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Discussion Starter #1
good morning all ;-)

I'm a new rider and have fallen in love with my 2017 vulcan s. I have been doing nothing but practice, practice, practice and it's certainly paying off. 1st gear initially had me concerned that I bought the wrong first bike but after practice and the correct ergo fit adjustment to the bike that concern certainly went away.

I have some newbie questions i am hoping someone could answer?

1) slow speed maneuvers 4-5mph or slowing up to stop..the bike chugs like it's going to stall. is it okay to feather the clutch for short periods of time? I don't want to damage the clutch. I drove a 5spd vehicle for many years and I was a lazy shifter and would go to N and momentum and brakes handle slow stops..this is obviously different.

2) going down hills the engine sounds different.. I cant really explain this one other than I'm in the appropriate gear for my speed, it just sounds.. different (nothing is wrong with bike just trying to get used to it) and I'm trying to figure this out.

3) nerves in traffic... I'm in Pittsburgh and I have to ride on a main busy streets to get to any parking lot. I've found myself riding a lot at night 11pm-2am so I don't have to deal with a lot of traffic and get my actual road time in and only navigation 1 or 2 cars... any hints or suggestions to get over this one? definitely overthinking this one as I forced myself downtown and back midday saturday and ended up putting 40+ miles of city driving in, but it was sensory overload and had to take small breaks to compose myself.


I have taken the MSF course a few years back and plan to again when the season starts, but I bought my bike to late in the season to join any classes. i've been using the plethora of material on youtube, reading, and practicing until then...

thanks for your time...and happy monday!
239927
 

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Just my 2 cents and I hope it helps.....

I feather my clutch all the time, I don't see anything that could get damaged, other than clutch cable wear?

Downhill, not sure, maybe use engine breaking and rear brake alittle more for that?

I think being nervous is a good thing, sensory is on high alert and therefore you are more safe than fully relaxed. I try to keep my upper body loose and my lower right whenever I ride, because too tight up top leads to over correction.

I recommend you take the BRC 2 course as well as the BRC 1, this helped me, since it is done on your bike and not the little 250s at the course. I am fairly new myself, but practice and doing help alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just my 2 cents and I hope it helps.....

I feather my clutch all the time, I don't see anything that could get damaged, other than clutch cable wear?

Downhill, not sure, maybe use engine breaking and rear brake alittle more for that?

I think being nervous is a good thing, sensory is on high alert and therefore you are more safe than fully relaxed. I try to keep my upper body loose and my lower right whenever I ride, because too tight up top leads to over correction.

I recommend you take the BRC 2 course as well as the BRC 1, this helped me, since it is done on your bike and not the little 250s at the course. I am fairly new myself, but practice and doing help alot.
Thanks for the reply and yes.. it does!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!! I'll definitely be looking into those courses.... :) :) THANKS!
 

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Hi and congrats on your new ride. From what I gather feathering a motorcycle clutch is the recommended and intended way to use it at slow speeds. Not only is it safe for the mechanism (unlike with dry car transmissions) but it's also necessary for smooth slow speed control. I'm sure I've read this in several places but one of the guys I've been watching on youtube is Kevin at MCrider. Have you checked out his channel? I think he does a terrific job for new riders. He has a playlist you can check out, 'Slow speed motorcycle control', or here's a short vid in there:


I can't advise much further but I'd imagine Crashm8 is spot on about the course, and I'm sure that confidence in traffic will come with continuing practice, so chin up and go get it (y)
 

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Hi and congrats on your new ride. From what I gather feathering a motorcycle clutch is the recommended and intended way to use it at slow speeds. Not only is it safe for the mechanism (unlike with dry car transmissions) but it's also necessary for smooth slow speed control. I'm sure I've read this in several places but one of the guys I've been watching on youtube is Kevin at MCrider. Have you checked out his channel? I think he does a terrific job for new riders. He has a playlist you can check out, 'Slow speed motorcycle control', or here's a short vid in there:


I can't advise much further but I'd imagine Crashm8 is spot on about the course, and I'm sure that confidence in traffic will come with continuing practice, so chin up and go get it (y)
Great video!! Subscribed and checking them out!!!! Hit traffic rushhour morning and evening and was fine.. i just needed to trust myself... THANK YOU FOR THE REPLY AND SUPPORT!!!!!!!!!
 

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oreome78 -

Like you I'm new to a full sized Vulcan S, having ridden only a Honda CB 160 and Yamaha Riva XC 125 before. And like you I was initially very nervous my first few times out on the 650. Like you I was most uncomfortable with slow speed maneuvering and 1st gear. It doesn't help that the bike comes from the factory very "glitchy" in first gear, especially when you throttle down. I practiced in an empty parking lot for almost half an hour before taking my test ride, and stayed off of busy highways for the ride itself.

It's now a month out since I got my Vulcan S and, just as others here told me, I've adjusted to things quite nicely and feel much more confortable now in traffic. Feathering the clutch is definitely the way to go, especially at slow speeds. The Owner's Manual recommends it as I recall. You're on the right track being careful about traffic until you are more comfortable with the bike. Take your time and things will mesh for you, just like they did for me.

The way the bike comes from the factory, when you stop applying power the sound does change - this can be mitigated with a "Throttle Tamer" or "Booster Plug". Absent one of these it will sound different going down hill as you're not demanding power under those conditions. There is a very narrow range in the throttle where you are neither applying power nor throttling down, and I suspect that is what you are hearing.

As far as your nerves, I think you are on the right track. Keep practicing and avoiding heavy traffic as much as possible to give yourself time to get more used to your new machine. I think you'll find it won't take too long before things start to "gel" for you. :)

The bike looks great and do pursue the MSF courses, good luck!! - Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
congrats on the new bike!!! thank you for the help and the kind words or support!!!!!!!!! its great knowing I'm not alone!!!!!!!! continued growth with this amazing bike for both of us!!!

good luck!!!
 

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You are definitely not alone. You are doing the right thing by practicing. I bought a Vulcan 650 S couple of weeks ago and got back into riding after 20 years. I was surprised how quickly the muscle memory came back and helped riding in different conditions and handling at slow speeds.

Don’t be nervous, but respect the bike and road. Be confident, but don’t be over confident. Practice in your neighborhood. It will help with senses and slow speed too. Protect yourself and make sure you are visible. If you are not comfortable with the traffic, taking a small break is perfectly fine.

I usually wouldn’t recommend driving late in the night, but your conditions might be different. Speeding cars, drunk drivers, and the Facebook addicts are in full swing! :(

Stay safe and enjoy your ride!
 

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You are definitely not alone. You are doing the right thing by practicing. I bought a Vulcan 650 S couple of weeks ago and got back into riding after 20 years. I was surprised how quickly the muscle memory came back and helped riding in different conditions and handling at slow speeds.

Don’t be nervous, but respect the bike and road. Be confident, but don’t be over confident. Practice in your neighborhood. It will help with senses and slow speed too. Protect yourself and make sure you are visible. If you are not comfortable with the traffic, taking a small break is perfectly fine.

I usually wouldn’t recommend driving late in the night, but your conditions might be different. Speeding cars, drunk drivers, and the Facebook addicts are in full swing! :(

Stay safe and enjoy your ride!
Congrats on the bike... and getting back into riding :)

Thanks for all the great advise.. i did an 80mile trip.. local/highway/city yesterday and I was fine, i just needed a confidence booster ;-) Beautiful bike :) CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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