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Any tricks to riding the bike in heavy traffic people care to share? Stop & go traffic does not bother me as much as superslow traffic that never stops. I find that even more tiring.

I have a 2005 M1000S that is a bit tall for me, but I can get my toes down. I find it hard to be stuck in traffic on a hill going up. Sometimes I lean to the left and leave my foot on the brake while waiting to for traffic to move. It's sort of tiring to keep holding on to the clutch & hand brake when I am facing uphill in traffic. Sometimes I'll coast downhill in neutral unless I'm going to slow for traffic.
 

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Shooter said:
Lane split....carefully.
+1

but while splitting I rev the engine pretty loud. Sure it burns gas but I love the sound of my pipes and it's louder than the horn.
 

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do a lot of wrist exercises.

(i'm the wrong guy to ask about what to do if you're a bit short. i'm 6'2", and do not know these secrets. ;) )
 

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If you do a lot of stop & go consider dropping one tooth in the front sprocket, or go up two in the rear. It'll make it a lot easier to go slowly without lugging the motor and won't impact your top speed much.
 

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goldenchild said:
+1

but while splitting I rev the engine pretty loud. Sure it burns gas but I love the sound of my pipes and it's louder than the horn.
+1

Michael Moore said:
If you do a lot of stop & go consider dropping one tooth in the front sprocket, or go up two in the rear. It'll make it a lot easier to go slowly without lugging the motor and won't impact your top speed much.
+1 on the 1 tooth less also. as soon as my stock sprocket-chain is kaput i´m going 14T on the front as I do commute in heavy, slow traffic and have to filter through stopped vehicles.
 

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Shooter said:
Lane split....carefully.
I usually don't lane split, in fact I have only tried it once when riding with a buddy who did it and I just followed. Some vigilante mother-f#%ker swung his door open at me and almost sent me into the car in the lane beside him. Prior to that, there was no problem or danger to anyone. We weren't slowing anyone else down, just getting ourselves through faster. This guy couldn't stand someone getting something he couldn't and had to stop it. I don't care what it does for the reputation of motorcyclists, I regret not stopping and at least telling that cork-soaker what I thought of him.

Be careful.
 

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i rarely split lane too. the few times i have done it are when traffic on the freeway comes to a complete stop. this morning was one of those times. while lane splitting at about 15 mph (i won't split lane over 20mph) i could see some driver's looking irritated (perhaps envious too). i tried not to make any eye contact - feeling guilty that i was able to coast through the highway "parking lot" while cagers had to sit & wait.

there had been rare occasions in the past when a cager would intentionally close the gap to prevent me from lane splitting. so my advice is, if you have to split lanes try to keep it slow & watch for envious cagers.
 

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if you split with any regularity you'll learn that you can actually watch the cagers in their left-side auto mirror. you'll get a lot of info about what they are about to do, if anything, by watching them in the moment before you're going to be between sheet metal. helps a lot.

this is also another reason why splitting only between the #1 and #2 lanes is ideal.
 

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TerribleTabo,

I'm 5'7" and I ride an 06 999S in Southern CA. I feel ya on the heavy traffic thing. I touch the ground fine but find that my left hand gets pretty sore from the clutch work. This is what I do to try an help myself out a bit. I try to stay in one gear and just keep moving. If I'm in stop and go traffic I either split lanes or shift into N quit often.

Mac
 

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Lane splitting is only officially legal in California, so be careful before you do it. Here in Detroit you really won't be able to get between more than 6-10 cars before you get the opening squeezed by a vigilante driver.

But the :police: will be after you for lane splitting in most of the country.

That said I spend a lot of time crawling around the rush hour traffic here in Detroit. I tend to wait for a while during stopped times, and let a larger gap create between me and the car in front of me. Then I can rest for a while, and make a regular acceleration into the gap in front of me before coming to a stop again. It really helps out a sore clutch hand. Most drivers seem to understand. If it's a really hot day, and traffic is really slow, I might be found riding at 10-15mph up the shoulder. Since it's an air cooled bike, I can always tell the officer the bike was overheating and I was just heading to the next exit.

But if traffic is that bad, I generally try to take a longer, less stressull route.

Justin
 

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NuTTs said:
+1 on the 1 tooth less also. as soon as my stock sprocket-chain is kaput i´m going 14T on the front as I do commute in heavy, slow traffic and have to filter through stopped vehicles.
Why wait? You can buy a 14-tooth front for less than $30 delivered from CA-Cycleworks and have it installed in less than half an hour. So what if it wears out when your chain is finished? It's worth it to switch right away.

As for techniques for stop and go traffic up hills, I'll put the bike in neutral if I'm expecting to be stopped for ten seconds or longer, then I don't move forward until I have more than a car length to move. If it's really slow traffic, like at the west entrance to Yosemite National Park, I'll turn the bike off occasionally while I'm waiting.

It's really easiest to start on a hill if you're holding the bike in place with the rear brake, rather than the front. Don't feel embarrassed by having to switch feet a couple of times to let off the foot brake, get the bike in gear, then go back to the foot brake before moving forward. At least that keeps your left hand from cramping up by holding in the clutch for too long.
 

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my advice... just tuck and roll!! [laugh]

but seriously... just be careful.
 

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I have one turn slightly down hill turn that usually backs up on the way to work and I usually put the bike in neutral and see how slow I can go without putting a foot down. Also use your rear brake to slow while you are doing this..it doesn't get as tired as your hand on your front brake. It's amazing how slow you can go without putting you foot down if you really try.
 

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Its no fun to ride a 400pound bike in slug traffic. With my mottard I make it home(3.6 miles) in 5 minutes no matter how slow or fast traffic is.
 

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I love my monster but it easily the most difficult bike I ever owned for riding in heavy traffic. Using the back brake for hill starts is a good idea but it doesn't come naturally, easy to lose your balance on a steep hill. If I can I will do almost anything to avoid a steep hill start. The other thing is the clutch hand. I can't believe how sore my hand gets. By necessity I do a lot of riding on half clutch. This makes the hand worse and is probably not good for the clutch. Recently I found if I close the throttle on half clutch and then fully release the clutch the bike will limp along in first gear without stalling. The other advice about changing the sprockets is OK if you have access to mechanic or are a bit of a techy yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Michael Moore said:
If you do a lot of stop & go consider dropping one tooth in the front sprocket, or go up two in the rear. It'll make it a lot easier to go slowly without lugging the motor and won't impact your top speed much.
I was wonder if lugging the motor in traffic was really that bad? How long does it take before you see the effects? I am still at 800 or so miles, just got the bike a few months ago & didn't really have a chance to ride it too much due to injuries, travelling, etc...

I don't quite understand the concept of dropping 1 tooth in the front sprocket, and how it helps but I guess I'll look into having it done when the weather gets warmer.

I know it's bad, but sometimes I hold the clutch in and coast a bit in traffic. It just seems easier to do.
 

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have you installed an aftermarket clutch slave to reduce level pull effort? makes a big difference.
 

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TerribleTabo said:
I was wonder if lugging the motor in traffic was really that bad? How long does it take before you see the effects? I am still at 800 or so miles, just got the bike a few months ago & didn't really have a chance to ride it too much due to injuries, travelling, etc...

I don't quite understand the concept of dropping 1 tooth in the front sprocket, and how it helps but I guess I'll look into having it done when the weather gets warmer.

I know it's bad, but sometimes I hold the clutch in and coast a bit in traffic. It just seems easier to do.
Lowering the front one tooth lowers the final drive gear ratio, allowing you to go slightly slower for the same revs (think of the granny gear third inner chainring on a mountain bike). Many people find this means a more useable second and third gear in traffic. You theoretically lose some top speed in fifth (five speed) or sixth but that's way above legal speeds anyway.

David B.
 
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