Balance

AridRider

Wannabie Member
May 4, 2018
18
16
3
Arizona
www.youtube.com
I ride a
CBR500RA
I'm a fairly new rider - what tricks/tips do you guys use to improve balance/coordination on your bike (aside from speeding up)? Especially @low speeds. I've read a couple articles talking about riding the rear brake & avoiding the front brake. Thanks!
 

R-Rated

Have Fun!
Aug 4, 2016
2,072
1,642
113
Clarksville to Nashville, TN
www.R-RatedCustoms.com
I ride a
2014 Harley Davidson (FLHTK) Ultra Limited
I'm a fairly new rider - what tricks/tips do you guys use to improve balance/coordination on your bike (aside from speeding up)? Especially @low speeds. I've read a couple articles talking about riding the rear brake & avoiding the front brake. Thanks!
You are referring to what some call trail braking, when you use the rear brake to hold back the bike while increasing the revs and not letting the clutch all the way out, but keeping it in the friction zone.

But first, welcome to the forum! I enjoy interacting with new riders.

Can you be a bit more specific on the details of your balance challenge. Is it at a fast walk speed, low speed maneuvering like trails/parking lots?

What make/model bike are you working with?

Just trying to get a better picture of what you are going through.
 

AridRider

Wannabie Member
May 4, 2018
18
16
3
Arizona
www.youtube.com
I ride a
CBR500RA
You are referring to what some call trail braking, when you use the rear brake to hold back the bike while increasing the revs and not letting the clutch all the way out, but keeping it in the friction zone.

But first, welcome to the forum! I enjoy interacting with new riders.

Can you be a bit more specific on the details of your balance challenge. Is it at a fast walk speed, low speed maneuvering like trails/parking lots?

What make/model bike are you working with?

Just trying to get a better picture of what you are going through.
Thanks for the quick reply! CBR500RA is the equipment I'm working with and mostly it's low speed maneuvering - especially in slow traffic, keeping the bike in a straight line is a challenge.
 
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R-Rated

Have Fun!
Aug 4, 2016
2,072
1,642
113
Clarksville to Nashville, TN
www.R-RatedCustoms.com
I ride a
2014 Harley Davidson (FLHTK) Ultra Limited
Try this:

Find an empty lot and set up two lines of plastic cups to make a lane. Start about 8' width.

Think in your mind how when a top spins, it wants to stay up no matter where you push it. That motor spinning will have the same gyroscopic effect.

Do the trail braking and keep your revs slight higher than stalling it out so it purrs. Keeping steady pressure on the rear brake, so it drags, try creeping along your lane.

Keep your eyes up and think of the gyroscope of the motor.

Once you master going about a fast trot, try going slower.

One you master that, start narrowing the lane by half.

Air the bike out very 10 or 15 minutes to keep it from overheating.

and finally, stay calm.

I hope this helps. Eventually you will become in control enough with the bike that you can stop for a couple of seconds without needing to put your foot down.

You should record your endeavor, it could help encourage you when reviewing it and other watching. Maybe one camera with first person point of view and then a second watching where you can see the whole lane from third person POV.

If you have a bicycle, you can try it first that way to build your confidence.
 
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HippoDrone

Admin
Jan 2, 2017
3,785
2,295
113
West Sussex, UK
I ride a
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
Practice practice practice is the best advice I can offer. As @R-Rated said, get some cones out and try different things in an empty car park. I recently went on a Motogymkhana experience day which was ace fun and a fantastic way to improve your slower speed bike control.
 
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HeyItsRick

MotoRickyRicardo
Apr 6, 2018
127
146
43
30
www.youtube.com
I ride a
2017 Harley Davidson Iron 833
My best advice to practicing low speeds is to be careful with that front brake lever, especially when navigating parking decks. I've almost dumped my bike a few times just by getting nervous and gripping the brake lever by accident.

R-Rated's advice is sound, practicing with cones, when I was trying to gain confidence on low speed manuevers I would find a commuter lot on the weekend and use the parking spot lines to challenge myself. Just be sure to scope the pavement out first, right now there still salt/sand left over in the lots from the winter.
Now whenever I'm in traffic I make it a game to see how long I can keep the bike up while coming to a stop without having to put a foot down.
 
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AridRider

Wannabie Member
May 4, 2018
18
16
3
Arizona
www.youtube.com
I ride a
CBR500RA
I enrolled in a local riders course series with an emphasis on low speed maneuvering. Aside from drilling - it's getting too hot to ride here in AZ, waiting for a weather window opportunity. Rather sweat than bleed I guess.
 
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R-Rated

Have Fun!
Aug 4, 2016
2,072
1,642
113
Clarksville to Nashville, TN
www.R-RatedCustoms.com
I ride a
2014 Harley Davidson (FLHTK) Ultra Limited
I enrolled in a local riders course series with an emphasis on low speed maneuvering. Aside from drilling - it's getting too hot to ride here in AZ, waiting for a weather window opportunity. Rather sweat than bleed I guess.
Maybe you can find a well lit parking lot to practice when the sun goes down? Plus you can make friends with Johnny Law. They might get a kick out of you practicing slow vs. folks tearing tail and doing stunts.
 

EDcase

-=RC8=-
Jan 26, 2016
611
421
63
SouthEast UK
I ride a
KTM RC8 Putytat
Welcome AridRider
You were right in your first post.
Use the rear brake for slow control.

The front brake is for stopping from higher speeds.

'Trail braking' is a term used in racing where the brakes are used all the way up to the apex of a corner.
 

Undead MV

If there is light, there shall be dark
Oct 9, 2017
327
234
43
32
Mexico City
I ride a
Bajaj Avenger Street 220
The key is practicing, use your bike more and more until you feel ready to filter beteen cars when necessary, a great advice from @R-Rated, practice in a empty parking lot, and yes!, it would be a great video if you record your experience while trying to improve your driving skills.



Is really common seeing new riders with both feet trying to reach the ground on low speeds because it feels like you´ll fall over constantly, but with regular practice, balance will come soon
 
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