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Caution - Noob Ahead!


Guest IgnativsElvis
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Guest IgnativsElvis

Great forum guys - learning a lot!

To start out with, I own an '03 Ducati SS800. This is my first ever bike although I putted around a bit on a buddy's Katana 600 for a bit. I have put about 4600 miles on my bike since I bought it last May and they weren't the prettiest 4600 miles either let me tell you.

 

As with most new riders, I have an enormous fear of turns stemming from my fear of becoming road rash. I'm the guy that does the "kick the bike out from under you" turn thing. While I understand that physically that's one of the worst things to do, I can't seem to get past the fear of leaning over too far and falling over. I know it seems silly but it is what it is.

 

The other thing is I'm very sensitive to how my bike is handling and any little sense of slip causes me to tense immediately which is also a bad thing

 

I have at least a 1" chicken strip on my back tires, and despite the obvious ego drain I'm more concerned with how I can go about getting more comfortable on my specific bike, push it close to the limit but not all the way, recognize when I'm there, and how to correct if I go past.

 

Let's say for example I'm driving down one of the freeways here in Seattle. My thought coming up to a turn is "oh, ######!" Then my mind starts worrying about pebbles on the road, a poorly-placed crack or expansion joint, all the things that could go wrong kind of thing. And then yes there's the bike-kickout as I slow down from 70 to 55 or 60 going into the corner.

 

Similarly I have this necessity for needing to see where I'm going, and when I go for mountain road rides, with nice tight twists and blind corners and so on, I can't enjoy it as I don't know what's coming up and am unsure about how to correct or compensate for what's up ahead. I imagine going around a tight mountain corner even at moderate speeds (40 let's say) and there's a deer in the road or even something as inane as a strip of gravel. All I'm thinking is bad things and that in turn causes me to lock up, slow down and lose confidence.

 

So question number one - what is the best way (or at least a recommended way) to get familiar with how far over I can tip the bike before it becomes a casualty of pavement? And how can I determine my maximum turning speed? I'm assuming that if the tires start to slip radially I should NOT let up on the gas. If I start to slip linearly I should NOT hit the gas.

 

Question number two - what mental prep should I be doing at each turn. How do you guys deal with "what's around the corner" syndrome?

 

I would have thought after as many miles as I've put on my bike some of these fears and apprehensions would have gone away or at least reduced somewhat but to be frank I'm still chicken sometimes - call it self-preservation.

 

No I haven't read Keith's book but I will.

 

I would like to do some track days but the weather in Seattle is, well, not the best for winter or spring riding.

 

At this point, I'm after confidence in myself and my bike and impriving my technique. Knee dragging is a bonus but to be honest don't really care about that right now.

 

I'm looking for practical road techniques. The track for me is a ways off.

 

Thanks!

~Sentinal

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Great forum guys - learning a lot!

To start out with, I own an '03 Ducati SS800. This is my first ever bike although I putted around a bit on a buddy's Katana 600 for a bit. I have put about 4600 miles on my bike since I bought it last May and they weren't the prettiest 4600 miles either let me tell you.

 

As with most new riders, I have an enormous fear of turns stemming from my fear of becoming road rash. I'm the guy that does the "kick the bike out from under you" turn thing. While I understand that physically that's one of the worst things to do, I can't seem to get past the fear of leaning over too far and falling over. I know it seems silly but it is what it is.

 

The other thing is I'm very sensitive to how my bike is handling and any little sense of slip causes me to tense immediately which is also a bad thing

 

I have at least a 1" chicken strip on my back tires, and despite the obvious ego drain I'm more concerned with how I can go about getting more comfortable on my specific bike, push it close to the limit but not all the way, recognize when I'm there, and how to correct if I go past.

 

Let's say for example I'm driving down one of the freeways here in Seattle. My thought coming up to a turn is "oh, ######!" Then my mind starts worrying about pebbles on the road, a poorly-placed crack or expansion joint, all the things that could go wrong kind of thing. And then yes there's the bike-kickout as I slow down from 70 to 55 or 60 going into the corner.

 

Similarly I have this necessity for needing to see where I'm going, and when I go for mountain road rides, with nice tight twists and blind corners and so on, I can't enjoy it as I don't know what's coming up and am unsure about how to correct or compensate for what's up ahead. I imagine going around a tight mountain corner even at moderate speeds (40 let's say) and there's a deer in the road or even something as inane as a strip of gravel. All I'm thinking is bad things and that in turn causes me to lock up, slow down and lose confidence.

 

So question number one - what is the best way (or at least a recommended way) to get familiar with how far over I can tip the bike before it becomes a casualty of pavement? And how can I determine my maximum turning speed? I'm assuming that if the tires start to slip radially I should NOT let up on the gas. If I start to slip linearly I should NOT hit the gas.

 

Question number two - what mental prep should I be doing at each turn. How do you guys deal with "what's around the corner" syndrome?

 

I would have thought after as many miles as I've put on my bike some of these fears and apprehensions would have gone away or at least reduced somewhat but to be frank I'm still chicken sometimes - call it self-preservation.

 

No I haven't read Keith's book but I will.

 

I would like to do some track days but the weather in Seattle is, well, not the best for winter or spring riding.

 

At this point, I'm after confidence in myself and my bike and impriving my technique. Knee dragging is a bonus but to be honest don't really care about that right now.

 

I'm looking for practical road techniques. The track for me is a ways off.

 

Thanks!

~Sentinal

 

 

1. Twist of the Wrist II

2. 2 day weekend level 1 and 2

That will change everything, guranteed.

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