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As for me, balancing my K bike is very difficult at slow speeds, and especially comming to a stop. I have had some noticeable improvement recently, trying to use what our own body uses naturaly when trying to balance; my head. It actually weighs allot (try to stay serious) and is very easy to move without disrupting everything else. It is also making sharp slow turns much more manageable. Haven't heard this discussed before. I would be interested in hearing from experiencd riders on this.
 

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Standard advice for handling the bike in tight places is to keep your eyes up and look way ahead in the direction you intend to go. Sometimes in real tight turns that means looking back over your shoulder - something not so easy to do.

My guess is that this causes you to use the mass of your head as a balancing aid.
 

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Since I've recently been playing with the steering damper and ridden with it off for a while, I did feel the change in lightness for the weight and possibility of a wobble could be an issue at very slow speeds.

A few times my feet don't always plant as well as I'd like coming to a stop, and I feel an experienced idiot alongside younger riders on lighter bikes. It's just getting the braking control better though. I never do a tight U turns since looking stupid when my last smaller bike fell over on me, and I avoid gravel surfaces. There's no way I think I could lift up a fallen K on my own - anybody tried it?



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Pick it up...

voxmagna said:
Since I've recently been playing with the steering damper and ridden with it off for a while, I did feel the change in lightness for the weight and possibility of a wobble could be an issue at very slow speeds.

A few times my feet don't always plant as well as I'd like coming to a stop, and I feel an experienced idiot alongside younger riders on lighter bikes. It's just getting the braking control better though. I never do a tight U turns since looking stupid when my last smaller bike fell over on me, and I avoid gravel surfaces. There's no way I think I could lift up a fallen K on my own - anybody tried it?
Admittedly yes, twice. Once fully loaded with bags at a gas station spill on right side and once in garage on right side with empty bags on. Both times was when I was less than focused on what I was doing (long story).

Basically lift with your legs initially until up high enough to use arms and back. But I'm a gorilla so no biggie
 

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Balance

I'm not sure how long you have been riding but when I first started my bike was a 1985 K100RT. I had a lot of balance problems at slow speeds on this bike at first. When I went to take the motorcycle riding test, in Kansas, I could not complete the course in the manner the state wished. One of my biggest problems was not looking far enough forward in the direction of travel. The best dollars I have ever spent was taking a motorcycle safety/riding course put on by the state of Missouri. After that experience, I have not had any problems.
 

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1. When maneuvering and slowing, use your rear brake.
2. As always, look well ahead; don't focus on the ground in front of you.
3. Keep all weight low, tank bags and top cases should be avoided if you aren't comfortable with low speeds.
4. Put some weight on your feet, you don't need to get off your seat (although you could a bit).
5. Turn your head in the direction you want to go before beginning your turn.
 

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chrispat said:
5. Turn your head in the direction you want to go before beginning your turn.
Everything you say is right but #5 is the hard one.

If you are doing a U-turn to the left, turning your head "in the direction you want to go" means looking back over your left shoulder and not at what your tire is doing where you are.

Real easy to say, real hard to do. :eek:

But, that is THE critical key to tight turns :)
 

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How to lift a K-Bike

voxmagna said:
Since I've recently been playing with the steering damper and ridden with it off for a while, I did feel the change in lightness for the weight and possibility of a wobble could be an issue at very slow speeds.

A few times my feet don't always plant as well as I'd like coming to a stop, and I feel an experienced idiot alongside younger riders on lighter bikes. It's just getting the braking control better though. I never do a tight U turns since looking stupid when my last smaller bike fell over on me, and I avoid gravel surfaces. There's no way I think I could lift up a fallen K on my own - anybody tried it?
You may have already seen this, but check the old forum for 'Skert'. Or you can Google: 'skert how to lift motorcycle' . Pretty amazing to see a little woman lift such a heavy bike. Haven't had to use her technique yet, knock wood, but glad to have seen her video. Cheers.
 

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Why would you want to look at your tire????? :confused: :confused: :confused:


Seriously yours eyes should be looking level with the horizon and in the direction you want to go. NOT down at the ground or the tire. :rolleyes:

And if you are making a u-turn, yes you should turn your head and shoulders to be able to look behind you at where you want to go. :D
 

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To much info for an old short fat guy like me. I think I am just going to stick with luck on turning and not falling down.

Later == Bobby
 

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lytnin said:
To much info for an old short fat guy like me. I think I am just going to stick with luck on turning and not falling down.

Later == Bobby
You can't go wrong with that technique :D
 

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Yet More Advice

All of the above is great and fits very well with the teachings of the MSF courses. I would add just one more bit of advice.. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

For several reasons I have been off my bike for quite some time. Sunday, I finally got to take it out for a ride. It felt really awkward at first, but after a few miles of twisties and stopping and starting and turning it felt like an old friend by the time we were back in the driveway. I swear she was still smiling when I put her to bed with the cover.

Just another great reason to ride more and worry less...

Cycle_gator
aka Tim
'04 K1200RS -- Orient Blue
 

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Look through the turn...

Maybe there is a fine distinction between looking all the way around behind you to your final destination....and looking through the turn as you go. One thing I learned from my wise Motorcycle Safety Training instructor is this: you will have an irresistable force to go where you are looking. That is: look through the turn, you will go through the turn; look at the ground you will go to the ground. Sounds simple, but works like magic for me....when I don't forget, that is! Cheers.
 

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Look stepwise

The more I ride this bike and the more I read about riding technique the more I am struck by the similarities between aggressive motorcycling and my old auto racing skills. The first thing you learn, as mentioned above, is that you go where you look. It sounds simple but it's easy to go wrong. There's too much to look at, and this is particularly true of a corner which you might want to hit hard...a corner which has unobstructed views all the way around...like a corner on a track. There's too much to see in one glance so you wind up trying to look at everything and you see nothing. Pilots learn that you can't just look out the windscreen for traffic; you have to look at one area of the sky after another...really look at it. The same thing is true of the panel. You develop a scan so that you actually see each instrument.

Sure you look up the road, but it does wonders to have specific targets and make each one happen. When approaching a corner I look primarily at my turn-in point. When the steering begins I'm looking at the apex, and when the bike is settled in the turn I sweep my eyes up to the exit. Certainly you have to use your peripheral vision to get a big picture and spot hazards such as gravel and the like, but giving your eyes specific tasks gives each corner more structure and makes me feel more organized and comfortable. The faster your eyes go, the slower you feel like you are going. And, of course, you go faster. God bless motorcycles!
 

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bertbrumfield said:
Why would you want to look at your tire????? :confused: :confused: :confused:
Right, you wouldn't "want to" but it's amazing how strong the urge is to watch the ground just in front when making a tight turn.

It's true I might have a learning disability, but it's a common one. Bad one too. At least my handicap isn't quite as bad as it usta be :eek:
 
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