Vid: how to handle a tall bike

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by dirtdadx, May 5, 2011.

  1. dirtdadx

    dirtdadx Noob ad Infinitum

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    Yeah, those larger kick stand feet accessories are nice for helping with that.
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  2. Blur

    Blur 3MTA3

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    The smaller bikes with kickstands.... 250's, 300's, etc.. woods bikes. A few friends I ride with have had problems with the stock sidestands and say "it's a typical KTM problem", mainly with the bolt failing (IIRC). I was out on a ride just last year and a friends KTM sidestand failed. Motobillet has a big business making replacement stands for Katooms.
    #42
  3. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I guess it's a weight saving thing. If I had a bike that light, I'd seriously consider taking the kickstand off, like I always did on my pushbikes as a kid.

    Most KTM's are just fine, though I guess it gets worse depending how "racey" your KTM is. The SX models don't have a kickstand at all.
    #43
  4. njd

    njd Long timer

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    The Versys is the tallest bike I've ever owned. At first it was a little unsettling, especially because I do not come from a dirtbike background. Stopping on a hill is tough sometimes. What's even harder is coming to a hard stop on a hill.

    You get used to it over time though.
    #44
  5. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Sorry to bump this old thread, but I just wanted to say that as a short lady who just bought a DR650 this video has been pretty educational. I'd figured out a few things riding it 1k miles without dropping it so far, but using the pegs seems far more graceful than my throw a leg over and hop sideways method, especially for dismounts. :rofl

    I am new to riding off road though - I've done fire trails and the easy stuff on a low cruiser, but this is my first dual sport and I'd like to take it further afield. I'd prefer to not lower the bike if I can help it, but I am nervous about situations where I would normally be paddling (mud, rocks) or getting the kickstand up when my right foot might slide as I transfer weight to it... I can touch the tips of both toes or one foot flat on pavement.

    Any tips for short rider + tall bike off road?
    #45
  6. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    I have tipped over more bikes then I have dragged pegs. Off road clearence can be an issue. But I think lots of folks don't know what they are missing when it comes to low bikes. They are just so much more enjoyable. Why spend your time worrying about where to park, or how should I handle this.
    #46
  7. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    User error.

    What do you mean when you say "low bikes"? Are you talking about seat heights? Ground clearance? Cruisers?

    Now, you know this is entirely subjective.
    #47
  8. OKlr

    OKlr 25mph gate inpector

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    I completely agree with everything you said in the video, I just thought this would help out some of the other short guys. I was stopped on gravel in my street boots. Left foot down and it just slid out. btw i'm 5'7" and was on a drz400e

    <object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/9HmFnR8aNFk?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/9HmFnR8aNFk?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
    #48
  9. eatalotapeaches

    eatalotapeaches finding my own way

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    ...
    #49
  10. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I thought the video was good. I have a 30" inseam and do almost all of that stuff without thinking about it. My 950 is the toughest because it's so heavy. Once she starts going, it's hard to pull her back.

    I routinely stop on the left foot, but then have to switch to find my gear. probably the most important thing to me is picking the spot. Particularly on dirt surfaces. Also, at toll booths! Oil...

    I never noticed the bike squatting when applying the rear brake. I generally use the front, though.

    Despite my efforts, I still drop them now and then. Could be anywhere too. Parking lot, trail or wherever...

    I use the peg mount too. I can't get my leg up that high when I've got gear. If no load I can tilt it enough to swing my leg over. I'm not going to yoga when I have a foot peg to use as a stirrup. I could use a better routine of conditioning and stretching, though.
    #50
  11. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    Thank you for making this video. As another short guy, I've figgered pretty much all of it out on my own (usually the hard way! :muutt)

    In extreme (shortness) cases I can see lowering the suspension, but for most of us, it really isn't necessary if you follow the instructions in the video. :nod

    Yeah, there's gonna be times the bike's on its side if you don't pick your spot right. It happens. I've had more than a few 'where'd the ground go?!' moments but I haul the beastie back onto its wheels and keep going.

    The one point of fine-tuning I'd make for the video is if you're riding something big like a 950/990Adv or a GS-Adv don't lean the bike. :nono DAMHIK that GS-Advs are darn near impossible to bring back to vertical once they've leaned over 'too far.' :bluduh

    I got 'trained' to let off the clutch driving a Spridget. Had a carbon throwout bearing. Keep the clutch in and you're replacing em quickly. That's just no fun. So, I found if you do it fast enough, you can balance the bike, shift into first, and put that foot back down before the light turns green all without putting the right foot down.


    M
    former 640A owner
    former R12GS-Adv owner
    former ATK 605 owner
    Husky TE250 owner
    5'8" on a good day
    #51
  12. Wobbleside

    Wobbleside Been here awhile

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    I hadn't thought about shifting in the seat to put one foot down fully, instead of being just barely on the balls of both feet. I tried that while I was out and about in town before my morning ride today on the Multistrada. Worked very well at lights. Granted the MTS is so well balanced I can track stand it at most stop signs but in CA that will get you a ticket. :huh

    Enjoyed the video as someone going from a bike with a 29 inch seat height to one with a 34 inch seat height and having a 28 inch inseam there were a couple of useful things I hadn't considered for handling my bike on a day to day basis.
    :clap
    #52
  13. OhBoy

    OhBoy Got Out

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    Good vid...a few words on alternative style.
    You can lower a tall bike a bit by adjusting the sag.
    When arriving home after a long ride I like to coast in standing on the left peg with right leg slung over to the left side, like riding a bike. Makes getting off even easier.
    Saw a KTM 690 ER rider on the interweb using the left peg to hop on as he was letting out the clutch, he couldn't touch toes to the ground standing still. (off road riding)
    I got pulled over the other day and couldn't get the stand down, the crown of the road was too much. Sat and waited for lecture and ticket...got neither. :clap

    Thought I was gonna have to, "Lay her down".:lol3
    #53
  14. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    This is why HD is in business, and most of the other mfgs. build cruisers.
    #54
  15. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    I'm trying real hard to picture how you can get 11-12" of suspension travel for off-road excursions with a low bike.

    I know that bikes with lower seat heights are easier to ride (on or off-road). I also know that I've managed to use all 11-12" of suspension travel on my bikes too. Of the two, I'd rather have the suspension travel. :nod I also know that I was wishing for more suspension travel from my GS-Adv more than a few times and that was already a tall bike! Whanging a 600# bike off the skid plate's something to experience! :ricky

    If all you're doing is putting around then yeah, not having a taller bike is mo bettah. ...but I never have understood the why of 'I HAVE to be able to flat-foot a bike' and the refusal to look at bikes that don't fit that narrow viewpoint. :confused Its nice, but one toe down is more than plenty in 99% of situations. :nod

    Other than rider inexperience why is it necessary to flat foot a bike? :ear

    M
    #55
  16. dasinc

    dasinc n00b

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    Another thing I've found when trying to backup a tall bike, is to engage the front brake, compress the forks, then on the recoil release your brake. It gives you extra momentum.
    #56
  17. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    ...but best of all is not get into that situation in the first place!

    I learned that one pretty darn quickly! You can't paddle a bike if neither foot reaches the ground!

    M
    #57
  18. mikesova

    mikesova Michigander

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    When did Cliff Claven start making motorcycle videos?
    #58
  19. LoriKTM

    LoriKTM Wrecking Ball

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    If you can get one floot flat, that's all you need, regardless of bike.
    I am 5' 3" with a 29" or 30" inseam, and I also have a DR650. I've been riding tall bikes for many years, and usually have the suspension lowered 1" to 1.5" on my dirt bikes, but have not lowered the DR650. (I did get the slightly shorter gel seat).

    My technique is different from the video. Approach tall bike on side stand, start bike and let warm up. Holding bike by handlebars, lift sidestand with foot. Twist handlebars to right slightly, kick bike into 1st gear. Pivot on left foot, and kick right foot over bike, while keeping left foot on ground. Release clutch, and go.
    Dismount bike by using reverse order. Come to stop, put left foot down, swing right leg back over bike, put bike in neutral (or not) and put kickstand down. I've used this technique successfully for many years, riding my TE250 dirt bike, a DR650, a Buell Ulysses, and my Tiger 800XC (even loaded with panniers and gear).

    This technique works well on bikes where it can be a bit fiddly to "find" the kickstand nub with your left toe. Sometimes it is hard to reach, buried behind a footpeg or near a frame rail.

    Riding off road or on trails is even easier. The single track, or two track will usually be dished out in the track, and higher on the edges. Move to the edge of the track when you need to get a foot down. This is especially critical for kickstarting a dirt bike. For rocks, mud, and especially sand, DON'T paddle. Stand up, scootch your butt back, and give the bike more throttle. Yeah, paddling does happen on occasion. Learn to pick good lines and use the contour of the trails to get your feet down when needed.
    #59
  20. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Thanks Lori, those are some great tips! Do you have any videos of the 'running start' process? I feel like I'm okay using the footpeg maneuver on this one, but if I ever have to ride a taller bike...
    #60