Target fixation - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Target fixation

Hey guys. Been back on the bike for a few days now. I haven't ridden in 5 years. I took the MSF class when I got my license back in 2009. So I am basically a beginner again.

I have been tooling around southern Arizona on backroads trying to get back into the game, and get the feel for my (new to me) Vulcan 900 Classic. I remember a lot of the course, and feel I am getting my confidence back on the bike. I have not had any issues, and was working on leaning into turns today as a tight turn caught me off guard yesterday and I had to lean father than I anticipated which gave me that weird oh shit feeling.

I feel I know what I need to work on, mainly looking through turns, and feeling comfortable leaning the bike. My main focus today was being sure to set my speed, and making sure I was in the appropriate gear, and throttling through the entire turn.

Everything went well today, but I came to a point where I needed to turn off the road I was on and onto a side road. I set my speed and gear, and was ready to steer the bike through the turn, but at the last moment noticed a lot of sand on the road directly in the path of my turn. As you can imagine, I focused on it, my turn turned into shit and I went wide. I bounced the bike back up with my right foot and regained control. As I rode off I figured no harm, no foul, and thanked my lucky stars.

So I want to see what you guys think about the situation, or what advice you would give for someone when it comes to target fixation or other unexpected hazards on the road like sand or loose gravel. I guess I should have tried to slow it down more and ease through that turn. Being as I recently moved to AZ, I should expect and be on the lookout for situations like these (and wear sunscreen as I learned the hard way, my arms are sore).

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 04:56 PM
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I have had a few pucker moments on sand and gravel in corners, as I am sure most have. If I need to look nearer when going thru a curve, I keep my head and body in the correct position for looking thru, but can just move my eyes to check on what's just ahead. I find that this reduces the reflex to target fixate as the position pulls my eyes back where they need to be. I can make my adjustments, and focus on where I want to go. Sometimes you can't avoid the sand or gravel. It is best to treat it like ice when driving a car; just maintain and try to get thru it. If you brake or accelerate you are going to loose what traction you may have.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 05:30 PM
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well, experience is the best teacher, so I'd say you leaned quite a bit today, the key is don't get rattled by mishaps but shrug them off and see them as learning opportunities, and most of all get confidence in riding the bike, the worst thing to happen is you get traumatized by some mishap situation and begin to lose confidence, look at it this way, let's say the bike goes down and you and the bike get some scratches, well, shrug it off, heal up, fix up the bike and ride again, all bikers have mishaps, everyone does, get back on your bike and ride that corner again with renewed confidence
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 02:12 PM
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Sand or gravel on a turn can def result in a pucker moment. The biggest thing is to not panic. If you have the room to do so, get the bike upright and gently apply some brake to reduce some speed before going into the turn. After that, the secret is just be smooth - don't do anything abrupt or extreme with your lean angle, throttle, or brake (especially the front) and look through the turn. With a clean line and steady throttle application, you should make it through the turn just fine.
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