Discussion:
more on the greenie
(too old to reply)
c
2007-10-29 15:11:50 UTC
Permalink
Hey all,

I just wanted to share a bit on where i'm at and ask a few questions
as i go.

First up, i licked the flu the other day and went out the next day,
even though it was raining. I waited until it had let up a bit and was
barely sprinkling. The roads were wet and i admit i was a bit
apprehensive, forcing myself to get used to backroads until trying the
highway. Fortunately, most people respond to the fact that the roads
are wet and the traffic was generally mild. Not that riding in the
rain is all good - there's always the idiot in an SUV who wants to
still do 90. It was a relief to do only 40 for most bits, along with
everyone else. I crossed the verrazano but i took the left-most lane
on the lower level - it wouldn't rain on my head and i could do 40-50
to match traffic. Worked great. Crossing the staten island highway was
another issue - i hit a patch of road where the pavement was scraped
up and the right-most and half of the center lane were that scarred
mess that meant loss of control. I'm not sure i could have gone in any
direction other than straight. Not fun. I couldn't get over, either,
because it was too wet to try that sharpest-angle-you-can-muster
technique i heard of at my MSF course (which is what i'd have done if
i were on a bicycle hopping a curb anyway...just not at 55mph), so i
rode it out. Fortunately it was in such horrible condition, that
stretch of road, that no one was in that lane with me so i could go
any speed i wanted. Crossing the verrazano coming back the other way -
bright, sunny, etc - far more dangerous. Took the upper level and felt
the wind just like i thought i would. My bike is not heavy enough to
ride on windy days across the windiest bridge around.

That was the only adventure i had. I took my sweet time in riding into
jersey and i was careful and picked up a bit of perspective about
highways, rain, poor road conditions, and friday night traffic. I
spent the weekend touring some nice backroads in jersey, listening to
my engine and watching the leaves.

I've been "commuting" into work (midtown) from brooklyn - it's a very
short ride but it's all stop-and-go in the morning. I'm not a fan. It
isn't enjoyable, per se, so i don't think i'll really bother with it,
i just wanted to give it a fair shake.

My engine, in rush hour bullshit, worries me sometimes. Often it'll be
fine and then start getting finicky. Like it will start stalling in
1st or putting in 2nd. If i can catch some luck and get an open
stretch where i can get into 3rd or 4th, when i go back to stop-and-go
it'll be back to normal. I assume that means the engine doesn't like
low speeds, and i further assume that's because it builds up a lot of
heat just sitting there (it's air cooled, and if it's not moving, then
there's not much air, right?). Although i do have a radiator-looking
thing and a fan in front of the engine. I don't know. I'm a greenie,
what do you want?

I actually noticed the same putting sensation in 5th, the first time i
got into 5th. If i have the throttle about 1/3 open, i'm golden, and
if i roll back a bit it seems ok until closed, then when i went to
open it back up it would putter. Eventually that stopped so i can only
assume the engine "got over it," whatever it was. Maybe i should run
through some seafoam or something?

My speedometer failed. It was scary to look down and see i was going
0. I rode a while on it because the gas gauge and the time (both part
of a digital readout below my analog speedometer) functioned. Stopped
eventually, took off the speedometer and put it back on (had to buy a
set of allen wrenches for the bolts, something i consider an excellent
investment) and it worked - i figure it was a loose connection or
something.

I made a little discovery about the way the bike handles at speed,
which leads me to a question. I noticed it was almost impossible to
turn the handlebars when moving very quickly. Zipping (at a moderate
clip) over some rural jersey roads let me practice leaning to corner
and in doing that i wanted to see what would happen if i moved the
bars. I really couldn't. That's the gyroscope effect, right? Or just
that the tire likes its path? So the question is what happens if i
don't move the bars when i lean? I'm trying to think about whether the
bars move anyway (opposite to how i'm leaning) or if they don't move
at all. Regardless, i know when i'm at speed and i want to go left, i
push the left handlebar and the bike dips a bit and i got left. It was
very reassuring to practice that a million times.

Been working a lot on braking, figure it can't hurt. I dropped my bike
too, guess i'll just let that out. I was slowing to a stop on a bit of
road that had a crazy turn at the end - the stop sign was at the
middle of the hook-turn, but it was unobstructed so a car would be
able to see it had the stop just fine. I saw the sign, i just didn't
realize the crazy angle the road was taking (the stop sign was in the
middle of a sharp curve) - so i slowed down a lot, got to the sign,
and then started turning to match the curve of the road. KERWOMP. Sad.
I kept my hands on the bars though - had the clutch in and the front
brake held, but the bike was sideways. I let off the brake and hit the
cutoff, lifted the bike up pretty easily (i was worried it would be
heavy - that's why everyone said not to get a big cruiser) and
realized i had no idea what to do. So i rolled over to the side of the
road and looked at it, not really sure what to look for, and started
back up and rode off. I had to tighten my left mirror, that's it. But
otherwise my braking is improving - braking is sort of a slow-motion
moment where the brakes come on, i assess how much more i have to
squeeze, and i get to that point as slowly as i can while still trying
to stop as fast as possible. It's hard to explain but the real thing
is keeping present, mentally - not like in a car where you can just
slam the brakes on and ABS takes over. It's a mental skill.

I feel really good and i'm proud of myself for resisting the urge to
lanesplit, especially when i see other bikers doing it. Not to say
that i won't someday, but i know for now i have enough to think about.

-c
Rayvan
2007-10-29 16:22:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by c
My engine, in rush hour bullshit, worries me sometimes. Often it'll be
fine and then start getting finicky. Like it will start stalling in
1st or putting in 2nd. If i can catch some luck and get an open
stretch where i can get into 3rd or 4th, when i go back to stop-and-go
it'll be back to normal. I assume that means the engine doesn't like
low speeds, and i further assume that's because it builds up a lot of
heat just sitting there (it's air cooled, and if it's not moving, then
there's not much air, right?). Although i do have a radiator-looking
thing and a fan in front of the engine. I don't know. I'm a greenie,
what do you want?
Volusia 800's are not air cooled. That radiator-looking thingy *is* a
radiator.
Suzuki screws on plastic cooling fins to make the bike *appear* that
it's air cooled.
But even if it was air cooled there is no reason why it would run like
crap in first and second gears. Sounds like you should get that fixed.
--
Rayvan
Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
2007-10-29 16:29:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by c
Crossing the staten island highway was
another issue - i hit a patch of road where the pavement was scraped
up and the right-most and half of the center lane were that scarred
mess that meant loss of control. I'm not sure i could have gone in any
direction other than straight. Not fun.
When you have to ride on pavement like that, it grabs the front tire and you
should grip the handlebars loosely and let the motorcycle the way it wants to,
and just make gentle corrections.

I couldn't get over, either,
Post by c
because it was too wet to try that sharpest-angle-you-can-muster
technique i heard of at my MSF course (which is what i'd have done if
i were on a bicycle hopping a curb anyway...just not at 55mph), so i
rode it out.
I crashed my mountain bike a few years ago, by trying to cross a curb at a
low angle. One second I was riding, the next second I was on the pavement
wondering what happened.

Motorcycles have bigger tires and enough suspension travel to handle low
curbs, but I worry about bending the front wheel if I'm riding a sportbike
with low profile tires, if I have to cross a low curb going into a parking
lot, so I slow down.
Post by c
Crossing the verrazano coming back the other way -
bright, sunny, etc - far more dangerous. Took the upper level and felt
the wind just like i thought i would. My bike is not heavy enough to
ride on windy days across the windiest bridge around.
Taller motorcycles will lean into the wind, and a handlebar-mounted
windscreen makes this worse because the sail area of the windscreen is up
high and forward. So the whole motorcycle will lean into the wind while the
wind tries to push the front end away from the wind.

Gusts of wind make the motorcycle rock from side to side.

When riding into the wind, relax and grip the handlebars gently and make
whatever corrections you need to make, in order to keep the motorcycle going
generally where you want to go.

Don't have a death grip on the handlebars, you'll just wear yourself out.
Post by c
That was the only adventure i had. I took my sweet time in riding into
jersey and i was careful and picked up a bit of perspective about
highways, rain, poor road conditions, and friday night traffic. I
spent the weekend touring some nice backroads in jersey, listening to
my engine and watching the leaves.
That sounds great to me. Did you ever see that Tom Cruise movie called
"War of the Worlds"? I'm still trying to figure out where Tom Cruise was
supposed to have lived and what that bridge was that the Martians blew up.

Then Tom Cruise heads north through New Jersey and gets to Boston without
going through NYC and he gets to a car ferry across the Hudson river, but the
Martians destroy the ferry. So I was wondering where that was supposed to be.
Post by c
I've been "commuting" into work (midtown) from brooklyn - it's a very
short ride but it's all stop-and-go in the morning. I'm not a fan. It
isn't enjoyable, per se, so i don't think i'll really bother with it,
i just wanted to give it a fair shake.
I would take the subway and save the motorcycle for weekends. The only time I
ever visited NYC, I parked my rental car out in a residential neighborhood in
Queens and rode the subway into the city to go to the Museum of Natural
History. When I got back to Queens, people were waiting to park where I'd
left the car. It seems to me that they thought that the curb in front of the
house was their private parking place,
Post by c
My engine, in rush hour bullshit, worries me sometimes. Often it'll be
fine and then start getting finicky. Like it will start stalling in
1st or putting in 2nd. If i can catch some luck and get an open
stretch where i can get into 3rd or 4th, when i go back to stop-and-go
it'll be back to normal. I assume that means the engine doesn't like
low speeds, and i further assume that's because it builds up a lot of
heat just sitting there (it's air cooled, and if it's not moving, then
there's not much air, right?). Although i do have a radiator-looking
thing and a fan in front of the engine.
Liquid cooling stabilizes the engine temperature on a motorcycle somewhat,
but it's not as effective as the cooling system on a car. Your Suzuki's
engine temperature will vary from about 180 degrees to 230 degrees F.

If you google back to earlier threads, I explained how to drill out the EPA
anti-tamper plug underneath each carburetor. Then, if you turn the idle
mixture screw 1/4 to 1/2 of a turn counterclockwise, the engine will run
cooler in the summertime and it will start quicker and warm up faster in the
winter.
Post by c
I actually noticed the same putting sensation in 5th, the first time i
got into 5th. If i have the throttle about 1/3 open, i'm golden, and
if i roll back a bit it seems ok until closed, then when i went to
open it back up it would putter. Eventually that stopped so i can only
assume the engine "got over it," whatever it was. Maybe i should run
through some seafoam or something?
Seafoam is for outboard motors. It keeps them from rusting inside during the
winter when you aren't using your boat.

Add four or five ounces of Berryman B-12 Choke and Carburetor Cleaner to a
full tank of gasoline and go for a ride. Before you go for that ride, find
out where the idle mixture knob is at, because the engine will start idling
faster once the carburetors are cleaned out.

You can buy liquid B12 in a 1-pint can for about $3.50 at Wal*Mart and one
can will last for about three cleanings, maybe a year and a half.
Post by c
My speedometer failed. It was scary to look down and see i was going
0. I rode a while on it because the gas gauge and the time (both part
of a digital readout below my analog speedometer) functioned. Stopped
eventually, took off the speedometer and put it back on (had to buy a
set of allen wrenches for the bolts, something i consider an excellent
investment) and it worked - i figure it was a loose connection or
something.
It's a mechanical speedometer. The cable spins an aluminum drum inside the
speedo and electromagnetic induction moves the needle.

The speedometer drive unit is on the left hand side of the front wheel,
between the aluminum fork leg and the wheel hub. Try to push it from side to
side. If it move around a lot, the metal tangs that are supposed to engage
the front wheel may not have been doing their job.

It's also possible that the speedo cable is broken inside its sheath and the
ragged ends just barely touch.

Or, maybe the internal parts of the speedo were just sticky from no being
used for a while.
Post by c
I made a little discovery about the way the bike handles at speed,
which leads me to a question. I noticed it was almost impossible to
turn the handlebars when moving very quickly.
The front forks have a lot of rake and trail and that makes the steering feel
heavy. But, you wanted a cruiser and that's what cruisers are like. With all
that rake and trail, you can relax and the motorcycle will go straight.
Post by c
Zipping (at a moderate
clip) over some rural jersey roads let me practice leaning to corner
and in doing that i wanted to see what would happen if i moved the
bars. I really couldn't
You didn't want a sportbike or a standard, you had to start with a cruiser. A
Kawasaki EX500 Ninja or a Suzuki SV650 would be more nimble on curvy roads.
Post by c
That's the gyroscope effect, right?
No. You're not going fast enough to spin the tire at the high RPM that would
cause a lot of gyroscopic effect/ And, gyroscopic precession on a motorcycle
works in the exact same planes as the steering works, it doesn't work against
you until you get going 150 mph or so.
Post by c
Or just that the tire likes its path?
No, the tire is an inanimate object, it cannot "like" or "dislike" anything.
The laws of physics control the motion of the motorcycle.
Post by c
So the question is what happens if i
don't move the bars when i lean? I'm trying to think about whether the
bars move anyway (opposite to how i'm leaning) or if they don't move
at all. Regardless, i know when i'm at speed and i want to go left, i
push the left handlebar and the bike dips a bit and i got left. It was
very reassuring to practice that a million times.
That's how countersteering works. Push the bar forward on the side you want
to turn to. Direct steering, where you pull the left bar to go left only
works at very low speeds, like below 10 mph.
Post by c
I dropped my bike too, guess i'll just let that out.
You knew you were going to drop your bike. Everybody drops their bike.
The sooner the better. At least you weren't overconfident and were riding 80
mph when you dropped it.
Post by c
I was slowing to a stop on a bit of
road that had a crazy turn at the end - the stop sign was at the
middle of the hook-turn, but it was unobstructed so a car would be
able to see it had the stop just fine. I saw the sign, i just didn't
realize the crazy angle the road was taking (the stop sign was in the
middle of a sharp curve) - so i slowed down a lot, got to the sign,
and then started turning to match the curve of the road. KERWOMP.
When you have to turn across an off-camber, slow down a lot and square off
the turn. IOW, slow down, go in straight sraight up, make a 90 degree turn
all at once, and then exit the corner straight up, arriving at the stop sign
with the motorcycle vertical.
Post by c
But
otherwise my braking is improving - braking is sort of a slow-motion
moment where the brakes come on, i assess how much more i have to
squeeze, and i get to that point as slowly as i can while still trying
to stop as fast as possible. It's hard to explain but the real thing
is keeping present, mentally - not like in a car where you can just
slam the brakes on and ABS takes over. It's a mental skill.
OK, one thing you have to understand about your brakes is the difference
between sliding friction and breakaway friction.

It takes three times as much force to overcome breakaway friction as you get
from sliding friction.

And, you get the same effect oppositely when you try to stop a motorcycle.

You have 1/3rd the friction as you are slowing down, and then the pads really
start to grab the disk *hard* as you are almost stopped.

This causes the motorcycle's front end to dive and newbie riders are
surprised by the sudden dive, which compresses the front springs.

So they hang onto the front brake lever for dear life and when they figure
that they are all stopped and safe, they let go of the front brake lever.

Then the springs release all that stored energy and they push the motorcycle
over!

And the rider wonders what the heck happened.

The correct procedure when you are almost stopped is to release the front
brake lever a little bit at a time so you get a smooth stop without a lot of
front end dive.

Not understanding this technique may have contributed to your tipover at the
stop sign.
--
Message posted via MotorcycleKB.com
http://www.motorcyclekb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/bike/200710/1
c
2007-10-29 17:19:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
Crossing the staten island highway was
another issue - i hit a patch of road where the pavement was scraped
up and the right-most and half of the center lane were that scarred
mess that meant loss of control. I'm not sure i could have gone in any
direction other than straight. Not fun.
When you have to ride on pavement like that, it grabs the front tire and you
should grip the handlebars loosely and let the motorcycle the way it wants to,
and just make gentle corrections.
I fought back the whole way. In my head, it was the bike against the
road, and i'm on the bike's side. I'll think of it this way now - not
getting in the way of the wobbly straight line. Hopefully i'll avoid
this particular patch now that i know of it.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
Crossing the verrazano coming back the other way -
bright, sunny, etc - far more dangerous. Took the upper level and felt
the wind just like i thought i would. My bike is not heavy enough to
ride on windy days across the windiest bridge around.
Taller motorcycles will lean into the wind, and a handlebar-mounted
windscreen makes this worse because the sail area of the windscreen is up
high and forward. So the whole motorcycle will lean into the wind while the
wind tries to push the front end away from the wind.
I've been meaning to go it without the windshield.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Gusts of wind make the motorcycle rock from side to side.
It felt like i couldn't make a straight line. Good thing i had a whole
lane.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
When riding into the wind, relax and grip the handlebars gently and make
whatever corrections you need to make, in order to keep the motorcycle going
generally where you want to go.
Don't have a death grip on the handlebars, you'll just wear yourself out.
More good advice, thanks.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
That sounds great to me. Did you ever see that Tom Cruise movie called
"War of the Worlds"? I'm still trying to figure out where Tom Cruise was
supposed to have lived and what that bridge was that the Martians blew up.
Then Tom Cruise heads north through New Jersey and gets to Boston without
going through NYC and he gets to a car ferry across the Hudson river, but the
Martians destroy the ferry. So I was wondering where that was supposed to be.
I hated that movie, it was so pointless. And how'd the son beat them
to boston? Give me a break.

Anyway, that's new england, that's the general aesthetic all around.
It was very nice, i felt lucky to have those moments. Just sort of
wandering, each bit all new because i'm on a bike and i'm not in a car
or on a train. Trains make the world terribly sterile and fake. That
magic feeling, no where to go - that's what it was.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
I've been "commuting" into work (midtown) from brooklyn - it's a very
short ride but it's all stop-and-go in the morning. I'm not a fan. It
isn't enjoyable, per se, so i don't think i'll really bother with it,
i just wanted to give it a fair shake.
I would take the subway and save the motorcycle for weekends. The only time I
ever visited NYC, I parked my rental car out in a residential neighborhood in
Queens and rode the subway into the city to go to the Museum of Natural
History. When I got back to Queens, people were waiting to park where I'd
left the car. It seems to me that they thought that the curb in front of the
house was their private parking place,
Latenights and weekends by subway can be absolute murder. I'm not sure
if i'll make it a regular commute - i'm sort of worried about parking
(doing the plates-off, bike on a quiet sidewalk, meager $50 disc lock
parking job) more than anything. Going from work to school at 530 is
just as bad on the subway as it is on the street. It just sucks if you
can't go with the flow.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Liquid cooling stabilizes the engine temperature on a motorcycle somewhat,
but it's not as effective as the cooling system on a car. Your Suzuki's
engine temperature will vary from about 180 degrees to 230 degrees F.
If you google back to earlier threads, I explained how to drill out the EPA
anti-tamper plug underneath each carburetor. Then, if you turn the idle
mixture screw 1/4 to 1/2 of a turn counterclockwise, the engine will run
cooler in the summertime and it will start quicker and warm up faster in the
winter.
I remember you saying that - i'll take it up some weekend and let you
know.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
I actually noticed the same putting sensation in 5th, the first time i
got into 5th. If i have the throttle about 1/3 open, i'm golden, and
if i roll back a bit it seems ok until closed, then when i went to
open it back up it would putter. Eventually that stopped so i can only
assume the engine "got over it," whatever it was. Maybe i should run
through some seafoam or something?
Seafoam is for outboard motors. It keeps them from rusting inside during the
winter when you aren't using your boat.
Ha! Awesome. I didn't mention it was a boat i was talking about all
this time? Err....
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Add four or five ounces of Berryman B-12 Choke and Carburetor Cleaner to a
full tank of gasoline and go for a ride. Before you go for that ride, find
out where the idle mixture knob is at, because the engine will start idling
faster once the carburetors are cleaned out.
You can buy liquid B12 in a 1-pint can for about $3.50 at Wal*Mart and one
can will last for about three cleanings, maybe a year and a half.
You got it, doc.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
The speedometer drive unit is on the left hand side of the front wheel,
between the aluminum fork leg and the wheel hub. Try to push it from side to
side. If it move around a lot, the metal tangs that are supposed to engage
the front wheel may not have been doing their job.
It's also possible that the speedo cable is broken inside its sheath and the
ragged ends just barely touch.
That sounds more likely. I took it off, put it back on, and sort of
smacked it and it worked.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Or, maybe the internal parts of the speedo were just sticky from no being
used for a while.
It was working for the last 3 weeks. All that changed was i rode in
the rain. I think the bike's just been missing some TLC.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
I made a little discovery about the way the bike handles at speed,
which leads me to a question. I noticed it was almost impossible to
turn the handlebars when moving very quickly.
The front forks have a lot of rake and trail and that makes the steering feel
heavy. But, you wanted a cruiser and that's what cruisers are like. With all
that rake and trail, you can relax and the motorcycle will go straight.
Oh, i wasn't complaining. And it's not that "regular" steering feels
heavy, it's that it feels impossible. As in, if i wanted to do a low-
speed kind of turn at speed, it wouldn't be possible. I thought i
heard that and i wanted to see if it was true and it's really
impossible. But the question was how that would change during leaning.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
Zipping (at a moderate
clip) over some rural jersey roads let me practice leaning to corner
and in doing that i wanted to see what would happen if i moved the
bars.
You didn't want a sportbike or a standard, you had to start with a cruiser. A
Kawasaki EX500 Ninja or a Suzuki SV650 would be more nimble on curvy roads.
I realize i have like half a percent of the experience of most real
riders, but i didn't feel awkward at all rolling through corners. I
look where i want to go and i lean and the bike sways in and out of
turns. It was immensely enjoyable.

I know if i had a more nimble bike i'd be doing stupid shit. I know
it. I'd slalom manhole covers and go too fast around curves. I like my
bike, it's exactly what i thought it would be. I like taking it all
in, i'm not racing to get anywhere, and i'm not in it for the
adrenaline.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
That's the gyroscope effect, right?
No. You're not going fast enough to spin the tire at the high RPM that would
cause a lot of gyroscopic effect/ And, gyroscopic precession on a motorcycle
works in the exact same planes as the steering works, it doesn't work against
you until you get going 150 mph or so.
I see. There was a clip in that movie, On Any Sunday, where a
landspeed record was being set by motorcycle, and the announcer said
the steering was regular until something like 30mph, then it was
countersteering until 180mph, then it went back to regular steering.
That blows my mind.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
Or just that the tire likes its path?
No, the tire is an inanimate object, it cannot "like" or "dislike" anything.
The laws of physics control the motion of the motorcycle.
Sorry for sounding like a hippie.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
I dropped my bike too, guess i'll just let that out.
You knew you were going to drop your bike. Everybody drops their bike.
The sooner the better. At least you weren't overconfident and were riding 80
mph when you dropped it.
Yeah that's a good way to look at it. The other two times i almost
dropped it it was the exact same thing - slowing/stopping while in a
turn.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
I was slowing to a stop on a bit of
road that had a crazy turn at the end - the stop sign was at the
middle of the hook-turn, but it was unobstructed so a car would be
able to see it had the stop just fine. I saw the sign, i just didn't
realize the crazy angle the road was taking (the stop sign was in the
middle of a sharp curve) - so i slowed down a lot, got to the sign,
and then started turning to match the curve of the road. KERWOMP.
When you have to turn across an off-camber, slow down a lot and square off
the turn. IOW, slow down, go in straight sraight up, make a 90 degree turn
all at once, and then exit the corner straight up, arriving at the stop sign
with the motorcycle vertical.
Yeah, that's it. You saying it like that made me realize that's what
i've been doing wrong. And funny, now i see you say it, i think back
to the MSF course where we learned to straighten up before beginning a
descent/stop. Gonna keep that in mind.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
Post by c
But
otherwise my braking is improving - braking is sort of a slow-motion
moment where the brakes come on, i assess how much more i have to
squeeze, and i get to that point as slowly as i can while still trying
to stop as fast as possible. It's hard to explain but the real thing
is keeping present, mentally - not like in a car where you can just
slam the brakes on and ABS takes over. It's a mental skill.
OK, one thing you have to understand about your brakes is the difference
between sliding friction and breakaway friction.
It takes three times as much force to overcome breakaway friction as you get
from sliding friction.
And, you get the same effect oppositely when you try to stop a motorcycle.
You have 1/3rd the friction as you are slowing down, and then the pads really
start to grab the disk *hard* as you are almost stopped.
This causes the motorcycle's front end to dive and newbie riders are
surprised by the sudden dive, which compresses the front springs.
I actually don't understand, now. It sounds like what you're
describing, if i may use an analogy, is in driving when the optimal
brake pressure would be soft, hard, harder, hardest (a relative
thing), and then backing off again as the car's speed has mostly died
off, to avoid the jerk when the car comes to a stop (the last bit of
speed should bleed off smoothly). Is that right? Because here, i
failed to mention that, but yes after the "bulk" of stopping is
accomplished i let back off the brakes to come to a gentle stop. I
didn't bother mentioning that though.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
So they hang onto the front brake lever for dear life and when they figure
that they are all stopped and safe, they let go of the front brake lever.
Then the springs release all that stored energy and they push the motorcycle
over!
This makes sense but i haven't noticed it in my riding. Though it's
possible this is what happened when i dropped it - this plus the
angle.
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
And the rider wonders what the heck happened.
The correct procedure when you are almost stopped is to release the front
brake lever a little bit at a time so you get a smooth stop without a lot of
front end dive.
Ah, ok, like i was saying above then.

Great, thanks.
Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
2007-10-29 18:59:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by c
Oh, i wasn't complaining. And it's not that "regular" steering feels
heavy, it's that it feels impossible. As in, if i wanted to do a low-
speed kind of turn at speed, it wouldn't be possible. I thought i
heard that and i wanted to see if it was true and it's really
impossible. But the question was how that would change during leaning.
When you initially countersteer, you can push bar fairly hard.

Motorcycle roadracers develop a lot of upper body strength and huge neck
muscles because they push the bars so hard, countersteering the motorcycle
down the desired lean angle rapidly so they save tenths of seconds entering
the turn, and they steer the motorcycle upright just as quickly when they are
done with that curve.

But, while they are leaned over in the curve, they use very little pressure
on the bar to maintain the lean angle. They apply about one pound of pressure
to whichever bar they need to push.

Racing motorcycles are well-balanced for leaning over like that, but your
cruiser has a lot more rake and trail and it will want to stand up on you.
You'll probably need to apply 2 or 3 pounds of pressure to hold the
motorcycle in a turn at maximum lean angle.

I borrowed my friend's 1200c Harley Sportster one time just to test the tires
he was touting. The Sportster feels like a cruiser, with the front end 5 feet
in front of me.

I was riding my GSXR that day, and it feels like the front tire is under my
chin.

My friend was a former dirt track racer and he said that the Sportster was
slow steering (it wouldn't change direction quickly) but it was "quick
handling (it would steer down to the desired lean angle quickly).

I told him, "OK, I will have to trust you on that one," and I went back to my
own slow steering, quick handling GSXR that felt so much lighter and so much
righter.
Post by c
I see. There was a clip in that movie, On Any Sunday, where a
landspeed record was being set by motorcycle, and the announcer said
the steering was regular until something like 30mph, then it was
countersteering until 180mph, then it went back to regular steering.
That blows my mind.
That scene was filmed at Bonneville salt flats in Utah. The rear tire has
very little traction on the salt. The riders don't try to apply all the power
they have available from the very start. like a drag racer would. They use
the first four miles leading to the speed traps to build up speed, then they
use full power through the timed mile.

The rear tire is spinning and wants to pass the front tire, so throttle
control is critical. When Jason Britton, the stunt rider from Superbikes on
SpeedTV tried to run a GSXR750 on the salt, he was happy that he went 129 mph.


A GSXR750 will easily go 150 mph on pavement.

A Kawasaki rider was videotaped trying to set a 200+ mph record on his KZ1000
on a dry lake bed here in California. I have ridden on that lake bed.

It's hard packed, but there's a layer of dust on top and a rear tire can't
get a good grip on it. It spins.

The front tire can't get a good grip either. It has a hard time keeping the
motorcycle vertical.

The Kawasaki rider got his motorcycle up around 180 mph before the rear wheel
tried to pass the front wheel. The huge speed weave threw him off the
motorcycle, but his foot was caught by the footpeg and he was being dragged
along.

When he got loose, the motorcycle continued straight across the lakebed at
nearly 200 mph and crashed. The rider's leg and arm were broken, but they
healed.

He repaired the motorcycle and went back to the same lake and he crashed
again. He just didn't understand the need for tire grip in front and traction
in the rear...
Post by c
Post by Albrecht via MotorcycleKB.com
No, the tire is an inanimate object, it cannot "like" or "dislike" anything.
The laws of physics control the motion of the motorcycle.
Sorry for sounding like a hippie.
Creative writing instructors call it "pathetic fallacy" when someone ascribes
human emotions or intentions to inanimate objects. It just works so much
better when we talk about motorcycle handling in terms of physics.
Post by c
I actually don't understand, now. It sounds like what you're
describing, if i may use an analogy, is in driving when the optimal
brake pressure would be soft, hard, harder, hardest (a relative
thing), and then backing off again as the car's speed has mostly died
off, to avoid the jerk when the car comes to a stop (the last bit of
speed should bleed off smoothly). Is that right?
Chauffeurs who went to Rolls Royce's professional driver school were trained
to initially apply the brakes so slowly the passenger never noticed and to
release the brakes so subtly the passenger was never jostled by the springs
rebounding.

The rider of an ABS-equipped motorcycle doesn't need to know about
coefficients of friction.

The computer in Suzuki's recently available ABS system compares the pressure
applied to the brake pads to the RPM of the brake disk and automatically
relieves pressure as the coefficient of friction transitions from sliding to
breakaway friction.

If you ever took high school physics, the classic demonstration for breakaway
(static) friction versus sliding friction was to attach a fish scale to a
block of wood and note what force it took to *start* the block sliding,
compared to the force it took to *continue* sliding the block.

Breakway friction is three times sliding friction, and the transition from
sliding friction back to breakaway friction when you stop a motorcycle is
what causes the sudden front end dive.
--
Message posted via http://www.motorcyclekb.com
Rayvan
2007-10-30 07:35:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by c
My engine, in rush hour bullshit, worries me sometimes. Often it'll be
fine and then start getting finicky. Like it will start stalling in
1st or putting in 2nd. If i can catch some luck and get an open
stretch where i can get into 3rd or 4th, when i go back to stop-and-go
it'll be back to normal. I assume that means the engine doesn't like
low speeds, and i further assume that's because it builds up a lot of
heat just sitting there (it's air cooled, and if it's not moving, then
there's not much air, right?). Although i do have a radiator-looking
thing and a fan in front of the engine. I don't know. I'm a greenie,
what do you want?
Volusia 800's are not air cooled. That radiator-looking thingy *is* a
radiator.
Suzuki screws on plastic cooling fins to make the bike *appear* that
it's air cooled.
But even if it was air cooled there is no reason why it would run like
crap in first and second gears. Sounds like you should get that fixed.
--
Rayvan

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