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I would like to know how many of you are new to riding motorcycles and of those, who has dropped their ZR-7. I will be the first to admit that my dad and I have dropped ours 7 times. I did it the night we got it in the grass (no damage) and dad did it in the gravel that night which screwed the alternator cover (right side), but it was just paint along with some scratches on the muffler. I however dropped it yesterday the worst I have dropped it and probably the worst of the 7 which resulted in a small dent in the muffler and more paint taken off the alternator cover. The right brake lever end ball was scraped pretty good too along with minor damage to the turn signals (really have to look for it). I'm really hot about this stuff, but I guess it's par for the course when you are learning to ride on a bike with a high center of gravity. BTW, the situation I always screw myself with is when I'm pulling up to make a right hand turn and turn the bars to the right as I'm coming up to the stop. There hasn't been any cars around at all when it happens, but I'll accidentally pull the front brake a little to much throwing all of the momentum of the bike to the right side and turning it over. Our bike did not come with engine guards, but I read somewhere they were standard is this true? We bought some engine guards through Kawasaki.com and the UPS truck was delivering the box after I came home from my journey that included the latest drop. I would like to know first if you guys know if the engine guards are supposed to be standard for 2000 and secondly how many of you have had the misfortune of dropping the bike. Of those how many of you have painted the engine covers back to their immaculate state and have you had any luck polishing out scratches on the muffler. I'd appreciate anything that will help me feel less of a dumbass...:yell:
 

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West Coast Moderator
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Don't be so hard on yourself. A few guys have dropped 'em, I haven't, but it's a matter of time. And if past crashes on other bikes count as credit, I shouldn't crash again for another 25 years. But it doesn't work that way, so it's just a matter of time.

The ZR-7 doesn't come stock with engine guards. But I'm sure they would help ease the pain on the protruding engine parts. I'm sure if they did come stock, some of us would be taking them off, but it would be a cool option to have.
 

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MotoMacGyver
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I dropped mine once doing an uphill U-turn at veeery slow speed. Don't fret, but at least you realize that this bike (as friendly as it is when moving), is a pretty heavy bike, but it IS top-heavy, especially full of fuel.

You're just going to have to learn to use the rear brake more often at slower speeds. You're probably not going to lock them up, and you certainly are not going to transfer a @#$#-load of weight to the front wheels like with the front brake. You should practice doing U-turns and slow-speed maneuvers using the rear brake and try to get more comfortable leaning the bike over and trusting it, even in slow speed situations. With your history, just do this AFTER you've installed the guards (sorry, just couldn't help myself!!! ;-))

Remember, the bike is more stable the faster it goes (well, up to a point).

Also, have you considered taking an MSF course, if you haven't done so already? I'm one to talk; I haven't taken one either. I've racked up just over 5000 miles since July 1, (been riding for about 8 months before that) and I still don't consider myself nowhere NEAR "experienced" enough.

Don't sweat it. Just be careful. I do admire your tenacity to "get back in the saddle" though. 7 times would probably make a lot of other no-so-determined individuals quit.

Emrah
 

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Wheelie for Safety
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Practice using your rear brakes. At low speed they are very important to use.

When making a right turn from a stop, try setting yourself behind the crosswalk with the bike already pointing to the right. That way you can start off by going straight, then as you get a little speed you can make the turn. Do not try to turn full lock at low speed.

Get those engine guards on ASAP because as soon as you put them on you will never drop the bike again.

Keep the questions coming, we are glad to help.

Andy
 

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JD,

Welcome to the club! I've gone 10,000+ miles without dropping my 7S so far, but like Martin said, it's just a matter of time. If I read your message correctly, you said you turn your bars to the right as you come to a stop (then applying the front brake makes you tumble). If this is actually what you're doing, it's a BIG MISTAKE! (sorry, not trying to be preachy).

You should come to a stop (whether turning left or right) with your bars STRAIGHT AHEAD. Once your stopped, turn your bars SLIGHTLY in the direction of the intended turn and then proceed into the turn with your weight somewhat on the outside peg, leaning into the turn as much as necessary. This is the standard low-speed turn technique such as you would use in a parking lot. As emrah said, the best thing is to practice this and other techniques in a parking lot until you master them.

Good luck, you bought a GREAT BIKE and your skills will improve rapidly if you focus on what you're doing.

Keep the rubber side down, brother!

Blu
 

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I have just over 700 miles on my ZR-7S and haven't dropped it yet. However, as everyone here says, it is just a matter of time before it happens. My 2001 did not come with the guards.

I find the most difficult maneuvers for me are still the slow speed turns. Someone in either this or another forum suggested cutting tennis balls in half, and using them as cones to practice riding in empty lots. I haven't done that yet, but plan to. The more I practice the tough stuff, the faster I am able to really enjoy my riding time.

Best of luck and keep posting. This group has many experienced riders who are more than willing to help out newbies like us. Oh - if you haven't already done so - take the MSF course ASAP. Get into the good habits from the start.
 

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only 7 times? what are you worried about? :)

seriously. it doesn't sound as if you've done much more than minor cosmetic damage and you haven't gotten hurt which is the important part

as to the side cover scratches i've got two words - black sharpie. one of these permanent markers will do wonders to make it look better for a few bucks and a few minutes.

are you short? do you have trouble reaching the ground? if so you might want to consider modifying your stock seat (detailed on the site) to lower the height or get a corbin seat with the nose job modification. both of these things can make it easier to reach the ground.

and as said above, practice going slow and using the rear brake only at slow speeds. the front brake is very unforgiving in low speed turns. if you haven't taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course i highly recommend it. better than keeping your bike from getting scratched it will keep YOU from being involved in an accident.

scott
 

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Just take the MSF course. It's the bible of motorcycling. If all else fails, just imagine you're still on that course and every baby cone you hit get's tacked onto your fail/pass scenario. I had nightmares for a week! Not the little cones...they're too close together.....i'll never be able to manuever that.......Then after 2 days of range hell, it's Can't they make this any easier...come on they're too far apart for crying out loud......Give me something hard mr. instructor, anyone can do this on a 125-250cc Bike!

Give it time, the skills will come. And as the MSF course says, The more you know, the better it gets.
 

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Having had a heavy old 1980s bike (dry weight was more
was less than the ZR-7S with a full tank) has made my
ZR-7 seem light. :) Dropping my old bike was what made me
buy the ZR-7s (actually sliding it algong the ground at 5 mph).
:mecry:

I will be in the MSF course in 2 days, really looking
forward to it. The more you learn, the more comfortable you
become, the more enjoyable it is. :smilewink
 

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Don't worry about the dropping. I managed to drop mine when I wasn't even touching the thing! Snapped off the left mirror and the ball on the end of the clutch lever.
 

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Well I think most of us on this forum have dropped a bike at least one time since we have been riding. I haven't dropped my ZR, but it is my fourth bike, and I have dropped my other 3, and 2 of them a YZF600R and a VFR800 were beyond repair :mecry: . I am happy with the ZR now, a little bit less of a bike, but I feel much more comfortable on it. Though I have to say I miss the hp and torque the VFR had with its V4 motor. Anyway, you have to learn, so just keep practicing. The best thing you can probably do to avoid dropping it in the future is to always come to a stop with your handlebars straight. If you still have some trouble MSF courses are always available, and you can never know too much, or know it all. Good luck with your riding, and don't let these little mishaps get ya down too much.
 

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Dropped mine on the first day !! At really slow speed in the parking lot. Everyone does it, or will.

When going really slowly, I use the back brake, in fact keep it slighly on all the time - this has the effect of making the bike squat down slightly and it feels (and is) more stable. Maybe get your Dad to demonstrate this. Have him ride slowly by and come to a stop using the front brake only. Then repeat while keeping the back brake on slightly. You will see what I mean right in front of your eyes.

And when you are going slowly or coming slowly to a stop, don't] look at the ground in front of you, look to where you are going (particularly if turning at the same time) - it also makes a lot of difference as to how stable you will feel.

But best of all, do the course. A lot of it you'll know already maybe - but some of it you won't. Also, it will stop you using those bad habits you will have undoubtedly picked up.

:) :) :)
 

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I'm lucky. I haven't dropped my brand new ZR yet - touch wood. I learned my lessons well when I had my Ducati Monster. The Monster's Brembo brakes were way too powerful. I dropped it so many times when coming to a stop with the handle turned to the sides. The brake bit and the whole front end just dived. Lesson number 1 - stay off the front brake lever when the bike is going slow. I only use the front brake when trying to slow down the bike from speed. In traffic I only use the rear brake. I find it much more relaxing when my right hand only has to control the throttle. But be careful with the rear brake in wet weather. It takes time to know when to back off just before it locks.
 
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