What am I doing wrong??

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by ItalianRider, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. ItalianRider

    ItalianRider Adventurer

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    So ... I "crashed" my F700 again.

    The first time was a month ago, when I was doing a tight right hand turn and lowsided. I leaned too hard and was going too fast and the rear wheel lost grip and I slid down the highway ramp for a good 200 feet or so.

    I dislocated my arm, my bike's front fork got twisted, lots of little spots of damage here and there.

    Today I crashed again. I was doing a left turn on a busy street and people coming from the opposite lane stopped to let me go.

    I got the bike going as always, then I stalled it while leaned and down I went.

    Not really crashed at high speed this time. It was lower speed and also now I got the engine guard, hand guards, etc.

    Bike is fine and I fell on the left side. So the bike is basically looking like nothing happened. Same for me. Other than a bruised ego and a sore left leg.

    But my most serious question is: WTF am I doing wrong??

    I had a Speed Triple for a year. That's a liter sport bike. I have done some stupid, insane shit on my Triple and other than dropping it in a parking lot at a standstill because my side stand wasn't fully down, I never got into an accident with it.

    I never dropped it "in motion".

    This bike it's the second time in 2 months, and I got it 2 months ago ...

    Seriously ... is it that the F700 falls more easily? Unlikely scenario

    Is it that I suck and I just got lucky after 6000 miles of crazy shit on the Speed Triple?

    I mean I rode the Triple like I stole it and nothing bad ever happened to it.

    I am extra, extra careful with this one and today, without any justification or excuses, I screwed up and dropped it in a turn that should have been totally safe and fine and that I have done a million times on other bikes.

    The F700 doesn't like me or my inner squid is coming out.

    Or maybe the Triple was more stable than the F700 and was able to forgive the fact that I am not a good rider at all ...

    Not quite sure what to think at this point.
    #1
  2. EggChaser

    EggChaser Been here awhile

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    Could it be different rubber and tyre profile?
    #2
  3. ItalianRider

    ItalianRider Adventurer

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    Could be.

    I mean: Speed Triple = liter bike, 135+ horses, 190/55 rear tire, low center of gravity, immense amounts of low RPM torque

    F700 = 800 cc bike, 75 horses, 140/80 rear tire, high center of gravity not to mention I have side and rear bag on it (and I carry stuff in it), and somewhat regular torque curve

    So if you look at the specs, yeah they are really different.

    If you just look at them side by side in a parking lot ... yeah they are TOTALLY different.

    But are they so different that I can't manage the F700 safely at all?

    And most importantly ... why? I would have thought that transitioning from a liter bike to an enduro would be easier ... not harder.

    I always "felt" the Triple. I always knew what the bike was doing.

    This one I don't feel at all.

    I switched type of bike because I needed something more practical and with more utility than the Triple.

    But I have to say ... I miss my Triple now. :cry

    I feel like I was dating a british porn-star and my family made me dump her in favor of a german "good girl" because the porn star was not good enough for me.

    But I feel that the british porn star truly loved me ... and the german "good girl" turned into a psychopathic b!tch ...

    Or maybe I'm just venting because I'm frustrated because I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
    #3
  4. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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    ????? Maybe look into this....
    #4
  5. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    If you stalled it, and you aren't getting a good feel from the controls, perhaps look into some nice adjustable levers. Check your throttle and clutch cables for binding, and adjust the free play to your liking. Adjust the rear brake and shift lever to your preference.

    Those things all tend to go unnoticed and are usually left at whatever adjustment they were delivered at from the assembly schmuck at the dealer.

    It seems unlikely that you're suddenly a hamfisted putz, but if you're not getting along with the bike, the above are easy to adjust or replace to get that loving feeling back. :D
    #5
  6. serialcee

    serialcee Adventurer

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    I user to own a R1150r, like the triple. A street oriented bike. I took a F700 out for a testdrive and all I could think about was how unstable the big front wheel felt. Didn't buy it and was bummed that i didnt' like it...
    #6
  7. catweasel67

    catweasel67 Honda XRV 750 RD04

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    I'm a conservativer rider, middle aged - so cue self righteous preaching.. you have been warned..

    If you do "crazy shit" you are, in the end, going to crash.
    If you expect the round every corner successfully just because you did it OK yesterday, you are, in the end, going to crash.
    If you ride a motorbike, you are, in the end, going to crash.

    I don't know what your background is, if you've had any meaningful training, but maybe you'd benefit from a track day? or half a day's advanced training?

    or simply riding your new bike like you didn't steal it until you get to know it a bit better.

    I didn't expect my VF to handle like my bro's Kat, or my Goose to turn like my GS425.

    ps: I assume the bike is safe to ride? tyre pressure? brakes? suspension? etc etc - tyre pressure is the one most often ignored
    #7
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Can I make this my new tag line? Sounds like my love life, except I'm happy with my German psycho...


    Back to the tipping problem. I have to go with cybrdyke on this one. In both accident descriptions, I picture the bike leaned over so far that the front wheel is turned sharply. When this happens, the rear wheel is pushing against a pretty strong resistance, and will either break traction or stall the motor.

    You may want to keep the bike upright in slow corners, until you are more familiar with it's cornering characteristics. This way if you stall or break traction, you just pull in the clutch and coast until things are back in balance.
    #8
  9. ItalianRider

    ItalianRider Adventurer

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    While applying ice to my sore left leg I read your post and ponder ...

    Herein might lie the problem.

    Maybe my problem is not the bike but arrogance?

    Maybe I was arrogant in assuming that if I mastered the Triple I could master the F700 without effort? Maybe I was arrogant in assuming that since I tamed the Triple I can simply straddle the F700 and the bike would bow to me and recognize me as her undisputed master?

    Maybe I am NOT safe on that bike until I re-run all the training I ran through with the Triple (high speed maneuvering training, low speed maneuvering training, MSF re-do with your own bike, etc ... I did it all ... with the Triple).

    It's time to change my ice on my leg ... and my ego ... be back later.
    #9
  10. ItalianRider

    ItalianRider Adventurer

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    That's what might have happened in the first accident. In fact, THANK YOU for this description as it sounds very plausible.

    Also that's what I'm doing right now ... however today's accident is a bit different. It was simply a safe (traffic completely stopped on all sides), slow left turn from a stop.

    And the engine, as it has done MANY MANY times in the last couple of months died on me.

    I have never had the Triple engine die on me.

    Do I need to keep this engine revved to 4~5k? With the triple just 2000 RPMs were sufficient to make the bike rocket out of a black hole.

    With this bike I stall it like there's no tomorrow in the most inane and simple of situations.

    This is an honest to god, request for advice: how do you guys make your ADV bikes NOT stall? Do you give a lot of gas? Do you rev it up to 4k? 5k? Mine is stalling 2-3 times a day. Not making this up. Never had this problem with the triple ...
    #10
  11. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    I had this bike as a loaner back in '09 (it was the F650 then) and loved it. I found it very stable and even managed to keep on two wheels during a sphincter-puckering black-ice indcident:huh I was pretty bummed to give it back but I had it for 6 weeks...they forgot about me:evil

    Anyway, not to be judgmental, but have you had any formal training? MSF basic rider class? I took mine after I got my licence and I'm sure it saved my life at least a few times.

    Also a class in off-road riding will allow you to feel the wheels slide in a safe(er) more controlled environment and learn how to stay upright.

    Just my 2cents, ride safe:D
    #11
  12. ItalianRider

    ItalianRider Adventurer

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    Yes:

    1 - MSF class to take my license. Didn't pass every test but earn my license on the first try
    2 - MSF class again just to ace it. Couldn't tolerate the fact that I wasn't perfect the first time.
    3 - MSF class again, only the version where they allow you to use your own bike (Speed Triple)
    4 - Advanced MSF class targeted towards emergency manouvers
    5 - High Speed cornering class
    6 - Low speed cornering class (this was the hardest and by far it was pure torture ... it's similar to the police officers course you can find on youtube ... more than a few people dropped their bike. I didn't).

    All the above were done with my old bike (the Speed Triple) and every single one of them done within the last 12 months.
    #12
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Your comments support my theory.

    The two bikes have quite different sized front tires, correct? When you turn the handlebars on the Triple, the tire swings to the side. Now think about how much farther the front tire swings with a larger diameter front tire; causing it to dig into the pavement and halt your progress. Police training encourages this type of cornering because officers may have to execute a U-turn in a very small space, but turning the front wheel too sharply is like putting on the front brake. Not good if you are leaned way over at the time.


    [​IMG]

    Edit: So the bike is stalling a lot. I think manufacturers tend to gear the "adventure" bikes a little too high, in an attemp to make them more highway worthy. My Aprilia was the same way, and seemed to be lugging away from a stop. Adding 2 teeth to the rear sprocket can help, and can often be done without changing the chain.
    #13
  14. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Well it could just be this bike is just not for you, especially if you still don't feel comfortable on it. There could be an EFI issue there as well. I'd certainly bring it up to the guys that service your bike.

    Good luck and keep it shiny side up:D
    #14
  15. ItalianRider

    ItalianRider Adventurer

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    Again, a very good point.

    Yes, the front tire is bigger on the F700 and narrower. Also the rake angle is larger on the F700 (the Triple's forks are angled closer to the vertical in other words).

    Again ... another good point. The first gear feels really anemic compared to the Triple. The F700 has plenty of bite up top but in the low end and low gears it's just not pulling enough in my opinion. I'm struggling with low end power and either the engine stalls or it just doesn't give me enough bite.

    Couple everything we said with the fact that I went through a lot of painful training with my Triple but a big fat zero with this bike ... and also let's not forget my aforementioned bout of arrogance, and we might have an explanation why I got so well acquainted with the asphalt lately.

    The handling characteristics of the bike is something I need to learn to respect.

    The engine power being wimpy in first gear and at low speeds and the constant stalling is something else.

    I'll take it back to the dealer and see what they can suggest about that.
    #15
  16. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Agree with the above. You did a good job of switching bikes- maybe too good! :D Changing everything (front tyre, powerband, gearing, weight distribution, steering geometry, suspension) all at once might have been too much for you to just roll with.

    However... You're not dropping it every day. So you do know how to ride it. You have figured out what the differences are, and their magnitudes. This is key.

    I think you just need to put in a lot of low-speed practice time. Basic excercises. Get your muscle memory reset to handle the new bike.

    You won't turn it into a Triple. The dealer can't help there, and neither can Touratech. But you can turn yourself into a GS rider. Whether that's desirable or not, well... :freaky
    #16
  17. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    This may be it in a nutshell for you. We've all had or ridden bikes that were just wrong for us. This one may simply be a very wrong bike for you, and one you cannot or do not handle well.

    Perhaps you can modify the bike, and certainly taking an advanced rider MSF course would help. But, if you really aren't happy with the bike, sometimes the best choice is to replace the bike with one you are happy with.
    #17
  18. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I think you just don't know how to ride yet. You have zero sense for what your motorcycle is capable of or not. If you survive you will eventually stop falling off and become somewhat competant in most conditions.
    #18
  19. ferrol

    ferrol Adventurer

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    I had a stalling issue on my GS when I got it, came from Honda so wasn't used to the differnence in engine.

    Later realised the GS needs more throttle/RPM to be happy on slow manoeuvres, this learnt after dropping it twice on either side with 2 weeks of getting it. But I had just fitted the engine bars so was a good test.

    You don't stop learning when riding I found. (Not sure if I phrased that right but you get my point)
    #19
  20. lulo

    lulo Cochino Aventurero

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    my .2 cents ....as you have already guessed it the issue is probably that your trying to ride your f700 like your triple, and theyre 2 worlds appart handling wise.

    for instance i now own a buell xb12 and a klr, i dont ride my uly like i ride my klr, front end feel is worlds appart.... its all mostly the wheel size and spring rate/suspension

    while the small 17 fatty wheel is more planted, the larger slightly narrower 19' wheel gives a more vague feel to the whole suspension, your over turning that big slim wheel just to get to get it to do the same the small wheel used to do w just subtle inputs, thats why sportier bikes have fattier smalller 17 wheels, to make it flick easier from side to side, where on the f700 meant to go on unpaved roads you want that larger wheel which wheel feel more planted going over rocks and large potholes.

    spring rates are a key issue here, on the street oriented bike the spring rate is stiffer hence pushing the tyre more into the ground... plus you have a wide range of load adjustment between soft and hard.....on your 700 i dont believe there any preload adjustment at all and even if so, this bike is geared more towards riding in diff terrains hence a more neutral softy rate from factory, when going off road a softer spring rate is good cause it will absorb the rocks bumps and potholes but on the street a spring rate that soft just makes the bike feel unplanted and undisconnected to the road.

    when leaning my klr over on turns i have little to no feel, im overcompensating in my mind and my steer imputs accordingly but its because ive ridden enough where i can almost tell what my front end is doing.

    also dont forget, no matter what tyre you use, this time of year tyres loose a lot of grip due to both tyre and road temperature, sitting at a traffic light or an intersection for too long depending the time of day will effectively cool down your tyre completly, if you drive off harshly it will peel offf right away.

    re the bike stalling several times, like somebody already pointed out, i would first address your clutch engaging point, then if the issue persists i would see if something else is making the bike stall.

    im in nj as well, right off the lincoln tunnel, hit me up, i will gladly take you out for a calm ride on a sunday and we can go into detail, also during the week or saturdays we can go in the parking lots of giant stadium/meadowlands and practice low speed manuvering, body position, applying power and such, help you get comfortable so you wont go down again.
    #20