Question about 2007 Highland DesertStorm

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All wrong now what?

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I got fed up with the gas prices and started looking into a motorcycle. I drive 20+ miles one way to work and get 20 mpg from my SUV. My choices were to trade in the SUV and get something like a Prius or keep it and get a motorcycle. My first choice was the Honda Rebel. At 80mpg it looked really good. So I stopped in the local Honda dealer and asked. They are out of stock. He was pretty much saying that it was too small of a bike for what I wanted. Said it wouldn't last on the highway. Long story short I bought the DesertStorm I know first thing wrong. Buying before I take the MSF class. I also got a HJC full face flip-up helmet (i wear glasses) a Power-Trip armored mesh jacket Castle perforated gloves, and Mil-Spec flourescent green/yellow and reflective vest. I work on an Army post. The salesman took my out into the parking lot and started teaching me how to drive it. Very informative, but short lesson. After maybe about ten minutes my clutch hand started cramping and I started killing the engine. Before that I was able to get it going, turn, shift, and stop.We trailered the M50 and he towed it to my house, and I backed it safely in the garage. It was a good Bike day. Motorcycle Riding The next day I was going to drive it down the street to show it off. I got to the end of the driveway and waited till all the traffic cleared, and went to make a left turn. My balance wasn't keen, I had the clutch all the way let out, and put it in the ditch. There I was sitting on my bike in the bottom of the ditch still up right. Yea I didn't drop it. I called a friend to get my brand new bike out of the ditch. I knew that I didn't have the skills to get it out of the ditch, it was about a foot or so deep with steep sides. I know now that the reason that I ditched it was I didn't know how to work the clutch. Also I am scared of the throttle on take-off because it is really touchy on the low end. I am now practicing in my front yard. wide turns, left and right at about 5mph, and learning to feather the clutch to help with my balance. I have driven a car with a stick shift so my thinking has to change some. Slipping the clutch in a car, not good. Also I have bought a grip exerciseor to strengthen both hands, and street tires for my mountain bike (pedal) to work on my balance, and help strengthen my legs. Now for the question. What can/should I work on before the class? What can I do now to make it easier on me that I won't have to unlearn in the class? ,Don't practice before class. First off, you could be training yourself to do things you won't be allowed to get away with in class (i.e. bad habits), and secondly, it's easier to not already be used to the particular clutch on your bike, since the one you'll use in the class will be quite a bit different. I don't think the clutch control made you go into the ditch, not using the right steering technique and probably target fixation are what (probably)got you into the ditch. Also, be rather careful with street tires on the grass. I ended up lowsiding my bike in my lawn when I ran out of traction while trying to turn around my barn a little fast on a downhill left turn. Of course in my case a little fast ended up being around 15-20mph with a turn that I should've known better than try that fast. So tempting though, but I digress. I don't see where the M50 would be automatically too big as long as you understand what you're doing and do quite a bit of parking lot practice (after learning what to do at the MSF basic course). It's not like the individual is starting out on a race replica bike or anything.,,,

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

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