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I think he'd find much less sympathy and useful help on a Harley forum.
Yes let him ask anything about riding, it seems we can help him ride better or safer, he rides a Motorcycle and ended up on a vic forum, that's fine by me...

Andre using TaPaTaLk
 

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I have no problems when riding stop light to stop light.
But when I get on the highway something changes.
One thing I wish they taught in the class was how to battle cross winds.
I get pushed all over the road some times.
Your going to have to get out and ride to learn. Stay on 2 lane back roads with little traffic. Your problem is fear and if you can't overcome the fear, stop riding. You have got to get the feel of riding, get into the groove. There are days when I ride that I'm not in the groove. Those days I don't hit the curves hard because I'm just not feeling it. Other days I'll take a 50 mph S curve at 75. Time and Practice...….....
 

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Discussion Starter #43
MAN!!! I knew once I said I rode a HD this would blow up. :LOL::LOL::LOL:
Hear me out.
I joined here because at one time I was going to trade the HD in for a Vic. XR
but you guys talked me out of it because Vic. is dead company unless Polarace is planning on doing something.
Yes I could of joined the HD forum but I didn't want to set up another account and you all ride so I figured I'll ask you all to see what you think.
So far you guy have been helpful
till now .. now you guys are burning me for riding a HD

The bike.
Yes I know its a bar bike.
The bike has the 103 engine so it should have the power to cruise the highway ( I think )
As for Highway comfort …. No not at all
I'll quote the sales rep
"This bike can be what ever you want it to be and go where ever you want it to go"

As for the bars.
the dealership told me if I want to move the bars you have to buy cable extenders and wiring harness extenders
which isn't cheap.
I decided I'll live with the bars the bike has.

Not being able to hold a line during a long banking turn on the highway.
Can I blame it on the bars or is it me?
 

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I don't think we're bashing you for riding a Harley. My best friend rides a Harley. I feel no shame being seen riding with him.

I think the issues you're dealing with are:
1) Lack of knowledge/experience. Road time is the best teacher, IMO, after you acquire a solid foundation of classroom instruction. Classroom presents a lot of information and it's easy to miss key concepts. My first riding course was two days. I took it in '77 right after I purchased my first bike.
2) Lack of confidence (see #1)

I can hold the line in curves on all three of my bikes. It's about knowledge, experience (practice), and confidence. It's not about the bike.
 

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MAN!!! I knew once I said I rode a HD this would blow up. :LOL::LOL::LOL:

...

till now .. now you guys are burning me for riding a HD

...

Not being able to hold a line during a long banking turn on the highway.
Can I blame it on the bars or is it me?
I don't think anyone is ribbing you in any malicious way about riding a Harley. A joke or two, perhaps, but I think everyone here's right on board with helping you figure out what's up :).

My comment about the bike being too big was not about the fact that it's a Harley. Any bike that is too big for the rider that's on it, and that causes you to stretch too much, is going to reduce your ability to control that bike effectively. However, that type of lack of control will usually express itself more during low speed, parking lot maneuvering. Even then, I've seen a 90 pound-when-soaking-wet girl ride a Harley Street Glide through an advanced rider's obstacle course like it was nothing. It was awesome to watch. Knowing the bike, and not being afraid to lean it, knowing how to counterbalance, clutch and throttle control, these are the keys.

Holding the line on the highway is all about the confidence, knowledge and skill of the rider. As @NAB said: the problem is your fear. You need to get over that, and trust the bike. The bike you have is perfectly capable of highway riding. Right now, it sounds like you are not yet ready. Learn to lean, learn to countersteer, learn to look through to the end of the curve, learn to hold speed through the curve, and start rolling on the throttle slowly after the apex of the curve...

I concur with everyone else here who has said that the remedy is time and practice. I'll also concur that the Proficient Motorcycling book is incredibly useful. I have a copy, and I learn something every single time I open the cover and read something from it.

Seriously, look into the MSF advanced course, or Jerry Paladino (Motorman)'s Ride Like a Pro videos, or even his classes down in Florida. He's also on YouTube. Also on YouTube, check out Motojitsu or MCRider or DanDanTheFireman; their motorcycle videos are packed full of great info and technique that will improve how you ride if you take what they say and practice it.

In the end though, it's all going to be about you, and you putting in the time to get confident on your bike. There simply is no substitute for being in the saddle and doing it.

Ride safe, ride often, and I hope I'll see you out there on the road someday...

I'll wave :)
 

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People go to a 2 week riding class. Have never ridden, pass the class and buy a big powerful motorcycle. They still don't know how to ride. They just have the basics of riding and a lot of them get killed. My wife wanted to get her motorcycle endorsement. So I buy her a 600 CC Honda v-twin, nice little scooter. I ride it home and she wants to ride it she had never ridden much, a few times in her life. She WAS on the list for the school. So she rides it around the property for awhile, drops it once. So then I said come on let's ride to Steve's, about 7 miles away. Went slow on back and dirt roads. She did OK. Then coming home we stayed on pavement and she did OK. She then got her learners permit and we rode a round in the country. Hauled the motorcycles down to home coming. She wasn't ready for highway traffic. This is a very sparsely populated county about 1,200 people in the biggest town and maybe 2,000 people in the county. It has hill and some curved road and damned near no traffic. We road for 3 days while there. By the time she got into the school she could ride pretty good. School was a breeze for her.

I forgot, she did ride a little motorcycle in Germany that I had. Little 3 speed motorcycle, it would do maybe 40 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I do recall the instructor telling everyone
to join group rides.
That scares the sh*t out of me because
I'll get ran over or run some one over
 

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I do recall the instructor telling everyone
to join group rides.
That scares the sh*t out of me because
I'll get ran over or run some one over
If you're anywhere near Tucson, I'll ride with you and we can work on whatever issues you have with riding.
 

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I do recall the instructor telling everyone
to join group rides.
That scares the sh*t out of me because
I'll get ran over or run some one over
I don't blame you there. Try riding with one buddy. That's a big enough group for you to get help if you get ran over, and small enough group to minimize riding into others or being crashed into.

... I joined here because at one time I was going to trade the HD in for a Vic. XR
but you guys talked me out of it because Vic. is dead company ...
Whoever steered you away from Victory did you a big disfavor. Victory as a manufacturer is dead, but the bikes are alive and will likely live very long and happy lives.
 

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A bunch of good advice in this thread.

I like the 14 Fat Bob. I almost swung a deal for one, but it did not click. No matter, as my knees could probably not have handled the weight. I owned a 13 FLD, 103c.i., for about 35K miles. It put power from the throttle to the ground better than any bike I have ever ridden, except the Kawasaki Z-1. I have never ridden a Vincent, or a Hayabusa.

About the bars, you may want to check with a local independent mechanic. There are a lot of riser/bar combinations that will allow for increased reach, w/o having to change the cables, etc.

I think it is very important that you go back to basics before you hurt yourself. As far as the truck loosing control of his lane, you did okay. You didn't get hit. Additionally you took action, so at that point you were not frozen. If you cannot become comfortable riding, sell the bike and look for another form of entertainment. A motorcycle is just a thing. There are plenty of other things to have and do.

I worked with glass, when I worked for money. Some guys would come to work with me, but could not get past the thought that one can get severely hurt working with glass. They became great sheet rock guys, or great in some other, lesser, trade.

What do you think of my biker chicks?

Best wishes.
 

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I do recall the instructor telling everyone
to join group rides.
That scares the sh*t out of me because
I'll get ran over or run some one over
First of all, I asked you about posting here, rather than on an HD forum, simply because I was just curious. That's all, no hidden agenda, nothing against Harleys, no dumping intended. Really, just a little puzzled and curious.

And still just trying to help you out.

Second, I can't believe an MSF instructor said to join group rides. I haven't been teaching for about 15 years, but I can't believe they didn't say something like "ride your own ride" a time or two. That means go at your own pace, don't get sucked into an ego thing, trying to keep up with faster, more experienced, riders.

Group rides are about the worst thing you can do. As I say, there may be go-fast people in the group. (Or, more typically, it may be too slow.) Also, group rides often turn into clusterf**ks, with not enough spacing between riders, the views ahead aren't optimal. And so forth.

Perhaps the instructor meant to say, "Ride with one or, at most, two riding buddies, so you can see how they negotiate curves, watch how they use lane positioning," that sort of thing. If they're your friends and reasonable mentors, they will understand all about your riding at your own pace, they will try to be helpful, etc.

Last for now: as I say, I've been away from teaching for some time, but don't they still do a ride-around-an-oval exercise? You start in first (duh), shift up to second on the short straight, look through/around the curve, and proceed? That exercise, at least in my day, was designed to get the class at least a little comfortable going around curves, just repeating going around the small oval for a few laps. And one of the big aspects of that was the head turn right before the curved parts start, and then looking through the curve.

If they still do those ovals, that's one of the major times when the instructor should've been stressing that you look through the curve -- you can easily see where it ends -- as you enter into one. They still have this exercise?
 

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Discussion Starter #53
You guys are asking some good stuff and
I am trying to recall everything.
It was a Friday, Saturday, Sunday class.
Friday was class room, Saturday was riding, Sunday was a riding test and the afternoon was a book test.

I do remember having to ride a S in a box that was outlined in the parking lot.
Also how to make your self more visible on the road, riding over a broomstick and
stopping distance

It was all 1st gear riding
I do remember throwing my leg out in a turn and got yelled at... I got yelled at few times now that I think about it.
"that's a good way to break that off"

When it comes to the group ride they told us the new guy rides up front with the leader.
Personally I think that's the worst spot because the new guy could take out everyone.
They even told us where we can find the schedule for group rides online.

When you guys are in a turn or twisty do you find your self getting up on top of the bars
or staying stretched out?

Nice chicks man
 

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For me when entering a fast curve, I sometimes lean forward over the bars. This transfers more weight to the front tire via my arms.

There are times in a slow turn (parking lot) where the foot stomp is appropriate. Otherwise feet should be on the pegs. Keeping your feet on the foot pegs lowers the bike's center of gravity, which is a good thing. If your feet are dragging the ground (think outrigger canoe), your body's weight is centered at the bike's saddle.
 

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Yeah, don't put your feet down while the bike is in motion. I would yell at you too. One crack in pavement catching your boot and things can get ugly quick.

Go to an empty parking lot. Plenty of businesses still closed. Practice riding in circles looking through the curve. Best to pick a lot without a lot of poles. Do this over and over. Switch it up doing figure 8 loops.

Another option interstate cloverleaf ramps. Nice curve get your practice looking through it. Not as fast as highway speed but you can work on hitting the apex and rolling on throttle out of the curve.
 

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Practice. I would ride early in the morning and in the evening after major traffic slows down. This way you can adjust your times to ride in more heavy traffic. It worked for me.
 

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You guys are asking some good stuff and
I am trying to recall everything.
It was a Friday, Saturday, Sunday class.
Friday was class room, Saturday was riding, Sunday was a riding test and the afternoon was a book test.

I do remember having to ride a S in a box that was outlined in the parking lot.
Also how to make your self more visible on the road, riding over a broomstick and
stopping distance

It was all 1st gear riding
I do remember throwing my leg out in a turn and got yelled at... I got yelled at few times now that I think about it.
"that's a good way to break that off"

When it comes to the group ride they told us the new guy rides up front with the leader.
Personally I think that's the worst spot because the new guy could take out everyone.
They even told us where we can find the schedule for group rides online.

When you guys are in a turn or twisty do you find your self getting up on top of the bars
or staying stretched out?

Nice chicks man
As @IndyVictory pointed out (post #55), yeah, don't put your foot down. Clip the ground with your toes, and at a minimum you'll wind up with a broken ankle. Remember, they talked in class (or they should have) how steering changes from walking speed (for example, paddling around, to park the bike) to a riding pace (where counter-steering comes into play ... but don't get your mind fixed on theories, it's the same thing everyone does riding a bicycle). At riding pace, feet on the pegs or floorboards, period. And nearly all pegs and floorboards have feeler bolts on the bottom, to let you know -- by scraping them -- that you're close to a max lean angle.

As @Vinish pointed out (post #21), most curves have a constant radius. For those typical curves, you lean the bike into the turn, and then -- while the bike is leaned over -- you'll pretty much not have to mess with the handlebars. They will, essentially, in the curve itself, be pointing straight, but because the bike is already leaned over, and tracking on the inside of the tires (which have a smaller radius than the center of the tires), the bike will continue around the curve.

As numerous others have said, just get out there and practice, especially on lightly populated back roads, with speed limits in the 40 - 55 MPH range (but slow down as you approach a curve, such that you can then GENTLY roll on the throttle through the curve -- no paddling, no walking speed here, or you'll just make it harder, almost impossible).

And to reiterate what I said -- just to make sure you caught that -- lean with the bike. "Be the bike," i.e., position your torso along the line of the tank, or even lean more inside the curve. Worst thing you can do is to try to sit up straight (i.e., perpendicular to the road) while you're in a curve.

And turn your head and neck big time, as you look for the EXIT of the curve, just as soon as you ENTER the curve.

Now get out there and ride those back roads, at a very moderate pace, and get back to us after a few days of doing that.
 

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BTW, I was rummaging through my computer for some of my saved MSF "paperwork," and this was the oval exercise I was talking about. This is from 15 years ago, but I assume that they still do this exercise in the current course.

The "C1" on the upper-right and upper-left represent the recommended position and alternate position of Coach 1. As you start the curve -- right at the position marked C1 on the right (you're going counter-clockwise) -- you should ALREADY have your head, neck, and eyes pointed to the spot marked C1 on the other (upper-left) side.

This the exercise where they should've stressed the look-through-the-curve bit, when learning to take a curve at faster-than-walking speed*. I don't seem to have my coaching instructions on the computer, but maybe I have them on real paper in the basement somewhere.

* (Walking speed would be when you had to do the freakin U-turns. At walking speed, you and the wobbly ol' bike are going so slow that your butt should be hung off the OUTSIDE of the bike, to counter-balance it. At normal riding speed, as I mentioned earlier, you should "be the bike" or even on INSIDE of the bike.)

In any case, here's the exercise diagram:

7 BRC.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Hello all,
I thought I'd tell you how Saturdays ride went.

Stop light to stop light.
All is good going straight.
Turning .. I found myself turning really sharp.
I would be on the outside at the start but in the end I'd be on the inside.

Country ride
The only issue that occurred was
"would you look at that" Gasp!!! correct!! correct!!
So how you sight seers do it with out going into the next lane let me know.

I jumped on highway to get back home.... I figured what the heck.
Nothing has changed nascar banking turn .... I suck.
I thought "lets change riding position".

Instead of hanging on to the bars I hunched forward pushing on the bars.... like a sport bike or cafe racer.
I probably looked funny on a HD with my chest over the tank.
Than I got aggressive and made it a race to beat the other cars.
I seem to of rode that highway perfectly until "panic".
The seedo caught my eye and I cooking 75mph... Keep in mind I was passing cars.
I instantly pushed myself off the bars and let off the throttle to slow down.

I got home and that was the ride.

In case you were wondering
Yes I wear a full faced helmet when riding and a jacket and boots.
 
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