I escaped a low side today - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 45
I escaped a low side today

First I want to state that I am a new rider. As of today, I have 900 miles under my belt. All the miles have been accumlated in the past 4 weeks. I have taken the MSF course, and I have read Total Control -by Lee Parks- prior to riding.

Today, I adjust the suspension to a stiffer settings. I followd the setting mentioned in the user manual. I am going to Road Atlanta next weekend, and I thought it would be a good idea to try different settings.

After I changed the settings, I went for a short ride. In the first left hand curve I was going 50 MPH , I went off the road to the grass area. The front wheel skid and wobbled for a good bit. The whole bike was on the grass area, and I thought I am going low side. I lowerd the speed and lucky me I get it back on the road. This would have been my first accedent.

I don't know what happend. I took this curve many many times, and this never happend to me. Is it the new suspension settings? Or I am overconfident. I think I started to push myself a little, even though I know I didn't get all the basic technique down. I hope this inccedent will scare me, and force me to take it easy.

Sorry for the long post, I just had to get this out. Still shaking as I am writing.
JohnE1000 is offline  
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 112
Take it easy flash! You know why you adjusted firmer suspension, is it a bumpy turn? Dont think you know to much yet.
jrog24 is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 04:04 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 460
hell I have almost 20k miles under my belt and I'm still an new rider. I adjusted my rear supension once to help with the ride with the G/F on the back. Other then that I have left it stock, but I think I'm ready for some adjustments me just slightly.
EdgeRanger is offline  
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
Sounds like your front is too stiff. Remember whenever you are adjusting your suspension its always better to err on the side of soft. Too soft is much more forgiving than too stiff.
Angrypenguin is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,151
I'd recommend going to a professional to get your suspension adjusted, it makes a BIG difference!
Unas_the_Slayer is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
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You are to new at m/cing to know how to set your suspension. First of all you need a year plus of riding along with a lot of reading on this art of adjusting for most seem to screw-up when they first try.

Talk with others that have experience & good results. Then go at it very slowly & every once in a while go back to stock.

Often the f/forks should be set by a pro team & even after you get them back it will be going by their final adjustment guides for possible perfection though quite often you need to junk the stock rear shock & put in a better one.

I rarely adjust my suspension, yet I have experience from road racing along with dirt comp, & the adjustments are very minor.
Smitty is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8,798
Right of hand it sounds like the front is too stiff, but it could be a slew of other reasons.
Was the corner bumpy? do you remember staring into the grass as you went of the road? were you going faster than you normally do?

If the road is bumpy, and you were not making any other mistakes, then you set it too stiff. Stiff setting do not allow your wheel to come "up" fast enough to get over a bump, so it raises the entire front end of the bike. Once you are over the bump, there air catches a tiny bit of air, and slips sideways. Could be what happened here.

A word of advice, if you ever find yourself in the grass again, dont use the front brake, unless stopping is more important than no wrecking (Like if you are headed into a barbwire fence). Once in the grass a very light application of the front brake can chunk you like a rag doll.

Vash is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 45
I don't believe I was going too fast, becasue I did the turn many time at the same speed. I think, if I recall correctly, when I reached the curve turn point, I leand the bike and I counter steered. I think the bike didn't lean enough, and I did wider curve.
Once I was in the grass, I didn't touch either brakes. I unroled the throttle. The hundle bars was wabbleing, so I didn't use the brakes. I was in the grass for a good distance long enought to bring me to the ground. I thought to myself that I am going low side. It there were a detch, which is common in this area, I would have been down for sure.
To be honest, I didn't even know how did I get back on the pavemet. I must have been very lucky. I am going to reset the front and rear damping to it original. I am not ready for another one of this.
JohnE1000 is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8,798
Probly not a bad idea. Anytime you adjust your settings, ride slow at first, see if you can tell the difference. If you cant tell, you shouldnt be messing with the settings. Go slow enough at first to handle any unexpected scenarios, increasing speed with each pass if everything checks out ok.
Bikes are ussually set to stiff for street duty, I have my forks clicked 7 to the softer side of the default settings. The rear shock is half a turn away from full soft and still feels to stiff.

However, to the best of my knowledge, fork settings have no effect on countersteering. So either the stiff settings coused you to loose traction and understeer, or they upset the bike and took away some of the confidence you need to lean it further. Or it could have been something completely not suspension related.

Vash is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,170
John, I'd suggest you skip the track day, and practice more on the street at legal speeds. Reason I say this is because if you go on the track, you are almost certainly going to crash from excessive speed, damaging your bike, and maybe yourself...

Practice hard braking, countersteering (swerving), and developing smooth shifting ability. SLOWLY practice leaning your bike over more & more, preferably by finding a long, safe corner and going through it repeatedly, speeding up little by little. This should all only be done on good tires, properly adjusted chain, and good brakes.

While none of this sounds as cool as running the track or learning stunts, mastering these skills will greatly improve your chances of not being killed on the street, and not being pushed into making a mistake on the track.

Of course this is all just advice which you're free to accept or reject as you see fit....Enjoy..
Rundog is offline  
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