Peg Scraping/Knee Dragging in the "real world"... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Peg Scraping/Knee Dragging in the "real world"...

I took the (new to me) '08 Versys to Deal's Gap yesterday. Prior to buying it a month ago, I had quite a bit of riding experience, but it was on a Goldwing in Texas (mostly flat and straight) and it was many years ago. Needless to say, the sheer number of curves where I live now provide a totally different riding experience. I've never previously scraped pegs, dragged a knee, etc. Even my daily commute here provides a ton of curves to learn on, so after this past month I decided to head out to the infamous "Tail of the Dragon".

I'm sure you all are familiar with Deal's Gap - 300+ turns in 11 miles. Going end to end twice, I leaned the Versys as far as I've ever leaned it, multiple times mentally preparing for the "scrape" of the pegs so it wouldn't startle me, but nothing. After I got home, looked at my tires. The rear tire "chicken strips" now show wear...in other words, I had leaned the bike over enough to use the entire tread edge to edge. For a 2-3 mile stretch, I even kept up with some sport bike guys, so I know I wasn't just taking it easy out there.

So, I guess my question is this...is there a unique combination of factors that have to come together for the bike to be leaned to such an extreme angle that the pegs scrape? Granted, the curves at Deal's Gap are almost all very, very tight, many bordering on "switchbacks". Are long, sweeping curves required? I know others on here have commented about "scraping pegs" and after yesterday I'm just dumbfounded as to what kind of extreme angles/turns come together to make that happen.

Taking the question even further...is that kind of riding "off the track" even safe? Most parts of the country (like here) have curvy roads out of necessity...they're trying work with the "flow" of difficult geography. It's usually one lane each direction. Safely setting up for the curve by "moving to the outside" means literally just scooting over a few feet within your own lane....we're not on a track here. And even then, in the "real world", if you blow the curve, you either go head on into traffic or you go over the cliff. I guess more than anything it's left me scratching my head....

Tim
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 12:59 PM
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I've scraped my boot a half dozen times and my peg once coming into my neighborhood... I have the lowering blocks so its easier to do, so I can't imagine real world riding it that hard to scrape stock-height pegs...

I have wuss lines too, even though I thought that being able to touch the pavement when taking onramps was low enough. I'd rather have the "chicken strips" than a bike sliding out from under me in a curve!
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 01:00 PM
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I've wondered the same thing. I have a few favorite roads that I can get this thing leaned over as far as I think is possible and still haven't scraped the pegs. Tires look like they are maxed out so I have no idea how I can get lower without riding on the rims.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 01:09 PM
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Yep, it's leaned way over to hit the pegs. I bet you were very close more times than you realize.



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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 01:43 PM
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I was there as well, did I see you sometime around 3-4 PM?


The Versys has gobs of lean angle clearance. A bad line, bad form, and not using the throttle properly when cornering can all lead to a peg scrape.

On the Dragon, simply leaning your body away from the corner will usually result in a peg scrape.

Peg scraping and lack of chicken strips do not impress me, it shows me that rider doesn't have good technique, and or is picking a bad line through the corners.

I do need to qualify something. Bikes that run 180 and 190 rear tires are much easier to reach the edges than a 160.

Peg scraping is your warning system. It means its time to re-evaluate your cornering technique.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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I was there as well, did I see you sometime around 3-4 PM?


The Versys has gobs of lean angle clearance. A bad line, bad form, and not using the throttle properly when cornering can all lead to a peg scrape.

On the Dragon, simply leaning your body away from the corner will usually result in a peg scrape.

Peg scraping and lack of chicken strips do not impress me, it shows me that rider doesn't have good technique, and or is picking a bad line through the corners.

I do need to qualify something. Bikes that run 180 and 190 rear tires are much easier to reach the edges than a 160.

Peg scraping is your warning system. It means its time to re-evaluate your cornering technique.
Funny. What are the odds? Yes, that had to be you that I saw as well since I only saw one other Versys the whole time. When I reached the TN side, I pulled over to see if my new camera set-up worked (whole other thread...). I knew some bikes were pulled over but wasn't paying attention. As I was about done messing around with the camera, I heard some bikes and thought, "Why does that engine sound familiar?" and saw you all pulling away. If it's you, you've got a red '08 as well?

Thanks for the input. I take it you weren't scraping too many pegs, either? I don't drop a knee, but I do lean the center of my upper body forward and into the curve quite a bit when I'm in a good one, and that might have...well, I'm sure it did...helped keep the bike a bit more upright. Anyway, thanks again. I think in October the "resort" there is having an "end of the season" bash...you going?
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by timnc View Post
I don't drop a knee, but I do lean the center of my upper body forward and into the curve quite a bit when I'm in a good one, and that might have...well, I'm sure it did...helped keep the bike a bit more upright.
I was going to ask you this, but you beat me to the punch, I believe this is the biggest contributor, I hate scraping pegs and I lean into the turns as well, I've yet to scrape the Versys.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 04:08 PM
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In the Lee Parks "Total Control" advanced riding course, they have you initiating turns with a very rapid counter-steer that flops the bike over VERY QUICKLY... and startled the crap out of me at first, and then again when the 'peg scraped first...!
BEFORE I "got the 'peg" I once scraped the toe of my boot through improper foot positioning, and that REALLY ... got my attention...!
So, I take exception to your point that the 'peg scraping comes from improper riding technique or lines. IF your speed is high enough in a given corner (assuming it's not TOO high) you WILL scrape a peg or drag a knee, though notwithstanding other traffic in the vicinity, dragging your knee keeps your bike more upright and further away from grinding metal parts....

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 04:41 PM
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In the Lee Parks "Total Control" advanced riding course, they have you initiating turns with a very rapid counter-steer that flops the bike over VERY QUICKLY... and startled the crap out of me at first, and then again when the 'peg scraped first...!
BEFORE I "got the 'peg" I once scraped the toe of my boot through improper foot positioning, and that REALLY ... got my attention...!
So, I take exception to your point that the 'peg scraping comes from improper riding technique or lines. IF your speed is high enough in a given corner (assuming it's not TOO high) you WILL scrape a peg or drag a knee, though notwithstanding other traffic in the vicinity, dragging your knee keeps your bike more upright and further away from grinding metal parts....
Lee Parks also teaches moving your body off the seat BEFORE you initiate the counter-steer. It would seem you missed that tidbit of info.

This same school of thought it also echoed in the teachings of Keith Code, Nick Ienatsch, and Ed Bargy. The whole reason racers stick their knee out is so they do not drag anything.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 04:46 PM
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Funny. What are the odds? Yes, that had to be you that I saw as well since I only saw one other Versys the whole time. When I reached the TN side, I pulled over to see if my new camera set-up worked (whole other thread...). I knew some bikes were pulled over but wasn't paying attention. As I was about done messing around with the camera, I heard some bikes and thought, "Why does that engine sound familiar?" and saw you all pulling away. If it's you, you've got a red '08 as well?

Thanks for the input. I take it you weren't scraping too many pegs, either? I don't drop a knee, but I do lean the center of my upper body forward and into the curve quite a bit when I'm in a good one, and that might have...well, I'm sure it did...helped keep the bike a bit more upright. Anyway, thanks again. I think in October the "resort" there is having an "end of the season" bash...you going?
I have yet to scrape the Versys (bought new in 08). I rarely scraped my 919, and frequently scraped my ZZR. But when I had the ZZR, I was new to performance riding, and didn't use good technique.


I am going back up for the first weekend in October. It's a good area to ride, but in reality, we have as many good roads in Ga that are half the distance from my house.

I usually do deals gap maybe four to five times a year. But with the addition of the bar at the store, I may limit my trips in the future. It's hard enough dodging poor riders who can't maintain their line, now lets add alcohol to the mix.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 05:11 PM
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but in reality, we have as many good roads in Ga that are half the distance from my house.

I would say Road Atlanta Being one of the best!! lol
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 06:09 PM
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The V actually has limted clerance as the suspension compresses depending on set up/rider weight/bend/going fast enough. Did scrape very odd occasion on road, always on track, till raised pegs 30mm.

but bit like the old chestnut of "apexing" and "perfect lines" - what no-one mentions is that great if your the fastest guy out there, else you just give overtaking opportunities to everyone else. Apexing on the road will get you killed pronto!

similary, scraping doesnt mean a bad rider. notwhistanding no two bikes are alike anyway, what always gets overlooked is the height of the rider/bike? To get a tall bike over to get your knee down, (to avoid scraping) involves more lean angle, espcially if your short in the leg. which means the pegs will scrape earlier all thing being equal.

tyres? - its the profile, not size. even within a 160 or 195 that's important.

Hate guru books, and desciples normally easiest riders to pass. More than one way to skin a cat etc. Just get a club racer to show you around.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:00 PM
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.

Hate guru books, and desciples normally easiest riders to pass. More than one way to skin a cat etc. Just get a club racer to show you around.
+1 I watched more than few crash on the street dragging their knees.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:20 PM
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I took the (new to me) '08 Versys to Deal's Gap yesterday. Prior to buying it a month ago, I had quite a bit of riding experience, but it was on a Goldwing in Texas (mostly flat and straight) and it was many years ago. Needless to say, the sheer number of curves where I live now provide a totally different riding experience. I've never previously scraped pegs, dragged a knee, etc. Even my daily commute here provides a ton of curves to learn on, so after this past month I decided to head out to the infamous "Tail of the Dragon".

I'm sure you all are familiar with Deal's Gap - 300+ turns in 11 miles. Going end to end twice, I leaned the Versys as far as I've ever leaned it, multiple times mentally preparing for the "scrape" of the pegs so it wouldn't startle me, but nothing. After I got home, looked at my tires. The rear tire "chicken strips" now show wear...in other words, I had leaned the bike over enough to use the entire tread edge to edge. For a 2-3 mile stretch, I even kept up with some sport bike guys, so I know I wasn't just taking it easy out there.

So, I guess my question is this...is there a unique combination of factors that have to come together for the bike to be leaned to such an extreme angle that the pegs scrape? Granted, the curves at Deal's Gap are almost all very, very tight, many bordering on "switchbacks". Are long, sweeping curves required? I know others on here have commented about "scraping pegs" and after yesterday I'm just dumbfounded as to what kind of extreme angles/turns come together to make that happen.

Taking the question even further...is that kind of riding "off the track" even safe? Most parts of the country (like here) have curvy roads out of necessity...they're trying work with the "flow" of difficult geography. It's usually one lane each direction. Safely setting up for the curve by "moving to the outside" means literally just scooting over a few feet within your own lane....we're not on a track here. And even then, in the "real world", if you blow the curve, you either go head on into traffic or you go over the cliff. I guess more than anything it's left me scratching my head....

Tim
Hi Tim,

I did a few runs on the Deal's gap two weeks ago.

First you might not be leaning as far as you think. When I saw the pictures of my run I realized that the bike still had plenty of room to lean. You can look at the pictures of your run at:

http://www.us129photos.com/
http://www.killboy.com/
http://www.zeefoto.com/

Also unless you were riding with your feet tip on the pegs, you will scrape your boots before your pegs.

I did scape the pegs a few times on the Dragon and on the Snake. I was riding on Pirelli Dragon Corsa tires (DOT legal) and these tires have a different profile. The bike was easier to lean with these tires and they had tons of grip. After returning from the dragon, I changed my tires back to sport-touring tires (Michelin PR2 at the back, Pilot power at the front) and still scrapped a peg last week.

In my opinion, when you are starting to lean the bike, you should prepare for it: I did setup my suspension to my weight and adjusted the damping. I am controlling the tire pressure before each "sport" ride and wear protective clothing.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 08:24 PM
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I have scrapped the peg feeler a few times on the versys, not that difficult even on a stock set up. If you note one thing from kawa, they replace these feelers, they stick out about an inch from the end of the foot peg. There is a replacement part for these. Kinda like expecting you FF's to tear them up!
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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I don't even want to look. As you know from going there, you can wait a few minutes for the Harley guys ahead of you to give you space, but within minutes you catch up to them, and then it's a leisurely cruiser convoy you find yourself stuck in. The sportbike riders will pass them, but it's dangerous as hell doing that, with all the blind curves. The best uninterrupted run I had was for those few miles behind the sportbike guys on the way back in.

I'd actually been there before in the car (it's a little less than an hour from where I live). I was looking forward to those pics but from what I recall I was stuck in one of those "Harley convoys" by the time I got to any of those photographers. What a cool job those photographers have, though.

The interesting thing is that although the "Tail of the Dragon" has the highest number of curves, the roads leading up to it have just as many, just not quite so condensed. In fact, coming from the south on 28, I hit quite a few prior to getting there that were amongst those I swore would have scraped a peg. This area is great for that kind of riding...a definite "must visit" for anyone who usually rides where it's flat and straight.
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:42 PM
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I was on the Dragon yesterday also... came up through Ga, NC.. across Wayah Rd.. never saw another Versys from Texas to Virginia.. a lot of great roads coming up...scrapped a boot once...Wayah Rd and the Snake both had gravel in the turns had to be very careful...

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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 10:31 PM
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Different kind of twisties.in CO. Mountain roads with lots of hair pins and switch backs. Scrape a peg a few times more a function of the road angle than the lean.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 11:02 PM
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tyres? - its the profile, not size. even within a 160 or 195 that's important.
Exactly, street oriented tyres has less aggressive / less rounded profile, less chicken stripe.


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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-20-2010, 01:43 AM
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So, I guess my question is this...is there a unique combination of factors that have to come together for the bike to be leaned to such an extreme angle that the pegs scrape?
No, not unique. A number of different scenarios may result in scraping. Some of the factors may be rider style, surface, camber, suspension setup etc. I have scraped the pegs on the V riding at 75% simply because I'm a bit heavy for the rear spring and while leaned over encountered road conditions that caused the rear to squat a bit more than I'd like.

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Taking the question even further...is that kind of riding "off the track" even safe?
I'm sure it's unsafe for some riders but since one can scrape a peg or drag a knee at relatively low speed if they know how it's not necessarily unsafe.

Dragging a knee is normally used by advanced riders as a gauge of lean angle. But not always. I've passed a lot of riders grinding pucks and parts while others I can't hang with don't stick a knee out at all.
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