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Discussion Starter #1
Can You Ride a Cruiser Quickly?

Twice now, I've been on rides with cruiser-based baggers with me going the speed limit or below and the cruiser is STILL dragging floorboards and hanging back. No offense, but they were riding SO slowly that I was literally scared for them. I know the Wing has 40-degrees of lean and most baggers are more like 30-degrees of lean, but I was craaaaaawling along. I wasn't using, I would guess, 10-20 degrees of lean angle MAX. I just don't get it.

You guys that ride cruisers and Harley-Davidsons please explain this to me: How can a bike with 30-degrees of lean fail to ride the posted speed limit? I'm sure the riders are doing something wrong, but I don't know what. I am not writing to bash H-D. This literally makes no scientific sense and it scares me (for them) that this is so APPARENTLY irrational.

Please educate me.
 

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Although a cruiser style bike generally speaking doesn't have the lean angle that Goldwings have, in this case its the rider, not the bike. I have a buddy with a bagger style bike, and he has no problem running 10 over on speed limits. Sounds like your style of riding is just too far off from these guys you ride with. . .Find a group thats rides more your style and you will be happier for it. Some people like to just smell the roses. Not a big deal.
 

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Followed a harley at deals gap and when he ran off the first strong curve I asked WTF then I saw the kansas plates and remembered flat land riders do not practice on good roads!
 

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Unless the bikes are modified,( lowered or the like) I doubt it is the motorcycle choice. As JohnD pointed out it is usually the riders. Many like to go fast in town and such but won't even run the speed limit on the highway. The machine is capable, so not sure of the mentality. I know it exists but won't pretend to understand it.

Ride your ride and let them do the same. It is about enjoying the breeze.
 

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Just need more experience, and practice, practice, practice.

It's a good sign that they're not running above their current ability.
 

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Followed a harley at deals gap and when he ran off the first strong curve I asked WTF then I saw the kansas plates and remembered flat land riders do not practice on good roads!

Really? very judgemental of you don't you think. Couldn't be any other possible explanation. the next corner I come up to Ill stop and think what would dupdyke do.....................
 

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Same thing happened to me today. Got behind 6 HD baggers and 2 trikes and thought I'd just sit back and enjoy the ride and scenery. After about 10 miles I couldn't take it any longer...they rode like a giant rubberband...we'd hit a hill and they'd all slow down and start making lots of noise but not really going anywhere...when the road curved it was all breaklights. Truth be told it also happened with 3 other wings as well. Guess that's why I only ride with one other winger or alone...not that that's a good thing, but ride your own ride is the safest approach.
 

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It is NOT a safe practice to ride with people who you feel need to be hurried or pushed. You will eventually hurt somebody as they will ride over their skill level and eventually lock up. Find a group of riders that ride your pace and be happy.

Experience is a painful teacher sometimes. BTDT.

ride safe and in sync with your group.

:thumbup:
 

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There are a lot of motorcycle OWNERS but not so many motorcycle RIDERS.

I ride year round with all levels of riders and different bikes and my experience is wing riders spend more time riding than the cruiser guys and tend to do longer distances.

It is a small joke that if I suggest to my loud bike friends we should have lunch 200 miles away they just laugh...if I make the same suggestion to my wing riding friends they usually agree...if we can take the long way home.

I believe Farmguy has it right....experience and practice.
 

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Although a cruiser style bike generally speaking doesn't have the lean angle that Goldwings have, in this case its the rider, not the bike. I have a buddy with a bagger style bike, and he has no problem running 10 over on speed limits. Sounds like your style of riding is just too far off from these guys you ride with. . .Find a group thats rides more your style and you will be happier for it. Some people like to just smell the roses. Not a big deal.
+1 :thumbup:
 

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I really hate too say this as I really do "Love" the Harley, however, riding behind a group of Harleys is like riding behind a tour bus!! & No, this isn't the exception! it is the rule!, don't misunderstand me, I don't have to be carving up the highway, but come on!! they won't even pull over to let you around. most times I will find a place to stop, have a coffee, and repeat "I Love the Harley" "I Love the Harley" "I Love the Harley" "I Go% D%^# Harley!!!!! jmop
 

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Followed a harley at deals gap and when he ran off the first strong curve I asked WTF then I saw the kansas plates and remembered flat land riders do not practice on good roads!
Really? very judgemental of you don't you think. Couldn't be any other possible explanation. the next corner I come up to Ill stop and think what would dupdyke do.....................
Maybe a little but not totally... I am from Lower Alabama and we are flatlanders here also. Not as flat as Kansas but still pretty hard to find a challenging road in the southern part of the state. FL has the same problem... I do hunt for challenging roads but it is not something I ride on a daily bases so I go to the Smokys whenever I can and I practice in parking lots.

If you are not exposed to the twisties and you don't practice then there is a learning curve. Just the facts of life.

I'm not offended at all by the statement.

To answer the OP HD do have less lean angle but they also have a few inches less ground clearance and many still lower their bikes as I did so scraping the pegs doesn't take near as much effort as it does on a GW.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Isn't taking a ride more about the wind in your face and enjoying life than treating the road as if it were a race track?
IT'S THE BIKE

Yes, but when a bike or rider (or a group of riders) literally CAN'T RIDE THE SPEED LIMIT without scaring themselves silly, or running out of lean angle, then something is wrong. If the bikes have so little ground clearance they can't ride 35 mph (the posted speed limit) around a mild corner, they should not be sold to the general public.

IT'S THE RIDER

I do understand new riders, or inexperienced riders, being afraid or uncomfortable cornering--I've been there myself--but if the bike is okay, how does that rider's FEAR translate into dragging floorboards? If the floor boards are dragging, that's riding at 100%. That's the limit. Any more lean and they'll lever a tire off the road and crash.

THEORIES

Here are is what I think the riders may be doing wrong:


  1. Cutting in early, realizing they are about to cross into the other lane or run out of road, then leaning over too far to get out of trouble (likely)
  2. Running a good line, but literally running out lean angle (doubt it)
  3. Going in "too hot" (or at least what feels to fast to them), then jamming on their brakes and REDUCING their lean angle even more (likely)
  4. Running a Superbike Line that won't work on a cruiser--that is, running in deep, braking hard, then throwing the bike over (scraping) and then being too scared to power out (possible, but not as likely)
  5. Vision REALLY low, right in front of the bike, and arms very stiff on the bars, such that they can't see to put themselves on a good line, feel they can't steer so know they can't turn, hit the brakes then try desperately to turn at parking lot speeds and still scrape. (possible)
  6. Pushing the bike under. (thanks Pred8tor)

Please understand that I am not bashing anyone or anyone's bike. These are technical errors that can be corrected. Heck, I know in most cases, the bike WILL do it.

She can do it.


They can do it.


He does it on a fat boy.

 

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I'm not bashing Harley, but..............

It seems people here think all Goldwing riders are ultra-riders who can ride their bikes to the limit, but those da*n HD guys and their poorly designed bikes!!

I've seen just as many slowpoking Goldwing groups holding up others on the highway and in the twisties. It's the riders, not the bikes. Granted HD baggers may have less ground clearance, so may scrape earlier, but is every ride a race to see how fast you can get somewhere?

Ride with people who have the same skills as you and the same motivations, i.e., ride like hell and get there as fast as you can, or take it a little slower and enjoy the scenery.

Choose your own ride and choose who you ride with.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
... but is every ride a race to see how fast you can get somewhere? ... Choose your own ride and choose who you ride with.
No, every ride is not a race, but when the bike or rider LITERALLY can't ride the speed limit that is not safe.

Riders who can't choose, have no option to choose, don't have the equipment or skill to choose to ride even so fast as the posted speed limit, do not really have a choice. Their "choice" is an illusion, even a delusion. They are kidding themselves to say, "It's all about the RIDE, man!" This while talking about a road they would drive at 50 in their car, but won't take at 40 on their bike.

I am certainly not bashing Harley's or Harley riders. The last guy I saw do this was on a Yamaha, and I was afraid for him. It wasn't a choice for him. HE couldn't ride any faster without scraping. The bike appeared to be factory stock.

This is a thread about the LACK of choice.
 

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It's All About Leaning

If the guy can't ride at posted speed without scraping, it's probably the rider, not the bike. Some guys don't know how to lean with the bike - instead they lean the bike MORE, and keep their body more upright. I've seen this with guys who aren't so used to the twisties.
 

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I don't like group rides in general because of the dynamic of the slowest rider, etc.

Hey, I've been passed by Harleys twice out on the road, both times by a single bike, so there were no hostile witnesses.

Once there were three of us crossing the Sierras on a very curvy road. The guy in front of our group was on my first generation Yamaha Venture and it was his first ride in the mountains ever on a street bike so he was taking it very easy. A guy on a Harley pulled up behind us and we pulled over single file and let him go by. I'm sure he told all his friends about passing two Goldwings.:lol: He was actually moving pretty good.

Another time, two of us on 1800's were returning from a two-week ride to Canada, coming down Highway 395, following a CHP who was driving a white suburban with interior flashers. The cop was at the speed limit so, so were we. Sure enough, a guy on a loud Harley pulls up behind us, doesn't recognize the cop car in front of us and roars past us and the cop. (Did I mention the double yellow line?) We were on the CB when we saw the guys brake light come on as he pulled alongside the cop wide open at about 85. They then both pulled over to chat and we resumed our trip at 10 over.
 
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