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Irrational fear? It's holding me back...

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Old 08-12-2017, 03:43 AM
CallMeChris CallMeChris is offline
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Default Irrational fear? It's holding me back...

I have a fear of dropping my bike during slow speed maneuvers and damaging it. Surely I'm not alone! I've rode before but the Heritage Softail I just picked up is the largest and heaviest bike I've been on and the weight intemidates me I guess. How did y'all get over this so you could really start practicing the slow speed stuff and show improvement? I know what to do...friction zone, rear brake, look where I want to go...but every time I get to the parking lot and start practicing dollar signs and shiny parts are all I can see! Lol. I didn't have this problem on the little Kawasaki Vulcan beater bike I learned on...I could whip it around just about wherever I wanted.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:05 AM
CZshooter CZshooter is offline
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Yeah, that's scary....I was like that when I traded my Sporty for a Road King. You'll get used to it...and enjoy it...i love my Road King.

Time in the saddle, and experience from riding will help a lot.

Take the MSF course...around here, they have one where you ride your own bike, maybe try that? The instructors I had were real good at noticing small things I was doing wrong, and gave me some great tips on improving my skills.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:10 AM
cookiemech cookiemech is offline
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I would not call it an "irrational" fear, because if you are afraid of the bike, you WILL drop it . . .

Have you watched the Ride Like a Pro videos? I don't recall whether the Heritage Softail has engine guards, but note that the RLAP people sell plastic snap-on covers for the engine guards so that if you drop the bike at very low speed, you won't damage the guards.

I don't recall anything specific I did when I first rode a heavy bike (2007 Road King, bought new) other than just riding it a LOT. Once I learned about its different weight distribution from, say, BMWs (plenty of experience on those), it was much easier to corner at very low speeds by just dragging the rear brake a bit.

Good luck in becoming more comfortable on it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:25 AM
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Ron750 Ron750 is offline
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What's irrational? It is harder. I went from a Vulcan 750 to a Ultra Classic. I was skidding the rear brake when panic stopping.

I called a local Harley dealer and asked him if he would do an advanced rider course. He said he would if he could get 6 riders. A few months later I took the Riders Edge Skilled Riders Course.

I had already improved by myself, but the course was worthwhile.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:43 AM
CallMeChris CallMeChris is offline
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It does have engine guards but the bags have been swapped to hard bags and there is no protection back there. They are custom painted to match the bike, guess I should remove them before getting too brave! Haha
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:34 AM
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jamesroadking jamesroadking is offline
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A little off the subject, I'm thinking of picking up a new Heritage but I just don't want leather saddlebags again. So, how much did it cost to change out the leather saddlebags with hard ones and who and what did the paint job cost? Could you show a pic of your bike? Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:47 AM
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Ludwig von Buzzthoven Ludwig von Buzzthoven is offline
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I got over the fear when I upgraded to a much better-handling bike.

I had a '15 Sportster 48. Great bike, but it's top heavy, and the overall handling is just kind of meh.

Upgraded to a Softail Slim, and the problem was solved. The Slim is almost perfectly balanced, it handles great, and is really responsive despite being about 100 lbs heavier than my old 48. It is amazing to me how slow I can ride the Slim before I feel the need to put a foot on the ground.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:49 AM
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Just go ahead and drop it get over the fear. **** happens if you step outside the safe zone once in a while.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:07 AM
81rat 81rat is offline
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Cut up some old garden hose ( or something of the sort ) and wrap the crash bar

get out and practice
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:12 AM
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You'll stop worrying about it after the first scratch.
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