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After reading thise posts

I thought proper forum etiquette was to see if a question had been asked in the past before posting a new thread.

I was told to use 9 mph, and it seems that this speed is in the area where the bike shifts, so based on comments here, I am now using a slower speed with plans to reduce it further.

I used manual this morning and it worked well.

I am getting more comfortable at slow speeds.
I apologize, I must have been too vague.
You are absolutely correct in checking first and using a topic directly related to your question, and that's why I expected you to get better answers than mine within one day. I only started my response because I saw no others and wanted you to know that others here are quick to answer. (Then I saw someone finished a better answer before me and almost deleted mine.)

You don't need this either, but I said I'd check: Yesterday on the non-DCT, everything down to 7 without a clutch was OK straight ahead, at 6 it started to lug a little without adding 1000 RPMs and using the clutch. On a smooth take-off it's not easy to tell exactly where I'm done with the clutch. I do my slow speed work at 9 to 16 MPH, so as you found, 9 MPH in first should be fine.

+ Shiny side up,
 

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I am getting more comfortable at slow speeds.

Which way should I lean in a tight turn?
Leaning is an art that is more about knowing how to get the best contact patch than anything else. The MSF Advanced course teaches this in a few different ways, most people find one of them will make sense. It's a shame I didn't see useful information till after I gave up on all the advice and learned naturally.
As a new guy 3 years ago I found many videos and info out there more confusing than helpful. Slow, lean one way, Fast lean the other, never be straight - Now to me if there's a switchover and a reason then there should be a middle point. I found 90% of my normal riding is in that mid point, as eluded to by Steve.

Here's the best way I found to train slow speed leaning:
Leaving my driveway every morning, I back up slow and straight up, full-lock, tightest turn possible on the center of the tires. I almost get perpendicular to the drive. When I go forward on the center of the tires at full lock I end up into the grass or stopping for another backup.
From the first backup, If I let the bike lean underneath to the direction of the turn just a few inches I have to counter that weight by moving mine just a little outside. Now I'm just a little bit on that side of the tires, and the geometry has changed to a smaller radius, and a slow turn barely makes it before the grass, having more than made up for the backup being less than half the turn.
A slightly faster turn naturally adds more lean to both the bike and me, and clears by several inches. I practiced this exercise every work-day for over three years, and every trip to pickup dinner, ride the canyons, go to the store, whatever. If I get on the bike at home, I am parked there and practice this.
Now before I let the clutch out I let the bike fall i little further than I can catch it, while leaning myself only as far as comfortable to the opposite direction. I smoothly take off just fast enough to let the motor pike the bike up. At about 15 MPH The bike and I are almost straight up having missed the edge by a foot and a half, traveled almost a car length, and I'm engine braking to check traffic or stopping to wait and exit the drive.

As you're going through the other slow maneuver cones, weaves, etc. don't think about leaning, think about the tire patch. If you need a tighter turn, tilt the tires to the direction you need to turn, your brain will handle balancing the weight when you trust it to do that.

As Steve said, out on the road we don't need to use leaning and maximum grip because all sorts of things can take away available grip. I just stay in line with the bike and both can lean comfortably though turns.

On the track, we scrape pegs sooner than bikes made for the track, so we again think about the contact patch that is now too low. We push the bike straighter up under us, moving our weight inside the turn to balance the bike being straighter than that speed needs, now we've bought an extra inch or two to allow a faster turn. Most the leaning tutorials you'll see out there will get track leaning better than I can tell you, they act like it's worth millions of dollars. I guess for Rossi and them, it is.

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Over time you will just naturally adapt to the ways of the DCT. I leave it in D mode and use the shift paddles to precisely control the transmission when needed especially to down shift and use engine braking when stopping at red lights rather than wearing out the brakes. You will find that by slightly tapping the rear brake and by dragging the brakes slightly you can use the brake lever to shift the bike and slip the clutch and control the transmission at low speed.

The safest best exercise I could recommend to find the clutch friction point on the DCT is to slow ride in a straight line as slow as possible without putting your feet down. You can practice this on grass so if it falls over your so stoned you don’t care. Just kidding, less damage on grass vs pavement. When I was a kid they would have slow speed races where in say 20 yards who could take the longest time to get to the end without putting their feet down. It was all about balance, throttle and clutch control skills. As you slow down to zero and you are about to loose your balance holding the brakes the bike will want to fall over, so slightly release the front brake but slightly drag it and apply just enough throttle to overcome the drag to move the bike forward as slow as possible. The resistance of the brake holding the bike back will cause the clutch to slip and you can control the slippage through brake and throttle control. This should help with your confidence through the cones. I could probably do the cones at walking speed or less with the DCT.

I do this as a mental game for entertainment at stop lights because I encounter so many where I ride, my mission is to never put my feet down while stopping at red lights. As I said over time you will just naturally figure this out and master the DCT. It’s like learning a manual gear box on a car where in time you subconsciously do it without thinking. When I first got the bike I was disappointed where S was to high RPM for low speed and D lugged to much. Over time and experience I have learned to make it do whatever I want.
 

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Over time you will just naturally adapt to the ways of the DCT. I leave it in D mode and use the shift paddles to precisely control the transmission when needed especially to down shift and use engine braking when stopping at red lights rather than wearing out the brakes. You will find that by slightly tapping the rear brake and by dragging the brakes slightly you can use the brake lever to shift the bike and slip the clutch and control the transmission at low speed.

The safest best exercise I could recommend to find the clutch friction point on the DCT is to slow ride in a straight line as slow as possible without putting your feet down. You can practice this on grass so if it falls over your so stoned you don’t care. Just kidding, less damage on grass vs pavement. When I was a kid they would have slow speed races where in say 20 yards who could take the longest time to get to the end without putting their feet down. It was all about balance, throttle and clutch control skills. As you slow down to zero and you are about to loose your balance holding the brakes the bike will want to fall over, so slightly release the front brake but slightly drag it and apply just enough throttle to overcome the drag to move the bike forward as slow as possible. The resistance of the brake holding the bike back will cause the clutch to slip and you can control the slippage through brake and throttle control. This should help with your confidence through the cones. I could probably do the cones at walking speed or less with the DCT.

I do this as a mental game for entertainment at stop lights because I encounter so many where I ride, my mission is to never put my feet down while stopping at red lights. As I said over time you will just naturally figure this out and master the DCT. It’s like learning a manual gear box on a car where in time you subconsciously do it without thinking. When I first got the bike I was disappointed where S was to high RPM for low speed and D lugged to much. Over time and experience I have learned to make it do whatever I want.
Here is a link to my videos of me doing tight turns at slow speeds. The Box is 24ft square and the cone is are 12ft apart. The cones are fabric sample squares. The comments about the stability and the examples provided by you and others, gave me the courage to make my turns tighter. I also put pressure on both pegs to lower the center of gravity. I did not lean, that I know of. This forced me to be gentle on the thrust lever. Below three knots, I tended to tended to wobble, four did not work for the cones, as of yet. I found that seven knots was a good entry for the cones and six for the box at the end of the cone run. and exit. I was not consistant in speed or in the skill needed. However, this is an improvement over where I was a week ago.

Tight turns
 

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... I was not consistant in speed or in the skill needed. However, this is an improvement over where I was a week ago.

Tight turns
Those are fine turns, smooth enough to be stable, thin enough for single shot turnaround on most any road, nothing to be ashamed of.
Now you'll knock another foot off box just by turning your head further around sooner. The instant before you start that U-turn, look all the way over your shoulder to where you want to finish the turn and your brain will help the bike follow your look. Many have a tendency to tilt the head when turning so try to keep the chin level, but the eyes and head are more important than the chin.
For the weave, keep looking up and further down the line. Your brain and peripheral vision knows where the cones are, just trust yourself.

Again, if you do nothing I've said here and change nothing else but practice you're already in good form.
A little more speed will bring the tire patch down to give a tighter turn too, but don't try to do that, just let it happen.
As you said, look for smooth and consistent and don't fight the slight speed change that will happen naturally as you become more comfortable.

Have fun!
 

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When I watoched the video the turns seemed slow and controlled. When doing them, however, it felt as if I was on the edge, working to complete the turn without hitting a cone (rug sample), stable, but on the verge of not making the turn, and many times I did not finish the turn within the confines of the box.

After reading your suggestions, I vocalized this phrase: "Look, Turn, Commit," as I began the turn.

I have been practicing three or four times every day for two weeks on a parking lot. My stops from a slow speed are sloppy and I am not able to stop where I want to in a smooth and controlled manner. Stops from a faster speed are more controlled.

An incident today got my attention. I turned my bike to line up with the entry point for the right turn from a stop. The bike rolled forward began to tip to the left. My left foot was aligned with the rear wheel. As the bike tilted more to the left my arms began to support a portion of the weight of the motorcycle and my foot, by this time, was in a position to assist. Even so, the thought occurred to me that my bike was going down. I am not able to hold up 500 pounds.

A few days ago, I modified the way a grip the throttle. The screwdriver grip gives me a more precise control for speed adjustments. I believe had I used the traditional throttle grip I might have crashed my motorcycle. As my motorcycle continued its inevitable fall to the blacktop, I added thrust.

When I began practicing, I wanted an escape maneuver, a procedure that would get myself and my motorcycle out of a deteriorating situation. I learned if the wheels spin faster, the bike will stand up and become stable. I don't know that I recalled this procedure or just got scared and reacted. As the bike was falling I added thrust. By this time the bike had no forward movement, gravity and frictional forces were the only forces acting on my bike. With power to the rear wheel. the motorcycle accelerated and righted itself.

I believe a traditional grip would have allowed for a more agressive thrust increase, which could have led to a crash.
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For precise stops as in within inches of a target, I let off the front brake during the last foot or two and use only the back brake to finish the last of the stop.
Again, different tactics will work for different riders, but I must show an ID to a standing guard at work, and I prefer being in gear, and I don't wish to make him move to me. They are quite pleasant even if you completely stop before you shift to neutral, take your gloves off, dig the ID out of your pocket or wallet, and get yourself back together to leave.
This quicker process sounds busy and confusing, but I separate driving functions from personal interactions, mostly:
  • Slow to 15 MPH or less early and put it in first gear. (usually at 8 or less following a line of cars anyway.)
  • Within the last few feet, at 5-2 MPH, clutch is in, using only the foot brake to line up beside the guard.
  • Right hand not busy, so pop the shield or modular up to my show face. Maybe start for the the ID, but don't worry about it.
  • Be looking at the guard during the last few inches of the stop. (bike goes and stops where you look, yadda, yadda).
  • When stop is complete look at the right hand finding and pulling the ID out if it hung up on something. If you got it out smooth before, you've likely been addressed by rank and waved on before stopped, or reminded if the expire date is getting close.
  • While putting the ID away, ease the clutch out slowly. Alternate: hold the ID with two fingers while throttling up normal, then put the ID away after shifting to second. (This is where the DCT riders likely use left hand to put the ID away?)
  • Think about putting the modular top back down. 15 MPH speed limit is not TOO dangerous, but whatever. If you don't have safety glasses or goggles behind the shield, it's technically illegal to ride in PA without something covering the eyes.
 

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...................... A few days ago, I modified the way a grip the throttle. The screwdriver grip gives me a more precise control for speed adjustments. I believe had I used the traditional throttle grip I might have crashed my motorcycle. As my motorcycle continued its inevitable fall to the blacktop, I added thrust.

When I began practicing, I wanted an escape maneuver, .........................
You are waaaaaaayyyyyyyy overthinking this. Your problem is that you are a new rider and need more practice. Welcome to the club, we were all there at some point.

Luckily you have a great parking lot (no cars, no curbs, no potholes, nice and flat) for you to practice. The problem I see in your videos is that when weaving you going from one "not really steady turn" into the next without any break to reset before the next turn. That's the nature of weaving practice. I strongly suggest you switch to doing the Level 1 and Level 2 drills in this video. That's what I did over and over and over ...........

Start in the first space at the end. Go up into the space inline, make your turn as the video shows (skipping a row), go through, make the opposite turn and go through and do that all the way to the end of the spaces then come back the same way. Over and over and over.


BTW - When you are starting to fall over, it's because you have too much lean for the low speed. Your "escape maneuver" is to give it more gas and straighten it back up. Little Physics Fun Fact - wheels spinning faster equaling more stability is called "gyroscopic force." That's why it's easy to ride straight at 30 mph and damned difficult at 3 mph.

Steve
 

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Short followup. Just got back from a ride and since I'm an engineer kind of guy tried the "screwdriver" grip. Forget you ever saw that. OK, I'm old but I doubt you could hold that grip for long before your hand cramps up from the unnatural position. Even more important is you spectacularly crashing your bike the first time someone pulls out in front of you and you try to use the front brake from a completely out of position hand hold.

The person who made that picture is probably the same jackass (no offense intended to small, male donkeys) who came up with the "due to airbags you should hold the steering wheel at 8 and 4" stupidity.

Steve
 

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I tried holding my steering wheel with hands only at 8 and 4 o'clock, and the knees alone just don't seem to give enough turning ability at all other hours of the day.
 

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It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy - by holding the steering wheel at 8-4 getting smacked by the airbag now becomes much more likely due to the inability to avoid whatever you are about to hit. Genius.

Mythbusters even did an episode on that subject. The only way your hands or arms get hurt was by holding the steering wheel in a way that was so uncomfortable that no one would ever do it.

Steve
 

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I do this as a mental game for entertainment at stop lights because I encounter so many where I ride, my mission is to never put my feet down while stopping at red lights.
Keeping in mind that it's dangerous to be first into an intersection after the light turns green.
 

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Short followup. Just got back from a ride and since I'm an engineer kind of guy tried the "screwdriver" grip. Forget you ever saw that. OK, I'm old but I doubt you could hold that grip for long before your hand cramps up from the unnatural position. Even more important is you spectacularly crashing your bike the first time someone pulls out in front of you and you try to use the front brake from a completely out of position hand hold.

The person who made that picture is probably the same jackass (no offense intended to small, male donkeys) who came up with the "due to airbags you should hold the steering wheel at 8 and 4" stupidity.

Steve
I agree the screwdriver grip is not comfortable. I am using while practicing at slow speed because it seems to provide more discreet throttle control. Should I not use it during practice? should adapt to using another grip that I can use all the time? What is the ideal grip?
 

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You are waaaaaaayyyyyyyy overthinking this. Your problem is that you are a new rider and need more practice. Welcome to the club, we were all there at some point.

Luckily you have a great parking lot (no cars, no curbs, no potholes, nice and flat) for you to practice. The problem I see in your videos is that when weaving you going from one "not really steady turn" into the next without any break to reset before the next turn. That's the nature of weaving practice. I strongly suggest you switch to doing the Level 1 and Level 2 drills in this video. That's what I did over and over and over ...........

Start in the first space at the end. Go up into the space inline, make your turn as the video shows (skipping a row), go through, make the opposite turn and go through and do that all the way to the end of the spaces then come back the same way. Over and over and over.


BTW - When you are starting to fall over, it's because you have too much lean for the low speed. Your "escape maneuver" is to give it more gas and straighten it back up. Little Physics Fun Fact - wheels spinning faster equaling more stability is called "gyroscopic force." That's why it's easy to ride straight at 30 mph and damned difficult at 3 mph.

Steve
I have problems with level one.
 

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I agree the screwdriver grip is not comfortable. I am using while practicing at slow speed because it seems to provide more discreet throttle control. Should I not use it during practice? should adapt to using another grip that I can use all the time? What is the ideal grip?
Always practice the way you will ride on the street.
 
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I changed my grip and noticed that the brake lever is a stretch for my hands. As I applied the front brake, the throttle rolled forward and thus added power. I searched for an adjustable lever and I could not find one for my 700 DCT. Does it have to be a lever designed for my model? If not, what do you recommend?
 

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................... Should I not use it during practice? Should adapt to using another grip that I can use all the time? What is the ideal grip?
No, Yes. The same normal grip that everyone riding a motorcycle is using.

I have problems with level one.
Then keep practicing until you don't have problems. I started riding when I was about 50 and had carpal tunnel in both hands. Was completely self-taught. I went out to the school parking lot and did the level 1 and level 2 drills until my hands started to go numb and then rode home. Then did the same a couple days later. Over and over and over.

I changed my grip and noticed that the brake lever is a stretch for my hands. As I applied the front brake, the throttle rolled forward and thus added power. I searched for an adjustable lever and I could not find one for my 700 DCT. Does it have to be a lever designed for my model? If not, what do you recommend?
The brake lever is well and properly designed and 100% fine the way it is. Just keep practicing until you learn to use it. I ride with some 5'-2" women with small hands who can use the throttle and brake levers just fine.

You might want to consider joining a local riding club (check out meetup.com) and perhaps someone in one of those groups would be happy to help you learn. We had a first time rider woman join our group and I coached her for hours in a parking lot and then lead her for hundreds of miles on windy country roads until she got the hang of it. She had to buy me lunches. If you happen to live in the middle of North Carolina send me a PM and I'll send you my phone number. Otherwise check with the Honda or Harley dealers and see if they can suggest a local riding instructor you can hire to help you out. Hint - this is why you fill out your location in your profile.

Yes I tried to help out my wife's friend learn to ride and tactfully suggested that maybe motorcycling wasn't for her after watching her drop my bike twice in a parking lot and then drove it into a ditch (and this after she had taken the MSF Basic Rider course). But that's the exception. You probably just need some more guidance and practice.

Steve

Edit: The folks at Meetup.com once again can't just leave the web site alone and have changed it. Go to the very bottom of the home page, look for "Discover" and click on "Groups" just below that. Then type in "motorcycle" (or anything else of interest) and your location to get groups in your area. On the groups web site, check Upcoming meetups, although Covid has caused most groups to not be planning anything. Then check Past Meetups. If the group hasn't had many rides last fall (again, the Covid problem), look at the attendance, a group that only has 1 or 2 people show up for a ride isn't the one you want. Many groups will show hundreds of members but the group is barely doing anything.
 

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Adjustable brake levers are fine. Not everyone has the same size hands. Tons of bikes come from the factory with them these days.

I have these but there are many out there to choose from:
 
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Thank you for the information on brake levers. I adjusted my hand position toward the inside of the grip. This seems to provide more discrete throttle adjustments. In this position, there is less reach to the lever.
 

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No, Yes. The same normal grip that everyone riding a motorcycle is using.


Then keep practicing until you don't have problems. I started riding when I was about 50 and had carpal tunnel in both hands. Was completely self-taught. I went out to the school parking lot and did the level 1 and level 2 drills until my hands started to go numb and then rode home. Then did the same a couple days later. Over and over and over.



The brake lever is well and properly designed and 100% fine the way it is. Just keep practicing until you learn to use it. I ride with some 5'-2" women with small hands who can use the throttle and brake levers just fine.

You might want to consider joining a local riding club (check out meetup.com) and perhaps someone in one of those groups would be happy to help you learn. We had a first time rider woman join our group and I coached her for hours in a parking lot and then lead her for hundreds of miles on windy country roads until she got the hang of it. She had to buy me lunches. If you happen to live in the middle of North Carolina send me a PM and I'll send you my phone number. Otherwise check with the Honda or Harley dealers and see if they can suggest a local riding instructor you can hire to help you out. Hint - this is why you fill out your location in your profile.

Yes I tried to help out my wife's friend learn to ride and tactfully suggested that maybe motorcycling wasn't for her after watching her drop my bike twice in a parking lot and then drove it into a ditch (and this after she had taken the MSF Basic Rider course). But that's the exception. You probably just need some more guidance and practice.

Steve

Edit: The folks at Meetup.com once again can't just leave the web site alone and have changed it. Go to the very bottom of the home page, look for "Discover" and click on "Groups" just below that. Then type in "motorcycle" (or anything else of interest) and your location to get groups in your area. On the groups web site, check Upcoming meetups, although Covid has caused most groups to not be planning anything. Then check Past Meetups. If the group hasn't had many rides last fall (again, the Covid problem), look at the attendance, a group that only has 1 or 2 people show up for a ride isn't the one you want. Many groups will show hundreds of members but the group is barely doing anything.
+
i ride in a parking lot several times every day. My impression from the videos is that the rider is riding through the tight turn, guiding the bike. I feel like I am going too fast (5-6 mph), and cranking the bike to stay within the markers I laid out. I am tense and working. I need to slow down. and relax. For my first three sessions today I went as slow as I could go (4-5 mph) up and down the parking lot. I had several short sessions today and by this evening my left turns were better, but still seemed too fast. I doubt if I will be ready for the figure eight in a box. Is that still part of the MSF BRC curriculum?

I could not find a motorcycle group in my area. Profile is now filled out.

I opted out of the second day of the MSF course. I knew I would not be able to do the right turn from a stop. I am now at about a 50% success rate on that maneuver.
 
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