Turning/cornering with Dyna Wide Glide

Discussion in 'Dyna Models' started by carleysdad, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. carleysdad

    carleysdad New Member

    Okay everyone, please be gentle with me as this is my first post on this site.

    As my profile states, last year I just purchased my first Harley after having owned a couple of different "metric" cruisers in the past. Although I love my bike, I am still getting used to the way it handles. In July of last year (after having owned the bike for only 4 months) I had my first accident EVER and wound up crushing my left ankle (broken tibia and fubula). I still do not know exactly how the accident happened as I was simply turning left at an intersection and was only going 10-15 mph. All I remember is that during my turn the rear tire seemed to slide out from underneath me and before I knew it my bike was down and my left leg was pinned under the primary!

    Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone can give me some pointers on turning/cornering with a wide glide. It seems as though I have to plan my turns well in advance, especially compared to other bikes I have owned. And, as you can probably imagine, I'm kinda gun-shy about riding my Wide Glide after going though surgery and a four month recovery.

    Any tips would be appreciated.
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    If you do ride a motorcycle for any length of time it is almost definate that at one time or another you will be on the ground with the bike on top of you
    I dont think there are any specific handling issues with the dyna wide glide i have a 94 yes it feels different to my other bikes but holding on to the road in slow speed turns your biggest thing to worry about is the condition and pressure in your tyres and what condition the road surface is in oil, diesel, grat, sand are not surfaces that promote good grip
    just take care of your bike and watch the road surface and you should be ok

  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Practice slow turning in a parking lot will help and an advanced riders course, We all have had problems at one time or another it seems at slower speeds these beasts do not like to manuever good at times, steady and practice hope this helps:s
  4. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Sometimes in traffic your sensory input may not examine the road surface (or items on the surface) carefully enough. Even in the presence of traffic learn to focus on the curve surface 'before' and upon entering it. Yea I know things can move fast but Harleys are good at waking up you with their loud pipes, so use it for a discipline pump.

    When approaching and entering any curve (even while keeping aware of traffic changes and abusive cagers) quickly zero in on the road surface condition. Immediately plan to steer around (slow down etc) items like sand, loose gravel, wet spots or white traffic stripes (after a rain). Holes or damaged asphalt. Plastic road reflectors, hit one of these at the wrong lean angle and you will get to know the asphalt on a personal basis.

    Another thing slightly off topic but I feel important is those hairpin turns. In other words a 3 way intersection that is made of 2 roads. One road is a single curve with the other road is a side road that comes onto one tangent of the curve lining up with the continuation of the road coming out of the curve.

    If one of these is on my route, I drive right by it (continuing around the curve) and look for an alternate route or find a place to pull off and turn around. I just do not feel comfortable slowing down in the middle of a curve while trying to rubber neck enough to see if I can turn onto the side road, all the while hoping a cager doesn't come flying around the curve and into my rear.
  5. JPHarley

    JPHarley Active Member

    That happened to me in Austin Texas. I was sitting at a light with a few cars in front of me. The light turned green and we all take off, everybody having to turn left to get on the main road. Almost got through with the turn and was giving my bike a little throttle as I always do through turns. Next thing I know the bike on on it's side sliding down the road. The only thing I can think it was was the AC condensation that drips from the autos mixed with oil on the road at the intersection. Now when I pull up at an intersection I always looking for wet spots where the car's AC is dripping water.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    As most of the other posters have stated, practicing and skills training goes along way regaring prevention...especially when being "introduced" to the V-Twin Community or hiatus from riding if bike or rider was in "hibernation". But the other part of the equation is injury avoidance or reduction through the use of safety equipment. 1.) Were you wearing riding boots, leather up the shins a ways ? On military bases, they typically don't allow you to wear atletic shoes (even hi tops) or hiking boots when riding a motorcycle for a good reason... 2.) Do you have engine guards on the front...while they save engine cases, they also keep a little bit of space to the tarmac so your feet/ankle can get out in the event of a tip over (don't ask how I know)... 3.) When you had your accident, if you did a sharp left, inertia and turning to the lock hard, even at low speed can slam you down quick, especially if you grabbed a bit too much front brake in the process. Just another angle of things to think about.
  7. Rubyred

    Rubyred Senior Member

    Could you possibly have given it to much rear brake while making the turn? Braking while making the turn usually is not a good thing, try braking before the turn and then turn.
  8. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Yes! Excellent point and I totally forgot to bring this up. In the riders safety course we were required to wear boots that go up over the ankle. I always wear them. They are a pain to lace up but they support your ankle in the event of trama. Mine are of a stiff, thick material but still comfortable. I never ride without them.

    Admittedly I sometimes ride without gloves, but I'm gonna cut a few finger tips out and then I will probably wear them all the time. You gotta stitch around them when you cut them or they will start to come apart.

    I see people riding in loafers or flip flops. And when I was younger I did the same thing. But not anymore. If I go down I would like to come up with all my toes.

    Again we are not preaching to you, only trying to point out helpful items. You may very well have been doing everything right and it was just a bad one for you. Hope you ankle heals up strong and you are riding again. Life ain't the same without riding. I think even if someday I end up sitting in a nursing home, I'm gonna be still riding in my head. (or wheel chair LOL)
  9. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Might it be that as you were going through intersection, the rear tire slid on one of the many painted lines, as it was sliding even for just a moment, you felt as if you were falling down stuck out foot to save from falling down, forward movement and looking down causing foot to jam under primary as lean angle increased, causing bike to fall?
    Glad to hear you did not get hurt to bad. You are wise for asking asking for advice.
    If you have not taken a safety course, signing up should be first on the list for this season.. And as NEWHD74FAN has stated, using the proper safety equipment is essential while riding.
  10. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    PAINTED lines!!! Like DBMG said, they are treacherous. Any oil, or water makes them like ice. Your back wheel only has to start sliding, then physics or something takes over. I was on the ground before I even knew something was happening because of oil on a painted line.
    And about the gun shy part, I've had to reevaluate my desire to continue riding after every incident.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011