Harley Davidson V-Rod Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I am new to the forum. Picked up my V-Rod a few weeks ago and have dropped it twice when turning right from a complete stop. Has anyone else had this problem? It may be the rake of the bike, but now I'm a bit gun shy!
 

·
SNAFU
Joined
·
13,094 Posts
It's the rake of the front that's getting you. I dropped my BMW pulling away making a right turn when I realized I was still in 2nd. When I pulled in the clutch to drop a gear the bike just fell over, almost in slow motion. Strained a muscle in my leg trying to hold up a 600 lb bike :(

The best advice I can give you is to always keep power to the rear wheel. Feather the clutch and keep the revs up. If you let the clutch fully engage and let off the throttle the bike will lay down. Practice making U turns in a parking lot reducing your radius on each turn while making sure you keep power to the rear wheel. Don't increase your speed, go as slow as you feel comfortable. You'll eventually get the feel for the way the power actually holds the bike up.

I watched a show where an ex-motorcycle cop was showing how he can lay the bike down onto the floorboards in a tight U turn and as long as he keeps power to the rear wheel the bike will not fall. It was impressive to say the least.

Oh, I almost forgot, with the rake on our bikes you actually have to steer it like a bicycle at slow speed, don't counter steer like you do in corners (don't exaggerate the steering just don't counter steer the bike). It's not the way you were taught but it works
 

·
Riding the good life
Joined
·
4,908 Posts
Ouch....sorry to hear that you've dropped your bike at low speeds in turns. The first time I rode the V-Rod, it instantly brought back memories of my 54 chopped panhead. It was a lot more radical than the V-Rod, as the old pan had a 12" over front end, with a 38 degree rake, and I was running a 21" front wheel on it.

One way I found out how to cope with the chopped panheads long wheel base and frame and front end charecteristics was to find an empty parking lot to practice low speed manuveurs.

And to add to this, I thought I'd be smart and start on the grass figuring the earth would be a softer landing than blacktop. Well, the ability of the motor would cause excessive wheel spin, and the bikes rear end would walk out on me if I'd hit the throttle just a tad too hard. Bottom line is, if you are going to practice low spped manueveurs, forget the soft grassy areas, as it is easier to drop the bike on those surfaces.

back to the blacktop, find a parking lot, and work the bike to get it moving, and then lay off the throttle once rolling. Do this in a straight line first to understand at what point you'll have to add throttle to keep the bike moving, or stop the bike by pulling the clutch in and out and applying a small amount of brake pressure.

Then work the bike in low speed turns to the right to get over the experience of what occured to get comfortale with how the bike acts. Then do the same to the left.

Working with the V-Rod where there is a no pressure situation such as an open parking lot will provide you with a good learning situation, so when high pressure situations occur, instinct will take over and deliver you through the challenge unscathed.
 

·
Tired of the crap
Joined
·
2,819 Posts
gnrharleygirl said:
Picked up my V-Rod a few weeks ago and have dropped it twice when turning right from a complete stop.
Rich and MJW are right about this. But let me elaborate on the problem, and add to their solution.

The problem with right hand turns is twofold. Firstly, they are much tighter radius than left hand turns (where we cross the other lane of traffic); and secondly most highways are crowned in the middle, sloping down towards the curb or shoulder. This means that right hand turns you are trying to do (at least) three things at once. You need to 1) keep the bike upright against the slope of the pavement 2) get the bike moving from stopped and 3) initiate a tight turn in the opposite direction. All the time watching for traffic, pedestrians, etc. Tricky, huh?

The first thing you need to do is master the art of always bringing the bike to a stop so that it is supported by only your left foot. The best way to do this is by giving a very slight turn of the handlebars to the right just as the bike stops. This does two things - it causes the bike to lean slightly to the left. And it sets your wheel pointed slightly to the right. This will come in handy later.

For tight right hand turns it can also be helpful so that you stop the bike so that it is pointing at a slight angle to the direction you were travelling in - if you were riding towards 12 o'clock - end up with the bike pointing at 1.30 PM. This means you've already done part of the turn you are going to do when the light turns green, and means that turn will be somewhat less tight. You may also want to position the bike as close as you reasonably can to the right curb.

Remember how I suggested slightly turning your bars to the right when stopping? When you know you want to turn right from stopped - turn them slightly more to the right. This will help initiate that slow turn.

When you are ready to start the turn increase the throttle, and release the clutch. Lift your foot as the you pass the friction zone and the bike begins to move. Don't worry about trying to lean it - as you build speed you need to definitely "steer" the bike through the turn as the lean decreases. But since you have already turned your bars it begins to automatically go the way you want it to. You simply may need to add to the amount of "steering" input. MJW mentioned steer like a bicycle - I would modify this to "steer it like a tricycle", which doesn't lean or countersteer, when doing very slow turns.

Provided you have prepositioned the bike to make your turn, "steering" the bike through right turns from stopped simply becomes a matter of mastering your throttle control.

Try these techniques on an empty parking lot, etc. It helps if you can find an area with a light slope on it to simulate the camber of the roadway. Mastering the skill without worrying about traffic etc. can make it a lot less stressful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
vroddrew said:
Rich and MJW are right about this. But let me elaborate on the problem, and add to their solution.

The problem with right hand turns is twofold. Firstly, they are much tighter radius than left hand turns (where we cross the other lane of traffic); and secondly most highways are crowned in the middle, sloping down towards the curb or shoulder. This means that right hand turns you are trying to do (at least) three things at once. You need to 1) keep the bike upright against the slope of the pavement 2) get the bike moving from stopped and 3) initiate a tight turn in the opposite direction. All the time watching for traffic, pedestrians, etc. Tricky, huh?

The first thing you need to do is master the art of always bringing the bike to a stop so that it is supported by only your left foot. The best way to do this is by giving a very slight turn of the handlebars to the right just as the bike stops. This does two things - it causes the bike to lean slightly to the left. And it sets your wheel pointed slightly to the right. This will come in handy later.

For tight right hand turns it can also be helpful so that you stop the bike so that it is pointing at a slight angle to the direction you were travelling in - if you were riding towards 12 o'clock - end up with the bike pointing at 1.30 PM. This means you've already done part of the turn you are going to do when the light turns green, and means that turn will be somewhat less tight. You may also want to position the bike as close as you reasonably can to the right curb.

Remember how I suggested slightly turning your bars to the right when stopping? When you know you want to turn right from stopped - turn them slightly more to the right. This will help initiate that slow turn.

When you are ready to start the turn increase the throttle, and release the clutch. Lift your foot as the you pass the friction zone and the bike begins to move. Don't worry about trying to lean it - as you build speed you need to definitely "steer" the bike through the turn as the lean decreases. But since you have already turned your bars it begins to automatically go the way you want it to. You simply may need to add to the amount of "steering" input. MJW mentioned steer like a bicycle - I would modify this to "steer it like a tricycle", which doesn't lean or countersteer, when doing very slow turns.

Provided you have prepositioned the bike to make your turn, "steering" the bike through right turns from stopped simply becomes a matter of mastering your throttle control.

Try these techniques on an empty parking lot, etc. It helps if you can find an area with a light slope on it to simulate the camber of the roadway. Mastering the skill without worrying about traffic etc. can make it a lot less stressful.
Good advise but it does not apply to you as you drive on the lefthand side of the road. One other major contribution to your problem is that the exhaust weighs a ton and makes the bike automatically off balanced. Practise and awareness of the offset weight will eventually prevail. Good Luck.
 

·
Tired of the crap
Joined
·
2,819 Posts
Derek said:
My apologies.....I saw England and failed to see NEW ENGLAND.

Actually, it should read "New and Improved England"... :D
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top