This is not a sportbike.....

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by alii1959, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    My bike:
    [​IMG]

    What happened:

    The past few days I have noticed a few things. First, it has been cooler in the mornings. And, I put the windshield on, which I seldom use, does really change the way the bike feels. I seemed to be riding about 10mph faster than normal. I was working hard to get that under control...not easy, kinda enjoyed it. Second, my throttle has been a bit sticky over the past little while. Tried real hard to adjust it....no good, replacements are on order as of today. All of this leads to.....

    Heading to work on Friday morning, in the dark, with windshield installed and sticky throttle, came into a right hander a bit hotter than I expected. Popped the clutch, a bit of engine braking, got on the binders, countersteered for all I was worth, which resulted in:

    [​IMG]

    And:

    [​IMG]

    The brace for the right footboard dragged a bit along with a bit of the frame. There is a dip there as the paving from one road joins to the other.

    I didn't go down. But, as the footboard folded I wound up no place for my right foot. The asphalt grabbed the toe of my boot and pulled my foot backwards. (Shout out for Foxhead Comp S boots. Tough boots. No signs of wear or damage at all....amazing!!!!) Slight bruise on my ankle from the boot top.

    The next thing I need to do....clean my seat. Seems it has gotten a bit , um, soiled!?!! Geez, this type of thing hasn't happened in quite a few years. Just goes to show that regardless of experience you too can have a "gotcha" moment. How pathetic am I that I didn't pay more attention than I did?

    After years of riding sport bikes, I have been sharpening the boards on my Road King on nearly a daily basis. I really love this bike. Just gotta keep the speed down and pay attention to road surfaces. This was the closest to a get off I have had in a while....man, was I nervy on the way home.
    #1
  2. DirtMedic

    DirtMedic Intrepid Explorer

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    I bet that got your attention in a hurry. Glad you are ok.
    #2
  3. Hurricane Bob

    Hurricane Bob Long timer

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    Yeah, I toss mine around like it's a track bike also!:bueller


    .....on my electra glide model the foot board steel mounts can be raised up to a higher bolt position, check your model it might be adjustable as well.


    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Yeah, gave me the heebie geebies. Was still a bit nervy today when I went for a ride. I have the cables on order, they won't be here until thursday and I will be installing next weekend. Gonna have to ride more with the windshield to get accustomed to it more....

    Was a bit more tentative today during the ride. It is still an amazing bike. Love the fact that the big girl will dance amazingly well, when asked nicely. Sure, she isn't a sportbike, but she does make me giggle!!
    #4
  5. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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  6. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    A LOT of people crash because their bike can not lean enough to compensate for a minor mistake.
    #6
  7. badstewie

    badstewie n00b

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    That being said, it seems to me (a brand new rider with only a couple weeks experience) to be a good idea to get in the habit of getting off the seat and leaning to the inside so the bike leans less, leaving an extra margin for unexpected situations. I have talked to a couple of long time riders about this and all of them thought it was unnecessary on the street or only for cruisers with low clearance. Am I out of line thinking having the extra lean available is a good idea?

    Bad Stewie
    #7
  8. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    A lot of people crash because the rider can not let the bike lean as far as the bike is capable of leaving them unable to compensate for a minor mistake.

    Many riders panic at the first noises they hear from touching down. They do all sorts of dumb stuff at that point. :deal

    I find that in spirited riding, I feel much more comfortable with blind and unknown corners having as much in reserve as possible. Body position is key for this but I don't hang off, just shift my weight. It doesn't take much to make a big difference; especially on a big cruiser/tourer.
    #8
  9. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    I traded a GSX600r in on the Road King...so I know about lean angle. While they are not nearly in the same league, I am genuinely surprised by the amount of lean angle the Harley Touring bikes do have. It is far greater than the more boulevard oriented bikes.

    All that said, I had used up my "normal" lean angle and my reserve. Now, it was down to hard parts. I readily admit my error(s). I readily admit that I DO know better, but, for the reasons mentioned above...I nearly lost it. I didn't, but whooooweee it was exciting there for a couple of seconds. :huh

    Another thing I noticed, was that the Dunlops, which I don't really like, held. They didn't slide or lose traction in any way. I was amazed. I had convinced myself that they weren't truly up to the task, but I was wrong. They ain't that bad. Still not my favorites. Next set will be different.

    I believe that a LOT of people crash due to a lack of practice, experience, and trust. They don't ride very often and then they ride beyond their skill level. They don't ride off to practice certain skills to make sure that when something goes wrong they can handle it. They only ride on the weekends/nice days and not very often at that. I see many people on the weekends duck walking it through intersections or letting their feet drag at low speed. Further, their experience is so limited they don't trust their equipment. Let the bike do its job. Quite often it will save you. There is no substitute for experience....i.e. mileage. To get better, ride a lot more under a variety of circumstances.

    I see guys on Harley's that seem scared to death inching around in parking lots being real tentative. I see guys on sportbikes who should be scared, but aren't. There just isn't a substitute for mileage and a willingness to become a better rider. Learn from our mistakes without defending ourselves. I am not perfect (see above), but I can learn.
    #9
  10. justafurnaceman

    justafurnaceman Imaginary

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    I finally had to get a sportbike so I would stop trying to grind my pegs on my HD Street Bob so much. :lol3
    #10
  11. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

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    I did, on my CB650. A corner almost right in front of my house, I had taken it a thousand times. One time, just a little hotter than normal, hit that dip and next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground watching my bike slide across the street. It was my second get off in a week, so I stopped riding for the rest of the summer. (about a month)

    I had my Road Glide down on the Dragon and ground off about 3/8" rom my right side floorboard. The guy behind me said he could hear me grinding. I think the kickstand touches down first on the other side, so I don't push it so hard on that side.

    One thing I do when I ride that bike fast is I point my toes out and down a little so that they act as curb feelers and when I feel my foot touch I know that the bike is not far from touching.
    #11
  12. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Sharpening floor boards is one of my favorite sports!!:evil But, I suppose there is a limit!:lol3
    #12
  13. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    I notice on a lot of this style of bike that as soon as the rider sits on it over half of the susp.travel is gone. Because it's"not" a sportbike is no reason not to check and adjust susp.sag and spring rates to suit your riding style.I have seen properly set up cruisers and baggers that work very nicely.
    #13
  14. mrphotoman

    mrphotoman Long timer

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    :lol3:rofl:lol3:rofl:lol3:rofl:lol3:rofl:lol3:rofl
    #14
  15. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Baloney, you are absolutely correct. I do keep the shocks pumped up and have plans to replace them with progressives ASAP along with some changes to the front (not sure yet exactly which route I will take with that).

    I have only had her just over a year. Soooooo, I have replace a tire, removed the heel shifter, added luggage rack, added backrests, changed the seat, changed the bars, changed the rear lights, added wind deflectors, moved the nipple for the air shocks, changed the front brake pads for more aggressive types, added shorter windshield, and other misc schtuff. She is a work in progress. That is one of the best things about Harleys; the farkles are nearly unlimited:clap. Next up, suspension, maybe new bars,................
    #15
  16. EricD10563

    EricD10563 Been here awhile

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    I'm not 100% sure but I think the Classic RK comes from the factory with rear shocks that sit an inch lower than the standard RK; standard length shocks can be found cheap used giving you a little more clearance. 09 and later HD touring models don't allow you to raise or lower the floorboards like previous years? I think it's a poor design on the later models that allow hard parts to touch down before the boards do, I've scraped hard parts but not the boards.

    I agree with the OP later HD touring bikes (new frame 09+) handle very well for what they are and with a competent rider you can surprise the less capable rider every now and then. I also know guys that ride on the older frame that surprise me with how fast they can ride them.

    My next addition for my 11 Limited will be HD's premium touring shocks. I don't really have complaints about the stock shocks but for $400 I'll take a chance and see how they do. If it makes a real noticeable difference I'm sure I'll end up doing something to the front end too.
    #16
  17. OhBoy

    OhBoy Got Out

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    Had an interesting experience on a GL1800.
    On a spirited ride through some sweepers hit a dip and felt a hit.
    May have dragged the pegs (don't remember now) but, the lower fairing was scuffed up pretty well.
    It was A WTF moment when I noticed the scrapes.
    On a Goldwing forum, these marks are a Right of Passage.
    #17
  18. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Classic has 13" shocks. It's the custom that has the 12" shocks from the street glide.

    The bike is very responsive to your leaning, or lack of. C.O.W. Works very well with these bikes. Though it feels quite dramatic, since you tend to be leaning back or sitting upright.

    Dragged the foot boards of my Road King Classic a few times as well.
    #18
  19. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Yeah, I'm loving my Softail Deluxe too. :D

    I took the footboards off and put pegs on for more leg room, more natural foot angle, AND more cornering clearance. Still grind the peg on the right and the "jiffy stand" on the left just for fun on most rides tho. :wink: I too have thought about raising mine. Funny, most Harley riders lower their bikes and here we are talking about raising ours. :lol3

    For me, anything two-wheeled. Having fun in the far north, Mark H.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Riding home from work today, I nearly broke into giggles....the Road King really is that much fun. It is not a sportbike, but it does put grins on your face. And, isn't that the point. I think that too much emphasis is placed, by many, on the specs of a bike. I remember MG Midgets, they weren't fast, they weren't the best cars in any way, but they sure were fun to drive. Kinda like my old Tacoma, not fast, not the most exciting, but it sure is fun.

    I kinda see the Harley as a 2-wheel truck. I can carry all my stuff with me. Be comfortable. Have fun in the twisties and never worry too much about the Popo...like the MG above, I ain't really going that fast.

    Whoever said that riding a slow bike fast was fun was.........RIGHT!!!
    #20