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I started riding after a 15 year break. I am riding my old 2002 M750. I had it totally tuned, new tires, and purchased new gear. I’ve spent a couple of months in city traffic and parking lot practice. I’m confident with the slow maneuvers and city traffic but not doing well at speeds above 45, and I slow down too much approaching curves that are sweeping and easy. Part of the issue I’m running into is the gearing. I can go 45 in third and the gyro effect makes me feel planted. When I do into 4th the revs drop way down and that shakes my confidence for some reason. Any advice? I’m gripping the tank and trying to remind myself to look down the road. It’s a bit hard to practice highway riding as I feel I’m creating a hazard.
 

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Just keep practicing, and reminding yourself. I think you're on the right track. And it's better to be too careful and slow than the other way around. Also note that the bike you have is short, light, responsive, and has wide handlebars for easy turning, so it's going to be one of the most instantly reactive handling bikes out there, almost as twitchy, or "nervous" as a scooter.

I ride a 1995 M900, so very similar. These days I'm in a part of the country with real winters (New Hampshire) and have to put the bike away for 3 or 4 months every year. And every spring when I get it out, I feel a little bit like what you're feeling here. Even though I've been a daily rider for 33 years, over 400K miles overall -- and 27 of those years and 300K of those miles on M900 Monsters -- after not riding for even a few months, I feel what you're talking about. So for you, after 15 years, it's not surprising.

Concentrate on looking ahead, as you know, and on being smooth. You'll work it out.

PhilB
 

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Part of the issue I’m running into is the gearing. I can go 45 in third and the gyro effect makes me feel planted. When I do into 4th the revs drop way down and that shakes my confidence for some reason. Any advice?
It likes revs. Don't shift up so soon. Stay in third longer.
Don't worry about speed, it will come when you are more comfortable.
 

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Practice counter steering , the concentration of doing it right will take your mind off feeling nervous. As you enter a curve, focus on the exit. Push on the bar on the side you are leaning into, and prepare for giving throttle as you hit the apex. You don’t have to go fast to do this. You will speed up as a result of gaining confidence in the bike.
Monsters can be twitchy on the highway. Concentrate on relaxing, dropping your shoulders, and get comfortable with the bike moving around under you, yet basically stable. At times, when traffic permits , open it up a little and get comfortable with the bike at higher speed a minute or two at a time.
The bike will be less twitchy if sag has been set correctly. Make sure you do this. Plenty of good videos on YouTube on the subject.
Make sure the tire pressure is correct and wheel alignment is good. Either of these things can cause a twitch.
Go on rides as you do these things and get comfortable with the bike. Only practice can do that.
 

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Jack the front end off the ground and turn the bars lock to lock. It should be smooth as butter. Grab the forks and try to find any play in the steering head bearings. This is the number one thing that will cause a twitchy bike. Take the weight off the rear wheel and try to feel swing arm play, but it’s usually pretty hard to feel. Spin both wheels and try to find any play in the wheel bearings, that can cause scary handling and wandering, especially the front.
 

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Jack the front end off the ground and turn the bars lock to lock. It should be smooth as butter. Grab the forks and try to find any play in the steering head bearings. This is the number one thing that will cause a twitchy bike. Take the weight off the rear wheel and try to feel swing arm play, but it’s usually pretty hard to feel. Spin both wheels and try to find any play in the wheel bearings, that can cause scary handling and wandering, especially the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and advice. I’ll put the mechanical items suggested and stay patient.
 

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I started riding after a 15 year break. I am riding my old 2002 M750. I had it totally tuned, new tires, and purchased new gear. I’ve spent a couple of months in city traffic and parking lot practice. I’m confident with the slow maneuvers and city traffic but not doing well at speeds above 45, and I slow down too much approaching curves that are sweeping and easy. Part of the issue I’m running into is the gearing. I can go 45 in third and the gyro effect makes me feel planted. When I do into 4th the revs drop way down and that shakes my confidence for some reason. Any advice? I’m gripping the tank and trying to remind myself to look down the road. It’s a bit hard to practice highway riding as I feel I’m creating a hazard.
You should sign up for a riding course. Not sure what state you are in but never the less if you are practicing incorrectly then you are not helping yourself. Get into a MSF or a Total control course if your in Cai. Learn good techniques to practice. Also you can go to Motojitsu.com. Greg has tons of videos to and drills that you can set up in a Parking lot to improve your riding skills.
 
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