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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
I’m a rookie motorist along with being an owner of a brand new Streetfighter 848. Before this past week my experience on a bike was very limited (2-3 hours) but I just finished my Basic Rider’s Course that endorsed me to ride 649 CC’s and under. I plan on taking the test for 650 and higher in the next week or two but upon completing my course I came home and hopped on my bike. I road it around a little bit and then got some courage to get on the streets. Well to make a long story short, I put 27 miles on it and I now have some basic questions below…

1) When I bought my bike last week before completing my course, the salesman at the dealership said to never "dry shift". Does that mean to never shift up or down when the bike isn't moving? I ask because what if I need to make an abrupt stop and I’m in 3rd or 4th gear; can I pull the clutch and quickly downshift to 1st gear as I'm approaching my stop without "engine braking"? Keep in mind, I'm pretty new to the whole shifting concept on a bike and I don't want to develop any bad habits.

2) While I was shifting to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears yesterday I was usually doing it between 3000-3500 RPM. Is that too low or high? I know my Owner's Manual says for the first 1000km (600 miles) I shouldn't take the RPM above 5500 or so RPM, so I was trying to be careful.

3) This is in reference to my question above. What's the typical best RPM for cruising and maintaining speed? I found myself doing that around 3000 RPM.

Any feedback, tips, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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The 848 is to much bike for you at the moment....

But here are a few tips.... ride where you feel comfortable at. Never and I mean NEVER ride out of your league.. Things can get ugly very quick.

And second of all , don't concentrate on your rpm. Keep your eyes on the road !! You ride where you look. And you can keep your eyes on the many imbeciles in cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The 848 is to much bike for you at the moment....

But here are a few tips.... ride where you feel comfortable at. Never and I mean NEVER ride out of your league.. Things can get ugly very quick.

And second of all , don't concentrate on your rpm. Keep your eyes on the road !! You ride where you look. And you can keep your eyes on the many imbeciles in cars.
Oh believe me, I won’t do anything that’s outside of my comfort and skill level nor will I get too confident. I may have bitten off more than I can chew as far as the bike size but I honestly think it’s just a matter of becoming comfortable with the bike, trusting the bike, and like you said….don’t do anything outside of my skill level. I learned a ton in my course and I think one of the keys to safe riding is to continue to practice proper and safe techniques. Remember, usually accidents come from multiple factors, not just one. Always SEE (Search – Evaluate – Execute). =)

As far as the RPM levels, I guess I’ll just get a feel for those the more I ride the bike. As I said, yesterday was my first day on it.
 

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The really dangerous time comes a few weeks after you have started riding and get more comfortable. It is easy for someone to start thinking they have this riding thing figured out and get in way over their heads on a twisty road.

The initial fear and trepidation eases and while you can operate the controls and keep the bike upright, like a pilot it is all the unexpected stuff that only experience can deal with.

Consider your first 10,000 miles your learning period.
 

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1) dry shifting is shifting while the bike is off. The oil is not flowing through the gear box and might damage stuff. You CAN brake with the clutch and then shift down while stopped.

2) 3k 3.5k rpm seems a little low. it should be stumbling a little at those RPM. that being said if it feels good, stay there. Dont focus so much on RPMs and stop looking at the tach. Just focus on keeping the bike upright and getting used to the feel. Improve your clutch release off the line and brake constantly until you get used to them.

3) I would have thought cruising at around 4k would be ideal. But once more just focus on your technique, the bike will be fine.
 

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How well you ride is when things go wrong.. Someone in a car does something to be in your path; there is something in the road like debris or road kill or a turtle; or something hits you like a small gaggle of wasps who start stinging you or you hit a bird in flight. Etc etc so the time spent on the road develops these skills or a true defensive riding course with skills you work on... These things keep you safe for the long haul and always must be prepared for. Like driving a car when you don't think about driving and your brain is programmed to react and not freak out or freeze up, that's the point of where you can feel in control. Up until that point you have to really respect the bike as a ferrel cat that is glad to take food but will bite your ass in a heart beat just because it's a freakin ferrel cat and not to be treated as a house cat.... Ever. IMHO


Auto corect disabledh
 

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As noted it's about "feel". There are sweet spots to shifting that will become second nature shortly. Get out on a deserted road and try different things. You'll soon be able to "feel" that time to shift. It also depends on if you are cruising or getting on the fwy and gunning it.

Your worse case is going to be some driver that will run you down. Treat them all like that is their goal and always expect them to not see you. More people get in accidents from cars making a turn in front of you. It's amazing that people still, for some reason don't see a bike right before them.
 

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How well you ride is when things go wrong.. Someone in a car does something to be in your path; there is something in the road like debris or road kill or a turtle; or something hits you like a small gaggle of wasps who start stinging you or you hit a bird in flight. Etc etc so the time spent on the road develops these skills or a true defensive riding course with skills you work on... These things keep you safe for the long haul and always must be prepared for. Like driving a car when you don't think about driving and your brain is programmed to react and not freak out or freeze up, that's the point of where you can feel in control. Up until that point you have to really respect the bike as a ferrel cat that is glad to take food but will bite your ass in a heart beat just because it's a freakin ferrel cat and not to be treated as a house cat.... Ever. IMHO


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+1

And always keep an eye out for Chupacabras.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The really dangerous time comes a few weeks after you have started riding and get more comfortable. It is easy for someone to start thinking they have this riding thing figured out and get in way over their heads on a twisty road.

The initial fear and trepidation eases and while you can operate the controls and keep the bike upright, like a pilot it is all the unexpected stuff that only experience can deal with.

Consider your first 10,000 miles your learning period.
Oh trust me, I’ll do my very best to make a conscious effort of what’s around me and stay safe every time I get on that bike. Thanks for the advice with the first 10,000 miles.


1) dry shifting is shifting while the bike is off. The oil is not flowing through the gear box and might damage stuff. You CAN brake with the clutch and then shift down while stopped.
Thanks. I watched a down shifting video on YouTube shortly after making my post and I said to myself "Awesome, I'm doing it the right way with engine braking as much as I can.

2) 3k 3.5k rpm seems a little low. it should be stumbling a little at those RPM. that being said if it feels good, stay there. Dont focus so much on RPMs and stop looking at the tach. Just focus on keeping the bike upright and getting used to the feel. Improve your clutch release off the line and brake constantly until you get used to them.

3) I would have thought cruising at around 4k would be ideal. But once more just focus on your technique, the bike will be fine.
Now that you meantion it, the bike did stumbing a bit around the 2500 - 3000 RPM crusing zone and seem to stop when I increased to 4000 RPM. I think the thing that was freaking me out was possibly taking above 5500 RPM, something the Owner's Manual strictly says to avoid the first 1000km.


How well you ride is when things go wrong.. Someone in a car does something to be in your path; there is something in the road like debris or road kill or a turtle; or something hits you like a small gaggle of wasps who start stinging you or you hit a bird in flight. Etc etc so the time spent on the road develops these skills or a true defensive riding course with skills you work on... These things keep you safe for the long haul and always must be prepared for. Like driving a car when you don't think about driving and your brain is programmed to react and not freak out or freeze up, that's the point of where you can feel in control. Up until that point you have to really respect the bike as a ferrel cat that is glad to take food but will bite your ass in a heart beat just because it's a freakin ferrel cat and not to be treated as a house cat.... Ever. IMHO


Auto corect disabledh
Awesome advice! I definitely respect my Streetfighter 848 (Bumble Bee) and I love your cat analogy. LOL


As noted it's about "feel". There are sweet spots to shifting that will become second nature shortly. Get out on a deserted road and try different things. You'll soon be able to "feel" that time to shift. It also depends on if you are cruising or getting on the fwy and gunning it.

Your worse case is going to be some driver that will run you down. Treat them all like that is their goal and always expect them to not see you. More people get in accidents from cars making a turn in front of you. It's amazing that people still, for some reason don't see a bike right before them.
I agree, I'm already starting to develop that sense of awareness and defensive driving skills.


How many of you really follow the Slow, Look, Press, and Roll technique with cornering? It’s been hard for me to keep the throttle steady throughout the whole turn. I’m so used to slowing down into a turn and then accelerating out of in….
 

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Hell of a starter bike, but good luck and be safe buddy. IMO it's too much though.

I test rode an SF 848 today and fell in love. What an amazing machine. Now I just have to sell my MH900e and that bike will be mine. No doubt. It's everything I've wanted in a naked/streetfighter bike.
 

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I started riding on a brand new Harley Sportster in 2004 and hadn't ridden before. While it didn't have near as much power as the SF 848 it did weigh about 600 lbs. I think you've done the right thing by taking a training course and taking the next advanced course b/c you get to learn things in a somewhat protected environment. I took the test to get a permit (no riding test req'd for that) and then by taking the MSF intermediate course I was qualified for a license.

What I learned on that first bike was that you can't ride as well as you think you can, the bike doesn't react the way you think it will all the time and you are going faster than you think you are. Remember to look ahead 4, 8 and 12 seconds (or whatever they teach now), keep plenty of distance and ride defensively. By following the break in period it will help you from getting too stupid with the throttle.

I try not to shift below 3500 if not 4000 and I try to cruise around town in that same range.
 

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How many of you really follow the Slow, Look, Press, and Roll technique with cornering? It’s been hard for me to keep the throttle steady throughout the whole turn. I’m so used to slowing down into a turn and then accelerating out of in….
You need only follow those very basic "step-by-step" turning instructions until the bike is following the line that you want and expect it to through the turn.

It's a simplified version of what really happens and is meant to establish the basic mechanics of a proper turn, once you can actually negotiate a corner and keep it between the lines you'll be better off just trying to be smooth and relaxed through repetition of the actions.

As others have said, don't worry about the rpm's or shift points.....you'll know very soon by feel where you are and what to do. Try to find a mature, experienced rider to spend some time on the road with.....nobody that will want to pass you or leave you in the dust showing off.

When you ride with others, don't lock in on the bike in front of you, look beyond him to the next corner/intersection/car. If possible spend some time leading, you'll need to be able to judge cornering speed and pick your lines yourself and following someone tends to make new riders just tag-a-long without having to make the important decisions for themselves.

Have fun and be safe :D
 

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I know I know….this is why I need to be extra conscious on the bike and respect the hell out of it!
If you were closer I would be glad to help you out. I sold one of my bikes to a guy who came out of an MSF course to buy his first bike and while in my custody he only got some road rash a broken ankle and some broken parts on the bike.. :eek: All within 1 day of riding the bike.
 

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If you were closer I would be glad to help you out. I sold one of my bikes to a guy who came out of an MSF course to buy his first bike and while in my custody he only got some road rash a broken ankle and some broken parts on the bike.. :eek: All within 1 day of riding the bike.
Ouch! Well I've already beat him out but let's try not to jinx me. :)
 

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Something that hasn't been mentioned is your mental/pbysical state.

Be sharp.

In aviation, you have to be mentally SHARP. I know its the same with all dangerous equipment. And to be mentally sharp your body has to be well rested, well fed, with no emotional upsets, no fighting with the wife or kids, someones sick... just don't go till your heads in the right frame of mind.

No one even gets near the equipment if they are tired.

In helicopters, 93% of all accidents are pilot error. Only 7% is equipment failure. I'll bet it's something dramatic like that for motorcycles too.

So make sure your head is clear.
 

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In helicopters, 93% of all accidents are pilot error. Only 7% is equipment failure. I'll bet it's something dramatic like that for motorcycles too.
With motorcycles, many of the accidents are the fault of the user, sure, but much of it is related to traffic errors outside of the rider's control (other drivers). Helicopters don't deal with much traffic.

Still, your point is entirely valid and very important -- if we ride without being fully aware (which can be related to a lack of sleep, or stress, or alcohol, or pure negligence of responsibility) there's an accident waiting to happen.
 

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With motorcycles, many of the accidents are the fault of the user, sure, but much of it is related to traffic errors outside of the rider's control (other drivers). Helicopters don't deal with much traffic.
Of course you are right, and yet some people dont get in accidents at all, car or bike. Not as many Multi stradas have been wrecked percentage wise as R6's. 21 year olds get in more accidents than 41 year olds. And some people don't get in accidents at all. So in a dangerous environment, applying maturity, intelligence and taking ever increasing amounts of responsibility, can take riders so far down the road of safety, that maybe they will never have an accident.

I don't know if it is actually possible to Never have an accident, but I think assuming that it IS possible to never have an accident, is The starting point if it is going to be acheived.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Something that hasn't been mentioned is your mental/pbysical state.

Be sharp.

In aviation, you have to be mentally SHARP. I know its the same with all dangerous equipment. And to be mentally sharp your body has to be well rested, well fed, with no emotional upsets, no fighting with the wife or kids, someones sick... just don't go till your heads in the right frame of mind.

No one even gets near the equipment if they are tired.

In helicopters, 93% of all accidents are pilot error. Only 7% is equipment failure. I'll bet it's something dramatic like that for motorcycles too.

So make sure your head is clear.
Oh I agree 100% and I’ve been doing my very best to have a clear head once I get on that bike. Another thing I’ve tried to avoid is Rush Hour traffic. I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to throw myself in the mix of a bunch of crazy Utah drivers during those hours! :)
 

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I agree that it's impossible to avoid an accident given enough time on the road. You can be a perfect defensive driver but it's the other guy who'll get you. However, being the perfect defensive driver will help you avoid accidents.
 
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