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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, I've got 2200 miles on the trike, the last 1000 on a long trip that took us through western Colorado and north on Highway 550. What a road! However, I am ready to go back to two wheels, unless I can get to the point that this isn't so much work. I am battling the twisties and fighting through curves. Hit some fairly strong cross winds today on a straightaway and it was like I was in the curves. Had to fight the handlebar again to hold it on the road.

Have tried numerous techniques that I have been told to use, but none seem to work. I am not a weak person, but I am 56 years old. This thing is wearing me out. I am thinking about aborting the trip and heading home.

I have a 3 degree rake, as recommended by DFT, my service guy and others. They say the 4.5 on this kit would make it overly sensitive.

Any riding suggestions would be appreciated...I've tried the push/pull of course, tried gripping the handlebars differently in curves, tried sliding my butt left and right and tried combinations of things. I am finding it very hard to justify staying on this trip because of the sore muscles and fatigued mind from concentrating on steering. This is not what I heard trike riding was all about.....
 

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Well my experience is only about 4000 miles worth, so take it w/ a grain of salt. But I think you are right re: more work in twisties than 2 wheels. Heck of alot easier to lean than it is to push-pull. Having said that, I have gotten use to it, and am not fatigued at the end of the day.

The harder and faster you take the twistie, the more strength is needed to steer. High speeds on sharp curves have to be muscled thru, as opposed to simply more lean on the 2 wheeler. It's different, no bout adout it. I hope you hang with it for a while longer b/4 you throw in the towel. BTW, I am 60, and I was a little sore at first. Using new muscles, give them a little time to adjust and tone up.

Larry
 

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I am triking my 2006 wing early October, so I really don't know how it will handle. I am having the 4.5 degree rake kit. I just sold a 2003 Boss Hoss trike and I can tell you it does steer hard, but you do get use to it. If you put more pressure in the front tire it makes a world of differance. We ran 49 lbs in the front tire on the Boss trike and only 40 lbs on the two wheel Boss. Try putting 41 lbs of air and see if it makes a differance on your wing.
Capt Bob
 
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Riding a trike is a lot different than a bike as you have found. And 2200 miles is not a lot of miles depending on weather and roads. Sounds like you have started your trike life out on the toughest roads to ride.

As to your steering - 3 or 4.5 degrees? You have the 3 and DFT recommend it and told you 4.5 was too much, yet they offer 4.5. Interesting. I don't know about DFT, maybe it's the short wheelbase. I have a CSC and their only option is 4.5° with 2.1" of trail reduction. Maybe you should consider 4.5.

There is a learned techinque to riding a trike that not everyone understands or agrees upon. You may have seen some of Wilson's posts here. Before I got my trike, Wilson told my that a trike is "a real curve carver" and I have found that to be true. But it took me a few thousand miles to learn the technique he told me about. You hear a lot about the push/pull steering and that's something you have to do. Another very important thing to learn is to lean into the curve. Some folks may tell you that you don't lean on a trike but that's just wrong. While it is true that the trike does not lean, you need to. The trick is to lean forward and into the turn. It doesn't take a lot of lean, just a little but more as the speed or degree of the curve increases. That lean changes the center of gravity and the feel of the curve on your body and makes going through the curve much easier.

Again - it's a learned technique.

I now have almost 10,000 on my trike and I'll tell you, I wasn't really comfortable until I had about 4-5000 miles on it. Now it's second nature. I have no desire to go back. Like WhiskeryGoofy said, I like to take out the trike just to run to the store - something I never did with the Wing.
 

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I now have over 13,000 on my trike since mid May and what I do is straighten out the curves like you would in a sports car...come in on the inside and let the trike drift to the outside (my trike has a natural push so it wants to go outside)...on many curves I will loosen up my grip on the handle bars in the apex and the trike will drift out and straighten up on it's own...

If you watch Nascar or any other racing, watch how they go through a curve...
 

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Capn Ron said:
I now have over 13,000 on my trike since mid May and what I do is straighten out the curves like you would in a sports car...come in on the inside and let the trike drift to the outside (my trike has a natural push so it wants to go outside)...on many curves I will loosen up my grip on the handle bars in the apex and the trike will drift out and straighten up on it's own...

If you watch Nascar or any other racing, watch how they go through a curve...
BTW Ron, I think "straighting out the curves" is also the best way to take curves on 2 wheels. Longer time to plan out your entrance into the curve, better visibility of oncoming traffic b/4 you commit, just a quick dip into the curve rather than prolonged lean. IMHO
 

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I agree...but it's hard to resist scraping pegs on 2 wheels...

2 weeks ago I rode some good twisties (Wilson, I'll take you on Park Road 4 when you get here) on Park Road 4 and the 2 wheelers were scrapping pegs and fell way behind me...I just smiled as they said "man I didn't know you could go that fast on a trike"...just like Wilson told me they would say... :p
 

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Mine was 4.5 and was very easy, but 3 is closer to none, which would make it harder.
with no rake I was jsut worn out in a few miles,
My guess is the degree is making it hard.
 
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Capn Ron said:
...I just smiled as they said "man I didn't know you could go that fast on a trike"...just like Wilson told me they would say... :p
Wilson is THE MAN :!:

And Dean is the woman that made him the man he is today...
 
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beastie said:
You hear a lot about the push/pull steering and that's something you have to do.
beastie said:
Another very important thing to learn is to lean into the curve. Some folks may tell you that you don't lean on a trike but that's just wrong. While it is true that the trike does not lean, you need to. The trick is to lean forward and into the turn.
Correct, now try integrating the lean into the push/pull..
say your making a right turn, lean foreward and LOCK your left arm. This way yor using your BODY WEIGHT to push the handlebars. A heckuva lot easier than trying to push or pull using arm strength. AND your lowering your center mass closer to the center of gravity of the turn.

beastie said:
It doesn't take a lot of lean, just a little but more as the speed or degree of the curve increases. That lean changes the center of gravity and the feel of the curve on your body and makes going through the curve much easier.
We have a lady in our chapter, shes all of 4ft 10in. the guys always wonder how she could carve the turns, and outrun the 2 wheelers, I watched her, and realized that she sits so low that shes almost truly "one-with-the-bike". I tried mimicing wht she does. and BAM... Im carving the turns just like her.
 

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Hi Don,
Hi Ron,

Just who is this Wilson fella the two of you are referring to?

He sounds like a great guy (LOL).
 

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Hello All,

Like Don mentioned, I have found the most efficient way of navigating curves at a hot speeds, is to lean slightly with the curve.

When you find yourself taking a curve at a hot speed to the left, allow your body to lean slightly to the left of center on the trike. If you are taking a curve to the right, allow your body to lean slightly to the right of center on the trike. I have found that this will help reduce to pull of centrifugal force that is created when taking curves at high speed.

This leaning process will also aid in keeping the inside rear wheel down, for those trikes that threaten to lift a wheel in hot curves. If you are skeptical, try it at medium speeds first and learn the process before trying it at hot speeds. It works people..!!!!! Good luck.
 

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I agree with what the guys have said. My first 1500 miles were right into some hill country curvy roads. I thought what have I gotten in to with this trike. Now at 8500 miles, it is second nature. I am 74, no rake kit (but I am thinking abut getting one...too tight to spend the $1,000) and it takes some upper body strength to steer this thing...not that hard and I am not any stronger than the next fellow. Heading to New Mexico, looking for the twisties next month, with a group of two wheelers. Have not had any problem keeping up with them so far....hang in bigchief03!!
 
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Capn Ron said:
I now have over 13,000 on my trike since mid May and what I do is straighten out the curves like you would in a sports car...come in on the inside and let the trike drift to the outside (my trike has a natural push so it wants to go outside)...on many curves I will loosen up my grip on the handle bars in the apex and the trike will drift out and straighten up on it's own...

If you watch Nascar or any other racing, watch how they go through a curve...
Hey Captain:

Nascar and other circle burner drivers don't have oncoming traffic to be concerned with. ;<) You aren't carving blind corners like that are you?

That said, I don't know how a DFT responds to rake, but my Champion with 4.5 degree EZsteer is no problem. Takes some effort to turn through the tight twisties of course, but I am 69 years old, am 6' 2" and I weigh 180 pounds. Hardly an Arnold Swartzenegger. I do not get tired or sore from steering her. The only thing that gets sore is my butt..no meat don't ya know.

IMHO, 3 degrees is not enough "rake".

Good luck. Ride safe.
 

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"Nascar and other circle burner drivers don't have oncoming traffic to be concerned with. ;<) You aren't carving blind corners like that are you?"

Good point John...no I don't cross the yellow lines...well maybe if I can see there is no oncoming traffic...
 

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I will ditto what beastie and cjmitch say above regarding leaning especially what chmitch says about locking your arm.

I have learned to really lean into a curve to the point that my arm is straight to the outside handlebar, then push with my body on that arm so that I am steering more with my back muscles than with my arm or shoulder muscles. Much easier this way. About all my steering effort is by pushing on the ouside bar with very little pulling on the inside.

I got this tip from a guy who never rode a motorcycle before he had a stroke and retired. Wanted a little excitement in his life and got a trike. He has a little residual muscle weakness in his arms and compensates by leaning as described above. He has many thousand miles of experience. He lives in a state on the Canadian border but I met him (on his trike) in Florida.

GJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Two more days on the trike...I wouldn't say it is getting easier, but today was my best day. I am real sore in the neck and upper arms. Taking a short break tomorrow, before resuming our trip.

Thanks for all the suggestions...Beastie, I began applying what I think you are saying (along with others) and I feel that does work best. I find myself, though, tensing as I get into the curve. The lean helps, but as I straighten my arm, it feels like I have to push hard. This may be the rake issue. I did a lot of research on this, but had several tell me that 3 degrees is the way to go on the DFT. My service guy insisted that 4.5 was too much for it. I don't understand the technical stuff, but I will be talking to him when I return home.

By the way, testing out a new trike and new trike rider on this kind of trip will definitely make one heckuva good trial to see if you want a trike. From Santa Fe, NM, to Taos and then Durango. From there, north on 550 to Montrose, over the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. From Grand Junction, we cut north to Flaming Gorge and Rock Springs, before heading on into Jackson,where we are now. Yellowstone today...what a park! If you love your trike after this, then it will be in the family for a long time.

Lots of Goldwing riders..I estimated about 25, many on long distance trips, too. Fun to see Wings out like this...

Anyway, thanks for the tips...I continue to solicit ideas on this..and I'll be practicing hard.
 
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It was good to hear from you again bigchief. I thought maybe something had happened to you. Enjoy the trip. It's too beautiful out there to turn back and go home. But it does sound like you may be doing a little better.

Probably the worst thing you did when you got your trike was to head out on a long trip. I'm sure it was the timing but it's too bad you couldn't have ridden a few thousand miles on shorter trips to get used to it before going on a long trip.

I don't know much about a DFT, having never ridden one, so I don't know if the 4.5 rake would help. Why would DFT offer a 4.5 if there was not a good reason for it. Your case may be why they offer it.

I wish Charlie Sheldon would see this string and respond. He is an expert on DFTs.
 

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beastie said:
It was good to hear from you again bigchief. I thought maybe something had happened to you. Enjoy the trip. It's too beautiful out there to turn back and go home. But it does sound like you may be doing a little better.

Probably the worst thing you did when you got your trike was to head out on a long trip. I'm sure it was the timing but it's too bad you couldn't have ridden a few thousand miles on shorter trips to get used to it before going on a long trip.

I don't know much about a DFT, having never ridden one, so I don't know if the 4.5 rake would help. Why would DFT offer a 4.5 if there was not a good reason for it. Your case may be why they offer it.

I wish Charlie Sheldon would see this string and respond. He is an expert on DFTs.
Ditto

I only got 500 miles on mine b/4 I took a scheduled run to Durango, Silverton, Leadville and Estes Park. Lots of pressure on my neck and shoulders as well. I think it is nothing more than a technique issue and will shortly resolve itself, coupled w/ using a new group of muscles. I would bet you are also gripping your bars too tight (that is what usually results in shoulder and neck fatigue). Try to relax and push the bars w/o much pressure on the grips. Keep us posted.
 
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WhiskeryGoofy said:
I would bet you are also gripping your bars too tight (that is what usually results in shoulder and neck fatigue). Try to relax and push the bars w/o much pressure on the grips. Keep us posted.[/b]
I never thought about mentioning that. I ride with a very relaxed grip. As a matter I ride relaxed. Sometimes in curves I don't "pull" at all and that hand (on the inside of the curve) is just laying on the bars - especially in a right hand curve or turn where the right hand is needed for the throttle. And with the hand that is "pushing" you really don't need to also "grip" tightly.

Now - when riding a road like the the Dragon, it's a different story entirely. That was an intense 14:42 but the adrenaline was pumping. I don't know if I'll ever do that again.
 
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