....I ride a Suzuki TU250, so it's a pretty lightweight bike. One thing I noticed is that in first gear the throttle is kind of like an on/off switch, so the bike'll just surge forward at the slightest input and jerk to a slow down when you roll the throttle off....Because of the surging, and jerky-ness at the edge of stalling, I was having to use the clutch a lot to smooth the bike out. I'm a bit disappointed with that but maybe if I get better and can do faster tight turns I won't need to use the clutch eventually.
I hope this isnít too much of a threadjack, but I just want to jump out of lurkdom to comment on this: definitely figure out why your bike does not run well at small throttle openings/low rpm and fix it. At least for a noob like me who is just starting out on this gymkhana stuff, having the right gearing and smooth fueling at low rpm makes a HUGE difference.
I have 2 bikes: a Ducati Monster and a little Honda CRF230L (small dualsport). I just started practicing the figure 8 this weekend.
The Monster has a tall first gear (even after I went one tooth smaller on the front sprocket), and it runs TERRIBLY down low. Very jerky, very difficult to have smooth inputs. It was very challenging (read, frustrating) for me to try and ďput all the pieces togetherĒ with the snatchy throttle, clutch, and brake, while trying to be smooth and learn something new. It was very hard for me to figure out how to use the clutch and brake to apply power smoothly. I left Saturday feeling a bit defeated as to how I could improve.
On Sunday, I tried again with my CRF. That bike (while also smaller and lighter), has a really low first gear, and runs smoothly all the way down. Result? 15 SECONDS faster after just two tries (yes, the monster times were that embarrassing). After a few more minutes, I had to put my feet further back on the pegs because I was scraping my toes on the ground. I made a lot of progress really fast. Also, I had a whole lot more fun.
Short version: Same noob, two bikes, 15 seconds difference.
Its obvious that smaller, lighter bikes are preferable for gymkhana. My point is that, at least for a noob, how the bike is geared and how well that bike runs as very small throttle openings and low rpm makes a HUGE difference in rideability. On the CRF, I can start learning without the variables of the brake or clutch.
I have no doubt that a more talented rider could put up some good times on my monster. However, I didnít realize just how much easier the CRF is to ride until I compared the two on the GP8. It will take much, much more practice before I can use the monster as well as the CRF.
, I donít know why your bike doesnít run well down low, but seriously, try to find out and fix it. My monster runs poorly because Ducati wants to put up certain horsepower numbers while still meeting emissions requirements, which means the bike runs super lean at part throttle. I am still trying to figure out if I can fix that without paying for a whole new exhaust and ECU that eliminates the O2 sensors ($$$). )
Sorry for the novel everyone. I hope this helps others who are just starting out.