Edit: (Adding some background info). I was in love with the bike at first sight/ride. I still love it. However, from the get go, something was just a bit off with the steering. The bike had a ding on the tank so the previous owner might have laid it down. I was riding this bike after a two year break from riding (changing continents and all) and I lowsided on the second day having entered a tightening curve too hot and hitting the brake (!). It was very low speed. But that was not to be the end of it. At the end of first week, another curve, higher speed this time and the same scenario. At this point I had no confidence in my or the bike's leaning ability so another moment of hesitation ended up with braking a more violent lowside. The handlebar was bent among other things. At this point it had the stock Dunlops on it. Those tires felt like the bike was on ice the whole time. After the second incident I replaced them with the Syncs. They are better except for the issues below. The handlebar was first straightened. Visually it was back to it's original shape but the ailgnment was off. I ordered and had put in a brand new OEM handlebar but I think the alignment issue remained. I think the main problem is that the mechanics here have pretty low expectations themselves and are unable to appreciate more subtle issues. So anyway, this is the story. (Sorry it's so long)
Hey guys. Although I have been riding a while I am really not well versed with actual "hardware" side of bikes. This 2007 Versys I bought used, which according to all sources should be a real twisty killer, a seriously stable ride and a bike that stops on a dime, my experience is somewhat different. I am pretty sure there's some sort of alignment/suspension issue and I want to be properly educated before I go to the shop -again. (They say it's fine since the mechanic only did a few short runs).
First issue: When properly squeezing the front brake lever, the bike should come to a straight stop and try to cause a stoppie right? What makes the front wheel slip to one side at max braking? (Scary)
Second: At higher speeds when using the front brake there's a noticeable shake like the bike is going on rippled tarmac. What's this?
Third: When I lean more than 1inch worth of chicken strips (about 1000 miles on Pirelli Pilot Syncs I had the shop install last year) and apply stable - slightly increasing- throttle, the rear loses traction for a second before recovering. (Very scary)
Fourth: The rear brake locks up readily. As far as I can tell by browsing this forum, this is normal.
Fifth: When leaning into curves, it feels like counter-steering is fighting with me. I push it one way but the bike tries to pull the other.
What I've done. I've loosened both front and rear suspension and dumping. It helped. My tires are pumped up to 32/36 psi. I noticed some actual misalignment looking at the handlebar which I've fixed by loosening the tee clamps and pulling on the forks. (Later "fine tuning" by bumping a high sidewalk). Following todays' session, I got it as straight as I can and the bike rode much better than before. The issue with front tire slippage remains.
Extra info: When I let go of the handlebar, the bike steers straight, doesn't pull to either side.
I would appreciate some comments. I am planning to go to the shop again tomorrow. I do not really trust that they will do a good job unless I tell them exactly what to look at and stand by their side while they do it. Alternative places offer a similar service so it's all up to me. I don't really have much tools or experience to perform much of these checks/modifications myself. What is going on?