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Old 09-23-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
CanadaBiker OP
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Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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F650GS Twin - Cornering question.

I just bought an 09 F650GS, and I just love this bike. Everyday that I head out to ride it, I get excited. However, I'm still trying to get a feel for the way it corners on twisty pavement, or even slower speeds around town. To back up a bit: For the past few years, I have been riding a classic Honda CB550. I could flop that bike into the corners easy peasy. It actually flopped over too much if I wasn't paying attention. It obviously had other handling deficiencies compared to the 650 Twin, but overall, it was just a real blast.

The 650 is just great on the highway. It tracks solid as a rock at high speed, eats the bumps like nothing and inspires a much greater sense of overall confidence that my previous bike. However, I can't get it stuffed into the corners as easily. It always feels like it wants to stay standing up and track straight. I feel like I need to square off the corners and get it turned all at once vs a nice tight rip-thru. My BW tires will need replacing pretty soon--the rear has a decent flat middle, and the front is starting to cup, but would that 'flattened out' rear really keep the bike from flopping into the corners?

I know the bike is longer and taller, but still... Maybe I just need more time in the saddle, or I need to get more aggressive with the bike. I have about 2k kms on it so far. I've ridden bikes here and there my entire life, including a bit of a career in motocross and dirt track, so it's not like I'm new to the sport. My dad rode it yesterday. He's a longtime BMW guy, but mostly RT bikes. First time on a 'dual sport' beemer. He loved the bike, but also noticed the cornering characteristics.

Anyway, sorry, longwinded just to ask if I need to get tougher with the bike, or if maybe the tires are the culprit.

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Old 09-23-2012, 07:43 AM   #2
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New tires will solve the problem.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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Must be the tires. I feel more confident on mine than I did on my old CBR. The bike feels very light and can easily be thrown into turns.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Monterey, CA
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I definately noticed poor handling on mine when my stock tires became pretty worn (10700 miles on them). Cornering suffered and you seem to feel every imperfection on the road. Like stated above, get new tires and will feel like a new bike.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NaMi View Post
New tires will solve the problem.
I'll second NaMi. Especially the rear which is more likely to be squared off. How many miles on your tires now?
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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Location: Wa
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My 658 corners like its on rails even with TKC knobbies.
Maybe add preload to the rear for better turn in...
IMO the 658 carves well and has good motor for accelerating out.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:04 AM   #7
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I think it really sounds like an underperforming suspension issue. The factory comes with a somewhat underwhelming soft ride. The Ricor intimidators with new aftermarker springs (Hyperpro, etc) for the front and nice aftermarket rear shock (Olins, etc) you'd have a different bike under you.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:55 AM   #8
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I had the same feeling while cornering when I got my 2011.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:32 AM   #9
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The bike has 18k kms, which makes me think the Battle Wings are original. I know that's at the end of the life of the tires. The tread is not terrible, but the rear is 'flat'. I just got back from a few days of a road-trip. The bike was fully loaded, including camping gear across the back of the seat. I got into some nice twisty stuff, and I pushed the bike a bit more -- it seemed to track better in the corners. I think the added weight settled the bike somewhat allowing it to stay going where I point it. So maybe a combination of tires and getting the rear suspension set better for unloaded riding.

Thinking about putting on the Anakee 2. (but I know tires can be a big big subject with lots of personal opinion and driving conditions)
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:34 PM   #10
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Once the rear tire is flattened and becomes squared off handling becomes funky,veven if there's plenty of rubber left on the thread.

Sounds like you need new tires. But also make sure the tire pressure is set correctly and the rear shock preload is adjusted to your weight, load, etc.

The preload adjustment is easy and you can experiment till you get it right for you. It's set soft at the factory.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:37 AM   #11
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
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My 650 goes round corners really, really well. The original Battlewings were fine, but once they got worn down, performance really became sketchy. Going to a TKC80 on the front and a Pirelli Scorpion on the rear, I thought performance in corners might suffer. I had nothing to worry about. In fact, I think I've thrown it around corners harder with the knobbies on!
The bike should track just fine, check the tyres as a first step.
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