Learning To Fly!

Hello fellow thumpers! (never thought I'd be saying that)

I just put on my first 280 miles and have 3 quick questions.

I bought a decent Gmax full face helmet a while back and its really noisy. Do you think a better helmet will really make a difference?

My main problem so far is taking off from a stop and shifting from 1st to 2nd. 1st is so low its hard for me to do it smoothly, but I am practicing. Any tips?

I read all the posts about windscreens and am kinda undecided if I'll bother. My final question (for now) is do you get used to the back strain of highway driving after a while? Someone at the bike shop told me yes, but I think he was busy flirting with me.

Other than that I love this bike! Its a 2007 DR 650 and it still has less than 2000 miles. I do have the gel seat and am OK with that for now.

Thanks! See you at the corner of First and Neutral.

Bathtime.jpg

This is just from my point of ref on the trail, and have no idea if this is applicable to gearing your bike but I usually start off in 2nd, because 1st IS so low(and I RARELY use 1st).

And it's just the ergos of a dual sport/dirt bike to be uncomfortable on your back for long highway miles. Try to have your back in a "neutral" posture, neither humped or hollowed, and use your abs(front and side ones) to hold you upright, rather than your back muscles. Of course working your core strength will give your longer endurance and comfort too:D

Have fun!

Welcome to Thumpertalk too!

OK thanks for the advice. I'm riding all street so starting off in second just doesn't work with this bike. I'm really just taking 45 minute exploring trips so I think I'll get used to the wind. take care,

Teresa

just curious have you driven a stick car? I already knew how to drive a stick so shifting was easy for me, maybe you could have someone ride it who can shift smoothly from 1st to 2nd so you can hear how revved up to have the throttle and how much to let it off and get back on it as they shift. You can sit on the back too so you can feel the force of the engine too. Anyways, same thing, listen to the engine and shift when it "sounds right"--you probably just have to have it wound up more and be quicker about the shift.

Practice, practice, practice. You could try putting it in first and playing with the throttle & clutch to get a feel for where it starts to engage & then let it go with out taking off. Not good for the clutch, so dont do it too much but it does really help you get a feel for how it engages with out popping it to take off.

A supportive kidney belt can help with the lower back - but since you are taking shorter rides you'll probably just get used to it with time. Are you tense when you ride?

A small windscreen on the street is very helpful against fatigue, takes the wind off your torso and head. You'll get more stamina as you ride more tho.

And yes, a better helmet will be quieter and lighter, which will take some of the strain off your neck. But in the meantime, you can wear earplugs inside your helmet - I even wear them with my Arai, esp for longer distance rides.

I have driven a stick shift, and this is my second motorcycle. I don't know if it was my question that made me sound like a rank amateur or what, but I know you're trying to help PlushPuppy. I can shift OK, and have gone up to 80 on the highway, (because I can) so its not like I'm sitting at lights crying! I'm just trying to get used to this bike and all its cute, little, eccentricities.

Thanks to all for your help!

Edited by TeresaBowers

:lol: Reading the title, I thought someone was looking for me! :)

As for your questions:

I bought a decent Gmax full face helmet a while back and its really noisy. Do you think a better helmet will really make a difference?

YES. Higher end helmets offer a bunch of features, but in my experience (12 yrs riding street) the biggest bangs you get for spending more on a good helmet (Shoei, Arai, etc) is lighter weight, more ventilation, and often better noise control. But, not always! Often you get more noise with more ventilation... best thing is to read the reviews on a helmet before buying, here is a good website for that:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/

And yes, earplugs are a must!

My main problem so far is taking off from a stop and shifting from 1st to 2nd. 1st is so low its hard for me to do it smoothly, but I am practicing. Any tips?

Spend a few hours in a parking lot after hours just working on those things... it'll come! But I'm surprised 1st to 2nd is difficult for you... is it difficult because its just choppy, or are you missing 2nd? If you are missing second and hitting neutral instead, have you adjusted the shifter lever? Women have smaller feet, and sometimes the factory setting can be a little high, I always like my shifter tight against the top of my foot for street... dirt is different, because you change position more.

I read all the posts about windscreens and am kinda undecided if I'll bother. My final question (for now) is do you get used to the back strain of highway driving after a while? Someone at the bike shop told me yes, but I think he was busy flirting with me.

If you ride a lot of highway, and lots of miles, a windscreen is a must for street. It'll also keep the noise down. I've always had little after market screens for my naked sport bikes (first a Ducati Monster, now a Triumph Speed Triple). But if you take it more on dirt a lot, its just one more thing that can snap & get scratched if you dump it.

Something to consider for back strain is the height of the handle bars, would you feel more comfortable sitting more upright, or more leaned over? You can get after market bars for different angles. Also, consider your suspension/sag, is it set for your weight? Too heavy springs, or incorrect sag, can really make for a jarring ride on the street.

Other than that I love this bike! Its a 2007 DR 650 and it still has less than 2000 miles. I do have the gel seat and am OK with that for now.

Thanks! See you at the corner of First and Neutral.

Bathtime.jpg

You've got a great bike there! Enjoy! :thumbsup:

I also have a DR650. If you plan to put on road miles, for sure go for the wind screen. I have a nekkid street bike (retro, and staying that way) and find highway riding really gave me a pain in the neck/back from the wind. The more I rode, the less it hurt... just got stronger. Oh, I also removed the visor from my helmet for the long hauls.

X2 on what everyone else said... earplugs, helmet is iffy on wind noise, etc. I have a dual sport styled Arai (visor plus face shield) that seals out wind noise pretty good when the face shield is sealed tight.

Nice bike, welcome to the group!

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