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Fellow GL1800 riders.......HELP!

Since purchasing my 2006 Wing this past April I put on many miles without a problem. About 2 months ago I began finding myself nervous when coming to a stop or making a turn from a stop. I know the basic rule of looknig where I want the bike to go but invariably find myself looking at the ground. This is not due to drinking or drugs. I am now hesitant to ride it since I do not want to risk personal injury to myself or others or damage to the bike. Any tips or recommendations of riding courses to help me regain my confidence (i.e. get my head screwed back on right)? I am in Richmond, VA.

PS: This is only the 2nd bike I have owned. It replaces a 1978 Yamaha I bought to learn how to ride about 6 years ago. I would hate to see anything happen to this one.

Thanks for any suggestions.

WNGNTS
 

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Take a Motorcycle Safety Course call your local Honda dealer. It is not natural to be afraid to ride. You probably need some tips and confidence.
 

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You seem to know what your doing wrong, looking at the ground so -------stop doing it. Practice/ Practice/Practice!
 
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Practice is my #1 answer.

I know were you coming from, because every spring after not riding all winter, I do the same thing until I do some practice turns, then practice somemore.
Once you think you got it, try stopping and starting out on a incline with using your rear brake only to keep from rolling backwards.

Good Luck.
 

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WNGNTS, First chance you get go find yourself a large empty parking lot. Practice your slow speed turning and then when your comfortable enough try some full lock turns at 5 mph or so while counterleaning at a steady speed. Mastering the counterlean will help you with low speed maneuvers as well as stopping with confidence. And like you said, always look where you wanna go. Also learning how to use the friction zone of your clutch at very slow speeds will help you to gain additional control. These riding fundamentals will become second nature to you with some practice. But like others have said you should consider some rider skill and training courses. Good luck T.
 

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Im with alot of these responses, but if your like me or any other motorcycle rider, their are days that you just dont feel comfortable riding and your cordination is off. I have read alot of storys,articles that talk about being in the grove. When i start to feel weird or my timing is off, i just cut my ride a little shorter and rest. the next ride all is well. dont give up riding for a few bad days. If its a new problem, maybe its medical, like a slight inner ear infection or something weird.. ride safe, its not a race but a jouney.. kevin
 

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MSF. Join a club that has an educator, practice in parking lots over and over, and over. It will help with every aspect of ridding. Better to drop the bike practicing than on the street.
 

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KEVBRU said:
Im with alot of these responses, but if your like me or any other motorcycle rider, their are days that you just dont feel comfortable riding and your cordination is off. I have read alot of storys,articles that talk about being in the grove. When i start to feel weird or my timing is off, i just cut my ride a little shorter and rest. the next ride all is well. dont give up riding for a few bad days. If its a new problem, maybe its medical, like a slight inner ear infection or something weird.. ride safe, its not a race but a jouney.. kevin
Like KEV here, I think the other responses are good stuff. And KEV makes a good point about checking if you are functioning OK. I'll advance that thought one more notch. Is the bike functioning OK? When you ride, the bike gives a lot of "subconscious" feedback that effects your confidence as you ride. If the steering head bearings are loosening or the front tire is low on air or anything else in the running gear category is changing, it may be upsetting your feeling of confidence. Check the bike over or have a qualified person check it for you. When the bike isn't "happy" you're gonna feel it. :)
DC
 

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I had a 1500 for a few years, and then got my 1800. At first I was fine on the new ride, but I also suffered a setback. Keep your head up, work on finding the friction zone, practice snapping your head in a turn, and make a mental effort to work on those things. It took me a few miles but I got out of my funk.
I wish I still lived in Richmond, I would gladly help. What part of RIC do you live? I was in Southside right off the Powhite Pkwy on Rt 60.
 

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Along with the suggestions here, i would get the video "Ride Like A Pro". It is a resource that you can always go back to. Try taking a break from the riding and do some research on the net for riding articles. Mentally refresh yourself and you might be surprised. :)
 

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Buy a smaller used dirt bike, find one that you can easily touch the ground and get out and ride it. You will learn skills that will help you on larger bikes.

I have ridden dirt bikes for years and found that the skills that I learned in the dirt apply to any kind of riding. I actually rode observed trials for several years.

Wayne
 

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i have yer solution

jerry palladino........the motorman........ met the man and watched
what he can do and teach you..........

and its all on dvd and real easy to pick up the skills u need.......

he even has a small segment on a motorcycle show down here where
he shows some riding tips of the week......

worth every penny......... get his latest dvd and u will be riding like a pro

http://www.ridelikeapro.com/
 

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ckb96124 said:
The Motorcycle Safety Center of Virginia holds all the MSF courses around here. www.mscv.org

Brian
Contact one of the campuses of J Sergeant Reynolds Community College's Office of Continuing Education, and ask if they are conducting the courses. I do not mean to be contradictory to Brian, but I worked at Lord Fairfax CC (Middletown, VA) for 30+ years before retiring and it is my understanding that the VA Community College System (VCCS) in VA is responsible for administering the MSF program. Perhaps things are done differently in your area but it is worth a try.

Take a look at your Honda "You & Your Motorcycle Riding Tips" book. There are some practice drills suggested that you can try that might help.

Like some others have suggested, I also frequent empty school, church or other parking lots to practice regularly. One drill I do every time I get a chance is to practice hard left and then right U-turns through the parking spaces. When I first began attempting this maneuver I could only make the U-turn into the fourth space left (or right). However, with practice and increased confidence, plus emphasizing turning my head as far to the left or right as I could, I now can enter every other parking space with the turns. I turn left, then right, left, right and so on until I run out of room, then go back in the opposite direction. I will usually spend 5 - 10 min each time I practice the maneuver. It has helped me tremendously.

If you are unclear what I am trying to describe, please PM me with your e mail address and I will send a simplified diagram with simplified instructions.

You CAN do this, just stay with it. Best wishes for success and ride safely always.

BTW, I saw a post by one of the members of this board that I thought was super. He suggested getting some heater hose and putting it on your engine guards and saddlebag guard, securing them with zip ties, and practicing your slow speed drills. If you happen to drop the bike (assuming this is pretty gently), no damage done. Of course it might help to have someone else around to help you lift the bike. :roll:

Todd
 

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No matter where you look keep the handle bar straight

Allow me to add my two cents. The GL1800 is my third bike and I noticed that when I stop with the handle bar not straight I drop the bike! (Luckily I learned it on my 1984 Honda Shadow 750). This is much more relevant for a 800+ lbs bike. So, while in motion looks anywhere you need (and learn to separate your head movements from the handle bar) but when stopping – always stop dead straight. Once stopped turn the handle bar to the intended direction to get a “head start”.
 

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Stopping & Turning Anxiety

Every time I make a slow, regular stop at a red light or stop sign I really concentrate and use the following technique.

I look straight ahead and up over the windshield of my GW stock windshield. I find that if I keep my line of sight so that the top of the windshield and the horizon line are parallell that I come to a perfectly good and balanced stop every time.

I learned this technique in the advanced riders course when they were teaching emergency panic stops. They said to keep the handle bars straight, lock down the front and rear brake, look straight ahead and up over the windshield. They said to keep the top of the windshield lined up and parellell with the horizon.
I applied the same technique to regular slow stopping and it works every time. I suppose most of us apply this to some degree.
LRichard
 

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WNGNTS, I applaud your having the sense to ask for help. I used to have a serious problem with right hand turns from a stop. I kept looking at the center line that I didn't want to go near. "You go where you look". I moved my line of vision to the FOG LINE and the problem went away. That and a lot of practice. If you have been riding for six years without the benefit of a MSF course give thanks that you haven't hurt yourself and get you a$$ into one. Over ninety percent of bike mishaps involve riders who have no training or have been taught by so called "friends" or relatives.
I'll make you a bet that your trying turns without slipping your clutch. Get the "Ride Like a Pro" video for sure. I had been riding tweinty years and it stil did me a bunch of good. And finally: Like the guys said practice, practice practice. I seldom go out without the wife that I don't pull into a church or school parking lot and work out a little.
 

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have a few beers it will relax you
 

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Lots of good advice above, plus this! One of the Honda riders at Daytona told me, "don't be afraid to put both feet down when coming to a stop"!

You must use the front brake only, just before stopping, and it works like a charm for a more stable feeling! And of course only use the front brake when the front wheel is straight!

I, too, sent for ridelikeapro.com DVD, and I have improved my slow speed skills! Jerry Palladino shows you how to do it! You must turn your head and your eyes, especially when making slow speed turns; it works!

Jonar G., aka, the original WHITEFANG
 
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