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Here's a video of my first group ride a week after I got my bike. I'm 5'1" female wearing the green turtle shell bag. When I first bought my bike, I was scared I wouldn't be able to ride it. I had to master one leg, as you see in the video. My friend put commentary at the bottom for my mistakes to learn since I'm a beginner.

Enjoy!! I hope this will inspire other short riders to ride. :D

 

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nice video. I'm 5'7" and in my street shoes in the showroom i had trouble getting both feet flat (which i prefer). But once i got my riding boots on, it was the perfect height. Lovin the bike!! ride safe out there.
 

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looks like an awesome ride. Also good to see you using the one leg down. Why not try the left leg? that way you can use your rear break and throttle to control speed on your starts and stops....for example......hill starts. You will need to use your rear break and throttle to enable a nicely controlled acceleration up the hill. Use of the left leg down not only helps with stability while at a stop but also frees up your right leg for your rear brake........"your rear break is your best friend at slow speeds". Hope this helps. Once I learned only my left leg goes down, I didn't find myself alternating between each leg and enforced a good habit that comes second nature.
 

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Use of the left leg down not only helps with stability while at a stop but also frees up your right leg for your rear brake........"your rear break is your best friend at slow speeds". Hope this helps. Once I learned only my left leg goes down, I didn't find myself alternating between each leg and enforced a good habit that comes second nature.


Good to know! I honeslty thought that your left leg was supposed to be up so that way you can be ready to shift when the light turns green! But then again, I am a newbie and haven't even taken my training course yet. I guess I'll learn everything soon!

Oh and btw...is it just me, or with her wearing the green shell backpack, doesn't it remind you of the turtle riding the motorcycle in Mario Kart?! Lol!
 

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I am 5' 3" with just under a 30" in inseam. I am getting comfortable putting just one foot down. I went with the right foot down for the same reason as iLLiPiNo. I found an article that had a good point:

"I'm happy if the balls of my feet touch, but if there is an uphill, off-camber stop I will put down whichever foot is closest to the ground. I'm continually watching elevations, cambers, etc. When you are short, you have to adapt."

Here's a link to the full story:
Get Shorty On A Motorcycle
 

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looks like an awesome ride. Also good to see you using the one leg down. Why not try the left leg? that way you can use your rear break and throttle to control speed on your starts and stops....for example......hill starts. You will need to use your rear break and throttle to enable a nicely controlled acceleration up the hill. Use of the left leg down not only helps with stability while at a stop but also frees up your right leg for your rear brake........"your rear break is your best friend at slow speeds". Hope this helps. Once I learned only my left leg goes down, I didn't find myself alternating between each leg and enforced a good habit that comes second nature.
i use the rear brake when coming to a stop but i always one foot with my right foot so i don't have to hold the clutch in the whole time i'm stopped. but you could stop on your left foot and then just shift over, i do that sometimes too
 

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Nice video and a very practical training. we know what they say: "Learning by doing"

hehehehe... Peace! :D
 

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Good points about changing feet. I always keep my bike in first at a light and only shift into neutral when the light is long or waiting for trains etc, therefore i'm not having to shift into gear when light changes. I already have my license so I don't have to play the "neutral game" when stopped as I have learned from this forum some must do in order to get their license. I guess its a matter of preference, if i'm going to use one leg to balance I prefere the left then i'm not switching back and forth. I too am verticlely challenged and only the tip of my toes touch the ground. I just lean the bike to the left a bit when stopped. At the end of the day we all do what works for us hey? Years ago when I took lessons the left leg is what was taught therefore I continue that practise to this day. Good thing is we all have an awesome bike and we ride. Keep the shiny side up!
 

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in Australia, we are instructed to always put down the left leg whilst the right leg remains on the brake after stopping. Also, the bike should remain in 1st gear at the lights in order to move quickly in the event of an emergency.
 

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You also should practice using the front brake to hold the bike while starting. It only takes a couple of fingers to hold the bike stopped, and with a few reps you'll find yourself rolling the throttle in smoothly while holding the bike still on a hill.

I'm not really fond of the rear brake. Because of the weight shift to the front end on braking, the overwhelming bulk of your deacceleration should come from the front binder. Get used to depending on it.

I also don't disagree with the "left foot down, bike in gear" mantra. DoubleR, have you tried going out to the end of the lever? The effort is much less there. By the way, love your avatar (assuming it's you), and you stay safe on that 600!

Luke
 

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there are a few factors to look at. i feel like i am more stable holding the bike on my right leg. i can see it both ways tho, it's good to have the bike in gear in case you need to move quickly. for me it's nice to have both hands free as there aren't too many times i'm stopped on a hill and need to hold a brake. braking with the rear does slow you down more, but i think the effects are negligible in a non-emergency braking situation. either way to each his own

and yeah that's me from a track day a couple years ago on the 600, i can't wait to get back out on the track it's been too long!
 

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For me, when i stop my bike on the traffic, i uses the right foot. so whenever there's need to move, my left foot is on standby.

I also agree with DOUBLERGIRL, sometimes it can be tired holding the clutch.

And i uses front brake more often than the rear.
 

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Hi Diana

I'm only 5'2" so I know what you're going through. You will probably go through a period of getting a lot of advice from people, but the reality is, unless they are your height they don't really understand the challenges you are dealing with (despite their best intentions). So listen to what people are offering, and consider the rationale behind it, but find what works best for you.

My first bike, a CBR250RR has a seat height of 725mm, so perhaps was a little easier than the new ones with a seat height of 780mm - even still I remember being incredibly nervous that I couldn't 'flat foot' both sides.

Firstly, braking. There was some advice to given earlier which IMO is pretty poor. When doing slow manoeuvering i.e. in traffic, you should use your rear brake as it will be smoother for you and the bike. However, if you are coming up to a normal stop then you should use your front brake first and then apply your rear brake as well. This is the most effective method of braking and, importantly, is the method you should use for emergency braking. If you get into the habit of using the correct braking method all the time, when you have to actually do an emergency brake it will occur without you having to think about it.

When you come to a normal stop, road surface and camber is far more important to us short riders than anything else. You should be able to come to a stop and balance briefly before you need to put your leg down - something that will come with a bit of confidence and practice - so don't be too concerned about which leg you 'should' put down. I nearly always have my right leg down because I'm right-handed and my right leg feels marginally stronger and safer to hold the bike.

But, as I said, being a short rider, you have to check the road surface and camber before making that decision. If the road is not flat then put down the leg that is closest to the ground. If you come up to a set of lights where trucks and heavy vehicles have left dents in the road from their weight, then always make sure you stop in the actual groove/dent. If you stop on the high point, you're making it harder to get your feet down.

Stopping at lights - it sounds like you might be taught a different theory in US than in Aus, but I was always taught to keep the bike in gear and clutch in at the lights. The rationale is that if some idiot comes up behind you and fails to stop in time, you have a better chance of getting out of their way if you are in gear and can take off quickly. (Also, in Australia - if you have filtered to the front of the lights and you don't take off quickly then you will have some irate moron up your backside pretty quickly)

Importantly, when you're coming to a stop make sure you keep your head up. I know it's one of those basic things, but it will really help with your balance when you are stopping - and balance for us shorties is pretty important.

You're friend noticed you putting your foot down a little early (and I noticed it was the right one too!) I wouldn't worry about this too much - you will do it less as you pick up a bit more confidence. But this does mean you're currently not using your rear brake when coming to a stop (see point above about correct braking method).

Hill starts - yes, you're meant to use your rear brake, but if the hill has a camber on it as well then that won't always be an option for you. Practice hill starts (not that it looked very 'hilly' where you were!) by feeling where the take up point is on your clutch and having only the front brake on (because for some hills you are going to have to have your right leg down and won't be able to use your rear brake)

Finally - something that no-one will tell you........... I've found the best thing to do for us shorties before hopping on a bike is to do some hamstring stretches. You will be amazed the difference it makes and how much 'longer' your legs seem. If you wear heels a lot (like me) I find that it is essential for me to stretch before I hop on my Ducati.

Oh - and get yourself some kevlar jeans and some proper boots! Alpinestars make small sizes for women (if you also have small feet). My SMX4s are a European size 35.

Happy riding :)
 
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