I (really) need advice

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by michelsavage, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. michelsavage

    michelsavage Gotta move

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    Excellent advice here. Strangely, no one has suggested to get a lower gravity road bike instead of the light and high-gravity twin...
    #21
  2. SilverBike

    SilverBike Adventurer

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    It was kind of scary the 1st time I took my babe on freeway. After a new windshield, no more knobbies, minor adjustment of the rear shock and dampening, the result is perfecto. My bike basically has no farkle.

    About your trip to Argentina, if I were you, I will not go until (1) I'm quite comfortable with my bike BOTH off road and streets. (2) A few long distance rides to test my endurance and to make sure I can handle it.

    Again, those are only my cheap 2 pennies.

    Good luck.
    #22
  3. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    This was my first thought when the OP said he bought every farkle. Maybe get in the habit of moving the wallet to the front pocket? You would be surprised how many people have back troubles because of this.

    To get more comfortable with the bike, maybe try some backroads with zero traffic instead of highways.
    #23
  4. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Of course not. They're all stuck with a high centred twin. It's a matter of getting used to it, not quitting and making things easier on yourself.

    Where's the Adventure in that?
    #24
  5. OCDKen

    OCDKen Adventurer

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    Have you considered that your wheels may not be in alignment, causing the left lean? I found that the chain adjusting marks on my 2009 F650GS were a little off, leaving the rear wheel out of align. It was not possible to go straight if I took my hands off the bars for a few seconds. Got the motion-pro chain alignment tool for my chain maintenance and my issue went away. Also note that I regularly ride with 20+ lbs in the left case and the right case empty without any lean problems. And like others said about the other issues, and my experience completely agrees with, get more hours riding and Have Fun!!!!
    #25
  6. VikB

    VikB Been here awhile

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    I can't solve your problem over the internet, but to give you an example of what you need to do. I put new tires on my bike [tall heavy KLR650] and was out on the highway getting blown around by everything big [trucks, RVs, etc...]. Didn't like it much at all. I was very tense. Getting low when I passed anything big to minimize the problem.

    I aired down the tires a few psi to ride some dirt/gravel/mud. Bike handled that pretty well so when I got back to the highway I left the pressure at the lower setting. The bike handled great. I rode home totally relaxed and having a ton of fun.

    Since you know many other people ride and enjoy the same bike as you it makes sense that you have to figure out why yours is riding so screwy.

    Your dealer can take it for a test ride to see what they think. If it's a rider problem you'll find out real fast. If they come back having experienced the same thing they'll know what to do to adjust the bike for you.

    Bottom line until you can work through this sort of issue you aren't ready for a big trip. That's not a slam. That's just reality. Take your time and figure stuff out as you build your skills. You'll know when you are ready when climbing on the bike feels totally natural and when you trouble shoot problems quickly/safely.

    I've owned lots of street bikes and if you are having issues with a GS the solution isn't to get another bike. It's to figure stuff out with your existing bike. Once you've done that if you still want a street bike go for it, but at least at that point you'll understand enough to make the right choice instead of a knee jerk reaction.

    Good luck! Hopefully you'll be having a blast soon....:clap
    #26
  7. señormoto

    señormoto Supermoto Abuser

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    your problems have nothing to do with the motorcycle and everything to do with your lack of recent experience riding; death grip and muscle pain are specific to new riders or riders that haven't ridden in a long time (over a decade, if you weren't a racer) is equivalent to being a new rider.

    what you probably would benefit from is just taking it easy and stop focusing on all the things you're worrying about. your mental contortions are directly resulting in physical issues, and you can't be stiff and worried while riding a motorcycle or bad things happen.

    on a long ride like you're planning, 300 miles in a day is typical if you're on paved roads. Get use to it. Go ride more and stop buying stuff for the bike. Extras don't make you a better rider when you're new.

    calm down. less tension. you don't need to grip so hard.
    #27
  8. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    I've also found it can be related to what you had for lunch.
    #28
  9. JGoody

    JGoody Been here awhile

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    I got an F650GS after a long absence from riding. The F650GS is basically pretty much a standard with a little extra clearance and suspension travel -- if you're comfortable on say a Triumph Bonneville you'll be happy with it. In fact I was torn between those two choices. It's not a hard to ride or a tall bike.
    I think the best advice is to get an experienced ride to take the bike out -- then at least you'll know if it you or the bike/tires/whatever having the issue. Another interesting test would be to ride another bike -- a rental if necessary -- and see how that feels.
    If there is something with the bike you'll be a whole lot happier and safer once that's fixed. And if you're fighting a bike/tire/whatever issue you'll never ride relaxed or safe.
    BTW the death grip is an issue I've had to some degree -- beemer buddies or grip puppies help as the grips are pretty small but mostly it's relaxing the hand grip to an appropriate grip. But get the bike checked out ASAP! And I think the advice of trying it without the bags is good too.
    #29
  10. michelsavage

    michelsavage Gotta move

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    Go figure.

    I removed the Zega Pro boxes (remember the starboard one is significantly wider than the other.)

    I replaced the original windshield from the V-Stream that Pierre at Moto Internationale (Montreal) suggested I buy.

    And I decreased the tire pressure from 40 psi to 32 psi (fwd) and 50 psi (!!!) to 35 psi in the rear. I don't know why the pressures were so damn high straight from the store, but they were.

    Results?

    1. I ride far more centered (at high speed, I still tend to lean left a little) - problem 90% solved
    2. I'd rather have constant wind than f...g turbulence. What's wrong with the V-Stream???
    3. Far easier on gravel or loose ground, far more agile in corners, far better bike.

    So, here's the Quiz:

    Is it the tire pressure?
    Is it the removing of the Zega Pros?
    Is it the windshield?

    ... that solved the off-center position?:clap
    #30
  11. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    Did the dealer mount the cases? He may have increased the pressure. If you are loaded or two up you need to be at 34-35 front and 38-40 rear. You also need to try another gauge to verify yours is close. Did you check the preload and dampening?? Did you change it when you removed the casses? GH
    #31
  12. Endurodude

    Endurodude Been here awhile

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    That's very high!!!!! With luggage, I have mine at 36 front and 42 rear. My BMW dealer told me to keep them at this even when I've no luggage; I've done this and am fine. I wouldn't, however, go above this - I'm sure that you having yours at 40 / 50 was the reason for at least some of your issues (most?).
    #32
  13. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    Assuming his gauge is correct. GH
    #33
  14. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    +1
    #34
  15. Tinytags7

    Tinytags7 Banned

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    I have your problem when riding in the wind i would feel all shaky in the road and really tense my hands and back and after i got really sore, unfortunately its just a confidence thing, I just go out riding a lot now and pass big cars/trucks and im fine now, just practice to build confidence.
    #35
  16. seaswood

    seaswood seaswood

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    Build confidence, I have the V stream although not the big one, wind hits somewhere eye level or so.
    Once you are confident put the bags back on. I have the same size bags each side, Same handling on as off.
    Remember farkles are made to come off also. Less is more.
    #36
  17. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    If the dealer gave you a bike with 50lbs in the rear tire, you probably will want to set the pre-load and the rebound back to stock settings on the rear suspension.
    Use the tire pressure monitor on the computer, use the lower push button on the computer to toggle between the mileage and trip counters to get to the tire pressure monitor. They must roll a certain amount after startup before they give you a reading.
    #37
  18. Barbadi

    Barbadi Been here awhile

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    Its a mater of body angles on the bike. I ride an f 658 gs also and it took me sometime to find the right angles for my dimentions. Note that it is VERY different from one rider to anoher.

    Try this:
    With the zegas off and their bars off the bike, take the airhawk off your sadle. Put air tire pressure, suspention preload and dumping to the standards as mentioned to the bmw owners manual.

    My best quess is that you are sort figured or have small arms so you lean too much to catch the handle bar (or the brake and clutch levers) -thus your neck strain, and because of that your hands are in a stiff -stretched position. Also this may cause all the trembling because the hands are not properly bend for driving. This might have caused you to lean left because your right hand is pulling your body inside (the left side has to go "outside" ) as you open the throtlle.

    Try changing your steering bar position frond or back and see how that changes your posture on the bike. Bear in mind that even when you thing that pulling it back might be more "comfortable" it might not be so because your weight is not distributed properly when it is all hanged over your belly. Try also the opposite, to the front, ride and see what happens.

    If the problem stays try loosening the front brake and clutch lever bases and move them up or down and go for a ride, to see how your body feels. It is a common mistake that if the levers are in angles that allow your elbows to fall down by your side you will be comfortable but usually it cause problems like your leaning to the left. Remember its an on-off bike you are supposed to ride it sittin upright not leaning back like a virago. Then combine lever and steering bar angles.

    Remember that bar risers might help but if you are overstreched on the bike (I was and I am 172 cm high) only barbacks really solve the problem. I use the sw motech ones.

    Parallel universe bike ergonomics are tricky. I had to combike the barbacks with the bmw comfort saddle and the givi screen to really feel ok on my bike and tried a lot of things and angles.

    Good luck.

    PS : What hight are you?
    #38
  19. VikB

    VikB Been here awhile

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    Answer this for yourself by trying one thing at a time. That's the process you'll need to follow when you are someplace remote without internet access and your bike starts acting funny.

    I'm glad things are moving in the right direction for you...:freaky
    #39
  20. Ride-a-lot

    Ride-a-lot Been here awhile

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    I didn't read all the responses so it may have already been mentioned. But if your shaking like a leaf at speed check to make sure your jacket fits correctly. If your jacket is to big or air blows inside of it and puffs up like the Michelin man it can cause all kinds of wonky handling. Over the years I have had several people say they are not comfortable at speed. After riding behind them and seeing their jacket puff up and shake all over the place its easy to see why they are nervous.
    #40