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Fear Of Lean Angle


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Hey Everyone. I am new to the forum. You guys have a lot of great advice and tips concerning cornering.

 

I ride a 05 VFR and am having issues with lean angle. I get to an angle in which the bike feels light and like the tires are washing out or I'm moving towards the deck a little quickly. I'm positive that I am NO where near the max lean angle. Do any of you have any tips or experience with this issue? Thanks soo much.

 

Ryan

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This is somewhat of a loaded question due in part to the affect of different factors.

Here is a list of things to consider in a progressive order:

1) Tire Pressure specific for your tires

2) Supension set up. Proper free sag and rider sag. Followed by adjustments of rebound and compression dampening settings. This info is available in many performance riding resources.

3) Type of tires and age.

4) Body positioning.

5) Throttle control

6) Time in the saddle

 

Try the least expensive and time conservative things first.

 

If you have not already taken formal training I highly suggest you take a class such as CSS Level 1. The track time is invaluable and you learn 10x more 10x faster than you can on the street. I have completed 3 levels and am taking level 4 later this year and I have found that each year I become noticably faster post each level.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Tim

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Hey Everyone. I am new to the forum. You guys have a lot of great advice and tips concerning cornering.

 

I ride a 05 VFR and am having issues with lean angle. I get to an angle in which the bike feels light and like the tires are washing out or I'm moving towards the deck a little quickly. I'm positive that I am NO where near the max lean angle. Do any of you have any tips or experience with this issue? Thanks soo much.

 

Ryan

 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "the bike feels light".

 

How worn are your tires?

 

Most street rider's tires tend to wear a bit "square" due to more straight line riding and not often being leaned over to the edge of the tire. Hence, the middle of the tire wears and the sides really don't. As such, the leaning process progresses from flat contact patch to a high angle with little transition.

 

As for the feeling that the front is washing...assuming good rubber, the first thing I would check is fork spring rate or pre-load. About 1" sag for the street.

 

Fresh fork oil and correct level. And then your damping adjustments. You can adjust the damping after the sag with whatever oil is in there now, but, if it is what was in there when you bought it....you need fresh. Fork oil should be changed at least once a year.

 

Keith and others have outlined proper procedure for setting up suspension sag, etc. The search function is an invaluable tool!

 

Cheers,

racer

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The tires a broken in (about 2,000 relatively easy miles). They are not visibly squared off. Theres is about 3/4" of virgin rubber on the outsides of the tire. So I think that the tires are alright.

 

What I mean by the "bike feeling light" is that I will go from feeling the forced into the seat to kind of falling towards the ground. I guess a feeling on an soon to be lowside. I think that it is this feeling that is worrying me. However I know that I am not near the max lean angle.

 

Is it possible that my issue is I am trying to give too much lean angle for a given turn radius and speed? And the feeling that I am getting is actually the sensation before a lowside?

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The tires a broken in (about 2,000 relatively easy miles). They are not visibly squared off. Theres is about 3/4" of virgin rubber on the outsides of the tire. So I think that the tires are alright.

 

What I mean by the "bike feeling light" is that I will go from feeling the forced into the seat to kind of falling towards the ground. I guess a feeling on an soon to be lowside. I think that it is this feeling that is worrying me. However I know that I am not near the max lean angle.

 

Is it possible that my issue is I am trying to give too much lean angle for a given turn radius and speed? And the feeling that I am getting is actually the sensation before a lowside?

Sounds like this could be a number of things...

But... it could be a simple matter of gripping the bars too tightly and so not giving the bike a chance to settle into the turn. It's quite common for a rider to unconsciously stiffen up, tightening their grip and keeping the bars turned, effectively steering the bike into the ground (also manifests as running wide on the exit).

 

Next time you go out, to reduce distractions, slow everything right down and then try forcing yourself to relax your upper body (your grip should be fairly relaxed and you shouldn't be using the bars as a support). Try to think about what you are doing, your position on the bike, your grip on the bars and how this changes when you start cornering. My hunch would be that you're stiffening up when you're heading through tight corners and this is giving you the feeling that you're falling. Your worry is only creating a vicious circle where you unconsciously tighten your grip even more, which only makes matters worse.

 

Sure, check your suspension also (this could well be worn and there's certainly nothing to be lost by giving it an overhaul), but generally, failing any serious mechanical problems (which would pretty much show themselves in a straight line/ gentle corner as much as the tighter stuff), the main cause of ill handling bikes can be traced back to what the rider is doing.

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i doubt you are going at a clip that would require all the other things that the others said. ask your self what your goal is. if you have the money, go take some classes. it would only improve your skill 10x faster like what the others said. theres no better teacher than experience, so i can only tell you to ride more. i think you just need seat time; know your bike and slow down if you feel you are over your head. like what the others said, its a good idea to get a book about riding technique or just browse online. there is tons of information out there. concentrate with looking through turns, braking, throttle control, and body positionting instead of your bikes tires, suspension, and other things- assuming that there are nothing wrong with them.

 

i could ride a beat up bike with ###### pached up tires and not have any problems with it.

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i doubt you are going at a clip that would require all the other things that the others said. ask your self what your goal is. if you have the money, go take some classes. it would only improve your skill 10x faster like what the others said. theres no better teacher than experience, so i can only tell you to ride more. i think you just need seat time; know your bike and slow down if you feel you are over your head. like what the others said, its a good idea to get a book about riding technique or just browse online. there is tons of information out there. concentrate with looking through turns, braking, throttle control, and body positionting instead of your bikes tires, suspension, and other things- assuming that there are nothing wrong with them.

 

i could ride a beat up bike with ###### pached up tires and not have any problems with it.

 

 

It never ceases to blow my mind what a major difference a fresh chain and sprockets make for my ability to control the throttle and the ability to apply power smoothly at all.

 

Compared to last year's fork oil, fresh fork oil always makes a drastic difference in keeping my front end planted.

 

 

I cannot conclude how fast cueball is riding, nor how much experience he has, nor how long he has been riding on his '05 model, nor how much he weighs ... I cannot make any assumptions about any of that ... but, improper pre-load (or spring rate) will give a clear feeling of an impending front end lowside crash ... mostly because when bending off into a corner at speed with a too soft fork spring, the bike runs wide and a front end lowside crash IS impending.

 

While it is true that a rider can cause a perfectly good machine to perform poorly, and that, for any given bike in any state of tune, in the final analysis, by definition, a rider's own inputs will always be the absolute cause of any riding problem ... (ie. if there was no rider, there would be no problem) ... the relationship between peak mechanical performance and peak riding performance is undeniable.

 

And, while it is certainly a credit to a rider's skill and experience to be able to "ride around" a poorly performing or badly maintained machine, STANDARD riding techniques are designed for, and assumed to be applied to, a properly functioning machine.

 

In fact, in my opinion, any number of bad habits may develop due to riding a poorly maintained or improperly set up machine.

 

 

That said, staying relaxed on the handlebars is always a good idea.

 

 

racer

 

 

PS Under normal circumstances, I would never choose to "ride a beat up bike with ###### pached up tires". I enjoy living with two arms and legs, ten fingers and toes, and my brainpan intact.

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