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Is this feeling normal?

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  • Is this feeling normal?

    Long story short. I took the MSF course back in September. A friend gave me his 2001 Katana, mint condition(see the Introductions forum) I realy do like everything about it. Just starting it gets me fired up. I never got in any riding since it wasn't insured and registered. I basically just drove the straight away, up and down the block. I fell once trying to do a very slow u-turn. I realized I hit the front brake and thats what sent me down. I have it parked in a friend's backyard and I went to sit on it the other day. (Yes, I go just to sit on it ) Here is my question. While going at a good speed on the straight away, I realy do feel comfortable...dare I say, "safe." But with the upcoming season approaching, i'm starting to think that the bike is just too heavy. I keep thinking about that slow speed u-turn and I just don't see it happening. I live in Brooklyn, NY so when its time to realy take it off the block, i'm going right out into traffic. Unfortunately, there aren't alot of open, traffic free places around here. Anyway, i'm just wondering if this feeling of apprehension is normal? Please don't beat up on me too much. Even with the weather so cold, all I can think about is my first upcoming riding season!

  • #2
    I would say to not feel that way with no experience, would be a recipe for disaster. The bike is heavier than some but it just takes some getting used to. As long as the little voice in your head is keeping you alert and not making you a nervous wreck it is good. You need to stay alert and be aware of what you are doing at all times. The more time you have the better you will get.

    As for the turn thing, you learned not to cover or grab that front brake during a low speed turn didn't you. I learned that lesson a similiar way.

    About sitting on your bike when you can't ride...I put on over 5000 miles last year, and I will still go sit on my Kat in the garage if I haven't been able to get out and ride.
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    • #3
      practice practice practice....there are MUCH heavier bikes....and you don't make U-turns all that often...the key is to go to a parking lot...stay OFF the front brake, and learn to feather the clutch.

      Most people have a problem on slow speed turns because they are looking at the front tire...look where you want to is easy after a bit of practice.


      • #4
        This is normal feeling. I still get it everytime I go out and ride. I have been riding off and on since I as 5. Not matter what bike you are on if you are turning around and hit the front brake you are going to drop it. Just like when you ride a bike and turn it to far one way you fall over if you are not balancing yourself. Just remeber what you learned in the MSF class and you will do fine. Everything gets easier with practice like Range said. It is also good idea to go riding with some that has been doing it for awhile and ask them to help you out. Good luck in the up coming season.


        • #5
          Ahhh to be a two wheeled virgin again.... All those intimidations and new thrills.

          What you did is completely normal and happens to the best and worse riders alike. The difference is that not everyone is willing to admit they made a boo-boo.
          Being a little intimidated is a great thing and may very well be what saves you from making truly stupid mistakes. As long as you learned something then you're doing fine. Smooth slow speed turns are difficult for even the most experienced and even after years of riding people still feel off balance and make mistakes like putting a foot down or use the fronts too hard.
          Shake it off, remember what you learned at the MSF and enjoy the road ahead.
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          • #6
            Its good to be cautious! rookie and veteran riders alike. You should always respect your motorcycle and respect your limitations. That's what keeps you safe and keeps you riding for a lifetime.

            I still get excited when I go out to the garage and see the bike sitting there, knowing its mine, knowing the good times i've had riding her, and the good times to come. being part of a fraternity of riders is something special and to be respected. There's no other feeling like it.

            When you start riding, u wonder how in the world you're going to turn such a beast, any bike that is, at any speed. Bikes can be intimidating to new riders, but u focus and remember your training, and dont be afraid. You can do it, but its takes practice. there's no substitute for real world experience, and that only comes with riding.


            • #7
              Just take your time, go slow, you need to get the feel for your bike. I learned in a culdesac. Just take it easy on the front brake while making those turns!
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              • #8
                Go straight is the easy part... it's the turns that make riding fun!!

                Do as all the others have said... find a parking lot, stay off the brakes and practice. 8)

                Welcome to the addiction.


                • #9
                  Like Junior said, "Welcome to the addiction"

                  For a newbie the feeling is normal. Even experienced riders get the feeling. Every once in a while no matter how long you've been riding, you will do something that causes you to respect the machine and not take what you can or can't do for granted. If you don't feel cautious or alert while riding, you won't be riding for very long. U-Turns are always tricky and it's natural to feel that way. Like Range said, get to a parking lot and practice.... a lot. Learn to feather the clutch and control the turn not with the brake but with clutch and throttle. Slow turning takes time and pratice to master, everyone goofs once in a while. Don't feel bad. My little brother-in-law has been riding for years, and he still dumped his Gix1100 making a u in front of his apt. First thing out of his mouth, "I can't believe I stabbed the fronts". It happens.

                  Just practice, practice, practice.

                  (Oh btw, my bike is my primary mode of transportation by choice and I STILL go out to the driveway every once in a while to sit on it )


                  • #10
                    It's normal. When I was first certified (MSF), I took out a Honda CB200 for my first "road experience." Nervous as hell, and that thing was like a bicycle. It passes though. Stay off the front break, especially when slow speed turning, and practice in desolate areas. Basically what the others said. And have fun!


                    • #11
                      Like the others said all you need is practice. Find a good parking lot and go through the MSF drills. Brooklyn is a tough place to ride. Being cautious is not a bad thing.


                      • #12
                        Good point TDR...even the best riders get little reminders from time to time, that riding responsibly means paying 100% attention 100% of the time.


                        • #13
                          yeah what they said..

                          I am still classified as a newbie hen it comes to riding and we all have had our close encounters and apprehensive to riding. I knwo i went through stages of cleaning out my drawers. Just be glad that your worse lesson thus far is slow speed turns. Mine was coming a foot away from going over an embankment on the OTHER side of the road because I was taking a turn too fast. Luckily i practiced my emergency stopping. It might have saved my life. We all make mistakes the most important part though is that you learn from them and learn how to not make the same mistake twice.
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                          • #14
                            Seriously, just ride around the block until you are totally bored, then go 2 blocks. New York is a tough place to learn, but Sunday mornings are quiet everywhere.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by katrider
                              Seriously, just ride around the block until you are totally bored, then go 2 blocks. New York is a tough place to learn, but Sunday mornings are quiet everywhere.
                              This is great advice. If your not comfortable with your bike you won't enjoy the ride. The longer you ride it the more familiar you will become with it and enjoy the ride.Like they say "you have to learn to walk befor you can run." Don't feel bad I am 35 been riding on and off for about 15 years and still have alot to learn myself. Just remember if you think you know it all than you don't know anything. Happy riding!!!

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