faffi Posted October 13, 2010 Report Share Posted October 13, 2010 The replies I have received in my Uh-Oh topic made me think. This in itself is about as rare as moon-landings, so I do hope you appreciate the significance Again, I know I use too many words, but although it must be tiresome to the point of being ignored by most - or all - readers, it do help me writing things down. Apart from the CB1100F, which was totally unruffled by anything I or the road could throw at it but also increadibly heavy to steer, the bike that gave me the most confidence was my 1979 Kawasaki Z400G. This was the cast wheel version of the standard twin. Of the claimed 36 horses, I expect around 27 remained based upon actual performance. Which was enough to play Mike Hailwood in a sensible manner over gnarly backroads, but a bit short when trying to pass an 18-wheeler up an incline while facing a gale. A lot short, actually, to the point that you probably wouldn't try it After upgrading the chassis with 40 mm longer (1.5 in.) KONI shock absorbers with adjustable rebound damping and 25 mm higher oil level in the front forks as well as drilling out the compression damper holes to 6 mm and use 25 weight fork oil instead of the stock 10W, all the better to increase compliance and control, both the chassis and the suspension handled quite admireably for such an old steed. The suspension was fairly supple, yet controlled, cornering clearance matched the grip of the narrow tyres (3.00 front and 3.50 rear) and steering was incredibly light and direct. And the whole thing was also stable and would track wherever it was pointed without further inputs. I could literally corner at the bike's limit (with my hopeless style) and still everything felt like slow motion, giving me time to look around and taking in the scenery while leaned way over. It didn't just feel rapid around the bends, it actually was. Along with the CB1100 and a VT500 Ascot that was raised even further than the Z400, this was the bike that allowed me to corner the fastest around the sort of low-speed bends I prefer (sub-60 mph). And also, like the the two Hondas, there weren't scary moments because even going fast (for me) things felt calm and relaxed. I was utterly confident in them bikes. Today, things are different. I have never been overly confident in my current bike. I do not know exactly what's wrong, but I suspect that the rear suspension and overall geometry is involved. The Daytona 900 is a very, very heavy and slow steering motorcycle. Just getting it off the sidestand took some serious effort. I have never ridden a stock Thunderbird, so I do not know how it is, but it was much easier to get off the stand. My bike runs the wheels, brakes and front end from the Daytona fitted to the frame and rear suspension from the Thunderbird. I also run the Thunderbird triple clamps. The rear sits significantly lower than on the Daytona, making the bike sit lower overall. As a result, the bike is downright twitchy and getting it off the sidestand takes virtually no effort. So instead of letting the bike do the work, I find myself guiding it all the time. I also have to be on the outlook for bumps on the road because it acts a bit like cruisers if bumps are encountered mid-corner; it tends to be pushed upright and head straight. In many ways, it's one of the lesser handling bikes - especially for confidence - that I have ridden. I do hope that fitting the suspension from the Daytona will rectify much of these issues. In conclusion (do I even have the ability to conclude, you may wonder) I have realised today just how important confidence is when it comes to riding well - and also how much more fun it is to ride a bike that always does what you expect. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.