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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I vowed I was going to keep my Valkyrie stock. I decided the bike was perfectly fine as is and I would just enjoy riding it.

And then two things happened.

1. I was out riding with a mate and the narrow asphalt road ran out. It turned to mushy gravel and neither of us was keen to proceed. So we did U turns and went another way. Only it wasn't quite that easy. Easy for him, not so much for me. I struggled with the U turn and had to duck paddle my way around it. I was embarrassed. Never had to do that before.

2. I stumbled across Fast Eddie and Motojitsu:

https://www.motojitsu.com

"Shut up and practice" is his motto. "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable" he says. And I watched a bunch of his videos. And I had to admit: I needed to improve my slow speed skills on this bike.

So I've been out training every day for a week, all the while scared as **** that I would drop my baby. And then just yesterday, for the first time, I felt the handlebars hit full lock as I did some tight circle work. Wow! The sense of achievement was amazing.

And motivating.

Which brings me back to where I started. I'm breaking my vow. I'm going to mod my Valk. I'm going to take the passenger foot pegs off and put some frame sliders on so that I can REALLY get into Motojitsu on this thing. I want to be able to throw it around with ease. I want to feel total control. I want to be able to "do a Shrubbo" and scrape my pegs! Not to hoon, just to explore the delights of what this bike can really do.

I'm with Eddie. When you reach this level of control over your bike you're not only a heck of a lot safer out on the road, YOU ACTUALLY ENJOY YOUR RIDING SO MUCH MORE.

And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about, right?

PS: I'm 60 ... "never too old" is my motto ;)
 

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I watch his videos quite often. I know I should do more practicing and getting comfortable at low speed. This bike virtually balances itself at a stop. I just don't have that confidence, I could if I practiced. However, I have a hard time trying to convince myself to ride around in a parking lot instead of cruising the open road. The irrational fun side of my brain (The you have to get out and ride forget about your responsibilities side) convinces me that practicing in a parking lot on a rideable day is a waste. The logical responsible side knows better, but it usually loses out to the fun side especially when sitting on the valk. The dark side of the force is strong with the Valkyerie.
 

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I just can't do it... I occasionally will hold the brake/clutch and rev engine while almost stopped waiting for the light to soon turn green. I don't really want to be trying different turns while in a parking lot.

Bike is still too new so I need to get more time/miles under my belt AND then I'll work on slow speed stuff. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The irrational fun side of my brain (The you have to get out and ride forget about your responsibilities side) convinces me that practicing in a parking lot on a rideable day is a waste.
I know what you mean. But I've been using Eddie's idea of just doing 10 minutes of car park work at the end of a ride. Surprising what that achieves in a short time.
 

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great to hear this and after having this bike for 9 months i have longed achieved the locked circle after circle then reverse circle.

be sure to practice your panic stopping and make it is steps instead of going for full effect the 1st time and possible drop it. = Just trying to help all readers BTW

while you are going solo my wife and i have the two up panic stops down pat. without practice she would have pushed me so hard from behind it could have been bad.
Just Tips from and old man
 
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Best thing you can do with your Motorcycle. We bought the ridelikeapro cd made by a motor officer in florida. Then set up a rodeo 3 years in a row to practice. These exercises give you confidence and control. Motor man says b/4 he became a motor officer he made the same mistakes for 20 yrs b/4 learning to ride the right way. We set up u turns cone weaves and circles. Motor officer can do a 18ft circle. Average rider can do 24ft. Of course most have to qualify every year. As you found it is very satisfying to do this. No longer the rider that has to duck walk in and out of difficult parking lots. Three keys to manage are slip clutch, drag rear brake fit stability & look were you want to go. Look over your shoulder to make U turn and the mototcycle magically dies it. Have fun with it. Ride safe and enjoy.
 

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I actually went to the local dmv office in town. And practiced for the riding course to get my official endorsement, riding on a permit for now. The NC riding test seems pretty easy, but more importantly, the 30 minutes I spent riding slow has dramatically made an improvement in my over all feel for the bike, especially at low speeds, my turns are sharper, and I feel much more in control.

Still more to go, made it to lock a couple of times, but not sustained lock, so more practice. It would be nice to catch an intermediate or advanced riders course in my area but I haven't found one. All I have been able to find are entry level MSF courses, and at three consecutive days it's difficult to fit that in my fluid ever changing schedule.
 
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