New bike jitters - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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New bike jitters

Just seeing if anyone has any tips for getting past the new bike jitters? I've been riding since I was in my teens and have owned a Kawasaki ninja 650 and Honda vtx 1300. I know in my mind I have the skill set and the bike has the ability to do what I need it to do but I can't seem to get past this ominous feeling that the bike can't do it. I think because it's the largest bike I've ever ridden (stratoliner). I feel like I am overthinking things and nowhere near as confident as I hoped I would be after a month on the new bike. I understand confidence is key but I'm getting impatient waiting on that confidence, I want to be able to enjoy the ride again instead of feeling like I'm fighting the bike the whole time.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 09:37 PM
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Find an empty parking lot somewhere and just start practicing. Nothing fancy just ride around then add in a few new maneuvers as u go. Couple hours and you're likely to find ur comfort zone with it.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 05:10 AM
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When I upgraded from 650 to a 950, I spend alot of time practicing in our local HS parking lot doing many different maneuvers (like 07 midnight custom said), but also I traveled down the local streets close to home to practice starting, stopping, turning and being around light traffic. From there, I slowly moved into more traffic as my comfort level increased.
something to keep in mind is take your time and move slowly up the list of things to accomplish and your gut feeling about your convidence level will move you forward.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 05:48 AM
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Watch a "Ride Like A Pro" DVD and do the parking lot maneuvers. You'll get a better feel for the bike and learn or refresh your knowledge at the same time.

Here's the link. https://www.ridelikeapro.com/

The one in the red jacket is the best for starters. E-Bay and Amazon Have lots of them.

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Last edited by commonground; 01-15-2017 at 04:45 PM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 08:45 AM
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Andy I think everyone has given you excellent advice. The confidence will come with practice. Empty parking lots are great places to hone your skills. After my bike comes out of winters hibernation, I ride straight to the nearest empty lot and freshen up my skills, works every time.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 09:46 AM
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I applaud you for being open about your concerns. Too many are overconfident and ride outside their ability. A month really isn't a very long time on a new bike that is around 175 lbs heavier than your VTX unless you're riding eight hours every day. What specifically causes you to feel this way. Is it cornering, slow maneuvering, just holding the bike up when stopped? Is it too much bike for you for your size? Nothing wrong with that if it is the case. This may not be the bike for you. On the other hand, it may be the perfect bike for you, and you just need more time for things to click. I've been riding for years and after a 6 month surgery lay off, I had my jitters for awhile when I started riding again. IMO riding has some perishable skills, so work on the skills that cause you concern until you're good and don't get hung up on how long it takes. Just be safe. Good luck!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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New bike jitters

I think it's a good size for me, cornering and supporting the bike are no problem, mostly it's slow speed and managing speed when hard turning from a complete stop. I had heard it was a bear at slower speeds and I guess I am just adjusting. If I think it's too much bike I will sell simply because, what's the point if you don't enjoy it? I will try at the local hs near my house. I can keep it stable as slow as a walking pace but I feel unstable when I turn at low speed.


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Last edited by Andy27012; 01-15-2017 at 03:27 PM.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 04:19 PM
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Your main concern is one most of us have had especially on a bigger bike like you ride. Knowing when to accelerate when turning to keep the bike stable is a practiced skill and a large parking lot will serve you well. You usually need to accelerate a bit sooner on a bigger bike, and be sure to look where you're going and not down or at the turn (I'm sure you know this...just a reinforcer). When my son was learning to ride my bike instead of his sport bike, he would dip his head down when turning. I had to keep telling him to keep his head and eyes up. It takes a bit of practice to gain the confidence to lean a big bike over. Also, to help manage the bike at slower speeds finding and managing your new bike's "friction zone" takes practice. If that happens to be an unfamiliar term just google it. Good luck.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 04:47 PM
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Learning to use Eyes, Throttle, Friction Zone and Rear Brake together make for better slow turns and more confidence.


I'm always working very diligently to discover the obvious.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 05:03 PM
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I know how you feel, my bike is a V Star 1100 and not considered a big bike but my previous experience was 10 years prior on a 750 Virago. The bike fealt big and heavy to me and what helped was seat time and parking lot work. I never see this recommended but because I had a hard time with U turns, I decided to just go around in a big circle while gradually decreasing the radius, tighter and tighter and this turned out to be a good routine and helped a ton. Managing speed when hard turning from a complete stop was a problem for me also, the bike wanted to go straight across the road, parking lot practice solved this problem. Do you have highway bars? They are great for low speed practice, if you do drop the bike you shouldn't hurt anything.
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