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Discussion Starter #1
Hey. Anybody have good tips for getting stuck in traffic?
Went out Monday, Had a great ride, till I got about 5 miles from home. No signs, but came around a blind turn into a short straight, to see traffic stopped. Riding under control yes. But road was torn down to gravel, no birm, another blind turn. And I'm stopped. At ninety degrees temp, and been cruising for about an hour. What do i do? Wound up getting second degree burns from my exhaust. Had to keep both feet down, to idle in the gravel. And yes, I'm short. My right leg rests on the pipes when I've got both down like that situation...

Didn't feel safe trying a u turn with blind oncoming traffic out of a construction zone. No places to pull off. Had to sit about ten minutes...

Suggestions? (Besides getting longer legs..). Thanks for all the info you guys share!
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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In your garage you stated the exhaust is short shots. You can remove the outer shield and put exhaust wrap on the actual exhaust pipe. Then install the outer shield back on. It's a tight fit but you can get a couple of wraps there to reduce temperature on leg. I've done this several times and helps a lot. It's a pain to do but wotks. Look at arrow on picture, hope that made sense.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Les. Definitely will try it. Anything will help.

Could i have done anything smarter? Take the uturn to get out of the line up? Shut off, and restart? Have been trying a balancing act shifting my but off the right side but not very stable standing on right leg with only my left leg on the seat...

Thanks again for the suggestion. You guys are so cool! This newbie really appreciates your help.
 

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I'm vertically challenged also (5'6"?😃). The exhaust used to burn my leg. I wrapped my exhaust like I suggested and lowered the bike to enable my to flat foot better. With the bike lower my legs were further away from bike when standing. Just an idea of what worked for me.

 

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If you’re in stopped traffic for a while with a construction delay vs. stop and go traffic, you already mentioned a solution. Turn the bike off. Also, put the kickstand down (left foot on the ground and right foot on the peg or floorboard) or get off the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Afaycasaym, thanks. Didn't know if that would be good idea...don't want to hold up traffic (cars) getting restarted. Guess i need to practice quick start ups... Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again Les. If it helped you, then it's worth the try. (I imagined you a lot taller. You seem larger than life!!) Thanks, and keep the rubber down!
 

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Thanks again Les. If it helped you, then it's worth the try. (I imagined you a lot taller. You seem larger than life!!) Thanks, and keep the rubber down!
That's funny. 😃😂. I'm really about 5'5", since I don't stand straight very often. Weigh all of 125 pounds on a good day. I even have boots with a raised heel to assist me reaching the ground. They say big surprises come in small packages. Truth is I just have a big mouth. And I currently ride one of the biggest bikes out there. I loved it when everyone said I wouldn't be able to handle the Harley. Well a year later and over 7000 miles, mostly Houston commuter miles, on it I can say it's not to big. Here's a picture the day I got the bike.

 

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I second the suggestion from Les. I’ve done the same thing on my last two weeks and it makes a big difference.
If you have access to some kind of cover, ie tree, try parking underneath one. Basically finding some kind of shade if available. It’ll keep you from getting dehydrated. I’ve done it before and it worked fine.


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I'm no expert, but that rarely slows my opinion creation gene...

If you find yourself coming in contact with the pipe frequently, heat wrapping seems like a no-brainer. Function has to be master over appearance.

I'm not tall, I have to round up to call myself 5-10. But I often ride in shorts (not looking for opinions on that), and if I'm not careful I will touch a pipe. Haven't ended up with a burn yet, so not looking to do any wrapping personally.

What I didn't understand is why you needed both feet down. At a stop I will often sit with my left on the ground and my right on the floorboard. And if I'm sitting on any kind of a hill, my right will be on the brake, so I can rest my right hand. Does your stature make your balance of the bike feel unsteady with only one foot down? Obviously you want to be ready to drop that right foot if you feel yourself leaning right, but that reaction should be easy.

The other aspect is what to do when sitting for long periods at idle. My practice there is this...after a long heat soak running the bike, I want it to run for a few minutes which will actually help cool the heads via oil flow. This is better than pulling off the highway and immediately shutting down. So in the instance you mentioned, I probably would stop, let it idle for 3 or 5 minutes, then assuming it was looking like a long delay I would shut the engine off. Even sitting right there in the lane of cars. I know my bike starts instantly when warm, so I'm not concerned, plus you'll see the line of cars start to move before your turn to go comes up. I avoid long idling of more than 5 minutes on warm days.

I thought this thread was going to be about construction sand or gravel on the road. That's scary stuff right there.
 

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I dont feel stable with just one foot down

for one thing looking around when you are stopped you lose the center sense of balance and the bike can wobble side to side

something else that is important - then you plant your feet you do not want them out so your knees are straight and locked (like the landing gear on a small plane) you want your feet next to the bike with your knees bent.

The reason is, if you have your feet out and your legs straight, if your boot starts to slip out on the pavement, you have it out so far you cannot exert any downward force to keep the bike from falling over.

when you have your feet next to the side, as straight down as possible, then you are pushing your feet nearly straight down to keep the bike balanced, there is no side force on your boots on the pavement, so there is almost no chance of your foot slipping out sideways on sand or one of those wet white plastic stop lines. But when you do it this way you want both feet down so you can balance the force between them to keep the bike from tilting side to side.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bpounds. Sorry to disappoint. Yes, i was standing on gravel on a right banked turn. Yep, I'm tiny, and still getting used to balancing. Both knees have been cleaned out, so i get pain surges if i put sideways pressure on them... So yes fear of standing on gravel, on asphalt on knees that are probably too weak. Could only see three cars up to the turn, so yes fear that i couldn't get the bike started quick enough. So yes, I need a lot more traffic practice. And yes, Les' tips, heat wrap, and a lowering kit will be done next weekend. Plain is, I am still not that confident. But with you guys ideas, and practice, I'm getting there. Thanks! Sorry to disappoint..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
KCW. Thanks for that teaching tip. That's kind of where I'm at right now. Good to know that someone else has thought the same. Les' tips will definitely help with my idle foot placement, and get my knees bent, straighter down. Thank you!
 

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Disappointed? Not at all. Only meant to offer suggestions. Only you know your comfort level, and what might work for you.
 

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something that could help prevent the situation

if you have a smart phone google maps has an option that shows traffic flow, construction and stopped traffic due to accidents

you could check it before you head out, or before you ride home from work on a PC, or put your phone on the center of the handlebar and use it like GPS

I have limited bandwidth with Verizon, only 1GB per month, but sometimes when travelling, like trying to go around washington DC, I will spot check it and see whats going on 50 miles ahead, and if the road is all flagged red (bumper to bumper) I get off and find another route.
 

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There's a big difference on how a short rider verses a taller rider holds a bike up. Most bikes are designed for a normal size person, 5'8" ? or taller. At 5'5" with maybe 29" inseam, I do good getting one foot solid on the ground. KCW, you talk about how far from the bike your feet should be, very good point. Short people don't have an opinion. I'm not complaining just stating the "right" way to securely hold a bike up is not an option for all. Simple things like standing a bike off the kickstand can be a challenge. A "normal" size person grabs the bars, with left leg firmly on the ground a little away from the bike and pushes up. I can't do that, my leg is almost vertical with leg straight just touching the ground, no leverage. I push up on my toes, push upper thigh on gas tank, pull on left bar, push on right bar and maybe I'll get it upright the first time. After years it's second nature and no big deal. Duck walking a bike forward or backwards, no can do very much. I slip clutch to move an inch forward, if on flat ground I can tip toe backwards some. It gets challenging when I'm two up. There are times when I'm solo I get off the bike to roll it back standing beside it. It's insecure to push a bike from the side, but only way at times I can move the bike. When my wife is with me at times she will get off and pull me backwards. This Wat I read this thread it was a shorter rider like myself being in traffic with no way around and bike wasn't wanting to play nice with heat on leg. Y'all know by now I normally don't type long post but this is one that I am passionate about, being short sucks at times. I've lowered all my bikes, not to be cool, but to reach ground easier. I've lowered too much and messed things up before, that's ok, just raise it back up a little and fix it. I've changed exhaust, not for sound but it's a nice side benefit, but to give me more leg room from exhaust. By the way, Cobra Full Slash Cut exhaust system gives more leg room than any on a Vstar 1100, I've measure almost all. I've added riser on bars, not to get closer but further back. I also tilt the bars back and down. I've raised foot begs and foot boards in the past so my legs are more comfortable while seated. I've spent a fortune on lower seats. Usually at the cost of some comfort. I've altered windshields to lower them. I do all of this on every bike I've owned. Is it a lot of work, yes but I enjoy the wind therapy way too much not to ride. I've have thick soled boots that I wear when on the bike. I take care on all these changes I do that no one can tell they are done. @blackadder is the only forum member who has seen my bike. If he reads this I'm going to ask if he could tell that any of this was done. The only way to really tell is to sit on my bike and an average person would feel extremely cramped. By, the way, I'm not self conscious at all about being short. I'm good with all short jokes and often make them myself. If anyone reading this wants to make their bike ride "smaller" you can PM me if you want to stay private. Ride safe and often.
 

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Hoping I didn't sound like a knowitall. I definitely do not. I've only been back on a bike for about 3 months, after 35 years away. And I cannot relate to being shorter than this, which I've also been for a long time.

Interesting thing though, is that I have a 30" inseam. Only 1" more than Les. Lots of body on top of short legs.

Lots of women are riding these cruisers, where 5-5 or 5-7 would be considered just average height. So I know it is a challenge that can be met.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Kind a sorry I started this thread, but i got a lot of ideas to work on. Thank you so much everyone for the tips. I need em. 27 " inseam. Can't tip toe, have to get off and hip walk the bike backwards... But i really love the riding I've done so far. And will work out my shortcomings. Thanks guys!
 

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stratsurvivor, it's a great topic. I'm told often that I'm too short to ride what I do and just wanted give my thoughts and options on how to make it work. Sometimes I just have to work a little harder to make it work. Let me know if you need any more assistance on being comfortable riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Les, and all you guys. Hoped there were other shorter riders out there. You've given me major points to work on. Getting exhaust tape. I'm practicing parking lot, slow and go and stop this weekend. Gonna prepare for future stops. Really appreciate the tips. Ride safe and ride often!
 
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