Riding Style - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Riding Style

So as of late I've been riding the V like a big supermoto. Brake late and hard, foot out, tight turn and romp out.

It feels a lot like my old DRZ SM. But a bit fatter. Anyone else out there tried riding the Versys like a big odd looking supermoto? Its got 6 inches of suspension, so why not?!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 08:20 AM
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yep, on the track on a training day with R1s and busa's and zx10's all around its a bit like riding a supermoto and its fun.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 08:24 AM
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Not me... At 66 I'm past all that. Although I do miss it... and anyway, I'm in Florida so there aren't ANY curves to lean into. I'm headed 450+ miles down to West Palm Beach from Panama City in a couple of weeks... that'll be a right turn, a left turn, another right turn and one last left turn.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 09:35 AM
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Not me... At 66 I'm past all that. Although I do miss it... and anyway, I'm in Florida so there aren't ANY curves to lean into. I'm headed 450+ miles down to West Palm Beach from Panama City in a couple of weeks... that'll be a right turn, a left turn, another right turn and one last left turn.
That's funny! I remember my days in Tampa while assigned at MacDill - lots of straight and flat roads, and the infamous Dale Mabry Blvd - touted as the longest parking lot in the country. As I recall, the highest road elevation in Tampa was a freeway overpass.

Have a safe trip and be mindful of the "near-deads" tottering along the roads in their Caddies and Town Cars. BTW, that's a group we aren't old enough to qualify for just yet.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 09:53 AM
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Not me... At 66 I'm past all that. Although I do miss it... and anyway, I'm in Florida so there aren't ANY curves to lean into. I'm headed 450+ miles down to West Palm Beach from Panama City in a couple of weeks... that'll be a right turn, a left turn, another right turn and one last left turn.
In Orlando go to the Sugar Loaf, and then came down on the old SR17. You will find curves and hills.




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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 10:33 AM
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I ride my bike like a cruiser, upright, brake before the corner, slow in and power on out.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 11:55 AM
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Trail Braking

Like some on this site I've found I wear out my front tires before my rears. I think some it has to do with my riding style.

When braking into tight corners I find I ease up on the brakes right before turn initiation but only release the front brake after the initiation, carrying light braking into the first quarter of the turn and gradually releasing the brake lever. I was doing this without really thinking about what I was doing. I found turn in is easier this way and it just feels smoother and more natural.

For a while I thought I was doing it all wrong and consciously tried to be off the brakes completely before turning. When I did this though I found suddenly releasing the brakes just before turn initiation would cause the front forks to pop up and turn initiation felt more difficult and less smooth.

Cycle World has an article this month on riding technique and describes what I have been doing as trail braking and in fact recommends it for spirited riding. I've been trail braking and just never knew there was a word for it or that it was a recommended technique, who knew? According to the article the partly compressed forks aid in turn in, as they provide quicker steering geometry, and the extra weight (from the forward weight transfer) apparently increases the front tire contact patch and front wheel adhesion. The downside as mentioned is increase tire wear on the front tire off center.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 02:58 PM
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The seating position is so similar to my KLR650 it originally felt like I should be riding it dirt/moto style. In neighborhood and parking lot size areas it makes sense. I soon found that anywhere I'm up to speed and cornering, its still not a supermoto. Its a Ninja with a little more suspension and handles better ridden as a street sportbike. Yep, that's my opinion.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 10:04 PM
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When braking into tight corners I find I ease up on the brakes right before turn initiation but only release the front brake after the initiation, carrying light braking into the first quarter of the turn and gradually releasing the brake lever. I was doing this without really thinking about what I was doing. I found turn in is easier this way and it just feels smoother and more natural.

***snip***

Cycle World has an article this month on riding technique and describes what I have been doing as trail braking and in fact recommends it for spirited riding.
Yep, as I was reading your comment, I was thinking, "That's a classic definition of trail braking." Racers do it all the time. It steepens the angle of the front fork, as you read in the article, and makes it easier to turn.

Of course there is one potential downside, in addition to tire wear, that you did not mention. If you ever combine trail braking that uses 41 percent of available traction with cornering that requires 60 percent of available traction, you'll lose the front.

Then, just as you learned trail braking all on your own, you'll learn "lowside" all on your own.

So be careful out there.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 10:11 PM
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Anyone else out there tried riding the Versys like a big odd looking supermoto?
A few years back, I made a strategic decision. See, I've been a street guy my whole life, but part of me said I should be a well-rounded motorcyclist, so for a while I owned a dual-sport, tried to ride some mild off-pavement routes, even wrote an article about taking an adventure riding training course.

But I decided in the end that I would be better off honing my limited skills in one direction, rather than diluting them by trying to be mediocre at everything. So, bottom line, since I've got far more laps around race tracks behind me than I do miles on true off-road trails, I abandoned any hope of mastering supermoto style riding. When riding briskly, whether on my Versys (where it's an option) or my Daytona 675 (where it's natural), I hang off mildly. I want to keep that skill and muscle memory working.

Not to say roadracing style is faster or better on a Versys than supermoto style, but it's what I know.

Foot out, knee down, it's all good.

Whitehorse Press is going out of business so it's time for a final sale. Signed copies of my book are now $10 with free shipping in the U.S. while they last.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 10:29 PM
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 02:02 PM
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@Freerydejunky
Try shedding some weight: exhaust fairing left+right, top fairing left+right (but not the inner one), passenger peg + support frame (the er6 is fine without it), windshield + windshield mount, and less fuel. It really does make a difference!

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