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Heavy Steering

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I currently ride a Triumph Speed Triple RS that I've used for CSS levels 1-2, and looking forward to 3. I have no experience with super sports, but my Speedie seems to have fairly heavy bar pressure at speed. One of the things that gives me a little trouble on track and street is mid corner line adjustments on decreasing radius corners. The bent angle of my inside arm during cornering body position is not very advantageous when it comes to applying pressure to the inside bar to tighten the line. Target fixation is a constant battle when facing unexpected decreasing radius turns, which of course causes tension in the arms, which makes the bike feel even more stiff. 

What are the thoughts on engaging the outside arm to help pull on the bar mid corner rather than using only a push on the inside bar? The mechanical advantage would be better, but I've never seen this advocated and curious if I'm setting myself up for bad habits/muscle memory in the future. I generally only engage both arms to push/pull on the bar for quick turn corner entry or chicanes - not so much mid corner. 

Also just curious...for those of you who have ridden the Speed Triple and super sports - how much lighter and flickable is a 600 class super sport compared to the Speed Triple? Hard to say right now how deep I'll get into track riding. Definitely want to do some track days after CSS level 3, but just wondering if a 600 class super sport would be a more enjoyable, physically easier bike for the track. I do love the Speedie for the street. 

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While using both arms certainly could be a workable solution, it does seem excessive to have to use that much force to steer the bike. Have you looked at the suspension and geometry of the bike?  It sounds like the front end might either be too high, or too stiff. Here are some thoughts in that area: 

1) If the bike is properly set up for you but the suspension could be due for service, consider getting that done, maybe the forks are not traveling freely; check fork travel, fork alignment (are they twisted?), and make sure the steering head moves freely and is in good condition.

2) If you have never had the suspension set up properly for your weight (correct spring rates, setting the sag properly), that would be a great thing to do that may drastically improve the bike's handling

3) If the above are all done, check the compression settings and see if the front end is too stiff - you can put a zip tie on the fork to see how much the fork travels, if the zip tie is never pushed down more than halfway it probably indicates there is too much compression damping, the front is too stiff and doesn't compress enough during cornering to allow easy mid-corner steering adjustments

4) You could try to take out some preload in the front to soften the front and lower it.

Take a look at your tires as well - actually this should probably be done before all of the above: check tire geometry - are your tires profiled, causing them to handle differently than when they were new? Are the tires you use designed to be extremely stable in a straight line and possibly therefore not so easy to turn mid-corner? Is the front tire you are using taller than the one the bike was originally set up for? Is your tire pressure within suggested range for that tire and bike?

A 600 supersport would be a terrific track weapon, but before spending a few thousand (or more) on that, I would get your current bike to a suspension expert and see if a few hundred dollars spent in that area would get your current bike working better for you, since it sounds like you like that bike pretty well. :)

  

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What year is your bike, and to confirm it's a Speed Triple, not the smaller version?  If it's the bike I'm thinking off, it's a pretty heavy bike.  As I recall when I rode one a while back, it wasn't a heavy steering bike, but it was a heavy-ish bike to start with.

CF

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19 hours ago, Hotfoot said:

While using both arms certainly could be a workable solution, it does seem excessive to have to use that much force to steer the bike. Have you looked at the suspension and geometry of the bike?  It sounds like the front end might either be too high, or too stiff. Here are some thoughts in that area: 

1) If the bike is properly set up for you but the suspension could be due for service, consider getting that done, maybe the forks are not traveling freely; check fork travel, fork alignment (are they twisted?), and make sure the steering head moves freely and is in good condition.

2) If you have never had the suspension set up properly for your weight (correct spring rates, setting the sag properly), that would be a great thing to do that may drastically improve the bike's handling

3) If the above are all done, check the compression settings and see if the front end is too stiff - you can put a zip tie on the fork to see how much the fork travels, if the zip tie is never pushed down more than halfway it probably indicates there is too much compression damping, the front is too stiff and doesn't compress enough during cornering to allow easy mid-corner steering adjustments

4) You could try to take out some preload in the front to soften the front and lower it.

Take a look at your tires as well - actually this should probably be done before all of the above: check tire geometry - are your tires profiled, causing them to handle differently than when they were new? Are the tires you use designed to be extremely stable in a straight line and possibly therefore not so easy to turn mid-corner? Is the front tire you are using taller than the one the bike was originally set up for? Is your tire pressure within suggested range for that tire and bike?

A 600 supersport would be a terrific track weapon, but before spending a few thousand (or more) on that, I would get your current bike to a suspension expert and see if a few hundred dollars spent in that area would get your current bike working better for you, since it sounds like you like that bike pretty well. :)

  

Excellent - thanks for the details on all the things to keep in mind and check moving forward. The bike is nearly new, but I have not had the suspension settings customized to me yet. I do need to get that done. 

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14 hours ago, Cobie Fair said:

What year is your bike, and to confirm it's a Speed Triple, not the smaller version?  If it's the bike I'm thinking off, it's a pretty heavy bike.  As I recall when I rode one a while back, it wasn't a heavy steering bike, but it was a heavy-ish bike to start with.

CF

It's the 2019 1050cc Speed, 450 lbs wet. Has amazingly planted grip mid corner, just takes a bit of muscle to change directions quickly. 

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Haven't ridden one lately, but the older ones (like them overall) seemed a bit top heavy, a factor in steering.  I know that was a point the BMW engineers (or so we were told) went to pains to keep low and centralized.  

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You can also add a couple of PSI to the front tire pressure, provided you are within the recommended values. One or two extra PSI makes a significant difference at higher speed, above 80 Mph I would say.

Another solution is to decrease the trail.

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I laugh every time I see your avatar...

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11 hours ago, Cobie Fair said:

I laugh every time I see your avatar...

I'm the mysterious pasta rider, saving the world from the low carb diet. 

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