Dumped my bike for the first time today.

by Liz

I finished the Riders Edge class the end of April and bought a Sportster 883 Super Low on May 5th. I tried out about 7 or 8 different bikes before I was sure about the feel of this one. I have been riding around the new developements with tar and no houses for the past couple of days 30 mins each day following my husband and doing ok. My biggest challenge is a 90 degree turn to the right. Today on a 90 degree turn to the right I didn't look ahead like I know I'm supposed to do and I went off the road and tipped over. I'm ok, a few scrapes and bruises, my new bike is about the same as me, a few dents and scrapes. I picked it up, got back on and rode home and did fine on the next right turn. I was taught practice and patience. I am definately going to try the gum thing too. My plan is to go to an empty parking lot and only practie right turns until I'm sick of them. I'm glad that I stumbled upon this website, it definately makes me feel like I am not alone in this new rider thing.

Comments for Dumped my bike for the first time today.

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Oct 10, 2014
dumped mine too in world record time
by: Mike

Don't feel bad at all...I dumped my new Iron with 9 miles on it!...LOL. Dented the tank busted the shift peg scratched the side panel...have a huge bruise on my leg...I was totally ashamed...but no need to be...this is all a learning experience. The first person I told said...so??? Everyone does it. Just be safe and chalk it up to learning something. Ride safe!

Mar 11, 2014
by: China D in Vegas

I've bought an 07 Sportster the weekend before I took and passed the MSF course. Well, I've dumped him twice. Once when a lil red car came whipping into the apartment complex, i got nervous and dumped him on the left hand side. I then rode alone for about 36 miles out of town, got to my destination and at a complete stop, I braked too hard, too fast, and put my right foot down and down i went with my bike. I was so upset with myself. I rode back home, not shaken but I did face my fear of riding on the freeway AND hit 80 mph in comfort. I'll be going to a parking lot and practicing my stops. Friends tell me to use BOTH brakes and ease into the stop, stop being so quick to drop my feet. BTW, I've never rode before the class.

Oct 13, 2012
58 yrs old, 1200 sportster, scared to death!
by: Anonymous

i tried riding my husband's softail deuce - way too big, dumped it in the driveway - broke stuff, yuck. So husband goes out and buys me a 1200 sportster - clutch is really, really hard to pull in - so he's getting a power clutch kit -supposed to make it 40% easier to pull in - hope it helps. Also considering a superlow seat. we live in a pretty congested area, so i hate going out and worrying about the cars in back of me - i'm having a hard time stopping gracefully because my right leg is stronger than my left and i naturally want to support the bike with my right leg, which totally messes up the stopping using the rear brake thing. not giving up, but am worried i just am not strong enough to do this...

Jul 07, 2012
There is hope!
by: witchypoo44

Hi....hope this might help! I bought my sportster low new in 2010 before i got my license...loved how i felt sitting on it....feet flat on the ground thought it was a good fit! HMMMM boy noooo one told me about TOP HEAVY!!! I felt like i was fighting it to keep it up every time i needed to turn right or left didnt matter ....hated this bike, looked at other bikes like the fat boy lo and soft tail slim with a more balanced weight distribution....but damn they are much heavier...so after threatening to buy one my husband took matters in his own hands and worked some magic on my sportster low....lowered the back end 1 inch and then raked out the front end only 1/2 an inch and i cannot believe the DIFFERENCE... i could just scream what took him so long to do this!!!! This bike is amazing now i DONT fear riding it anymore and turns arent scary now!!! It feels so much more balanced.....i am a happy lady now!

Jun 19, 2012
by: mimirunzz

It is very possible the bike is too much. And too top heavy. If I can find a way to get a smaller bike I will but don't know that I can. I am taking it tomorrow to get and engine guard put on. Gonna be embarrassing to take the bike back within a week of buying it with more dings and a broken clutch handle and brake handle. Sigh. Oh well. I am sure my bike won't be the first they have seen damaged. Thanks for the encouragement.

Jun 19, 2012
start small
by: NatalieV

First off I want to encourage you not to give up! Keep practicing in the parking lots as you have been.

It is possible your Sportster is too heavy and too much motorcycle at this time. I'm a small gal at 5'5". My first bike was KLR 250. The reason I started that small is so I could pick it up if no one was around to help me. Learning to kick start went a long way to building strength in my legs and even my arms became stronger. I kept this bike for 6 years along with taking the safety class. I became disontent with the power... or lack thereof in my 250 so I jumped way up to a 1200 xb Buell in 07. Even though the KLR was a dual sport, street riding is hands down my favorite.

Is there a chance you can borrow or purchase something smaller to get your confidence up with? Also, you could practice picking up any bike by having someone carefully lay it down on some grass where you can just learn how to pick it up over and over.

Chin up sister :)

Jun 19, 2012
New rider and dropped my bike several times
by: mimirunzz

I just bought a sportster 883 and haven't taken the motorcycle class yet but am signed up for August. I thought I would let my bf be my mentor for starts. He is an excellent rider and I have been riding with him for the past 5 years (back). He made it look so easy. Well it is not so easy for me. I can't seem to make a left turn from a stop. I have dropped my bike 3 times in 4 times of riding. But it always happened when I tried to ride on a road. I have gone to practice in a parking lot and did not drop her. But yesterday when I fell I got hurt. I banged up my knee and my hand. I also banged up the bike. Broke off both the clutch and the brake. But they still work. Had to have help getting the bike up, and I was scared to try to ride again. But I did. My bf took me to a parking lot. I practiced starting and stopping and wide turns. Then I went home and cried. I have decided to stay in the parking lots for awhile. But I am wondering if I got the wrong bike to start with, although it is too late now.

Jun 05, 2012
great feedback
by: Liz

Thanks everyone for all your great tips and thanks for the honesty of being nervous. I have gone on a couple of practice rides since and the first one was awful....but the next one was better...and the next one better. In my new riders course they emphasized patience and practice. I didn't realize at the time those were the two most important things I would learn.

Jun 04, 2012
Dumped bike
by: Turtle

I have been riding now for over 200,000 miles and while I was learning to ride my motorcycle stayed on the groung as much as it stayed up. I spent MANY hours in a parking lot before I got out on the road. I ride a 05 road king, and I am 5'4" (NOT lowered) and a 12 road king (NOT lowered). Someone below suggested the ride like a pro video to you I bought this video when I started and practiced everything it said It's great. Get in a parking lot and practice all your slow spead manuvers along with braking until you are proficient. Start from a stop, put your foot lightly on the rear break,look where you want to go, ease out on the throttle and out on the clutch. Start making u-turns inside of 3 parking spaces then ease down to two. By placing light pressure on the rear break when you are making your turn you are controlling the motorcycle and it helps to make a tighter turn. If you need to until you learn how to drag the rear break start in a streight line. Put your foot on the rear break, ease out on the clutch, ease open the throttle, get up to a fast walking pace dragging the rear break, when you get up to that speed, stop never taking your foot off the rear break, and NEVER touch the front break with the wheel turned, If you do down you will go EVERYTIME. Hope this helps.

Jun 03, 2012
Everyone has or will dump the bike
by: Turtle

I have been riding for years and there are those who have and those who will dump their bikes. I do competition riding and most of the time I compete against men. My motor spent most of the time on the ground until I finally learned how to ride so you are not alone. Like you said get in a parking lot and do what you fear most! If right hand turns scare you that is what you practice. From a dead stop (like at a stop sign) put a little pressure on your rear break, turn your head and LOOK where you want the motorcycle to go, ease out on the clutch while giving the motor a little throttle. This is the technique you use while at a stop sign. If you are just practicing right turns try the same technique and try to make a u-turn in three parking spaces and work yourself down to two. Always, keep your eyes UP if you feel yourself start to make a mistake just look up and where you want the motor to go. At first you can keep the motorcycle straight up then start to lean a little with your turns. With practice you will be making perfect u-turns. Now that you have the dreaded drop behind you you can really start to ride.

May 26, 2012
Thank You
by: BrendaB

Thank you for all sharing so honestly. I dropped my bike on a left hand turn from a stop. Stalled out and over I went. I rode the rest of the way home pretty shaken up (no bumps and bruises) for me or the bike) and took 2 weeks off. Partially due to time and partially to fear. I had my boyfriend ride my bike over to a parking lot today and I froze up. Rode around a bit, felt so shaky I just stopped. Cried. Tried again. Stopped. Cried. I feel like such a wimp. I need to get out again. I'm also considering maybe taking the beginner's riders course again. I have a newer bike (Suzuki Intruder 800) that rides more like a chopper than my last bike (81 Yamaha XS400). I'm just so uncertain of myself. What do you tell yourself before getting on to boost yourself?

By the way, I'm buying gum!

May 25, 2012
Dropped my Buell
by: Natalie V

I cannot tell you enough how relieved I was to read that other women riders have done the same thing as myself. I have a Lightning XB12ss I bought in 07. My bike was backed up against a curb (mistake) and on a hill leaning right, I swung onto the saddle, tried to stand her up and out slides my right foot on slippery unseen substance. Tried to hold her up, but down we go. Broke my right mirror and blinker, bent my footpeg, too. I was extremely embarrassed, my hubby rushes to help me pick her up and I rode straight home. The worst part of it...we were at the Ducati dealership where my husband bought his bike! I had managed to not drop my bike until March of this year. Not wanting to develop a fear, I rode and practiced hill parking the day my parts were replaced. Loving every minute I ride...stress therapy.

May 24, 2012
I know the feeling!!!
by: Marsha C

I am also new to riding. I have had my license for 2 years now but hubby surprised me Fiday, 5/10/12, with Victory Vegas. I rode good, according to my standards until sunday. Went out on the streets to a school parking lot and dropped her on the left side. I have scrapes on my arms and legs and a hurt left hand. Luckily I had help with picking her back up but I have to constantly tell myself that I have to get back on her. Right now I am scared but I also have to wait until my hand feels good enough. It is so refreshing to know so many women are out there riding and going through the same thing.

May 12, 2012
Gum chewing
by: Liz

I read on the forum lots of riders talk about chewing gum. I know it reduce stress and helps with concentration so I figured I might as well try it!

May 11, 2012
your fall
by: Patty

Well, you got your first one out of the way without much damage, so I hope you learned something from it. Of the ladies I know who have Sportsters, they've all laid them down a few times because they're top heavy. I'm sure you feel like it's a good fit, but just remember to lean like you learned to in class and watch the gravel. Curious, though - what is the gum trick?

May 06, 2012
Must have been the day for dropping them
by: Colleen

I was in my own driveway yesterday - maneuvering it around and Boom down she went. On her left side. I see we all have 883 or 1200 superlows in common.
I have been riding for over a year and have about 1000 miles on this one, I hit a lip on the pavement/driveway overlap space and it just bobbled over.
Ok, the coolest thing was I used the methods I saw on Youtube for a Garage party for HD and used that method to pick up my bike all by myself. Yippee! I felt like a warrior! No damage to my bike at all and just some road rash and black and blue marks on my leg. I got back on her today and put another 100 miles on. Getting out of my steep driveway was the hardest part. Right turns are the trickiest for me too, it's all in where you position your bike when you make the turn.
I just ordered the ride like a pro DVD's I hope they have some good riding tips!
Keep up the riding ladies! You ride the machine the machine doesn't ride you.

May 06, 2012
A little right turn trick
by: Di

You will be fine my suggestion to you though is to go to a empty parking lot and one with the big light poles in it pick one pole and start going in big circles around it . Keep your head turned to follow the pole focus on the pole and the next thing you know you will be two arms lengths away from the pole it will truly amaze you on how much more comfortable you will feel once you do this . Good luck and ride on ;)

May 06, 2012
It happened to me too:)
by: Anonymous

I am lol (at myself) as I read these comments. I have always loved motorcycles. It is a passion of mine. I dont own my own but it is my life ambition to get one. That day is coming soon. But back to the matter at hand....I took the Riders Edge Motorcycle Traing class in February. I fell on the second day of the class. I passed because I fell due to no fault of mine. However, since that time I have obtained my licese and rented a bike to ride with friends. While I had the bike I rode out on my own to go pamper myself and get my mani/pedi done. Some guy sees me on the bike and yells out the window "Hey girl you look good on that bike." I got a big ole smile on my face. I was stopped at a stop sign and when it was my turn to go (making a right hand turn) I hit it and ran into the median and over i went with the bike on top of me. As I lay there the guy that yelled out the window was the one that was picking the bike up off of me. Luckily there was no damage to the bike and I got up and rode off. I laugh to myself everytime I think about it!!!

May 06, 2012
Been there, done that!
by: Karly

Oh my goodness, I totally know the feeling! I'm still fairly new at this too and also bought a Sportster. For one, they are top heavy. It does take practice and that is how I mastered right hand turns, in the parking lot! It took a couple of days but practicing there gave me the confidence I needed. I also started chewing gum because I had read how well it worked to calm nerves. It really does work! Even though I'm out there on the streets now, I still chew it as it helps me to relax. You will get it, I am living proof! Keep up the good work, I'm so impressed you got right up, picked it up and rode it back! That is awesome in itself!

May 06, 2012
by: Karen

Everyone practices horizontal parking. Now that you KNOW what that's like --and you picked it up yourself?!? yea! -- you don't need to fear it as you go, so you can loosen up.

I've been amazed how quickly people will stop to help me pick it back up ('cause with my first bike, I couldn't). Best advice? Have them hang there that extra minute while you make sure it actually STARTS again.

Ride On!

May 06, 2012
Glad that is over with!!!!
by: Bernice

Well, you have dumped your bike, bad to say but I am glad you have done it and have it over with!!!!! You have done the right thing and got right back on, or else you probably would have never done it again should you have waited a day or two. Any time you have a sharp right turn to make, in preparation, you should get as far left as you can, which will take the sharpness of the curve down a bit. When making a sharp left turn, get as far right in the lane to do the same. I like the 883L HD, which is a good bike to start with. It has great handling, is lighter than some of the other bikes, and can keep up with the larger bikes. That is what I started with. The only fault I have with it is the high center of gravity, causing you to have to use more of your upper body to maneuver it. I changed to a softtail fat boy with a lowering kit and I can now control it from my knees down. Yes, it is a bigger and more heavier bike, but handles twice as easy, and will change you from a sportster class to a touring class bike. Keep up the practice, always look ahead and plan accordingly. Never ride without fear or get brave, because it will take away your natural sense of self protection.

May 06, 2012
Dumped mine too!
by: Tina

Liz, I too finished the MSF class April 1st, got my 1200 sportster a couple of weeks after that. I started riding to work since it isnt too far. one day while leaving work I was at a stop on a slight hill taking a left out of our parking lot (left turns are much easier for me than right) well I stalled and over I went with my bike landing on me. A guy leaving work was right behind me, he jumped out of his car freaked out, I said I am ok, I was more embarrased than anything but I got on my bike and ride home, I was told everyone will dump their bike and probably more than once, at least we got our first one out of the way! It gets easier on the turns, just have to get out there, be safe and remember when you are on your bike, you are invisible to everyone! Good Luck!

May 06, 2012
by: Peggy

I bought my Sportster Superlow last year and being new to riding, I also dumped her several times. I spent several months in parking lots and switched to super reduced reach seat and helped me feel more in control of bike. I am now venturing on to the streets. Don't give up! I love my bike and you will love it!

May 06, 2012
Dont give up!
by: Kelly C

Liz, dont give up! The more you practice, the better you'll be, and it will build up your confidence. Take your time and dont rush. Good luck and have fun!

May 06, 2012
sheeeet happens!
by: Anonymous

sounds familar! i dumped my bike 4 times in the first three months of riding, now it's been a year and a half and everything great! just get back on and keep trying, it will all come together for you soon! it's well worth it!

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