Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!!

Ok, I'm a relatively new rider (4 months) after a 30-year hiatus... but 30 years ago it was all relatively straight roads in the midwest (as opposed to here in Southern Calif.). I have about 4,000 miles under my belt in the past 4 months and am quite competent now, or at least until it comes to mountain roads with blind curves, twists, turns, no guard rails, mile(s)-high, etc, etc, etc...

While everyone else seems to be able to zip along on these roads, I slow it down to about 30 mph or even 25 mph or slower. Just not comfortable going that fast especially when I can't see what's coming up, even if other bikers are in front of me and taking the curves ok. As an example, I keep up just fine on group rides, but when it comes to these types of roads/curves I fall behind. I'm talking about curves that are greater than 60 degrees, some of which take you on a 180 degree turn.

So my question is... is anyone else like this? If yes, how long did it take you to conquer this (if at all)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
In the MSF course they do teach that your speed entering a blind curve and corner should be low enough that if there is a hazard, you can either avoid it if there is a good exit path, or stop the bike (scooter) if you can't avoid it. So you are doing the right thing. I do fall behind on the roads with the guys I ride with, but it's because I will not enter a blind corner at the limit as you just never know what is on the other side.

I recommend taking a good safety course. The techniques and methods they teach are indispensible and will help increase your abilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
bechtoea said:
In the MSF course they do teach that your speed entering a blind curve and corner should be low enough that if there is a hazard, you can either avoid it if there is a good exit path, or stop the bike (scooter) if you can't avoid it. So you are doing the right thing. I do fall behind on the roads with the guys I ride with, but it's because I will not enter a blind corner at the limit as you just never know what is on the other side.

I recommend taking a good safety course. The techniques and methods they teach are indispensible and will help increase your abilities.
Thanks for the reply! I DID take the MSF course a couple of months ago, and glad that I did. I feel much better hearing that another fellow member also slows down and falls behind the group he rides with! Even a tailgater behind me won't get me to speed up around those kinds of curves (I'll let them pass if I can find a spot to pull over).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
Have you tried the Ortaga Highway (San Juan Capistano to Lake Elsinore) yet? More motorcycles per mile on the weekends than anywhere else in Kalifornia. I always have to pull out at least half a dozen times to let backed-up traffic go by. The view overlooking Lake Elsinore is worth the trip by itself.
If you are as bad as me you won't have to worry about the speed limit but be advised there will always be at least two cops writing tickets as fast as they can pull them over. A real money making operation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,363 Posts
Do you run in Power Mode on those kind of roads? I do. It gives a lot better control. I feel awkward in normal Auto mode when the roads get tight like that. I still don't over ride my capabilities though. I'm the opposite from you. I'm from New England where there are lots of twisty roads - and was comfortable riding them. Now I'm in the Midwest, where I have to hunt for a road with a few curves in it - or ride 500 miles to somewhere like the Black Hills. But I realize I am rusty when I hit hilly curvy terrain, so I ease in to it - and within 15 or 20 minutes I'm doing fine.

But proper use of Power mode on the 650 is key. You roll your throttle up and down smoothly (like a rheostat switch), taking advantage of the better engine braking. I find I ride smoother that way, and use very little brake - maybe just a jab on the brakes prior to a tight curve. You want to enter the curve at a conservative speed, and use enough throttle to maintain speed - or sometimes light acceleration as you move through the curve. Look through the curve, keeping your eyes out ahead on the path you want to follow. Riding smooth is very important to enjoying the curvies. You should not be on the brakes much unless you are setting speed prior to entering a curve. And if I see a sign for a 15 mph or 25 mph curve in territory I'm not familiar with, I heed it. Sometimes they are not kidding... If you are group riding, leave sufficient space between you and the person in front of you. If they get in trouble you want room to react - you do not want to be the filling in a chain crash sandwich.

It takes some practice, but once it all comes together for you, that is the most enjoyable type of riding that there is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
gruntled said:
Have you tried the Ortaga Highway (San Juan Capistano to Lake Elsinore) yet? More motorcycles per mile on the weekends than anywhere else in Kalifornia. I always have to pull out at least half a dozen times to let backed-up traffic go by. The view overlooking Lake Elsinore is worth the trip by itself.
If you are as bad as me you won't have to worry about the speed limit but be advised there will always be at least two cops writing tickets as fast as they can pull them over. A real money making operation.
Haven't been down that way on the bike (yet). Usually I'm on Mulholland through Calabasas, Agoura, Malibu. Also through Angeles Crest. But some of those curves find me slowing to 15 mph... just don't feel comfortable any faster than that on some of those curves. Glad to learn I'm not alone. Was just wondering if the bikers who zip over those curves are either more confident or more daring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
pauljo said:
Do you run in Power Mode on those kind of roads?
Yes, on some of them... on others I use normal mode in conjunction with rear brakes.
You should not be on the brakes much unless you are setting speed prior to entering a curve.
Seems on the really tight ones (especially when they're 3 miles high) I'm constantly on the rear brake! Those are the ones where if the road has a straigt part to it, its only 50 feet.
It takes some practice, but once it all comes together for you, that is the most enjoyable type of riding that there is.
I thoroughly enjoy curves... just not the really tight ones unless I take it slow. Tight downhill curves seem to be even worse (especially 2-up).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,296 Posts
chuck807 said:
Hi All!!

[snipped]While everyone else seems to be able to zip along on these roads, I slow it down to about 30 mph or even 25 mph or slower. Just not comfortable going that fast especially when I can't see what's coming up, even if other bikers are in front of me and taking the curves ok. As an example, I keep up just fine on group rides, but when it comes to these types of roads/curves I fall behind. I'm talking about curves that are greater than 60 degrees, some of which take you on a 180 degree turn.

So my question is... is anyone else like this? If yes, how long did it take you to conquer this (if at all)?
Chuck - you are doing the right thing :thumbright: - there is only one way into a corner where you cannot see the exit - slow and with caution! The guys you see rushing into 'blind bends' are statistics waiting to happen who either need the adrenelin rush or have a cock-eyed view of their mortality.

If you are talking about twisties where your sight line is clear then that is all about positioning, smoothness and keeping the bike (balanced), as you grow in confidence then your speeds will naturally increase - but the general rule (as you know) is 'slow in and fast out'. Understanding how to tighten up the turn (counter steering) and being able to exploit it, is a very useful skill to develop too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
NormanB said:
Chuck - you are doing the right thing :thumbright: - there is only one way into a corner where you cannot see the exit - slow and with caution! The guys you see rushing into 'blind bends' are statistics waiting to happen who either need the adrenelin rush or have a cock-eyed view of their mortality.

If you are talking about twisties where your sight line is clear then that is all about positioning, smoothness and keeping the bike (balanced), as you grow in confidence then your speeds will naturally increase - but the general rule (as you know) is 'slow in and fast out'. Understanding how to tighten up the turn (counter steering) and being able to exploit it, is a very useful skill to develop too.
Thanks Norman; I have almost zero problem with curves where the sight line is clear... unless I'm at a high altitude (and w/ no guard rails). Thanks for the reassurance... I guess I needed to hear that from someone experienced... and coming from you its perfect!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
NormanB said:
Chuck - you are doing the right thing :thumbright:
What Norman said! Don't worry about what other people are doing, ride within your own limits on what you feel comfortable with. Do not go outside this zone, bad magumbo will happen.



You only want good magumbo, bad magumbo is not good for your health.

Cali-Hills are quite challenging. I learned this several years ago when I traded my wife in for a brand new Camaro and took it into the mountains. 4 months later I learned to relax a bit when four new Z-rated tires cost me a tad over $700!

Chuck807 said:
So my question is... is anyone else like this?
Absolutely!! I never take a blind turn fast... Those pile of rocks you see in the movie at MSF... I've actually seen those in Cali around a blind corner. Luckily no one else was coming, and the Camaro sticks like gum on hot asphalt. (Actually, I think those tires were made out of gum!)

No guard rails freak me out the most... One mistake, and you're gonna drop off the edge like a rock. (Example of bad magumbo)

Yes, I can put the burgman on the edge, (I found the limit on the left side a few days ago... Shhh... don't tell anyone. Nobody will see the scrape on the stand.) This is done on curves I can see through though, and after 4800 miles on the burg, and 9283798723847823748 miles on other bikes (at least). :D

Just take it easy, life is longer if you don't die. (And that's the profound statement of the day!)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,593 Posts
Chuck, I agree with the comments posted above. You're doing the right thing!
Ride within your own "comfort zone" and don't let others force you into riding any other way. With experience, you will be able to expand that zone and gain confidence and improve your riding skills. Be patient!
I went on a 3- day group ride with about 7 other riders a number of years ago and they scared the h_ _ _ out of me.( I had been riding 20 years and had taught the MSF program for about 5 years at that time). Half way thru the first day I worked my way to the back of the group and the next morning I told the group to go ahead without me. Two others asked if they could ride back with me because they felt as uncomfortable as I did. I found out later that 3 of them went down that second day when the leader braked suddenly in a curve and the next 2 ran into him.
You're out there to enjoy yourself so do it your way. :D
Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Kias said:
Cali-Hills are quite challenging. I learned this several years ago when I traded my wife in for a brand new Camaro [snipped]
:p :laughing5:

Chuck807 said:
So my question is... is anyone else like this?
Absolutely!! I never take a blind turn fast... Those pile of rocks you see in the movie at MSF... I've actually seen those in Cali around a blind corner. Luckily no one else was coming[snipped]
Yup... I've seen that too, and if I were going faster I'm not sure what would've happened.

No guard rails freak me out the most... One mistake, and you're gonna drop off the edge like a rock.
That's the other thing... when there's no guard rails there's usually one helluva view, but I'm too busy driving to enjoy (or even see) the view!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
Chuck,

Ride your own pace, there is no shame in riding safe. That said, my little 400 really rocks going up Angeles Crest! Come on up and we'll go for a ride. There is a safe way to go quickly so you can survive the next 30 years!

Thanx
Russ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Russ Schaeffer said:
Chuck,

Ride your own pace, there is no shame in riding safe. That said, my little 400 really rocks going up Angeles Crest! Come on up and we'll go for a ride. There is a safe way to go quickly so you can survive the next 30 years!

Thanx
Russ
May take you up on that soon!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
719 Posts
chuck807 said:
While everyone else seems to be able to zip along on these roads, I slow it down to about 30 mph or even 25 mph or slower. Just not comfortable going that fast especially when I can't see what's coming up, even if other bikers are in front of me and taking the curves ok....
So my question is... is anyone else like this? If yes, how long did it take you to conquer this (if at all)?
Chuck,

Ride your own ride. When you line up with your buddies in the parking lot to take off, make sure that anyone who goes faster than you is already ahead of you. There is no sense in being pressured...or in having others stacked up behind you; that creates its own dangers.

You ask about conquering your lack of comfort. You can get rid of it over time, or you can grab this thing by the handlebars. I really think that you should take a couple lessons at Keith Code's School in your home state of California. Not so that you'll go faster, but to learn to corner from professionals in a controled envirnoment:

http://www.superbikeschool.com/

At least read the book "A Twist of the Wrist II." It covers nervousness and bikers' typically self defeating responses to it. It looks like it's about speed, but it's really about control.

A Twist of the Wrist II @ Amazon.com

By the way, I always ride in the sweep positon, last, with my buddies (even if I know that the guy on the K1200LT is going to slow me down). The consequences of riding too slow are not as bad as the consequences of riding too fast.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Riding skills

Every corner presents a new steering challenge. 5 mph for the u turns.
15 for the moderate turns all the way up to 65 mph on the banked, sweepers.

I have one high speed corner I take every day, and each time I make it, I learn a bit more about the bike and the turn itself. Put me on a different bike, I;m going to back it off till I can learn what this machine will do.

Don't push it. Don't measure yourself against anyone else. Learn to ride by doing it everyday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Russell, Thanks for the great advice. I'll definitely check out the suggestions you refered to, and I appreciate those references. Thanks!!
And special thanks to everyone else who replied!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Hey Chuck.....I just returned to riding after a 5 year lay off from riding mostly dirt bikes so corners on highways was one of my concerns too. What really has helped me is practice, practice, practice everyday on the same roads. Im fortunate that I live in a country sub-division in the Texas hill country. Almost no houses but lots of paved curvy winding roads back behind where I live. I rode those roads untill I was infinitely familiar with every turn and twist. Without much traffic and a pretty good line of sight around some 60 to 70 degree curves, I was able to gradually improve my cornering, getting familiar with just what it feels like to really lay the bike over when I have to. I even practiced some braking in the corners in case I have to do that in a panic situation. Where some dirt roads entered my paved ones and left sand and gravel on the road, I didnt avoid that stuff, I rode thru it (not on a curve :cry: ) just to see what it would feel like.

It really helps to practice on familiar roads, especially if you have a few curves and twisties where it is safe to push the limit a little to find out how you and your cycle will respond.

Now........if I can just figger out how to make a decent low speed U turn on this danged thing. It sure doesnt handle like a dirt bike. :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Jbird said:
Hey Chuck.....I just returned to riding after a 5 year lay off from riding mostly dirt bikes so corners on highways was one of my concerns too. What really has helped me is practice, practice, practice everyday on the same roads. Im fortunate that I live in a country sub-division in the Texas hill country. Almost no houses but lots of paved curvy winding roads back behind where I live. I rode those roads untill I was infinitely familiar with every turn and twist. Without much traffic and a pretty good line of sight around some 60 to 70 degree curves, I was able to gradually improve my cornering, getting familiar with just what it feels like to really lay the bike over when I have to. I even practiced some braking in the corners in case I have to do that in a panic situation. Where some dirt roads entered my paved ones and left sand and gravel on the road, I didnt avoid that stuff, I rode thru it (not on a curve :cry: ) just to see what it would feel like.
It really helps to practice on familiar roads, especially if you have a few curves and twisties where it is safe to push the limit a little to find out how you and your cycle will respond.

Now........if I can just figger out how to make a decent low speed U turn on this danged thing. It sure doesnt handle like a dirt bike. :?
Hey Jbird... we're opposites!! I've mastered the slow u-turns and even the 4 mph parking lots and the inching along in rush-hour traffic. I've mastered turns on everything except the twisties, curvies, especially the high-up ones (fear of heights might have something to do with it). Not sure if I'll ever get the courage up to go fast on a blind curve, but then again I'm not sure if I want to... but faster than a snail would be nice. I guess I just need to practice it more (never thought I'd master the 4mph parking lots but I did).

As for your mastering every twist and turn of a familiar curvy road (I've done that on one road like that)... suppose you're on an unfamiliar road, even with a group ride and everyone in front of you is going fast(er) and you're holding up those behind you. Would you slow down? Or would you feel that those in front of you made it ok and so why shouldn't you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Chuck.......I would stay far away from group rides untill I mastered the bike and roads better. At least that is what I am doing as I am pretty much a loner anyway. I dont even ride these very popular roads on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday any more after almost going head to head with a huge fully dressed Wing type cycle who came around a curve in my lane. It was tough having to stand my burgy back up to miss that guy and then lay it back over hard to keep from going off the road. My heart rate was keeping time with the burgy's RPM rate. I got off the road where I could watch a lot of cycles on that same curve and it was scary. This country is flooded on weekends by people from San Antonio, Austin and from all directions. You can watch them ride and see a lot of them that are riding beyond their capabilities. The rest of the week, the better roads are almost without traffic and thats when they belong to me. I just dont think Im good enough to ride with a whole gaggle of other cycles right now. I figger if I dont do myself in, some other rookie rider will get me. I didnt ride for 2 days after that incident and just stay away from those roads on weekends now. Im just gonna ride my own ride, which isnt all that slow really, but if Im with a group, I would feel obliged to try to keep up. That is what almost got me killed once before.

I did own one other Road bike when I lived in NM, a 750 Honda Nighthawk. I had visions of becoming a real touring dude. Rode it from Southern NM up into northeastern AZ, across the two Indian reservation, up into Utah. I planned my trip so I only had a few miles of freeway. Scared the hell out of me, I like to have never figgered out a way just to get on the freeway which was crowded with cars and trucks doing 70 to 80. Finally got up enough guts to get up to speed on the edge of the freeway and slip in behind a big truck. Big misstake with the wind beating the heck out of me but the traffic had me trapped there. Other than the freeway scare, I had a nice trip up thru Utah and then headed back home. By that time I was beginning to feel like an old pro. Up in the mountains above Glendale, NM, I ran across a group of riders who asked me to go along with them. I figgered what the heck and fell in with them. It didnt take me long to realize my mistake but pride can lead to a fall and almost did. I tried to make a curve at the same speed they did and the curve kept curving and curving and I started running out of road and made the misstake of fixating on the edge of the road and a beautiful valley way down yonder about 500 feet below. I finally realized I had to put more push on the left handlebar to stay on pavement and it was the first and only time I ever laid one over that far but it worked. After I got home, I decided I wasnt a road warrior after all, sold the Nighthawk, and stayed with my old TW 200 dirt bike. I guess I am still running scared because of that experience and will stay away from group rides untill I feel more qualified.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top