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Thread: Intro and questions about Chugata license.

  1. #1

    Default Intro and questions about Chugata license.

    Hi everyone. New to the forums. First post and I have no idea where to post questions about getting your license. Not even sure if I even belong in these forums. I'm more into manual scooters and feel a little out a place here, but I'm sure you guys can help me out.

    My riding skills are very limited. I rebuilt a vespa ground up in the states. It took 6 years and by the time I was done, I moved here. I've been here about 10 years and just found out that there is no shaken on 250cc and below bikes, so I figured to either ship my bike over here or try and find another Vespa here. The biggest they get are 200cc.

    I live out in the deep inaka and working on my Chugata license. I had my first class last week a couple hours before the big typhoon without too much trouble. Haven't driven anything with a manual transmission in 10 years, plus a bike, so I was a little rusty. It took me a while getting used to shifting because you shift up into first then down second, third, fourth twisting the clutch side handlebar on a shifty scooter. The instructor I had was very friendly.

    Today, I was still a little bit nervous, but hoped on the bike and felt I was getting better. Then I had to try my luck on the ipponbashi. I did not do well at all. My Japanese isn't so great, so it really is like trying to figure out everything on my own. Don't know if my first instructor gave up on me, but the next half I had a hard ass instructor. made things even harder. Probably went over it over 20 times and only went across the whole thing about 5 times. Those 5 times they started me out farther than the start line.

    Frustrating day and now behind in classes. Any tips on getting across this thing?

  2. #2
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    Relax tour grip on the bars. Keep an upright posture and don't move your torso or legs. Keep a deep bend in your elbows and keep your balance by turning the bars, not by leaning your body. Look in the distance beyond the balance beam. Modulate your speed by feathering your clutch and dragging the rear break. Don't use the front break.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmizer View Post
    Relax tour grip on the bars. Keep an upright posture and don't move your torso or legs. Keep a deep bend in your elbows and keep your balance by turning the bars, not by leaning your body. Look in the distance beyond the balance beam. Modulate your speed by feathering your clutch and dragging the rear break. Don't use the front break.
    Hey thanks for the reply.
    It's pretty much what I figured what my instructor was saying, but I think right now my main issue is getting onto it from a stop. My balance isn't bad and may even do well in a slow race, but just getting on to it was the problem. I wish there was practice time where you can do it at your own pace. A 40-50min class doesn't feel like enough time for my level.

  4. #4
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    What bike are you practicing on?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmizer View Post
    What bike are you practicing on?
    Not sure, but it's a 400cc Honda.

    Thinking about it more. I'm not sure where to look. When I first get on, I'm trying to look down to see if I'm on it. I think that's what's screwing me up. My first instructor said to look ahead and my wheel. Could be lost in translation. Watched videos, and one guy said to look at the middle of the beam at first, then straight. I did best, just looking straight, but that was with a head start.

  6. #6

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    Double post

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by VespaRally View Post
    Not sure, but it's a 400cc Honda.

    Thinking about it more. I'm not sure where to look. When I first get on, I'm trying to look down to see if I'm on it. I think that's what's screwing me up. My first instructor said to look ahead and my wheel. Could be lost in translation. Watched videos, and one guy said to look at the middle of the beam at first, then straight. I did best, just looking straight, but that was with a head start.
    Never look down at any time while on the bike, you'll lose your balance. Always look where you want to go, not where you are. You'll know you're on the balance beam because you'll feel the bump. Pick a point close to the horizon that's in line with the balance beam, look at that point, and ride towards it. Your time on the balance beam doesn't start until you're on the beam, so feel free to ride towards the balance beam at whatever speed you like and reduce speed once you're on the beam.

    Also make sure you're clamping the tank between your knees. Put the balls of your feet on the pegs, not the arches, and keep your toes and heels firmly against the frame of the bike. It gives you more control and much better balance. Really keep your arms and grip relaxed.

    Don't worry too much about it either. You've only had a few lessons at the school, you'll get it by the time you have to take the test.
    Last edited by dmizer; 12-09-18 at 11:10 AM.

  8. #8

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    Only worried because I have Tuesdays off this semester, but I don't have much time. This summer was brutal, so I waited till it cooled down a little bit, but now I have to get all this done before the snows come in.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions as the weeks go by. Is there a better place to post questions on the forum?

    Thanks for all the help.

  9. #9
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    This place doesn't have as much activity as it used to. People still watch it and they will contribute if they feel they'll add something to the conversation though.

    Feel free to ask questions here or start a new thread in the relevant area if you think it's worth starting a new topic.

  10. #10
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    If you're having difficulty getting onto the beam, just give it a little more throttle upon taking off from a stop. It will help you get past that small bump at the start. Then pull in the clutch and tap the rear brake to slow down if you're moving too fast. If you slow down too much or feel a little wobbly, just release the clutch a little to gain speed, then pull it back in again to slow down. You don't need to give it any gas at all once on the beam. And since you shouldn't use front brake, you can forget about moving your right hand altogether. That might help keep your mind clear.

    7 seconds will be over a lot quicker than you'd think while on the balance beam. You don't need to go so slow. Going slow just increases the risk of falling off the beam. Ask your teacher to tell you how long it took each time you pass the beam and try to adjust your speed on your next attempt to get it closer to 7 seconds. Don't count the seconds in your head as you're on the beam, just go by feeling.

    There should be practice time towards the end of stage 1 and more in stage 2 of the school's course where you can practice doing your own thing without a teacher watching you every second.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkp38 View Post
    If you're having difficulty getting onto the beam, just give it a little more throttle upon taking off from a stop. It will help you get past that small bump at the start. Then pull in the clutch and tap the rear brake to slow down if you're moving too fast. If you slow down too much or feel a little wobbly, just release the clutch a little to gain speed, then pull it back in again to slow down. You don't need to give it any gas at all once on the beam. And since you shouldn't use front brake, you can forget about moving your right hand altogether. That might help keep your mind clear.


    7 seconds will be over a lot quicker than you'd think while on the balance beam. You don't need to go so slow. Going slow just increases the risk of falling off the beam. Ask your teacher to tell you how long it took each time you pass the beam and try to adjust your speed on your next attempt to get it closer to 7 seconds. Don't count the seconds in your head as you're on the beam, just go by feeling.


    There should be practice time towards the end of stage 1 and more in stage 2 of the school's course where you can practice doing your own thing without a teacher watching you every second.
    Thanks for all the advice. I need all I can get!!

    I think another reason is that I haven't driven a manual transmission in 10 years. It was all I drove back home, but cars are a little different, so I have to kind of figure it all out again. The second day class I felt more confident on my shifting, but when it came to the 1 bridge, it took me a while to realize that I had to relearn how to feather the clutch. Still working on it. I used to love balancing on hills in my car back home.

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