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Old Yesterday, 11:40 AM   #1
Little_Buddy OP
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Eh? Supermoto guys - tell me about steering...

OK, I just bought a CRF230M, which is the "Supermoto" looking version of the CRF230L. It is just the right size for my fiancee, and should make a really good dualsport once I put some Shinko 244's on it.

But the handling is very strange... When I turn street intersections, it always wants to steer sharper than it needs to, causing me to have to hold the steering from turning sharper so I don't end up on the sidewalk.

I've not ridden a sportbike before, or any SM-style bike, just dual sports, but I've never had this happen... Turning can be done on all our other bikes with a very relaxed grip on the bars... Not the case with this one!!

Is this normal for SM conversion bikes? It's tricky at first to ride like this, that's for sure!! I'm getting used to it, but should I have to? The front tire doesn't look like it's worn funny, and I've tried dropping the pressure with virtually no effect... ??

If this is the handling that comes with the 17" front tire, I'm going to look for a 21"!! It just doesn't feel stable in low speed turns...

Thoughts please! :)
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Old Yesterday, 12:11 PM   #2
Jikkuria
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My Klx450 supermoto is very similar. They're designed for quick, and flickable handling, so it's no suprise that it likes to dive into turns. You'll find that you don't need to force it into turning, only to faintly think about it. Just go with the flow, you'll learn to love it.
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Old Yesterday, 12:12 PM   #3
dom1104
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Yep. Thats a "Feature".
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Old Yesterday, 01:00 PM   #4
LittleRedToyota
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yeah, it is mostly a function of the smaller front wheel.

you'll get used to it and maybe even start to like it.

but, if you put a 21" front wheel on it, it will handle more like what you are used to.

(btw, i find that SMs turn like you describe, but sportbikes--which i admittedly only have limited experience on--don't like to turn at all...very stable in straight lines, though. that is one reason i think SMs are much better than sport bikes for city street riding.)
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Old Yesterday, 01:11 PM   #5
davesupreme
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google rake and trail, and learn what it means.....

this is all about geometry..... 17's will shorten the trail from 21's....

sumo's w/17's work much better w/shorter triple clamps, extending the trail numbers..... dirtbikes are usually 20-22mm triples, which translates into real short trail w/17's....

will be terrifying if it headshakes at high speed....
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Old Yesterday, 01:34 PM   #6
JensEskildsen
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Too low airpressure up front will make the "problem" a lot worse, so check up on that.
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Old Yesterday, 02:09 PM   #7
Little_Buddy OP
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Ok, thanks guys! I understand rake and trail, but they don't change much by going to the 17" front... I think it loses 2 degrees of rake, and .5" of trail... Evidently they both must have a fairly big effect on the handling!!

I dropped the tail about an inch at lunch (Rear shock preload was CRANKED!) and that seems to settle it down a little. (Dropping the rear should add both rake and trail, right?)

I messed with tire pressure (tried 15psi vs. 29psi) and couldn't tell a difference.

I may drop it a little more (She's 5'4" & 115lb after dinner...) and see how she likes it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davesupreme View Post

will be terrifying if it headshakes at high speed....
Great! If it headshakes, she'll never get above 20mph again... (That was her top speed for a year on the TTR...)
Chris

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Old Yesterday, 06:38 PM   #8
SRG
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I bought a KTM 640 E a few years ago. It came with a set of 17" SM wheels. I don't remember what tires were on the SM wheels, but when I tried them out I got the same feeling you are describing. Whatever tires they were, if you looked at the front tire in cross section, it had quite a "conehead" shape to it. So as soon as you rolled off the center of the tire it would dive (more than you expected) to that side. I put a different set of tires on it, with a more "normal" rounded profile and while it was still quick to turn, the dive/darting was gone. I bet much of what of you are feeling is directly related to the shape of the front tire.
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Old Yesterday, 06:45 PM   #9
Albie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota View Post
(btw, i find that SMs turn like you describe, but sportbikes--which i admittedly only have limited experience on--don't like to turn at all...very stable in straight lines, though. that is one reason i think SMs are much better than sport bikes for city street riding.)
Yup sport bikes turn nothing like a sumo. Rake and trail are totally different.
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Old Yesterday, 11:53 PM   #10
Gryphon12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little_Buddy View Post
Ok, thanks guys! I understand rake and trail, but they don't change much by going to the 17" front... I think it loses 2 degrees of rake, and .5" of trail... Evidently they both must have a fairly big effect on the handling!!
2-degrees of rake is "huge" in motorcycle handling, and 0.5" trail is significant. You should never change the height of just one end of a motorcycle and expect stable handling. Another contributing factor will be tire profile, which can strongly affect turn-in. Seek a broader, rounder tire.
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