Let's talk Traction Control

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by windblown101, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    The only motorcycle I've owned with traction control previous to the 790 was a '16 1190R. On the 1190R I found it to be a bit too intrusive as well as being obvious when it was kicking in and ended up installing a dongle and leaving it turned off.

    On the 790 I've found traction control on the 790 to come on very smoothly at constant throttle or when adding power in a fairly slow deliberate manor and the rear starts to spin.

    After reading about the fellow in the UK that burned up/blew up his clutch I started to think about how I was using the clutch on the 790 and realized that the traction control comes on so smoothly that there are times I have been slipping the clutch because I "thought" the motor was starting to bog when riding up loose hills, etc when in fact it's more likely the traction control was simply kicking in. I think the smoothness of the intervention and the fact that there is no direct contection between the throttle and the motor has contributed to my natural instinct to slip the clutch to gain power as I would on my little 250.

    I realize that's a habit I need to break sooner rather than later. I will spend some dedicated time to get better at distinguishing between the two different scenarios and if I still find myself instinctively slipping the clutch whenever I feel power drop slightly I'll have disable traction control as there is no benefit I can think of to having traction control kicking in AND me slipping the clutch at the same time trying to build power when the electronics are engaged.

    Thoughts?

    Anyone else having problems like I describe?

    Anyone else found a trick to make it easy to distinguish between the two scenarios - lack of power versus electronic intervention?

    My issue may be complicated by riding the much higher strung and less torquey 250XC-F where clutch slipping is a way of life. I suspect the 250XC-F clutch will live a lot longer being used this way than the clutch on the heavier and more powerful 790 so breaking the habit of unnecessarily slipping the clutch has got to come to and end one way or another.
    #1
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  2. Some_Dude

    Some_Dude Been here awhile

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    IMO, it’s pretty straight forward. If I’m at WOT and the engine is bogging then TC is kicking in or I’m in the wrong gear.

    I’m not big into slipping the clutch under power. Was taught it was a good way to smoke a clutch.
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  3. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    If you plan on slipping the clutch, be in no more than 3 on the tc (in rally mode) I say 3, because I used it pretty extensively in some real slick stuff this weekend and never felt it kick in or chop any throttle input. If you want to let the tc do the work for you, don’t plan on fanning the clutch to keep the revs up and overcome the rev reduction that the tc is trying to do.

    that’s as simple as I think this is.
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  4. mickd

    mickd crash test dummie

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    :lurk
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  5. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    I hit a lot of mud on the trail today, and decided to be smarter than one of my last times out when I was doing mud in TC=1. D'uh. So this time I tried 6 and worked at programming myself to leave the damned clutch alone. It's a trust thing lol. Beginning to trust that the TC will step in and behave as one wishes it to. No drama .. seems to work.
    #5
  6. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Yeah, It may be like trying to teach an old dog new tricks to reprogram my brain. Im so used to adding a bit of slip when it feels like the motors rpm isn't responding to the throttle. Leaving the clutch be and letting traction control do its thing may take some time.

    Only thing I'm fairly certain of is I need to learn that trick of just letting TC do its thing or I should probably turn it off.

    I think I'll inspect the clutch this winter while I have the bike stripped down for a good head to toe cleaning and inspection and see how the plates are fairing. Almost 12k miles and clutch feels great but it never hurts to check before things go boom.
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  7. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    If you're pinning the throttle a bunch offroad on this bike you're much much more skilled than me! I dont recall if I've ever had the throttle pinned offroad on this bike. Maybe for an instant now and then? Certainly would be a rare thing at my skill level.
    #7
  8. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    I think each time on the trail we have a chance to revamp our programs. Whether that is our approach in the mud, or sand .. hills, turns .. whatever. We're all like auto-tuners. It's when we get lazy that we just plateau, but when we bring some aspect of our technique to the conscious forefront and work at honing it we see rewards. We also have to appreciate that we're all new to these 790's. Things like this TC take some new programming for instance. Every time out I feel like a teenager. This bike is the biggest blast of any bike I've ridden. Next season should be a riot for all of us. Even downtime, between seasons, has a way of bringing improvement. It's like all those hrs of riding, and all we learned along the way just creeps into our minds through osmosis and the next season we're that much better for it.
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  9. Some_Dude

    Some_Dude Been here awhile

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    Nah...the TC makes it so I don’t have to be skilled. I can keep rolling on the throttle and my acceleration is tied to wheel slip.

    If you trust the TC and select the correct amount for the terrain you can be more aggressive with the throttle.
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  10. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    Anyone else besides me not relishing swapping bikes with a buddy who may not have any of these features .. TC, ThR, offroad ABS etc? I cringe to think the trouble I'd be in if I stepped back up to a 2T or 500 or whatever.
    #10
  11. CaseyB

    CaseyB Adventually

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    So what would be the best for heavy sand?


    Would being in off-road mode with everything off be more beneficial?

    I’m comfortable in sand on small bikes, ones that have zero aides. So I’m a bit lost with all the doo dads. Loose dirt and mild trials, I’m ok messing around w rally mode and traction control.
    #11
  12. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    Little to no TC in the sand. Wheel spin is what makes motion happen there. Lots of it, usually.
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  13. Brilloman

    Brilloman Been here awhile

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    This bike is different than the 1190 with in regards to the TC. I used to turn off the TC when off road on my 1190. The 790 likes TC. Using the right amount of TC for the terrain helps minimize the need for working the clutch. Sure, I still slip the clutch a little but going up a long rocky uphill and dialing in the right amount of slip is the way the bike was designed to be ridden.

    The TC also helps overcome the lack of torque inherent in the parallel twin design.
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  14. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    TC @6 worked like a charm for 100 kms of this crap yesterday. Funny, you'd think a fatty on a quad would want to roar right down the middle of all this fun but instead they keep ripping everything up wider, and wider until it's rutted from edge to edge. Weird.

    20191020_171927.jpg
    #14
  15. Gaulin

    Gaulin Orange (& Blue) Crush

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    100 km of that looks....tiring.

    You're using Desert HTs right ? How'd they do ?
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  16. Some_Dude

    Some_Dude Been here awhile

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    The fat ones don’t want to get stuck.
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  17. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    No drama at all with the TC. It was a mix of that and harder pack with lots of small washouts. For some reason at speed those washes are almost impossible to discern until you're upon them. The tires did great, and never once let me down and the suspension did the best it could speaking of fatties lol Now that the Desert H/T's are well scuffed in, I've never once noted them on the hwy between trails. Really pleased with my choice of tire .. no regerts. ;)
    #17
  18. ramirin

    ramirin Ready to push

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    TC absolutely off. Otherwise it's eating you out since tc doesn't let you to 'fly' on top and front starts to wriggle. Even tc=1 that usually feels like almost off is intruding heavily on soft sand.

    --

    In general, one problem with TC+clutch slipping is actually the fact that you can't hear the motor. That is like driving with one important sensor disabled.

    I would like to have a dongle to set TC off as default for following reasons:
    - Almost every ride I get it into 'MTC FAIL' when slide-turning the bike with one foot down
    - It messes up with using clutch. Clutch control is the best offroad skill you can have, electronics won't get you safely over fallen tree.

    It would make me more sense to think that now I wan't assistance and put it on rather that always setting off after each start.

    I ones tried rain mode, forgot I had it on and almost fell down & crash because it interfered with me turning the bike like I planned and car was coming. Never again.
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  19. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    the moral of that story is not "don't use rain mode". the lesson is: be aware what the settings do and use them appropriately.
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  20. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    Too bad KTM didn't think to add a subroutine where it knocks TC to zero if the rider presses and 'holds' the down arrow once at 1. For safety they could have TC=0 trigger a different colour display background. Night mode could become navy blue, and daytime could become orange sherbert. :D
    #20
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