Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody.

I'm pretty new to cruiser riding so maybe I just need some more miles under my belt but I was wondering if anyone else feels so unstable when coming to a slow stop. I'm on a VN1600 Classic and this is by far the biggest heaviest motorcycle I've ever been on. My previous bike was 96 Honda VFR which is more towards the sport bike end of things but even so, it was no lightweight. I know to keep my head up and not look down at the ground and I've checked tire pressures to be sure those are okay. I have no luggage so there's no question of unbalanced loads mucking things up. I did a google search for this problem and ended up on a Yamaha site where folks were discussing this issue and one of the guys says his Dunlop E3's were notorious for being unstable at slow speeds and that changing tires eliminated his problem. I happen to have the same Dunlops on mine. I should also mention the fork springs/fluid and steering head bearings were down within the last 10,000 miles so I think that is all pretty sorted.

I'm willing to accept that I might just need more saddle time on the Classic but was wondering if anybody else has had a similar experience and if anything other than simple experience helped eliminate that feel awkward wobbly, unstable feeling when rolling up to stops. Sometime it kind of even tries to make a right turn on me right as I come to halt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Hi everybody.

I'm pretty new to cruiser riding so maybe I just need some more miles under my belt but I was wondering if anyone else feels so unstable when coming to a slow stop. I'm on a VN1600 Classic and this is by far the biggest heaviest motorcycle I've ever been on. My previous bike was 96 Honda VFR which is more towards the sport bike end of things but even so, it was no lightweight. I know to keep my head up and not look down at the ground and I've checked tire pressures to be sure those are okay. I have no luggage so there's no question of unbalanced loads mucking things up. I did a google search for this problem and ended up on a Yamaha site where folks were discussing this issue and one of the guys says his Dunlop E3's were notorious for being unstable at slow speeds and that changing tires eliminated his problem. I happen to have the same Dunlops on mine. I should also mention the fork springs/fluid and steering head bearings were down within the last 10,000 miles so I think that is all pretty sorted.

I'm willing to accept that I might just need more saddle time on the Classic but was wondering if anybody else has had a similar experience and if anything other than simple experience helped eliminate that feel awkward wobbly, unstable feeling when rolling up to stops. Sometime it kind of even tries to make a right turn on me right as I come to halt.
I am rather new but I seem to be very wobbly with the wife. I have some good stops but more wobbly ones.

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
3 thoughts...if tire pressure is not the issue...

1. It will always be more of a challenge 2-up, as it raises the center of gravity.

2. When you stop, make sure your front wheel is as straight as possible...it's more difficult with a heavier bike if you stop w/the front wheel turned.

3. If you're new to larger touring/cruisers a bit of parking lot practice is in order; make some time and find an empty lot and practice stops, departures and low-speed maneuvers solo...then 2-up. It will pay dividends down the road by increasing your safety and confidence.

Ride safe!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Shiloh101 -- first off, you are not alone! But rangemaster728 is on the money. I leave the house many times for the express purpose of practicing slow-speed stops. Having spent the past 6 years or so riding Vespas -- with only two hand brakes and no foot brakes -- it has taken some thought, practice, and patience to get back into the foot brake habit. I'm certainly getting there, though. You will, too. I even find myself watching other riders (when I'm stuck in my cage) to see how they come to a stop.

Victor :nerd:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
My wife is really eager to do some two-up riding on the Vulcan but I've been putting her off until I feel solid at slow speeds, much to her chagrin. Hence my post here. Thanks for the replies and advice everyone. I've purchased the Ride Like Pro video so I'm going to work my through that and see how things go.

Would the recommendation for tire pressure adjustment be to go up or down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
My wife is really eager to do some two-up riding on the Vulcan but I've been putting her off until I feel solid at slow speeds, much to her chagrin. Hence my post here. Thanks for the replies and advice everyone. I've purchased the Ride Like Pro video so I'm going to work my through that and see how things go.

Would the recommendation for tire pressure adjustment be to go up or down?
32 front 36 rear,see how that works,28 is too squishy:wink2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Thanks! I'll give that go and see if things improve any.
The tire pressures in your owners manual are based on a single rider weighing approximately 150 lbs. It will tell you in the manual to adjust the tire pressure according to weight and for 2up riding.
I just had Avon Cobras put on my 1500 and the recommended tire pressure from the manufacturer is 40 psi front 42 psi back. Increase your tire pressure until you get the feel you like in the front end. Increase the rear accordingly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Shiloh101 -- RIDE LIKE A PRO is good...I bought it for the collection at the library where I work. Also, there are MANY MANY vids on YouTube from Jerry Palladino and others that will give you ideas on things to practice in a parking lot when you have the chance.

Victor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Shiloh101 -- RIDE LIKE A PRO is good...I bought it for the collection at the library where I work. Also, there are MANY MANY vids on YouTube from Jerry Palladino and others that will give you ideas on things to practice in a parking lot when you have the chance.

Victor
Thanks Victor! I've been checking out some of Jerry's youtube videos and watching some of those folks wiggle their giant touring bikes around like they do is very impressive (and intimidating). I'd be thrilled if I could handle my bike like that!:grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The tire pressures in your owners manual are based on a single rider weighing approximately 150 lbs. It will tell you in the manual to adjust the tire pressure according to weight and for 2up riding.
I just had Avon Cobras put on my 1500 and the recommended tire pressure from the manufacturer is 40 psi front 42 psi back. Increase your tire pressure until you get the feel you like in the front end. Increase the rear accordingly.
Thanks for the info. Those pressures (40 - 42) are more what I was accustomed to with my VFR but I figured the MFG knows what their talking about and since I'm not TOO far out of their 150lb range and not riding two up yet, I figured I'd be okay with the book values.

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
So I have not checked my pressure since I got new tires. I'm fine riding along but 2up I tend to be wobbly. I'll check the pressure next ride. So should I constantly adjust my pressure if I ride alone vs 2up?

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
So I have not checked my pressure since I got new tires. I'm fine riding along but 2up I tend to be wobbly. I'll check the pressure next ride. So should I constantly adjust my pressure if I ride alone vs 2up?

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
I set my shocks on 3 solo,4 2 up,lot easier on the nomad than the 900,:smile2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
So I have not checked my pressure since I got new tires. I'm fine riding along but 2up I tend to be wobbly. I'll check the pressure next ride. So should I constantly adjust my pressure if I ride alone vs 2up?

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
Dohh,misread ur post,I wouldn't change pressure for 2 up:devil2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
2 up can be challenging. Tires, Michelin commander 2 ride ok at 42 rear, 40 front. Factory is too low imo. Mostly, saddle time & quicker stops with 30-40% rear brake works for the Nomad. 2 up is tougher since spouse isn't 113lbs like 30 years ago on a 440! Just ride brother.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
All good thoughts here. Here's another thought, possibly useful.

I think, recalling my early experience and observing others, less experienced riders tend to sort of sneak up on that stop line, and fight the bike's natural tendency to do what it does at rest, which is fall over. As they approach the stop it's, "Which way will it go, which way will it go?"

Do less sneaking, make a definitive stop at the line, and control the direction the bike will lean by adding in a bit of turn to the right at the very last moment. This will lean the bike left (proving the theory of countersteering in the process!) where your shifting foot will be waiting to catch it. That leaves your right foot on the rear brake, helping to control the last couple of inches of the stop. Once you're settled, you can switch feet, holding the bike with the front brake, and be ready to stomp it into gear when it's time to go.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Thank you, trainermb!!! Some of the best advice I can remember getting from damn near anyone about damn near anything! I plan on keeping this one in my head and replaying it again and again when I'm making stops until it's second nature to me (for the second...or even third...time!).

Victor :nerd:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Thank you, trainermb!!! Some of the best advice I can remember getting from damn near anyone about damn near anything! I plan on keeping this one in my head and replaying it again and again when I'm making stops until it's second nature to me (for the second...or even third...time!).

Victor :nerd:
Thanks!

You got some REALLY bad advice in the past, huh? :grin2:
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top