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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding again for three months. A couple of suggestions based on what I've learned.

If you have stepped up to a shadow from a smaller bike, it will weigh 500 lbs or more. Go easy on yourself riding slow and making slow turns until you get used to it. Takes a little practice, but over time you will be able to ride slow through parking lots and make a slow sharp turn into a parking spot. In the mean time there is nothing wrong with putting your foot down or power walking your bike.

And even more important, when making a turn, never ever look at what you don't want to hit. Look where you want to go! Your bike always goes toward what you are looking at.

Ride safe and enjoy your bike.
 

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I've been riding again for three months. A couple of suggestions based on what I've learned.

If you have stepped up to a shadow from a smaller bike, it will weigh 500 lbs or more. Go easy on yourself riding slow and making slow turns until you get used to it. Takes a little practice, but over time you will be able to ride slow through parking lots and make a slow sharp turn into a parking spot. In the mean time there is nothing wrong with putting your foot down or power walking your bike.

And even more important, when making a turn, never ever look at what you don't want to hit. Look where you want to go! Your bike always goes toward what you are looking at.

Ride safe and enjoy your bike.
Lots more advice in the thread Old Dad posted. It's worth it for EVERYBODY to read through it every once in a while.

To your point, NorTex, doing slow speed figure-8's in a parking garage is great practice. Riding fast isn't that difficult. Riding slow....IS. Someone who can ride slow can always ride fast. Someone who can ride fast may- or may-not be able to ride slow.
 

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Turn your brain into a sponge of all things motorcycle, and take good care of the same.
 

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Lots more advice in the thread Old Dad posted. It's worth it for EVERYBODY to read through it every once in a while.

To your point, NorTex, doing slow speed figure-8's in a parking garage is great practice. Riding fast isn't that difficult. Riding slow....IS. Someone who can ride slow can always ride fast. Someone who can ride fast may- or may-not be able to ride slow.
Yup.. Parking lot practice.. Preferably Lots of it... Hours of slow speed practice in a parking lot adds up to weeks and months of doing the same things on the road.

Practice cornering, dodging around little rocks on the surface of the parking lot, braking, stopping and starting with one foot down, super slow riding and balancing maneuvers.. Do a little of all that before hitting the road to any great extent and you will be doing yourself a solid.
 

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Every couple months someone takes up riding and posts lessons. Very, very few of them are usefull most contain inaccurate information. Post in a couple years when you have some experience-or use the search to find the stickey post and then if you figure you have some insight post up.

Dingo.
 

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Chances are you will be at the greatest risk while on the road...beyond parking lot speed. Many folks can ride fast....but can they stop in time if the sh!t hits the fan? I think that's a skill you should learn first.

Learn to do emergency stops from 30-->70 mph. True, hard braking emergency stops, not just slowing down a little quicker than usual. You can get away with duck walking at slow speed if you have to, you can't walk away from not being able to stop in time. Learn that first, then play in the parking lot.
 

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Every couple months someone takes up riding and posts lessons. Very, very few of them are usefull most contain inaccurate information. Post in a couple years when you have some experience-or use the search to find the stickey post and then if you figure you have some insight post up.

Dingo.
Geeze Dingo, you sound like a bitter old man ... lol :mrgreen:

Gots to learn to be optimisitc :)
 

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I had a GL1200 and BSA 650 until mid summer when I stepped up to a VTX1800. It was a whole different animal entirely. Only a few weeks after getting the bike, the wife and I rode it to Colorado. Having ridden the same trip multiple times on GL1000 and GL1200, I can say that taking that trip on the VTX that soon was premature. It was noticably heavier and to be honest it really wasn't much fun. Since that time I've gotten very comfortable with the weight and it comes as naturally as any other bike I've ever ridden. I rode my wife's Shadow yesterday and the difference was night and day. I could FEEL that it was much smaller and much lighter. A wonderful bike, but 200lbs lighter than what I've gotten used to and it's 100lbs heavier than the Thunderbolt. I've ridden motorcycles since 1968 and most of that time it was the same general class of bike. Recently I've had it made painfully clear that each bike is a very different experience and has a learning curve that should be tackled slowly.
 

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Chances are you will be at the greatest risk while on the road...beyond parking lot speed. Many folks can ride fast....but can they stop in time if the sh!t hits the fan? I think that's a skill you should learn first.

Learn to do emergency stops from 30-->70 mph. True, hard braking emergency stops, not just slowing down a little quicker than usual. You can get away with duck walking at slow speed if you have to, you can't walk away from not being able to stop in time. Learn that first, then play in the parking lot.
Good advice, and that is one of the games I do play in a parking lot. I can get up-to 55-60 before aping on the brakes, though 70 would put me squarely up Smokey the Bear's ass, as a Forest Service Public Notice sign dictates stopping-distance at that speed :lol:
 

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Hey NorTex, there's a meetup group I get together with and they have a cone course they do every so often. They have two courses actually, one with wider turns so you can get the hang of it, and then the regular course. I'll let ya know when the next one will be. They go to a parking lot that's not used anymore in Plano, south of Collin College. The pavement is still good and best of all, no cages.
 

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I still play the game of "Deer!"
...
Where I`ll be riding down a rural GA highway, check traffic and pretend an object in or near the road, is a road hazard I have to avoid by swerving and or braking...

Good too!
I had an idiot in an S-10 take away my right of way yesterday morning...

In parade Thursday I had a chuckle, I didn`t know so many riders cannot "slow ride"...

Know Your Bike!

Merry Christmas,
Ann & Dennis
 

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^^^^ ...I Play Deer Too!! Though now I have a name for it :) ..Usually about 200 miles in, if I'm in a familiar stretch and alone on the road.. I'll practice swerving or braking at higher speeds or whatnot .. It's all good practice.

Riding slow, getting that balance down - That really helps.... These days, when I practice emergency braking, I'll come to a quick, dead stop, snick it into 1st and slowly move forward without ever putting my feet down. That took a while, but glad I can do it now.

That actually helped one time out on the road.. I couldn't beat the light, so hit the brakes, I was just about to put my left foot down when I heard squealing right behind me - I was near a complete stop - without missing a beat - I was able to gun it through the intersection :lol:

Practicing balancing a bike at low speeds will help in a lot of situations.

Then ...From memory. One of Spiritman's tips is to run through a yellow if the intersection is clear.. Had I remembered that, and not tried to brake for the yellow, I wouldn't have nearly been rear-ended.. So.. All those tips.. All good information.
 

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Good advice, and that is one of the games I do play in a parking lot. I can get up-to 55-60 before aping on the brakes, though 70 would put me squarely up Smokey the Bear's ass, as a Forest Service Public Notice sign dictates stopping-distance at that speed :lol:
Only reason I'm big on this is my only crash to date I saw coming but could not pull off the stop...locked 'em up and went down.
 

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To any riders in the DFW area who want a crack at some cone practice, there's an event January 11th starting at 9am. It's likely to be in Plano where they've done it before. Here's the link to the meetup: Squirrel's Cone Practice - Steel Stampede Motorcycle Riding Club (Plano, TX) - Meetup

NorTex, I sent you a PM with my cell phone number.

I've been trying to upload a video from Photobucket of the last cone practice I attended with the group. It's not working
 

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Ok here we go with another try. After reading through various other posts, I found Youtube was the way to go. So I had to upload it there....blah blah.

I took my windshield off for a better record (the camera kept focusing on the windshield and the bugs). I'm using my cellphone camera placed in my cup holder. It's not the best view, but you get the general idea of the course. The squeal you hear towards the end is the rider in front of me doing an emergency stop drill. You have to accelerate to 30mph, apply brakes as you hit the cone entrance and stop before you get to the back.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Wolfenstien. I'd really like to try the cone course. Please keep me up to date.

And Mark, I often practice a swerve around man-hole covers. You'll laugh when I tell you that for me, doing a swerve on a five hundred pound bike at forty five mph is not the same as in my motorcycle safety course on a Korean 250 in second gear.

And yes emergency stops. I've already locked up the rear wheel in traffic and found out what fishtailing a shadow feels like. I need to practice that rather delicate touch on front and back brakes for quick stops without skidding.
 
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