question about 'chicken strips' - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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question about 'chicken strips'

03 919 w/ dunlop 208's

i've put about 30k on my (first) bike now, and am definately starting to use more of the tires. looking at the rear tire, it is clear that i've used the entire tire all the way to the edge, but the outer .5 inch is not as worn as the rest of the tire. (the less worn section is actually a wave shape, oscillating between .5 inches and 0 inches).

on the front, the outside .75inch of tire looks like it has never been used. there is a 'less worn' .5 inch strip inside of that, which seems to match the 'less worn' section on the outside of the rear tire, and of course the rest of the front tire is well worn.

my question: is it normal to use 'less' of the front tire than the rear tire?

i've only ground the pegs a few times; in these cases i was on a negative camber turn (so the asphalt was higher on my inside peg). i run the rear suspension at its stiffest setting, which does give me more ground clearance. lately i've been scraping the outsides of my boots on the ground (sides, not toes)... but i do not hang my toes down below the pedals. i also don't usually put the balls of my feet on the pegs, since i like to be prepared to use the pedals... the balls of my feet are usually just over or resting on the pedals.

how much more lean should i have in the bank at this point?

(btw - i'm not looking for any comments on the advisability of using the rear brake... pls save that for another thread).

thanks...
...j919

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post #2 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 10:22 AM
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I can only imagine the aspect ration will play a part in that was well as the tire width. The front is a 120/70 and the rear is a 180/55. Mine looks the same way.

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post #3 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 10:25 AM
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Someone with more experience will probably chime in, but I'd bet that your speed and weight will play major roles in this equation.

But your post did raise an interesting question with me: At what degree of lean would you be at when your pegs touch? I suppose that there are way too many variables to get close to an answer.

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post #4 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 10:39 AM
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Just so we have this out in the open. It is a good thing to have some unused tire left in the front. If you are using all the tire, you have nothing left if necessary for a quick evasion or maneuver.

Sliding and controlling the rear of a bike is mucho easier than losing the front and trying to regain traction. Don't worry so much over unused tire on the front, it ain't a bad thing.

If you have the suspension set up as stated and you are still dragging toes, there is something wrong with your body position in relation to the bike's position while turning at speed. You are not getting your ass off the seat enough and the bike is leaning far more than necessary for the turn. Lean forward as if trying to kiss the mirror, lead with your shoulder, put your ass crack on the inside edge of the seat and you should be able to draw a straight line through your spine. Don't twist, or contort your upper body different from your lower body. Move as fluid-like as possible and maintain correct posture for best control. Your inside shoulder and knee should be pointing in the same direction and through the turn. Always keep your head up and looking as far through the turn as possible for exit strategy.

If you want to really see how much tire you can use up, take it to a closed track and wring its neck for a couple days.

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post #5 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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Really interesting thread, I wonder whether counter steering has an affect on front tire wear towards the edges.




Regarding the advisability of using of the rear brake....oh, nm

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post #6 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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The front tire will wear more evenly as you have more weight toward the front of the bike.

(Your body)

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post #7 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 11:37 AM
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I've got about 3/16 of an inch of virgin rubber on either side of the back tire but about an inch of unused tire on either side of the front and I've pushed the front tire hard enough to seriously cup the tread on the front. I would imagine the profile on the front would keep you from reaching the edge on the front tire.

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post #8 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 11:41 AM
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Yeah, I think I ride alright, and then I see the little Michelin Man sitting untouched on the sides of my rear tire.

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post #9 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 12:00 PM
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On the street the difference you noted is pretty normal. On the track, however, it's a different story: the harder you push the front tire, the further it will scrub the tread. Normally on the street you aren't accelerating hard from the apex of a turn, so the front tire isn't sliding (well, unless you're xrmikey) and the reserve the tire makers design into the fronts isn't being used. On the track, sliding the front out of a turn moves the contact patch further out, using all the tread. There is a major downside to doing this on the street with all the variables a track doesn't have, and holding a reserve of traction is essential.

Don't worry about it -- if you're using most of the tread on the rear, that's about as far as you should go.

When in a corner do you / how much do you hang off the inside? The 919 seems to like it quite a bit, and at least for me it increases feel for what the frame is doing.

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post #10 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 01:44 PM
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Some rear tires are easier to get rid of the chicken stripes than others. Continental Road attacks, Michelin Power Pilots, easy. Conti Sport attacks, tough. Race take offs, forget it.

Take the curb feeler (little bolt under your peg) off and shorten it as much as the spacer that you aren't going to put back on. That'll get you a little more clearance without tearing up your pegs.

Can't really say without ever seeing you ride, IMHO, you need some pucks and need to work on your form. Sounds like you're doing well,tho. Learn to hang off. It feels weird at first, but you'll soo get used to it. If you can get a peg down, you can get a knee down. Congrats on the fine riding, keep it up.

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post #11 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 01:47 PM
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Tire pressure is a part of the equation also. Lower the pressure and you widen the contact patch. Not necessarily suggesting it, just pointing it out.

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post #12 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 02:42 PM
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Rider weight plays a part here as well. At the track i used to hang off the 9ner like an ape in a tree and still drug hardware without the feelers on. Back then i was weighing in at about 240 in gear.

By stiffest setting if you're refering to preload remember adjusting your preload all the way down will give your shock less travel and make it prone to bottoming out whne you hit a rough patch. if you're leaning over when that happens kiss rear traction good bye.

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post #13 of 29 Old 08-07-2008, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for all of the responses...

i don't hang off the bike, i keep my ass in the center of the seat. i sometimes lean my upper body a bit, but not generally. here's why:

it seems to me that hanging off the bike (to the inside of the curve) would have the affect of
a) allowing me to go faster around a given curve at the same lean angle
and/or
b) allowing me to lean less around a given curve at the same speed.

neither of these is what i want. i ride on the streets, not on the track. (awesome, wonderful, perfectly curvy streets... but streets just the same, with all of the usual dangers).

i'm not trying to go faster... i could already ride most of these curves faster than i usually do if i wanted to (which i have definitely proved on occasion) but i generally base my speeds on what might be there when i come out the other side of the (often blind) curve. not on the max velocity i could carry if that curve were on a track.

i'm also not trying to lean less... i like to lean, and want to lean more! hopefully without needing to go faster (on the streets). does that make sense?

so that’s why I stay in my seat. i don't want to go faster because:

for example, in my neighborhood it is not unusual for traffic to back up around several blind curves when there is an accident or construction or some other road blockage. when traffic is blocked signs are usually put up to warn you in advance, but traffic can back up past these signs. so it is possible to come around a blind curve and be faced with stopped traffic directly in front of you with absolutely no warning. this is not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen regularly - at least a couple of times a year. (It can happen anywhere, on any street, not just in my neighborhood.) a couple of years ago i was on my way to work, cruising down a particularly wonderful section of curvies, vertical hillside on the right, guardrail (cliff) on the left; i came around a blind right (visibility blocked by the vertical hillside on the right) and was faced with the back of a stopped white ford expedition (which i will never forget). the instant calculation was... don't hit the vertical hillside, don’t hit the suv, don't cross the double-yellow into oncoming traffic (because i couldn't see what was approaching because of the expedition). that left no outs. i straightened out, slowed as much as possible (in a very few feet), and ended up 'getting off' the bike behind the expedition (i slid under it a bit...). i landed in my lane, safely. my bike slid into the oncoming lane, which was empty (luckily, but i didn't know that when i got off). i did not hit that expedition. but i did do some expensive cosmetic damage to my bike. that taught me a big lesson about speed. i wasn't going very fast... maybe 40 (optimistic speed limit is 45 there, curves are marked 25mph, car traffic is usually going below the speed limit) but i still didn't have time to stop safely.

another example: at the end of last month there was a horrible wreck in my neighborhood... a car and (get this) three motorcycles. an airlift was required. i don't know all of the details, but i can tell you that they were going too fast, and that the second and third bikes were riding too close to the first one. (even if the lead rider was just very unlucky, the second two were too close to avoid it.) they could have all avoided the problem by going slower (plus I think they were not very familiar with the area). this was on the best curve of a very long, curvy stretch of mountain road; there is a pretty good straight leading into a 30 degree right hander, followed immediately by a 180+ degree left hand curve. Its not actually a blind curve, but you need to know where to look to see oncoming traffic. it is very tempting... but... not a good idea to treat that road like a racetrack. When I came upon the scene, traffic was (of course) backed up around a another blind corner. I’m glad I was prepared. here's a story about the accident: http://www.bakersfield.com/102/story/511603.html (btw - i'm not trying to be overly critical of the people that this accident affects... i'm just trying to learn from it so i can avoid a similar fate.)

so now i probably sound very old and boring (and longwinded) - which i am not (well, I am long-winded…). i do ride faster than some (many?) think is safe, but i ride according to my own calculations... its called calculated risk, after all.

i am planning on doing a track day - i'm signed up for the buell inside pass at willow springs in October (where I’ll get to ride my 919 and an 1125). but i'm much more concerned with street riding, because that's what i do every day. it is fun, and for the most part, a manageable risk.

so thanks again for the responses… it sounds like my tires are showing normal behavior (using less of the front than the rear). And yes, I probably hijacked my own thread…

…j919

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post #14 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 03:16 AM
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Just for the record, I don't ride hard in "neighborhoods" or where there is traffic. When on suburban or urban streets, 4 second following distance, obey speed limits, complete stops, etc. Not a lot of fun. I'm fortunate. I live in the country and know lots of nearly deserted roads that I can safly play on. You have to know what works for you.

This probably won't make any sence to you but, I feel much more in control and safer when I'm hanging off than I do sitting centered.

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post #15 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 03:41 AM
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The Richard Petty phrase " Never go faster than it feels good to" don't worry about "chiken" strips who cares just have fun be safe and go home alive.....Experince will take care of the rear tire.......HAVE FUN thats it.

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post #16 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 03:48 AM
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Great posts! I have prob 1/2" chicken strips and could care less. I have a blast riding at my own pace. I have been experimenting with hanging off, and it does feel like I'm more under control in a sharper corner (takes less lean). I just like finding more about the dynamics of the bike which just gives you more options for control.

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post #17 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j919 View Post
i don't hang off the bike, i keep my ass in the center of the seat. i sometimes lean my upper body a bit, but not generally. here's why:

it seems to me that hanging off the bike (to the inside of the curve) would have the affect of
a) allowing me to go faster around a given curve at the same lean angle
and/or
b) allowing me to lean less around a given curve at the same speed.
It also allows you to take the same curve under safer conditions. When hanging off the bike, it moves independent of the rider. This makes it much easier to control where your line is. By moving your weight around the bike, it allows you to effectively change your line if necessary. Granted there is some throttle maintenance and mild braking techniques to learn, but those come secondary to feeling confident moving around on the bike.


Quote:
neither of these is what i want. i ride on the streets, not on the track. (awesome, wonderful, perfectly curvy streets... but streets just the same, with all of the usual dangers).
I'm not going to chastise you for riding fast on the streets, because all of us have done, or still do push the boundaries on regular roads. It's just part of the equation. All I ask is that you watch where/when you decide to push.

Quote:
i'm also not trying to lean less... i like to lean, and want to lean more! hopefully without needing to go faster (on the streets). does that make sense?

so that’s why I stay in my seat. i don't want to go faster because:
This is a recipe for bad things to happen. Leaning more is counter-productive to the laws of physics. Robtharalson can expand on these much more eloquently than I, but here is the gist of it. By leaning more (you and the bike), you have greatly decreased the amount of contact patch your tire can offer for traction. If you are not using proper body position, weight transfer and bike position while in a curve, you are trying to counter the laws of an object in motion. The bike is trying to move itself to the widest part of the curve you are taking. Centrifugal force is pushing you and the bike out of the curve. This effect is greatly increased when speed is also increased. By hanging off and moving your weight to the inside of the curve, this counters the centrifugal effect and allows you to maintain a tighter and more consistent line through a curve.

You can maintain a tighter and more consistent line because the bike is more upright and has a wider contact patch. Watch some professional motorcycle racers take different lines around a course. I don't just mean the road racing, take a look at the MX and SX guys as well. They are constantly moving their bodies independent of the bike to maintain better control over the situation.

You have an excellent opportunity to learn at the Buell day. I would be willing to bet there will be club racers, regular trackday riders and some track newbs at that day. Watch the differences in riding technique and ask questions of the control riders on the course. You will learn alot and ride safe.

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post #18 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 08:46 AM
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Ridge said it... i would like to add that leaning off the bike will also help compress suspension less and reduce your hardware dragging problems unless you're on the heavy side like i used to be in which case the only thing that can help you then is stiffer suspension.

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post #19 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 08:56 AM
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Someone teach me to ride my bike wrong!

I wanna ride my bike wrong!

I ride streets, not track, so the laws of physics do not factor in here!

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post #20 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 09:47 AM
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I have a friend who took a little class that a local Beemer guy gave. I think it was called "Ride Smart" or "Ride Safe" or something like that. My friend explained a little of it to me. He said that the instructor told them to keep their butts squarely in the seats. I don't understand that because when I put my butt in the position that Ridge is talking about, the bike feels so much more stable and predictable. What's this guy talking about (the instructor)?

Good post, j919!

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post #21 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 10:12 AM
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Nice description of riding technique James Coming from a dirt background I don't see how anyone can leave their butt in one posistion on the seat. I'm constantly using my legs to move the bike around and frequently am off the seat during riding, I have so much more control than if I were to plant it scooter style and ride, doing it like that actually scares me since I know I'm quickly running out of contact patch on tight curves and I know I'm pushing it to the limits with no strips left in sight and more than a few occasions of cooking some hot corners and pushing the front and sliding the rear.




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post #22 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 11:26 AM
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I think you will find many "Teachers" out there on all subjects to be lacking, whether it be motorcycles, college, technical, etc. There is a reason for that old saying "Those who can't do, teach!"

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post #23 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
Someone teach me to ride my bike wrong!

I wanna ride my bike wrong!

I ride streets, not track, so the laws of physics do not factor in here!
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?

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post #24 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 02:06 PM
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Even if you have your mind made up that you are not going to hang off, learn to do it. The reason is that one of these days you might find yourself going into a curve too hot and you are going to need it.

I personally know of 5 guys who went straight in a curve,. They were all of the "Square Seat" type.

Better yet, change your mindset and learn to hang off, which will probably happen at the track day you mentioned.

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post #25 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retard View Post
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?
I am talking about resistance to someone trying to help. Telling someone how to ride with the most contact patch on the tires and stability in the suspension.

Response, I rede street not track, so that does not apply.

At any speed it applies.

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post #26 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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This is fantastic stuff, I'm going to put much more effort into moving my weight in corners.

Thanks much!

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post #27 of 29 Old 08-08-2008, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hackz View Post
This is fantastic stuff, I'm going to put much more effort into moving my weight in corners.

Thanks much!
If you are serious about learning this technique, read up about it first so you understand why, and practice at comparatively low speeds on as deserted a road as you can find.
Here are a couple of basic articles on the subject that provide useful information:

http://www.soundrider.com/archive/sa...ng_unglued.htm

http://www.citybikerblog.com/2008/04...street-riding/

These articles are long on why, but short on how. Some fundamental principles:

1 -- All your moving around on the bike must be done exclusively with your legs! The handlebars are there for steering, not holding your weight (that's right, not even while braking), and if you are using your hands to help move around you are steering even if you're not aware of it. This brings up a very important point: If your bars are too far forward too much of your weight will be ahead of your CG, and it will be nearly impossible to move on the saddle without using the bars, compromising control. Basically, your setup should be such that you should be able to lift your butt off the saddle whitout using your arms to help. If you can't, either your pegs are too far back or the bars are too far forward. As the bars are easier to move than the pegs, find a pair that will position you properly.

2 -- When you shift your weight in the saddle, the bike will want to turn in that direction. It's a natural consequence of the combined bike / rider CG shifting. Don't let it! What you have to do is apply a small amount of pressure on the bars to keep going straight until you want to cut in to the corner. It's not that you are not telling it to steer, it's more you are telling it not to steer. Practice this on a straight stretch of road until it becomes instinctive.

3 -- Move your entire upper body, not just your butt. The whole point of this is to change the combined CG to the inside of the turn in order to go through the corner with the bike more upright than would normally be the case if you were centered on the saddle. If your head is still centered, the CG is not shifting nearly as much as you may think, and you may lean far enough to drag hard parts unintentionally. Think "biting the mirror", though you dont have to be perched over the bars every time you hang off. More on this later.

4 -- Be as smooth as possible. This does not mean slow, just smooth. Any jerky moves will upset stability as you are setting up for a corner, and unstable is the last thing you want at this critical time: you have enough to worry about! To assist in this try to stay in contact with the saddle while moving across it -- slide, don't jump! As you get more proficient at it, you will notice your moves getting quicker but the bike will not seem to notice -- an ideal situation. A good illustration of this is when negotiating a series of esses (right / left / right, etcetera) at an elevated speed, or even the speed limit. The turns come at you very quickly and you will find yourself trying to move to the other side of the saddle while actually in the next turn -- a bad situation! I've found that the act of moving across the saddle can actually quicken the transition. Stay with me here. In a transition you are countersteering to stand the bike up from leaning through the previous turn, and as vertical comes and goes initiating the lean for the coming corner. If you are moving on the saddle at the same time you are decreasing the weight of the bike, and therefore the mass that is transitioning, and as you are getting to the desired position you can (at least I do) stop your motion by applying your weight to the tank / seat junction with the outside thigh, which will actually hasten the last part of the lean. It is at this point that smoothness is absolutely essential -- too much force can push the bike too far to the point of laying it down. This is an advanced technique that should be approached cautiously.

5 -- As you gain proficiency at hanging off you will notice precise control is augmented by subtle shifts in body position. Quite often I find myself having to make a slight correction in the path through a corner, especially on the street to avoid something, and a small adjustment of my body position will accomplish this without a lot of steering input. Remember earlier I said hanging off will make the bike tend to steer in that direction? Well, that's what you want in this case. To widen your line through a turn just lean your body a little further -- the bike will stand up a little and steer a little wider. It's all about the combined CG shifting.

6 -- Another advantage of hanging off is traction control. This is more useful on the track, but still applies for the street. Simply stated, if you feel the front end start to tuck in, indicating the beginning of a slide, moving your weight back slightly will unload the front and bring the tire back. the same can be said for the rear. Again, this is an advanced technique, and will come with practice and experience.

7 -- Hanging off augments feel. I've found that when I'm sitting square in the saddle the feel for what the bike is doing in a corner isn't what it should be. As an example, when I first started riding my 919, I thought the handling was, well, funny. Keep in mind I came off of 13 years of riding a Hawk GT, which is posessed of a hell for stout chassis, especially considering the relatively weak motor. Making the change to the 919 was a bit of a leap in the opposite direction -- lots of motor, flexible chassis, though not all that much heavier than the Hawk. I found that when I hung off the feedback from the center of the frame was quite a bit more readable: when the backbone deflected, the movement was really obvious, and I quickly found it was utterly predictable, with no winding and unwinding or sudden releases of stored energy even when sliding. It would have taken considerably longer to notice and quantify this feel if it was being attenuated by the seat foam. Hanging off gave a direct path from the outside peg to the rear of the tank through my leg, and it's relatively easy to read, that is if you know what to feel for, which I fortunately do. I can't explain what it feels like, but the feel is definitely there.

I've found that since I learned how to properly hang off a motorcycle it has given me a greater understanding of the bike / rider interface, and in consequence I'm a better and safer rider.

So be smooth, and practice practice practice.

Rob

If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
------- Rob --------
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post #28 of 29 Old 08-09-2008, 07:43 AM
(Quintus) Pilus Prior
 
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Nice read Rob! Thanks.

'02 Honda 919 - She's the only one for me!

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post #29 of 29 Old 08-11-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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This might help understand why:

http://home.comcast.net/~punishr6/kneedrag.jpeg

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