Poor Throttle Control - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Poor Throttle Control

Iíve been struggling to roll off the throttle at low speeds, say 20mph, and be smooth. As soon as I think about rolling off there is violent engine braking and the front forks dive. Itís almost like hitting a wall. Iím wondering if anyone else suffers this or is it just that I suck?

Iíve had the Versys for 3 months and before that I had a maxi-scoot which encouraged poor throttle control (no engine braking and slow acceleration). Iíve gotten a whole lot better in these 3 months but this slow speed stuff is still killing me. Took the Total Control class last weekend and one of the first exercises was easing on and off the throttle at slow speeds. Aim was to be smooth enough that the front forks did not compress much. Needless to say I sucked at this and the instructor made some excuses for me, parallel twins being twitchy and the long suspension travel exaggerating the effect. Canít help feeling I could be better but itís proving awfully difficult. Iím also worried Iím developing bad habits as I find it upsets the bike less to chop the throttle completely and get back on to where I want to be rather than just easing off it a little bit.

Any tips, suggestions on how to get better at this?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 12:25 PM
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In regular riding, outside the class environment.
If your describing what I think you are, and assuming the bike is in good mechanical condition.
Clutch Modulation
Helps eliminate possible throttle position/speed twitching at slow speed.
I have found it mandatory in certain circumstances.
The bike with the clutch out will not go below a certain speed. The next few mph above that, the throttle position/speed is so sensitive without modulating the clutch to disconnect the engine input the bikes can "pulse" or "twitch". If the deccel and accel through this phase is short it will not be apparent. Don't sweat it will be instinctual for you soon.

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Last edited by cmoreride; 05-23-2011 at 05:57 PM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 12:47 PM
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I'm struggling with some similar issues, and haven't found my solution yet. Something that seems to help a little on decel is to keep the throttle cracked open a tiny bit during downshifts. Reduces the engine braking, of which the Versys seems to have a LOT. It's been tricky so far, though; the throttle feels very sensitive at small openings.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alba View Post
As soon as I think about rolling off there is violent engine braking and the front forks dive. Itís almost like hitting a wall.


Doesn't sound normal to me, my '09 rolls in and out of the throttle pretty clean. Any chance one of the Seattle riders can lend a hand?

Good for you taking the TC-ARC, that throttle must have made it a bitch though!

Rob
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmoreride View Post
If your describing what I think you are.
Clutch Modulation
Helps eliminate possible throttle position/speed pulse at slow speed.
I have found I mandatory.
+1 on this. I grab the clutch at low speed and feather when I need a little push to keep rolling.

Good for you for taking the class.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 01:40 PM
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I found the versys to be substantially better at low speed handling than any of my previous bikes.

Just give it some juice on the right hand and be very patient with the left. It will roll and if you need more stability, let out the clutch a little to get a tiny push

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 01:44 PM
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What gear and RPMs are you at when you are experiencing this? Sounds like you need to be in a higher gear to me.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 02:39 PM
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The Total Control class teaches setting speed for corner entry with the throttle; they have you slowly reduce throttle to a walking pace, then slowly roll back into it. Coasting in on the clutch and the brakes gets you a scolding!
When I took the class there was one guy who just couldn't get his bike to do it, an early generation KTM 990 Super-Duke. He went home at lunch and got his new Hyper-Motard. Bastard.
I was on an SV650 and it did OK, not great. To me the Fuel Injection on the Versys is a lot better than that of the SV, not just more grunt on the bottom but much smoother in and out of the throttle as well. I think Alba's bike is F'd up.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I'm willing to admit it could be my heavy handedness on the throttle that is the problem. I have 26,000 miles of bad habits to unlearn so it might just take a little more time to get the hang of it. Next time I'm out with Seattle folks I'll see if they think it's the bike or not, but if no-one else really experiences this then I'm sure it's all me.

Reading through some of the responses, I'm not talking about walking speed here. Anywhere from 15 through 35 mph I experience this but the faster I'm going the easier it gets. Not sure what gear I would be in but I'm typically around 4000rpm at those sort of speeds. As part of the TC-ARC class we were riding around a 40ft circle in 2nd gear (not sure of the speed). I was doing everything perfect but again my throttle control let me down. Instructor told me to shift up to 3rd and it got much easier. Thinking I just need to keep practicing and maybe shift up sooner.

Last edited by alba; 05-23-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 04:41 PM
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I've noticed this too...the Versys has heavy engine braking and it is very tough in the lower gears to keep everything smooth. Some have switched to a 44 tooth rear sprocket and said that it helps with this problem...anyone want to chime in?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 04:56 PM
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Adjust your throttle cable slack, if excessive. Also, I found my main throttle sensor to be a bit under spec for voltage output. Rotating it counterclockwise by about a millimeter cured the lean surge, especially near 2800 rpm at low throttle opening. The vacuum hose mod also helps smooth out throttle response. It does run perfectly, and I never have to feather the clutch or use a special technique to overcome any driveability glitch.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:01 PM
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There is still a good amount of engine braking with the 44T but certainly better than stock. If you're worried about walking pace maneuvering I tend to drag the back brake while still on the throttle a bit to balance things out so you're not constantly adjusting the clutch in and out. Not sure if thats considered better technique than using the clutch more?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:03 PM
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It's better to tune and adjust it properly, so that no special riding tricks are neccessary.

Last edited by invader; 05-23-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:07 PM
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Haha, crazy talk I say!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
Adjust your throttle cable slack, if excessive. Also, I found my main throttle sensor to be a bit under spec for voltage output. Rotating it counterclockwise by about a millimeter cured the lean surge, especially near 2800 rpm at low throttle opening. The vacuum hose mod also helps smooth out throttle response. It does run perfectly, and I never have to feather the clutch or use a special technique to overcome any driveability glitch.
Hey invader, where's that throttle sensor you mentioned located?
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:24 PM
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Instead of going through the throuble of measuring TPS output voltage, you can try rotating your main throttle sensor by almost 1mm by relating to the green index mark. You can then rotate subthrottle sensor also counterclockwise to reduce cold-engine fast-idle rpm if desired...

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=1412

Look at the main (grey) throttle sensor's green alignment mark on its front from near your front left flasher, and note how it ligns up. Loosen sensor screw with T25 Torx tool. Rotate sensor counterclockwise by about half a millimeter as seen on pic. Adjust, then tighten Torx screw. Main throttle sensor's new position:



Main throttle sensor Torx screw:



Fast idle may then be higher. You can rotate subthrottle sensor (black, just above main throttle sensor) also counterclockwise with T25 Torx screw to reduce cold fast-idle rpm. I rotated mine to its maximum counterclockwise position, to which it was already near. Subthrottle sensor's new position:



This also smooths out throttle response at low speeds. The left TB's left IAP sensor hose fitting bore is larger than in the two TB vacuum access fittings. A 6" long, 1/8" ID hose on both TB vacuum access fittings which originally had the rubber caps on, works perfectly.



According to service manual:

"Throttle Grip Free Play: 2-3 mm
If the throttle grip doesn’t return properly, check the throttle cable routing, grip free play, and cable damage. Then lubricate the throttle cable.
To adjust, loosen the locknut at the upper end of the accelerator cable. (under throttle grip) Turn the adjuster in completely so as to give the throttle grip plenty of play. Loosen the locknut at the middle of the decelerator cable. (see pic) Turn the adjuster until there is no play when the throttle grip is completely closed. Tighten the locknut. Turn the accelerator cable adjuster until the proper amount of throttle grip free play is obtained. Tighten the locknut."

You can easily pull the mid-cable adjuster that runs over the engine, adjust it then check with cable back up in its natural position. Shown here with locknut loosened and backed up to the right:


Last edited by invader; 06-07-2011 at 02:58 PM.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:32 PM
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Thanks invader!
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 10:01 PM
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I wish the V has a 1.5 gear, as the 1st is geared too low for slow speed and the 2nd is too high for slow speed. I had to adapt by balancing the throttle and clutch while on 1st gear, and 44T will be coming in soon.

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alba View Post
Iíve been struggling to roll off the throttle at low speeds, say 20mph, and be smooth. As soon as I think about rolling off there is violent engine braking and the front forks dive. Itís almost like hitting a wall. Iím wondering if anyone else suffers this or is it just that I suck?
Mine does exactly the same. Both a blessing and a curse. Great for corners when using gears and no brakes, it slows quicker than using the back brake. But there is no coasting slowly to a stop. If you don't use the clutch or very fine throttle adjustment (I have trouble judging this) you end up stopping way before you need to.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 10:17 PM
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At first I though the versys throttle was a little twitchy. Once I got used to it I had no problem at any speed. Now I appreciate the quick throttle response. Especially at low traffic speeds. Little bit of clutch modulation and the use of the rear break to keep rpm at the right range solves any issues. After a while you wont even think about it.
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