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Losing front when down gearing?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by livingstonest, May 1, 2008.

  1. Riding to work this morning i was changing lanes in second gear, then gave it a quick squirt up to one of my favourite corners and quickly down geared into first to set up for the corner. As soon as i did this the front felt like i'd lost traction and the handlebars went wobbly for a few scary moments and i'm left wondering what the hell happened?

    Facts are my tyres were at the right pressures, and they were warm aswell. When i downgeared because it was at high revs in 2nd i didn't blip it enough and there was abit of a forward jolt as i released the clutch into 1st.

    Now i don't think there was anything slippery on the road but can downgearing hard without adequate blipping cause the front to wash out? Or is it possible for the front forks to be not up to the task? Or am i having steering head bearing problems? Would appreciate any thoughts cheers.
  2. Maybe you loaded the forks with the down-shift, then made the front-wheel light when you put the power back on again for the corner - making it a bit flighty.

    ... or "I dunno."
  3. oh yeah! nice one. That's a possibility.

    Always trying to learn especially from things like today where for a split second i was almost certain i was gonna end up off the bike.

    Just couldn't understand how slamming down the gears could make the front end feel like washing out. Anybody else ever experienced this?
  4. Nope, just felt the back get a bit slidy :)

    But I can't remember the last corner I chose 1st for that wasn't a hairpin at pretty low-speed...
  5. Hrmm

    left hand clutch
    right hand brake


  6. it might be front wheel drive. :LOL: :p
  7. Yeah... I'm thinking the OP's experienced a compression lockup of the rear wheel, as that usually causes the bike to do a little fishtail and is caused by sloppy downchanges while braking hard. :)

    I agree on the gear selection too, Ktulu.
  8. OP 2 words for you to remember. Be Smooth :wink:
  9. Practice locking up your back brake and this will stop being so scary.

    Practice blipping the throttle and matching revs and you'll be able to stop it altogether.
  10. This was more than likely your REAR wheel losing traction...not your front...With the rear-end getting lose, you will feel it through the bars as you correct it instinctively.

    I'd hazzard a guess and say that you are'nt blipping the throttle?...or you slammed the throttles shut and downchanged making your rear end squirrily...That's all.

    Why would you be going around a corner in first gear?...was it THAT tight of a turn?
  11. coming into the corner, coming out of the corner or at the apex?
  12. doesn,t sound right.
  13. Down shifting while at high revs will cause rear wheel compression lockup. I'd suggest it was the rear you were feeling slide, not the front.
  14. Could've been a small tank slapper too.

    Regards, Andrew.
  15. Aww gay! Who pulled my Ode To Keith Post?! I was just pulling the leg of a certain someone! Was it you Certain Someone? :p

    In a nut shell and less the leg pulling, too much weight on the front can cause handling problems, and Keith, all hail His Holy Alien name, teaches us that 60/40 rear wheel weight bias is preferable for proper conering. So, going down to first probably fcuked that all up and the front let go for a bit.
  16. Yeah was a 270 degree turn off down an off camber tightening radius. One where you turn left and end up going right from your original position.

    Can be taken much faster but if there's a car going slow or a line of traffic on the off ramp there's not much room to move.
  17. Okay so if you get loss of traction at the rear it'll feel like the front is losing it? Interesting i'll note that.

    Blipping whilst riding smoothly is fine. Was trying to have alittle fun and whilst going down from 2nd to 1st didn't blip hard enough i think.
  18. If you're really getting stuck into it, something as subtle as rolling off the throttle 10% can be enough to wash your front out. That's already cranked over though. If you're in a straightish line, I'd bet you just failed to notice the rear step out a bit, and instead concentrated on the bars correcting themselves. All conjecture though.
  19. Thanks for all the comments appreciate it.

    Think that must be it then. The rear locking for abit and the front correcting. Was just having abit of fun being rough with the bike. I'll note not to do that again don't like it when the front feels weird.
  20. Speaking of unnerving, Yesterday I turned right angle from the lights across a lane to an exit between 2 cars, so naturally did it with a bit of pace. Rear end drifted more than ive ever felt (seemed like at least nearly a metre), but I held onto it ok and didnt freak out and lose it thankfully. I attribute that to the fact i was rough on the clutch, up the power, and leaning fairly quickly into the corner.. I guess youd probably get this a lot more on a litrebike - with more control also.