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Discussion Starter #1
Is anyone else having issues with catching the frame on hard cornering? Last time this happened I ended up is a nasty spill.

Any ideas in increasing the ground clearance?

There is lots of travel for the foot peg to fold up however the frame (foot peg bracket) will make contact long before using up much of the foot peg travel.

When the foot peg bracket hits the road it lifts the rear tire thereby losing traction at which point physics take over and away you go.

Bike has stock suspension set at 6, slightly taller 178/80 tire (but have dragged the fame with original 180/70 tire as well).

Obvious solution is to slow down more before entering the corner, however sometimes the corner may be tighter than anticipated i.e. corner speed sign missing or something in the way you must maneuver around.
 

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Last time this happened I ended up is a nasty spill.
Sounds like you pivoted yourself off of your own tire, not entirely uncommon. Now that you found how limited lean angles are on a cruiser....and you are confident enough to find it repeatedly you should learn how to manage it. The standard recommendation for most riders is to slow down but here are two other options that transform the ride.

First off make sure your suspension is set properly for your weight. Typically Kawasaki bikes are undersprung and over damped meaning the spring rates in the forks & shocks are too soft for any rider over 150lbs but the hydraulic side is too restrictive. Once sitting on the bike with your gear you will compress the suspension too far referred to as having too much sag. Upgrading the springs and setting proper preload will make a world of difference your ride height mid-corner; gives you a great opportunity to change the fluid as well. The springs are fairly cheap; most only run about $100 or so. There is plenty more suspension improvements to be made but for this thread I will keep it basic with springs and fluid.

Second many riders have found themselves on the wrong side of the line once or twice. Good riders do not want to repeat it and work at never doing it again. Sure you could slow down but others want to get better. I mean who wouldn't want to corner faster & safer...or know how to tighten their line mid-corner? One of the courses I teach is Lee Parks Total Control. This course is really designed for someone already finding the limits of themselves or their bike and at the heart of it is using body position to corner more effectively & efficiently. You will learn how body position is used increase ground clearance for the bike; just be sure to get into position before entering the corner. I do not mean you need to try and drag a knee or anything extreme but there is a tremendous benefit to be had my moving even just the upper body inwards. The course covers a lot beyond just body position and believe it or not cruiser riders have much more to gain than sport bike riders. I encourage you to check out the class or at the very least read the book. I think this will really help you take your ride to the next level.

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Discussion Starter #4
Gearhead759,

Thanks for the info on the suspension I will look into it. The Lee Parks training you referred to sounds similar to what Keith Code schools teach. I will see if there are any Lee Parks classes available anywhere close to Atlanta.

My mishap occurred while riding with a group of riders that ride at a faster pace than I normally ride. I broke my own cardinal rule of "Always pay attention to your ride". I was at the back of the pack as we approached a curve, no brake lights went on and no one in front of me was shifting their weight off the bike. As I got into the curve it was very tight as I was powering through the corner i started to drag and went for a tumble. IN MY OPINION the bike hit hard parts sooner that it should in which case if a little more clearance there, I would have not had a problem on that corner. Had I been paying more attention I would have braked before entering the corner or more likely adjusted my position a little to hang off a bit and reduce lean angle. Can't blame the bike, but better suspension or more clearance would allow for more lean angle in such a situation.
 

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Having come from a sport-type bike to the Kawi VN900 I had to learn that the 900 is intended to be a cruiser, which happened several times when I scraped a footboard hard on relatively hard cornering. I've learned that the 900 has its cornering limitations because of its design.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Upgrading the rear suspension looks pretty expensive, progressive suspension runs $450- $1100 depending on brand. Used 900s with any kind of milage are listed in the mid $3k range in my area and lots of them. I can't see sinking money into the suspension, will have to live with the suspension the way it is and adjust my riding to compensate for the limited clearence.
 

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Suspension upgrades can be expensive but go much further in rider comfort than a $600 seat with the benefit of a more compliant ride offering greater potential traction. Now we should always consider the value of upgrades vs value of our bikes before any purchase. If the rears are a bit steep start off with fork springs (usually about $100) and set your preload properly in the front & back. You will still gain some clearance and the ride will be improved.
 

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Up grades in the springs will help. Then add curb feelers. Any body remember those?
 

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that's a common problem with the forward controls supports and hard cornering. I have some scratches on my bike too.

Rising rear doesn't help, tighten rear shock either ( mine is in 7th level always).

The only way is rising the front suspension (hard mod) or trying to not hard cornering (it's hard i know ;) )

Other temp solution i found is when you are on a hard cornering, try to lower the heel of yout foot a little than normally you stay on the peg... this works like an advice only to correct the angle.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
 

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Much like Keith Code Lee Parks has a book called Total Control. If you can't find a course near you get the book and find an empty parking lot to practice in. Otherwise get a different type of bike.
 

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I have scraped both foot pegs going around corners (one when going through a caution light, trying to beat the light). Not much damage done, but enough to make me think I need to slow down a bit for cornering in the future.
 

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I have to say looking from the pictures of the damaged parts you were leaning into the turn way to hard. Any cruiser I know would have been crapping at that angle. That said, I'm glad to hear you made it out OK. In terms of doing something about the crapping your only safe option is a different bike. Raising the bike isn't a good idea for a number of reasons. If you're going to dig into those corners you'll need a sport bike to make those kind of turns. I lowered my 800 3" on the rear and had to replace the kick stand with one off a 1500 due to crapping on a slow left hand turn. If this is a one time thing just cauck it up as a learning experience and try not to take it into a corner that hard again. If you don't know the road your on probably a good idea to slow down anyways. I was always told by by my grandpaps don't get on the bike if you're in a hurry or pissed off. Thats the fastest want to a wood box.

If you're open to some red neck ingenuity you could weld/drill and put a bolt through that plate so it scraps before the frame does. I'm not sure how practical that might be (i may have had a couple beers already) so be wise and think it through.

-Regards,
neVulcan
 

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Hey WB
I'm going to give some advice you probably already know to be true.

You're riding that bike at the edge of it's capabilities; leaving yourself a near zero margin of error.
Yes, you can shift more weight to the inside gaining a bit more angle. (I'd be very surprised if your hitting hard parts and aren't leaning in already.)
But, the 33deg rake and forward controls of the 900 custom were designed for a different type of riding.

If you want to keep the custom; you're going to have to change how you ride. It's one thing to push your bike that hard on a track. On the street; it's just a matter of time before some other 'surprise' in the middle of a curve puts you off the bike again.
Replace the feelers or 'bank sensors' on the ends of your pegs and treat them as a limit. Then when you find a minivan half in your lane you can shift your weight to gain lean and save your butt.

If you want to scrub the chicken strips off and throw it into the corners hard...well, there are bikes that much better/safer for that kind of riding.

BTW, I wore the bank sensors down on my Voyager and hit hard parts a few times. Then had the rear tire pivot off the ground and I nearly soiled myself. I was lucky; but I knew that luck wasn't part of a good riding strategy.

Scott
 
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