Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Vulcan 500 is my first bike and I love it. I'm still a fairly new rider, so sometimes I still make dumb mistakes like stalling my bike by letting the clutch out too fast.

Anyways, over the weekend, I dropped my bike for the first time. I stalled while trying to go into a turn and I lost control. THANKFULLY both myself and the bike survived the incident without a single scratch (i let it down as lightly as i could)

But after the experience, i was a little shaken so i just rode home, which i regret because I hear that its important to get back on your bike ASAP after dropping it so your confidence doesnt erode.
I'm a little nervous about getting back on it. Does anyone who has been in a similar situation have some stories to share/advice on how to get over the intitial jitters of riding after dropping your bike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Exactly what wayfare said, practice practice practice.. The MFS course is only a few miles from where I work, (parking lot) I go there after work on the weekends probably couple times a month, and usually have the entire place to myself, take your time and enjoy the ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Malinda,

+1 Pick it up. Ride. Practice. After my first drop I spent about three hours in a local parking lot doing figure 8's and circles.

I would have to agree practice, practice, practice. I would have to say for me 90% of driving a car, bike, bicycle etc is muscle memory.
So there is a huge value to going over MSF course foundations as often as possible until you're more confident. Look into an engine guard. It will help protect the handle bars, mirrors, and tank if you do have a slip up. And, it will make it easier to pickup.

Ron
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
994 Posts
As stated above, you gotta get back on the horse or you may never ride again. Parking lots or empty roads, (back roads, neighborhoods, etc)
Get back on that bike ride slow and easy get used to the feel of the bike again. Stay away from other traffic if possible and build your confidence up.

.............................
Someone much wiser than me once said, there are those that have dropped their bikes and those that will drop their bikes.
Realize now that you are a member of the former group. Pull yourself up by your boot straps and conquer the fear and hesitation that comes with recovering after a spill. I am glad you were not hurt and that your bike wasn't damaged. Ego hits keep us humble. Wear the gear you wear, ride safely and file that event away as just part of the price for riding a motorcycle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Malinda,

+1 Pick it up. Ride. Practice. After my first drop I spent about three hours in a local parking lot doing figure 8's and circles.

I would have to agree practice, practice, practice. I would have to say for me 90% of driving a car, bike, bicycle etc is muscle memory.
So there is a huge value to going over MSF course foundations as often as possible until you're more confident. Look into an engine guard. It will help protect the handle bars, mirrors, and tank if you do have a slip up. And, it will make it easier to pickup.

Ron
Thanks for the advice on the engine guard, I didn't even know those existed. Have you ever used one before? It seems like it might take some getting used to when shifting gears and breaking!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
I've been riding 4 years and have dropped my Suzuki 4 times over that time period, as recent at last spring. The last time was exactly as you describe, I tried to start out in second gear and choked the bike while trying to make a U-turn on a dead end road. I had a passenger (wife) with me and I launched her off the back too. The Nomad has a gear indicator, so that shouldn't (hopefully) happen again.

I'm also self taught, and have developed a lot of bad habits I'm trying to break. One thing that helped me a lot was the Ride Like a Pro video. I haven't dropped my bike since watching the video. I'm much more conscience of where my front wheel is pointed before I use the front brake.

So, don't stop. As others have suggested, go to a parking lot and practice slow speed riding. The Ride Like a Pro video has a lot of practice exercises you can do to make you much more comfortable with slow speed handling. I bought mine off Ebay for 29.99. It's worth it. Your local library might even have a copy.

Jody
 

·
Living The Dream
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
Thanks for the advice on the engine guard, I didn't even know those existed. Have you ever used one before? It seems like it might take some getting used to when shifting gears and breaking!
Practice is all well and good! But I have to ask, Have you taken the MSF course? If not, it is highly recommended! Probably a little late in the season (depending on where you're at) to get registered this year. But come Spring it should become a high priority.
 

·
BOTM Winner, February 2016
Joined
·
265 Posts
Everyone is going to lay it down at some point. It happens...learn from the situation and hop back on!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Thanks for the advice on the engine guard, I didn't even know those existed. Have you ever used one before? It seems like it might take some getting used to when shifting gears and breaking!
Yes I have one on my 800. No it doesn't interfere with the foot controls.
I don't know how easy it will be to find one for a 500 but I suggest you shop around. Here is an Amazon link for pictures only I'm not for or against this one. You may want to ask in the 500 section and see what others are using.

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Kawasaki-K32000-044-Engine-Guard/dp/B0035FU8UO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1443552858&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=vulcan+500+engine+guard[/ame]

Ron
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
994 Posts
Malinda
................
Case in point.

I have 4 steps I follow when I dismount. (1) engine kill switch, (2) ignition key (3) kick stand (4) dismount.
I rode home last night and stopped my bike. As I prepared to dismount and open my bike cave. I turned off the engine kill switch, turned of the key, forgot to lower the kick stand, and got off. ONLY problem is I stupidly skipped step 3, the kickstand......and when my bike laid down, I rolled like a red rubber ball.
Anyway, I jumped up righted my bike, looked it over and parked it.
...
As stated above whether in the yard or on a street, parking lot whatever, it happens to everyone eventually.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
419 Posts
Malinda
................
Case in point.

I have 4 steps I follow when I dismount. (1) engine kill switch, (2) ignition key (3) kick stand (4) dismount.
I rode home last night and stopped my bike. As I prepared to dismount and open my bike cave. I turned off the engine kill switch, turned of the key, forgot to lower the kick stand, and got off. ONLY problem is I stupidly skipped step 3, the kickstand......and when my bike laid down, I rolled like a red rubber ball.
Anyway, I jumped up righted my bike, looked it over and parked it.
...
As stated above whether in the yard or on a street, parking lot whatever, it happens to everyone eventually.
In the second scenario was step 0 drinking a 12 pack? LOL Hilarious. Just don't forget to put your feet down at the stop lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Get on and ride!!! I had an incident on my 750 about a month after getting it. I was going around a 90 degree curve and downshifted. The back wheel hit a patch of dirt, skid and sent me into a panic. I ran through a ditch filled with mud and into the grass. Did absolutely zero damage to my bike and only thing I had was a burn on my leg. That was my first and only spill so far. It was scary and I was very skiddish after wards. But, I had to ride 45 miles home. So back on the bike I went.

To this day I am still leery when going into corners and/or near dirt. But I've come to realize the bike is gonna do what it has to and what you tell it to. Physics says it has to. People are the variable that cause accidents. Train and train and.....well, train. I've never had a course but I hope to take one early next year. Like others have said though...I practice making U turns on narrow 2 lane roads and also I always see how slow I can roll when approaching a stop light or stop sign. I try to never stop when possible and maintain my balance. Probably gonna bust it one day in front of a full intersection of people. HA!

Anyway, don't be scared of the bike-but have a healthy fear of what it can do. Be safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Admitting that your riding skills need improvement is the first step towards improving them. And, quite frankly, none of us is a perfect rider.

1. If you haven't taken the MSF Basic Rider course, take it now or as soon as you are able. It is an invaluable course where even the most experienced of riders typically learn something new and instructive.
2. If you have taken the MSF Basic Rider course, perhaps you may want to consider retaking it as a refresher with a different instructor as each will teach you something new.
3. If you believe you are beyond the MSF Basic Rider course, take the Advanced Rider course, which will both humble and advance you as a rider.
4. Most, if not all, MSF instructors offer individual instruction sessions, during which they will assess and instruct at whatever rate you are able to absorb.
5. Practice, practice, practice.

Good luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
994 Posts
Dropping a bike

Shepsvoyager,

In the second scenario was step 0 drinking a 12 pack? LOL Hilarious. Just don't forget to put your feet down at the stop lights.[/QUOTE]

................................

Bah hah hah,
Nope, stone cold sober, just thinking about other things.
Also I do not consume alcohol, that leaves more for Ponch and anyone that accompanies him on his road trips.....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
864 Posts
The Vulcan 500 is my first bike and I love it. I'm still a fairly new rider, so sometimes I still make dumb mistakes like stalling my bike by letting the clutch out too fast.

Anyways, over the weekend, I dropped my bike for the first time. I stalled while trying to go into a turn and I lost control. THANKFULLY both myself and the bike survived the incident without a single scratch (i let it down as lightly as i could)

But after the experience, i was a little shaken so i just rode home, which i regret because I hear that its important to get back on your bike ASAP after dropping it so your confidence doesnt erode.
I'm a little nervous about getting back on it. Does anyone who has been in a similar situation have some stories to share/advice on how to get over the intitial jitters of riding after dropping your bike?
I was in a motorcycle wreck with an 18 wheeler on I-95 here in Florida. Snapped my arm in half at the shoulder, required a rod and some screws to get it right again.

I'm very glad I made the decision to get right back on that bike immediately after surgery.

Best thing I can tell you is, if you make the decision to get back on the bike - and it's okay if you don't - take it at your own pace.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
499 Posts
I have dropped my Voyager twice since I've had it. First time was in my driveway which is slanted. I let the bike get too far over and there was no way I could stop it. The saddle bag popped open and it was scratched. Second time was in a cafe driveway. I hit the front brake when I had the wheel turned. I was embarrassed both times. I've had the MSF course a few years ago. I also plan on getting the video many of you mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
I have dropped my Voyager twice since I've had it. First time was in my driveway which is slanted. I let the bike get too far over and there was no way I could stop it. The saddle bag popped open and it was scratched. Second time was in a cafe driveway. I hit the front brake when I had the wheel turned. I was embarrassed both times. I've had the MSF course a few years ago. I also plan on getting the video many of you mentioned.
My Suzuki "only" weighs around 575 dressed out. I can catch it if I do stupid things. Not so on the Nomad. That extra 300 lbs will make you pay for things like you mention. I've come real close to dropping it, but have made some quick corrections in order to save it. That Ride like a pro video has been eye opening to me. I highly recommend it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I took an MSF course in July. That was the first time i had been on a bike in about 30 years. That time i yanked on the accelerator and wiped out.

Last month, a friend of mine showed me how to pick up my bike, and that very day i tipped it over in the driveway. Check out YouTube - there's a definite technique. Good for 50 year old dudes like me who don't want to screw up or backs.
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top