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Centre of Gravity

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Black Betty, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. In January I went and bought a VTR250 as my first bike - I was on the way to look at a Zeal, but couldn't get past the V-twin sound. Anyhow, being 5'3" its been a little chalanging. My question is - the Centre of Gravity. Is it high on this bike compared to other 250's? Especially with a full tank of gas. Have managed to drop it, stationary in middle of intersection - and now being overcautious on turns. Did I make the right choice.... :?

  2. that's just practice or rather lack of. I think most people drop their first bikes so I wouldn't worry. I dropped mine twice in my first week. I'm 6 foot and riding a little fzr250 and I still managed to drop it. You'll get used to it. If however your really struggling to hold it up and feel uncomfortable riding it then maybe you did make the wrong choice. But my money's on the newbieness. I had the same thoughts when I dropped mine, worked out A-Okay ;)
  3. Thanks for that. Managed to do the first 1,000km without an incident - so don't know what's going on. Sadly am not getting much practise in these days - ie uncontrolable shivering on a bike makes it a little hard to stear. Thought the high seat height would help me into a bigger bike - but am doubting that now too. Riding a friends ZZR seem to be able to 'throw' it around much easier. Is there such a thing as a VTwin sport 250?
  4. I am about 6"2 (I think) and have a VTR.
    I haven't riden anything else (except the CB250 on my training of course) so can't really compare, but I think you maybe right.

    When I am stopped with 1 foot on the break and one on the ground I don't feel all that steady. I can feel the bike lean this way and that.
    It doesn't really bother me and I only thought about it after reading your post.

    oh yeah, the VTR is a great bike. stick with it and you'll be fine.
    The VTR is a "VTwin sport 250". A naked one! :D

    I think the Spada is a little smaller that the VTR. It's a VTwin too.
  5. Unfortunately I've become VERY aware of it - and have gotten into the BAD habit of trying to get both feet on the ground. Which is why I hit the hand brake too hard and dropped it (luckily no damage done). Have decided they must have bought the vtr out for the taller person - I just happen to be a sucker for the sound of a VTwin (went looking at the new SV650 the other day!). Have thought about trading in for the Zeal - but its such a nice looking bike would be sad to see it go ....
  6. If you were to swap, take a look at the spada.
    Same engine but a bit smaller (too small for me)

    And as for going hard on the front break, try using it softly at slow speed.
    I know your not supposed to as such, but I do it all the time.
  7. Knightrider is on the same bike and she would probably be about the same height.....I'm don't think she is having too many troubles these days but she too went through a questioning phase too. have a chat to her and see what you two come up with.

    Perhaps a lower suspesion would help you.

    But yer could just be learning accident as you come to grips with the dynamics of riding a bike. Bit more practive will probably pull you through unless there is a problem with the bike.

    Might even be that as a result of one of your drops your handlebars are out slightly, that threw me a lot when I was learning and dropped my bike.

    Perhaps we can get a few people together and escort you into coffee and have a few people check it out and see if there is anything we can come up with.
  8. Being as smooth as possible with both brake and throttle at any speed is generally the key to keep the bike stable.
  9. I wanted a VTR, but my height 5'3" narrowed my choice to a zeal or a spada. So, I got the Spada. I did not want to compromise my feelings of comfort and safety by not having my feet firmly planted on the ground. 3 months later, however, I would be fine on a bike with a slightly higher seat. such as the VTR... Which leads me to believe it's just a matter of time and practise.

    So maybe you've made your learning curve slightly more challenging by choosing the VTR, but I wouldn't go so far as to say you made the wrong decision. :)

    And yeah - everyone drops their first bike. I did it on Day #2 of ownership.... :)
  10. Sounds like a conversation I had yesterday, welcome to Netrider mate...
  11. Thanks Matt. One of the reasons have joined up here is to try and find someone to ride with. I work weekends (when every other bike is on the road!), so have been doing the week-day thing 'round Healesville, Yarra Glen etc solo.
    Re: Spada - I had a look and a little red one, but it had been 'hotted up' and had really high kms on it. But then - was alot cheaper than the vtr. Was hoping this bike would see me thro' for a while rather than jump up to a 600 straight away.
    At least in this weather (Melbourne) I can go and sit on it in the garage and not worry about dropping it!!! - my girlfriends think I'm nuts as bought the bike INSIDE during a really bad storm. Figured if a tree was going to fall on the house - we could all go together...
  12. Oh yeah, well come. :)

    I forgot you was a new person!
  13. Black Betty,

    I have a VTR250 and find it OK, also my wife uses it and she has only had her learners for a couple of months, she had dropped it twice only while turning using front brake which is only experience will fix. Other than that she is going fine with the bike and she is 5'4" also, so just put it down to a incident that happened, also not too many things to break when you put sown a VTR250 maybe just a brake lever.

    Great bikes the VTR250 and yes they are a naked sports bike with great perfomance for a 250 anyway.
  14. Hi there BB - you're going to fit in here just fine! :LOL:
  15. Black betty, apologies for the late post but I'm a big tuff boy with a girlfriend who doesn't like me wating time on my bike or the internet.

    Anyway; If you were taller, then the rules of physics say that the overall centre of gravity would also rise, thus making the bike MORE unstable. Any balance problems will have other causes. You should have your feet on the pegs when conering so they're plenty long enough. Try softening or better, lowering the rear suspension to give a more upright riding position, thus improving perception of balance and confidence. Alternatively, if confidence is the problem you may have to allow yourself to have more of it and use the throttle. If you crawl around a corner the natural balance of the bike is less than with a slight application as you go through the turn. What holds a bike upright before wind resistence comes into play is called the "protocycle" effect and it is increased by acceleration. Applying the throttle helps to plant the bike on the surface of the road. All you need to do is be sure you have a clear path and look where you want to go. On top of all of that, make sure you have good posture (yourself and the bike including positioning on the bike and road). Get someone to ride with you and they will be able to advise as to whether or not you tackle a corner appropriately. Getting someone to tell you what you do wrong can be very rewarding. It dosn't do much for your ego but most people already know what they do right. :)
  16. dont worry, you didnt make a bad choice. I dont think the bike has a
    particularly low centre of mass.

    can you get your feet flat on the ground? try using the rear brake as
    you're stopping, the bike should feel more stable. I put both feet
    down sometimes, especially if it's really windy, or uneven road.

    perhaps you could take the car park and practice doing some quick
    turn/stop manoeuvers to get more familiar with it. while you're there,
    I usually recommend doing figure 8s until you can get your knee down :)