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Cornering and bumps

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by eastla, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Hi guys/gals.

    I was riding at Arthurs Seat yesterday and on my way down I was leaned into one of the bends not going too fast and suddenly mid corner there seemed to be a dip in the road.
    I felt as though the the front wheel left the road slightly and had a slight wobble in the bars.
    Is this sort of thing normal?
    Besides seeing the dip which I didnt before hitting it is there anything else I should know or could do in this situation.
    It was a little scarey :shock:

  2. Often at roundabouts you hit this sort of thing - bumps in the road as you corner and the feeling of nearly losing it...

    The simple answer is always expect the unexpected - pick a safe speed before you start to turn. From what I read you don't back off the gas because it causes more problems with stability, but in a split second the decision of whether its safer to straighten the bike slightly or keep going is yours...
  3. I did not back off in any way; had no chance to be honest.
    Was quite scary and it is the first time anything like that has happened to me while riding.
    I was wondering if there could be a problem with my bike or something.
    But I suppose it could just be physics doing its stuff...
  4. Learn to grip the tank with your knees. Helps keep you on the bike,
  5. If you're weightshifting and leaning off, lock onto the bike with a knee into the tank and keep relaxed on the bars (elbows bent). Keep the acceleration steady and this will leave the bike the most free to resolve the road bumps.

    If you tighten up, you'll force the suspension to resolve your inputs as well which theory says will drive you wide. Not good!


  6. Yep, on bumpy road the important thing is to just be as loose as possible. You want the bike to move around underneath you, rather than have it fighting to deal with your weight as well over the bumps. Try to get most of your weight through the pegs and tense up your knees so your legs are acting is shock-absorbers for your body weight. Make sure your upper body is as loose as possible and you're not planting all your weight into the seat.

    It takes some getting used to, but eventually you'll come to appreciate the dancing bike beneath you and trust that it'll sort the situation out.

    The golden rule is: the more you fight it, the worse you're making it. Relax!
  7. best thing you can do is keep on the gas, worst thing you can do is back off. the suspension on your bike is doing a good job of dealing with bumps, regardless of how loose it feels. like has been said, have trust in your bike. :wink:
  8. i also put a bit more pressure on my pegs and let my legs be extra suspension cause on the 250 you can get thrown about pretty easy.
  9. Only thing that hasnt been mentioned is about what to do with your eyes.

    If there's one big pothole or one big bump in the road, dont look at it, look at where you actually want to ride and go there.

    If the whole corner is poor quality with lots of little bumps, dont even bother trying to avoid them. It's fairly difficult to know exactly where your wheels are when you're cranked over at any decent angle and just starting out, so you're going to hit them anyway. Forget the bumps and just look through the corner. The bumps may cause your front to stutter it's way out on to a wider line, but if you're looking up and not down, the bike will come good in its own time and start behaving. Look directly down and anything could happen.
  10. Thanks for all your valuable help.

    I went for a ride yesterday; mainly around suburbia and concentrated more on using my knees and putting very little weight on the bars.
    The bike does seem more stable somehow.

    Now, I also noticed a similar feeling of instability on the front wheel at about 20kmh as I passed over a few bumps in the rode while crossing an intersection.
    My mate riding next to me actually saw my front wheel jumping around a bit as well.
    Could it be that I have the suspension setup incorrectly.
    When I purchased the bike 8 months ago I went to a mechanic who setup the bike for my weight. It is very stiff.

    Perhaps my suspension is rebounding too much?
  11. Did you tell your mechanic what type of riding you do?

    It is one thing to have your bike setup for your weight, but another to have it setup for your weight AND the road surfaces you ride on. Track setup different to around town setup, especially so with Australia's wonderful roads.

    What bike do you have first of all? You might have all sorts of adjustability depending on your forks and shock. Assuming the correct weight springs, suitable valving and oil weight, and correctly set preload, you can start playing with your clickers (if you've got them). Without going right into it, the idea is to make small adjustments to only one thing at a time so you can judge the effect. Write everything down, and return to stock settings if you get confused.

    Lots of assumptions here already, but when you say your mechanic set it up for you, did he perhaps simply just crank up the preload and wind on some comp and rebound dampening?

    Not enough info. :LOL:
  12. Perhaps we should all do some trails riding so we get used to letting the bike do its thing.

    Actually, let's all go trails riding anyway.
  13. When he set up my bike (05 ZX6R) he asked how I intended to use it and I said mainly road with intention to do the odd track day.
    I am approx 100kg and he adjusted the sag to about as stiff as it would go telling me I was pretty heavy for the bike.
    I am mechanically clueless which is why I asked him to set it up for me in the first place.
  14. Ahh, so he's just wound everything up a bit. At 100kg + 10kg gear, he's basically just given you a compromise. It's going to be seemingly harsh, yet still soft as hell when you really get into it. Not to say you need to go throw $$ at it, you can still tweak it, but ideally get it sorted properly.
  15. Yeah, seems like that is possible what he did.
    So what steps should I take from here to get it tweaked?
    I should probably get someone who knows what they are doing to help me with the set up.

    Can anyone suggest someone good in the SE suburbs Melbourne?
  16. The other thing of course, is if you're just cruising around, then you're not going to be outriding even a poor suspension setup.

    Personally, I'd be doing some research firstly so you know what's going on, and then do some adjustment yourself, so you've got an actual feel for the stuff you've just read up on. Even if you're still out of your depth (which I often am), you'll have a lot better info and feedback so an expert can help you.

    There's tonnes of info out there...
    one of the first googles i came up with.
  17. I have been doing a lot of reading on this stuff and feel a bit lost.
    Ill keep reading and have a look at your link and see how I go.
    Just dont want to mess anything up and make life more dangerous.
  18. That link isnt anything special, just an example of what's available as you've already found.

    Suspension does my head in too. :grin:

    And yeah, nothing dangerous about it. Use a well known route to test changes and don't go changing a whole bunch of stuff at once. Anyway, chances are you'll find a whole bunch of new problems on the track once you up the speed again. Fun, fun, fun. Don't stress too much though, just get it pretty good, and then ride the bloody thing. :D
  19. I am trying not to stress too much.
    And I have been riding; especially now that the weather is getting good.
    Just had a few nervous moments that got me thinking about this stuff.
    Dont want to learn the hard way...
  20. http://www.bikepoint.com.au/Clubhouse/ExpertQuestions.asp?type=Setup
    Has everything a layman ever wanted to know setting up suspension and what it does for you.

    A quick crash course:

    The spring settings are about trying to put your suspension in the ideal/right position for your weight when you sit on the bike. Lots of references suggest the ideal is about a 1/3 of travel. The spring settings also set the "force" value at which the suspension will respond to an input. If your preload is wound really tight, it will take a big bump/input before the suspension responds. Similarly, if wound off, the suspension will respond to smaller inputs.

    Springs have a rating. Standard factory ratings for jap bikes are suitable for a 65kg rider. At 100kg, you'll have to have the preload wound up really tight just to get the suspension not to sag so much under your weight, but that leaves them far from their ideal position. I think you'll need to spend the $700 or so to get the suspenders resprung - front as a minimum.

    The other adjustments you have control of is how fast/slow your suspension reacts to inputs. These are called damping screws. They control how fast your suspension compresses and how fast it will rebound back. If they're wound off (i.e., suspension moves fast), the bike will feel vague and wallowy in corners but will happily soak up bumps. If too tight (i.e. wound in making the suspension move slowly), the bike will feel stiff and you'll get every road ripple telecast through to you.

    For spirited riding and track work, it's generally better to go with stiffer settings - i.e., this slows down how fast your suspension will respond to bumps. For street and general road, it's generally more comfy to have the settings wound off towards the softer side.

    Hope this helps with your basic understanding.