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Discussion Starter #1
Purchased my first bike - used 2002 Katana 600 - 2 weeks ago and love it. I try to ride no more than 80% but I'm sure I push myself a bit too hard for the little experience I have with motorcycles (MSF course + 3 months of riding). I got my first real scare yesterday going into a corner. I was flying down a straight at about 55/60 and decided to make a left. I got on my brakes a bit too hard and my back wheel locked up and swung out to my right. I recovered and made the turn and slowly made it home.

My problem is now every time I lean the bike into a curve or turn a corner and get on the throttle, I feel like my back tire is going to squirrel out from under me. The tires look great, proper psi, and only have 3,000 miles on them. Is this just a rookie scare and it's all in my head?

Any thoughts / experiences?
 

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Not knowing all the details, I'd say it's one of those experiences that new riders have. You'll be better for it.

The scare happened because you locked up the rear. This happens when you're braking heavy on the front, weight transfers forward, and there's not much weight keeping the rear biting the road. As a result, too much rear brake locks the wheel and you drift.
The more weight that has transferred to the front, the less rear brake it takes to lock it up. For this reason, and a couple others, the rear brake is regarded by many (myself included) to be damn near useless. I use the rear brake, but only very lightly.
The rear has a small disc, so even under the best of traction, it's just not that good. Focus on the front, but remember, with enough pressure and traction variables being just right, you can lock it up too, and it's near impossible to bring that ship back after it sails.

I wouldn't be scared while accelerating in turns. Your scare happened under braking, and it's a common mistake. We all did it one time or the other. You had a scare while braking, so don't be afraid of acceleration as a result. They're two very different animals.

Take things easy. 3 months feels like longer than it is. You have all the time in the world to push the envelope, just be cool and get the basics down for a while longer, then VERY gradually increase your risk taking. These bikes will put up with a lot, but when you cross the line they go from being wonderful machines to brutal uncontrollable bastards. Be safe and learn at a reasonable pace.

Cheers.:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot man. Some great information I needed to hear. I will deff. start using my rear brake a little differently.

Thanks for the chirp!
 

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If I may be so bold as to suggest...slowing down a tad...

You have plenty of time After, you become more accustom to the bike, and riding in general..to do some harder riding...;)
 

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I can give you a shorter answer.

Yes, I have experienced that, and it will (should) go away, eventually. Not much different than when you have anything happen that evokes fear, if it is a high enough level, there is always "residue" that can be triggered by similar circumstances. Having said that, if you do not find it subsiding after a year or so, it could be something more serious (post traumatic stress disorder).
 

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Find a parking lot, and go do some circles or figure 8's. Slowly increase speed, staying comfortable. If you body is clenching up, you are going too fast. You have to stay relaxed for a proper turn.
Realistically, you can give a whole lot of throttle in corners before the tire slides. Even after it does, it doesnt fall right away, its possible to drift the bike thru a corner much like a car.

The reason for parking lot circles is to gain confidence. You need to get to the point where you can tell what your tires are doing.
 

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Fuster: PTSD over a bike drifting through a corner? Pffft.:2cents: [/B]


Believe it, baby. :(
 
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