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Geometry - its effects on handling

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by jphanna, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. over the last 100 years, someone must have discovered the optimum geometry for making a bike turn into corners with the intention of getting out of it as quick as possible, or as comfortable as possible. is there a perfect angle for the front forks to be set at? do all manufacturers use this perfect angle?

    the reason I ask, is that the difference, from bike to bike is surprising, when hoping on alternate bikes mid ride.

    i love the way my Honda vt750s turns and my son and wife have noticed a slight increase in my pace, even though i am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a quick rider in corners.
  2. #2 iClint, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2015
    depends what you want to achieve

    a bike that is super stable in a straight line...

    ... or something that will change direction in a heartbeat but is prone to some serious speed wobbles and tank slapping?...

    ... or perhaps something in the middle???

    might also add that other factors come into it as well. wheelbase plays a huge factor in stability and turning, as does suspension travel.

    so many different aspects of a bikes geometry come into play with so many combinations and probably why you have so many different styles of bikes for different purposes as there is no one fit for everything formula.
  3. ^^What he said, I've owned quick steering track weapons but prefer something more conservative for road riding and others like uber stable bikes that steer slowly but are not in the slightest bit twitchy.
  4. One key dimension is called trail. It is the distance on the ground between the spot vertically below the centre of the front axle and the point the central axis of the steering tube points to. The greater this distance, the greater the straight line stability, all other things being equal. Short trails are associated with quick steering sport bikes. Longer trails are common on trail bikes - where twitchiness on loose surfaces is not at all desirable. Suspension travel affects this dimension, as well as wheelbase.

    There are lots of variables, Wheel size, wheel base, suspension travel, rake. There are simply too many uses that people have for bikes for there to be a single formula for all.
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  5. No and no.
  6. His name was Norman Hossack. No one has seen or heard from him since.
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