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Discussion Starter #1
made you look!

but really, I was out riding with buddies this weekend and had a bit of a scare, but can't figure out what I did wrong. went into a tight right posted for 15mph. I was behind my buddy riding two up with his girlfriend on a '73 BMW, 300+lb., bach shocks shot, and those skinny tires. They made it through just fine. I went in at the same speed, maybe slower. It felt wrong, felt bad. I don't think it was too fast, but maybe too slow... or maybe the front dived funny because it's a bit soft. The turn is also banked steep. I stood the bike up, hit the brakes, stopped after about no more than 25 feet. Did cross the double yellow, thank god there was no oncoming traffic.

Any ideas about what I might have done wrong? How could I have saved it? I do not want to repeat crossing into the oncoming lanes ever again...
 

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Don't dis the old Beemers. There's a hairy dude in GA with a huge old ass boxer with the Frankenstein forks that will ride most anyone into the ground. :)
 

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Hi Ronin369, yes you made me look :)
OK here is my opinion, of course I could be wrong.
Don't underestimate 70 BMWs, I know how they handle because I own one. (R76/6 1975) They can be ridden really hard until the valve covers touch the ground if the tarmac is perfect.
Almost all of them have the same shocks at the rear by now, and they re Koni Dial a Rides, they re good enough. Their handling is almost not affected at all by riding with a passenger, so this isn't a factor here.
In any case if the BMW went through the curve with no problem, you certainly shouldn't have a problem either on your SV, even with soft fork etc.
So, I think you should look elsewhere for the answer to the problem.
Did you have the same line going in the turn?
There is no way that I know of, that going too slow will make you hit the brakes in a turn... You mention that maybe your fork dived too much and that maybe that was that made you 'stand up the bike and hit the brakes'.
In reality it usually goes the other way round. Think of the situation again in your mind. Could it be that you were still braking while going in the turn, thus making your fork dive, felt unsafe and then hit the brakes harder, which made the bike stand up and run over the yellow line?
Maybe your friend is more experienced than you, rides his BMW for many years and knows what to expect from it, or maybe he knew that particular bend an dwas prepared for it. Or maybe I'm wrong :)
But it's worth considering what you really did, because the SV really has superior handling than the BMW, except if you also had a passenger.
Could it be that because of the low speed you got yourself countesteering into the bend although the speed was too low for that?

I think you could have saved it by just letting the brakes and lean the bike to take the turn. The BMW has more weight and a 100/90 -19 front tire, your SV has a 120/60 17 front (if I'm not mistaken) so the contact patch on the SV is slightly bigger for much less weight also.

Aris
 

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He's right in that it is hard to diagnose a problem like this on-line. However, it may sound simplistic, but it seems like maybe you didn't trust your bike. Rather than trying to stand the bike up, could you have stayed with the turn, keeping a steady throttle and counter-steering the bike even harder? Lots of things can upset a bike in a turn - braking, shifting, a tense rider, untimely weight shift, etc. How about going to that same turn and practicing: set up your entry speed, look through the turn, lean into it and accelerate out of it. Just a thought. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Oh I'm not dissing the BMW, that bike, with the low center of grav handles great, even with the back shock completely shot.

I had braked before the turn, took the same line as my buddy. I'm wondering because of the slow speed, and the steep banking of the road, and never taking a corner like this before. The drop in felt normal, but as the bank of the road got steeped at the apex, it just felt wrong I was having to muscle the bars to hold the line, the bike dived a good bit as it hit the road banking at the apex. It was like hitting a good dip in the road. The line I was taking went from good line to no line when I hit the banking at apex. The bike felt like it wanted to drop on its right side, I felt that if I counter steered hard to make the turn, it would lowside. I didn't brake till I stood the bike up. It felt like I was going to crash, and didn't have time to do something else to save it.

It already felt like it wanted to fall over, so leaning more didn't feel like an opption. Maybe l should have leaned more and added throttle
 

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You could be right, in that while you followed the same line into the turn as the BMW, he got on the gas early and pulled himself thru the turn, whereas you did not, feared lowsiding at the apex and stood it up. Might be as simple as a throttle control issue. How about gearing? What gear were you in, and were your RPMs too low, which lead your fear of a speed "stall" ?
 

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Hi again,
I think I understand what you felt now, my Kawa ZR7 was also feeling a little funny in slow bends until I installed the Hyperpro fork kit (progressive springs and thicker oil 15W). Like it wanted to run wide and didn't feel safe to push it more.
I hear the SV is also quite soft in the front, so maybe it's worth replacing the oil with thicker density or/and the springs.
Still, you would probably be able to take the bend since the BM went through as well, but felt unsafe and braked.
As Bonk pointed out, it 's certainly worth going that way again, if it's not really far, and go through the same bend again until you feel comfortable with it.

Aris
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the great advice. I got a better idea about how not to repeat this mistake. I'll thras that corner good next weekend, and tell you what happens
 

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Sounds good. Just remember, you've got a great bike and it will get you through that turn. Trust it and keep your technique relaxed and smooth and you'll be in good shape.
 

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From your description, it sounds like you tried to turn in with the throttle off.
 

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Ronin369 said:
Any ideas about what I might have done wrong? How could I have saved it? I do not want to repeat crossing into the oncoming lanes ever again...
I dunno if it's "the bike" that's causing problems - BMWs handle okay, the SV650 also handles okay :D

Weight can be an advantage - riding two up, I can often take corners harder and faster than riding solo, ground clearance notwithstanding. It's more stable, although I suspect some mucking about with my rear shock could help this. Depends a lot on the bike and how it's all set up; my wife's bike can take corners at the same speed or faster than my Ninja with less lean (although it feels nastier, it's a lot lighter).

When you tip into a corner, how do you do it? Are you "rider active" in that you get your rear off the seat and move your body around, or do you just lean it? If you get off, you'll find you can achieve the same corner speed with less lean, which means more stability and a safer corner. Safer corners can be faster corners :D
 

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I'm thinking that #1..you were tight on the bars, and it transfered to the forks when ya hit the brakes, and caused the front to dive slightly...and you left the throttle off..you need to slowly get on the gas to settle the suspension..this allows the bike to work as best it can..so as someone else said....trust your bike, it will do things ya wouldn't believe, IF you just let it..as in be relaxed, and have a light grip on the bars, keeping your arms BENT..As long as your tires are in good cond. and not over inflated, shouldn't be any reason, that you couldn't take that turn..oh, and experience..:D If your pegs aren't draggin, then you still have a ways to go before max lean is achived..and while on the subject..if you have those peg feelers still on your bike..?? Toss em..all they will do is get ya into trouble, as in dig in the road, and cause the rear wheel to lift off..:(
 

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I went into a clover leaf a little fast today and started drifting to the left wall. I remember someone in here saying to "trust your bike" and lean it harder.

I did that, maintained throttle, and the bike seemed to say "See, man. What were you so worried about. I gotch'ya back".

Amazing how these bikes will do what you tell them to. After that little scare, I now feel what my bike is capable of doing in the turns (within reason).
 

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Could be as simple as "you go where you look".
 

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Just sounds like inexperience really..The first tight curve you make on a bike is always an eye opener.
I remember my first ever tightening radius curve. Scared the shit outta me:eek:
I'd try that corner again, take it slow until you understand exactly where the bike needs to go, and where you should be applying the throttle. Its an amazing feeling when you get it right, and when you and the bike connect.
Riding is like flying..you gotta get the miles under you belt.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
inexperience

You're probably right, inexperience is my biggest problem. I've only been riding for a little more than two years now, and this is only my third month on the new SV650. I feel like I have peaked for the moment, I'm comfortable with my riding level, but I know
I could be smoother and faster. I'm just going to have to push myself past this point. I guess it is a sphinter moment the first time, but much easier after that. Just gotta remember all that I have learn. Thanks everyone for the great advice and feedback.

on another note, my suspension was NOT to loose. I'm only 140lb wet, and even though the SV does have rather soft suspension (or so I've heard) it is more that enough for me. I tightened the front and back one notch stiffer today, went for a ride, and felt like I got beat to death, felt every crack in the road. Then I tried my friends Honda Hawk, and he tried my SV. He weighs about 200lb. maybe a little more. His suspension was softer than my original setup. He came back and said the suspension was too stiff for him, so I put the front and back to the original settings. My rear suspenion is still stiffer than his bike... Maybe I should go one mark softer, but that will be the lowest setting possible... I get the feeling that the perfect suspension setup is a little like voodoo. And it's not the answer to my problem anyway, there is no substitute for riding skills.
 
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