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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wandering weaving issue has abated but I wonder if it's just that we have come to accept the low-speed wandering as a fact of life on some bikes and not on others.

As a relatively new rider (June '03) and maybe an accumulated total mileage on all bikes owned less than 20,000 miles, perhaps what I have discovered others are experiencing.

First, K12S the only sport bike I have owned. Consequently, all of my other bikes have wide NOT short handlebars. Without going into the whys of what is happening but rather the effect, I wonder if this makes sense. I THINK I AM/WAS gripping the bars way too tightly and inadvertantly causing some kind of pendulum effect myself, resulting in the weaving sensation/reality. BY LOOSENING UP MY GRIP ON THE BARS SLIGHTLY THE WEAVING MIRACULOUSLY DISAPPEARS. And I can replicate this every time.

DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE. And therein lies why some experience the weaving and others do not.

Just an old(er) man's thoughts!
 

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wandering

Been my experience all along with most bikes, grip hard it will wander or weave lighten up it runs straight. Yep
 

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Time, over time ....

jpalamaro said:
The wandering weaving issue has abated ............... BY LOOSENING UP MY GRIP ON THE BARS SLIGHTLY THE WEAVING MIRACULOUSLY DISAPPEARS. And I can replicate this every time.

DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE. And therein lies why some experience the weaving and others do not.

Just an old(er) man's thoughts!
As a previous owner of several Jeep CJ's and Wranglers I can relate with a similar anomaly. Holding the steering wheel tightly on a short wheelbase Jeep is a tiring and frightful experience. Hold it loose and she bobs and weaves in a fairly straight line. Biles are the same. The have to react to bumps and groves in the road. The flip side is, a lot of people freak out when they let go of the bars and the handlebars start wiggling. Relax, they all do that. (With the correctly worn tires, anyway.):)

Speaking of steering and crazy... has anyone ever just relaxed on a gently curving road on a BMW and realized that YOU CANNOT TELL WHAT YOU DID TO TURN THE BIKE? It just turns. The inputs are that subtle.
 

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Hi John! One other quick note. Was riding with a buddy that just got an S and he was complaining about the wandering. Told him that mine did it too but it wasn't an issue for me. When we got home from our ride we checked his tire pressure (running Pilot Powers and me on M1's) and his front was 34psi. Boosted it to 36psi, same as I ride, and it made a world of difference. So, without going near 40psi, you may test boosting your front air pressure a bit and see if there is any improvement. I'll bet it will help.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Loggiebone said:
Hi John! One other quick note. Was riding with a buddy that just got an S and he was complaining about the wandering. Told him that mine did it too but it wasn't an issue for me. When we got home from our ride we checked his tire pressure (running Pilot Powers and me on M1's) and his front was 34psi. Boosted it to 36psi, same as I ride, and it made a world of difference. So, without going near 40psi, you may test boosting your front air pressure a bit and see if there is any improvement. I'll bet it will help.

Doug
I didn't mention that in my original post but I did that before lightening up on the grips and noticed a big improvement in the wandering issue with an increase in tire pressue. Can't remember now but upped it to about 37 up front and 44 rear. It was just last night when I was riding that I loosened up on the grips and wow, what a difference.
 

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Well, there's a further consequence: grip the bars too tightly and you will be tense and the bike will be difficult to turn. So you're on a wet greasy road and you're tense. You'll find it difficult to let the bike do its work, so it won't react as well to the various forces acting on it, so you'll tense up some more and so on. I only mention this because there were 5 of us out out the weekend, and the road conditions were exactly that. It was however difficult to stay relaxed but it was easy to notice how much easier it was to ride relaxed rather than tense.
 

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Wandering

I noticed the same thing by loosening my grip also, but not with the low speed wandering, which I did not experience. However, I noted the buffeting issue in turbulence experienced near trucks or on blustery days. While the windscreen provides good protection, the windstream passes close to my arms, and in turbulence my arms were getting pushed around a bit and thus the handlebars. Relax the grip and it goes away.
 

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zzrman said:
Well, there's a further consequence: grip the bars too tightly and you will be tense and the bike will be difficult to turn. So you're on a wet greasy road and you're tense. You'll find it difficult to let the bike do its work, so it won't react as well to the various forces acting on it, so you'll tense up some more and so on. I only mention this because there were 5 of us out out the weekend, and the road conditions were exactly that. It was however difficult to stay relaxed but it was easy to notice how much easier it was to ride relaxed rather than tense.
The "death grip" on the bars is something that needs to be avoided and sometimes it takes a fair amount of concentration to do as ZZRMAN eludes to. To that end, the weave on my K is not there all the time and now I wonder if I am gripping the bars with more force and not knowing it, when it weaves. Won't be able to tell till spring as it is resting quietly till then.
 

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And one more thing. If you recall you and I talked about tennis racket tape to increase the grip size. Well, I did that and it helped a lot. But I've recently installed (crap, can't remember the name) grip cozies from California Sport Rider and they are wonderful. They require much less grip pressure and the size is now perfect for me. You might consider giving them a look...but you are on the right track with reducing your grip pressure and keep your arms loose. Some guys call it "chicken wing" but if your arms are straight at all, you will get all kinds of discomfort and you won't be able to enjoy the full performance of the bike.
 

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There are alot of convincing arguments in having a "stable" of bikes; you know, different motorcycles that serve different purposes. If your wife likes to ride pillion, a two-up tourer, for those days when you need to escape the rest of humanity, an off-road with knobbies, and a blazingly fast sport bike for those days when escape translates to "escape velocity".

But, maybe a newer rider needs to select one motorcycle and concentrate on mastering just that one bike. Every motorcycle has idocyncracies, whether its wandering, buzzing, vibrating, etc. Spending all of your available free-time intensively getting to know just one mtorcycle; understanding all its moves, quirks, habits and strengths so that everything from how it accelerates, brakes, and handles becomes 2nd nature could be advisable. If it's a sport-bike, take it to the track; offroad, take it to the mountains, tourer, take it on an extensive trip.

We have two motorcycles in our family. I ride the K-S. My wife' never rides it. She rides her ST exlusively. And I ride her bike infrequently. And when I do, it's always a kind of reacquaintence; oh-yeah, it's a boxer; damn, I'm in that tall first gear again; oops less leg room; damn, forgot to adjust the mirrors; what's that scraping sound - only kidding here.

Then, once that newer rider masters that one really nice motorcycle over the course of a year and several thousand miles; well then, o.k., how about a different flavor.

Me? Well, I really am getting to understand the K-S and appreciating the bike more and more; delving into its cadre of secrets and exploring its vast resources of power and performance; its all zen, I tell 'ya. That boxer; approach it with caution, but watch how my wife has taken it as her own!

Miles
 

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One of the things they spend time on at the California Superbike School is control input. Keith Code spent a whole lecture on the importance of keeping a light grip on the handlebars. The tighter you grip the bars, the more steering input you're giving the bike. On bumpy roads or on surfaces that might bounce you around there is a natural tendency to grab tighter, which is the exact opposite of what you should do. The looser the hands and arms, the less likely you'll be giving unintended steering input to the motorcycle. He would ask the question: "What is the rider primary job?" The correct answer is "Stabilize the motorcycle."
 

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mconrad said:
One of the things they spend time on at the California Superbike School is control input. Keith Code spent a whole lecture on the importance of keeping a light grip on the handlebars. The tighter you grip the bars, the more steering input you're giving the bike. On bumpy roads or on surfaces that might bounce you around there is a natural tendency to grab tighter, which is the exact opposite of what you should do. The looser the hands and arms, the less likely you'll be giving unintended steering input to the motorcycle. He would ask the question: "What is the rider primary job?" The correct answer is "Stabilize the motorcycle."

That's a very good point. Coincidentally I'd already decided based on recommendations of some riders I know to do the Californian Superbike School next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good reply also Miles. I think you are absolutely correct in 'getting to know' one bike very, very well. Ahhhhhhh, but which one? Harems probably created such a problem as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What size Grip Puppies do you have as I am gonna order a set. The tennis racquet tape ok but the how FL sun has taken its toll on the adhesive. So, let me know what size you ordered? PM me if convenient.

Thanks,
 

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Subtle turning

CABNFVR said:

Speaking of steering and crazy... has anyone ever just relaxed on a gently curving road on a BMW and realized that YOU CANNOT TELL WHAT YOU DID TO TURN THE BIKE? It just turns. The inputs are that subtle.
Just a thought - firstly most roads built to a decent standard use super-elevation or inclination of the road surface on curves. If the road is well constructed and engineered plus the vehicle is well engineered and maintained, theoretically there should be minimal turning effort required as the lateral forces due to movement on a curve are largely compensated by the curve incline.

In practice only a percentage of the lateral forces are compensated for with public road construction so between tyre friction and operator turning input the bend is hopefully negotiated. A well constructed steering head / bearing assembly, low bike centre of gravity and low rotating mass of the front wheel will all assist in easy, low input turning. This bike obviously has these attributes.

For many of us, its possible that the capabilities of current, quality bikes are well outside our limits of use. The appreciation of subtleties is usually a function of time and experience but not necessarily in that order.

Lenz
Australia
 
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