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Something happened recently when I fitted new tires on my NT650V, when I suddenly found I could apply throttle very early in a corner - slow or fastish - without the bike wanting to noticeably widen its trajectory. And now I found the same thing with my other bike (although it does not belong in a sporty setting), an XVS650: I can roll on the throttle fully (it is, however, a slow bike) the instant I am at full lean and it will not deviate from its chosen line one inch, nor does it take any effort to retain the trajectory; I remain relaxed at the bars.

Now I wonder if I have changed something that I am not aware of, or if by fluke I have ended up with two bikes that act this way. Any thoughts?

 

Bakcground: I have always trail braked, purely based on instinct/what felt natural. Some may remember that I back in 2011/12 tried to unlearn this, and it was very frustrating, primarily because I most likely rode in panic mode and that reduced tire grip and deteriorated handling. In the end I got to a point where I could do it safely, but it never became comfortable to set the cornering speed early and get on the throttle early. I drive my cars the same way, BTW - fast in, slow out. However, on the XVS, which does not like to turn in on the brakes, within a short period of time it has become second nature to slow prior to turning in.

Whenever I have tried to apply throttle early on my previous motorcycles, especially around hairpins, I have observed the bike wanting to get upright and head for the edge of the road. So I basically waited with throttle until I began steering the bike upright. As mentioned above, I now owns two bikes that does not have this trait. 

 

 

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To summarize:

  • You had 2 bikes that would run wide on the throttle
  • You change tires on 1 bike and liked the results
  • Now neither bike runs wide, despite no changes to the other machine

Your question is: what caused the change?

Do I understand correctly?

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When you were trail braking could your brake release have been a little too  quick or your rebound too soft? When the brake is released abruptly the forks will extend, making the bike suddenly run wide, which would change your line AND force you to have to delay the throttle until the bike came back around to your desired line. It can be really hard, when trail braking, to get the brake release slow and gradual enough to avoid that.

Additionally, it is much harder to precisely judge entry speed when braking late/trail braking versus setting the entry speed earlier and using less (or no) brakes. That's the purpose of the no-brakes drill we do, to fine-tune entry speed. Is it possible that before, your entry speed was just a tad too high, so you were running slightly wide and having to wait too long to get on the throttle? (That is a very common problem!)

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1 hour ago, Jaybird180 said:

To summarize:

  • You had 2 bikes that would run wide on the throttle
  • You change tires on 1 bike and liked the results
  • Now neither bike runs wide, despite no changes to the other machine

Your question is: what caused the change?

Do I understand correctly?

No, meaning I explained myself poorly.

All previous bikes I can recall having attempted early throttle application with would fight me and go wide, usually enough to make me get off the throttle again for a moment. That was the case with the NT650V until l replaced the tires recently.

The XVS is a bike l rode gently home on 20 year old tires in November and have restored since. It is fitted with new diagonal Pirelli touring tires. It did not react well to my normal riding habits, which is how I subsequently ended up going in slower and exiting faster, and that the bike acted absolutely neutral to acceleration around corners.

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57 minutes ago, Hotfoot said:

When you were trail braking could your brake release have been a little too  quick or your rebound too soft? When the brake is released abruptly the forks will extend, making the bike suddenly run wide, which would change your line AND force you to have to delay the throttle until the bike came back around to your desired line. It can be really hard, when trail braking, to get the brake release slow and gradual enough to avoid that.

Additionally, it is much harder to precisely judge entry speed when braking late/trail braking versus setting the entry speed earlier and using less (or no) brakes. That's the purpose of the no-brakes drill we do, to fine-tune entry speed. Is it possible that before, your entry speed was just a tad too high, so you were running slightly wide and having to wait too long to get on the throttle? (That is a very common problem!)

Could be l used to be more abrupt, and l definitely was braking late on purpose, so that could well be the issue. On the Honda, l now brake less hard and ease off them, then going directly to rolling on the throttle.

I am beginning to get to grips with setting the entry speed early, but with 40 years of braking deep it is what I know. At the age of 16, riding a CB100 limited to 50 mph, l would brake at the latest moment possible as often as l could, and l gave myself a maximum of one yard error - if l stopped sooner or, much worse, overshot, it wad considered a fail. I did this on all sorts of surfaces and conditions, and with time became pretty good at judging braking distances and "feeling" the available grip. That was also the only thing l learned well, though...

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If the throttle begins too early, before the bike is fully leaned over, AND on line, where will the line go?

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Would that not depend on how much power is fed in and how much the bike is leaned over at the time of throttle application, plus how much more lean is needed? But it does seem like a recipe for loss of traction.

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