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Thread: Hello from NoVA

  1. #1

    Hello from NoVA


    I am a "long" time lurker on MOA. I bought a new-to-me 2013 G650GS late last summer and have been looking to 1- get comfortable on that bike and 2-make some connections with other fellow riders to learn from them. I am a new older female rider vertically challenged but with a passion for dirt and adventure. I am a mountain biker and wanted to translate that love into motorcycles. I took up riding for a short-time in my 20's with a dual-sport but gave it up after my bike was stolen. COVID times and bad car parking at work put me back on a bike in my 50's this year. I have a little 250 that I whip around with and have taken ALL over but then I also added the 650 which feels like a monster to me. Funny that I can't touch the ground on my mountain bikes and it is not a problem, but it is a big problem on the 650. I have now lowered it by Kouba Links and a lowered seat and also wear taller boots. Cold weather doesn't worry me so I have been riding during the winter so far as long as the roads are clear, but I can definitely feel the wind whipping against the bike at traffic lights with that high center of gravity. I dropped the bike twice already. My driveway is a nice incline of doom and at a parking lot. I can lift the bike up, but it drives me crazy. Not sure what I am asking here as I know I just need to stick with it and practice low speed maneuvering. I am in awe of the photos of women riders on the GS Giants (Go Jocelyn!). It's not the riding, it is the stop-and-go traffic, off-camber inclines and general slow speed stuff that I feel like I sux at. Let me know if you found any advice, tricks/hacks, or other foo that you've found helpful. I live in Northern Virginia where most roads or either jammed up or feel like interstates.

    Ride Safe,

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Older? 50’s? Your like a teenager here!
    Welcome to the forum!
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose". MI5
    Moderator Team.
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Welcome from central Florida. I have managed two low speed drops of my 07RT in five years myself. These things happen and I just try and learn from them as I am sure you are doing. Check out the Foundation and apply for some help with training if that appeals to you.

  4. #4
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    alexandria, va

    92 K75s, 94 K75s, 09 K1300s

  5. #5
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    New Melbourne, NL
    Hi Karen welcome to the forum from Newfoundland. I ride a KTM 640 Adventure with a 37" seat height. That coupled with a 30" inseam means I can only get 2 toes on the ground on one side at a time. When it's loaded I can get both toes on the ground. When I bought it I had it shipped to me in the crate and while it was in transport I went into the shop and saw one for the first time on the floor. I was terrified! I'd never ridden dirt bikes only Mtn bikes and the height of that thing had me shivering. Soon after I started riding it I joined ADVrider and got talking about lowering using Kouba links etc until one member chimed in that he just got used to falling over. I took that to heart and I couldn't tell you how many times I've dropped the thing. I has happy to discover I could pick it up fully loaded in a parking lot in Alaska. Riding offroad half the time you go to put a foot down the ground isn't there so your only option is to step off if you don't want to be squashed. No big deal, it's all part of the fun.

    From what you've said already you're already well on your way to a fine relationship with your bike. Just keep practising slow speed maneuvers as much as you can in controlled environments to limit the damage potential to you and the bike. Try some offroad but start on easy stuff like dirt roads. Your Mtn bike skills will definitely help you. I'm sure you already know about keeping your hands loose to prevent arm pump, relax your brain and just give 'er!

    I've done 2up trips and plenty of solo trips and you get used to only getting your toes down. As you can see this bike gets used!
    ITSteve: ride in peace my friend
    save $5 on a new SmugMug account, use this coupon 7frrnSRiTt9Fk

  6. #6
    Registered User BrianAMcPhail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Atlee, VA
    Welcome from Central VA. I am not new to riding, but brand new to BMW. Never owned anything like this.
    I am a descendant of Men who would not be ruled.

  7. #7
    Welcome Karen from lower Alabama, we’re glad your hear. As others have advised, practice and iterations will develop the muscle memory skills and confidence with the taller, bigger bike you are seeking. You are on the right course.

    Also, as others have advised, take advantage of our Paul B. Scholarship, and get some formal training. Invoking the Law of Primacy, that which is learned first tends to stick with you the longest. Develop those positive habits early to mitigate any negative habits you may pick up along the way.

    Again, welcome to the Forums, welcome to the club, don’t let your first post be your last, and we hope to see you at one of our club events. Our 50th anniversary rally is coming up in Springfield in June, it’ll be a great time. Also, the Fontana getaway is in April, and much closer to Virginia, but very technical so you’ll need to conquer some of those off camber low speed concerns.
    R. Reece Mullins 2022 Sport Blue R1250RT (Anja)
    MOA # 143779
    MOA Charter Club #364
    2024 rally Co-chair

  8. #8
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Rocket City, AL
    Happy New Year, Karen!

    Cheers from the Tenn River Valley. We used to live in Ft Washington, MD; longtime members of < >

    See if they're having any meetings close to you, and then precipitate! With four dealerships nearby, there's always something going on!

    Mrs-HSV would say, "Training is the answer! What was the Question?" Consider < >>>>
    See if they have anything that suits your interests this upcoming Spring!

    Also look at the events page for: << >> in the warmer days to come!

    Just Stick With It; it gets easier!!! Mrs-HSV just went over 207,000 miles on various BMWs {she's 5'4" and still loves her 09 F650GS-twin}.
    She also loves her new-2-her R1200RS that she rode 15K this summer across North America. We CoddiWompled all across the US this summer exceeding 20,000 miles. Photo at the Great Basin National Park in Nevada, right near the Whispering Elms Motel and Campgrounds...
    [ N39° 01.073' W114° 10.282' ]

    Keep at it, Karen! It eventually sinks in and gets to be much more fun [and less stress]. Promise!
    Try to make it to the MOA Rally in Springfield MO - you'll really this one.

    Happy Trails whenever U can - Ciao!
    HSV-Karen & HSV-Phil
    USN-Ret'd —-&-— USAF-Ret’d

    '09 650GS-twin — '14 K-GT
    '82 R100CS ——— '75 R90S
    '16 R1200RS —-— ’05 Vespa 200L

    mailto: &

  9. #9
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    53 sMiles south of Alpine, TX USA
    All I can say is keep going!

    I probably put 100 miles on my bike before I ever left my yard out in the country in Iowa. The though of traffic terrified me.

    But I am ever grateful I didn't give up. There are so many adventures I would have missed.

    I think watching this video may give you encouragement. Stick with it.


    Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
    BMW MOA Ambassador Emeritus / FOM / Roving Forum Moderator/
    Selected Friends of Wile E Coyote/ A Million 100 thousand BMW sMiles

  10. #10
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    New Melbourne, NL
    That was a fun video, thanks for putting that up.
    ITSteve: ride in peace my friend
    save $5 on a new SmugMug account, use this coupon 7frrnSRiTt9Fk

  11. #11
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    That's a GREAT video! Thanks!

  12. #12
    Registered User lionlady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Forest, VA



    We lived outside Baltimore for 30+ years. Have been in Central VA for seven. Being u[p there near the city, you've got lots of training options to improve your skills. Plus there's also ADVRider as another option for off road connections.

    Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.

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