Elevation Changes in a Curve
June 21, 2009 at 7:11 am #3035SafetyFirstParticipant
I live in a fairly hilly area.
There are a few curves that are tight, low speed turns that involve substantial change of elevation in the curve, either up or down.
On one of them, the up really seems to tax the ol’ Ninja 250, and I honestly wonder at times if I’m going to flip from the front wheel leaving the road from the steepness.
What are some tips for dealing with these? Besides strangling the engineers who designed them?June 21, 2009 at 9:17 am #19986eternal05Participant
Make sure you’re in a sufficiently low gear for the incline and the speed. I’ve been able to go up 30-degree inclines with a (light) passenger on the Ninja without feeling like the bike was struggling.
Again, this has to do with the “right” powerband. If you’re really worried, try to get the bike in a gear where you are in the 7k-10k rpm range while on the hill. It shouldn’t have a problem.
As for the feeling of falling backwards, your posture and distribution of body weight can help a lot. Scoot your butt forward towards the tank, grip it with your knees and lean forward, moving your upper body over the front wheel. As always, be smooth on the throttle. If you ever sense the bike starting to wheelie (which it shouldn’t), a smidgen of gentle rear brake will keep the nose down.June 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm #19995SantaCruzRiderParticipant
My current bike is too heavy to experience this, but I’ve felt the front lift plenty of times on my buddies dual sport on steep hills.
Slide forward, lean forward, a little bit of weight on the hands won’t hurt. On the dually, I’ll sometimes stand up and lean over the handlebars to get my weight WAY forward (you’ll need to moderate that for the Ninja, but concept is the same).
Now that you know the turn, you can carry a little extra speed going into it. Then steady throttle, feather the clutch to keep it smooth.
The front can feel a bit vague as the tire isn’t getting the traction you’re used to, nor as much as the rear. But don’t panic and keep your input smooth and you should be fine.
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