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New rider looking for some pointers

  #1  
Old 06-29-2012, 10:50 PM
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Default New rider looking for some pointers

Hey guys,

I am brand new at riding (about 3 weeks) and am seeking a couple of pointers to help me out. I have already completed the MSF course and I feel that it helped establish some fundamentals, but it in no way prepares you for being on the real road. After I completed the course I took the bike (02 F4i) out around my neighborhood the first week, and then to school and other areas after. I am getting the hang of things, but I am still having certain problems. I have ready the entire thread of what new riders shouldn't do...


First- I stalled out a couple of times at red lights...I know where the friction zone is, but I usually do not use any throttle until the clutch is completely engaged. Meaning I let off the clutch slowly until it is fully out, then I start to throttle...I know you're supposed mix throttle slowly as the clutch gets closer to engaging..just wondering if there is a trick to make it as smooth as possible. Because I know I am taking off like a grandma lol.

Also, any help with turns from red lights? I need to work on making them a bit tighter..


Curves- I am getting a bit more confident taking some curves now that I am getting better at counter steering...your bike really does the work for you once you get it to lean a bit. Just wondering if there are any other tips for coming off/getting on highway/interstate ramps (those things get pretty curvy, and the speed taking them I imagine is higher than regular road curves....at least for a noob like me)


Shifting- I am trying to figure out how to shift so its as smooth as possible...sometimes I get it, other times I get tossed forward a bit until I roll back on the throttle...this usually happens from 1st to 2nd, and to a lesser degree from 2nd to 3rd...I guess Im not matching the throttle and clutch letting out. After I shift into second, should I be giving a bit of throttle BEFORE the clutch is fully engaged, or slowly let the clutch become fully engaged and then give throttle...I feel lag when I do this so I don't think its correct.

Lastly, this may be a dumb question but your bike IS supposed to make a bit of a clunk/jump noise when you are in neutral and shift into first right? When I am at a light and I drop into first from neutral there is a noticeable sound that happens..Im guessing this is normal, just the bike going into gears...

I apologize in advance for all these noob inquiries, but I do appreciate any help. I am thankful that there is an active and helpful community online that I can consult when I have problems, I already have gotten a lot of help in the F4i section of the forums with other stuff. You guys are the ****.
 
  #2  
Old 07-02-2012, 01:31 PM
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First congratulaions on taking the MSF course.If I may offer some advice on you r questions....The stalling at the light or from a stop sounds like the same problem as your shifing technique between 1st and 2nd. The bike doesnt pull you forward at idle speed of the engine. You have to rev it up just a little. Just a little, you dont want to wheelie every time you take off. The co-ordination between the throttle and clutch will come but you can control your take off with both. You can rev it and 'feather' the clutch but best to learn how to co-ordinate your right wrist with your left fingers and listen and feel the bike. On the turn from the lite or from stopped, I get to the side opposite my turn in my lane then look where I want to go,point and shoot. I dont mean fast just look and go there. I treat it like a curve. from outside to inside (apex) then out. always in my lane. Turning right, I'm on the left side of my lane (Safely way from any car) turn across my lane to the inside of the right hand lane of my turn. don't go so far as to lead a car behind you to think they can come up your right side. Freeway exits should be treated like any curve. Be aware of where you will have to stop, don't understand why you would think to take them faster. Freeway entrances the same judge your speed on what it takes to merge...or wait. The big advantage we have is incredible burs of speed but at 3 weeks, don't get ambitious for a while. Be careful and learn your bike. The issue you are having with the 1-2nd gear transition is as mentioned, learn to co-ordinate gas to clutch. Do you know how to drive a stick shift car? Same deal.
Last shifting from neutral to first on most bikes will get a sound. Some it's just a 'snick' some like my Hurricane is a loud click. Some will interpret as a thunk. It should not grind or move the bike though.
Lots of good advice on the forum here, look around there are a lot of good technique discussions to be had. As a Noob take your time and learn well, ride within your capabilities and have a BALL !
 
  #3  
Old 07-02-2012, 01:48 PM
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Everything sounds like all you're needing is experience and time. Being smooth during transitions comes as you get more comfortable with your ride and the mechanics of shifting. As grendl said, bikes aren't like car engines. They need a bit of throttle when coming from a dead stop (or very, very lightly easing out the clutch depending on the bike). It's easier and more important to learn how to roll on the throttle as you ease off the clutch. Being able to transition smoothly with the throttle will be needed later in more advanced techniques (trail braking, mid corner corrections, etc).

The "Honda Clunk" is really something that happens on all bikes I think, going from neutral to 1st.
 
  #4  
Old 07-02-2012, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FSUNOLES View Post
Hey guys,
First- I stalled out a couple of times at red lights...I know where the friction zone is, but I usually do not use any throttle until the clutch is completely engaged. Meaning I let off the clutch slowly until it is fully out, then I start to throttle...I know you're supposed mix throttle slowly as the clutch gets closer to engaging..just wondering if there is a trick to make it as smooth as possible. Because I know I am taking off like a grandma lol..
Hand muscle memories....practice & your hand will build muscle + muscle memory. Once your hand knows where the sweet spot is....you won't be taking off slow. It's there, just practice stop & go.

Throttle is same too...throttle control is very important to avoid those riders error lowside. You can practice on neutral....rev to 2RPM hold, then 3RPM hold, 4RPM hold...up to 7-8RPM hold. Then go down 7-6-5-4-3-2RPM at a time and hold it every RPM....holding it help you learn steady throttle.

Both your hands must build muscle + memories.....so both R/L hands work together. In words is hard to explain because every bike's clutch set up is different, but there should be about an inch of free play. Just practice alot of stop and go...
 

Last edited by estate4life; 07-02-2012 at 01:51 PM. Reason: spelling
  #5  
Old 07-03-2012, 08:35 AM
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Thank you for the great advice guys, I will practice these exercises. I feel pretty good about riding, I know the most important thing is to stay within my limits, and at this point my limits are fairly narrow lol. Definitely takes some getting used to being out on the road and not having the protection and "shell" of being enclosed in a car...totally DIFFERENT experience, and something that car drivers cannot relate to. I love it though!
 
  #6  
Old 07-03-2012, 08:47 AM
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you took the MSF course...find a time that there is not a class happening but that the area is open. you can use a majority of the lines to practice with your own bike (like the"friction zone" lines and "the box"). or find a fairly empty parking lot to practice starting and stopping as well as low speed turning.

your F4i has a wet clutch...don't be afraid to slip it (that's part of why they are wet). being you are a fairly new rider, I don't recommend launching much above 3K. once you get several thousand miles on the controls, you should be able to pick any RPM and smoothly launch at it (but save that until you have more experience).
 
  #7  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:40 AM
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Thanks Xander.

I am still a bit confused on whether I should use a counterweight technique (pressure on outside foot peg when turning, shifting weight to opposite side) or counter steer technique when turning form a standstill (low speed turns). I recall from the MSF course that counterweight is needed for u-turns and low speed turns.

Also, when exiting ramps on highways, is the suggested MPH a good rule of thumb or should I be going slower?
 

Last edited by FSUNOLES; 07-03-2012 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Add info
  #8  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FSUNOLES View Post
Thanks Xander.

I am still a bit confused on whether I should use a counterweight technique (pressure on outside foot peg when turning, shifting weight to opposite side) or counter steer technique when turning form a standstill (low speed turns). I recall from the MSF course that counterweight is needed for u-turns and low speed turns.

Also, when exiting ramps on highways, is the suggested MPH a good rule of thumb or should I be going slower?
To be frank, what MSF teaches you, don't mean we all are able to absorb immediately. Don't think too much & don't try implementing (in words) during your ride. Let it come naturally with practice. As for what speed to be at prior to entering a corner, is the speed each rider is comfortable with. I rather know what gear to be at, than speed. Because most of the time when you ride, you feel the gear & the speed.....I don't focus on the speedo to match what the sign say....because it may be raining that day & the sign don't change.

Say if it's a blind corner, or it's a 90 degree turn....you want to be at comfortable 2nd gear...you want to be at lower gear rather than over.
 
  #9  
Old 02-17-2013, 12:48 AM
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I'm also new at this. Road cbr929rr solid during winter. Would love some pointers
 
  #10  
Old 03-19-2013, 02:30 PM
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Best thing to do is to get a lot of seat time. When I first got my hurricane, I was always riding, never took my SUV anywhere. Also if you have any friends with any level experience, whether it be more or less than you it would be a good idea to try and ride with them also. Learning on the fly from watching others as far as what to do and not to do will help also. Riding with my father taught me more than anything else.
 

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