Author Topic: What tells you when you are on the edge?  (Read 2458 times)

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Offline Bug's Zedi

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« on: March 10, 2009, 05:36:00 pm »
I have been riding for 2 years now, and have just 16,000 miles under my belt. The only bike I have ridden for more than a test drive has been a Concours.   I was wondering how do you tell when you are nearing the edge of cornering ability?  I am not talking about gravel, or other obvious problems, but on dry, and wet roads that have consistant traction.      Do you all of a sudden just lose traction and down you go, does the front start pushing, or the back start coming out or what?    I have Wing Tires on mine, and have scraped the pegs on a trip through the Dragon with my wife on it, but we are much closer to the ground than most due to our "gravitational enhancement", so I do not think that was a good test.    Thanks for your thoughts.    

Offline rowmer1

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2009, 06:38:00 pm »
Their called "chicken strips".If you look closely at your tires on the outside edge you will see a strip of rubber that isn't as roughed up as the rest of the tread. Try to imagine the bike leaned over far enough to make contact with these  outside strips. If your able to lay the bike over this far while riding you'll probably scrape a foot peg. On a C10 you will scrape a foot peg. If the tires start to slide out your pushing the limit.  

Offline Rich

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2009, 06:52:00 pm »
Wow.  What a great straight man you'd be.  This kind of question begs answer such as :    
    When you hear the sound of plastic breaking.  When you see a bright light in your eyes from the paramedic's flashlight.  When you look up to see a crowd of people standing over you and you hear a litte girl's voice ask "Is he dead?"  When you can see your own tail light.  When you can see the headlight of the guy BEHIND you.  
   OK, enough comedy.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  My best answer is I Don't Know as I have never reached that point.  I've been told the mighty Concours is fully capable of wearing off the ends of the foot pegs regardless of load, so I would say your first warning would be sparks.  But like I said, I have never been there.       The Original Rich Reed  COG #7  1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R  1977 Yamaha XS650 Standard  2004 Little Blue Chevy  "Over the hill it's five bucks.  Here in Idaho it's a hundred and eighty."
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Offline S Smith

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2009, 07:13:00 pm »
A lot depends on the tires themselves.  Tire compound, amount of wear, etc. The other is the profile of the tire itself... where does the tire sidewall begin?  If the bike is leaned over enough to reach the sidewall, that ain't a good thing. IMHO, any of the manufacturer recommended radial tires for the ZG1000 have plenty of tire to lean the bike to the pegs and a bit more.     I have been using the Avon Storm/Azaro combo.  In perfect road conditions the tires can generally handle more than I can dish out, but I have felt what I would describe as a slight drift to the outside. I would expect the same in wet conditions, but I never take the risk and push it under those conditions.     --  Steve Smith, COG #3184  COG Northeast Area Director  (somewhere in south central CT)     If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
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Offline Sahagan

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 10:14:00 pm »
In my experience, your own mind, or fear of death, whatever, will tell you to slow down, straighten up, or pray, long before the tires are ready to let you down (!).    Not many people can control their natural inclinations(!) sufficient to obtain a lean angle so severe as to risk washing out. Yeah, professionals and dedicated squids, racers and daredevils (and braggarts) can train themselves to that point, but most weekend amateurs don't have the time to learn to push the envelope, or otherwise don't make the effort to do so(That fear thing, or maybe just common sense thing again).    And oh yeah, that learning curve?(!) It will be your mistakes, taking curves too fast, swooping in too hot, meeting other vehicles in your lane, or finding yourself in decreasing radius curves are the things that will allow you to learn to trust your bike and your tires. Mostly though, that comes as the result of a long process of riding and learning.    Sahagan  

Offline krumgrinder

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 10:17:00 pm »
Really good question, and it's pretty personal. ;p    ~Fair Warning- Relationship Metaphor~    Just like in marriage (IMHO) it depends on how tuned in you are and how good a listener you are. And, communication is key- if you don't have meaningful conversations, i.e. asking questions, listening to answers, and answering questions, you might as well just call a lawyer. ;)     The more you are aware of the way she is moving under you in a curve, during sharp maneuvers, under braking, etc., the better you can understand what is happening.  I don't like using the term 'seat of the pants' because it is WAY overused, but it's really the same thing here- it's what you're paying attention to when you're not really seeing what you're looking at or listening to what you are hearing; maybe you could call it 'inner-ear listening', because it has alot to do with balance, movement and orientation.    So, getting back to the relationship metaphor, how do you know how far you can go?  Well, you just have to push it a little bit at a time (if you want to play it safe) and see how she responds.  Or (if you are a big risk taker) you can really surprise her and take a chance that she will either respond fully and excitedly, or buck you like a stung horse.  :eg:    I will recommend method #1, and if you haven't taken some riding courses, that's a great way to get some good advice and instruction in technique.  MSF BRC, BRC-2, ERC; Stayin' Safe, Superbike Schools, track days all will help you find the edge safely. :)  Steve K.  '02 Concours  COG# 6550  AMA# 965469  'No matter where you go, there you are...'
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Offline Slybones

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2009, 10:43:00 pm »
My first thought was  .  .  .  .  .  .  pain  2003 Concours, 46K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://mysite.verizon.net/slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm  
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Offline 2linby

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2009, 11:19:00 pm »
If you leave the house with white pants on and come back with brown trousers you've come close to crossing over the edge. If you are scaring yourself, STOP! and immediately get some "Edge-u-ma-k-shun".    As others stated a properly maintained Connie is fully capable of agressive lean angles most riders will not be willing to engage in.    This being said if you haven't "set up" a corner properly (first mentality, then physically) and you do find yourself going wide in a turn remember to hold a steady throttle stay off the brakes and <font 4> LEAN MORE!!!</font 4>    AKA "2linby" That's 2-lin-by folks!  Northwest Area Director  COG #5539  AMA #927779  IBA #15034  TEAM OREGON MC Instructor    http://community.webshots.com/user/2linby  http://tinyurl.com/njas8 (IBA BunBurner Gold Trip)  http://tinyurl.com/lwelx (Alaska trip)  
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 10:25:00 pm by 2linby »
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Offline redline

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 12:42:00 am »
I had 2 C10 and now ride a C14. In my humble opinion, I think we'll never push these bikes to their limits, just as other mentioned, we probably crap in our pants before that.we have a nice mountain range here with 15, 25 mph turns and we lean hard where often i scrape my boots on the pavement unless I really tug them in or put them on the back pegs. it's an awesome feeling when i become one with the bike hanging off the seat and go through these turns. never had the impression that i pushed the bike beyond it's abilities but I know i reached mine.  It's thrilling enough and i don't and won't push it passed that. My thrill is also to enter the turn at the right speed and ride my line through the turn.   I had an issue  with my '03 connie where i had lost some air in the  shock absorber under the seat and coming into a turn that goes downhill and back up caused my center stand to scrap the pavement especially with 2 up i would make sure you have it pumped up enough to keep it from getting to bouncy.    Ted  Proud to be American!       (since 2005)    Lost and found in 1991     2008 C14 "Freebird"
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Offline Gerry B

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 09:12:00 am »
When Mr. Sphincter inhales seat foam...  
Gerry Barnett 
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Offline Bill Hookman

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 03:11:00 pm »
Krumgrinder,    You forgot the most important part, don't grab a handful of front brake in the middle of a severely decreasing radius corner. :) ;) :p  
Bill Hookman  Columbus, OH

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Offline goatmar

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2009, 02:42:00 pm »
Good answers here and funny ones too.  I look at it this way......... breaking parts cost money, not to mention it usually HURTS also...... I don't like to break parts or hurt so I pull back somewhat. :blush:  Dave Muzzey  St. Charles, IL  COG#7957  '01 Connie  
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Offline Bug's Zedi

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 10:40:00 am »
Rich, Sly,    Been there Done that , ....got the helecopter ride, Only difference was that Instead of the little girl asking if I were dead it was my wife asking the paramedics whether the deer we hit was dead because if not she was going to kill it.  I would like to ad to your list,     You know you are in trouble when you see your wife bouncing down the road in front of you instead of being in the passenger seat where she belongs.    As interesting as that experience was I would prefer not to repeat it, especially in a manner that is entirely my fault.  So far many good answers, but what I was really kind of asking was (to return to a Relationship Metaphor) When you have pushed your Connie almost to the edge does she quietly whisper in your ear that she has had enough and that is all you get, like my wife did when we were dating,  or does she just up and bi!ch slap you like my wife does after 30 years?   Thanks    

Offline Bug's Zedi

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 11:03:00 am »
To be a little more specific, I would compare it to two cars I had.. One was a 90s Pontiac Bonneville.  When you started pushing it to the edge it would start leaning, then the rear tires would squeal, push it harder and you would get progressively worse understeer until you were just going straight ahead.  This occurred over a speed difference of perhaps 20 MPH.   Contrast that to a 75 CJ5 with a V8 in it.  You would drive into a corner and get a little lean, but no other symptoms.  One or two MPH more and you were on two wheels either heading for a ditch or a rollover.  I understand that you have to be a complete idiot to roll a Jeep over.  Fortunately for me I only got to 99.5%     Does the Connie act like the first and give you hints, and if so what are they,  or the latter and you just ever so carefully explore the edge knowing that when you get there you will not have much warning before disaster?    

Offline Rich

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 01:39:00 pm »
I found out later that the nice lady that was cradeling my head and calmly reassuring me the ambulance was almost there lied to me.  The f***ing woods rat that knocked me and my scoot into a 65 mph endo had managed to get up and stagger off into the woods.  She told me it was dead.    I found this out a month later when I went back in for cast removal, x-rays and progress check by the doc.  Turned out she was the Harborview Orthopoedic Surgery floor's chief x-ray tech.  The neat thing was I was now "her patient" and she always took me ahead of the other broken people lined up outside the x-ray room door.  Of course the bad thing was she fessed up and told me the deer lived and ran off, and had lied to me to make me feel better.    I can only hope the damn thing died a slow painful death somewhere out there in the hills.    I used to laugh at the Elmers you'd see in the fall tramping around the mountains with their scoped rifles and Elmer clothes.  Not any more.  Kill all them futzers!  No limit!  Venison on the menu 2-NIGHT!  The Original Rich Reed  COG #7  1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R  1977 Yamaha XS650 Standard  2004 Little Blue Chevy  "Over the hill it's five bucks.  Here in Idaho it's a hundred and eighty."
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Offline Bug's Zedi

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2009, 06:31:00 pm »
Double AMEN!! on the Elmers and their killing sprees.      The one we got definitely had a broken neck, and ended up in one of the bystander's trucks going home for dinner.    We were only doing about 40 when the rat on stilts took out the front tire and dropped us like a rock.  I broke my thumb, and my wife broke 4 ribs.  Too bad they were my ribs when she landed on me. Now she calls me her airbag.  The wife was actually up and walking around and barking orders to the tow crew about getting the bike on the truck until one of the paramedics asked me who she was. When I told him she was on with me they grabbed her and gently threw her on another gurney.    Cool about the x-ray tech. Hope everything healed properly for you. We're good but it has taken almost a year.  

Offline Charlie_Gary_AAD

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 08:57:00 pm »
  These are answers I've learned on my own.  I'm sure this list is pretty small.  When you feel a "buzz" in the handlebars you haven't felt before (while cornering), you may be near the limit of the front tire.  Connies are kind of buzzy, so this may not apply.  When the steering gets vague in a corner, you're probably pretty close to the edge.  I haven't felt this on dry pavement since I switched to Avon tires.  When the back end feels like it's going over regularly spaced ripples, you may be close to swapping ends.    Air pressure and tire temperature play a pretty big role in these things, cold tires being a big contributor to crashes.  An event on cold tires can lead to a crash, but the same thing on warm tires can leave you riding away with your heart pounding a little faster.  Tire wear also plays a part.  Old tires don't seem to grip as well as new tires, especially on wet pavement.    If you ride with any level of sanity, you'll just scrape your pegs and wonder how far that thing can lean.  These other things won't happen to you.  Later,           Charlie    COG# 8048  AMA# 603377 <a href="http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee213/charliegaryrules/?action=view&current=VisitedStatesMapSmall.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee213/charliegaryrules/VisitedStatesMapSmall.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobu
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Offline Intruder

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What tells you when you are on the edge?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2009, 01:07:00 am »
Well for me it's the tingly feeling I get in my feet like being to close to   the edge of a cliff or building or other really high place. Miles of   experience has shown me to stay away from the line because it's really   not my friend. If you feel the front push or the back come out or both   at the same time you'll probably be on the edge.     Like has been stated earlier most of us don't have the ability to take   the Connie to its limit. When we exceed our abilities we wind up   broken.    JMO      
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