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Old 06-28-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
haggis mctavish OP
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going in too hot

I am a hacker with Suzuki vl1500 heavy hack on the left, standard forks, with about 20k klms experience . being of advanced years I ride in a conservative nature however I can fly the chair in a parking lot and know when the chair is lifting.

however

I gave myself a big fright recently when I tried to attack a twisty road with a bit more enthusiasm than usual. A long sweeping left hander doing about 100 ks when I realized the bend was tightening on me more than I realized. my memory of my reaction is as follows

hard on the brakes to reduce speed however realized I was not going to make the bend and focused on a tree in the scrub where I estimated I would end up.by this time I was on the incorrect side of the road and would be dead meat should an oncoming vehicle arrive.

decided on one last effort, off the brakes all my strength into hard left on the bars we avoided the scrub just managed to stay on the road and with good fortune rather than good management managed to return to the correct side of the road unscathed

I would appreciate advice on the following

at no time did I think that tightening my line and flying the chair was an option . was it an option for me

I got off the brakes before my final steering input as it made turning the bars left easier. is this correct or should I have continued braking whilst steering

any other thoughts on my initial mistake and subsequent recovery

I have come to the conclusion that riding a hack at anything close to the limit is far more demanding than riding a solo to the same limits.

I have now returned to my sedate riding style but will be interested on members thoughts on my close call
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #2
madeouttaglass
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Hi Haggis, Welcome to ADV. I have roughly the same amount of hack miles under me. Although mine is on the other side, I've found a method that has worked well for me. If I feel a bit too hot turning to the right (Where my hack is) I concentrate on the line I want the hack wheel to follow. This might not work for others but for me it is the right kind of "target fixation". It takes my mind off all the other things going on including possible oncoming traffic. This idea occurred to me when I was playing with my Gear Up in the Smokie Mountains and the Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap. I feel it made me faster and smoother.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
cleatusj
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I've found that extra throttle will squat the drive tire more and help keep from flying too high, but afterwards I need to remove the seat cover from the neither regions.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
SwampFox883R
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A technique to help keep the 3rd wheel down when turning towards the sidecar is to:
1) shift you weight inside the "triangle" -- load the inside foot peg; and
2) apply a little front brake while maintaining throttle -- in more extreme riding, you can make to back tire slip a little to bring the rig around the turn.
Both are necessary when riding my Sporster rig w/empty chair at even a slightly spirited pace.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:31 AM   #5
cleatusj
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Lee, I think you explained it better, I.E.[in more extreme riding, slip the tire, by applying throttle to break drive tire loose.]
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
Wolfgang55
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In Motion

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampFox883R View Post
A technique to help keep the 3rd wheel down is to:
1) shift you weight inside the "triangle" -- load the inside foot peg; and 2) apply front break while maintaining throttle -- in more extreme riding, you can make to back tire slip a little to bring the rig around the turn.
Both are necessary when riding my Sporster rig w/empty chair at even a slightly spirited pace.
I think this is the best & simplest expression of what to do. At least for me too. This works for me so well. The fast transfer of drivers weight has been my main helping factor. I can feel the rear tire slip or shift to a better ''line''.

But usually I always shift my weight now, even if I don't need the extra stability.
Reason here is that I want to stay in the habit of riding ''in motion''. Meaning I am actively adjusting my weight left & right.

I also ask my passenger(s) to join in the riding experience by anticipating our turns. Most catch on right away & tell be later their experience as a passenger is a lot more fun than just sitting there.

Would like to add, Carson our first choice ''monkey'', a Labrador, really gets into the leaning.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #7
Tarka
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You were lucky there.
Target fixation is the major factor in most of the single vehicle bike crashes, such as your sunny day crotch rocket riders going across bends and through walls,into trees or free falling off bridges on corners into the valley below.
You were fixated on tree and had decided you weren`t going to make the bend...hence you were heading for the tree...as you generally go where you`re looking.

I,like most combo riders,have been in similar situations where I`ve found myself going in too hot...usually in a sequence of regular bends where one is suddenly tighter and I failed to observe the harsher 'vanishing point' of the hedges/trees/walls which give you a visual indication of the sharper bend if it wasn`t clearly visible any other way.

In these instances I`d definitely not grab or bias the front brake as has been suggested above,because that could cause the front end to tuck in and maybe lead to lifting the rear and flipping the combo....you definitely don`t want that to happen.

By all means close the throttle and brake as hard as you can on the approach,getting off the front while ultimately biasing the rear...then stop braking and get back on the throttle while focusing on the true exit point of the bend.
You`ll get round just fine...okay,the chair may well lift,but just keep the throttle smoothly opening and even if you ride it round on two wheels you`ll make it.

Been there...done it...due to a nasty negative camber left hand bend (remember folks,UK sided combo) midway through a set of regular ones while riding one of my Urals 3-up with loads of camping gear and the bastard still lifted the chair....but we made it okay.

Braking in the bend and especially hitting the front could well be a killer.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:21 PM   #8
Mechanista
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I think they call it "trail braking", what was described above. It does help a little, (unless it is in the liquor store parking lot).
I have also noticed that when coming into a corner "too hot" that the steering does get easier while flying the car, and that it is not the end of the line as far as controllability goes. It is sometimes hard to convince myself that I'm not going to crash at that point.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
DRONE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanista View Post
I think they call it "trail braking", what was described above. It does help a little, (unless it is in the liquor store parking lot).
I have also noticed that when coming into a corner "too hot" that the steering does get easier while flying the car, and that it is not the end of the line as far as controllability goes. It is sometimes hard to convince myself that I'm not going to crash at that point.
The steering gets easier when flying the car in a tight turn? That's gotta be something that's not the same for all rigs. If I fly the car in a tight right (my car is on the right), the rig immediately goes straight. I can't control the bars. And I'm a big guy with fairly powerful build and strong hands. Of course, going straight in a tight right means you are gonna go over the left shoulder pretty quick unless you get the car back down and regain control. DAMHIK. But that's on my rig. As a result, I do everything I can to keep the car down.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:00 PM   #10
Old Mule
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hot corners

Sounds like your outfit has soft modern suspension, plenty of ground clearance?
Weight transfer can be disconcerting when you got in too hot...
A street outfit with limited fork and shock travel and very small sidecar suspension behaves pretty well in that situation...
Getting on the throttle hard in those turns toward the chair works pretty well, if the outfit doesn't lurch around too much...
I only wish my outfit had enough horsepower to break the rear tire loose on dry pavement!
Sure is interesting to read others' ideas about fast sidecar driving.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #11
claude
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It is always good to try and increase one's personal skill envelope. How? Practice in a safe place a little above your personal comfort zone. This type of thing is an act of doing ourselves and possibly our loved ones a favor. It is important for all of us to try and get to know how our outfit will react under various conditions and how we can possibly ramp up our skill levels a little at a time.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
The steering gets easier when flying the car in a tight turn? That's gotta be something that's not the same for all rigs. If I fly the car in a tight right (my car is on the right), the rig immediately goes straight. I can't control the bars. And I'm a big guy with fairly powerful build and strong hands. Of course, going straight in a tight right means you are gonna go over the left shoulder pretty quick unless you get the car back down and regain control. DAMHIK. But that's on my rig. As a result, I do everything I can to keep the car down.
Hello Drone. Try going around in a circle and either keep increasing your speed or possibly better yet keep making the circle smaller and smaller. When the sidecar comes up just keep on doing what you were doing . Over correcting when a sidecar comes off the ground will make the rig go straight and can be a disaster.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:09 PM   #13
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practice in a safe place
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:13 PM   #14
DRONE
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Originally Posted by claude View Post
Hello Drone. Try going around in a circle and either keep increasing your speed or possibly better yet keep making the circle smaller and smaller. When the sidecar comes up just keep on doing what you were doing . Over correcting when a sidecar comes off the ground will make the rig go straight and can be a disaster.
Tried. Can't do it. Soon as the wheel lifts off I go straight. I can balance it straight but can't get it to turn right. I can yank hard on the bars and get it to wobble a little, but that's it. Maybe it's not my rig--maybe it's me. Bad right knee and difficult to transfer much weight to the right peg -- even when hanging off I can't press down hard.

Now that I think about it, I couldn't do it with one of Vernon's lightweight rigs when I took his class. I could fly straight and left, but not right. So I guess maybe it's me and my knee.

Anybody else have the same problem?
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:13 AM   #15
claude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
Tried. Can't do it. Soon as the wheel lifts off I go straight. I can balance it straight but can't get it to turn right. I can yank hard on the bars and get it to wobble a little, but that's it. Maybe it's not my rig--maybe it's me. Bad right knee and difficult to transfer much weight to the right peg -- even when hanging off I can't press down hard.

Now that I think about it, I couldn't do it with one of Vernon's lightweight rigs when I took his class. I could fly straight and left, but not right. So I guess maybe it's me and my knee.

Anybody else have the same problem?
Drone....Try it slow in a small circle without hanging off. Your knee may be bad but that should not be the issue. I have seen a friend with no right leg do it...so?
The only reason I am saying this to you is that IF you were to get into a situation where the sidecar came up in a right turn with no notice (hitting a road kill, rock or log in road, too much speed for a decreasing radius turn or whatever) you DO NOT want to go straight. Going straight can lead to evil things on the other side of the centerline.
As far as hanging off goes it is not a bad thing but basically all you are doing is transferring a little more weight to the sidecar side. No magic here at all. Everything that a sidecar outfit will do it will still do just at a possibly higher speed. If you can put a scale under each wheel and measure wheel weights in various seating positions you can see just how much weight does transfer when you hang off.
One possible negative to hanging off on some rigs for some people is that the reach to the left handlebar grip is too far for some in a tight turn. Also it is important to be aware that turning the bars can result in throttle position changes due to the right hand motion. Those who have the flat type wrist rests need to be very aware of this in left or right turns. They can be dangerous...sorry to drift off topic here.
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