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Discussion Starter #1
It seems like there used to be lots of discussions on this board regarding riding how-tos, but that traffic seems to have diminished with the passage of time. However, I was riding around last night and a question came to me. My question is, how close can you evaluate how much clearance you have remaining in a turn? Do you know pretty close to when your pegs will drag? Do you frequently misjudge and drag your pegs when you expect to have plenty of turn clearance? Do you know when you need to slide off off the seat or do you sometimes find yourself scraping pretty firmly while your rear end is firmly planted in the middle of your saddle? The reason I ask is I frequently find my judgement off some amount. I also find that the more I practice tight corners, even at < 30 mph in a parking lot, the better I can predict how close I am to dragging the pegs. I am absolutely not skilled enough to drag hard parts in a corner. The only time I've done that was when my front tire went out from under me and I slid off the outside of the corner on the engine and saddle bag protectors. That was definitely not my desired outcome. :surprise:

When I ride I try to take a few minutes to practice tight turns. I'm trying to get to the point that I can drag both pegs all the way around a circle while idling in third gear, but I'm not there yet. Once I can do it in 3rd gear then I'll start using the clutch friction zone and the brakes.

I also find my comfort level to be different when I'm pushing corners going right and left. Especially if I can see all the way around the curve, it is much easier for me to push harder into a right turn than a left turn. If I overrun a right turn and I can see there is no one coming the other way going a bit beyond the center line does not give me much of the pucker factor. OTOH misjudging a left turn and running off the outside of the road certainly has a high degree of fear going along with it.

I also feel like I have a lot more lane to work with when turning right. If my head ends up hanging off the inside of the turn when I'm leaning into a right turn, that is no big deal. OTOH, if my head hangs over the middle line when I'm turning left, I think that is a big deal as that is certainly a good way to get my head whacked by a vehicle in the other lane. This difference makes me feel like I have a lot more road to work with on a right turn than I do on a left one.

Any thoughts on my ramblings?
 

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My shoe soles touch down just before the bottom of the pegs (when I was a two-wheeler) :(. The pegs on a Goldwing touch way before you get into any trouble so I have (had) a two-stage lean warning system. The only time I came close to having a problem was on Highway 89 East of Logan UT (nice road) when my wife and I were having an intense conversation on the intercom. I just lost focus for a second and a curve caught me by surprise and I had to "seriously" drag the right peg to prevent going over the centerline. Got eye-to-eye contact with a cage driver coming in the opposite direction too. Woke me right up.


BTW, the only 1800s I've personally seen crash had highway pegs mounted such that they touched down too early.
 

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My toes are always angled out, off the pegs and toward the pavement. My toes tell me when I.m needing a side-slide saddle adjustment. I also tend to practice lightly touching just the outside of the drivers peg to the concrete. A novice rider will always pull their body away from a dragging peg or hard part. Practice leaning in and trying to touch your chin to the downside mirror at the first hint of a toe or peg touch.

Also, if you don’t use a delayed apex, you will not have the wiggle room needed when do (and you will) get into a corner a bit hot.

YMMV

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I also tend to practice lightly touching just the outside of the drivers peg to the concrete. A novice rider will always pull their body away from a dragging peg or hard part. Practice leaning in and trying to touch your chin to the downside mirror at the first hint of a toe or peg touch.
I've never scraped a peg on the road as far as I know. Am I not leaning enough, or could I at least lean more? Seems intuitive (but maybe wrong?) that scraping a footpeg is not a good thing. Yes? No?

Also, why are you recommending the chin toward the mirror maneuver? What's that do for you?:confused:
 
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Practice...……. Practice...…… Practice...…..

Then practice some more...……..

"The more I practice, the luckier I get! Arnold Palmer


"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself...……. and snakes.... Lord, I hate snakes...…… they're all poisonous you know!!":eek:4: M.S.


:flg: 'Murica!
 

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Also, why are you recommending the chin toward the mirror maneuver? What's that do for you?:confused:
Not sure...……… Every time I've dragged a peg (or floorboards on the VTX), I've never taken my eyes off the road. Kind of curious myself...……..

:flg: 'Murica!
 

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Not sure...……… Every time I've dragged a peg (or floorboards on the VTX), I've never taken my eyes off the road. Kind of curious myself...……..

:flg: 'Murica!
It doesn't have anything to do with taking your eyes off the road. We should always be looking through the turn, looking at where our body will be in a few seconds. We go where we look and by leaning the upper body to the inside the rider moves the center of gravity of the combined bike and rider to the inside of the turn thus gaining back a few degrees of lean angle while all the while maintaining the same radius (arc) of turn. It gives an extra margin of safety and/or allows a faster speed for the same lean angle of the bike alone. In other words the bike can track the arc of the curve at the same speed with less lean angle or go faster on the same arc because the rider has gained a few extra degrees of lean angle.



The act of "biting the mirror" or "move the chin over the mirror" forces the upper body to the inside. Done with deliberate practice it becomes second nature. It's not necessary to hang off the seat or drag a knee, just get the upper body off the centerline of the bike.
 

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I've never scraped a peg on the road as far as I know. Am I not leaning enough, or could I at least lean more? Seems intuitive (but maybe wrong?) that scraping a footpeg is not a good thing. Yes? No?

Also, why are you recommending the chin toward the mirror maneuver? What's that do for you?:confused:
Yea... you would know if you did.

Scraping pegs is not required riding any bike... but you're going to do it if you lean far enough on any bike. I've never scrapped pegs on my CBR 1000 RR, or the CB 1100. But, I scrap them all the time on the GW. Your peg has scrapper bolts on there to protect the peg, and I replace mine on the GW essentially every year. I have never had to replace them on my wife's bike. Just depends on how aggressive you ride.

Scrapping pegs is fine to do, you're just reaching the safe lean angle of the bike. It's good to do it some, get to know what it feels and sounds like, as the first time you do it, it will scare the crap out of you. But, over time, you learn to expect it if you ride aggressively.

It's important to experience as I feel this is likely a common reason people "fail" to negotiate a curve and run off the road in a crash. They actually crash because the take a curve aggressively and scrap their pegs for the first time, it spooks them and they reflexively straighten up the bike... only to run off the road in the curve...

I ride with the ball of my foot on the peg generally, and my heal will typically scrap the road before the peg does, essentially giving me a little warning. And, I've scrapped hard parts having to lean more than I expected in a decreasing radius turn... more than once.

I don't change positions in the seat or "lean" my body or head more into the turn any more than you normally go over when going through a curve.

Some people do try to ride their GW rather aggressively it seems.... not only dragging pegs, but changing seat position, leaning over, head forward, drag a knee!....

I like aggressive riding but I don't try to "Street Rossi" the thing... :grin2:
 

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--

If I am at speed around a curve and I'm a little hot (too fast) is when I will drop my upper body towards the inside of the turn such that the bike is leaning less and I have those few degrees more of bike lean and resulting turn (which the bike does as it's on the smaller sides of the tread area). The position, as mentioned above, is commonly called "kissing the mirror" or something similar. Note that your upper body is on the inside, but your seat is probably still near center. This also forces you to look where you want to go and not accidently slip into the fatal looking where you DON'T WANT to go. It's easy to picture that move to extreme if you watch racers in turns where they're putting there whole body to the inside and their knee down. We don't go quite that far. :laugh:

That's quite different from turning at parking lot speed where you want the bike to be at its maximum lean-in angle for the sharpest turn radius. In this case you can move your weight to the outside of the turn simply by putting all your weight on your outside cheek and letting the bike lean in beneath you while you remain upright. You will probably combine this with some degree of steering into the turn. Some riders can/do slide off the seat on the outside, but I don't like to move around on the seat that much and try to get centered again.

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55° & sunny here today so we ran The Dragon,
'bout the third turn in I scraped the left front of the belly pan,
leaned back & told Sugar "bout time for a new set of tires"
it's the only time we sit that low.
Yeah, I'm usually real sure (within a mil or 2) where the hard parts are...

& I'd rather run off in a ditch,
than cross over unintentionally, ever.

Ride your ride:wink2:
 

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DDuelin and Ron K have done a pretty good job of describing the purpose of the “kissing the mirror” technique. Slow speed, tight parking lot turns(which most people practice) actually set you up for grinding hard parts at highway speed technical turns. In the parking lot, (as Ron pointed out) you learn to lay the bike over and almost climb up on top of it to maneuver. This is a body posture that when applied to curves at speed lays the bike over further than it needs to be and trains your body to stay perpendicular to the road, essentially leaning out of the curve, weighting the top side of the bike and driving the hard parts closer to the ground. Several degrees of lean can be gained even by developing the skill of keeping your upper body perpendicular to the bike rather than perpendicular to the pavement. A few more degrees of lean can be added by “kissing the mirror” allowing for a few more mph safely added. For the adrenaline addicts among us, this is a viable shot that costs no safety, but increases the adrenaline per mile quotient. (Is there any other reason to ride half way across the country to find the miles of linked turns we crave?). Yep. My name is Steve and I’m an addict...

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Discussion Starter #12
Leaning

If I'm doing things "right" I have the balls of my feet on the pegs and I don't try to drop my heels like an equestrian rider would. I use the amount of rise in the peg as a judge of how much clearance I have left. The peg will come up a significant amount before the hard parts are in danger of scraping. One thing I know for sure is when you get the bike leaned over all movement must be smooth. Jerky movements will only cause the loss of turning clearance. If I'm going to slide to the inside of the seat, I do that before entering the corner not after entering.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Gloating

55° & sunny here today so we ran The Dragon,
'bout the third turn in I scraped the left front of the belly pan,
leaned back & told Sugar "bout time for a new set of tires"
it's the only time we sit that low.
Yeah, I'm usually real sure (within a mil or 2) where the hard parts are...

& I'd rather run off in a ditch,
than cross over unintentionally, ever.

Ride your ride:wink2:
Sir, there is a quota on this board for gloating over good weather, and I think you have just exceeded that quota! :grin2:

When I bought my current '09 it had stock front shocks on it and I actually scrapped the exhaust cowls on my test ride! My previous bike had heavy duty front springs on it, and I had no idea how much it helped with turning clearance. BTW: I replaced those springs with 1.2kg traxxion springs and I've never had that problem again.

My hat is off to you knowing just how much clearance you have as you ride. That either takes a lot of practice or really good intuition.
 

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Up here in the hill country they have the yellow suggested speed limit signs on almost all the curves. I know from years of riding i can safely do 10 to 15 miles over the posted sign safely. Of course not when its down to 10 mph signs. Curves to the left i try not hug the center line because your bike and body are actually hanging over the center strip by about a foot or so. So to keep everything a little safer i usually try and keep the bike in the center of that lane. I always see people slide off their seats and keep the bike more perpendicular to the pavement. I have learned to do the opposite. I throw the bike over to the left and right and try to stay sitting up straight, especially my head. I feel more in control that way and keeping my weight on the center plan instead of on the side of the tire. Hope that helps.
 

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The act of "biting the mirror" or "move the chin over the mirror" forces the upper body to the inside. Done with deliberate practice it becomes second nature. It's not necessary to hang off the seat or drag a knee, just get the upper body off the centerline of the bike.
It must be second nature because I didn't even realize I was doing it! :grin2:


:flg: 'Murica!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Leaning vs counter-leaning

Up here in the hill country they have the yellow suggested speed limit signs on almost all the curves. I know from years of riding i can safely do 10 to 15 miles over the posted sign safely. Of course not when its down to 10 mph signs. Curves to the left i try not hug the center line because your bike and body are actually hanging over the center strip by about a foot or so. So to keep everything a little safer i usually try and keep the bike in the center of that lane. I always see people slide off their seats and keep the bike more perpendicular to the pavement. I have learned to do the opposite. I throw the bike over to the left and right and try to stay sitting up straight, especially my head. I feel more in control that way and keeping my weight on the center plan instead of on the side of the tire. Hope that helps.
The Ride Like A Pro guys say that you should counter lean at low speeds when you are trying to do really tight turns, but you should lean with your bike while keeping your head up when going over 30 or so. Specifically at higher speeds you want to be as low as you can be and on the inside of the curve. That will minimize the lean angle of the bike to go around any particular corner. The center of gravity of the mass has to move a given amount to get around a corner at a particular speed. You can either move the mass of the motorcycle by laying it down further or your can move your mass by changing your position (or both.)

I used to counter lean going around corners at 50 - 60 mph not realizing how much turning clearance I was losing in the process. I finally noticed that if I was counter leaning inn a corner and gradually moved to leaning toward the inside of the corner, the bike would stand up somewhat and still maintain the same turn radius.

BTW: I have found that different areas have different margins of cushion in those suggested speed signs. i also find that the lower the speed the closer they are to a real suggested speed limit. I saw some in South Dakota where they were suggesting 15 mph around a sharp corner with a reverse camber on the corner. I did it at 15 mph and was scraping pretty hard. There are areas around here where a 35 mph sign really means 75 - 80. Unfortunately most of those corners are on roads with a real speed limit of 55 or 60.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yea... you would know if you did.

Scraping pegs is not required riding any bike... but you're going to do it if you lean far enough on any bike. I've never scrapped pegs on my CBR 1000 RR, or the CB 1100. But, I scrap them all the time on the GW. Your peg has scrapper bolts on there to protect the peg, and I replace mine on the GW essentially every year. I have never had to replace them on my wife's bike. Just depends on how aggressive you ride.

[Stuff deleted]
I got a set of steel peg savers from Pepsx.com and they have been great. I scrape a peg almost every day when I ride, not out of necessity but just to have fun throwing the bike into a corner. (Here in Kansas I have to take what I can get.) The peg savers are doing a great job of hanging in there. Yes they are scraped up but I don't think I'll ever have to replace them.
 

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Scraping pegs is really a touring bike / low clearance bike thing. You don't scrape pegs on performance bikes so riders coming from performance bikes don't really count on the pegs to tell them how far they are leaning.


Back to the wing, it is obviously a low clearance touring bike and not a performance bike. However, it can perform pretty well and many of us ride it a bit more sporty than it's 900 pound size would suggest is possible.


For a while, I dealt with scraping pegs and the inevitable hard parts that come a few degrees later. Then I upgraded my suspension and raised my bike with heavier springs and by pushing the fork tubes down to flush in the tree. Now I RARELY scrape. I can still do it, but it's more by choice or when I've messed up a corner badly. Riding good lines at an aggressive pace, I might scrape once every thousand miles.


Anyway.... scraping parts means your bike is about about out of clearance. I wouldn't recommend getting in the habit of scraping all the time as that means you are riding without much reserve. Being comfortable when the pegs scrape is one thing, but scraping being too common would suggest you need to raise your bike, change your lines, adjust your body position, slow down or all of the above as you don't want to be riding on the edge of clearance all the time. Eventually there will be a corner that will require an unexpected additional lean to avoid an obstacle or because debris washed the tire out a bit. If you are already scraping when the unexpected happens, you'll find yourself sliding on the crash bars with your front wheel levered off the pavement. I've done it....it's really scary. I somehow didn't crash but I did slide over the center line on my crash bar before I got the front tire to bite again. I don't recommend the experience.
 

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If I'm doing things "right" I have the balls of my feet on the pegs and I don't try to drop my heels like an equestrian rider would. I use the amount of rise in the peg as a judge of how much clearance I have left. The peg will come up a significant amount before the hard parts are in danger of scraping. One thing I know for sure is when you get the bike leaned over all movement must be smooth. Jerky movements will only cause the loss of turning clearance. If I'm going to slide to the inside of the seat, I do that before entering the corner not after entering.
From my dirt bike riding days where most time is spent standing on the pegs, it is my instep (with a steel insert on motocross boots) that is contacting the pegs. So, the part of my shoe that touches down first is the toe.
 

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Up here in the hill country they have the yellow suggested speed limit signs on almost all the curves. I know from years of riding i can safely do 10 to 15 miles over the posted sign safely. Of course not when its down to 10 mph signs. Curves to the left i try not hug the center line because your bike and body are actually hanging over the center strip by about a foot or so. So to keep everything a little safer i usually try and keep the bike in the center of that lane. I always see people slide off their seats and keep the bike more perpendicular to the pavement. I have learned to do the opposite. I throw the bike over to the left and right and try to stay sitting up straight, especially my head. I feel more in control that way and keeping my weight on the center plan instead of on the side of the tire. Hope that helps.
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No, this does NOT help. I hope some inexperienced rider doesn't try to follow your suggestions. What you are saying is just what several posts above have just said to the contrary. At slow speeds, yes you do counter lean in order to make the bike turn a sharper radius. Sitting or placing your weight upright or on the outside will help you accomplish that. However, and this is important, you DO NOT counter lean on speed curves as that will REDUCE your amount of angle available to make the turn without scraping. A lot of riders pride themselves on riding close to the edge enough to scrape regularly, but they are just bragging. When you scrape it means you are not according the warning strongly enough that you are approaching the limit before you drag other hard parts like frame or mufflers. When those drag, you lose weight on your tires and are depending on the friction of metal to keep you making a turn. Metal does not do that. Metal wants to go straight ahead. The bike was not designed to scrape anything in turns, not even peg or floorboard bars. They are there only to protect the item they are attached to. They are an early warning that you are being careless or do not know the bike's limits.

The correct way to position yourself in a turn of some degree (I'm not talking of just doodling around pretending the tar snakes are obstacle course cones) safely is to lean with the bike or even more than the bike. It's that simple. This is to give your bike the most use of the designed road contact points--the tires.

You are correct in that on left curves it's best not to hug the center line but to stay in the center track so as to not hang out over into oncoming traffic.

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