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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been ridding for 5 days now I think I am doing a decent job my dad says I am showing good improvement. The problem I am having is I have now dropped my beautiful Versys twice 0and it really upsets me when I drop it, every time I drop it I am doing the same thing I seem to be braking to hard and not putting my foot down fast enough. I could really use some help figuring out how to get over the loss of confidence in myself I go threw every time I screw this up. I really do enjoy ridding though and would like to know how to get threw this small confidence issue as I fear I am letting it get in the way of me continuing to improve.

:feedback:
 

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I have been ridding for 5 days now I think I am doing a decent job my dad says I am showing good improvement. The problem I am having is I have now dropped my beautiful Versys twice 0and it really upsets me when I drop it, every time I drop it I am doing the same thing I seem to be braking to hard and not putting my foot down fast enough. I could really use some help figuring out how to get over the loss of confidence in myself I go threw every time I screw this up. I really do enjoy ridding though and would like to know how to get threw this small confidence issue as I fear I am letting it get in the way of me continuing to improve.

:feedback:
My suggestion would be to find a parking lot where you can practice coming to a gentle stop where you can have your foot (preferably the left one since you will have the right one on the rear brake) ready to put down just as you come to a complete stop. One of the MSF course/DMV tests is to stop with the front wheel in a box where this skill comes in handy. Along those lines, a MSF course, if you haven't taken one, is a really good thing as they will go over the basics where you can practice with someone giving you feedback.

Regarding the confidence, I went through a period after I had my V for a few weeks (and after a drop from a stalled slow turn) where I wasn't happy with where I was regarding specific riding skills (I'm a newbie too!). The best solution is to keep practicing as saddle time really does work over time and success feeds on itself. It is worth it when you able to get out and enjoy the ride without having to work so hard at all of the little things.

Best of luck and keep plugging away at it! :clap:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My suggestion would be to find a parking lot where you can practice coming to a gentle stop where you can have your foot (preferably the left one since you will have the right one on the rear brake) ready to put down just as you come to a complete stop. One of the MSF course/DMV tests is to stop with the front wheel in a box where this skill comes in handy. Along those lines, a MSF course, if you haven't taken one, is a really good thing as they will go over the basics where you can practice with someone giving you feedback.

Regarding the confidence, I went through a period after I had my V for a few weeks (and after a drop from a stalled slow turn) where I wasn't happy with where I was regarding specific riding skills (I'm a newbie too!). The best solution is to keep practicing as saddle time really does work over time and success feeds on itself. It is worth it when you able to get out and enjoy the ride without having to work so hard at all of the little things.

Best of luck and keep plugging away at it! :clap:
I took a MSF course down here but it was a mistake as the instructor was less then helpful with the fact I was a new rider and not experienced liked everyone else in the course. I am planning to retake the course next week with another company that has the most awesome reviews and testimonials that has also been referred to me by family and friends. I really hope it helps because I would very much like to be confident when ridding as its so much fun. Also thank you for the help on the slow stops I will defiantly be trying your suggestions, as a substitute teacher I can access the school parking lots after hours.
 

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That is too bad regarding your experience with the first course. For the one I attended, even though there were several people in the class with years of experience, the instructors were great - they took their time, started from ground zero and were supportive. I suspect you'll have a better experience with the next one.

School parking lots are perfect since they are generally empty in the early evenings - there is a middle school a few miles from my house which works well for practice sessions.
 

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In one of your replies you stated you are 6 ft tall. Can you flat foot or are you on the balls of your feet. Dependent on your weight you could reduce spring preload front and rear to the lowest setting. This would lower your bike to give you a better footprint with your feet when placing them on the ground. Practice with that and when you get confident you could raise the height again. I am 6 ft and have lost a little strength in my legs. I weight 80 kgs, I was initially uncomfortable with foot placement because i found the pegs interfered with my legs when coming to a stop. I fitted a lowering kit, peg lowering kit and removed preload from the suspension. Foot placement is so much better when on the ground. I flat foot in front of the pegs. The difference is like night and day. I do not have any issues with stopping at all. The bike is so comfortable now.
Also how are you braking when coming to a stop, are you using front brake or rear brake or both, do you put your foot down on the ground before you come to a stop or after. Is your front wheel straight or turned?. Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In one of your replies you stated you are 6 ft tall. Can you flat foot or are you on the balls of your feet. Dependent on your weight you could reduce spring preload front and rear to the lowest setting. This would lower your bike to give you a better footprint with your feet when placing them on the ground. Practice with that and when you get confident you could raise the height again. I am 6 ft and have lost a little strength in my legs. I weight 80 kgs, I was initially uncomfortable with foot placement because i found the pegs interfered with my legs when coming to a stop. I fitted a lowering kit, peg lowering kit and removed preload from the suspension. Foot placement is so much better when on the ground. I flat foot in front of the pegs. The difference is like night and day. I do not have any issues with stopping at all. The bike is so comfortable now.
Also how are you braking when coming to a stop, are you using front brake or rear brake or both, do you put your foot down on the ground before you come to a stop or after. Is your front wheel straight or turned?. Food for thought.
Initially when I braked I was down shifting, rear, and front braking this was extremely stressed to me in my first course. I have since been informed that when stopping normally you do not need to do all that and that all of that is called quick stop normally you can just feather the back and using the front is I am learning to do this now. I do not believe I turn the wheel when i'm stopping. I have had two left knee surgeries though so I wander if part of my problem that my left knee is weak and I am scared subconsciously about holding the weight of the bike on my left leg, if that's the case I need to get pass that. As far as the bike is concerned I am 6ft tall a comfortable 192lbs (87.5 kgs) slightly overweight not horribly. I can flat foot and feel comfortable on the bike sometimes I do wander if its to tall though, I would like to look into the lowering kit where do I look for that? Is it something I can order online?

:goodidea: :thanx: :thanx: :thanx:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is too bad regarding your experience with the first course. For the one I attended, even though there were several people in the class with years of experience, the instructors were great - they took their time, started from ground zero and were supportive. I suspect you'll have a better experience with the next one.

School parking lots are perfect since they are generally empty in the early evenings - there is a middle school a few miles from my house which works well for practice sessions.
I really really hope that is the case I want to learn all I can I am being so ocd about learning that I seem to be attempting to memorize my MOM (Motorcycle Owners Manuel)
 

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This reminds me of a previous thread.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17500

Another aspect that helps to be aware of, expecially for beginners, is that a motorcycle's direction and lean angle is always controlled by countersteering. You ALWAYS steer by applying steering force in the OPPOSITE of desired direction, except when you're nearly stopped and not subject to gyroscopic and centrifugal forces.
 

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Coming to a stop, shift your body to towards the tank.
If you sit too far back, it's difficult to balance the bike.
I'm only 5'7" and 75 kg, used to be on a motor-x so tall bikes don't scare me much unless the road is uneven with no landing ground for the road versys.

Once your bike is slow enough, you don't need the rear brakes much, so rely on the front brakes and get ready to drop your right leg. Since you have left knee phobia, it's also better to land on your right leg which means front brakes only. Your left feet can start to downshift or go neutral

Did you learn how to press the front brakes with two fingers ? It's more effective than using one finger.
 

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@MoonPrincess. Im in east texas and would be happy to help out. I taught my wife and she had zero experience. I've been riding since I could walk,about 36 years. I have a street legal xr100 that I have taught several people to ride on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This reminds me of a previous thread.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17500

Another aspect that helps to be aware of, expecially for beginners, is that a motorcycle's direction and lean angle is always controlled by countersteering. You ALWAYS steer by applying steering force in the OPPOSITE of desired direction, except when you're nearly stopped and not subject to gyroscopic and centrifugal forces.
:thanx: this was an extremely helpful thread to read!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@MoonPrincess. Im in east texas and would be happy to help out. I taught my wife and she had zero experience. I've been riding since I could walk,about 36 years. I have a street legal xr100 that I have taught several people to ride on.
PM with which part of East Texas its a rather big state lol
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Coming to a stop, shift your body to towards the tank.
If you sit too far back, it's difficult to balance the bike.
I'm only 5'7" and 75 kg, used to be on a motor-x so tall bikes don't scare me much unless the road is uneven with no landing ground for the road versys.

Once your bike is slow enough, you don't need the rear brakes much, so rely on the front brakes and get ready to drop your right leg. Since you have left knee phobia, it's also better to land on your right leg which means front brakes only. Your left feet can start to downshift or go neutral

Did you learn how to press the front brakes with two fingers ? It's more effective than using one finger.
I was taught to pull your front brake with full hand never less then 4 fingers is this wrong? I have also been told you should always use your left leg encase of an emergency that requires the back brake, is it okay to use your right leg because I have no issue trying to make my left leg stronger I just want to be a good rider if that means I have to work out more so be it lol. Also whats motor-x?
 

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The Versys has a tenancy to loose it's balance if you twist the bars to one side or another while applying the front brake due to the high center of gravity. Keep the bars as straight as possible when using the front brake. Use the rear brake by itself for slow speed parking lot type maneuvers. Keep in mind though that the front brake is responsible for 80% of the braking force so you need to use it for higher speed stops. Do install SW-Motech crash bars ASAP.

Turn your head and look directly at where you want to go, not at some mid point or obstacle. You will be amazed at the difference this makes. For instance when making a U turn turn your head over your shoulder and look behind you before you start your turn.
 

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As I read the replies to your question one thing comes to mind... ... just keep practicing... DO NOT OVER THINK IT!! Just repeat and repeat until it feels completely right, you will know when that is. I remember reading the riding manual they gave me when I first got my motorcycle license. I would read a few pages then just shake my head and think ," They are going to scare people with all these intricate instructions." Just get back up on your bike and smile, we have ALL been where you are at one time!! Good luck!

P.S.. Motor x is just motorcross bike, as in a dirt bike.
 

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I was taught to pull your front brake with full hand never less then 4 fingers is this wrong? I have also been told you should always use your left leg encase of an emergency that requires the back brake, is it okay to use your right leg because I have no issue trying to make my left leg stronger I just want to be a good rider if that means I have to work out more so be it lol. Also whats motor-x?
2 fingers are efficient. The other 2 fingers and the thumb is needed to manuver the bike still. In an emergency, you need left leg to stomp on the gear (even without the clutch), jamming the rear brake with right leg could lock the back tire up and skiding comes next unless you can balance the bike out. These are all from my experience,

Motor-x = Motorcross, here at fast turns we practically sit on the tank doing turns and hang the corresponding leg (right turn, right leg) out to balance the bike. Can be done on the Versys too for short guys like me during slow corners.
 

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All that need to be said has already been said , so build your confidence and take it easy and slow. Just keep the bike pointing staight as you come to a stop, At 6' you are tall enough for the versys.

just believe in your self and be stong about your self.

:goodluck:
 

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I was taught to pull your front brake with full hand never less then 4 fingers is this wrong?
That is the MSF way, but it is wrong. Well it's reasonable to teach to beginners. But when you're actually riding (and not in MSF class), it may be better for you to operate the levers with two fingers and leave two on the bar. With bikes with more powerful brakes than ours I think a lot of people use 1 finger.
 

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This thread reminds me very much of keith code's twist of the wrist video, the part where everybody gives different types of advices.
 
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