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I love love love my bike. However, I am having issues maneuvering through turns in parking lots and heavy traffic. I feel like the bike kind of delicate balance between sputtering and falling over, or giving it too much gas and flying off the road. In other words, the acceleration isn't all that smooth.

Perhaps this is due to rider error on my part, to which I will need to practice some more. Conversely with the inline 4, even though you could lose control due to there being more power at hand, seemed a lot smoother movement from stop to start. Therefore, it wasn't as much of an issue.

Thoughts?
 

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One thing I was struggling with was being okay with slipping the clutch. If I do that in a car it will roast so I had a mental block against it, but if you use the clutch and higher rpm in the parking lot that might help. I know I found it 10x easier than just the throttle. Full disclosure, I am a noob but that is what the MSF coaches told us in the class.
 

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It isn't you, or the bike. This is just a part of riding a heavy two-wheeler.

The best technique is to apply and hold a little rear brake when moving at very low speed. This has the effect of loading the engine a little, thus requiring a touch more throttle and revs, lifting the revs up above the stuttering region. Engine response should be more predictable, making tight turns much more stable.

It needs a little practice, so go find yourself a car park and spend a little time experimenting. You'll soon get the hang of it and wonder why you ever had trouble. ;)
 

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Not having that issue at all,,,the bike can be a bit jumpy if your in the wrong rev range, just tether the clutch slightly ( just for a moment as you give it some throttle) and you will avoid the issues you mention. The sputter happens when you are at too high a gear for the speed your moving at.
 

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its all in smooth clutch control..

this is easier and more efficient in traffic
if you rest your fingers on/over the lever..
if your not used to that, just practice when
you ride, fingers resting over lever
which is more relaxing and natural,
then lightly pull on and release clutch
lever.. just get the feel of that..

could be just riding down your street,
let brain and fingers get used to doing that
action, pulling on lever, letting it out again..
nothing will happen.. its only a moment..
[no need to pull it right in to bar]
\sometimes in traffic you might prefer to stay
in a certain gear for the traffic flow, say, second,
and not drop into first.. if traffic pauses or
whatever, you can simply take clutch in
even for a moment [plus perhaps touch brake]
before continuing on, clutch out, off brake..

this will become just an automatic response..

as jno notes, at very low speeds like parking lots etc
you mention or any very low speeds, its the reverse of
taking off etc, where brake is pulling you back,
even while engine moves you forward..

practicing very slow riding, walking pace,
is excellent and valuable general practice..
it can include trailing the rear brake,
such as in doing continuing small circles..
in suchlike engine is pulling, but you cant
let it take over, so higher revs are necessary
while clutch determines how much power
gets thru, while rear brake stabilises and
pulls back a bit from behind..

just practicing this, even one sesssion,
will make it obvious [thus easy]..
 

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Throttle control is just so-so on this bike for one thing, especially with a cold engine. The bike can sort of hesitate, then lurch a little. I mentioned this on the forum earlier and was of the opinion it might not be the best starter bike for that reason. It's no problem once you get some experience in slow speed maneuvering and can coordinate your balance using the throttle and clutch and possibly the rear brake (not the front). Some of slow speed turns is counter intuitive. One thing new riders have to learn is if the bike starts to fall inward, don't brake, but accelerate a bit to put the bike upright again. If you are having trouble, just practice. The light weight of the bike works to help small mistakes from causing you to drop the bike.
 

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throttle control is done by the controller,
whoever that is with hand on throttle..

it really is like any physical process..
where practice makes perfect..

even so, the other hand controls clutch,
which translates any throttle use
into power to the drivetrain..

when the two work [normally] together
it forms an automatic and natural
smooth forward movement..
 

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Mine will start rolling quite willingly with no throttle, just easing the clutch out. Possibly the easiest bike to ride slowly that I have ever had.
 

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Mine will start rolling quite willingly with no throttle, just easing the clutch out. Possibly the easiest bike to ride slowly that I have ever had.
Yup, really easy bike to handle as soon as you get used to non-existent first gear after first 50km or so.
 

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George, I know what you are talking about. My wife has the 300F and I have a CB500X. The other posters are correct about their clutch techniques, etc. But some bikes are easier than others. It's a question of degree. Fuelling and drive-line snatch have a lot to do with it. The X is best fueled bike I have ever ridden. It pulls from very low rpm without complaint and will also tolerate holding a steady low rpm (e.g. 2000) while under load in a low gear. There is almost no drive-line snatch when the throttle goes from on to off or vice versa. The two things in combination make this an excellent "trolling" bike. It would be good for parade duty! In contrast, the 300F in these respects is more like most motorcycles I have ridden. So what you are describing is to be expected and you'll have to get used to it. Finally, compared to the 500X, I find the 300F tends to "fall in" in tight, slow turns such as in a parking lot. I find I need to use a bit more muscle to counteract this than I would on the X. This is caused by the steering geometry and I suspect is a trade off for the F's very good stability at high speeds. That's a trade off I would accept.
Honda has done an exceptional job with the X. The 300F is good too but it's hard to buld in the same levels of refinement at the lower prices.
By the way, my wife and I just completed a 2100km trip through New York state and the Adirondacks. Both bikes had no problems under any conditions.
 

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Yup, really easy bike to handle as soon as you get used to non-existent first gear after first 50km or so.
I generally consider 1st gear to be the parking lot gear, because it's not very useful outside of one.

That being said, with a very loose clutch, it's pretty easy to shift up and down the gears very quickly.
 

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That short 1st gear is on all the 250, 300 bikes like Ninja and R3. It can come in handy though in slow moving bumper to bumper traffic. Race bikes that can go over 60 mph and not hit redline in 1st gear are just the opposite. You aren't supposed to ride in 1st slower that 11 mph. That means in that bumper to bumper traffic where the 300s are running along in 1st gear at 5 mph, you are constantly stopping and taking off with the race bikes. Scooters probably work even better in that kind of traffic. I run into that kind of traffic a lot here in Texas.
 

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It's a little touchy to be sure, but there isn't anything wrong with the bike.

It just takes practice. No disrespect to JNO but I wouldn't attempt that solution. All you need is good throttle and clutch control. Why add another step?
 

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Another vote for rear brake. Yes I know it's an extra step but it doesn't hurt to try. It really smooths out the low speed maneuvering on any bike.
 

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for most people esp novices, there is the concept of stopped
and of going.. which are obviously two fundamentals..
yet within that range there are many very useful
speeds and levels of momentum, all under control
of clutch, together with throttle..

as mentioned, gear and speed thus revs matter
for smooth riding, especially in higher gears/lower revs..
or when loading the engine and drivetrain..

this is where very low speed riding comes in
including for opening the mind to subtleties of
inertia control.. its like use of 3rd to top with
throttle for slowing and accelerating [etc]
only on a smaller scale..

one practice hint can be in practicing starts
including in an arc etc, thinking of not making
any noise.. whatever muffler you happen to have..

if you think of 'quiet' rather than speed, brain can
understand that concept and help translate movements
of throttle hand and clutch fingers to produce 'quiet'
rather than 'noise'..

when injured [say] one way of generally reducing loads
on joints of movement/support is to think of 'sneaking
quietly', which taps into that existing understanding
resulting in softer movements thus less loading into
sensitive joints and damaged tissues etc..

just another way of using what we already have
to assist in developing or enhancing other skills..

slow riding must include lesser throttling
and finer degrees of clutch lever movement,
until you find that sweet spot, when there is
hardly any finger or hand movement, and she
seems to just go around in circles without
need for any gross movement input..

this of course translates to other slow riding
such as maneuvering thru traffic and/or
tight movements in parking lots etc..
 
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