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Relaxed Hands And Weird Feedback


Crash106
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Hello All,

 

I've been looking into the turns, setting sensible entry speeds, using Throttle Rule One and trying to turn in once and keep everything nice and steady and smooth. This feels wonderful: safe, easy, relaxing, but NOW, I'm getting all kinds of weird information through the hand grips.

 


  •  
  • I feel the road drop away under my front tire.
  • I feel funny little jiggles.
  • I feel the bars (and can actually see them sometimes) turning a bit left and right.
  • I feel the bike at one angle, while the road cambers up and down to different degrees.
  • I feel like the front end is very light--it almost feels "invisible."
     

Is this normal? Is this what happens when you don't have a death grip on the bars? Or do I need to take the bike to the shop?

 

FYI--the front tire pressure is okay and while worn, the front tire still has maybe 1/8" of tread available before I hit the wear indicator bars.

 

Thanks.

 

Crash106

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That seems normal to me. Anytime you have a lighter touch you get more feel. You aren't forcibly holding the handlebars in place with a death grip and because you have that death grip you can't feel the vibrations and small movements that the road influences on the front tire. What your feeling is the tires grip and the bikes geometry at work by following the road and correcting itself.

 

It does depend on what tires you have on, how they wear, and the bike your on too. On my GSX-R600 I don't feel any funny little jiggles unless theres a slick spot of pavement or gravel but I do get the feel of the front tire scrubbing on the asphalt as the load increases on the tire. On a friends SV650 the front tire does feel like it kind of wiggles a little through a lot of corners. It has a much lighter feel then my gsxr as well. I never really get the feeling that the road drops away from under my front tire though. I have felt it before with brand new tires before they got scuffed in but I just got on the throttle a bit and that leveled things out. That situation did feel like the front was sliding out a bit.

 

I think this feel that you have now is why a lot of faster riders tend to wreck less then most slower riders. A rider with a tight grip can never really feel what the front tire is doing until it suddenly tucks and they go down. A rider with a light grip can feel when the edge of traction is getting close.

 

Edit: Also anytime that I do start to tighten my grip which still happens once and a while I do notice that feel is gone. As soon as my grip tightens I don't feel that scrubbing of the front tire anymore or the front tire tracking by itself through the corner. Its a lot harder to accurately counter-steer and have accurate throttle control as well.

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Crash,

 

Dave is right, what you're feeling is totally normal.

 

The front suspension moves in a couple of different ways to compensate for surface imperfections or small bumps. The forks move up and down through their stroke, and the bars move left and right. When you're relaxed on the bars you can feel this happening.

 

Also, once the bike is set on it's arc, and the throttle is rolled on, it's actually the rear of the bike that determines the lean angle it will hold. This is the "light" feeling you are experiencing. Chapter 13 of Twist of the Wrist II covers this exact point.

 

Keep doing what you're doing :) Don't worry about taking the bike to a shop.

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