabre-t View Post
Depending on where he lives, and where he can practice, he may have to get on the road in order to run thru higher gears. That was the case for me. I tried to find a parking lot real close to home, but they turned out to be more dangerous than being on the road. I had to go several miles to find a suitable parking lot for slow maneuvers practice. Practicing in the neighborhood will only get you so far.
Haha, that is my issue. Unless I'm a night rider and I go, maybe after 2am (bars closing)
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