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Old 03-12-2014, 05:27 AM   #16
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:11 AM   #17
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How does one define better handling ?

I find that 17" wheels are "twitchy" compared to a 19" sure, its quicker turn in with a 17", and a 19" requires lightly more effort

I personally don't think that is any better handling, but worse, its much easier to be smooth with the larger wheel IMHO
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:17 AM   #18
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wonder why almost all really sporty bikes have 17 inch front wheels then.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
wonder why almost all really sporty bikes have 17 inch front wheels then.
1. Motorcycle magazine "shootouts" and the need to avoid the motojournalists' perception of slow steering vs. competitors, no matter how slight. I've never seen "stability" emphasized over "flickability" in the sportbike class.

2. Space/height/CG: The available frontal area above and behind the forks of a faired, liquid cooled spotebike is minumal. The bike must retain full lock-to-lock steering range even at full fork compression. 17" fits easier. It also helps bring CG/height down to improve the "specs" published in the above shootouts (and performance, so doubt).

3. The 17" is just better - but DURING actual use in the narrowly focused mission of the "really sporty" bikes. Broader-use machines are better served by more generalized 19" wheels/rubber. [??]

4. Hellifiknow!

My '85 R80 (hardly a sportbike) turns in and swaps directions very nicely with light imputs wearing a 17" Bridgestone Battlax on a dual-disk OEM cast alum rim. Delightful combo, but that tire/rim sucks on dirt roads. I'd like to wrap a 19" dual-disk spoke rim with a more dirt oriented tread (plus something spoked/larger/"dirtier" for the rear) and just swap wheels depending on my ride destinations for the day. A two-in-one bike, convertible to the appropriate mission for the day in about 15 minutes.

some 19" rims would also raise the bike a little, but affect on-road traction and steering speed/flickability/stability. But not so badly as to make me take them off when i KNOW I'm headed for dirt. Compromises!

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Old 03-12-2014, 09:51 AM   #20
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Tiger 800 is what I'm going to look at, from what I understand it handles and goes not like a pure sportbike, but a damn fine turning/handling bike, which is what I'm after. Anyone confirm?
Pretty interesting review over here:

http://www.tiger800.co.uk/index.php/...road_test.html

One thing I thought was interesting was the lack of front end dive they noted. I bet most bikes with 19" fronts have longer travel suspension, and the fork dive that usually comes with it. Since Triumph seems to have worked that out, it may go a long way toward improved handling with a 19.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:02 PM   #21
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I don't think anything corners better than a motard...they make you feel like superman. They just don't have the power to catch anything on a straights.


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Back on topic, I really like the 800.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by randyo View Post
How does one define better handling ?

I find that 17" wheels are "twitchy" compared to a 19" sure, its quicker turn in with a 17", and a 19" requires lightly more effort

I personally don't think that is any better handling, but worse, its much easier to be smooth with the larger wheel IMHO

Yeah and a 19 is twitchy compared to a 21. And a 21 with a 110 tire would be smooth, you bet, so smooth you can't turn in quick enough if going at a brisk pace to not be high effort steering.

Everything depends on what one is seeking. I personally prefer quick handling, that which others might call "twitchy", but I've ridden "smooth" and they seldom turn in as quick as I personally prefer. I prefer sportbike/supermoto/dual sport quick (yes, most dual sports turn in really quick considering the 3.00-21), but that is MY preference, not yours.

It is all a give and take. Same with fork rake and trail. Rake the bike way out and have lots of trail and you can really be smooth, but it will corner like a battleship.

Fact is you could rake out a 17 to have stability like a 21 and vice versa. It is all about geometry as well as wheel size.

The beauty of a 17 is you can run a 120/80 width without the tire weighing near as much as if you ran a 120/80-21. Less rotating mass. You also keep handling quickness. Ever notice the tires used on a 19 are usually 100/90 or 110/90? On a 17 they're 110/80 or 120/80. They are wider, but will steer at least as quick and be as light in rotating mass as the 19. The 19 will usually steer a bit slower because it is a larger diameter offsetting the narrower width when it comes to steering performance.

As you see, it isn't quite as simple as 17, 18, 19. You need to take all things into account in the size values. That is why the bigger bikes like the old Gold Wings ran 18s with wider tires than the smaller bikes with the 19s and narrower tires. They both end up around the same diameter when the width and profile come into play and the steering stays managable. Had they done a wide 19 the steering would have slowed tremendously.

I can speak from experience too on the width. I went from a 100/90-18 to a 110/90-18 on my old MotoGuzzi and the steering went from stable, but reasonable to handling like a truck - slooooooow. I used that knowledge when I wanted to quicken the steering of my old Wing standard, going one width smaller but one profile taller , from a 120/80-18 to a 110/80-18. The steering really quickened up and was much lighter feeling. Did the same again on my Zephyr, but with profile this time, going from a 110/80 to a 110/70 to increase quickness of steering. That was the goal for me - quick steering.

The OP should think about what is wanted and what will provide it. Quick may warrant the 17. More middle road to slow steering would be an 18 or 19 - but again, it all depends on the rake and trail. The drop in the front end would offset some of the slow down in handling. If the rear was dropped an equivalent amount then the handling would be slow and "smooth". Lots of tricks can be done with tires and rims.
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markk53 screwed with this post 03-13-2014 at 12:31 PM
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Colorado_Rider View Post
I'm wondering if you can feel the front of the bike load up and feel the front tire dig into those glorious canyon bands the way you can on a bike with a 17".
No ...
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:23 AM   #24
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No ...

How would you know - Columbus... start of the flatlands!




I have no doubt you do ride south and east of Columbus though. Just had to gig you.

I will tell you I got a bit of environmental shock moving from eastern Ohio to Delaware... damn is it flat and straight around here!

I still go east quite often to encounter real winding roads. I do need to screw around the back roads here to see what's close, but ain't nothing gonna be like east Ohio (or south) where the real rides are.

Oh, and yes, I can feel my front wheel working fine on my 650 dual sport... it's a 90/90-21. And I can ride with the boys on their supermotos, so it's not imagined. It worked quite well on SR536, kind of Ohio's version of Deal's Gap, but less patrolled and higher speed limit - if you can go that fast.
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Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

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Old 03-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #25
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By the way; I don't recommend an 18" front. The tire choices are very very limited. I used a rear tire in a tread pattern that was the same front and back.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:35 AM   #26
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OK, here's a related question. Since these bikes with a 19 or 21, are almost always a taller bike, do these taller bikes tend to fall into corners at a certain point? I thought I noticed this on a Tiger 1050 and actually like it. Could the same be said for something like a Explorer 1200?
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:09 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Colorado_Rider View Post
OK, here's a related question. Since these bikes with a 19 or 21, are almost always a taller bike, do these taller bikes tend to fall into corners at a certain point? I thought I noticed this on a Tiger 1050 and actually like it. Could the same be said for something like a Explorer 1200?

Obviously any bike with a higher center of mass would tip in easier, sheer leverage from the contact point of the road to that center of mass. Higher will tend to start to fall in quicker, all else equal. Much like a smaller diameter tire will turn in quicker than a larger one, all else equal. And a narrower tire will turn in quicker than a wider one, all else equal.

There are so many variables in steering that it just gets nuts to try to figure every detail out when combined. Evaluating one thing at a time helps a bit.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:24 AM   #28
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I don't care about performance in the dirt. What I do care about is my teeth chattering on our miserable Colorado roads so I'm nearly ready to start looking at longer travel bikes that nearly always come with a 19"er.

So my basic question is, how does a 19" compare when entering a corner? I'm not really talking about how easily it turns in, or how quickly, or even how much feel you lose. I'm wondering if you can feel the front of the bike load up and feel the front tire dig into those glorious canyon bands the way you can on a bike with a 17".

Also does anyone make a really good street tire in a 19?
It depends on the bike and a rider. It's a definite win on the LUMPY tight back roads around here with a DL650 when compared to sports bikes. Just a lot more forgiving so I can take lines that would be suicidal on a sports bike. Problem is, your riding style will have to change to make it work and with the DL it only works where there are no long straights - I can't compete where power gives a significant advantage.

You can get O.K. street tires in 19", really good, maybe not. Doesn't make as much difference since I'm not relying as much on edge grip, more on my ability to ignore the lumps, potholes, scattered gravel and other crap on the road.

Personally, I'd suggest going for a smaller bike with a 19" rather than one of the litre plus monsters. It's not power that'll keep you ahead of the sports bikes, most of the bikes with 19" fronts are well down in power, it's weight agility and low cunning ;).

Pete
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:26 PM   #29
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How would you know - Columbus....
i'll be riding the flat-lands up your way tomorrow. riding to G&R tavern, waldo ohio, for lunch. ETA 12:30pm..
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:25 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by randyo View Post
How does one define better handling ?

I find that 17" wheels are "twitchy" compared to a 19" sure, its quicker turn in with a 17", and a 19" requires lightly more effort

I personally don't think that is any better handling, but worse, its much easier to be smooth with the larger wheel IMHO

Key word there... I

It is purely a matter of who "I" is and what "I" likes. This "I" happens to like quick handling bikes. Quick responsiveness is what this "I" likes a lot. This "I" raised the rear of his 550 Zephyr 2" and put a lower profile 17" tire on the front to quicken the handling that felt like truck when compared to the dual sport.

Twitchy? Maybe for some, but not this "I".
Smoothness is no problem, keeping attention on the road versus the scenery of course since that is what this "I" enjoys most about riding - the interactive nature of it.

Just sayin' it depends on who "I" is.
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95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
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