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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been riding for roughly 2 years and traded in a fairly new Kawi z650 for the 400. Lower displacement may seem like an odd concept, but I wanted a bike with ABS, something not as quick to keep me from doing something stupid (I’m a new father), and what can I say, I love the way it looks.

That said I’m regretting my decision... it’s not the speed, it’s the way my hands lie. The handle bars smoke my palms. After 20 minutes of riding I experience discomfort. I bought new riding gloves and grip puppies. Nothing is working. The Z650 was so comfortable... does anyone have a remedy for this? I’m already looking at new bikes...
 

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Common problem for many riders making the transition to a more aggressively positioned sport bike.

The short answer is that you need to hold your position using your body's core as opposed to leaning forward on the bars. Your grip should really be VERY light on the bars, elbows well bent, and only be pressing on them to counter-steer.

Probably not the answer you wanted to hear, but it comes with the territory and does take some time to get used to.

I’ve been riding for roughly 2 years and traded in a fairly new Kawi z650 for the 400. Lower displacement may seem like an odd concept, but I wanted a bike with ABS, something not as quick to keep me from doing something stupid (I’m a new father), and what can I say, I love the way it looks.

That said I’m regretting my decision... it’s not the speed, it’s the way my hands lie. The handle bars smoke my palms. After 20 minutes of riding I experience discomfort. I bought new riding gloves and grip puppies. Nothing is working. The Z650 was so comfortable... does anyone have a remedy for this? I’m already looking at new bikes...
 

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My trainer heard about my numb wrist and had me work my core. Lots of planks and captain's chairs, but it's true... your core is how to take the load off.

No longer go numb, but still find myself falling back to supporting my weight with my wrists every day. Just be aware of that and sneak in a little core awareness.

It's now become more like a game in which I try to keep my hands floating over the controls with just the right grip, while letting the rest of my body move around to compensate for all the forces throwing us around, and our wrists down on the the handle bars.

Grip the tank with your legs like you're riding a bull, that helps too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ah thanks for all the input so far. Going to be a nice one tomorrow, so I’ll change up my positioning; see what works best. Thanks again
 

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Common problem for many riders making the transition to a more aggressively positioned sport bike.
^^ This

Grip the tank with your legs like you're riding a bull, that helps too.
^^ And this makes a huge difference to getting the weight off your wrists.

Yoda might say, "You must unlearn what you have learned".
 

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You can also try a little exercise that they go through in California Superbike School if you don't mind a few stares...

At any given time, even in a deep turn, you should be able to "chicken dance" your arms / elbows... You'll find this very difficult to do if you if you're putting too much pressure on your wrists and hands.

Here's an excerpt from Motorcycle News for anyone who thinks I'm completely off my rocker for saying this:

"Relaxing while doing all of the above is not easy on your first day, but that is the next drill. Having a relaxed upper body allows the bike to self-correct if it hits a bump or the back wheel starts to go. If you’re tense, you stop the bike self-correcting and it is a whole lot less stable.

To prove you’re relaxed while turning in late, counter-steering hard and opening the throttle through the bend, you dance the funky chicken while you’re doing it. The minute you stop waggling your elbows, your instructor appears out of nowhere and puts you straight.

The funky chicken may not be an advisable look but with relaxed elbows you will feel the extra stability instantly and so you’re happier going much, much faster."
 

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Good advice @Rider2112
I've had to learn to relax my grip for racing. It's completely contrary to what you naturally want to do in a hyped up race situation.
I was having trouble with my bike shaking its head between two corners switching from full RH lean to full LH lean under power. A more experienced racer told me to release my death grip on the bars and stop trying to fight it.
Worked a treat. It still does it on occasion but if I just relax it works it's self through with out becoming a big tank slapper.
 

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^^ This



^^ And this makes a huge difference to getting the weight off your wrists.

Yoda might say, "You must unlearn what you have learned".
Also, a set of tank grips will be good to help with "riding the bull" It will also help to keep from sliding forward and smashing your bits!
 

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How's your experience been with all this advice in mind? Are you still fixing to ditch the Ninja posture for something more comfy?
 
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