Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Re: First time on the highway today.


So I was riding around today on my new KLR 650 and thought today would be the day I take it on the highway for the first time.

I stayed in the right lane and got off at the next exit. Did it several times today. Im a very new rider so it was kind of a big deal to me as I was a little nervous. I have heard of people saying they had concerns of this thing maintaining highway speeds so also wanted to test it out as far as speed. I got up to about 70 mph or so and maintained between 65-70 at about 4000-4300 rpms. Being tall I had to lay down just a bit because it was very very windy today. I had a short burst or two up to maybe 75-80mph just to see how it felt.

I didint really try to even go that fast but was more focused on my riding than the gauges so was actualy suprised to look down and see that I was going that fast.

I rode for about 4 hours today and really enjoyed myself. Went into a couple empty parking lots to do u-turns, Did some city driving today also(lots of start/stops)Was about 55 degrees, sunny but again, very windy.


Anthony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Sounds like you're getting some great riding in today. Your comment about using parking lots reminded me that I need to get some parking lot time in on my KLR too - it's a great way practice all the motorcycle safety course drills like hard braking, counter steering, swerving, and slow speed maneuvers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like you're getting some great riding in today. Your comment about using parking lots reminded me that I need to get some parking lot time in on my KLR too - it's a great way practice all the motorcycle safety course drills like hard braking, counter steering, swerving, and slow speed maneuvers.
Hard braking and swerving are the next things I want to practice on next time im out which is hopefully in the next few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
Ahhh, memories. Glad you had a good time. Just remember, the KLR will go plenty fast so worry less about speed and more about maintaining the flow with traffic. Be carefull on strong winds, they can push you out of your lane if your not ready for them. Welcome to the road and hope it's a long love affair. :)
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
When you get in the wind, RELAX. If you stiffen up (which everyone does) then the wind pushes against you like a sail. Your arms input steering directions you do not intend and the bike will feel less stable. If you relax, the bike does its thing. Force yourself to relax and rely on the gyroscopic forces that want you to go in a straight line. Keep practicing and having fun! :)
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
And if you haven't, read Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. Trust me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,534 Posts
And if you haven't, read Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. Trust me.
Absolutely!!! I wish that was around when I first started riding. I see it as more a survival guide. I took a rider course (not MSF) in the early 70's that actually taught how to "lay er down" and some other things I have since had to un-learn.

Once you get your riding skills up to par the #1 piece of advice I can give is to trust NO ONE on the road to do the right thing, even OTHER riders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
Once you get your riding skills up to par the #1 piece of advice I can give is to trust NO ONE on the road to do the right thing, even OTHER riders.
Big +1 I've lost count of the drivers who've looked right at me and still pull out in front of me as if I'm not there.:( Followed by the comment, "I didn't see you", when I chase them down and give them 6'4" of pissed off motorcyclist. :12a: :21a:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,511 Posts
And if you haven't, read Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough. Trust me.
I wholeheartedly agree. There are quite a few used copies in good condition on Amazon, etc. and you can get one pretty cheap. Great book: I re-reread it regularly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
All great advice!

I was a newbe almost 4 years ago. I got my motorcycle license via the 2 & ½ day safety course. Best thing I ever did and almost made up the cost in insurance discounts.

Highway speeds and wind intimidated me at first. Great advice is to relax and let the bike sway a little.

Assume someone is going to blow-off every stop sign and red light. Look both ways before leaving a green.

Good luck & have fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
The OP reminds me of when my (now) husband was learning to ride (and before we had moved in together). We would Skype each night and he'd tell me how he'd done parking lot drills, or how he finally leaned into a corner on his ride to work. It was so exciting to hear him learn!!!


As for David Hough, I can't recommend his books strongly enough. Some friends of mine have a podcast and recently interviewed him:
http://thepacepodcast.com/archives/1127
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,534 Posts
As for David Hough, I can't recommend his books strongly enough. Some friends of mine have a podcast and recently interviewed him:
http://thepacepodcast.com/archives/1127
Thanks for the link !!! I had time this AM to listen to the entire interview. Good stuff. It's a podcast so you can download to your iPod/Phone/Pad and listen at your leisure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
Re: First time on the highway today.


So I was riding around today on my new KLR 650 and thought today would be the day I take it on the highway for the first time.

I stayed in the right lane and got off at the next exit. Did it several times today. Im a very new rider so it was kind of a big deal to me as I was a little nervous. I have heard of people saying they had concerns of this thing maintaining highway speeds so also wanted to test it out as far as speed. I got up to about 70 mph or so and maintained between 65-70 at about 4000-4300 rpms. Being tall I had to lay down just a bit because it was very very windy today. I had a short burst or two up to maybe 75-80mph just to see how it felt.

I didint really try to even go that fast but was more focused on my riding than the gauges so was actualy suprised to look down and see that I was going that fast.

...

Anthony

You know that the speedo is optimistic yes? My 08 is 10% off at all speeds so 70 indicated is 63.

When I first got the bike I wondered why the cars were on my butt, then I got a GPS! :12:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
You know that the speedo is optimistic yes? My 08 is 10% off at all speeds so 70 indicated is 63.

When I first got the bike I wondered why the cars were on my butt, then I got a GPS! :12:
You mean I wasnt going that fast ? lol

Let me tell you, it was so windy that I thought I was going to fly off of it. I was quite nervous but figured if I did it on a windy day then a non-windy day would be no problem. Im not sure I completely have my stance correct yet. I may be to tense on it.

Do you guys sit strait up on the higway or do you lean foward a bit? Keep in mind im 6"7
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
You mean I wasnt going that fast ? lol

Let me tell you, it was so windy that I thought I was going to fly off of it. I was quite nervous but figured if I did it on a windy day then a non-windy day would be no problem. Im not sure I completely have my stance correct yet. I may be to tense on it.

Do you guys sit strait up on the higway or do you lean foward a bit? Keep in mind im 6"7
I slouch and sit upright depending on how my back feels (I have a bad back). You're tall, but the wind thing is really practice. You have to force yourself to relax your arms and shoulders and not white knuckle the grips. When you have it right, you'll feel it. And then sometimes you get into crazy wind and it's better to pull over. But a bike going freeway speeds wants to keep going. It does not want to fall over. Many gyroscopic forces at play. It's like riding in the rain. You don't realize how much traction you still have. It takes miles under the belt to get the confidence. But just work on it. When you get in the wind, RELAX. If it's raining, just ride (but remember that anything metal, paint, etc will be slicker than snot).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,534 Posts
Do you guys sit strait up on the higway or do you lean foward a bit? Keep in mind im 6"7
I try to slouch a bit and have even tried hanging a butt cheek off the seat into the wind. Nothing really helps in high wind. Like everyone else says just keep a loose grip, let the bike wander and keep it between the lines.

Equipment wise I've put on an Acerbis fender.....it may help some, but definitely looks much better than the OEM beak. Take off the hand guards and try it, made a noticeable improvement on mine and won't cost you a dime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Another highway session today. Todays practice ride was roughly 50 miles, half of which was on the highway.

First off:

I did relax and it made a big difference, even thinking to myself "relax" as the wind was blowing in my face.(with helmet of course).

Also, when I first started riding I sat closer to the gas tank with my crotch dam near on it lol. I did that because I was freaking SCARED and TENSE. Now I have slid back further and found where I should naturaly sit on it.

When the wind would blow me around I had a little slack in my arms and remembered you saying to just let the bike sway a little. Seemed odd when I read that but it really helped me keep better control.
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
Another highway session today. Todays practice ride was roughly 50 miles, half of which was on the highway.

First off:

I did relax and it made a big difference, even thinking to myself "relax" as the wind was blowing in my face.(with helmet of course).

Also, when I first started riding I sat closer to the gas tank with my crotch dam near on it lol. I did that because I was freaking SCARED and TENSE. Now I have slid back further and found where I should naturaly sit on it.

When the wind would blow me around I had a little slack in my arms and remembered you saying to just let the bike sway a little. Seemed odd when I read that but it really helped me keep better control.
Nice, dude! It's neat when those things click. You've got a bunch coming, too. Read, study, practice. And soon you'll be carving corners like you don't believe is possible right now. Stay in your comfort zone and listen to Mr. Hough...best two things you could do. And trust nothing on the road, unfortunately you can't trust all other riders, either. It's a video game where everyone wants you dead. Morbid thinking, but better than the alternative. Pay attention to the little things. Don't tailgate. Watch your mirrors. Know your breaking thresholds. Know when it is a bad idea to ride. Wave to other bikers. Even scooters. ;)

And check your oil more than you think you should.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top