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Thread: Hello

  1. #1

    Hello

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    Hello GTA riders,

    I'm a new rider who did the MSF course last summer. I finally saved up enough to get myself a motorcycle. I bought an SV650s 2011 with ABS. Maybe I waited too long after my course, but the weight of the bike is really daunting. I'm short as heck, and can barely tiptoe the bike. 5'6" with a 28 inch inseam. On my first ride, I static dropped the bike and sheared the shift peg off.

    I fixed it up but now I'm really scared of it. Should I just sell the bike and try to get something smaller? Is this anxiety a normal occurrence due to my inexperience? My rider friends aren't too much help because a lot of them are 25+ years of cruiser riding experience. The others, more my age, are telling me it's beginner's jitters.

    I'm all ears from some experienced riders. I'm kinda bummed because I wanna get into the sport, but kinda struggling.

    Thank you all for your help. Ride safe.

  2. #2
    roadrash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello

    Hi, welcome to the forum. Personally, never had to deal with the height/weight issue, but I believe it's possible to lower the bike's suspension to make it more comfortable. Another cheaper option, that may or may not work, is trying a lower seat.

    I think you'll get over the fear after a few rides. Practice in parking lots. Once the bike gets moving the weight shouldn't matter at all.

    Experts can chime in with more suggestions.

  3. #3

    Re: Hello

    Tippy toe is good! Is all about balance, keep the bike balanced and everything becomes easy, you really don't have to hold them up unless you get it way out of balance. Your brake clutch and throttle control needs to be second nature and that makes it way easier to keep the bike balanced, that is where practice comes in.

    If all else fails, you would absolutely advance your skills and benefit from some ride time on dirt bikes, get good at riding dirt and street will never again be a problem.

  4. #4
    Joe Bass's Avatar
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    Re: Hello

    Welcome to the forum!
    28" inch inseam at 5'6"? This guy's inseam is 2" less than yours!
    I personally love flat footing a bike, but many people will tell you that it's not a necessity. I personally am not comfortable on my tippy toes, but I think it is just a matter of getting used to it.
    Hit up a parking lot and practice and you will be fine.

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  5. #5
    Nevo's Avatar
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    Re: Hello

    I am considered a new rider but regardless, I feel I should reply especially since I'm about the same height as you.

    First of all, forget all the haters. It isn't about them, it is about you. How you feel when you are on that bike.

    The fact that you cannot put both of your feet on the ground bothers you that much (as it does me), lower the bike.

    It'll be worth it to give you the confidence you need and you will feel like the bike was meant for you.

    You already got the bike and while it may have not been the best choice, you made a good choice.

    Dropping the bike is something that is "Bound to happen" as many experienced riders will tell you.

    So just enjoy the ride, better your skills and get more confidence.
    17' Yamaha R3 ABS

  6. #6
    sburns's Avatar
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    Re: Hello

    I am also a new rider, it will be a year since I got my bike last Aug. I too had a bit of anxiety when I got my bike and thought it was too heavy, could I manage etc (I have a big cruiser). With practice and it all gets better. Progress at whatever is comfortable to you. Physically your body has to adjust as well. Find some deserted area and just practice the clutch, friction zone, going into first, and overall handling the weight and balance. If you feel the fit of the bike isn't working you can modify it for you or decide another route. You'll get there and all of this will be a distant memory.

    Enjoy!
    See you out there - 2012 HD Electra Glide

  7. #7

    Re: Hello

    Welcome. Sorry to hear of your travails.

    As a couple of others have suggested, consider lowering kits that can be installed in the rear suspension. For example:

    https://www.bikebandit.com/suzuki-sv...its/pc4/md1337

    Keep in mind that the geometry of the bike and its steering and handling may be affected a bit. Or you may consider trading for a bike with a lower seat height to begin with. The SV650's seat height is about 31.5" (800mm). Many bikes, mostly cruisers, have substantially lower seat heights. A Kawasaki Vulcan 900, for example, is 120mm lower than the SV and is a pretty cool bike.
    2017 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory

  8. #8

    Re: Hello

    Welcome! I'm a new rider too (started to ride this spring) and I would say it would better if you will lower the bike. As a beginner, I lost balance on traffic stops a few times in a first couple weeks before I got used to my bike. And it was super helpful to be able to "flat foot" because it can save from embarrassing : ) At the same time, many people ride with "tiptoe" and they are happy. So, I guess, do what you feel comfortable. Remember, you got the bike for yourself, not for others, so listen to yourself : )

    Also, maybe it worth to find another newbie in your area and just go to a parking lot. For example, I'm trying to spend in parking lots at least 5-10 mins every day when I ride, just to practice low-speed maneuvering. It helps a lot to learn your bike.

  9. #9
    PrivatePilot's Avatar
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    Re: Hello

    From someone who's mentored quite a few new riders over the years, I'll tell you this...if the bike freaks you out or you are not comfortable (and comfortably *in control*) while just sitting still, stop...you need to do something about it.

    First option is to lower the bike as mentioned. Ideally as a new rider you should be able to flat foot the bike, zero question.

    Only once you pass the point where you don't even fear dropping the bike every time you get on it, or every time you need to put your legs down at a stop will you be able to make any forward progress. The absolutely positively worst thing you can do is try to learn while you're overwhelmingly focused on a particular fear.

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  10. #10
    Robbo's Avatar
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    Re: Hello

    You could try reducing the padding in the seat which will allow you to get more of your foot on the ground.

    Cheap, doesnít change geometry of the bike, but will lose riding comfort.

    If thatís not enough, then need to have the bike lowered.

    Ride safe


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  11. #11

    Re: Hello

    After reading all the suggestions on here, I've decided to take the M1 exit course again. Just to brush up and practice the fundamentals on a smaller bike again.

    I do have one more question. Would dropping the preload down to minimum settings for front and rear have adverse effects? I set the rear to it's minimum. I am a little bit closer to flat footing now. Read up a bit on some SV forums and they all say the OEM Low seat is narrower than the stock. That would definitely help out a bit. I'd ideally like to find a way to make my bike comfortable for me without altering the geometry.

  12. #12

    Re: Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by green View Post
    After reading all the suggestions on here, I've decided to take the M1 exit course again. Just to brush up and practice the fundamentals on a smaller bike again.

    I do have one more question. Would dropping the preload down to minimum settings for front and rear have adverse effects? I set the rear to it's minimum. I am a little bit closer to flat footing now. Read up a bit on some SV forums and they all say the OEM Low seat is narrower than the stock. That would definitely help out a bit. I'd ideally like to find a way to make my bike comfortable for me without altering the geometry.
    Go for it. preload down to minimum settings for front and rear have no adverse effects because you aren't planning on over-loading the bike
    lowering the seat padding is a good idea too, just so long as you can make it comfortable. I'd probably modify the original one if it was not right.

  13. #13

    Re: Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post
    Go for it. preload down to minimum settings for front and rear have no adverse effects because you aren't planning on over-loading the bike
    lowering the seat padding is a good idea too, just so long as you can make it comfortable. I'd probably modify the original one if it was not right.
    What counts as overloading? I'm too chickens*** to carry pillions.

    Also, the I've already trimmed the seat foam as much as I can. Without the seat in place, I can flat foot and bounce the bike between my legs. It's wicked. But the two sides of the seat pan are super wide. I've read on SV forums that the low seat is actually more narrow than low. That gives short riders a better stance.


    I'm currently redoing the MSF M1 exit course again. I picked a cbr300r. It's only a 100 lb lighter than my bike, roughly the same seat height. On my sv with the preload down I can actually get closer to the ground.

    One thing that's discouraging is, my bike control is actually much worse than it was when I did the test and course last year on a grom. Is it cause of the clip ons? My slow speed maneuvering was much more controlled. This year, I'm running wide, specially on right turns and slow speed steering feels heavy as hell.

  14. #14

    Re: Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by green View Post
    What counts as overloading? I'm too chickens*** to carry pillions.

    Also, the I've already trimmed the seat foam as much as I can. Without the seat in place, I can flat foot and bounce the bike between my legs. It's wicked. But the two sides of the seat pan are super wide. I've read on SV forums that the low seat is actually more narrow than low. That gives short riders a better stance.


    I'm currently redoing the MSF M1 exit course again. I picked a cbr300r. It's only a 100 lb lighter than my bike, roughly the same seat height. On my sv with the preload down I can actually get closer to the ground.

    One thing that's discouraging is, my bike control is actually much worse than it was when I did the test and course last year on a grom. Is it cause of the clip ons? My slow speed maneuvering was much more controlled. This year, I'm running wide, specially on right turns and slow speed steering feels heavy as hell.
    Grom is a very small and agile bike. With cbr300r you can use the rear brake to make "narrow" turns. Also, because clip ons are on the different angle, you might find that your hands tensed. Try to relax your hands and it will make a huge difference. At least, this was my experience when I did my M1 exit course..

  15. #15

    Re: Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by green View Post
    .... Is it cause of the clip ons? My slow speed maneuvering was much more controlled. This year, I'm running wide, specially on right turns and slow speed steering feels heavy as hell.
    Yes very possibly!
    They are not recommended for beginner riders because they offer far less leverage and as you noted impart a heavy slow handling feel at low speed.

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