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Old 05-16-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
redsavina
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Default U-turns

After today's ride, I thought I would practice my u-turns, since im not too confident at them. This was the most difficult part of the MSF course for me, the figure 8 small box.

I have been reading up on them, and I was geared up, and in an empty parking lot. The MSF instructor had us do u-turns in 2nd gear, however, as I practiced, I noticed that the engine was really low and studdering a bit as I did my u-turns. The first 5 were great, weight on outside peg, lean bike, slight throttle, turn head all the way around. The 6th one I did, the bike died just as I leanded it over, and the bike stopped, and gently ended up on its side. I was doing about 5mph in 2nd gear, and all it did was knock off the ball on my clutch lever. I was kinda upset, but now I am getting sweet aftermarket levers, so its all good.

What gear do yall use for slow speed u-turns? Also, do yall manage the clutch at all during the u-turn? MSF says stay totaly stay off it, while my neighbor says he slightly slips it at times. I would hate to invite the bike to dip down if I pull in the clutch in a turn.

Anyway, I am guessing 2nd gear was fine for the 250's we were on, but maybe I should be in 1st when I do a slow tight u-turn on my Suzuki Boulevard M50 (800cc)?
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:04 AM   #2
pushrod
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RS,

You'll get a feel for the gear you need as you gain experience. That being said, 5mph is really slow, so 1st would be my choice.

AFA clutching in low velocity maneuvers, my recommendation is to keep your throttle steady at a decent engine rpm, then use the clutch to apply power when necessary. This technique is especially useful when on a bike that develops power at higher rpm.

You'll recall the consensus of the folks on this site was for you (and all other new riders) to get a "learner" bike. Now you know why.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:22 AM   #3
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Yes, practice helps. 5 mph does sound too low for second gear; it sounds as though you were lugging the engine so much that it died under the load.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pushrod View Post
RS,

You'll get a feel for the gear you need as you gain experience. That being said, 5mph is really slow, so 1st would be my choice.

AFA clutching in low velocity maneuvers, my recommendation is to keep your throttle steady at a decent engine rpm, then use the clutch to apply power when necessary. This technique is especially useful when on a bike that develops power at higher rpm.

You'll recall the consensus of the folks on this site was for you (and all other new riders) to get a "learner" bike. Now you know why.
Yeah, I think I will try it out in 1st gear. Actually, now that I think about it, yesterday was a $30 learning experience. I am just lucky that there wasnt any other damage on the bike, or myself.

When I was looking for a bike, I wanted to make sure I got something that could support me, since I am 6'2'', 295 lbs. My bike was used and 2 years old, and I got it on a total steal from a guy that needed to sell it now. My bro got a bike 3 years older than mine, with 20,000 miles, similar model, and the thing is having problem after problem. Now than I have dinged the thing, I feel much more confident to use the bike to learn to ride, rather than being extreemly anal about putting a single scratch on the thing.

Thanks for all the support and recommendations.

I think I will go out today and practice some 1st gear turns. Might as well, before my new levers come in next week, lol.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:16 AM   #5
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:17 AM   #6
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Slip The Clutch! Slip The Clutch!
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:13 AM   #7
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For testing, one trick is to slightly increase the idle rpms on the bike. Then you can do U-turns and just ride the back brake as necessary. I find that I don't do U-turns much in real life, and the ones I do are wider than the ones you have to do to pass the MSF basic course. The bike is much bigger (heavier) as well, and I tend to stay in first gear, duck walk and slip the clutch as needed.
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:01 AM   #8
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Now you can ride without worrying about the small scratch you might get from a tip over. Like anything else when everything is perfect you are more concerned about the bike rather than the riding, put a couple of scrathes on her and you can relax and get down to business.
Use first gear and use the clutch to modulate speed as others have said. I imagine training you to do it in second was about being smooth to keep the bike from stalling, but in real life use the gear better suited to the speed. You were probably on a smaller bike with lower gearing, which helps too as far as using 2nd goes.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:23 PM   #9
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Step 1: lock front brake
Step 2: rev motor
Step 3: dump clutch
Step 4: push smoking rear tire in the direction you wish to turn
Step 5: let off brake and leave smokey burnout going in new opposite direction.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12er View Post
Step 1: lock front brake
Step 2: rev motor
Step 3: dump clutch
Step 4: push smoking rear tire in the direction you wish to turn
Step 5: let off brake and leave smokey burnout going in new opposite direction.
Step 6: remain on motorcycle and DO NOT lose control under ANY circumstances...............

Failed motorcycle burnout

(just in case you haven't seen it yet)
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