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Your just coming into a corner...............

Your speed is moderate, there's no real hurry............

It's a 90º Right Turn.............

You've got a green light, and no traffic in front of you or behind you.........

When you lean into the turn, you get that "rush" that comes from the
gyroscopic effect that takes over as you increase your throttle to make the turn...........

then, after you are upright, you wonder........."gee, I was pretty far over
in that turn; I wonder how much further I could have leaned and still kept from laying the bike down?"

Question: is there a "point of no return?" Don't answer too quickly. I'm sure there IS! Just wonder if you can sense it, feel it, know it? What happens between you and your bike that says, "this is the edge bub!"

Suppose this was a LEFT turn, same conditions.......any difference in the limits, the ragged edge? The same?

-Soupy
 

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I ride fairly moderately. But lately I've been wondering the same thing after going around a corner..

"how much further could I have leaned before the footpegs start to drag"?

I guess THAT is your 1st clue you're getting close to the lean limit, although dragging a peg isn't yet at the "ragged edge" based on what some others say.
 

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Start to hear a scraping noise, that's close to the limit. You can adjust your body position to give a bit more lean angle.
 

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For most riders, the actual angle you are at during a sharp turn is not nearly as severe as you "feel" it is. I feel that I ride pretty conservatively most of the time, which is why I ride a cruiser. Occasionally I scape the front pegs on a turn, which tells me I've leaned further over than I meant to, but without any harm.
 

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From what I've learned from a multi-month long discussion on another forum scraping pegs or other metal bits is NOT the way you want to be informed of how close you are to the limit.

That's more like a knock at the front door by two guys in uniform ....there's a good chance you're about to get some VERY BAD news!

Immovable metal parts can catch, lift the rear wheel slightly and initiate a lowside.

Motorcycle racers who drag knees and wear gear with ablative knee armor do so because of the body positioning they adopt which minimizes bike lean and the chances of them dragging metal parts...allowing them to go around corners at the fastest possible speed...

But keep reading, I'm not suggesting you need to go buy some Monica Lewinskies and kiss the mirror on casual club rides....

If you position your body mass / weight to the inside of the turn, such that knee / armor (if you were wearing it) dragged long BEFORE pegs do you accomplish several things.

1) You can hear/feel your knee just beginning to scrape, INFORMING you you're near the edge

2) Your knee can move up slightly after initially touching, unlike a fixed peg.

3) The whole business of positioning your body to the inside of the turn allows you to keep the bike further upright ALLOWING you to lean the bike even FURTHER if it appears you're not going to make the corner, headed wide...

4) The pro's repeatedly point out: Keeping the bike further upright allows its suspension to do its job better

5) Further upright requires less throttle to be added in the corner due to the decreased radius of the tire the further it is leaned onto its side


To state it in a different way, the more you lean yourself the less you need to lean the bike (at a given speed and corner radius),

The less you lean the bike the less chance of scraping metal parts catching and initiating a lowside

The less you lean the bike the more bike lean "left over" you can apply once you've used up all the body positioning/lean you've got.

I imagine there are plenty of riders who are going to continue to ride relatively upright in the saddle and regularly lean their cruiser until a peg scrapes rather than risk "looking goofy" and "hanging off the side" like some boy racer.

I regularly hear HD riders bragging about scraping their pegs, boards, etc. Guy in a local club's nic is "Scraper." Obviously connecting metal to asphalt is not a guaranteed lowside, but....

I'd argue it doesn't have to be nearly that extreme. Even moderate body re-positioning to the inside of the turn, long before any knee would scrape, vastly improves how well the bike corners --- at least in MY limited riding experience.

Here I am, practicing my leaning with a couple buddies:



Back to the original post, and a question asked there, since I'm right handed, much stronger right arm, I can corner to the left a lot faster and more confidently than to the right.
 

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I'd argue it doesn't have to be nearly that extreme. Even moderate body positioning to the inside of the turn, long before any knee would scrape, vastly improves how the bike corners --- at least in MY limited riding experience.
That really works.

I'd only push the limits close enough to scrape pegs in controlled conditions, such as an abandoned road, the riding range/empty parking lot, or on a track. I like to leave a lot of spare traction and maneuverability on the street. It's good to actually know where the limits of your motorcycle are so as not to be caught unaware if you actually have to push the limits to avoid a crash.
 

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I suggest that you turn the thought around in your head ...
it's not so much a "point of no return" - more like a point of sharper turning.
your bike and tires can do a LOT!!

you should scrape your pegs - or your boots.
its a good thing to go out and do occasionally.
few riders do it ... but it will save you a motorcycle and a trip to the ER if you make it standard practice. I have to admit - I still don't so it enough either. Practice scraping pegs in places with good asphalt, no traffic, and no hard obstacles on the outside of the turn.

You don't really get into trouble unless you do a couple of things ...
1. You seriously scrape the pipes on the right side of the bike. A little pipe scraping is OK (although it ruins their appearance). But if you lean hard on them, the weight will be lifted off the rear wheel ... that is when you will lose the bike. But that limit should be beyond where you scrape the footpegs, unless you did a mod and the new pipes don't have enough clearance.

2. A lot of riders tend to freak out when they scrape a peg or their boot - the sudden "rough" feel on their foot causes them to lose mental control of the bike. That's why its important to build up confidence with this stuff in high lean angles.

3. If you seriously over-torque the rear wheel during a turn, by cranking the throttle, you can also cause the rear wheel to lose traction. But this is a definite "rider error" .. it violates the first commandment - make everything SMOOTH during a turn.

I just looked at a couple of corner accidents this past week. A Harley rider lost it when he was pretty fast in a turn and scraped a peg. I believe he would have been just fine - if he didn't freak out after the scraping started to happen. And a sports bike rider actually cranked on the juice (opened the throttle of his bike) while he was at the apex of a turn ... which spun out the rear wheel, and then the whole bike just slid out. So these are rider mistakes - they are not the limits that your bike could go to :)

cheers,
dT
 

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"Point of no return"?
I'm sure there is, but I'm also sure I would be scraping pegs before I found it. The tires I have (now anyway) have more tread than I can use in a lean, my highway bars would scrape before I ran out of usable tread.

That aside - it all depends on how much usable traction you have doesn't it?
 

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I avoid scraping on my S50 because the first thing to make contact is the bracket that holds the foot pegs - because of the way the bike is set up, this jacks the front tire, not the rear, so the resulting low side is even worse, and can even jump to a high side in a blink. Even though it is technically a cruiser, it's not hard to slide off the seat a bit, to keep this from happening, if needed.
 

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wintrsol ... you need to adjust something there.
it should be the footpeg that scrapes first - or your boot.
some footpegs have a small metal pin, or feeler, that pokes out of the bottom. try adding those to your pegs, so that the pegs are the first thing to hit the asphalt. it's good to have confidence that the pegs are telling you when you are getting close to scraping real metal.

dT
 

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--

It depends on what turn I'm making when I scrape. Since I don't do sliding off the seat from side to side too well, I usually just put more weight on one cheek or the other.

If I'm riding with some bozos that I want to keep up with, and they are cornering at high speed faster than I normally do, then I'll get myself to the inside of the turn to minimize the bike's lean.

If I'm in a parking lot and want to turn sharp, then I get weight to the outside of the turn to force the bike to get as much as possible on the sides of the tires. This doesn't usually mean any scraping, however.

Sometimes when in a jam where I hit a corner too hot (or I wasn't paying attention to where I was in the roadway path), I'll do a quick lean to make my bike turn real fast and will probably drag a foot pedal.

I have found that since raising my bike with new suspension and a taller car tire on the rear, I can lean over more and get tighter turns than when stock.

--
 

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OK, I will confess. I have never scraped a peg or a floor board. I know full well the bike and its tires can do it but I simply cannot get myself to go over that far. I guess, in the realm of possibilities, I always have some control margin in reserve but I never intend to use it. I love watching the videos of cops competing on low speed maneuvers but know full well I could never really bring myself to do that. Chicken strips for me are wide. It is who I am.
 

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OK, I will confess. I have never scraped a peg or a floor board.
I rode with the "Survivors" MC club around the San Juan Skyway a couple of summers ago. Decided riding side-by-side in a group of riders with mixed skill levels is NOT what I enjoy.

One guy in the club was afraid to lean his bike over, even in some hairpin turns near the old mill on Red Mountain Pass, corners that had a LOT of riders scraping.

The bottom line is he had to slow to HALF the speed everyone else was (or less) in order not to end up in the oncoming lane. Did anyway, several times.

After watching him corner I didn't want to ride anywhere near him. He was clearly a novice rider. Since I wasn't a club member I opted to go around him and stake out a new position in the "parade."

By throwing your azz off the bike to the inside of the curve, kissing the mirror, etc you could perhaps avoid the need to ever lean your bike to the scraping point, but if not, what I'd say is you're missing half the fun of riding one of these contraptions. The sound, the first time you hear it, is the scariest part.

now, MY confession: After riding my Elite250 scooter "bolt upright" for many years, one day I accidentally leaned it TOO over in a turn, and lo and behold, it didn't fall out from underneath me. In fact it felt like a carnival ride. The more I did it the more I liked it. The fear of the lean gradually subsided.

And after awhile I realized: "This is how these contraptions are SUPPOSED to be ridden!"

Be warned, however, if you've worn a significant "chicken strip" there WILL be a "wobbly" transition you will FEEL as you go from chicken to steak. At first it truly feels like the tire is sliding out on you. You'll eventually wear the "lip" smoother though, after you get addicted to dining on the lean meat....
 

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wintrsol ... you need to adjust something there.
it should be the footpeg that scrapes first - or your boot.
some footpegs have a small metal pin, or feeler, that pokes out of the bottom. try adding those to your pegs, so that the pegs are the first thing to hit the asphalt. it's good to have confidence that the pegs are telling you when you are getting close to scraping real metal.

dT
I suppose I could drill some holes, and put in a feeler. It wouldn't be easy, because of the design of the pegs. Something to think about, though.

Back when I was young and indestructible, I had to put spring-loaded pegs on my 305, 'cause I kept rubbing the rubber off the fixed pegs. I don't ride like that, anymore, but the strips on my CB450 are certainly narrower than on my Boulevard.
 

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I rode with the "Survivors" MC club around the San Juan Skyway a couple of summers ago. Decided riding side-by-side in a group of riders with mixed skill levels is NOT what I enjoy.

One guy in the club was afraid to lean his bike over, even in some hairpin turns near the old mill on Red Mountain Pass, corners that had a LOT of riders scraping.

The bottom line is he had to slow to HALF the speed everyone else was (or less) in order not to end up in the oncoming lane. Did anyway, several times.

After watching him corner I didn't want to ride anywhere near him. He was clearly a novice rider. Since I wasn't a club member I opted to go around him and stake out a new position in the "parade."

By throwing your azz off the bike to the inside of the curve, kissing the mirror, etc you could perhaps avoid the need to ever lean your bike to the scraping point, but if not, what I'd say is you're missing half the fun of riding one of these contraptions. The sound, the first time you hear it, is the scariest part.

now, MY confession: After riding my Elite250 scooter "bolt upright" for many years, one day I accidentally leaned it TOO over in a turn, and lo and behold, it didn't fall out from underneath me. In fact it felt like a carnival ride. The more I did it the more I liked it. The fear of the lean gradually subsided.

And after awhile I realized: "This is how these contraptions are SUPPOSED to be ridden!"

Be warned, however, if you've worn a significant "chicken strip" there WILL be a "wobbly" transition you will FEEL as you go from chicken to steak. At first it truly feels like the tire is sliding out on you. You'll eventually wear the "lip" smoother though, after you get addicted to dining on the lean meat....
I regard this as total BS. I ride my own ride and really do not care what others think. Read that again, I don't care how you feel. I have huge chicken strips by sport bike standards. So what? When I am over so far it makes me nervous, I stop. What is there about that which is wrong? In my book it is nothing at all. If I stop before I wipe out I win in my book. If I fail to stop that soon, maybe because I want to prove something to a crotch rocket rider, I lose. That is not just once but every time. Ride your own ride is great advice, always.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
...............I'm not suggesting you need to go buy some Monica Lewinskies and kiss the mirror


Here I am, practicing my leaning with a couple buddies:

You made me laugh with this picture!! I can just see the three of you guys, dressed in your power ranger outfits, mounting these "kiddie" rides in the park!! Idiots!! (respectfully)

As for "Monica"....I know who Monica is, and what supposedly happened.........but I don't "get" the association here? Something about being "on your knees????"

In my OP I wasn't referring to racing turns. My thought was not on high-speed negotiations; rather on turns in general at modest law-abiding speeds.

There is certainly a difference between the way a turn is handled at various speeds, isn't there?

And what about Left -vs- Right turns. Any difference in the way you approach the turn, in terms of that "point of no return?

Another point that was touched on in one of the responses, was the cruiser -vs- sport bike difference. Lower center of gravity on one from the other, (guess which one, if you don't know.......lol). How does THAT change the way you keep your bike from going over?

It seemed counterintuitive to say that the guy on the cruiser (in one of the posts) was in error to accelerate; but I think your point was that he OVER accelerated, to compensate for the lean. I agree...........smooth turn maneuvers are the safest, rather than abrupt changes IN the turn.



-Soupy
 

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In cruiser vs sport bike, the center of gravity doesn't have as much to do with it as ground clearance. Sport bikes can generally lean over more than cruisers.

You can still increase your ground clearance with a cruiser by leaning forward and into the turn (COW position) or potentially even hanging off.
 

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LOVE the picture, wadenelson!!! (BTW, dang spell check keeps changing your moniker to "watermelon" -- but that's for another thread)
:)

I scraped pegs a lot (unintentionally) on the 48, but that was more because the bike was really meant as a fun ride, but not hardcore. It always gave me a startle.

There have been times, although infrequently, when my heart was in my mouth in a turn.
Luckily, that became less frequent with experience on the bike.
Whereas I would have liked the "thrill" when I was younger, thoughts of my son and fiance run through my head now.

On my current bike, I have misjudged slightly a couple of times, but I have comfortably compensated by leaning harder.
No peg problems on this bike.

Wadenelson, you described how to use your shifting weight and knees. My fear is that my knee would catch on the unfamiliar road surface and I'd really get hurt!
Do you have a problem with potholes, debris or unexpectedly rough road surfaces?
Do you know the roads before you do it?
I am still not sure I want to try it.

Finally, I have heard the expression "chicken strips," I think, which refers to the breadth of the wear pattern on one's tires. I guess mine is average, but when I see the tires on my buddy's sportbike, I cringe.
Some of you have iron balls!!

:smiley_drinkcoffee:
 

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I haven't scraped a peg since '93, thats when I learned that going thru a curve at my or the bikes max speed and there is an unexpected, then it is over. Yes it took 2 wrecks to get that thru my thick skull. First street wreck was in 80 or 81.

I have scraped my heels on the Yamaha but never the Sportster. Because it takes more lean on the Yamaha to do the same curve at the same speed......hmmm why would that be

For you sportbike riders that say cruiser riders should blah blah blah.......it is obvious you don't know squat about riding a cruiser.

A cruiser is made for comfort and beauty, not cornering ability, although some cruisers have a cornering ability that would never be used by 95% of non professional racing bikers. On a cruiser, by the time you got your body hanging over the side of the bike you would already be thru the turn and into the next one.

Physics lesson......
Take lets say 400lbs that sits high and has a high center of gravity(high cog is good for cornering), then slap 200lb more on top of that and the cog is raised, now of that 200lb you start moving around 125lbs.......yes the system cog moves

Now take 650lbs(mid size cruiser) with a low cog(low cog is good for ease of handling), slap 200lbs on top of that........doesn't do much, sling around 125lbs of that 200lbs and it still doesn't do much for moving the cog.

Now there are soooooo many factors that go into determining the bikes ability that your moving the cog to the side 3* isn't going to change the required lean angle 3*........probably more like .5*, but anyway the only place its going to do any good is if you are approaching the bikes limits.........if you are on the street approaching a sportbikes limit then ............there might be 1% of all sportbikers, that are not professional racers, that are capable of reaching a sportbikes limits, and I'm sure they are all on this board.
 
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