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So, first real post, and it's sharing something dumb I did. Picked up my first-ever bike (a lovely '14 America LT) a couple of weeks ago. I have taken the BRC and was only doing rides around the subdivision so I could get used to it. Last ride of the day, pulling into my uphill driveway, trying to maneuver around the car, stalled and fell over. Short story is I wound up dislocating my shoulder and broke the rear turn indicator. Talked to a few riders, they got a good laugh (as they should), and most of them said "don't you know you should put your feet out when you're going that slow?". Well, no, I didn't. Which got me thinking about a couple of things that the BRC didn't teach. The main one that I can think of is dealing with uphill slopes (starting on one, going slow, etc). Anyone have any other things they should teach newbies that they don't? Looking forward to getting back on the bike after I'm all healed up.
 

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Try doing a U turn while going up a steep hill. Takes practice and technique. Throwing out your legs can certainly help in slow speed maneuvers, but you really need to practice going slow and keeping your feet on the pegs. You can lose a sense of control and balance by having them off. Your issue really was poor clutch and throttle control causing the engine to stall out. And, some new riders do the opposite and goose the throttle and wind up through the garage door or on the ground as well. Or, over braking and losing control as well. Learn to feather the clutch, small steady throttle inputs and gentle use of the rear brake. Try practicing riding slowly in a straight line on level road to maintain your balance as if you were in very slow moving traffic and you don't want to put your legs down. You balance a motorcycle at very slow speeds the way you would with a bicycle. You have the clutch and throttle to maintain momentum vs peddle power. No one should laugh at you. It happens. The first time I attempted doing a U turn while going up a hill I dropped my bike in front of a road detail cop. Talk about embarrassment and laughing.

A chum of mine was riding home from a late night at work in a very dark rural area. He was so tired he came to a stop sign and stopped. The only issue was he forgot to put his feet down. He went down and woke right up. We all had a good laugh the next day, but he was a very experienced rider.
 

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Thanks for the info! I do think a big part of it was too many things going on, don't hit the car/don't gun it/look where you want to go/etc. In the class we did the low speed figure 8s and the goal was to not put your feet down and I did that pretty well, I figured the idea was to keep your feet up until you were nearly stopped. The whole thing happened so fast I don't even know if I grabbed the levers. But I will definitely do more practicing on level ground (and move the car into the street before I ride ?)
 

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Practice Practice Practice! Until your the best you can be. IF YOU RIDE YOUR GOING TO FALL!! Just have to get back up and keep trying. Figure eights inside a couple parking spaces is always good practice and quick stopping is also good too!
 

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Thanks for the info! I do think a big part of it was too many things going on, don't hit the car/don't gun it/look where you want to go/etc. In the class we did the low speed figure 8s and the goal was to not put your feet down and I did that pretty well, I figured the idea was to keep your feet up until you were nearly stopped. The whole thing happened so fast I don't even know if I grabbed the levers. But I will definitely do more practicing on level ground (and move the car into the street before I ride ?)
Ya, you probably had too many things going on and you probably grabbed some front brake while the handlebars were turned and you were going so slow. The idea is to keep your feet on the pegs until you are almost stopped so holding your feet out while going slow won't really help much. Best bet is to practice slow speed maneuvers and keep your eyes UP looking where you want to go....the second you get caught looking too close in front of you or looking down, you start making loads of mistakes.

Have you considered a more advanced riding course or school for the future? I'm a coach with the California Superbike School so feel free to ask me anything about advanced classes or more specific riding techniques.

:grin2:
 

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Putting feet down while still moving is considered a no no...and it will fail you on the road exam up here in Canada. It's dangerous because your foot can get trapped under the bike (esp on cruisers with floor boards), leg jammed on foot peg etc. Do not put a foot down until the bike has stopped.

Learning the ride slow is more about unlearning car habits where you control low speed primarily by gas pedal. On a bike, you need to hold throttle barely off idle point while managing speed with the clutch slippage. Applying rear brake, intermittently or even continuously while performing a tight turn/u-turn is perfectly fine. Do not change throttle as there is too much herky-jerky from the slack in the drive train components to allow precise turn/balance control.

You mentioned hill starts/pull-aways. Again this is done via clutch slipping while holding position using brake (I recommend holding with the rear only....as it is more difficult to operate front while also maintaining a fixed throttle position). Practise this on flat ground so there's no real risk of moving backwards...process will be the same. With the rear brake holding the bike still, and clutch l=pulled in, first gear selected, open throttle just enough to get above idle slightly. Slowly, ease clutch out until you begin to feel bike trying to move against the brake, don't let rpm drop...pull clutch back in slightly if needed or might need a little more throttle to hold rpm steady. Once you're at this threshold/bite point, slowly ease off the brake and ease off more clutch together as the brake comes off....bike should begin rolling forward and when brake full off, clutch may still be in a little so keep letting it off and begin to roll on more throttle...you're away! It's all about learning to coordinate action between brake and clutch at a decent rpm....don't try to work throttle during this...just get it stable and hold it there, focus on brake/clutch coordination.

This can be done using the front brake but takes more finesse as holding a steady rpm while operating brake lever is tricky (was for me anyway).

Gradually try slight inclines and work your way up to proper hills. The first time I did this on a motorbike I aced it but I've always driven manual transmission cars so knew what I was attempting to do....all I had to figure out was how to coordinate brake clutch differently on the bike vs the car.
 

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IDK about "putting your feet out" when going slow, I would personally reject that advice and be suspect of further advice from whoever gave it. I mean, once you stop you have to put a foot down, and you might decide to power-walk the bike at very low speeds (they did teach you that in BRC, right?). But you can certainly keep your feet on the pegs at very low speeds and you should because...

... you should be using the REAR brake at those very, very low speeds, not the front. Or so I'm told! I use the front but I have very good brake control after decades of mountain biking. But it's far easier to modulate the rear brake at those low speeds and it's much less likely to upset the balance of the bike if you get on it too hard than the front because the rear wheel can't be turned at the same time as you brake.

Other tips they might have not taught you at BRC? And these are things I see new riders (not unlike myself) do every once in a while:

- put the side stand down BEFORE you dismount. I see so many people try to get off the bike THEN put the stand down, sometimes right after the bike falls over.
- double-check the side stand is latched all the way forward before unweighting the bike. If the bike rolls forward even a tiny amount with the side stand only partially down then the bike will fall and you can't likely catch it.
- always look where you want to go!
- in corners, use the "kiss the mirror" technique to lean. Basically this means leading into the lean with your head/chin first, and this method leans your body forward a little too.
 

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- in corners, use the "kiss the mirror" technique to lean. Basically this means leading into the lean with your head/chin first, and this method leans your body forward a little too.
Agreed with everything in your last except the last line above. Though that's correct for normal/high speed corning....for very slow speed turns I've learned you need to lean opposite direction. This forces the bike to lean opposite to your lean, ie bike leans in direction of turn. It gives you a lot more control as the balance point becomes centered between you and the bike somewhere. You counteract the tendency of the bike to fall into turn by your weight in opposite direction.
If you lean into the turn at these speeds, the bike must stay more vertical or even leaned to the outside of the turn....makes it very hard to make the wheels turn the bike.
 

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Many thanks to all for the advice! A lot of good information. I have a couple more months of riding under my belt now and I'm getting more confident. Still quite a bit to learn. I will most likely be taking some of the more advanced courses down the road (unintentional pun). Really enjoying riding, wish I had taken it up years ago!
 

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You need some place less distracting than a public street to practice where you can concentrate on building the habits and mechanics of just "working" the bike. No crowds, no looky loos, no bunch of motorcycle forum knowitall goof balls yapping about "counter steer" when you don't even know to put your feet down yet.

IF you have JUST ONE PERSON who is more interested in helping you learn than they are about showing and convincing you how great THEY ARE, get that ONE PERSON to come with you.

Now where is this place I speak of?

The grave yard. Pretty decent roads and paths of all kinds in the graveyards, at least in Indiana. Paved road, rough road, gravel road, up hills and down hills and driving around the side of hills. You can't much hurt any one but yourself, the rest are already dead. You can practice EVERYTHING you need to learn, right there with out the confusion of unexpected goofball moves by every one around you.

When you can stop, start, turn around, back up a little, up hill and down hill, STOP ONE A HILL and then continue on up it, stop on a hill at an intersection then continue in to the intersection and turn, peel out a little in some gravel with out spitting your heart out your throat, slide to a stop in a little gravel... THEN you are ready to venture out on the the public city streets.
 
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Good advice Jack Ryan. Around here we have so much residential construction, I usually recommend finding a neighborhood in progress of being built, where the roads are made but there is nothing yet on them. I taught both of my daughters to drive in such neighborhoods, learned to drive in one like this myself.
 

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You need some place less distracting than a public street to practice where you can concentrate on building the habits and mechanics of just "working" the bike. No crowds, no looky loos, no bunch of motorcycle forum knowitall goof balls yapping about "counter steer" when you don't even know to put your feet down yet.

IF you have JUST ONE PERSON who is more interested in helping you learn than they are about showing and convincing you how great THEY ARE, get that ONE PERSON to come with you.

Now where is this place I speak of?

The grave yard. Pretty decent roads and paths of all kinds in the graveyards, at least in Indiana. Paved road, rough road, gravel road, up hills and down hills and driving around the side of hills. You can't much hurt any one but yourself, the rest are already dead. You can practice EVERYTHING you need to learn, right there with out the confusion of unexpected goofball moves by every one around you.

When you can stop, start, turn around, back up a little, up hill and down hill, STOP ONE A HILL and then continue on up it, stop on a hill at an intersection then continue in to the intersection and turn, peel out a little in some gravel with out spitting your heart out your throat, slide to a stop in a little gravel... THEN you are ready to venture out on the the public city streets.

I was living in NJ when I started riding. Cemeteries are locked up (or gated with check in and all of that) but, lots of office parks.

And really close to Bergen County (malls all closed on Sundays due to blue laws).

A half-dozen cut-in-half tennis balls and the perfectly marked parking lines made for the ability to lay out some great training courses. You can pull those courses from your license manual, motorcycle consumer news, and probably anywhere on line.

Absolutely second the call to have that one (1) person who cares about making you a better rider.
 
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