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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow members,

I wanted to see those of you who owns the FZ09, what level or skils you got, do you consider your self a newbie, intermediate or skilled professional rider. The reason I'm asking is because I see every one here on the forum talks about how this bike loves to wheelie which I know it does, but for the unskilled rider that wheelie could turn into trouble. So do you do power wheelies just for your own joy or does it pop on you unintended? Or do you clutch wheels.
How long have you been riding before you got this bike. Did all of you owners done track days and what's your skill level.

I'll start by saying I'm not a pro nor a newbie, I would say I'm an intermediate rider that knows his riding skills and don't try to push my limits further because I'm scared of that. I've had this bike after having 3 others, gsxr750 and 1000 and a CBR 954 and then the Yamaha. So I've ridden a lot faster bikes and was never confident enough to take canyon turns the way others do or pop wheelies and be comfortable

what's the best way to build skills of riding to be able to control the Fz09 in full capability, the more you ride the more skills you gain, or push your limits or go to track?

Looking for advise and experiences and tips from the vets in here.
 

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From your post and your previous bikes....I know you have learned bad riding habits that prevent you from taking any additional risk. To fix that you would need one on one training like at an advanced track day. The Pros will show you how to fix the bad habits and advise you about bike setup. Those things will provide confidence and allow you to aquire better skills.
 

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I think a track day would help immensely. Some advice and instruction from a pro is a good thing. I was never much of a wheelie guy but the FZ insists. I don't ride one for miles I just like a good foot or two of air before ripping it through the gears. I remember first riding the canyons I was afraid to lean the bike too much but once you gain confidence you'll find it will lean quite a bit and not fall over. To me riding a bike in the twisties is what motorcycles were made for.
 

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New to The FZ, but been riding for over 3 decades. I have 3 suggestions for building up your skills,
the first (and most expensive) is go here if you can
Motorcycle Riding School - California Superbike School

the second is watch this movie and legitimately pay attention, its funny and entertaining but full of excellent tips

the third is read this article. the school and the twist of the wrist dvds taught me how to be fast, Nick Ienatsch kept me alive by teaching me where and when to use the skills acquired from Keith Code.
The Pace | Motorcyclist
 

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started riding back in 95 or 96.
im a good road rider, at least a dozen track days on few differnt tracks, and quite a few differnt bikes over the years, a superbike school, and maybe 25,000ks a year on the road for most fo that. Only got a car licence 3 years ago.
I learnt to ride better at trackdays than i ever did on the road - i still have pics of the scraped up footpeg, sidestand and exhaust of my vfr400. Did the superbike school to help get my mojo back after breaking my femur, tib and fib 6 years ago.
Practicing slow speed stuff, tight turns, tight circles, weaving, etc to get the feel of how far it'l lean helped a lot, especially for getting back onpublic roads.

And no, it doesnt wheelie when i don't want it to. I'm not awesome at wheelies (not completly crap either, but i wont win any stunt comps) so only under power. I'm much better on 2 wheels than one, and i still got caught out by a car a couple months ago.
 

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Hello fellow members,

I wanted to see those of you who owns the FZ09, what level or skils you got, do you consider your self a newbie, intermediate or skilled professional rider. The reason I'm asking is because I see every one here on the forum talks about how this bike loves to wheelie which I know it does, but for the unskilled rider that wheelie could turn into trouble. So do you do power wheelies just for your own joy or does it pop on you unintended? Or do you clutch wheels.
How long have you been riding before you got this bike. Did all of you owners done track days and what's your skill level.

I'll start by saying I'm not a pro nor a newbie, I would say I'm an intermediate rider that knows his riding skills and don't try to push my limits further because I'm scared of that. I've had this bike after having 3 others, gsxr750 and 1000 and a CBR 954 and then the Yamaha. So I've ridden a lot faster bikes and was never confident enough to take canyon turns the way others do or pop wheelies and be comfortable

what's the best way to build skills of riding to be able to control the Fz09 in full capability, the more you ride the more skills you gain, or push your limits or go to track?

Looking for advise and experiences and tips from the vets in here.
Having years of experience can be a good thing or it can be a very bad thing. Years spent doing the wrong thing, developing bad habits, etc, only contribute to making you an experienced rider, not a good rider. It's the same way with "target fixation"! It can be a good thing or a bad thing. Target fixing on the edge of the road while heading into a corner too hot will usually end up causing you to run off the road. Fixating on looking at your line and the corner exit will usually get you out of that situation. Developing good riding skills doesn't usually come naturally for most folks, myself included........especially me! I've been riding for over 43 years and I thought that I was a pretty good rider........until I went to my first track day. I soon learned that many of the things (bad habits) that I had been doing for years was not the proper ways to ride and in fact, was limiting me from making improvements in my riding skills. I didn't know any better until I was told, as most people don't. The big difference between you, and some other folks is that you aren't too proud to be asking and you also know that even though you've been riding for a while, there is room for improvement.

Doing track days with a good organization (one that is truly interested in teaching/helping you learn and improve, would be an invaluable first step towards improving your riding skills. It is obviously a controlled environment with minimal distractions (no cars, no slippery gravel/sand/etc, everyone is going the same direction, and there are no cops or other limiting factors to inhibit your will to learn.

It's just a suggestion, but I would do some research for a track day organization that is in your area and go out and watch a track day event and talk to anyone and everyone that you can about the activities. Find the director, talk to the coaches, speak with some of the participants........talk to the corner workers at the event if you get a chance.......they watch more track days than anyone else around
 

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Riding is an intellectual pursuit unlike any other. Seat time and mental discipline, with a little bit balls seem to help me get better.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the advise you guys have provided, twist of he wrist is a video that if watched over 4 times and it puts a little bit of info in my head while I'm riding especially target fixation. I I'll look into going to California speed racing school one day, when time and funds allow me. I'm trying to sort out what my bike needs before I go out again and ride after my healing is over from my accident, one thug I want to do is suspension. I spent a lot of money on making my bike pretty by getting lights and sliders which the sliders took most of the hit in my previous go down and it's something I dint regret spending money on, I wish I bought the suspension before he akrapovic CF exhaust though.
 
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If practical, get yourself a beat-up dirt bike and ride the snot out of it.

It's great for learning about marginal traction situations, body positioning, wheelies, countersteering, wheelspin... And the best part is that when you tip over, you're going slow(ish), on soft(ish) terrain, on a pre-beat-up bike.

Or perhaps the best part is that you can go out on it when it's too cold to go out on the street! Great for winter-time mental health.
 

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I went on the san diego fz ride yesterday and rode with a bunch of experienced dudes, i took my time and was usually dead last, but i road within my capabilities, stayed safe and had a lot of fun. At each stop i would chat with the dudes and get tips to improve my speed and safety, I felt more confident by the end of the day than I did at the begining. That was free, didnt cost me a penny, and was a super fun day. For the record, the only vehicle I have wheelied was my supped up buddy scooter, I have never wheelied the 09 intentionally or unintentionally, i always try to be aware of my clutch engagement and i rarely take it out of standard (i imagine i will ride in a mode more often as i get to know the bike more). i think there was a guy on this forum (i may be mistaken, i might have seen it somewhere else, wiser and more experienced users of the forum please correct me if im wrong) who cracked a bunch of his clutch plates into pieces doing clutch ups. So for me, im going to try to keep the stress off of my engine internals and not do wheelies so this great bike lasts me a long time. Momo818: have you had the yamaha fuel map recall performed on your bike yet? that will do a lot to smooth out the jerkiness of the throttle response, as I understand it (another thing that you can do that wont cost you a penny). Your reaching out to some real experts, a lot of the dudes on this forum have decades of riding experience and are not shy about sharing, sure, there are some knuckleheads that just like to get on the soap box and preach, that Daufcguy is particularly guilty of this, stay away from him at all costs ; ) keep it safe, rubber side down, brother
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well due to unfortunate incident around Xmas last year, I had a go down on the fz09 and its in the back parked since, because I'm healing and the dr didn't give me the okay yet to ride, but once he does. I want to get back on the saddle, learn from my mistake and do the flash recall along with hopefully upgrading my suspension. We live and learn and that's why I started this thread, to hear from others and experienced riders on how to best develop skills and ride safe with enjoying the bike and the sport to the full extent.

Ride safe everyone.l
 
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I did Superbike school last year Levels 1 & 2, since then my riding confidence has allowed me to have more fun going through corners faster. They don't teach you how to wheelie but how to mitigate wheelie's. Best way to improve riding skill is with repetition and to have someone follow you and help you make corrections. Super bike school is money well spent.
 
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I'm quite an experienced rider, a confident rider...and a fairly good teacher. I've been riding since I was 8, got my full license at 17... and have commuted full time, ridden road, dirt and track on weekends, long distance toured, and done a few years of club level racing. I'm 44 this year. In my opinion, dirt riding, trail or track is the biggest benefit to fundamental skills and confidence in all types of riding. And it's cheap and in most places, readily available. Trackdays are the next big boost... followed shortly by advanced courses such as CSS. Seat time, variation...and challenging yourself are the keys to constant improvement. I hope I never stop learning and improving. :)
 

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I know I will get some flack for this but, time spent on a track will only help you master the skill of riding fast on a surface that is perfectly smooth without any surprises or road hazards. This is not what you will encounter in the real world that will cause you problems. My advice is to learn how to ride on dirt. How to master staying up as your front tire unexpectedly starts to wash out or your rear tire breaks loose is best done on God's soft Earth with a lightweight dirt bike. Once you master the dirt anything you will encounter on the road will seem a minor inconvenience at best.

The deal is you can be taking a perfect line through a corner, perfect body control, knee dragging in harmony with the turn, only to discover Farmer Jones just distributed a lot of gravel with his tractor precisely at the apex of the turn and you just see it at the last moment. This is the real world of motorcycling.

My $0.02.
 

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FJ Rider.....There is some truth to what you are saying, but don't sell track experience short. I've been on tracks where all kinds of stuff have fallen of a bike, from body pieces, to go pro cameras, to rear sets, and complete chains. Learning how to ride at elevated speeds on a track, makes for easier object avoidance at lower speeds on the street. And just so you know, I got my start riding dirt for 4 years before I ever bought a road bike. My dirt riding experience saved my bacon a few times on the street.
 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned taking the MSF Experience Rider course yet. I suggest doing this first, momo. Around here they are taught at a local technical high school parking lot. There you will get one-on-one training with an instructor who is a veteran rider. Took it myself over 10 years ago, I think it cost a little over $100.

A track day will be MUCH MORE expensive, plus you will need full leathers and new tires.
 

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I think going back to basics is key. Before riding starts, I recommend reading Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist. No matter how much we know, or think we know, there's no harm in re-learning the basics.

146_0805_04_z+data_acquisition+traction_circle.jpg

Secondly, an advanced rider training course, or introduction to track program would be the next step. Learning how to operate yourself & your bike properly in a controlled environment is worth it.

From there, moving on to advanced track skills courses, and working on those proper skills on your own will make you a better rider. Don't just associate track riding with racing. Once you start getting comfortable using proper techniques at speed, you will become more comfortable with your abilities on the street at a normal riding pace. You will be able to instinctively react better to riding on the road, such as coming up on an unknown decreasing radius corner. Some of these skills just can't safely be taught on the street.

As for other riding skills on the street, some things just come with experience. Sensing when to roll off the throttle and cover your brakes, seeing cars and anticipating their reactions before they see you - some of those things will come with experience.

As for my ability, I feel comfortable riding on the street, but consciously try to never get too comfortable. I try never to trust other vehicles. I do ride the track often, but am only fast compared to most noobies :p

I don't ride dirtbikes, so I can't comment on how they are for learning street riding skills. I only comment from what worked for me.
 

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You have a good point FJ, rode dirt bike when I was a kid. But I do agree with Triple too. Track day give you the chance to push your limit in a controlled environment. In novice group there's instructors to help and always open to tag along to help you out.

I personally learn a lot in 3 track days. My riding skills improved by 75% easy.
 
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