Hard Cornering - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-01-2008, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hard Cornering

Hey guys,

My '03 919 is the first street bike I've owned, but have ridden many others (mostly CBR600RRs and 1000RRs). The one thing that I've noticed about this bike is that it handles quite well compared to the crotch rocket's I'm used to riding. However, the rear end sometimes feels a little squirrely when pushing it. I often ride with a guy who has a Kawasaki ZRX1200 and he can be pulling away in a corner while I'm back there feeling uneasy about how the bike is handling mid-corner. I've followed him on the same roads recently on the 600RR and had no trouble keeping up and felt very well planted in the corners.

I do admit that the front end is stock (no adjustments) and is too spongy for my weight so I know that upgrading the front forks will help with the front end feel, but what else can be done to help make it feel more planted?

Maybe this is the real question: "Does it really not handle too well in stock spec, or is it planted but just doesn't feel like it?"

Thanks,

Chris

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-01-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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Cool

i have heard some guys changing to a cbr rear shock,i think it has more adjustability,my handling seems fine but its an 04,my front has alot of settings,i may not ride as hard as you also.good luck im sure you will get some more answers here very smart bunch.

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-01-2008, 07:44 PM
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I have to push it hard to make the rear feel like crap....front feels like a wet noodle from the get go.....(yea yea time to to the 954 mod)

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post #4 of 21 Old 09-01-2008, 09:09 PM
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If you push it hard enough you'll discover it's short comings... soft springs up front... lack of good dampening in the back (bouncey we go), and a bit too much frame flex all this will cause the hardware to drag too. I discovered this on the track... even with the feelers off the pegs i was still draging them. I suppose if i pushed it as hard as i wanted to i would have skinned the shifter and brake lever as i've seen some other folks do on the 9ner.

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post #5 of 21 Old 09-01-2008, 09:43 PM
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Check the obvious first...

What tires are you running? This bike seems quite susceptible to handling issues with less than very good tires.

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post #6 of 21 Old 09-02-2008, 02:26 AM
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Just the other day I went around a left hand corner,, which was a bit bumpy and it tightened up on me more than I expected and maybe I was going a bit faster than I should have been into it. In short it tightened my nuts a bit, you know, the deep breath syndrome. Mid corner I thought, what do I do, run wide out of the corner or really crank it over and risk handling that I was too sure of at those angles. I chose the latter as a car coming the opposite direction soon took option "A" away,, so I simply held my breath and leaned it right over, expecting it to buck and wallow over the bumps... It didn't. Admittedly the suspension feels a little softer than I would usually like, but as per my normal policy,, I get the front and back to work "with" each other and even on this bike it's not that bad...

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post #7 of 21 Old 09-02-2008, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm running Michelin Pilot Powers (stock sizes) front and back. I don't consider my riding style to be too aggressive or feel that it should be pushing the bike to it's limits. We usually head out on good twisty backroads (speed limit 35 MPH) and hit them running around 60 - 70. I haven't even used the entire back tire. About 1/4 inch on each side is completely untouched.

The 'bouncy' rear end is what I feel like it is doing. Her in KY the roads aren't always freshly paved. If a corner has some patch work or just a few bumps in it, it really feels like I'm going down. I get the pucker effect going on, but somehow it pulls through. I weight about 185 lbs so the rear preload is set almost to the max, maybe two notches down.

Any suggestions?

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post #8 of 21 Old 09-02-2008, 05:01 AM
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My first suggestion is to immdeiately go to Moonlight BBQ and have the buffet.

Secondly, notice the '03 919 has non-adjustable front forks, and a rear suspension without linkage? Also a steel backbone frame. The thing will buck in protest when tossed in under anything but ideally smooth input and road conditions. The good news is it doesn't get too bent out of shape.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-02-2008, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Moonlite...No Thanks. Ride this way and I'll show you where the good BBQ is. I'm more into the meat than the veggies so I like Ole' Hickory the best. Their meat is way better than anything Moonlite has. However, they don't have a buffet. Good and bad to both places, but when I'm in the mood for a chopped mutton sandwich, I'll go to Ole' Hickory. Check it out if you are ever this way.

Since you are in the area...have you ever taken a trip down 62/66? If not, you should. I usually ride from Owensboro to Leavenworth on 66, then if I'm going on into Louisville (like I did a few weeks ago to pick up my 919), I'll hop on 62 and head East.

Once I get the bike set up a little better I plan on making a trip down to Deal's Gap with some local guys.

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post #10 of 21 Old 09-02-2008, 05:38 AM
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I think I've ridden every road in Kentucky and southern Indiana. Lived in Henderson for many, many years. Got a buddy that owns a BBQ joint there that's pretty good. I don't eat mutton because I'm afraid somebody may have made love to it.

I ate at the Overlook restaurant in Leavenworth yesterday.

Before it gets too cold we should get together for a ride.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-02-2008, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. At least I haven't been dragging the pegs yet so I can still push it a little further and it sounds like it will still hang in there. I've only been on 5 good twisty rides so I'll get more comfortable on it with each additional ride.

HondaJim: If you haven't already, try The Dock in Leavenworth. It's about 1 mile East of the Overlook on 66 (or 62...I don't remember where the road changes. I'll PM you my email address so we can put together a ride.

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post #12 of 21 Old 09-02-2008, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
... I don't eat mutton because I'm afraid somebody may have made love to it.
I wouldn't worry


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post #13 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 02:00 AM
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No trip to Owensboro is complete without going to Whittakers.

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post #14 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't know people outside Kentucky knew Mutton was sheep. I tried to order it in Chicago and they looked at me like I was crazy.

Whittaker's is awesome. Especially since they lifted the military ban. They have everything from small arms to 50 cal semi automatic sniper rifles. Another thread about securing your bikes shows that many on here would be interested in visiting this gun store.

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post #15 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmurphy84 View Post
I didn't know people outside Kentucky knew Mutton was sheep. I tried to order it in Chicago and they looked at me like I was crazy.
Even us Yankees know about Mutton. It was a story line from a Seinfeld episode.

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post #16 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 08:00 AM
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Getting back to riding, I find if you get off the bike more, the less lean angle keeps the bike more stable! when the bike is leaned well over I can feel the frame flex.

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post #17 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Phobman,

I'll try that. Most of my motorcycle experience is dirt bikes with a little crotch rocket street experience. I'll try shifting my butt on the seat as I corner. Also, I blame the seat for keeping my goods jammed against the tank, but don't know how this affects handling. I would like to sit back a couple inches, but keep sliding into the tank during braking. Will the more forward riding position hurt the handling?

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post #18 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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PhobMan,

Thanks for the info! I went riding during my lunch hour and tried hanging a little more off the side of the bike and it worked great. It felt much better. Normal riding I can pretty much stay put on the seat, but when I want to hit the twisties, I guess I'll have to hang off a little.

-Chris

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Originally Posted by PHOBMAN View Post
Getting back to riding, I find if you get off the bike more, the less lean angle keeps the bike more stable! when the bike is leaned well over I can feel the frame flex.

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post #19 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 01:38 PM
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On my VTR-1000, when I wanted to really be the boy racer (even though I'm almost an oldie), I used to really stretched my neck out and try to pull the bike over while slightly leaning off the bike. The only other guy I've seen doing similar is Colin Edwards in MotoGP and they nicknamed him "chicken neck" or something like that. I never was brave enough to stack off the side as on the few occasion I did, I felt I was starting to get out of control and lose my balance, made even worse if you came up against ripples or small pothole mid corner - scary stuff...

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post #20 of 21 Old 09-03-2008, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHOBMAN View Post
Getting back to riding, I find if you get off the bike more, the less lean angle keeps the bike more stable! when the bike is leaned well over I can feel the frame flex.
Agreed. The backbone does flex -- it's the first thing I noticed about the 919's manners in a corner, and it can give a vague feel if you don't know what that movement is. Once you learn to read the flex, which as PHOBMAN says is considerably more obvious when hanging off in a corner, you will come to depend on the feel to read what it's telling you about loading. I've also found the shifted CG of the rider while hanging off tends to mitigate standing waves in the frame caused by bumps in the road though I'm not entirely sure why this is so.

One thing I've noticed not just about the 919, but practically every motorcycle I've ever ridden, is they hate coasting through a corner -- if you do all your braking before the corner then accelerate through it the suspension is much more compliant and forgiving of pavement irregularities.

By the way, even though I hang off in practically every corner I'm in, my tire's unused tread rubber (Chicken strips) are usually gone before they have fifty miles on them. The key here is not to obsess about them -- just ride your ride and as your experience grows the strips will shrink.

Rob

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post #21 of 21 Old 09-05-2008, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
One thing I've noticed not just about the 919, but practically every motorcycle I've ever ridden, is they hate coasting through a corner -- if you do all your braking before the corner then accelerate through it the suspension is much more compliant and forgiving of pavement irregularities.

By the way, even though I hang off in practically every corner I'm in, my tire's unused tread rubber (Chicken strips) are usually gone before they have fifty miles on them. The key here is not to obsess about them -- just ride your ride and as your experience grows the strips will shrink.

Rob
1). In my reply about cornering, back up the thread a bit, I said I was surprised about how well I thought mine handled when the corner tightened up on me and I decided to lean over a bit more rather than to stand it up and run wide on the exit, because of the car coming at me. Perhaps what you say above is true. I was travelling along into the corner at a modest speed, nothing excessive at all. I braked, leaned and gently rolled on the throttle expecting to exit this corner bit it tightened up and was longer than I anticipated. I unknowingly kept the throttle on and even though I leaned it over good and proper, it came though with flying colours. That one caught me out a beauty, brought a smaile to my face indeed...

2). New tyres and I are old adversaries indeed. I never took much advice from anyone when I was in my youth. I once rode home on new tyres, about 30 kms (20 miles) and the tyres let go when leaned quite a bit over, just a few hundred metres from home. It let go very quickly too, in a manner which I have to say "must" have been the smooth preservative coating on it simply being ignored too soon. This was a long time ago but I gradually lean my bikes over nowadays. I too don't travel too far before that chicken strip is at a minimum but I do it gradually. I'd say by the time I've done about 130 - 160 km (80 - 100miles) its fairly well scuffed almost to the edges. Any sooner and I can see why they name it "chicken" strip... GULP...!!!

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