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Lets discuss turning circles, shall we?

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by DragonCypher, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. So thismorning I was in an underground carpark with my newly acquired toy (VFR800fi) and would normally park in corner spots that are unmarked just to keep out of the way.
    I came close to the area, noticed the gap wasnt really big enough to get into the corner as cars were blocking so I decided to go elsewhere. Still being used to the size and manouvreability of my 250 I attempted a really sharp turn at less than walking speed.

    Now normally I wouldn't have a problem with this as I used to do it all the time, and this bike is extremely easy to handle, even with the extra 80kg dry weight.
    However.. as I turned I managed to hit full lock waaay sooner than I thought I would and the sudden jolt caused me to drop the bike. No damage, just very minor scratches over the ones from where the previous owner had a stationary drop.

    In fact I've noticed quite frequently with this bike just doing U-turns I'm hitting full lock rather violently as I keep forgetting how large the turning circle is. Just walking the bike in a circle I can't even compete with all the hatchbacks getting around the city.

    Sucks that I've managed to drop my new bike so soon after getting it, but I guess its just a matter of getting used to it a bit more..
    And not trying to do such tight turns without thinking.
    It was surprisingly easy to pick up again too, despite being around 215kg dry and fairly top heavy. Yet I still haven't worked out how to get it up on the centrestand.
    :-k needs more leverage perhaps
  2. I have noticed the same thing with my VFR800 that I have had for about a month now, the previous GS500 had a much tighter turning circle, fortunately I haven't dropped the VFR yet, despite the crap Ive had to ride it over (wet muddy nature strips etc...)

    Glad to know that despite the extra weight they are fairly easy to get up again ;)

    as for getting it onto the centre stand, the way I do it is to make sure that the handle bars are at full lock with my left hand, and right hand on the grab handles at the back and to then just stand up on the pedal on the centre stand, bike should get on it no problems even with a full tank of gas. Just note the full lock on the handle bars, I found without that I cant get it on the centre stand myself as Im a light weight and low relative upper body strength. Also make sure that both feet of the centre stand are touching the ground prior to pushing down on the pedal to get it up. I haven't had a bike tip on me yet doing it, and now in saying that I need to knock on some wood :rofl:

    Hopefully someone else might make come along and post corrections to the technique I use that will make it much easier compared to the one Ive been using all this time ](*,)
  3. :( at least it wasn't in immaculate condition previously.

    at least you've got it out of you and won't do it again (we home) :) xx hols
  4. Unless you stick your face right up to the bike its not even noticable that it was dropped.. smooth concrete of carparks + stationary, didnt do much so I'm not worried, just annoyed as I was in a hurry to get somewhere.

    Also I'm a little curious about the whole turning the handle bars to get on the centre stand
    I would have thought that would make a reverse effect as the bike is trying to move straight back with the wheel angle trying to make it turn..
    Will try it tomorrow when I'm home anyway as I need to do me chain and then check oil and such.
  5. Never had a problem doing it with my handle bars turned to full lock against the left hand side of the bike, but to be on the safe side, perhaps have someone else there just in case when you go to give it a shot ;)
  6. I reckon it's a leverage thing too. I lock the bars left, stand on the centrestand footrest and just jerk it back. You've got to put all of your weight into pulling it back and pushing down on the stand simultaneously. You won't drop it cos the stand has two contact points with the ground keeping it vertical.

    There's my thesis :cool:
  7. No custom horns or anything in the turning radius of the forks that could be catching?
  8. Its the gigantuous fuel tank designed to go long distances.. handlebars would crush you against it if they turned any further.
    And its definitely hitting the steering stops, nothing is getting caught up in it as its all stock.
  9. boy.racer's description of putting the bike on the centre stand sounds pretty close to what I do, except I've always had the bars straight. (Will have to try it with them turned left and see what it's like.) You've got to somehow transfer your body weight from say 80%RF for the backward push to 95-100% left foot down on the stand leaver. I'm sure being able to smoothly time this transition is the key. I used to wreck myself trying when I first got the 900, and being petrified of dropping it probably didn't help, so much so that I'd have to walk away and rest after 4 or 5 attempts and getting nowhere. I was putting too much mid- and upper-body into pushing it awftwards, and not really getting my weight into the stand. These days I find it easy enough not to really think about it.

    BR's point about ensuring both feet of the centre stand are on the floor is a good one. Double-checking this with each attempt will also help give you confidence that the bike won't tip midway through, thereby making it one thing less to think about when it comes to pushing. There are heaps of videos on youtube, and I recommend watching a few of these.

    One good tip I remember watching was when lowering the bike off the stand. If yours bike's like mine, it will require quite a push. Be ready with a finger on the brake to check the forward momentum after its down. Tilting the bike slightly into your body at this point is also a good idea. Lately I've also been twisting the throttle grip 'open' a little so that I can be sure I'm not putting the weight of the push through the lower cable and stretching it unnecessarily. (This is also a good trick when generally pushing the bike around, but you may already be doing this anyway.)

    Keep trying. The knack will come, and if you're anything like me you'll be surprised at the difference in effort before and after acquiring it.
  10. I found the same thing moving from a CB400 to a Street Triple. The turning circle on the Honda was excellent, and I could do full-lock circles pretty confidently. The Triple has a frame that's based on the Daytona's, which means it hits lock much earlier than the CB400. The weight also seems to be set higher than on the Honda. As a result, my u-turns and tight circles are crap compared to what they used to be.

    That said, I'd have to say the turning circle is the only downside I've found with the Street Triple.
  11. Bugger about the drop. I've have several near misses when practising u-turns on my bandit.

    As for centre stands, I tend to keep the bars level and put all my weight on to the foot pedal. I've found the sweet spot several times, which allows me to put the bike on the stand when I'm barefooted. It's a weird feeling, having the whole bike lift with minimal efforts, but I guess that's the good old leverage physics doing their stuff.

    Note, I don't ride barfooted, but getting shoes on usually takes longer than moving the bike around.
  12. I get my VFR up on the centre stand quite easily - bring it centred, both sides of the centre stand on the ground with the front wheel straight. One hand on the left hand bar, other hand grabbing the pillion foot peg mount, and then push with my foot and pull with my hand on the mount.
  13. Don't worry...know the feeling..
    New Blackbird...switching lane filters and hit full lock turning around the back of the car I was crossing behind...bike fell over against the rear quarter panel of this poor buggers car with me pinned underneath the bike and up against his rear wheel. SH*T!!!....LIGHT TURNING GREEN!!!...I started banging on the side of his car and fortunately he was'nt a P plater listening to some stupid loud "doof doof" crap, and heard me banging - climbed out to investigate, and found me there. No damage to the bike, but $980 to the car, since I managed to push his rear qtr panel in rather nicely.....eurgh!...

    You'll soon get the feel for the limitations of the new bike, as I did. :) Give it a few more weeks, and maybe a bit of car park practice to help things along. :)

  14. I still practice the tight cone weaving stuff with my blackbird which is the same deal or maybe even a big bigger.

    How proactive are you with counterleaning? Its a bit late now but it helps to build up to full lock turning on these bikes.
  15. With regards to the centre stand thing, I gave it an attempt while wearing my boots and gloves..

    Rather than trying to be careful like I did the first time I just stood hard and lifted at the same time, and yeah it came up pretty easy.
    The problem I think was that I was originally trying to do it too slowly, so there was no sudden jerk to roll it up the stand.

    Also with taking a bike off the stand, I find if you turn the handlebars slightly away from you before rolling forward it HAS to fall towards you and is unlikely to topple in the other direction.