Tucking front end

Discussion in 'Riding Techniques' started by faffi, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    103
    While riding in sand or on ice/snow, it is always the front tucking on my Virago. It drops without warning (that I can sense) and the handlebars/wheel will turn pretty hard and very rapidly into the turn, with the bike falling on its side. So far I have managed to keep it upright by kicking the bike up with my leg, but it has been very close a few times. It seems to often be initiated by acceleration, even gentle acceleration, especially when the road is slick. Trying to gas myself out of it, when the slide is moderate, and it tends to get worse.

    So my question is; could this be a trait of a lousy bike, a poor tyre or a terrible rider? Or perhaps all of the above? Is there anything sensible I could practice to reduce the tendency for the front to fold? On gravel I have no issues and can control the trajectory by spinning the rear wheel.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2.  
  3. PAPPACLART

    PAPPACLART MCNews.com.au
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    97
    Probably not helped by the rake and trail which is obviously like any other cruiser. Can you get studded tyres for bikes in your part of the world?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    103
    I can get studded tyres, but since a typical winter have perhaps 10 slippery days (so far this has been a-typical with a lot more freezing days than normal) and plenty of wet days, I prefer to have tyres that work well in the latter.

    Original rake is only 29 degrees and trail 125 mm, so less than most cruisers. I have raised the rear about an inch, so rake is prolly down to around 28 degrees and rake maybe 115 mm? In my experience these figures are fairly common for enduro style motorcycles.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. PAPPACLART

    PAPPACLART MCNews.com.au
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    97
    Cruisers though often have a rear weight bias while a dirt bike may not have an aggressive rake and trail. Though if you are sitting/standing while riding when turning weight is pushed further forward offering more grip. Typically an Enduro bike would have allot more suspension travel and of course dirt/knobbly tyres.

    Icy/slippery roads are pretty shocking on most bikes. I crashed a GSXR600 in the UK during deceleration using the engine only from 140kph with the front washing out. It was a cold Feb probably -1 degrees.I backed off from the red in 2nd, so it loaded the front and I was down.

    I also did the same on my TL was on my way to start my first day at a new job, was going a bit too fast in town, and the car ahead, about 50 meters in front dabbed his brake, I just quickly let off of the throttle as an instinctual reaction and the front washed out. I was so lucky that the bike did not hit a pedestrian. It slid for what seemed forever and hit the curb as did I.

    I was pretty based up but still went to work with scuffed/ripped kit. The day was so long and the pain was pretty bad.

    The Gixxer had really old D208s and they were past it. The TL would have had the old Michelin Pilot Roads, the first ones, so a sport touring tyre. Ice is ice and London gets allot of black Ice that you don't see so really does not matter so much what bike you have though I would say a cruiser would be more of a liability than most bikes.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    103
    140 kph when there is risk of ice :eek: You are mad :rolleyes: When there is a risk of slick roads, I ride like it is slick all the time.

    The strange, for me at least, thing with the Virago is that the front tend to wash out when the rear is driving. If it was under deceleration, it would be easier to understand, but it is when I accelerate it happens the most.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. Morpheus46

    Morpheus46 aka John

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    14
    I heard of a dirt riding technique the other day which I had never heard of before.
    On off camber corners (the equivalent of slippery road surface) drag the rear brake. This keeps weight on the front wheel. If you take weight off the front it can lose grip and tuck.
    But I guess the real message is, don't transition weight either onto or off the front while turning in slippery conditions.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    faffi likes this.
  8. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    103
    Absolutely worth trying. Unfortunately, the tucking I've experienced has primarily been in a straight line at low speeds (walking pace to 50 kph) and not while turning. Still, I'm going to try dragging the rear brake ever so slightly where there is sufficient grip to do so.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. PAPPACLART

    PAPPACLART MCNews.com.au
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    97
    In London you just get used to it. London does not stop and you need to get from A to B and a bike is the best way. Often you don't see the ice and there is enough traffic generally to melt it. You just have to get on with it and make do. There is fun to be had even in the worse conditions but just have to be on the ball all of the time. It's a great way to learn for sure.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    faffi likes this.
  10. RUSS M8

    RUSS M8 Riding slowly on

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    11,095
    Likes Received:
    34
    I suspect the virago's "budget" chassis and suspension, and the tyre sizing (which limits options) are the major part of this problem - given that you are experienced in icy conditions.
    And, as mentioned, weight bias (front / rear) is going to be very different to most naked bikes of similar rake and trail.
    If you could lean forward and weight the front it may well help quite a bit.
    Also leaning off the inside of the bike to make sure there is as much contact patch of tyre on ground.
    And yes, dragging the rear brake and staying on the gas will almost always help in slippy conditions.

    In wet slippy/muddy conditions I chew through rear pads, I'm on it constantly.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page