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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new rider. I've seen at least two videos posted here showing riders doing some pretty amazing manuevering at slow speeds and I've read a lot about counter-steering and other control techniques. This has inspired me to head to a big ol parking lot and work on my skills. I think it's fun, but it's also frustrating.

Here's my question(s): When I work on figure 8s, I'm usually in second gear and when I roll off the throttle prior to beginning a turn, the bike hops/lurches/whatever, like I'm in the wrong gear. I can't seem to roll off gradually enough to keep this from happening. I tried to keep the speed up higher going into the turn, and maybe that's the solution, but I feel that I should be able to make these turns slower and tighter. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions will be appreciated. (BTW, I've seen-and read-Twist of the Wrist and I feel a bit like the dork in the blue leathers at this point.)
 

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Rather than use the throttle to vary your speed. Try feathering the clutch instead. Keep it in 2nd gear, just keep your throttle constant and adjust the clutch in and out to vary your speed. You'll be able to control the speed much more smoothly this way.

Another good tip is to keep light pressure on the back brake when doing low-speed maneuvering. It helps to keep the bike in an upright position.

Low speed technique is probably the toughest thing to get used to on a bike, but hopefully this helps!
 

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Clutch + rear brake.. do some reading on friction turns. Amaze your friends.
 

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Absolutely throttle at higher rpms, clutch and rear brake. One of the best tips I ever remember from the courses I taken are "the rear brake is your best friend at slooooow speeds". You are pretty much using three limbs with slow speed maneuvers. Also surprising how much rpms are used. All the best on your up coming course. Fabulous you and your wife are going together. :D
 

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Rather than use the throttle to vary your speed. Try feathering the clutch instead. Keep it in 2nd gear, just keep your throttle constant and adjust the clutch in and out to vary your speed. You'll be able to control the speed much more smoothly this way.

Another good tip is to keep light pressure on the back brake when doing low-speed maneuvering. It helps to keep the bike in an upright position.

Low speed technique is probably the toughest thing to get used to on a bike, but hopefully this helps!

^ Good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can't wait to try your suggestions. Thanks for posting them. Maybe it won't rain as much as they are forecasting here and I can mess around with this tomorrow. I have to say that I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying these slow-speed exercises even though I'm not very good at it yet.
 

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^ 4 fingers.

1 finger braking is a terrible habit and will catch up to you fast.
 

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Rear brake = bff
 

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Clutch + rear brake.. do some reading on friction turns. Amaze your friends.
This is how they taught us at the 'MSF' course I took here too -- still feels wrong coming from driving manual cars (where 'don't ride the clutch' is ingrained in my DNA), but it really does work on bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I don't think that I'll be "amazing my friends" anytime soon, but I went out for another practice session today and had much more success thanks to the tips in this thread. My turns were a bit tighter and I had smoother transitions. I think I need some cones, though. Light poles and planter boxes are not particularly forgiving and I freak out slightly if I get too close to them. LOL
 

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Use heeps of rear brake, makes a huge difference.
 

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Cones - Who needs Cones.

I think I need some cones, though. Light poles and planter boxes are not particularly forgiving and I freak out slightly if I get too close to them. LOL
Try using Saltines Crackers for marking the Course. No Harm, No Foul, if you run over one with the tires. This will get rid of that Freaked-Out Feeling. :cool:
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
^ ROFL that made me laugh, but it's brilliant. I'm going to try it next week. Maybe I'll bring a thermos of soup along for the session. ;) lol
 

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And don't forget about shifting / leaning your weight opposite of the bike to keep her more upright. You'll find the feeling with the clutch feathering, too. Good luck!
 
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