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Losing The Front


GSXR600
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Hello GSXR600! What I have always read and done (mostly on a dirtbike) is that when you lose the front if you counter stear into the corner then it will pick the bike up onto a little bit larger contact patch. Now, you will drift out a bit but I think that that is better than a crash. :P It doesn't take much, if you are leaned over left and you loose the front just a little flick or twitch pushing the right handlebar/pulling or stablizing the left, should bring you back into control. Another point, the stearing, I have found, likes to be pushed and not pulled, that is use the right bar handle to turn right and the left to turn left with the opposing hand to stabalize the opposing bar as it changes possition.

 

~Wip

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Hello GSXR600! What I have always read and done (mostly on a dirtbike) is that when you lose the front if you counter stear into the corner then it will pick the bike up onto a little bit larger contact patch. Now, you will drift out a bit but I think that that is better than a crash. :P It doesn't take much, if you are leaned over left and you loose the front just a little flick or twitch pushing the right handlebar/pulling or stablizing the left, should bring you back into control. Another point, the stearing, I have found, likes to be pushed and not pulled, that is use the right bar handle to turn right and the left to turn left with the opposing hand to stabalize the opposing bar as it changes possition.

 

~Wip

Thanks Wip that's what I have been doing and backing of the gas a bit just until it is under control again and then getting back on the gas.

 

Thanks Mate :D

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I've heard of pushing on the ground with a knee to push it back up when losing the front.

 

Is this a common or frequent problem for you? Are you riding on the racetrack? Are you running stock springs? Old or street rubber? You might try a different body position to change weight distribution. Although pushing the front a bit was "normal" under racing conditions I didn't find this to be a common problem for me except under slippery or off camber conditions or trying to run softer fork springs on bumpy track, or injudicious use of throttle...

 

One other thought, if this is happening a lot... is this happening when you first apply throttle? Do you find the transition from off throttle to cracked on a bit to be an abrupt change? A sudden increase from a poorly tuned or dirty carb or especially older style injection systems will make that transition difficult to be smooth...but I'm reaching here.

 

Otherwise, you better slow down. :D

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Just to clarify, I didn't mean I had issues with front traction when running stock springs only on bumpy tracks. What I meant was that I tried running stock springs once because the track I was racing on was bumpy and I thought it might help. What I found, however, was that bumpy or smooth, I had major lack of traction at the front end. It was a very fast flowing track. And the front wouldn't hold a line anywhere. So, that's why I ask.

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Hello GSXR600! What I have always read and done (mostly on a dirtbike) is that when you lose the front if you counter stear into the corner then it will pick the bike up onto a little bit larger contact patch. Now, you will drift out a bit but I think that that is better than a crash. :P It doesn't take much, if you are leaned over left and you loose the front just a little flick or twitch pushing the right handlebar/pulling or stablizing the left, should bring you back into control. Another point, the stearing, I have found, likes to be pushed and not pulled, that is use the right bar handle to turn right and the left to turn left with the opposing hand to stabalize the opposing bar as it changes possition.

 

~Wip

 

I'm a little confused by what you are saying. My experience has been that when the front starts going the last thing I want to do is countersteer. All that does for me is cause the slide to increase rapidly.

 

If you think about countersteering it actually puts less tread on the ground. I've found that if I can't fix it with the gas (like missing a gear and hitting the corner with a false neutral) a counter-counter steer helps to keep the front from sliding more.

 

I have also read this in many dirt bike technique articles.

 

I know what works for me and your explanation seems to be the opposite of what I do and what I have read to do in the dirt.

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Hello GSXR600! What I have always read and done (mostly on a dirtbike) is that when you lose the front if you counter stear into the corner then it will pick the bike up onto a little bit larger contact patch. Now, you will drift out a bit but I think that that is better than a crash. :P It doesn't take much, if you are leaned over left and you loose the front just a little flick or twitch pushing the right handlebar/pulling or stablizing the left, should bring you back into control. Another point, the stearing, I have found, likes to be pushed and not pulled, that is use the right bar handle to turn right and the left to turn left with the opposing hand to stabalize the opposing bar as it changes possition.

 

~Wip

 

I'm a little confused by what you are saying. My experience has been that when the front starts going the last thing I want to do is countersteer. All that does for me is cause the slide to increase rapidly.

 

If you think about countersteering it actually puts less tread on the ground. I've found that if I can't fix it with the gas (like missing a gear and hitting the corner with a false neutral) a counter-counter steer helps to keep the front from sliding more.

 

I have also read this in many dirt bike technique articles.

 

I know what works for me and your explanation seems to be the opposite of what I do and what I have read to do in the dirt.

Hi Thor

Wip said counter stear but he explained the opposite " if you are leaned over left and you loose the front just a little flick or twitch pushing the right handlebar/pulling or stablizing the left, should bring you back into control."

I hope that helped

Cheers

Brian

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Hi Thor

Wip said counter stear but he explained the opposite " if you are leaned over left and you loose the front just a little flick or twitch pushing the right handlebar/pulling or stablizing the left, should bring you back into control."

I hope that helped

Cheers

Brian

Hi guys, I guess what I thought coutner stering was was turning the handlebars one way and the bike geoing the other way. What I was trying to say was that if leaned over left you want to countersteer into the corner so that the bike picks up (from leaned over left to not so leaned over) onto a larger concact patch, thus more traction hopefully stopping the slide.

 

~Wip

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Thanks for all your help :D

 

GSXR600,

 

The situation you originally came up with was losing the front from acceleration while in the corner.

 

If you have not leaned the bike over way too far and you aren't on the brake and it isn't a slippery surface then the reason you are losing the front isn't the gas--unless you are actually whacking the twistgrip open.

 

Riders don't lose the front on the throttle. Going off the throttle and not bringing the bike up at the same time is far more likely the cause of losing the front than is adding throttle. Ancient racer wisdom tells us that rolling on the gas, not harshly, is what saves a front end slide.

 

Kenny Roberts (senior), a keen observer to say the least, recently said that he'd never seen anyone lose the front if they were on the gas--provided of course it wasn't a really slippery surface and even then a little gas can save the front.

 

Keith

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think having good throttle technique and being loose on the bars as outlined in Twist Of The Wrist 2 will deal with the front end slide. An important point is that getting the throttle rolling on as soon as you are over will get you through any front slide that develops at the entry, if you've got the gas off and the front goes I think its time to taste the tarmac you've gotta be already coming onto the throttle to save it.

 

If you can get it GSXR600 read Kenny Roberts book which details, amongst many other cool things, the point that Keith makes about getting the gas on early.

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I think having good throttle technique and being loose on the bars as outlined in Twist Of The Wrist 2 will deal with the front end slide. An important point is that getting the throttle rolling on as soon as you are over will get you through any front slide that develops at the entry, if you've got the gas off and the front goes I think its time to taste the tarmac you've gotta be already coming onto the throttle to save it.

 

If you can get it GSXR600 read Kenny Roberts book which details, amongst many other cool things, the point that Keith makes about getting the gas on early.

 

Thanks mate I'll look it up. :D

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Although the Master has set the record straight, I'll throw in my $0.02. Losing the front is relatively common on my GS when on gravel roads. Which I will grant you is different from losing the front on a track, but then there are some similarities. The only cure for my GS is to add gas and bring the back around to reduce the effect angle between the front tire and the arc I am trying to track. In other words, when the front no longer steers you steer from the rear. (Which is subject of debate on BMW boards in view of the new traction control the company is offering - traction control is not always a good thing.) Mind you the GS is losing the front because I ma exceeding the speed that I can get traction. In other words, I don't need a lot of gas to get the rear to a similar state.

 

Twisting off the gas just loads the front which is already sliding. Not a cure for anything but a quicker trip to the road.

 

Trying to steer into the skid (toward the tangent of the turn which is where the bike is headed - ie. opposite to the lean) leans the bike farther into the turn and put the tire on less of a contact patch. Skids happen because of lean angle and speed. Assuming speed has not changed, you've just reduced the lean angle and increased the tendency to skid.

 

Trying to stand the bike up requires turning the wheel into the turn (counter steering) and increases the angle between the tire and the road - akin to a front wheel drive car plowing - and just makes the skid worse for a brief moment. At which point, you have created a new arc which you hope makes the front happy. Although the bike should sit up at some point and correct itself although then you're heading into a tree. I can't imagine very many roads or circuits on which you'd want to knowingly exits stage left when you are at a speed that the font is losing traction.

 

Steer from the rear is the only option, which I'm guessing is a level 3 or 4 lesson.

 

I've had glorious accident where I low sided a dirt bike (running a rear slick on a small tt course). I ended up with a 2 foot bruise on my hip and the inability to walk (like a human) for 2 weeks. I was off the gas and leaning back coming into the turn. I was getting lazy and was not able to support my mass sliding the bike into the corner, adding weight to the rear meant the front tucked. Had I been neutral on the bike, the rear would have slid as it had on the other turns. Adding gas in that situation would have done nothing as I was creating to many problems for the bike - the rear has my large mass over it and was not going to break loose. The point being, you may be doing other things to the bike such that adding gas is not going to fix things. It presumes you have your stuff together and are nor hampering the bike's ability to do what it wants to do.

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I'm confused about jrfuisz' reply. As I understand it, if one starts to lose traction in the front when leaned over in a turn, the concensus remedy is to unweight the front by adding some throttle-- that this will reduce the load on the front tire, and help it "make do" with the traction it has available. Increasing the throttle also shifts weight to the rear, which (with the increased engine thrust) increases the load on the rear tire, and makes it more prone to slipping laterally. The resultant oversteer (lateral slippage of the rear tire slewing the bike into the turn) brings the exit line back toward the inside of the turn. This also seems to be a concensus view.

 

What seems inconsistent is jrfuisz' experience that moving his weight back in the seat INCREASED his rear end traction, and DECREASED his front end traction. Moving his weight rear should have added load to the rear tire, which should have made it more prone to lateral slippage, while decreasing the load on the front, which should have stabilized it with respect to lateral slippage.

 

Is there something else going on here? Jrfuisz also said that he was "sitting up". Could raising his center of gravity or raising his center of pressure or changing his grip on the handlebars have caused his front end to get loose?

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Hey botte,

 

 

I don't see where jrfuisz talks about exactly what you are, however, jrfuisz is speakng about riding on gravel roads or dirt tracks in his last post. In this situation there needs to be a minimum amount of weight to create bite or traction to begin with because the surface is "loose".

 

It can be a little confusing.

 

My off-road and dirt track experience is limited though. Perhaps a more experienced dirt tracker can explain it better.

 

Ideally, now that I think of it, jrfuisz is probably the best person to respond to your questions on his posts. Doh! :rolleyes:

 

 

Cheers.

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