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Old July 21st, 2015, 05:59 PM   #1
Jasonm163
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Ughhhh

Well tonight I was practicing riding my perfect condition ninja 300 (only second time ive rode) around in the parking lot and all was well until I went and tried to park. I had the clutch in and just about stopped thinking I was in neutral and let the clutch out on a small hill and the bike lurched forward as I went to put my foot down since it was actually in first and I dropped it. I mean I pretty much caught it but it still scratched the mirror a tiny bit.

More damaging to my ego ago frustrating feeling dumb not being able to park it lol but low speed maneuvers seem very tricky right now for me. Needless to say I'm already trying to buy oggy knobs since I have a 300 w Abs And don't want to cut into the fairings. Just having trouble finding them.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 06:11 PM   #2
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Glad you're OK. This isn't something to learn by trial and error; bikes are way too expensive and sliding on pavement hurts just a little too much. Please heed the advice of those in the other thread who are recommending the Texas course for new riders. Well worth the time, energy, and minimal cost to make it that much less likely you'll continue to damage your (almost, now) perfect condition bike.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 06:14 PM   #3
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Yep I am going not this weekend but the next. I just was hoping to familiarize myself with the feel of a bike and the controls hoping to make the class easier. That's okay. I'm glad the bike still looks great and I learned a lesson to make sure I'm in neutral or keep that clutch in. Kinda bad since ive only driven standard cars my entire life lol
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Old July 21st, 2015, 08:20 PM   #4
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 01:54 PM   #5
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I expect there aren't many of us in this forum that haven't done something just as stupid

I think I've only dropped my bike at a stand-still once and it was from a similar thing to you. In my case I wanted to check my brake light was working so I pressed in the rear brake pedal and the bike lurched forward and then dropped to the ground. Turned out I actually pushed the shifter instead in a moment of nooblidity (noob stupidity). I managed to set it down relatively gently so only got very minor damage.

Glad you're ok. Alex's advice is good! Also: Alex is the boss so you kinda have to do what he says

I'm curious: have you driven or ridden anything with a manual gearbox before? Over here manual gearboxes are the norm on cars, but apparently in the states it's more rare and most people drive automatics.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 02:09 PM   #6
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Yep, every single car I've owned has been a standard. I currently own a standard 2014 white evo x gsr. Its not that I didnt know it would lurch in first when letting off the clutch, its just a very new thing with me and bikes. I was shifting down and just noobed it up forgetting nuetral is only half shift down and I accidentally went all the way down into first. I was so proud from riding around and not having many troubles until I parked it lol
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 03:49 PM   #7
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I've trained my muscle memory so that when I come to a stand-still I always slowly let out the clutch, gradually so that there is no chance of it being in gear and lurching. You can add double protection against the kind of lurch-drop you experienced by also training yourself to hold in the front brake as you release the cluch: that way if you do release to quick and the bike is in gear, the bike wont lurch forward it will just stall.

While you are new to riding it's a really good time to encode as much good riding practise into muscle memory as possible. There are soo many silly little mistakes that you can make during the daily use of your bike. If you always follow the same, sensible, patterns you will likely never make those mistakes. I guess I'm trying to say: figure out for yourself what's the best way to deal with a typical scenario and then stick with doing the same thing every time. At first you will have to do it consciously step-by-step, but after a short while it will become subconscious and you will look and feel very confident and smooth!

Side note: I'm not sure how it is on the 300, but on my 250R shifting from second gear down to neutral is a bit awkward and feels imprecise. I pretty much always shift from 2nd down to 1st gear and then half-shift up to neutral. The shift up to neutral feels far more precise. There's a more satisfying click!

Oh oh! Also: on my 250R the bike doesn't always want to find neutral no matter how many times I move the shifter down or up. The easy fix is to very gently let the clutch out slightly (with little or no throttle). You'll hear the gearbox click firmly into gear and then you can pull the clutch lever all the way back in again and you should now be able to find neutral.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 04:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jasonm163 View Post
Yep I am going not this weekend but the next. I just was hoping to familiarize myself with the feel of a bike and the controls hoping to make the class easier. That's okay. I'm glad the bike still looks great and I learned a lesson to make sure I'm in neutral or keep that clutch in. Kinda bad since ive only driven standard cars my entire life lol
As a MSF ridercoach, I hear this all the time. "I wanted to do this and that to make the class easier or be more familiar with the bike." Thing is, that is what the class is for... all it does is cheapen the value of the classroom and biases the range drills to the negative perception of value. And now you're sitting there for that period of time listening to stuff your already know.

If the TX class is anything like the KY BRC, then the class is already set up for your success. Practice before hand in the name of "just to pass", need not apply. And honestly, if you get the right coach, the class is actually kinda fun too.

I hope you get all of that and more for your class. Good luck and be safe out there.

EDIT: bummer about the drop, at least it was only a little scratch. Wish I was that lucky when I dropped my bike the first time. lol
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 04:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the positive responses. Ya ill probably just wait on riding it around until the class next week that way I have much better instruction. Good points from everyone in here. Guess ive been a bit anxious
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 06:24 PM   #10
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I'm not really a "beginner rider" and yet I've lowsided my bike practicing drills in a parking lot. Happens to the best of us

Luckily the bike I had at the time wasn't my 300 and it had minimal plastics so there was very little damage but yea, ego was damaged nonetheless so I get it. Keep practicing though! That low speed control is what separates good riders from bad ones.

But also, you have to make yourself ok with the idea of your bike going down. Sadly, it'll probably happen again if you continue riding and the damage might be worse next time but life goes on and bikes get fixed! As long as you walk away unharmed, all is a-ok
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 06:29 PM   #11
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Thanks urban. Im watching the twist the wrist 2 video right now on youtube and just ordered the book as well. The whole counter steering thing is pretty crazy to me. I feel like that would be worrysome trying to turn going 30mph for the first time and directing my bike in the wrong direction lol. In the parking lot just aiming where I want to go and turning the bars that way had worked well.

Obviously once you are going faster it's different but still very unintuitive
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 02:13 AM   #12
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Thanks urban. Im watching the twist the wrist 2 video right now on youtube and just ordered the book as well. The whole counter steering thing is pretty crazy to me. I feel like that would be worrysome trying to turn going 30mph for the first time and directing my bike in the wrong direction lol. In the parking lot just aiming where I want to go and turning the bars that way had worked well.

Obviously once you are going faster it's different but still very unintuitive
If you've got a bicycle, go to some soft ground, take all/most your weight off the handlebars and just play around with them. Try pushing them left and watch and feel what happens to bike. You'll probably get it really quickly! It even works at low speed. Personally I find the descriptions of it far more confusing than the reality of it you can experience when you just play around on a bicycle (and then a motorcycle).

You've got so much fun ahead! I'm kinda jealous. You only get to go through that initial learning experience once. It's great fun. Bikes are awesome!
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 08:36 AM   #13
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Bummer about the drop, but it does happen to everyone. Several good pieces of advice above.

Countersteering sounds more complicated than it really is, and if you've ever ridden a bicycle at speed you already know how to do it intuitively. Becoming conscious of countersteering is what allows you to progress.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 10:28 AM   #14
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Countersteering sounds more complicated than it really is, and if you've ever ridden a bicycle at speed you already know how to do it intuitively. Becoming conscious of countersteering is what allows you to progress.
^^^

After teaching this stuff for a while now, the big deal about countersteering is your knowingly doing it on purpose or it's happening naturally. When you knowingly do it on purpose, you start to take advantage of it's effectiveness to steer the bike more quickly and with less effort.

Even after the years of track riding I have done, I still feel how quickly and easily the bike falls over with a straight forward countersteer vs pushing the bars down at some angle. As documented in TOTW2, the bars only move one way, forward and back. Pushing them down does not help you steer, it's just wasted energy. You ever wonder how those endurance racers can race for 3+ hours straight? This is one of the ways, they don't waste energy.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 10:53 AM   #15
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pretty excited to go take the MSF course and learn about all of this. And i guess the good news is, if i drop the test bike....no big deal since theyve all been dropped probably 1000 times lol. Ive just ordered twist of the wrist 2 and been watching the video as well
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 11:15 AM   #16
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...I pretty much caught it but it still scratched the mirror a tiny bit.
Nice save! You should be proud of limiting ground contact/minimal damage to the mirror!

It happens to the best of us and you learned something and you won't do it again. I've got a paranoia about what happened to you: If I'm stopped with the clutch pulled in and intend to remained stopped, I don't release the clutch unless one (or both) brake(s) are firmly applied.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 11:32 AM   #17
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took me 2 days before my first drop

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Old July 23rd, 2015, 04:17 PM   #18
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It is all good buddy, I almost dropped my old 07 250 when I forgot to put the kickstand down.I dont know where the strength came from but I (Barely) kept the bike from hitting the ground lol
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Old July 28th, 2015, 06:40 PM   #19
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As a MSF ridercoach, I hear this all the time. "I wanted to do this and that to make the class easier or be more familiar with the bike." Thing is, that is what the class is for... all it does is cheapen the value of the classroom and biases the range drills to the negative perception of value. And now you're sitting there for that period of time listening to stuff your already know.

If the TX class is anything like the KY BRC, then the class is already set up for your success. Practice before hand in the name of "just to pass", need not apply.
I agree with the general idea of what you're saying. Trying to practice before you learn how to do something is likely to just result in doing it wrong and forming bad habits, or resulting in damage/injury because you don't know how to do it properly.

However, I took the BRC with a lot of non-riders. It was Motorcycle Awareness month or something, so all the employees of the SoS (DMV) office decided to take the class. Most of them had no experience with or interest in motorcycles, it was just a learning experience. Despite being able to get their cycle endorsement by just taking a 20 question multiple choice test and paying a ~$10 fee after completing the class, some of the people simply chose to not take the final test of the class because they never planned to ride a bike again.

Whereas I had a lot of previous ATV experience (same basic controls) and had been riding on my temp permit for a while, some of those people had never even driven a manual car before. Operating the bike was second-nature for me, so I could concentrate fully on the details of how to ride. I could tell that others had to actively think about shifting gears and operation of the bike's controls, on top of learning how to ride.

I think knowing how to drive a manual is the biggest help. You have to get used to the bike controls, but the concept is the same. I think you can get a basic feel for the controls without even starting the bike. Obviously you won't be able to actually shift with the bike sitting still, but I think you can go through the motions enough to get your hands and feet used to clutch/throttle/shifting.

The class did a great job of turning complete n00bs into beginner riders. However, if you have some familiarity with shifting and/or bike controls, I think it's a lot easier to learn more about riding.
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Old August 1st, 2015, 01:00 PM   #20
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OP, Sorry to hear about your drop but am very glad you are taking a MSF class. For old guys like me we didn't have a choice about a class when we first started riding. For new riders now it's nuts not to take advantage of it. You will make great progress after getting proper training.
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