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Weird Handling..


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Here's the thing. I have to keep pushing on the inside bar throughout corners to prevent the bike from turning the front wheel in, and thereby stand the bike up (and go straight). The slower I go, the more I have to concentrate on keeping the front wheel pointed where I want to go. If I'd let go of the handlebar, the front wheel would turn in fast and hard.

 

Applying throttle rule #1 does seem to help, but I still have to keep pushing the inside bar throughout the corner to prevent the front wheel from turning in and stand the bike up. I have noticed though that getting on the gas combined with hanging off helps even more but I still have to maintain a little force onto the inside clip-on.

 

I ride a Honda CBR 1100XX, by the way. I tried one of my mates' Suzuki Bandit 600, and I had no difficulties steering the bike "by the book" on this bike (i.e. set the lean angle, smooth roll-on, relax, look where I want to go etc).. Once the lean angle is set on the 600cc Bandit, I don't have to worry about steering any more, as the bike is "steering from the rear" so to speak. I can do minor steering adjustments simply by adjusting the amount of throttle roll-on.

 

So I'm pretty convinced that allthough I still need to practice a lot on my cornering technicque, there IS something fishy about the handling of my bike (as well). I've overhauled the forks recently, and they feel nice and firm (not too hard though, in my opinion). Haven't done anything to the rear damper/spring though. The tyre pressure is OK, and tyres should last throughout this season (street riding, not track).

 

Do you think that dropping the front end down a notch (in the triple tree) would make the bike act less like a H-D and more like a sport bike?? Or should I try something else first??

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Here's the thing. I have to keep pushing on the inside bar throughout corners to prevent the bike from turning the front wheel in, and thereby stand the bike up (and go straight). The slower I go, the more I have to concentrate on keeping the front wheel pointed where I want to go. If I'd let go of the handlebar, the front wheel would turn in fast and hard.

 

Applying throttle rule #1 does seem to help, but I still have to keep pushing the inside bar throughout the corner to prevent the front wheel from turning in and stand the bike up. I have noticed though that getting on the gas combined with hanging off helps even more but I still have to maintain a little force onto the inside clip-on.

 

I ride a Honda CBR 1100XX, by the way. I tried one of my mates' Suzuki Bandit 600, and I had no difficulties steering the bike "by the book" on this bike (i.e. set the lean angle, smooth roll-on, relax, look where I want to go etc).. Once the lean angle is set on the 600cc Bandit, I don't have to worry about steering any more, as the bike is "steering from the rear" so to speak. I can do minor steering adjustments simply by adjusting the amount of throttle roll-on.

 

So I'm pretty convinced that allthough I still need to practice a lot on my cornering technicque, there IS something fishy about the handling of my bike (as well). I've overhauled the forks recently, and they feel nice and firm (not too hard though, in my opinion). Haven't done anything to the rear damper/spring though. The tyre pressure is OK, and tyres should last throughout this season (street riding, not track).

 

Do you think that dropping the front end down a notch (in the triple tree) would make the bike act less like a H-D and more like a sport bike?? Or should I try something else first??

 

Have you noticed this behavior on both left and right turns? Does your bike steer straight hands-off? What brand of tires are you wearing?

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Have you noticed this behavior on both left and right turns? Does your bike steer straight hands-off? What brand of tires are you wearing?

 

Yes, this happens in both left and right turns. The bike has a slight tendency to pull to the left hands-off, but not much. I'm using Michelin Pilot Power 2CT front and Michelin Pilot Road 2 rear...

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Have you noticed this behavior on both left and right turns? Does your bike steer straight hands-off? What brand of tires are you wearing?

 

Yes, this happens in both left and right turns. The bike has a slight tendency to pull to the left hands-off, but not much. I'm using Michelin Pilot Power 2CT front and Michelin Pilot Road 2 rear...

 

I have PP's also. The front tire is a triangular shape and tends to "fall" when countersteered. First thing though, is to get the left-pull corrected. Check your wheel alignment. You can find lots of information online about how to do that (string method). After you get that sorted then you can test ride from there and report your results. Was the bike dropped? I'm thinking bent forks, given your symptoms, but it's tough to say without more info.

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As far as I know, the bike has been dropped two times during its lifetime (not by me though). The bike was completely rebuilt by professionals after the first incident. The second time wasn't very dramatic (low speed slide), so I doubt that the forks could have been bent..

 

I'll start with checking rear wheel alignment, and we'll go from there. ;)

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As far as I know, the bike has been dropped two times during its lifetime (not by me though). The bike was completely rebuilt by professionals after the first incident. The second time wasn't very dramatic (low speed slide), so I doubt that the forks could have been bent..

 

I'll start with checking rear wheel alignment, and we'll go from there. ;)

 

I had a ~35 MPH lowside that tweaked my forks. Couldn't see it until I pulled them from the triple trees.

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I'm taking the bike to the local dealer to have the valve clearance checked/adjusted and fluids replaced.

I'll ask them to check frame and forks for straightness (and align the wheel) while they're at it..

 

Checking the frame is done either by visually looking for dings or by putting it in a jig and measuring. Most shops don't have the capability and will do the visual method, which you can do yourself. As for forks, if you can put the bike on it's centerstand (Blackbird has one, right?) you can pull the forks yourself as well as checking alignment. But if you don't have the wrenching skills I'd recommend making friends with the shops people and becoming a student. It WILL make you a better rider by understanding the basics of how your machine works.

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I'm taking the bike to the local dealer to have the valve clearance checked/adjusted and fluids replaced.

I'll ask them to check frame and forks for straightness (and align the wheel) while they're at it..

 

Checking the frame is done either by visually looking for dings or by putting it in a jig and measuring. Most shops don't have the capability and will do the visual method, which you can do yourself. As for forks, if you can put the bike on it's centerstand (Blackbird has one, right?) you can pull the forks yourself as well as checking alignment. But if you don't have the wrenching skills I'd recommend making friends with the shops people and becoming a student. It WILL make you a better rider by understanding the basics of how your machine works.

 

 

Well I've inspected both the forks and the frame VISUALLY already, and I rolled the inner tubes of the forks on a smooth surface. They are both "damn straight" as far as I can tell, but my eyes aren't able to catch micrometer skewedness.. :ph34r:

 

The service manual says I should measure the tubes using V-blocks, but I don't have that at home so..

 

Anyway, I'll check the bike and the alignment for straightness and we'll see if we find anything interesting..

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I'm taking the bike to the local dealer to have the valve clearance checked/adjusted and fluids replaced.

I'll ask them to check frame and forks for straightness (and align the wheel) while they're at it..

 

Checking the frame is done either by visually looking for dings or by putting it in a jig and measuring. Most shops don't have the capability and will do the visual method, which you can do yourself. As for forks, if you can put the bike on it's centerstand (Blackbird has one, right?) you can pull the forks yourself as well as checking alignment. But if you don't have the wrenching skills I'd recommend making friends with the shops people and becoming a student. It WILL make you a better rider by understanding the basics of how your machine works.

 

 

Well I've inspected both the forks and the frame VISUALLY already, and I rolled the inner tubes of the forks on a smooth surface. They are both "damn straight" as far as I can tell, but my eyes aren't able to catch micrometer skewedness.. :ph34r:

 

The service manual says I should measure the tubes using V-blocks, but I don't have that at home so..

 

Anyway, I'll check the bike and the alignment for straightness and we'll see if we find anything interesting..

 

 

The plate glass method is usually good enough. Check your wheels for alignment. Sounds like you know how to turn a wrench to me.

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  • 1 month later...

Quick update on the situation:

 

Workshop said everything was nice and straight (forks, swingarm, frame, alignment), so no problems there. However, they did discover that the front head bearings were a bit too tight, so they loosened it up a notch. That actually improved the handling a bit, especially at low speeds. Made the bike more "flickable".

 

However, the REAL improvement happened last Friday when I got new tyres on (Pilot Power 2ct). No more forcing the bike around corners, she drops down to appropriate lean angle and stays there effortlessly. Problem solved! :)

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