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as a new rider continued this morning. I rode my 900 Classic to a nice, big, empty church parking lot nearby where I live. I have been watching many of the "Ride Like a Pro" videos on youtube, so I decided to work on some of the stuff I saw there. The first thing was riding the bike at low speeds. Using the rear brake, throttle, and the clutch friction zone. Im not sure about what he specifically meant by low speed, but I was able to keep the bike upright and moving at speed <=10 mph. Next I worked on this whole countersteering thing. "Press right, go right, press left, go left". I found you dont really have to apply much pressure to the right or left grip to get the bike to lean in the direction of your desired turn. The whole time I was doing this I was concentrating on "head and eyes up, head and eyes go in the direction you want to turn". Next practiced some emergency braking. Then went to duck walking the bike back and forth across the parking lot. I have had one private lesson on a yamaha 125 where I did alot of this. My 600+ lb vulcan was alot more work to push around than that little yamaha was. So after all that I rode home, a list of errands and honey do's awaiting me. Maybe before the end of the day I can get another ride in. Taking the MSF course in either september or october. Till then more practice and more ridin'. Peace out.
 

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Want to learn even more? Pick up a great book by David Hough titled, Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well. Always under $20 on Amazon. It will not only teach you how to be a better rider but skills to survive the streets and understand where danger is.
 

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Want to learn even more? Pick up a great book by David Hough titled, Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well. Always under $20 on Amazon. It will not only teach you how to be a better rider but skills to survive the streets and understand where danger is.
+1 Absolutely. The book is fantastic. Jeff recommended it to me and I learned alot from it!

One thing that Hough says that is different than what most others, including the MSF will tell you, regards cornering. MSF, et al, will tell you 'inside outside inside', which means on a left turn, your apex kisses the yellow line. Hough disagrees with that (as do I) because a LOT of fatal accidents happen in the foot or two beyond the yellow line with a speeding car crossing over it. Hough talks about entering corners from the inside (yellow line side) and making your apex closer to the white line, whether it's a right or left turn.

There are tons more great tips and techniques in that book too. It's an excellent read worth every page.

My only other suggestion (and Hough says this too!) is to use counter-steering ALL the time. Some people practice counter steering in a parking lot but then think it's only for swerving or for when you run out of road. One of the best ways to become proficient, is to simply develop a riding habit of counter steering whenever you turn (at speed) as opposed to leaning your body or pushing your knees into the tank, etc. It's a habit I do, it's the only way I turn at speed, and swerving or leaning deeper into a decending radius curve (the ones that sneak up on you and are suddenly tighter than you thought) are second nature and a piece of cake.
 

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Thank you Jeff for the book recommendation. I will pick that up off Amazon. Romans thank you for your help too.
 

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Okay, more parking lot practice time on the bike today after work. This afternoon's focus was on u turns like you have to do on the DMV exam. Watched a couple of the instruction video's on youtube, and made some mental notes before heading back out to the church parking lot. All turns were made to the right. It took a few laps around the parking lot and ALOT of reminding myself to keep my head and eyes up. I did put my foot down a few times I admit. Finally my turning radius grew tighter and tighter. I got to where I could turn in comfortably inside of 3 parking lot spaces, which is what i understand motorcycles of 600cc and above are required to turn in for the riding part of the exam.

I dont know what it is about right hand turns. After I practiced u turns for a while, I practiced right hand turns from a stop. Again reminding myself over and over to keep my head and eyes up. I kept either not letting the clutch out enough, not rolling on enough power, but it kept feeling like the bike was going to go down so I would let off the gas and pull in the clutch or whatever I was doing and it would stall.

Going to try to get with my friend tomorrow who can watch me and tell me what Im doing wrong and coach me some more. I did have a nice ride after work on wednesday afternoon. I ordered the book from amazon recommended to me above, and I am going to pick it up tomorrow morning. Take care everyone and have a great evening.
Dee
 

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Deepiper,
It's like everything else you have ever tried, just keep at it. FYI keep your foot on the brake so your right hand only needs to concentrait on the throttle. If you continue to stall try power walking ( in first gear release the clutch just enough to let the bike move and a walking pace) for two laps and return to the turns. By the way you will one day make a goal of not stalling on a ride, then remembering to go back into first at every stop, just give yourself a little time it will come to you. Be safe, I like the parking lot idea good luck.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Deepiper,
It's like everything else you have ever tried, just keep at it. FYI keep your foot on the brake so your right hand only needs to concentrait on the throttle. If you continue to stall try power walking ( in first gear release the clutch just enough to let the bike move and a walking pace) for two laps and return to the turns. By the way you will one day make a goal of not stalling on a ride, then remembering to go back into first at every stop, just give yourself a little time it will come to you. Be safe, I like the parking lot idea good luck.

Ron
Thanks Ron i appreciate it. I went on a nice ride this morning out to the dam nearby where I live. Getting more comfortable on the bike. Going back out this afternoon to do more parking lot time. Take care, Dee
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Want to learn even more? Pick up a great book by David Hough titled, Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well. Always under $20 on Amazon. It will not only teach you how to be a better rider but skills to survive the streets and understand where danger is.
Hey Jeff. The book arrived earlier this week and Ive been reading it this week. I put some of the lessons into practice this morning on my ride, and I am beginning to see the logic behind it all. Particularly with entering corners and delaying the apex of the turn and all that. I found it helpful to imagine the windows out on the road and looking all the way through the turn, which is kind of what I do when I drive my truck.

I paid closer attention to using the front brake more than the rear when slowing down before coming to a stop. I was really beginning to rely on using the rear brake more than I should. I only have a few hundred miles in the seat so far, so still more to learn. Thanks for the book recommendation.
 

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Great! Everyone who reads it learns and that leads to a better, safer riders. One of the things in the book that struck me was where to be in relation to where the greatest danger lurks. I still have that in my head everytime I ride.
 

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Just got home from another ride today on the 900. Getting more comfortable on the bike. The next purchase i make for the bike is a more comfortable seat. Ive checked out Corbin and Mustang online. I must admit I like the Mustang seats.

Went out on my usual ride out to the dam. After crossing the dam I rode on to where I normally turn around. A little place called Pollard's Corner. There's a gas station there with fishing equipment and snacks and stuff, plus a fried chicken place. I got a Coke Zero and a moon pie and took a little break. After I finished up, I went further on down the road where my wife and I went to a state park last weekend with a friend of mine and his kids after church. Instead of turning to go to the state park, I just went straight and rode all the way out to Thomson, GA. Then turned around and came back. Windy day. When I got back to the dam I looked out over the water and saw there was a storm coming in. It was still a good way off so no hurry. Rode the rest of the way home safely.

Tomorrow, more parking lot time. I love the nice long rides, other than the sore butt, but I need to make time for the parking lot stuff.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Dee
 

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Hey Dee,

I love riding on a dam, the water on one side and a river valley on the other. It is always an inspiring view.

Have you taken the MSF course yet??!!!:)

Schedule the class, write the check and get your endorsment already!:D

You won't regret it; as a matter of fact, you will be glad you did!

You will develop the skills and confidence that you need to really get out and enjoy your skoot!

Scott
 

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Hey Dee,

I love riding on a dam, the water on one side and a river valley on the other. It is always an inspiring view.

Have you taken the MSF course yet??!!!:)

Schedule the class, write the check and get your endorsment already!:D

You won't regret it; as a matter of fact, you will be glad you did!

You will develop the skills and confidence that you need to really get out and enjoy your skoot!

Scott
Hey Scott! Thanks for the reply. I am taking the MSF class here soon. There's one in a couple weeks I plan on attending. There's one next weekend, but I will be out of town.

I lived in Texas 19 years before moving to Georgia Scott. Alot of my family still out there. I lived in Mesquite, near Dallas. Last year when I was home at Christmas with my wife I could'nt believe how much bigger Dallas was just since my wife and I moved to GA 7 years ago. It's huge! I want to bring the bike back home with me to TX next time we are there and make some rides around the TX countryside. Nothing like it!
 
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