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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!



I have noticed I have a horrible habit that stems from how I drive a car. I do all city driving, when I go around city corners a lot of times I have the clutch in and when I exit the corner I go into 2nd. Not a big deal in a car, but on a bike I should be in gear with proper braking before the corner. Am I right to try to break this habit?



Any advice for slow turns when you are in between gears (too fast for 2nd, too slow for 3rd)? I am a novice so I will take any advice.



Thank you,

Adam
 

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Hey guys!



I have noticed I have a horrible habit that stems from how I drive a car. I do all city driving, when I go around city corners a lot of times I have the clutch in and when I exit the corner I go into 2nd. Not a big deal in a car, but on a bike I should be in gear with proper braking before the corner. Am I right to try to break this habit?



Any advice for slow turns when you are in between gears (too fast for 2nd, too slow for 3rd)? I am a novice so I will take any advice.



Thank you,

Adam




Great question, Adam.



#iThink You always want to be in gear, whatever gear fits the situation. Form a habit of being able to shift, up or down, in all situations ... even slow turns.
 

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Correct. Most* riders should make a habit of braking and downshifting and before a corner or curve. Motorcycles are most stable when at a steady power setting as it takes all the slop and jerkiness out of the driveline and in corners, loads the suspension.



*There is a high performance riding technique for decreasing radius corners with multiple apices (really a series of individual curve components) that involves downshifting with a slipping clutch to maintain driveline tension and adjust suspension loading and to allow braking between the various individual component corners. Unless you understand every aspect of the technique, best stick to pre-entrance deceleration and downshifting because poor or mis-application of the technique can cause persnal injury or death.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you guys!



It is one of those things that I know (I should slow down and downshift then turn), I just need to be more patient with myself and know I can't fly around corners (yet) like I do with a car. Now I just need to re-train myself.



I took the BRC, but most of my learning is from reading and just doing it. If anyone in the Baltimore area wants a ridding buddy let me know, I would love to tag along and learn!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep, that is a lesson I want to skip!



What is weird is I don't do it at high speeds, just semi slow residential. I am whacking myself in the hand with a ruler when I goof up which may lead to a high side as well.
 

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Thank you guys!



It is one of those things that I know (I should slow down and downshift then turn), I just need to be more patient with myself and know I can't fly around corners (yet) like I do with a car. Now I just need to re-train myself.



I took the BRC, but most of my learning is from reading and just doing it. If anyone in the Baltimore area wants a ridding buddy let me know, I would love to tag along and learn!
The biggest thing to watch for in corners is to be smooth and steady, something you can't do if you are shifting or unloading the bike by pulling in or releasing the clutch. Learn good sound techniques from qualified people or courses and practice them until they are mastered. Even after you feel comfortable with your bike it is always a good idea to warm up before every ride with some practice in a no traffic area as motorcycle abilities tend to get rusty real quick. Maintaining good skills and practicing every ride to make them better makes every ride more enjoyable. Good luck.
 

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A friend of mine has been flying aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force for 35 years. He is totally anal about performing every manuever as close to perfect as possible every time. This habit paid off when his aircraft developed engine problems and he had to make a forced landing on a remote general aviation runway that was actually no wider than the main gear, lined on both sides with cactus, at night, in rain. Would he still be alive today had he not the practice from pretending every landing for 30 years was just as critical?
 

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Before my wife got her permit I'd take her out to a large open area and using plastic cups set out a course. You can do the same thing to practice any thing you want. From cornering to stopping. Remember. Practice makes perfect! This from a former M.S.F. instructor.
 

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Actually, perfect practice makes perfect. Practicing bad habits merely reinforces them. That's why quality initial instruction is so critical--newbies who start with the MSF Basic Rider Course are statistically as safe as people with 2-3 years and a few thousand miles of experience. Considering that most people who crash do so early in their riding careers (2-3 years and a few thousand miles of experience), or on an unfamiliar motorcycle (borrowed, newly acquired, or recently heavily modified). Experienced riders with a new or heavily modified bike would do well to take the bike to ride the Experienced Rider Course. Odds of avoiding a crash due to unfamiliarity or ingrained bad habits are significantly reduced. That is why insurance companies provide a significant discount to those who have successfully completed such courses. Inticing riders to take course with a 10% discount reduces payouts by significantly more than 10%, so the inducement investment pays off on the bottom line.
 

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You should also learn the push pull method of steering. Essentially to turn, push the opposite side of the handlebar. One of the most common causes of accidents in corners on a bike is the rider going wide on a corner even though he is leaning as hard as he can, he freezes up and doesn't push into the opposite side to turn harder. If you consciously practice pushing on the opposite side, you will always be able to turn as sharp as you need to. This is quite important to learn on the TW200 as it does not seem to turn on leaning alone as sharp as a bike on narrower tyres.
 

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Yes, break that habit.

The correct way to make a turn involves braking in a straight line BEFORE THE TURN to set up your entry speed. The correct entry speed is the speed at which you can safely and smoothly accelerate all the way through the turn exit.

When done right, it will also FEEL right.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you guys, this is great feedback and advice! I will take it!!



I am also trying to break the habit in my car, whew it is hard to break a habit formed over 20 years.
 
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