What makes a bike feel planted?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by RandyButternubs, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. law1200

    law1200 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2019
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I have 5 bikes, 3 of them I ride 1 my 240 son rides (1995 DR650SE) and a dr200 my 140lbs wife ride.
    My mountain carver is a 2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200S. I have been riding this bike since 06 and love it. It will take me through a 15 mph curve with my knee down at 60 mph trail breaking and never lose the line I entered into the curve on.
    When i started riding I didn't understand the importance of having a properly sprung bike.
    But after some hairy moments and some close calls I decided I had better get some professional help before I kill myself or someone else so I talked to the owner of my local Suzuki shop and turns out he used to race in WERA and he is a very good rider.
    He asked me several questions like when I turn the bike in does it stay on the line, does the rear fell like its planted and a few other questions, he looked at the tires and notice the front tire was cupping bad,he asked how much tire pressure I put in them and he made a subjection that change my life for every and that was "put some money in your suspension".
    Here I was think the suspension was good enough for a 170lbs rider with gear on and it was if I was going to ride through a 15 mph curves at 30 mph.
    So I took his advice and did a low budget suspension upgrade a Hayabusa rear shock $50.00 off ebay because it's a direct bolt on and has multiple adjustments and the Busa only weighs 60lbs more then the Bandit.
    Gold valves from Cogen's (Rick for give me if I didn't speed it correctly) 15 weight fork oil and I went through 3 sets of fork springs before settling on a set of springs normally used on the track.
    When I do a day ride on this bike i ride a 400 mile loop and i never fill beat up from the ride sometimes I will do a 2 day ride that's 800 or more miles in 2 days riding hard.
    Now DR350S I also ride and ride it hard both on the road and off.
    Here we go,,,,I am not happy with the street handling so what do I do. I change the fork valves, oil and springs rebuilt the rear shock only and went with a heavier oil because like I said I only weigh a 170lbs with gear on good day sometimes.
    So i ride it a few times and realize the front is to firm off road so I put just one of the stock springs in perfect! But the bike is still a little squirrelly on pavement in the corners at high speeds so what could the problem be guest what,,,I over looked the tires! 80/20 and I ride more aggressively on the pavement than off road so i went to a 50/50 tire and now I drag the foot pegs through the curves.
    I am not sure if you will ever get yours to handle as good as you want due to the small chassis and lack of after market parts for the 350 Tractor.
    I wouldn't try to do it for my 240 pound son that's why I bought him the DR650 the chassis is capable of supporting someone of his size.
    I hope my experience helps.
    #41
  2. molochnik

    molochnik Anhedonic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    508
    Location:
    HiDez SoCal
    My bike is a 650, the OP is troubled by the handling on his 350.
    My bike is pretty much squared away. I was suggesting that if the OP likes his 350 enough he could find proper springs on Race Tech’s site. If the shock holds its N2 charge and doesn’t leak he can find happiness with it.
    You were lucky to find a mechanic that touted suspension as the best money spent.
    I did suspension for 3 years at a shop. I wasn’t thrilled initially, thinking motors are where the glory is, but after seeing how happy customers were, and getting my own bikes set up properly, I appreciated the value of simply having a properly rated spring.
    I tried “to get by” without getting springs for my own stuff but once I got tired of exhausting every possible “free” solution I finally believed my boss/mentor and tried (often in vain) to convince a person they’re wasting time and money until the rates are right
    #42
  3. molochnik

    molochnik Anhedonic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    508
    Location:
    HiDez SoCal
    I guess I ought to add that I couldn’t get a knee down in sweepers due to the aggressive oversteer.
    When it seemed I simply couldn’t get enough weight off of the front end in dirt I finally ordered proper straight rate springs for my DR.
    It seemed the idea of sorted suspension was becoming a respected course of action for a while and perhaps it still is. I’ve been out of the game, professionally, for a decade plus.
    I always got a kick out of how fast choppers would be bragged to be but I suspect it had a lot to do with shitty chassis set up
    #43
  4. law1200

    law1200 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2019
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Hey Molochink I didn't post my comment correctly. I'm still trying to get use to how we have to post on this forum. I thought I quoted on the original quote.
    I agree with you on every bike will differ for ever rider even if he or she is riding the same as I do.
    I was trying to give a example of how,, even I a 158lbs(no gear on) rider had to make suspension changes both on a big bike and on a small one due to my riding style and not weight of the rider.
    Your post motivated me to share my journey down the road of bike set-up.
    #44
  5. Tor

    Tor Making Life A Ride

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,547
    Location:
    Asgard
    The Low Frame/Seat option would be a possible solution. Not sure how much lower it is, but yeah, it is a tall bike.
    #45
  6. molochnik

    molochnik Anhedonic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    508
    Location:
    HiDez SoCal
    Oh that's cool...I'm not a master of forum-fu either :lol3
    I agree that there is value in anecdotal advice; context helps a lot but the reader has to sift out the nuggets...like a cat box:D
    #46
  7. RowBust

    RowBust Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    974
    Yeah, tried a stock one, couldn't get it up off the stand
    #47
  8. dave 6h

    dave 6h Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    408
    Location:
    ‘Straya!
    Disclaimer, I can’t remember the first half of the thread so my advice might be already given.

    When I asked an experienced friend the same question many years ago, his response was, “Drop down a gear or two for the bends, don’t be afraid to rev the bike a little.”
    He went on to explain that suspension is designed to work best when the motor is reving between a certain range.
    To test this theory find your favourite set of corners, pick a speed your comfortable with and go through said bends at the same speed in different gear, say 80kph/50mph, starting in 4th and working back each subsequent time.
    You will be able to feel the difference.

    Of course rider training and suspension work is never wasted money.
    Good luck.
    #48
    Tarmac Kid likes this.
  9. scott123007

    scott123007 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    jupiter, fl
    Dirt, water, and a sprinkle of fertilizer, I suppose.
    #49
  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,349
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    I would say to get that "planted" feeling you could lean it against some outbuilding for a few years...

    [​IMG]

    It will get well planted... :lol3

    This one is so stable it won't fall over in anything less than a tornado...

    [​IMG]
    #50
    Richarde1605 likes this.