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About rkammerer

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  1. rkammerer

    Newbie Questions Street Lic/Gear Case

    If one is offered near you, take the MSF course! There are lots more accidents are on those very roads you want to ride! Neighborhoods and backroads are more dangerous than the highway. In MO, the RiderCourse waives the on-bike portion of the DMV test, so you take your completion certificate and your permit to the DMV and get your M endorsement. I believe all the courses here in St. Louis area are full already, but you can often get put on a wait list. A full class is 12 people, and most end up having 1 or 2 people drop or not show. Plus, some insurance companies will give a discount for completing the class. As far as braking, remember to be gentle but firm on the controls. Squeeze the brake lever, do not grab at it. Press on the rear brake pedal, do not stomp. As you begin to stop, more and more weight transfers forward, so you can apply more and more front brake. Make sure you have your handlebars square, pointed dead ahead. Keep a nice, relaxed grip on the bars. Be sure to keep your knees in against the tank, and keep your head and eyes up. Look well ahead, at the horizon. This will help stabilize the bike as you slow. Practice, practice, practice! I notice the DRZ has tons of fork dive compared to my YZF600R, and the skinny knobby tyres squirm around a lot more. A good benchmark is to be able to slow the bike from 60mph within 120'. Start at slower speeds, say 15mph, and work you way up. 15mph should get stopped in I think 10', 12' range. Too much front brake? Unless you are locking the front, it is not too much. If you DO lock the front, immediately release it. However, if you lock the rear keep it locked. I find a lot of people's sense of "instability" comes from them looking down when they stop. Under a hard stop, the rear will get light (yay stoppies!) - this is maybe what you are talking about when you say the rear wants to "kick out"? And you lost me on "dog trailing", haven't heard that term before. Regarding finding first, while coming to a stop you want to be clicking down through the gears. At any time, you should be in the correct gear for your road speed. Do not wait until you are stopped to downshift - as you discovered it is very difficult. Also, on street riding, if you need to make a quick stop, once stopped keep an eye on your mirrors. Cars don't stop as quick, and tend to not notice a rapidly decelerating bike. By clicking down gears, as soon as a gap opens you can squirt by the obstacle. This has kept me from getting sandwiched a few times. Good Luck! Compared to the MSF curriculum, the state test is easy-peasy. -Rob
  2. rkammerer

    Street Riding Gear Suggestions

    Aerostich Roadcrafter. http://www.aerostich.com I have a one-piece suit that I wear, but you can get seperate jacket/pants. I commute year-round, and the suit is fantastic. Cordura nylon, reinforced in all the good places. Hard armor in the elbows, shoulders, knees. I added soft armor spine pad and hip pads. Lots of pockets. Lots of vents for warm weather. Enough room (I got a more loose-fitting one) to layer underneath all winter. And mine is awesome Hi-Viz yellow! We get 90+ temps all summer and high humidity here in St. Louis, MO as well. If you are stuck at a light you get warm, but I haven't met a jacket that didn't get warm without airflow. Armor is fully removable and replaceable, suit is washable. Really easy to get on and off over street clothes. In the summer I wear shorts and a t-shirt or no shirt under the suit. I've ridden to weddings and such with a dress suit on under it, no problems. The only requirement of yours it doesn't do so well on is price - it is costly to purchase. But, I think it is less expensive than emergency room time for road rash. I don't like to pinch pennies on my safety gear. They crash well. I had the pleasure of highsiding my YZF while wearing it. Landed on my left side/shoulder, rolled onto my back and slid a bit. Back of the suit has some abbrasion damage, not too bad. No damage to me save a sprained wrist, and a trashed helmet. -Rob
  3. rkammerer

    Drz400S Vs Drz400E

    jkm712, That doesn't sound right. I have a plated E, a 2002 model. With 14/47 gearing it would run 70-75mph without much drama commuting to work and back. Sure, it was a little busy, but nothing horrible. 15/44 I believe is stock 'S' gearing, should be good for 90-100mph or so. Was your rev limiter cutting in at your very low top speeds? Could be a faulty CDI... Would it not pull any more? Could be bad jetting. Engine screaming but not much go? Slipping clutch maybe. This little motor will happily spin to 11,000rpm, so you should be seeing a LOT more speed. -rob
  4. rkammerer

    bad crash today

    RE: overpants or suits over work clothes... I commute on my bike almost every day, rain or shine. I wear an Aerostich Roadcrafter one-piece. In Hi-Viz Lime Yellow. Easy to zip on over work clothes, adequate venting in the summer, good waterproofing in light/medium rain (hard rain puddles in my lap and seeps through the zippers). Other gear is my Arai Quantum/f full face, AGV gauntlet gloves, and Sidi On-Road waterproof boots. It all works good. Crashes good too, luckily I have only had the pleasure of doing that once! +1 on the full-face. Slow speed (15-20mph) highside and I had gouges in the lid from the chinbar to under my left ear. Would have HURT with just a brain bucket on! Hope your friend gets better. Bikes can be replaced, people can't. Rob Kammerer 2002 DR-Z 400E, plated | 2001 Yamaha Vino | 2000 Yamaha YZF600R 1969 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk IV | 1967 Austin Mini Super DeLuxe