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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,

I'm very new to getting back into riding. I bought a bike a little while back (a star 950) and tonight I took it out for the first time. This was my first ride since high school so it was rough. The ride was short, a mile up the road to a convenience store with a short detour through a parking lot doing some low speed riding and back home.

One thing that stood out though, on the way home especially, was that occasionally, the bike would jerk back and forth with no throttle while in gear just coasting along. Is this a sign that I'm in too high of a gear for the speed? The way home tonight involves going down a really steep hill so there wasn't a need to give the bike throttle. I'd pull in the clutch a bit and the problem would go away. At one point I was in second and I downshifted to first since I was going at such a low speed. The bike jerked back a bit but nothing too bad.

I wish I could describe the issue more, but with this being the first ride in probably 15 years (probably more) it was a little overwhelming.

I guess the questions are:
1. How much use of the clutch is too much use of the clutch?
2. How do I know when to downshift?

Part of the problem is that this Vtwin just doesn't relay well, to me at least, when an upshift or a downshift needs to happen. It just sounds like it's motoring right along.

I'm kind of nervous to do stuff since I'm so focused on just not dying. My turns are too wide but that's probably just lack of confidence with leaning the bike or actually turning the handlebars at low speed. The weather will be nice again tomorrow and I'll head to a parking lot to do more practice. My motorcycle safety course is set for the first weekend of March.

Sorry for the ramble!
Mike
 

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I have a 1300 and it hates to idle in gear. I think it has something to do with how lean these things have to run nowadays? I am constantly engaging and disengaging the clutch if I have to idle through a parking lot.. These bikes do like some rpm's

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If the bike is jerking on coast then you are in to high a gear. The same thing happens in a car, if the engine doesn't get enough gas it let's you know it wants more. If the engine seems to labour at low speeds then its time to downshift and let the engine rev a bit higher.

You say you're riding right now with a focus on not "dying". Relax and enjoy the ride. Keep your head on a pivot and practise your defensive driving. Once you've taken the MSF course, you'll feel more confident and will get better with experience. Let us know how you liked the MSF course.
 

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If the bike is jerking on coast then you are in to high a gear. The same thing happens in a car, if the engine doesn't get enough gas it let's you know it wants more. If the engine seems to labour at low speeds then its time to downshift and let the engine rev a bit higher.
Mine will do it in first gear. If idle across a parking, you HAVE to clutch our give more gas. I believe this is one reason why people change to a fuel management system so they can richen up the fuel air ratio?

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok! Good to know I didn't have some other problem but incompetent operation. I take the safety course the weekend of March 1 or 7th. I'm excited for that- everyone seems to love it. I've been reading at night, and I've realized that certain things that people say to do are really easy to ignore even though you wouldn't think so. Looking through turns for example. Last night I was so focused on not crossing the yellow lines in turns that I kept crossing the yellow line. Now that I am less spooked I'll focus more on that and just paying attention to the bike. I really felt like when I was 7 with my 3/4 face helmet on taking my big wheel 80 out for a ride though. The only thing missing was the helmet hanging off my head.

I think some more seat time will help me get a rhythm. I'll pay closer attention to the bike, it's sounds, and it's feel.

Thanks all!
Mike
 

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Check the kickstand switch if you have one and make sure the kickstand is tight
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll check that too. I know it works because the other day I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't start and it was because I failed to raise the kickstand. I have a strong feeling it was sloppy rider operation though. However, I do need to learn all the systems for future service.

The kill switch features in the bike seem like a mixed blessing, but for me, I love them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Corsair,

That test was so much fun! I wasn't nearly as situationally aware as I figured I was. I went out tonight on roads that I've been on thousands of times and tonight I spotted so much more stuff then usual thanks to doing that test a few times.

Tonight's riding went better. I went to walmart to fill an RX and while they were doing their thing I went to Lowes and Home Depot to get a price on some trusses I need made for a garage I'm putting up. I ended up back at Walmart. I stalled out once. More embarrassingly, I was walking into home depot and forgot to put the kick stand down... yep, seriously. Thank god for the floor boards, the bike just sat on the left floorboard without issue. The only other issue I had tonight was a few issues with trying to get the shift points right on the downshift. No major hangups, just a few awkward moves with no good match on the shift down. Tonight I was more comfortable leaning the bike without too much worry about it sliding out from under me... even with some salt still on the roads from the last snow storm. Now, if I could get some of the cars off my rear. I was doing 45 in a 35 mph zone and had a honda just riding my ass the whole time.

I bought some books on amazon tonight so I'll hopefully read up on a few more skills...

Mike
 

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I was able to take a beginners rider course through MSF and it was amazing. My only previous experience on a bike was a sports bike with no instruction. It did not end well. Taking the MSF course really increased not only my knowledge, but confidence as well. Good luck and safe riding.

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Is your bike fuel injected? These things a little jerky when at idle. When I bought my 09 road star with fuel injection I was sure something was wrong with it and it was brand new. Rode a few others and discovered there all like that.
 

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I started a thread based on some of the information I gleaned from this thread. HERE: http://www.starbikeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41865

In the process of looking at the Twist of the Wrist video, it took me to another video called Ride Like A Pro. You may want to have a look at the thread I started and get the video if you can. I think it will help me with the same problems you are having. Even though I took the safety course, it still was a revelation for me watching the video. There is also a pdf that a fellow put out that is helpful in training. Let me know if someone wants it, and if I can figure out how to get it to, I will.
 

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Ok....the guy's name is Harris Neil, and his email is [email protected] Nice guy and quite helpful. He is certified by H-D and Northwestern University as a police motor instructor, and he sends out his pdf booklet and a link to his you tube video's to whoever wants it. He does this for free in hopes that it helps others. Just tell him you would like his Motorlessons pdf and youtube link, and he will send it to you.
 
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