I've lost my nerve....sorta

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by Rebyl, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Rebyl

    Rebyl Banned

    My last three bikes were all Valkyrie Tourers and man they can motor in any circumstance...especially in the twisties. I now own an 08 Ultra and love her to bits, she is a fun bike to ride and I always get off her with a smile on the dial. Only complaint is that after a couple of .....Oh My GOD....moments in corners that were never a problem with the Valk I find that I have really lost the plot in the twisties, I still keep up with my mates and a lot of em say that they didn't realise that a Harley went round corners that well... I just grin and say, "well that just goes to show that HD is really a good bike", only trouble is I am like a duck on water....calm on top and paddling like (Edit) underneath!!!!.
    Question...Is it me...is it the bike...can I improve it handling in any way....such as Progressive springs in the forks and a different set up in the rear.
    By the way I have owned over 20 bikes and this is my first HD, I spend all my working days on the road, I own a small transport company and spend all my spare time on bikes...:D
    I know Hd handle differently but can I get her to be just a little bit more well behaved in the corners.
    Your thoughts and insults will be much appreciated:D

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2009

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Whether Metric or HD, regarding handling mods, most all tried and true methods work for both, but suspension tuning, chassis frame stabilizer, fork brace and tires will contribute to a much better handling bike. Performance mods like Stage I: Pipes, Air Cleaner, TFI or equivalent will add power (richer A/F mixture) while allowing your engine to breathe as it should and run cooler, and keep you within a decent budget. I am sure others will weigh in, but IMO this is a start.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  3. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators

    Read through the the threads on the subject of the bagger wobble,some do and some don't,monday bikes or friday bikes? I don't know,but for the ones that do there is a lot of information in those threads on how to correct it:)
  4. Rebyl

    Rebyl Banned

    I run Avon Venom Tyres and it has a Stage 1 kit, everything else is standard, I run 24 PSI in the rear shocks, tyres are at 36front and 42rear.
  5. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I guess I'd have to know more about your OMG moments. Were you actually experiencing a wobble? How many miles have you ridden on your Ultra since jumping off your previous bike? Sometimes you just have to chalk up a bunch of miles and get used to the characteristics of a new bike - then your confidence will return. Suspension and tire pressures sounded fine - they shouldn't be contributing to your anxiety.
  6. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

    This is a subject that creates a lot of great info on suspension set up...

    All of my Harleys, except for the MV, aren't made for the twisties. The touring models are setup to turn well at low speeds (triple trees to the rear of the neck). The rubber mounting of the motor and swing arm cause many of the problem you are experiencing. So, under cornering pressure or at high speeds, everything flexes

    You can spend a boat load of money to correct these problems, or try a few simple thing to make it handle better.

    I run stock suspension on my FLHR. But my air pressures are set at the max. This stiffens the suspension and helps with flex/wobble/mushing/squat in the corners. The other part is need to get a good feel for what your frame is doing in the corners. Increase you tire pressure by a few psi. This should help with road condition and frame feedback. Use the throttle (get on the gas a little) mid corner to settle the suspension. I have noticed the rubber mounts don't like on/off throttle changes in the corners. That really upsets the suspension.

    You also have that HUGE fork mounted clam shell fairing. That adds weight to the front and effects cornering.

    My bikes are older, so I don't know how the new machines give feedback from the road. Most Hareys are fairful "numb" when it comes to feedback. I tend to wear boots with thinner soles to get more feel from the bike (yeah..I wear that sport bike equipment, even the boots). But, all of my Harleys have enough handling to scrap hard parts in the corners, except for "Shaker".

    I sometimes press my Harleys hard in the corners. I tend to forget I'm not riding one of my sportbikes.

    If you're looking to spend some monry check of the Ride-Str8 or the True Track Stabilizer brackets.
  7. whatyardwork

    whatyardwork Banned

    Sounds like you are riding it to its limits which is great.Having a Streetglide I wouldnt recomend lowering it.I seem to scrape my boards too much in the twisties and almost wish I went with the Roadglide for the added clearance.Adding heavier fork oil may help,I have it in mine and did notice a slight difference when swapping bikes with a friend.Also looking at a Klockworks shield which is suppose to add downforce to the front end at speed.From what Ive read, the batwing causes lift on the front end.
  8. Rebyl

    Rebyl Banned

    Good points here and thanks for your ideas, all make sense. I have rissen this Ultra for close to 10000 miles now and although the OMG moments still nearly cause me to change my pants, I never come close to loosing it, it's just not a confident feel. I have had to change the way I ride quite a lot and have looked at different ways in the twisties...which by the way is almost all the time here in New Zealand....LOL. I have always and always will brake prior and accellerate through a bend, I mean thats standard in any form of transport, but on thing I have found is that if I put a light pressure on the rear brake and crank the heck out of the throttle it tends to ease any flex. I don't ride like this all the time it's just every now and again the light switch goes click and you just have to go nuts for a wee while..LOL.
    Am going to have a look and think about a Stabiliser for the rear, but then again I could just accept her the way she is, slow up a bit and smell the roses as I go past them...grin.
    Thanks again

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    Just trying to see if this is how to post a picture....sorry its a Valkyrie
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2009
  9. woodman

    woodman Account Removed

    Hey Rebyl,
    I put a True-Track on my road king what a diifference through the corners.
  10. 2388

    2388 Member

    Get a roadglide, you'll smoke your friends on those twisties.A buddy of mine rides a BMW sport/touring bike and when we're in Pennsylvania or New York mountains he can't keep up.No wobble just lots of AWESOME.