I have the grip of death.... - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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I have the grip of death....

So I took my MSF class on thursday. I passed my class and couldn't wait to get home and take advantage of a nice night. I jumped on my bike and the first stop sign I came to the bike turned into a rocket on me. I got it under control, but I am wondering what I am doing wrong. I talked to some people I know that ride and none of them had an advice about what to do different. I am really hoping someone might have some advice for me here so I know what I need to change.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 05:44 PM
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Relax . . . Breathe . . . Relax . . . Enjoy . . . When you feel yourself putting the grip-o-death on the bars, straighten your fingers and tell yourself to relax - Congrats on taking the first step . . . the rest will come . . . If you relax -

I used to white knukle it - then I learned to relax and the ride became much smoother, much more enjoyable . . .

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 06:27 PM
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practice your braking.
go to a parking lot and do the pull the clutch, apply both brake drill to a full stop with left foot coming down to a stop
over and over, until it's second nature.
you will know because you will have that picture in your mind when you need to stop.
not the one you have now, which is WTF am I going to do OS
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 06:53 PM
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Practice your throttle/clutch control with just a very light turn of the throttle while lightly releasing the clutch to the point where the bike begins to move. Pull the clucth back in and let off the throttle STOP. Do this in baby steps until you have a feel for the throttle/clutch control. You should only be moving at best 2 or 4 feet forward while practicing this technnique. Begin to expand your distance. Try doing this in your drive or someplace open like a empty parking lot nearby. I bet this was the 1st thing you practiced in your motorcycle class. Ring any bells?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 07:35 PM
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I learned about relaxing from this forum. I had the grip of death, and sometimes still catch myself, but with more experience and practice you can get over it. Just practice safely in a safe place. When I pull into the driveway and I'm waiting for the garage door to open, I entertain myself by letting the bike roll backwards down the drive a few feet and then pull forward a few feet and repeat. Patience, grasshopper, it will come in time.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2011, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chum1600 View Post
So I took my MSF class on thursday. I passed my class and couldn't wait to get home and take advantage of a nice night. I jumped on my bike and the first stop sign I came to the bike turned into a rocket on me. I got it under control, but I am wondering what I am doing wrong. I talked to some people I know that ride and none of them had an advice about what to do different. I am really hoping someone might have some advice for me here so I know what I need to change.

Thanks!
Hey chum1600 - welcome Something I noticed is you said it was when you came to the stop that it happened - Watch your wrists and make sure they are level; if you have your hands rolled forwards as you are riding, then when you reach for the brake you are rolling the throttle on. If your wrists are level, you will roll off the throttle when you reach for the brake. https://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/i...ons/icon14.gif
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2011, 04:28 AM
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I always tell new riders that total consentration is a must. Leave the IPOD at home turn off any other distractions and operate the machine by the numbers silently in you head. Do not get overconfident too quickly or the bike will adjust your attitude for you. Good luck, remember to respect the bike and what it can do to you if you don't stay focused on the ride.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2011, 11:01 AM
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If your hands or forearms hurt, you need to relax your grip a bit. You may have to concentrate on it now, but it'll become second nature as you get more comfortable with the bike.

One little tip about throttle wrist position...start with, and keep your knuckles higher than your wrist. If you grab the throttle with your wrist high and your knuckles wrapped around the front of the grip, you'll get the effect you encountered at your first stop sign, which is that your palm rolled on to the throttle as you grabbed for the brake. If your knuckles start on top of the grip, with your wrist a little low on the back side of the grip, see what happens when you reach for the brake lever. Your hand should move forward and effectively close the throttle as you reach for the brake lever.

Any fool can jump on a bike and ride real fast in a straight line. The real skill is in learning how to stop quickly and safely, and performing low speed (parking-lot) maneuvers. Practice using the friction zone and counterbalancing while making tight figure-8's. (I still do this regularly) Don't panic if you scrape the floor boards as that scrape is actually a good sign. It means that you trust yourself and the bike, and shows you the lean angle limit.

Stay at your own pace and don't let anyone else pressure you into riding outside your comfort level. Most of all, enjoy the ride!

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 11:22 PM
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I jumped on my bike right after my MSF and went to a nearby parking lot and relived all the steps from my class before I really got on the road to familiarize myself with my bike. My 1st real ride was with experienced friends , also my 2nd and 3rd ..... after about 500mi I was much more relaxed and felt comfortable on my bike , not so much that 1st 100miles though ,most of that was put on in the parking lot. It will come to you just be careful and get use to your bike.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chum1600 View Post
So I took my MSF class on thursday. I passed my class and couldn't wait to get home and take advantage of a nice night. I jumped on my bike and the first stop sign I came to the bike turned into a rocket on me. I got it under control, but I am wondering what I am doing wrong. I talked to some people I know that ride and none of them had an advice about what to do different. I am really hoping someone might have some advice for me here so I know what I need to change.

Thanks!
Releasing the throttle when you want to slow down is not something you should have to think about. Like braking, it should come naturally, and until it does, I'd advise restricting your riding to a parking lot.
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