Rear tire drifts
April 9, 2011 at 4:22 am #4369Bob HarleyParticipant
I got my sv650 in Nov. It came with new tires. I’ve put on 600+ miles and I am becoming more comfortable with my cornering. But what makes me nervous is that on some corners (with the bike leaned over a bit) the rear tire feels like it’s drifting a little. I have never slid or lost control, but was wondering if this sensation is normal? The last 1/2″ of the outer edge of the tire tread is still shiny new. Am I feeling the unbroken in outeredge not getting full traction? I tried looking this up, but every search on sliding tires leads me to locking the back brake… another issue entirely.
thanks.April 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm #29467TrialsRiderParticipant
…easier to check if you have a center stand, but;
Grasp the rear tire right at the back and wiggle it fairly hard left to right, pay close attention to the chain (or belt) and note if chain slack changes while you are rocking it. If yes, your swingarm bushings or bearings need attention.
Grasp the wheel at top and bottom and give it a good wiggle, watch for movement where your wheel bearings meet the axle. Check both sides, if there is any wiggle replace the wheel bearings (they are cheap and available at any decent bearing supply shop)
Sit on the bike and put your thumb against the spot where the steering head bearing joins the top triple tree, apply the front brake and rock the bike front to back quite hard.
If there is play in any of these three bearing points, it will make your bike feel like it has a hinge in the middle.April 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm #29464Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
I would take it to someone who has rode SV-650s before, to see if your bike is handling normally.
For a new tire, I am extra careful for the first few days, until the tire has a rougher broken in surface, while gradually taking corners a little faster until I am up to my normal speeds. For race tires, they often go slower for one lap, to get the tires heated up.April 12, 2011 at 3:37 am #29490eternal05Participant
As TrialsRider suggests, the issue could be mechanical. In addition to the great tips he offers, I’d also suggest checking that your rear suspension can move through the full range of motion without hitting anything. A common problem I’ve seen on bikes with aftermarket exhausts is that the new system is incorrectly installed and gets in the way of suspension travel. Stretch or compress the suspension heavily (depending on where the pipe goes) and your swingarm might hit the pipe and suddenly stop, making it impossible for your suspension to keep your tire on the pavement.
Your riding style can also dramatically affect your traction. Especially in corners its important to have steady throttle control and slight acceleration through the corner. This will keep enough weight on the rear and will improve your rear tire traction. There are other things you might unconsciously be doing mid corner (holding too tightly on the bars and preventing them from doin’ their thang, moving around the bike at odd moments, etc.) that can cause small slides. If you haven’t already, I’d highly suggest a couple good riding books, especially ones focused on sport riding. My recommendations in no particular order:
All of these are great books, though I definitely prefer the first two to the third. In the end, I’d really suggest you read them all. The Keith Code “Twist” books are the source for everything, but all the drugs Keith did back in the day messed up his clarity of thought and ability to communicate and teach. His disciples (the authors above) do a better job of not confusing the $%!@ out of you.
Honestly, chances are that you’re not sliding at all. Many things can give you the illusion of sliding when you’re really not. If you’re loose on the bike, smooth on the control inputs, and on the throttle in corners, you’re probably nowhere near a lean angle at which you have to start worrying about that stuff.
Bottom line: check your equipment and think about your riding, but chances are there’s nothing to worry about.April 14, 2011 at 4:26 am #29497Bob HarleyParticipant
The bike seems mechanically fine. Since I put up this post I have been reflecting on my riding. I am putting a lot of my weight on the handlebars, with a death grip too! I believe the illusion of sliding is a good description, since I’ve never actually lost control. I think I’m too tense on the corners instead of trusting my instincts. I’m probably putting most of the weight on the front tire since I”m braking late and I’m not smooth on the throttle. I’m always afraid that I’ll enter the corner too fast or give it too much throttle in the corner.
Thanks for the ideas.April 14, 2011 at 7:55 am #29498eternal05Participant
On a sporty bike it’s even more important to secure yourself on the bike with your legs, more so than on a more relaxed bike (e.g., a cruiser). Really take that to heart and try to loosen up your upper body as much as you possibly can.
Also, you really don’t need to give the bike much throttle to keep it stable in a corner. At the very least, get on “neutral throttle” (not accelerating but also not decelerating). Ideally, however, you want to judge your entry speed such that you can actually be accelerating slightly (slightly, not full-on) throughout the corner.April 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm #29520gitchy42Participant
Eternal is right, you need to be smooth on the controls, and get the weight off of the handle bars.
If you are worried about going too fast in a turn, start braking earlier. Make sure that you are on the throttle going through the turn, you don’t have to accelerate, but you can’t leave the throttle closed.
I have made turns on my SV where I had a late entry do to late, heavy braking then coasted through most of the turn because I couldn’t get on the throttle, and it felt like the bike was sliding, even though it wasn’t. A very unnerving feeling, but when I relaxed and remembered the training, everything started working better, and feeling smoother.
Good luck, ride safe
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