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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there! I'm struggling. I'm brand new to the wonderful world of motorcycles. I'm a rather small gal - 100 pounds. I did take the MSF coiurse, but am having a rough time with my Sportster XL 883 as she is so heavy when I'm starting out from a stop in a tight turn. I found myself laying under her in the road on a curve at a stop sign and am a mess. I'm riding again with MSF this week, but don't know what the problem is???? I'm frustrated as hell. I can con weave and have no problems on their bikes!!!!! Passed no problem. Is it the weight? She feels "top-heavy" but I figured this was the best place to come for real people who ride this particular awesome bike. We all start SOMEWHERE. I opened her up and got her into fourth gear and felt a freedom I've NEVER KNOWN. It's the stops - pulling out with control and TURNING that are kicking my ass. I'm sick of hearing I CAN'T. I AM NOT GOING TO QUIT. So, since I'm committed, would love and appreciate some help from anyone who remembers LEARNING, WON'T PUT ME DOWN AS A "NEWBIE" AND IS WILLING TO HELP. I don't want to get scared of her. Going down at that sign on that curve scared me. The car stopped thank GOD, but I could NOT get her up by myself.......

Again, thanks for any support.
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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Sight unseen, the only advice I can offer is keep trying. Going back to MSF is a good idea, and your instructor may be able to give you some pointers on how to work out your problem with the starts. I'm working on an assumption that you are vertically challenged (eyes too close to the ground) so that will present problems to be worked out. It may well be that you will need to seek a bike that allows you to sit closer to the ground. I am not familiar enough with riding characteristics of your Sporty to be of much help, but again offer what encouragement I can to not give up. You will get the hang of this with enough help and practice.
 

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Sounds like your learning like the rest of us did,I learned in the dirt tho.Its all about balance and clutch control,don't be afraid to slip the clutch on those slow tight corners with a little higher RPM. Ya might wanna ride to a empty parking lot somewhere and practice those slow tight turns,and don't get discouraged you will be fine.
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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Sportys do feel a big more top heavy, but as long as you keep it on its center of gravity, its no heavier then a big bike. I suspect you've picked up one of my bad habits... too much front brake at slow speed, in turns. First time I dropped my King thats exactly what I did, in a turn at a stop sign.
 

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Outlaw Nipple Poster
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Sounds like your learning like the rest of us did,I learned in the dirt tho.Its all about balance and clutch control,don't be afraid to slip the clutch on those slow tight corners with a little higher RPM. Ya might wanna ride to a empty parking lot somewhere and practice those slow tight turns,and don't get discouraged you will be fine.
We call it "break torqueing". Keep the RPMs up, slip the clutch and feather the rear break. Takes practice, as MVious said.

Ronnie
 

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Outlaw Nipple Poster
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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you so much. You are right about the ground thing. That's where I WAS looking when I went down. I wasn't looking ahead and where I wanted to go....straight down and that's exactly where I went..... I never thought about that until now. They told us to look where we wanted to go. So, if I look at the ground I'm going to go there? Makes sense. Is the sporty a top heavy bike? Thanks so much for bringing this up. It makes SO MUCH SENSE TO ME NOW....."CLICK!"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. I'm lucky that there are only four riders this week. I talked to our Associate Director for MSF for our region. He's a really great guy. He's been cheering me on cause I'm a "peanut" with a lot of "gusto" I will focus on these issues and take the advice about the parking lot, too. The car coming around that curve was SOMETHING ELSE! It's not like your not feeling some type of way about your bike laying on ya anyway. Worried, shaking too much to know what happened in that moment.....then throw in the car. Yeah, messed up. I'll find a parking lot and practice the turns.
 

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Keep on Ridin’
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Hi Divagal -- And welcome to the forum from Baton Rouge!

Don't be discouraged. I admire your spunk! A Harley of any kind can be a handful for a smaller person. Probably why they developed the Street series. But the 883 is a very cool 'real' Harley and I agree with your feelings about it. They do have a reputation for being a bit high-centered, but you'll be able to ride it with the proper techniques and more experience.

Check youtube for the proper way to pick it up. You can do it! But you have to turn your back to the bike and use your legs. You'll understand it better in the videos. And it woul be a good idea to practice it in your yard wwhere you can lay it down without damaging it.

You're probably having more trouble turning right at the stop sign. That's because it's a much tighter radius turn than a left turn. So you need to "stretch" the turn radius. Move to the left side of your lane as you're approaching the stop and angle your bike slightly into the right turn as you come to the full stop. I don't mean just turn the front wheel. I mean get the whole bike oriented slightly into the turn before you come to a complete stop. Then when you take off you can get a little more forward momentum into the turn as you take off. Aim for the outside of your lane as you get through and complete the turn. Diagram it out on paper if you don't quite understand the concept. Momentum is the key. It helps stabiliize the bike. Your takeoff needs to be decisive.

By the way. EVERYBODY struggles with this as new rider. I'm a big man, and I went through exactly the same thing when I started. You'll get it!

--
 

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Your REAR BRAKE is your friend when you are a novice ! Go to a vacant parking lot & practice slow maneuvers over & over again . About an hours worth and you will have it down pat.

Now ,
Ride Safe & Ride Righteous !
 

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Welcome from Hilo, Hawaii. As was said earlier it takes practice. Its great that you are going back to MSF. You know the problem you're having so have the instructor work with you on that. You need to build up your self confidence. I don't know how many can say they never have dropped a bike, I did when I was initially learning. There was no such thing as rider education courses back then. Get back on the bike and don't give up.
 

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As previously said, look ahead. When making a turn from a stop, turn your head and pick a spot a good distance away from you. Always look well ahead of you. If you look at a hole in the road, you hit it.
Good luck,and be patient with yourself.
When you get a chance, go to Youtube and watch some videos "how to pick up a motorcycle". It's more technique than brute strength.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Found a great Harley Video for Women on lifting downed bikes! THANK YOU! I never dreamed a possibility. It's all in the legs and butt - thanks - this makes it much easier for me to ride now without having to call my neighbor for backup and yelling for help to get out of the road. I sure can't wait to get this turning down so I can start REALLY RIDING! There truly isn't anything like it, is there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
“Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering 'I will try again tomorrow”
 

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Living the dream
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Consider purchasing the Ride Like A Pro video series. There are several DVDs for all levels of riding skills & experiences. It offers refreshers from the MSF course that you have at your fingertips. Veterans & newbies alike here on the forum swear by it, including me.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Practice, practice, look where you want to go, not at stationary objects. May want invest in some crash bars. Helps to pick up bike and may help from damaging you and the bike if you tip over again. Ride safe.
 

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I haven't seen anyone suggest this as of yet, but find a nice vacant parking lot and then practice riding figure 8's and keep tighten it up as you get more and more comfortable with using your clutch and looking thru your turns. Oh and as mentioned previously, definitely get a set of highway bars on that bike, as it will save your engine case and your leg if you lay it down.
 
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