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As you get comfortable and established, there are two things every rider should learn that will greatly improve their riding.

- Proper foot position. New riders tend to place their foot's arch on the pegs, eventually you should ride with the balls of our feet on the pegs, it puts your legs in the correct position and prevents you from dragging your toes on corners.

- Rev-matching downshifts. Big one for proper riding in all conditions. Being able to downshift quickly and smoothly without upsetting the rear tire makes all the difference in the world, whether your riding on the street or a canyon road.
 

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Very good tips above. I would propose a challenge.

Everybody talks about "you will take a spill, so be prepared for it." Sound advice, but I would say, why don't you see if you can go your first 6 months, or 12 months, WITHOUT taking a spill? To me, that means recognizing that your new skill-set is just developing, and you are not yet close to being an experienced, skilled rider. Bikes are inherently unstable, recognize that, and always bear in mind that you are new to the game. Ride well below your limits as your skills develop. Make it to 1K miles without a drop, then try for 2k and beyond.

So that is the challenge, recognize your skills are not yet developed, take necessary steps to stay upright. This is not a bicycle or a car.

Just a suggestion, be extra safe. Report back.



I'm definitely riding with hope that I do NOT take a spill. I've put like 50 miles on my 03 SV650S (just got it.. first bike as well) But it's been raining and I don't trust myself on the wet road yet. 5 miles into my first ride, someone merged onto a two lane road from the right and moved directly over to the far left lane and cut me off................... No one sees you.. I promise! Be careful.
 

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Soooo that didn't last long. Here's a great lesson learned topic for you guys.. I bought my 03 SV650s.. Me and my roommate took the motorcycle safety course then went to the DMV and got our moto permits together. He was about a week away from getting a bike, and I had just picked this one up. I let him take it for a spin a few times, and he ended up squeezing the front brake too hard and wrecked the bike. I'm now looking for a new SV650.. I should be picking one up in the next week or so ;D . Don't let anyone ride your bike! I learned the hard way. Never saw it coming.
 

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Don't let anyone ride your bike! I learned the hard way. Never saw it coming.
Actually, there are times when you might want another person to ride your bike. But a new rider is not one of them unless you REALLY trust that person.

:eek:ccasion14:
 

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You cannot let your guard down if you want to survive being a motorcyclist. You have to be one step ahead of every person that is around you. If you don't have an "out", then you are going to get hurt.

Riding a motorcycle is a high intensity activity versus driving a car where you can be barely awake.
 

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Hello everyone, I too am a new rider on the road (not new to off road) and have read every post in this thread. Lots of great info here and I recognize stuff mentioned from my msf course I attended last week. Book marked this one for sure, thanks!
 

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I've been riding Motorcycles for over 40 years.I still practice,"Emergency Braking" a couple of times a month.I do this on an empty straight road with no traffic behind me or in front and no oncoming traffic and no side roads where vehicles can come out.

I do this for several reasons.

1:It lets me know how well my braking system is working and if I feel it's off I can address the issue.

2:It helps remove the,"Panic" braking that can happen if presented with the uncommon event of an Emergency brake situation by repetition and builds muscle memory.

3:It builds confidence and knowledge of the working envelope of the machine.

I also practice emulating ABS braking as my SV650 99 doesn't have it e.g brake and release fast and testing the point where the rear wheel can be locked.I've found the rear brake on the SV to be a little too feisty so only use it in moderation and for slow speed traffic manoeuvres.

I've found this video to be very useful.




HTH :)
 

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Yes... be careful!!!
I started my 2-wheel life in a Suzuki TU250cc, and had a lot of fun for couple of years.
The SV can be a nice girl below 5,000rpm, try not to get to overconfident and use it as a track bike on the mean streets (yes, this bike is also recommended as a good starting track day-bike, so not entirely a beginner's bike).
Practice all those slow speed maneuvers, hard strops, sweevering, etc.
Wear protective gear! I've had a couple of mishaps and they HURT A LOT if you are lucky (aka not die or break some bones).
Have fun. Be concsious all the time, don't get aggressive with silly drivers, stay confident and calm.
You'll love the SV... I worked all my way back to 1300cc and came back around to 650cc, more than enough for me.
 

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Never ride faster than you can see (ie. if an obstacle was placed at the furthest point you can see, would you have time to stop/avoid?). Many riders blast around blind corners and eventually lose the lottery.

Never trust road conditions. Your favorite corner might have some gravel or dirt kicked up on to it today.

Keep learning. Buy books, watch videos, take courses. There is a ton to learn, and it isn't a sport anyone can afford to be bad at. I'm still learning and improving, even after teaching for 8 years.

regard
 

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Those things they taught you at the MSF...swerving, emergency braking, low speed turns and low speed u-turns, keep practicing them. It seems silly, but they're pretty important skills both for keeping your shiny side of the bike free of dents and scratches, and for keeping you on top of the bike. Things like traffic lights, gas stations, and parking lots are where a LOT of people drop their bikes and just because you're not going fast doesn't mean it's impossible to get an injury or damage your bike. Plus, control is control. Every single time my bike has touched the ground with something other than the tires has been under 15 mph (not counting scraping foot pegs in a turn). That's not to say it's not important to keep a safety mindset for riding in traffic, I'm pointing out low speed stuff is also important.
 
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