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How to ride a SM on the street?

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I've been riding big street bikes for many years, most recently a 2003 Suzuki Bandit 1200s, a 550lb sport-street bike. I ride somewhat aggressivlly when I can find twisties in Wisconsin, but now I bought a 2005 DRZ400SM and I already put it down. (no major damage to me or the bike) I have never been down on the street before and have over 50k miles under my belt. I guess I just thought it was the same as riding a street bike. I now know its not.

I come from a street riding background, but have limited dirt riding experience.

Is there some sort of book, or web-site that explains how to ride a SM? or even one of you fine folks.

Something that starts with the basics and works its way up...

I just lack confidence in the front end now, and want to know the basics... Like for example, why you put the leg out, and how to put it out, at what angle and such...

Thanks Guys...

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Ahh, old dog new trick. It's different but the same. It does help to have some dirt bike experience but not necessary. You first have to look at the fact that you can wrestle the bike more than the bike wrestle you being it weighs about half of what your bike weighs. Scoot up to the front of the seat, elbows up and relaxed, point and shoot. RIde that front wheel like a unicycle. A lot of people without dirt bike experience, will sit on it just like they do a bike like your other bike which is the middle to back of the seat thus putting all the weight on the rear and hardly any on the front. Just paly around and you'll figure it out.

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try a class with Darrick Lucchesi of www.westcoastsupermoto.com he does events in Shawano, WI.

good investment for your safety even if you don't plan to race. I'm sure your recent get-off will cost more the the $250 class fee. Good luck and welcome to the sport!

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SO the front end washed out on ya did it? What were the warning signs that led up to this? How were you trying to turn in when it happened? Did you go back and check for sand/oil/gas/bad ripples/oatmeal on the road that may have contributed to the slip? What tires are they, what condition are they in and how old are they? I'm guessing that it's the original tire. It may be worn or baked and so it's not gripping well? Or could it have been new and you didn't let it scrub in?

The only other thing I can think of is that the suspension needs some help. If it's poorly set up and you ran over some serious ripples or uneven road it may have shuddered out on ya.

Really there should not be any big issues so I suspect there's a hidden cause(s) like one of those above or one or more that I missed.

Don't really know what to say otherwise. I got my DR350 and just rode the snot out of it including some low key mini track events. Later when I got my Husky motard I had one sketchy night on the crappy D207's that came on it and after replacing them with real tires I just rode the snot out of it.... or at least as much snot as I can manage.... :thumbsup:

PS: Air pressures? The SM is a lot lighter than your other street bikes. So teh air pressure should be a lot lower. I run 30 PSI in my DR350 on the road and on the Husky we're running as low as 22 to 24 psi at the track. If and when it hits the road it'll be at 28 to 30.

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Okay, here we go:

Total repair bill 72.23 with the $20.00's in stickers... not to bad I think... That intales just one plastic piece, and I had a spare bar end lying around.

I got a little rash on my knee, just Jeans on and a slightly twisted ankle. Top was fine, shoulder hurt a little but no rash. Helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, and jeans was what I was wearing.

I'm not positive but I believe it was a front-end wash into a lowside. I didn't feel the rear break loose and I think I was super-biking it too much; road-race style I mean.

The stock Dunlop D208's :thumbsup:

Too high of tire pressures, 30 in the front and 35 in the rear, I have them back down now...

It was a 15mph hair pin, I must have been going faster, about 55F outside on cold tires.

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Okay, here we go:

Total repair bill 72.23 with the $20.00's in stickers... not to bad I think... That intales just one plastic piece, and I had a spare bar end lying around.

I got a little rash on my knee, just Jeans on and a slightly twisted ankle. Top was fine, shoulder hurt a little but no rash. Helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, and jeans was what I was wearing.

I'm not positive but I believe it was a front-end wash into a lowside. I didn't feel the rear break loose and I think I was super-biking it too much; road-race style I mean.

The stock Dunlop D208's :lame:

Too high of tire pressures, 30 in the front and 35 in the rear, I have them back down now...

It was a 15mph hair pin, I must have been going faster, about 55F outside on cold tires.

Throw those 208's in the trash :thumbsup:

Get some conti force sm tires

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In really tight corners like these, do you "sit" on the seat while cornering? or are you standing with all your weight on the outside peg? Any other advise for beginners is appreciated.

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You ride the bike the same way on the street as on a racing track, you just do it with bigger marginals. Read "A twist of the wrist I" and "A twist of the wrist II". Go for the second one first, because its easier to understand.

The reason to why your frontend washed out was because youre on a lighter bike that hasnt as much power and stops alot quicker than sportbikes, your confidence was higher but you have no clue about grip-balance and once it starts to slide you do everything the wrong way because you get scared. Not because you were sitting too much on the rear or that your leg wasnt out there to put more weight on the front wheel.

I know people who has ridden years on the tracks but they still havent figured out why their frontend washes out. Its all about knowing yourself and being able to force yourself against your natural reactions, together with not riding faster than you have the skill to back up. I think that in a way you haveto be told this to be able to "see the light".

I could even stick out and say that I'd run faster on the ice racing track the first ten laps than anyone here who hasnt tried it before, ama racer or newbie, by using just one arm. Why? At first your brain tells you that this is some slippery dangerous shizz, it tension your body and forces you to make mistakes. It does the same thing to advanced riders too, they are just better to adopt and they know how to conquer the natural reflexes.

Track rider or not, read "A twist of the wrist II". And I guess Darrick's school's pretty good too.

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It's alot easier to go from dirt to street than from street to dirt, simply because you get the feel for traction on the dirt without the high price physically/financially.

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Oh, so one of the reasons your sticking the leg out up front is to add weight (traction) to the front end. Nobody still answered my question about do you sit or stand in the corners???

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Oh, so one of the reasons your sticking the leg out up front is to add weight (traction) to the front end. Nobody still answered my question about do you sit or stand in the corners???

Sit everywhere that you wont hit a bigger bump. Theres pretty much no standing up in supermoto except for on the gravel section, where you stand up if you are going to hit a bump or a series of bumps.

Then also theres two styles of sitting too, one where your body follows the line of the bike and one where you sit straight up from the asphalt (which means on the side of your bike). The first one is faster except for when you do realy fast cornering like a S curve that doesnt cover alot of distance (for example if you ride indoors). The second one is used to find the limit of the traction for a new track because it makes it alot easier to save a slide (because you only haveto get your bikes weight up, not both the bike and you).

All of these things should be practiced on a track and not out on the street. If you have the mentality to ride to the limit (wherever your limit is, depending on your skill) you should realy consider if you should ride on the street at all, because you will crasch, several times more.

(ok this will be my third edit)

Weight on one wheel doesnt give it more traction in all cases. And moving your foot out doesnt add much weight, not if you compare what you do with your brakes or your throttle. For example, having your bike to do a stoppie. Let of the gas and move yourself onto the front fender, will it lift the rear wheel? No. I would say that thinking about having your weight right with moving your body will only slow you down because 1. you divert your attention from things that are important and 2. you will be confused when you crasch because you think you did it right.

And then for cornering, adding weight to a tyre that is loaded almost to the max will overload it and make it slide. The key to good cornering is to balance the weight so that both ends gets its share of the weight, and if you look at your bike standing still you will notice which end carries more weight before washing out. So to do a corner in the fastest way you should first find the max of where you load your front end so much that it raises the rear from the ground, then where your load on the front end is at its max (braking and turning), then balance the weight on both the wheels so that they take as much load as possible (leaning), then find the max of the rear by accelerating, and in the end find the maximum acceleration so that the front wheel doesnt lift from the ground.

If you understood this right you should never (realy) accelerate nor brake while you're leaned over max, only on the way to/from your maximum lean. REMEMBER that your rear end carries more weight, Im not telling you to be off the gas completely, in fact, you should be accelerating, but just a tiny tiny bit to add the extra weight that the rear end can carry.

When you completely understood this thingy about weight contribution you will understand why you are sliding into corners and you will be totaly amazed how awesome it realy is :thumbsup:

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not all of us do the "stuck out foot thing"

Beav004.jpg

SuperMoto__34__copy.jpg

I have been thanking about the SM thing.In fact I am looking at a NEW (still on the floor) 03 TM-530 sm(Not the dream :thumbsdn: ) with a plate :devil: .

It would be a track bike and not see the street much. 99% of the tracks would be large ones with sport bikes. My question is how much do you ride with the knee out?

I have been in the dirt for only two1/2 years. The style of dirt riding I do is slow and goat trails,for the must part I never see 4th gear,so I don't get the foot out front much,more like never. But I have been to a few track days with my sport bike and know the feeling of the knee on the ground. Could one do a track day with an SM and use the knee out style?

Thanks

Laters

Nutt

PS,I lived in OH for 24 years,not a bad place to grow up in.

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Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm just going from a CBR to my SM. It's strange having so much space on the seat.

You guys have mentioned that both knee out and foot out techniques are used on the track. But what style would you recommend for mountain twisties?

Cheers :devil:

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You really need a little bike (XR100) and some a slick place to play (hard pack or gravel). You fear the slide on a sport bike. You can get away with murder on the SM. The little bike will help you quickly acclimate to a loose ride without the pain and $$$.

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I am not recomending anything, but my style is knee down, i use it 100% of the time on big tracks and small. and it seems to suit Nicky Hayden well too... My advice is try each and see what works best for you!

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PS,I lived in OH for 24 years,not a bad place to grow up in.

:devil: But I can think of a few other places I'd rather be...

.

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:devil: But I can think of a few other places I'd rather be...

.

Like I said "grow up in",I have not lived in OH for the last 12 years and dont plan on it for the next 40.

With knee out style,do you turn the bike in the same way you would a sport bike? Or do you turn it in like a dirt bike and put the knee down?

I took my DRZ out today and did a fig-8 for like an hour. Had my foot out front and everything :thumbsdn: ,but that was in the dirt.

Thanks for your help :thumbsdn:

Laters

Nutt

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I personally ride it like a sport bike. and so do most of my friends.

icon.jpg<clicky for big picture

edit: but I have never ridden a full supermoto track either, just BeaverRun practices where they only run the roadcourse.

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