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Twice in the past week I've lost traction in the rear while turning at slow speed coming from street traffic speed to a 90 degree turn. The first time was coming into my subdivision from the main road. I slowed from about 40-45 (flow of traffic, Houston seems to not really observe posted limits) and I know what I did wrong there. I didn't keep it in gear before I started the turn, so when I released the clutch, wheel speed was too high for first gear at just above idle. Luckily, I blipped the throttle and although the bike began to stand up and the rear moved about 5 degrees out, it regained traction and I didn't drop the bike.

The second time was a ride in the rain, where I tried to cement in my mind to make sure I didn't do the same thing. I was pulling into a parking lot off a main street and got slowed and downshifted before the turn. I thought I had scrubbed enough speed to just ease onto the rear brake while getting into the lot, but the rear walked out on me about 5 degrees there as well. Again, the bike went a little more upright, but then I finished the turn and didn't drop it.

Are both these events just related to my not dropping enough speed before beginning the turn? How slow should I be going before beginning a small radius 90 degree turn into a parking lot or subdivision? Also, my speedometer crapped out during a rainy ride a while back, so my speeds are approximate. I'm planning to hit up a salvage yard to grab a new speedo sensor as soon as I can get there on a day it's open.
 

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Here's something that might help.
Find an empty parking lot and practice downshifting from third to second to first in a straight line
Blip the throttle on each downshift to match the speeds of the engine and transmission.
If the rear squiggles, you need more practice:naughty:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's something that might help.
Find an empty parking lot and practice downshifting from third to second to first in a straight line
Blip the throttle on each downshift to match the speeds of the engine and transmission.
If the rear squiggles, you need more practice:naughty:
I do that every time I come to a stop in a straight line, but for some reason it doesn't occur to me to do it for a turn. How far in advance of a turn should I begin downshifting?
 

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Just downshift like your straight line method, matching the speeds as you go.
If you do it right, you don't even need the rear brake, which is another source of the dreaded "high-side" event.
The engine is happiest between 35-4500 rpm, so try to keep it there during the corner.
You can gradually increase it as you get better.
 

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You shouldn't be starting to turn with the clutch in, you should be in gear and holding constant throttle/revs before you lean in or turn the bars.

Slow speed stuff can be tricky, but very rarely should you need to go down to first unless you are coming to a complete stop.
 

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If you pull in the clutch, leave it in and coast until things settle down.
Don't just do something, sit there.
 

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I do that every time I come to a stop in a straight line, but for some reason it doesn't occur to me to do it for a turn. How far in advance of a turn should I begin downshifting?
As you're slowing down, downshift to keep the rpm "up." Think of it like being able to stop braking and start accelerating at any point and you'd already be in the correct gear. So when you need to down shift depends on how hard you hit the brakes. Keeping the rpm above 4000 on the street is a good wag.

If the rear brake is a problem, just leave it alone. You'll already be engine braking. It isn't capable of doing much/anything if you're hard on the front anyways.
 

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Twice in the past week I've lost traction in the rear while turning at slow speed coming from street traffic speed to a 90 degree turn. The first time was coming into my subdivision from the main road. I slowed from about 40-45 (flow of traffic, Houston seems to not really observe posted limits) and I know what I did wrong there. I didn't keep it in gear before I started the turn, so when I released the clutch, wheel speed was too high for first gear at just above idle. Luckily, I blipped the throttle and although the bike began to stand up and the rear moved about 5 degrees out, it regained traction and I didn't drop the bike.

The second time was a ride in the rain, where I tried to cement in my mind to make sure I didn't do the same thing. I was pulling into a parking lot off a main street and got slowed and downshifted before the turn. I thought I had scrubbed enough speed to just ease onto the rear brake while getting into the lot, but the rear walked out on me about 5 degrees there as well. Again, the bike went a little more upright, but then I finished the turn and didn't drop it.

Are both these events just related to my not dropping enough speed before beginning the turn? How slow should I be going before beginning a small radius 90 degree turn into a parking lot or subdivision? Also, my speedometer crapped out during a rainy ride a while back, so my speeds are approximate. I'm planning to hit up a salvage yard to grab a new speedo sensor as soon as I can get there on a day it's open.
For low speed turns, MSF course instructor told me: don't mess with the clutch mid turn, have speed and gear set before and just modulate throttle.

Old bike mechanic told me: when you're riding in the rain, go into any turn a gear higher than you would in the dry - 1st gear when dry? Try 2nd gear when wet. 2nd when dry, try 3rd when wet. It helps tone down the throttle response/power in case your inputs aren't perfectly smooth on a slick surface.

So far, both strategies have worked well for me (except for occasionally slipping the clutch when cars slow down mid turn etc)

I highly recommend the MSF course if you haven't already taken it. Or even an intermediate level course to continue polishing your skills.
 

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Or....beg Suzuki to add a slipper clutch to the next Gen. SV. I was test riding several bikes last fall and the three I rode all had slipper clutches. I have never owned a bike with one but after riding those three and then riding a new SV as my last bike....Wow, did I notice a difference. I bought the Kawi Nnja 650 and learned to love that feature. But due to vibration that drove me nuts I sold the bike after six weeks.

I think you should definitely learn how to ride properly w/o a slipper....but they sure are nice.
 

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About the only thing First gear is useful for is starting out. Try turning onto roads, parking lots etc in 2nd gear. Should work much better.

Mad
 
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