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Hi ladies! I just bought a Gixxer 600 2009 a few weeks ago and I am slowly getting used to riding her(yes it's a girl!). I have only ridden her in a parking lot and then my closed community neighborhood ( late morning when most people are at work or school and streets are relatively empty). I have already dropped her twice and thankful that I my gixxer buddy had cages installed on her. Only slight scuff to rearview mirror on one side.

My main issue right now is starting and stopping and being comfy with shifting and clutch control. I never drove a stick car so I don't know the nuances of shifting. I rode a scooter for 7 years way back but had no worries about shifting there. I constantly dump the clutch though I am getting better.I guess now that I have dumped her twice doing the same thing..at a stop..just starting her and then I dump the clutch, stall and because i am preparing to do a slight turn...her weight is to one side..I can't keep her up and she drops. I think it is combination of letting go of the clutch before I have her rolling. does not need much throttle so I think I am rolling and I am not. Then i forget about the clutch.

Does all this get easier??? I am sure there is some learning time and a healthy amount of fear is normal..I am just frustrated that I cannot finesse this part. I am great on straightaways..can fly and love leaning into turns..always loved that even on my not so nimble scooter!

The other issue I have is bruising on my shins and calves. My gixxer friend is baffled..but I think why my calves are bruising is when I have my feet down on ground and as I brake my calves go back to the pegs..or if I am walking her back, I do that. Anyone have this happen? Guys are suggesting round pegs rather than stock ones which are sharper but not sure that would help. Not sure why I am being weird and bruising!


If anyone has thoughts..please let me know!


:)

Patty
 

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Don't Mind Me - Just Snoopin' Around
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Hi ladies! I just bought a Gixxer 600 2009 a few weeks ago and I am slowly getting used to riding her(yes it's a girl!). I have only ridden her in a parking lot and then my closed community neighborhood ( late morning when most people are at work or school and streets are relatively empty). I have already dropped her twice and thankful that I my gixxer buddy had cages installed on her. Only slight scuff to rearview mirror on one side.

My main issue right now is starting and stopping and being comfy with shifting and clutch control. I never drove a stick car so I don't know the nuances of shifting. I rode a scooter for 7 years way back but had no worries about shifting there. I constantly dump the clutch though I am getting better.I guess now that I have dumped her twice doing the same thing..at a stop..just starting her and then I dump the clutch, stall and because i am preparing to do a slight turn...her weight is to one side..I can't keep her up and she drops. I think it is combination of letting go of the clutch before I have her rolling. does not need much throttle so I think I am rolling and I am not. Then i forget about the clutch.

Does all this get easier??? I am sure there is some learning time and a healthy amount of fear is normal..I am just frustrated that I cannot finesse this part. I am great on straightaways..can fly and love leaning into turns..always loved that even on my not so nimble scooter!

The other issue I have is bruising on my shins and calves. My gixxer friend is baffled..but I think why my calves are bruising is when I have my feet down on ground and as I brake my calves go back to the pegs..or if I am walking her back, I do that. Anyone have this happen? Guys are suggesting round pegs rather than stock ones which are sharper but not sure that would help. Not sure why I am being weird and bruising!


If anyone has thoughts..please let me know!


:)

Patty
I'm no lady, but we all started out somewhere. I learned my shifting in a car first, then bike shifting on my first beater bike back in the early 90s. I pretty much jacked up a transmission thinking that you could be going 50+ mph and click down until you're back into neutral w/o hurting the transmission, like you can in a car ( neutral in center ).

Anyways, yeah the feel of the clutch gets more natural the more you ride. Your body will gain muscle memory and know how far to go out to the catch point then you just slowly release as you give it a little throttle. It's just practice! :)

I'm a tall guy ( 6'3" ) so I can't really comment on the bruising, as I've never run across the situation. :(

But as far as the clutch goes, just keep at it. It'll get better each time!
 

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Shifting will get more natural with time however I don't think you are working with a very forgiving machine to help you along with learning. Sport bikes are very touchy and sensitive to any input so slow speed maneuvering along with insecurity with the clutch and shifting are working against you.

If you have a place where you can take an MSF training course please do so. There is no value placed on the things you will learn in that class! In fact, the slow speed maneuvering and clutch control are a big part of what they will teach you!

As far as the bruising goes if you're short like I am (5'5") it's probably coming from your legs resting agains the rear sets when stopped or backing up!
 

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For the bruising, get some decent ridingn boots. I had bruises on my calves/shins from walking it. It doesn't take much from a peg to bruise, and round pegs won't help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Shifting will get more natural with time however I don't think you are working with a very forgiving machine to help you along with learning. Sport bikes are very touchy and sensitive to any input so slow speed maneuvering along with insecurity with the clutch and shifting are working against you.

If you have a place where you can take an MSF training course please do so. There is no value placed on the things you will learn in that class! In fact, the slow speed maneuvering and clutch control are a big part of what they will teach you!

As far as the bruising goes if you're short like I am (5'5") it's probably coming from your legs resting agains the rear sets when stopped or backing up!

Hi! Thanks for your thoughts! I actually just took the MSF course just before I got the bike..and I did learn on one of the little 250 cruiser bikes they typically teach on. I did have the same issues with starting and stopping but with the slow speeds and short course length..I managed. I actually dropped my course bike doing the exact same thing I did on the Gixxer..so the slower, smaller, non sport bike didn't really help the situation I am in. I think it really is just about finessing the clutch/throttle combo when starting to roll again. I am so afraid to dump the clutch that I hold on tight..but I DO actually need to let it out a little to get moving..then I think it is figuring out the timing on opening the clutch, starting to roll and giving it some throttle to really get going..AND not managing to totally let go of the clutch before I have some significant movement.

As for coming to a stop...I figured out my problem where I was told to squeeze the clutch, squeeze front brake and step on rear at same time..well..I figured out I was doing all three at same time..and of course stalling because I was using the front brake squeeze as my limiting factor..was only squeezing in clutch as far as I could squeeze brake. So I finally did it where I squeezed in clutch THEN squeezed in brake and stepped on rear...I still sometimes once stop..forget my hand is on clutch and release it and stall it..uggh..BUT my stops are getting better.

Also glad to hear I am not alone on bruising (from other posts) My legs are nowhere near the rear pegs..just the rider pegs...I think just when I brake and put my feet down on ground..my legs push back against my pegs and then bruise. Unless I get pegs made of marshmallows...don't think I can avoid this..


Thanks so far for posts..I really appreciate it!


Patty
 

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If you have access to a 4-wheeler with a manual transmission, it would be a great practice tool. I'm currently trying to teach my wife to ride, and we've started on her dad's quad. It's the exact same concept, with slowly releasing the clutch, and applying the throttle. She can practice starting and stopping for hours, without the chance of dropping the bike. Once she's completely comfortable with the starts and stops, then I'll let her on my track bike, to combine those skills with ballancing and turning a bike.

Good Luck, and keep practicing!
 

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Other Russ, The No Name Homo Butt Pluggee
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1 There is no need to use your rear brake. That will give your brain one less thing to think about.
2 You can adjust your clutch to a more comfortable point where you dont have to pull the lever in as much
3 You also can adjust your throttle

Basically if you are at a standstill you can let out on the clutch without even giving it gas if you let out on the clutch lever slow enough.

Don't get discouraged. It just takes time :thumbup
 

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Don't Mind Me - Just Snoopin' Around
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1 There is no need to use your rear brake. That will give your brain one less thing to think about.
2 You can adjust your clutch to a more comfortable point where you dont have to pull the lever in as much
3 You also can adjust your throttle

Basically if you are at a standstill you can let out on the clutch without even giving it gas if you let out on the clutch lever slow enough.

Don't get discouraged. It just takes time :thumbup
Rear brake is good for some things, like slowing down on gravel and such... if you were going to have one lock up, you'd want it to be the rear and NOT the front. :dunno

Throttle is a big thing to adjust because there's usually a lot of free play between neutral (when you let go of throttle) to actual acceleration point.

I adjusted my clutch too, yeah. :thumbup
 

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I constantly dump the clutch though I am getting better.I guess now that I have dumped her twice doing the same thing..at a stop..just starting her and then I dump the clutch, stall and because i am preparing to do a slight turn...her weight is to one side..I can't keep her up and she drops. I think it is combination of letting go of the clutch before I have her rolling. does not need much throttle so I think I am rolling and I am not. Then i forget about the clutch.

Does all this get easier??? I am sure there is some learning time and a healthy amount of fear is normal..I am just frustrated that I cannot finesse this part. I am great on straightaways..can fly and love leaning into turns..always loved that even on my not so nimble scooter!

The other issue I have is bruising on my shins and calves. My gixxer friend is baffled..but I think why my calves are bruising is when I have my feet down on ground and as I brake my calves go back to the pegs..or if I am walking her back, I do that. Anyone have this happen? Guys are suggesting round pegs rather than stock ones which are sharper but not sure that would help. Not sure why I am being weird and bruising!


If anyone has thoughts..please let me know!


:)

Patty
Hi Patty,

Practice does make perfect and if you get a chance to go to a riding school (other than the MSF) do so :) In the mean time I would continue in the parking lot and just practice letting out the clutch nice and slowly. You can even do this without the bike on, just put it on the sidestand, sit on it and practice letting the clutch out nice and slow until you have the hang of it.

Another thing you can do is when you come to a stop, put your left leg down and turn your hips INTO the tank as this makes you much stronger. I'm only 5"3 and ride all manner of bikes without being able to touch the ground and it is because of this small tip.

One last suggestion that may help with your fear of stopping and of dumping the clutch is to take a look at what you are doing with your vision. How far ahead would you say you are looking? When you come to a stop do you allow your eyes to drop and look just ahead of the front tire? What if you tried to keep your eyes up and bring your vision to at least 20 ft in front of your bike, would that help? Try it and let us know.

As for the bruising, I have been riding and racing for 10 years now and no matter what I ride or what boots I have on I constantly have bruises on my calves. I think when I put my feet down the peg just hits it and by the end of the day I have bruises.

Ride safe!!!

Misti
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For the bruising, get some decent ridingn boots. I had bruises on my calves/shins from walking it. It doesn't take much from a peg to bruise, and round pegs won't help you.
I currently wear the icon superduty 2's and 4's which are above the ankle. I could consider to the knee boots..but not sure I want to wear such high boots that may restrict my movement. I came up with a few possible solutions. Found the Icon shin/knee guards..which don't really protect the calves but would the rest of teh area. The other option I found was neoprene sleeves that go around bottom of leg..more of a compression garment...but may at least add another layer of protection under my jeans..we shall see..if that doesn't work..then I look at herman munster boots!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you have access to a 4-wheeler with a manual transmission, it would be a great practice tool. I'm currently trying to teach my wife to ride, and we've started on her dad's quad. It's the exact same concept, with slowly releasing the clutch, and applying the throttle. She can practice starting and stopping for hours, without the chance of dropping the bike. Once she's completely comfortable with the starts and stops, then I'll let her on my track bike, to combine those skills with ballancing and turning a bike.

Good Luck, and keep practicing!
ohhhh....what a great idea....I wish I did have access to a 4 wheeler! Your wife is lucky to hone her clutch/throttle control skills on 4 wheels...
 

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Rear brake is good for some things, like slowing down on gravel and such... if you were going to have one lock up, you'd want it to be the rear and NOT the front. :dunno

Throttle is a big thing to adjust because there's usually a lot of free play between neutral (when you let go of throttle) to actual acceleration point.

I adjusted my clutch too, yeah. :thumbup

Hi! Thanks for the input. We were taught in MSF to use BOTH brakes when coming to stop...I have a moto friend who tells me he ONLY uses rear brake to come to a stop..at least just regular easy stops at signs and lights. So I get differening opinions and that messes with my head even more! What is best? grrr...

My friend did adjust my stock clutch a little already and now it is not as hard to squeeze in. Seems like now I am better at easing it out as opposed to it kinda "snapping" open if I ease off of it. We actually did also order a set of pazzo levers..the longer ones..not shorties...seems like they may be better for me to handle..smaller than the stock ones. So we shall see.

There is alot for you to remember in comparison to my old scooter days..and without previous manual transmission experience...it is all new to me..
 

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Hi Patty,

Practice does make perfect and if you get a chance to go to a riding school (other than the MSF) do so :) In the mean time I would continue in the parking lot and just practice letting out the clutch nice and slowly. You can even do this without the bike on, just put it on the sidestand, sit on it and practice letting the clutch out nice and slow until you have the hang of it.

Another thing you can do is when you come to a stop, put your left leg down and turn your hips INTO the tank as this makes you much stronger. I'm only 5"3 and ride all manner of bikes without being able to touch the ground and it is because of this small tip.

One last suggestion that may help with your fear of stopping and of dumping the clutch is to take a look at what you are doing with your vision. How far ahead would you say you are looking? When you come to a stop do you allow your eyes to drop and look just ahead of the front tire? What if you tried to keep your eyes up and bring your vision to at least 20 ft in front of your bike, would that help? Try it and let us know.

As for the bruising, I have been riding and racing for 10 years now and no matter what I ride or what boots I have on I constantly have bruises on my calves. I think when I put my feet down the peg just hits it and by the end of the day I have bruises.

Ride safe!!!

Misti
Misti! Thanks so much for your thoughts! Women like you inspire to NOT give in to the fear of finessing this. Once I am going..I could probably tear it up on the racetrack (well..okay maybe not soon!) but eventually I have to come to stop and start again..my only fears right now!! or confusions.

I think what you are describing about moving your hips as you drop is what another "height challenged" moto gal suggested..kinda sliding your butt slightly to one side, which would swivel the hip in so she is flat on the ground to that one side but not really leaning over that much. I am 5'5" and would need just a slight amount to get down on flat feet.

I will pay attention tomorrow when I practice all day what I am doing vision wise. Right now I am probably doing as your describe..not looking ahead that much..probably looking down or only slightly ahead of my bike. I am getting better with stops..starts are psyching me out because that is when I have dropped the bike!

And soooooo glad to hear that someone else bruises..especially someone like you! Not that I am happy about your pain..but the guys around me think I am doing something bizarre to cause the bruises because they never do it but I bet has to do with our shorter stature and not being able to position our legs more forward of the pegs as we come to a stop..as soon as my feet go down..the pegs are already right there against my calves! I don't think that will change..so I have to work with the bruises!

Thank you!....you rock!!!

i will keep you all posted on my progress!!


Patty
 

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Hi! Thanks for the input. We were taught in MSF to use BOTH brakes when coming to stop...I have a moto friend who tells me he ONLY uses rear brake to come to a stop..at least just regular easy stops at signs and lights. So I get differening opinions and that messes with my head even more! What is best? grrr...

My friend did adjust my stock clutch a little already and now it is not as hard to squeeze in. Seems like now I am better at easing it out as opposed to it kinda "snapping" open if I ease off of it. We actually did also order a set of pazzo levers..the longer ones..not shorties...seems like they may be better for me to handle..smaller than the stock ones. So we shall see.

There is alot for you to remember in comparison to my old scooter days..and without previous manual transmission experience...it is all new to me..
On a sportbike, the front brake provides way more than enough stopping power. The rear brake is typically used for offroad excursions and such or by advanced track riders to settle the bike down. For now, you don't need to worry about the rear brake.
 

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Welcome to the forums. :D Take the advice these people are telling you here. Lots of good advice on here.

:cheers

Looks like most of the advice has been covered here. So just saying welcome. :D

Actually one piece of advice, replace the cage with sliders.
 

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Welcome to the forums. :D Take the advice these people are telling you here. Lots of good advice on here.

:cheers

Looks like most of the advice has been covered here. So just saying welcome. :D

Actually one piece of advice, replace the cage with sliders.
Hi! Thanks! yes...soaking in all the advice here..I appreciate it all! So..cages vs sliders? My friend is a stunter...has cages on his bike..he figured that I would be better with cages..given my squidliness...we talked about changing them out for sliders..eventually...I really don't know the difference. All I know those cages saved my new bike from getting damaged in both drops! I know it will limit my leans..and some ground clearance as well..but in drops..will the sliders result in more damage than cages?? I KNOW I will drop her again! I plan on the inevitable!! Grrrrr
 

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Hi! Thanks! yes...soaking in all the advice here..I appreciate it all! So..cages vs sliders? My friend is a stunter...has cages on his bike..he figured that I would be better with cages..given my squidliness...we talked about changing them out for sliders..eventually...I really don't know the difference. All I know those cages saved my new bike from getting damaged in both drops! I know it will limit my leans..and some ground clearance as well..but in drops..will the sliders result in more damage than cages?? I KNOW I will drop her again! I plan on the inevitable!! Grrrrr
In a lowside accident where the bike slides, the cages can potentially do more damage. The sliders are better suited for that. They are made to absorb the impact of the fall and wear down as the bike slides across the pavement.
 

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In a lowside accident where the bike slides, the cages can potentially do more damage. The sliders are better suited for that. They are made to absorb the impact of the fall and wear down as the bike slides across the pavement.
Given that she is still dropping it at low speeds and in a parking lot and at stops and such practicing, she is probably better off with the cage for now. But when she really gets out and starts riding the road a lot, she needs to get sliders because you are right about the cages. They transfer more energy to the frame instead of absorbing it, but currently a cage is saving her body work and engine covers, etc..
 

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Given that she is still dropping it at low speeds and in a parking lot and at stops and such practicing, she is probably better off with the cage for now. But when she really gets out and starts riding the road a lot, she needs to get sliders because you are right about the cages. They transfer more energy to the frame instead of absorbing it, but currently a cage is saving her body work and engine covers, etc..
I was about to mention that. :D This is why stunters use cages. Because they stunt and fall at low speeds in the parking lot. At higher speeds a cage can catch, throwing the bike into a tumble.
 
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