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Bike is Reluctant to Turn


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I need suggestions as to how to make my 10000 mile 2010 VFR1200F handle better. It is reluctant to drop into a turn and once I get it leaned over it won't hold a line. Feels like it resists turning.  It is not fun to ride. Bike has Dunlop Roadsmart III's with about 1000 miles on them. Tire pressure 40 rear and 38 front. Would suspension setting changes or upgrades help? Has anyone tried raising the forks in the triple clamps? I love the bike but am considering selling because of this problem. any help is appreciated. 

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You’re on 10 year old suspension so I’d start by looking at upgrades, it sounds like the fork springs are soft, the springs are fairly light to start with 

 

Have you done a basic setup (static sag front and rear)

 

 

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Front @38 sounds too high. I dont know the 1200 but most fronts run at max 36 depending on how the bike is being used.

 

Ie. 2 up - 36 front and 42 rear

Solo - you can drop a few psi depending on temps.

 

Bren

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make sure steering head bearings roll smoothly and cups aren't dimpled...

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Was it doing this prior to having the Dunlops fitted?

Before getting to the point of selling it, and apart from what has been suggested, might be worth fitting a new set of tyres of a different brand.

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My bike would go wide when I rolled on the throttle out of the turn. I solved this by adding more rebound damping in the forks to prevent the forks from telescoping out once I unloaded them by adding more throttle.  Replace the fork oil too if it's been a few years, same effect. Sounds like you are experiencing poor rebound damping. The 1200 is very front heavy too, so any throttle or breaking is amplified in the handling. Sounds like the dunlops might have a bigger diameter then your old tires. Back off some preload so the bike is not nose up. 

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2 hours ago, DannoXYZ said:

make sure steering head bearings roll smoothly and cups aren't dimpled...

Loose bearings often get noisy when you come to a stop while breaking, you can hear them slapping up and settling back down when brakes are applied and you stop. 

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On 10/30/2020 at 4:14 PM, HispanicSlammer said:

Loose bearings often get noisy when you come to a stop while breaking, you can hear them slapping up and settling back down when brakes are applied and you stop. 

Yup, I was thinking they could be too tight. Or needs cleaning and greasing. 

 

Hosing off bike to clean really does good job of messing up those bearings.

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Agree with what HispanicSlammer said. My eighth gen felt the same when I first rode it, increased the rebound damping by 1 full turn and it felt like a different bike. Have a play with the rebound setting you can always reverse the adjustment if you don’t like it.

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8 hours ago, HispanicSlammer said:

My bike would go wide when I rolled on the throttle out of the turn. 

 

Mine did exactly that when I bought it. Same with a good m8 of mine too.

 

We solved it by replacing the suspension with upgraded parts. Expensive but it worked a treat.

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Hard to say if the new Dunlops are part of the problem as the previous tires were in awful condition. Is there an easy way to check the steering head bearings? (without disassembling the bike) I'm not great with suspension setup, I basically left the settings the previous owner used. I will give your preload and rebound dampening suggestions a try. I am contemplating sending my forks and shock to DMR Performance Suspension (Jamie Daugherty) this winter. Probably have him re-valve and re-spring forks and shock. Has anyone done this with their VFR12? Do you think a new shock is necessary or just redo the stocker? Here are some pics...Thanks

VFR.jpg

VFR2.jpg

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If yr spending the money, it needs to be shared front and rear.  I had both replaced and have never regretted that decision. 

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1 hour ago, Bor said:

Hard to say if the new Dunlops are part of the problem as the previous tires were in awful condition. Is there an easy way to check the steering head bearings? (without disassembling the bike)

Did it turn-in OK with old tyres?

What size tyres did you get?

 

To do front-end maintenance, I just hang front-end from garage rafters with basic block & tackle hoist. Or use pin stand for front end, but that also requires spool stand in back 1st.

 

Once front-end is off ground, swing bars left-right. Should feel smooth without any resistance. Also no indexed motion caused by dimples in bearing race.

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1 hour ago, Bor said:

Is there an easy way to check the steering head bearings? (without disassembling the bike)

Whether you employ ball or taper bearings the first sign that your
steering head bearings are loose will be felt through the bars as a
pronounce clunk during hard braking...

 

Then again if your steering head bearings are too tight the bike will
weave and not seek it own center...

 

To achieve perfect torque first raise the front wheel off the
ground... next tighten the steering head bearings until the bars
lock... and finally back off the nut until the bars free wheel with a
slight drag... with this method you find that sweat spot and avoid
over tightening and under tightening even if you upgrade to taper
roller bearings...

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First off the RS3's are a neutral handling tire, not as quick a turn-in as some others, but "OK".  A PR4 rear would turn in better (I'm not a fan of the front), and a Metzeler Z6 front will get you turn-in.  Check head bearings and suspension setup as advised, but different tires will make a difference.

Absolute worst tire I've had for turn-in is the old BT-021 Bridgestone.  Those were meant for straight line touring, all they were good for.

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Roadsmarts are the stock size. I will check the steering head bearings. I do think that a suspension upgrade is in order.

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What was on bike before you changed and how did it handle?

 

Different tyres have different handling characteristics. I was on the point of selling my Dunlop installed VFR 800 because i was struggling with it in turns, to the extent my mates were asking what was wrong as they could visibly see a difference in my riding.  Changed to Bridgestones and also added a few turn on the rear (done before changing tyres) and got my old mojo back.

 

So I would suggest checking your suspension settings and possibly adding a few more turns on rear preload.

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The bike had well worn Michelin Pilot Road II tires on it when I bought it. To be honest I don't remember struggling with it with those worn tires like I am now with the Dunlops. What type of tires are better handling than the Roadsmarts?

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Get some new tires.  Tires is probably squared off.  Get some pirelli rosso corsa.  Same thing happened to my rc51.

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Not likely but if you go up a profile this can have a big effect on the amount of counter-steer effort required to hold a line also won't want to drop in as fast or as easily. A rounder profile may also give the same effect.
 

 

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Thanks to everyone that helped with my turning issue. I changed the suspension settings and got a BIG improvement. It is a work in progress but here are the settings I have right now: Front preload-3 lines showing, front rebound 10 clicks out from full soft. Rear preload 14 clicks from full soft, rear rebound 1.75 turns out from full stiff. Tire pressure 42 rear 26 front. I weigh about 200lbs with gear.  Thanks!

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Surely 26lb is a typo. 36lb is generally a front pressure. Remember the old line “35 stay alive”.

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