Let’s say you have been riding a year and found out that the bike you bought just didn’t do it for you. What would you do? Here is some great information I got from experienced rider, and writer,
Cash Anthony at http://msgroup.org
Tips For Little Riders Of Big Bikes: The balls of your feet will tell
1. No matter how many miles you have behind you on a smaller bike, don’t assume you can ride a bigger one on the street without practicing on a parking lot first. Moving up to a bigger bike is almost like starting over. (Most little riders going up to a bigger bike don’t have to be told this, but you never know. Some ‘little people’ still have ‘big brass ones’…or else they wouldn’t be trying to ride a big bike to begin with.
2. If you can flatfoot one side and have ‘ball of the foot’ control on both sides of a big bike, you can probably ride it safely under most circumstances. [Most bikes can have their seats cut down about an inch to improve your ability to control it at the expense of some comfort.
3. Since the fear of dropping a big bike needs to be overcome early, assuming your bike has sufficient guards on it to prevent damage, you may want to take it onto a grassy area and practice dropping it gently from a standstill a couple of times in order to learn the art of standing on the high peg and stepping away from the bike with your other leg, in the event you ever do. This, in order not to end up underneath it. You also may need either a reverse gear (if such is available for your model) or to ride with accommodating friends in order to get your bike out of incline trouble, now and then. Most of your fellow riders will be so impressed with your ‘big brass ones’ for what you’re riding that they’re glad to help. If not, find riders who are.
4. Before you take your big bike on the road for the first time, sit on it and learn where all the controls are, even the ones you don’t think you will need (your ‘mute’ button, for example.) It can be so exciting to ride one of these beasts that should you forget to learn some of the basics early on, it may be too late when you’re out there in traffic and too terrified to even move around on the seat.
5. When you stop a big bike on an incline across your lane, put your foot down on the HIGHER side only at first, and reach very carefully with your foot for the lower side. If you have to, you CAN hold that big bike up with one leg for a very long period – after all, its weight is on the tires, not carried by your leg. Short-legging a big bike (and dumping it) is usually a matter of absent-mindedness… but in some groups, you’ll be wearing that pacifier for a while if you forget.
6. When turning a big bike at slow speeds, a tiny amount of pressure on the rear brake can help you maintain control of the degree of lean you want. NEVER forget to look through the turn!
7. To get a big bike off the side stand when it is leaning so much you can’t easily pick it up, grip the front brake and clutch levers securely (whether the engine is running or not) and push the bike FORWARD as you try to bring it upright in one smooth movement. (This modestly compresses the front suspension, making the bike a little shorter.)
8. Be sure before you take your big bike on the road that you don’t have pant-legs or chaps which will tangle on the peg as you put your feet down at a stop.
9. Just because it’s big doesn’t mean it won’t lean smartly. If your engine will dependably carry you through a curve with power, you’ll be able to lean a bigger bike just as much as a turn requires, with normal skills, at prudent speed. This is a matter of confidence and parking lot practice. You can control it through the foot brake and the clutch.
10. If the wind seems to be buffeting a big bike more than the little bike you used to ride, try to relax and know that your wheels are securely under you. The weight of the big bike will tend to keep the rubber on the road in the absence of crisis braking, even if you have to lean. If you increase speed somewhat in a strong crosswind, this may help to give you stability (and will get you to the next stop a little sooner, where you can relax your pucker string for a while).
You will soon get past the feeling that you are ‘flying a 747’ or that the big beast ‘wants to go faster’, although those are common reactions when you get on a bigger bike. Big bikes tend to have smoother engines and a somewhat different gear ratio from your smaller ride. Once you do get the hang of it, and after that magic ‘click’ in the mind that tells you you’re really RIDING this thing, remember to relax and enjoy yourself — and now and then, when you feel comfortable, to wave at your admirers!