Foot boards hitting ground

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by awall, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. awall

    awall Member

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    When I am going through curves at 30mph and more my foot boards hit the ground. What is the best way to fix this problem. Will raising the bike work or is there a better option. These are not sharp curves and a car can take them at the speeds I was taking them on the bike.
     
  2. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    If the floorboards and placement is stock...the easiest thing to do is change your riding technique. Most riders of new motorcycles have a tendancy to be "tentative" and sit upright in the saddle and lean the bike further with their body in line, this means that the 30-35 degree banking angle of the bike can be achieved way early.

    Do not know your riding experience, but it is common with riders of new machines to do this as if they were riding a sportbike with unlimited cornering clearance. Add to this, when turning in off camber on/off ramps they have a tendancy to drag hardparts because they are not "counter-leaning", but actually leaning into the turn with the bike losing precious ground clearance.

    Try the practice of "Counter leaning or hanging off" as this riding technique used by racers compensates for llimited ground clearance at high banking angles. You basically are upriight on the inside of the turn, standing the bike up slightly more vertical than your body and you apply pressure with your foot on the outside peg, but your weight is centered over the inner peg. Standing the bike in this way allows more cornering clearance while allowing you to acheive greater speed and lean angles not normally possible if just sitting on top of the saddle. No you do not have to exaggerate like Valentino Rossi, but the technique is sound, working with the limitations of the machine, rather than fighting it.

    Of course, hardware wise, adjusting preload up will make improve ground clearance or moving the floorboards "in board" helps, but have their own drawbacks, making the bikes' suspension "sack i.e. sag" a lot less, when getting on the bike with a heavier rider than customary 180 lbs or so design weight. The stiffer compression gives you better ground clearance, but it also may affect the bump and stutter bump recovery if more than one bump is hit in succession (the other side of the equation being rebound dampening of the shock based on valving, fluid viscosity, springs and fluid level).
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    If you look under the boards, there's an adjustment under them so you can lift them a bit if it helps you.
     
  4. awall

    awall Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys, this is good info.
     
  5. gasbag

    gasbag Active Member

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    You guys are scraping the boards willy nilly and I will be thrilled the first time I do it.
    Give an old guy a break and quit bragging..........................:lero
     
  6. bikerdad

    bikerdad Junior Member

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    When I started riding I took a safety coarse. The instructor said that you are not turning properly if you don't scrape the foot boards, that is why the are replaceable. I an not sure if he was joking or not. Although it has happened, I don't like scraping the chrome. I work to hard to keep it nicely polished.
     
  7. IR Rick

    IR Rick Active Member

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    I have found the more you ride the more you are able to judge a corner to keep the boards of the ground, Now i did take some metal off a lot of metal. when i was behind a sport bike and was thinking this old HD could show this kid what a real bike could do,,,
     
  8. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    30 degree bank angle of typical Harley does not take much if the on ramp or off ramp on your local freeway has a sweeping turn, the ground comes up pretty fast...and when you add braking, or last minute herorics (not that that would ever happen) or bump midturn...the suspension hunkers down so it is not hard to scrape at all.

    You are just remembering to do the other things right when taking a hard sweeper...braking early, turning the bike early and graduallly, probably squaring out the curve a bit to prevent heeling the bike way over 'til you scrape hard parts. That is part of the "seasoned" rider instinct that comes with experience. :D