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I need two-up, full-luggage, and therefore top-heavy stopping/balancing technique advice.

I ride a GL1200. I’m also not very large, just 5’ 8” and 140 lbs. I can actually get both of my feet planted squarely on the ground at a stop, so that’s not the issue. Also, I never have this problem when riding solo with light luggage load.

I just can’t seem to find the right stopping technique to stay balanced before putting my feet down when coming to a stop with two-up and a heavy load of luggage. If I end up too far off balance, I’m not going to be able to horse the bike back up with just one of my skinny legs!

Sometiimes I try just creeping up to the stop very slowly, but then I find that I have to keep balanced for a longer period of time before foot touchdown. Other times I try stopping more quickly, thus taking less time and distance to stop. That seems to work, but makes it harder to precisely coordinate the stop and foot touchdown.

Maybe my eyes are not focused on the proper thing. Should I be looking at the road surface fairly close in front of the bike, or should I be looking way more forward toward the horizon?

Also, any poor road surface conditions (gravel, steep hills, etc.) seem to exacerbate this problem, making it even more difficult for me.

Iwould appreciate any advice, tips, and suggestions. Thanks.
 

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Good morning Wingman - #1 - keep your eyes up, nothing puts a bike down quicker than looking at the road surface or watching the vehicle in front of you. As practice I keep my eyes on the traffic lites on the far side of the intersection. #2 - practice your clutch/throttle/brake techniique explained in the "Ride like a pro" CD from http://ridelikeapro.com . Then Practice, practice, practice. & Ride on.:waving:
 

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I had the same problem for a very long time.

Finally a friend that we ride with a lot noticed this while we were on a trip.

He observed that I was feathering to a stop and suggested that in the last couple of feet I should stop more abrubtly (I know my wording is not good but hope you understand).

Anyway, I've never had a problem since then. :waving:
 

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Well you should always watch the road, not fixate on it, but watch it just the same, especially at stops, intersections and things like that, you should though look well ahead, look for oil on the road or gravel, oil, antifreeze all those things ,are one thing that will really ambush you at stops.

It is just a team effort. It comes with doing. Your passenger has to learn to sit still, and not be moving around like a squirrel at stops. Miss Sandy still does it to me, just as I get to the stop and get one foot just about down she leans forward and taps me on the shoulder and says.........see that sign? A yard sale:D I have tried to take her there and sell her, no one has made an offer yet!!

Both hands on the bars in the beginning, at the stops or at a curve do not try to pre angle the bike into the turn, just keep it straight and up square with the stop. The leaning the bike into the curve and setting up for it at the stop will come later, for now keep it square, at stops learn to use the bars, turn the forks the bike will go right around the corner at slow speed. Both feet down and learn to use the front brake to stop a bit more solid at slow speed. As you gain experience you will find yourself using the rear brake only, for the last few feet at a stop. But if I have a new passenger, I also return to the two feet down mode, as one never can predict when they will decide to move around at the stop.

That is 90 percent of it. Your passenger has to learn to sit still at the stops, once you get going just about anything goes, but they have to sit still at stops.

Kit
 

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by the time I stop both my feet are ready to be planted (well usually.... and more so on my HD as the leg positions are different) I would get dizzy looking strainght down at the ground, but yes, you have to be aware of what is on the surface... and as mentioned stopping too slow can make it worse

I do find it a bit more difficult on the very rare occasion I have a passenger, but that is becuase I so rarely have a passenger anymore
 

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rcmatt007 wrote:
by the time I stop both my feet are ready to be planted (well usually.... and more so on my HD as the leg positions are different) I would get dizzy looking strainght down at the ground, but yes, you have to be aware of what is on the surface... and as mentioned stopping too slow can make it worse

I do find it a bit more difficult on the very rare occasion I have a passenger, but that is becuase I so rarely have a passenger anymore
Nobody will ride with you EH??????????? :D:jumper:;)
 

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When I first got the wing, my passenger (Tynerbelle) was all over the place moving about the back of the bike. This caused a few anxious moments, an almost dropped bike and issues similar to yours when stopping. We had a discusion about balance and when to lean and when not to lean and who was actually in control of the bike. Most of these issues went away.

We had moved up to the wing from a significantly smaller bike where we had no problems because we were so close we had no option but to move together. Once we were on the wing she had room to moveabout independently.

With practice and lots of miles we are once again moving as one although shestill tries to control the lean every now and then.

Peter
 

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Thank you, everyone,for the benefit of your experience!

I’m actually not a newbie. I rode for 30 years, the last 10 of which were on a GL1200 with my wife. Then we took a 10 year break. Now we’re back riding again. Maybe it’s that extra 10 years that makes the difference! My eyes and reflexes are both not what they used to be!

Thanks 96Apencade for the link to ridelikeapro.com. I have just read some of the excellent info there. My “bible” has been “Proficient Motorcycling” by David Hough. Great book. Motorman, on the ridelikeapro site has very good info as well. I’ll probably get his DVD. I do need much more practice on the friction-zone method of slow speed riding. Slow speed riding is not my strong suit. I’ll practice.

Thanks Wrongway for the insight on not feathering the stop. I’m guilty of that, and am trying to break the habit.

Thanks Kit for all your advice. However, I don’t need to sell my wife!:shock: She’s a good co-rider. She has taken a GWRRA co-rider education course and knows what to do and what not to do on the back seat. So, this problem is all on me!

Thanks again all. I’ll work on it.
 

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The Ride Like a Pro video is great. I too was off the bike for 8 years and needed some reminders. The video is easy to follow and comes with information on setting up a practice course.
I have improved my slow speed riding quite a bit, although I still have work to do. As every one says practice, practice, practice. I get a lot of that as I ride 25 miles to work every day.
Have fun and keep working at it - suddenly it will happen.
 

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wrongway wrote:
rcmatt007 wrote:
by the time I stop both my feet are ready to be planted (well usually.... and more so on my HD as the leg positions are different) I would get dizzy looking strainght down at the ground, but yes, you have to be aware of what is on the surface... and as mentioned stopping too slow can make it worse

I do find it a bit more difficult on the very rare occasion I have a passenger, but that is becuase I so rarely have a passenger anymore
Nobody will ride with you EH??????????? :D:jumper:;)
let her have her own liscence and see what happens!
 

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I found out really fast on our first long vacation ride about being top heavy. We practiced packing several times to get as much heavy weight down low.

The trip to Calhoun this year was another one that was heavy, with a tent and 2 chairs tied on the rack. :baffled:

Practice is the key, and having the wife trained. Nancy is a great benifit when we ride long distances. I have to admit that at 5'-0" there are times I need her to help meshift the weight up off the side stand. But once we are going it's all fine.

One thing I practice all the time is balancing when coming to as close as possible to a full stop without putting my foot down. Sure does help stopping when you can almost do a full stop automatically without using your feet.

Doing that gives me alot more confidence when moving slowly with traffic coming up to a light.
 

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have allways done the one foot down method my left foot and even with my long time away from riding it came right back to me when i started again. i know that i try to center myself on the bike because there are times i have noticed that im off alittle to one side and i notice it more in slow traffic because normally i can keep the bike up at a crawl in traffic but if im not centered im all over the lane, also as someone above mentioned dont fixate on things that will put you down quick, for me its more of a wide screen view, i have mastered the art of knowing exactly when to put the foot down and press the foot brake same time and my foot rarely ever moves at all on the pavement it has become a perfected motion, but i do often think that if i happen to loose my footing one day on a spot of oil or something on the road down i go because my weight is on that side now. Its something u have to practice over and over again but youll get it, whatever is confy for you will work, be safe not cool is my thought even though at times im also guilty of it...
 

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And don't forget to eat a few more cheeseburgers, you got 'a put some more weight on! :cheeky1:
 

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Not sure it this will help....I brake nomally...front and rear in unison, until the last few feet, shift into neutral.....finish with the front brake, both feet just skimming the pavement....once stopped, both feet down....Mick
 

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Foot traction isn't often discussed but I find a lot of older asphalt roadshave poor foot traction. The stones in the mix have been polished by years of traffic. If you come to a stop good footing can makea difference in maintaining balance.

A lot of time I ride with common shoes that don't have good traction on these roads. When I wear my Sidi riding boots the traction is much better. If you have loose gravel not much will help.

Running shoes would probably be better at the stop but offer poor protection in case of an incident at speed.
 

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I rode from florida to colorado, 2 up, wearing crocs....wet or dry....careful to stay out of the puddles left from AC condensate and oil slick.....
 

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One thing that makes it easier to come to a smooth, slow stop with a passenger is to stick your left leg out a bit just before coming to a stop. This will insure the bike wants to lean to the left so you won't have to worry about which way the bike might want to go as you stop and you can safely keep your right foot on the rear brake. I usually stick my left leg out at about a 45 degree angle to the bike with my knee pretty straight and my foot about twelve inches or so above the ground. Then as the bike comes to a stop I just lower it to the ground to hold the bike up. You should come to a complete stop before setting your foot on the ground. I come to a smooth stop slow enough that the forks don't rebound as the bike stops.
 

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So, in summary

--instruct your pax to stay still at stops

--don't fixate your vision

--study the gnd area at the stop site

--apply foot and hand brakes evenly

--use left leg out method to increase odds that bike will fall to the left(if you like that)

--when speed is near zero, can it with brake and put foot down when bike is STOPPED

--use good gripping footwear.



I will gear down and go to neutral if I know the stop will be long, but to avoid that embarrasing -vroom vroom- I usually just stay in first gear at the stop.
 

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wrongway wrote:
I had the same problem for a very long time.

Finally a friend that we ride with a lot noticed this while we were on a trip.

He observed that I was feathering to a stop and suggested that in the last couple of feet I should stop more abrubtly (I know my wording is not good but hope you understand).

Anyway, I've never had a problem since then. :waving:
My method also. Plus Imostly use the one foot stop. Which foot depends on road. I ride 2 up 95% of the time.
 
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