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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yesterday me and a buddy went on Palomar mountain to get some twisties in our systems and while it wasn't my first time there on a bike, it was my first time with the 636.

So what I did first was a slow light run up the mountain just to get a feel for the road, how my body reacts to the road and how my bike reacts to both the road and my reactions to the road. There was a lot of loose sand about 3/4's the way up so I decided I would go half way up and turn around, go down turn around and start all over.

After the initial run and I was back in the bottom, I went for it trying out different gears. First gear seemed devoid of much power at any point and I had this constant feeling of being dropped in the curves. Second gear seemed perfect, had more umph in the low revs than first gear did in the mid rev zone, and was pretty much the only gear I used. Third just didn't feel right, so I didn't use it much at all except for when I thought I needed shift up but turned out to be wrong.

So anyhow, on my second lap I felt that I was breaking from the rear on entry point to each corner too much. I remembered the talks on here about using the front brake lightly before entry point and then to let the bike roll in the curve and let on the throttle gradually upon exit. I felt off with myself as I know I could have done better.

Third lap, I use strictly 2 gear and push myself more. Each time I started to get scared about the curves and twists I remembered that the bike was meant to handle this and can handle it, the only weakness is in the bike is me. So I pushed my trust into the bike and leaned in, and to my surprise we pulled through each curve past my fears. It was felt great for me because I haven't gotten the chance to lean over that much before. One thing though, on the tighter curves I felt my rear tire slipping and sliding out here and there. Not enough to lose control and low side, but I could feel my tire losing traction for a split second. Not sure if it was the tire, slippery gravel that I couldn't notice, but it felt weird. I didn't like it.

So lap number 4, I push myself some more, trying to lean more into turns, front more assertively on entry to curves and to maintain a line. My lines suck but I am working on it. I still felt my rear wheel losing traction with the road from time to time, but I pushed through it and if I was to fall then I fall and get right back up. Through some wider curves I felt leaned over a about 45 degrees at least, but according to the photos that a local photographer took I was only about 30-35 degrees at best. Kinda made me mad but just goes to show I can do more. I wanted to do more, but at the rate I was going at I felt myself getting really ballsy and wanted to put a cap on my confidence that was becoming cockiness.

I enjoyed myself, felt myself wanting more from my own abilities and wanting to do more with the bike. Haven't fully gotten over the rear wheel thing though. I ride with continental tires at the moment, thought about going Michelin next tire change. Speaking of I will post pics of my tires so I could get some pointers. I honestly don't feel comfortable leaning with these tires but it could be just me and I am not sure. Also I am going to invest in a GoPro setup when I have the funds for it.
 

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I am so glad I never owned a sportbike in So Cal. I know I would have turned that road into my own little racetrack, and gotten hurt or gotten someone else hurt. Fortunately the worthwhile twisties are sufficiently distant that I don't run them often.
 

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Old tires? If they are hard, they will just not feel good period. If you are not taking the bike to the track, I would suggest throwing a new pair of Michelin Road 3's or Pirelli Angels on there. More than enough grip on the street to do anything including getting a knee down, better wet performance, and longer life.

I'm going to run my Pirelli DRC's on the street only until they run out, and then it's sport touring tires again.


Oh and watch for cops on Palomar. It's not often that they set up busts, but thy do occur. I've seen police helicopters out there calling out riders to police in cruisers o grab at the top/bottom.


Sent from my iPhone using Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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If your tires are breaking at this kind of pace, you have issues that need to be addressed.


Is the rear Suspension set up properly?


What tires and pressure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I haven't changed the suspension since I got the bike and I honestly have never gotten around to it and I don't know how to. I know google is out there but it just never crosses my mind when i get home.
 

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I remembered the talks on here about using the front brake lightly before entry point and then to let the bike roll in the curve and let on the throttle gradually upon exit.
This sounds like you are coasting through the turn, which could be a big part of your problem. As soon as you're done braking for the turn you need to crack open the throttle. Keep it open enough to maintain your speed while at full lean. This will properly distribute your weight between front and rear and will make you much more planted. Then add more throttle as you stand the bike back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This sounds like you are coasting through the turn, which could be a big part of your problem. As soon as you're done braking for the turn you need to crack open the throttle. Keep it open enough to maintain your speed while at full lean. This will properly distribute your weight between front and rear and will make you much more planted. Then add more throttle as you stand the bike back up.
Very likely, and could be a result of my lines or lack thereof. Some curves i can keep a line and others i misjudge when to start leaning in and lean too tight, just to re-adjust my line and screw with speed and weight distribution.

Ultimately I am going to need to do a few track days, but i just cannot afford to at the moment. My hopes are that I can be able to, as the more i ride my bike the more i want to turn it into a track bike and have a different bike for street use. But that is probably years from happening.
 

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Agreed with Jamie. You brake, shift weight bias onto the front tire, unload the rear, lean hard, and the rear tire skitters about. The rear tire is b***** for a reason, give it a little bit of gas so that the bike has properly distributed weight and can do its job.

Secondly set your suspension sag (go to you tube for a how to) and look around on 636 specific forums for rebound/compression setting advice for your weight.

edit - and please be careful. Not your personal playground out there and there's likely to be other people out there too that could run wide right into you.
 

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I don't think your rear tire is actually sliding on you, on Palomar Mountain in second gear. It's much more likely that it is just wearing off the flat spot it has developed from not being leaned over very much. Worn rear tires feel rather squirrely in cornering, and you have to just get used to it.

I would practice going UP Palomar for the most part. In so doing you would require very little in the way of braking at all due to the grade, and at the same time will have enough weight on the rear wheel to be certain it isn't going anywhere. Then turn around and come down slowly, practicing your form and transitioning from braking to cornering with very little throttle involved (again, the grade will keep your front wheel weighted).

One helpful thing about Palomar is that all the turns are virtually identical. There are none that can't be handled at a sedate 30-40 mph, so you can lock that in your brain and maintain a confidence that as long as you stay within that target range, there's no need to worry about anything.

KeS
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't think your rear tire is actually sliding on you, on Palomar Mountain in second gear. It's much more likely that it is just wearing off the flat spot it has developed from not being leaned over very much. Worn rear tires feel rather squirrely in cornering, and you have to just get used to it.

I would practice going UP Palomar for the most part. In so doing you would require very little in the way of braking at all due to the grade, and at the same time will have enough weight on the rear wheel to be certain it isn't going anywhere. Then turn around and come down slowly, practicing your form and tranitioning from braking to cornering with very little throttle involved (again, the grade will keep your front wheel weighted).

One helpful thing about Palomar is that all the turns are virtually identical. There are none that can't be handled at a sedate 30-40 mph, so you can lock that in your brain and maintain a confidence that as long as you stay within that target range, there's no need to worry about anything.

KeS
Going up is no doubt easier to do than going down, and i also brake more when i am coming downhill rather than uphill. I don't ever go side to side or remotely close to others, I like to keep my distance and if other riders are on my ass i move over and signal them to pass. Cars are a whole different story, i just pull over and wait for them to go. Thank cars do the same for me when i get right behind them on Palomar.

I am stopping by a gas station to check out how much air is in my tires. They are supposed to be about 42 PSI, but I really want to say that they are much lower than that. My buddy was telling me to run less air in my tires when doing any sort of twisties on our kind of bikes, which I do not know if that is true or not. Later this week I will re-adjust the suspension of my bike and my forks.
 

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Going up is no doubt easier to do than going down, and i also brake more when i am coming downhill rather than uphill. I don't ever go side to side or remotely close to others, I like to keep my distance and if other riders are on my ass i move over and signal them to pass. Cars are a whole different story, i just pull over and wait for them to go. Thank cars do the same for me when i get right behind them on Palomar.

I am stopping by a gas station to check out how much air is in my tires. They are supposed to be about 42 PSI, but I really want to say that they are much lower than that. My buddy was telling me to run less air in my tires when doing any sort of twisties on our kind of bikes, which I do not know if that is true or not. Later this week I will re-adjust the suspension of my bike and my forks.
Lower your pressure. I run the Continentals on the F4i and I found that 35/35 worked well for twisty runs. 32/32 felt flat, and the usual 38/42 I run for commuting is too stiff. I have the same issues with the rear feeling like it's stepping out, but I'm chalking it up to the flat spot from commuting so I just don't even try to push these tires that hard. I also seriously need to get my suspension setup, but from what I've read the front needs to be resprung/revalved to set for my weight and I don't have the cash for that right now.
 

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Not to be a douche or anything, but being on a motorcycle i am likely to get hurt by virtually anything.
Sorry, I have to agree with ZorroX. You shouldn't push yourself that hard on the street. There are far too many variables and while you may not care if you're going to get to hurt, or wreck, or go down, you might take someone else out in the process, and that's just not okay.
 

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So anyhow, on my second lap I felt that I was breaking from the rear on entry point to each corner too much. I remembered the talks on here about using the front brake lightly before entry point and then to let the bike roll in the curve and let on the throttle gradually upon exit. I felt off with myself as I know I could have done better.
Not sure what you're saying here, but on Palomar south grade (tight side), on a 636 in second gear, I can think of no reason why I would ever touch the rear brake.

KeS
 

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This is the point where you need to go to the track and get some competent guidance and instruction, before you hurt yourself.

Going up is no doubt easier to do than going down, and i also brake more when i am coming downhill rather than uphill. I don't ever go side to side or remotely close to others, I like to keep my distance and if other riders are on my ass i move over and signal them to pass. Cars are a whole different story, i just pull over and wait for them to go. Thank cars do the same for me when i get right behind them on Palomar.

I am stopping by a gas station to check out how much air is in my tires. They are supposed to be about 42 PSI, but I really want to say that they are much lower than that. My buddy was telling me to run less air in my tires when doing any sort of twisties on our kind of bikes, which I do not know if that is true or not. Later this week I will re-adjust the suspension of my bike and my forks.
I *very* much doubt that your tire pressures are supposed to be 42 psi. If that's the number on the side of the tire, that does NOT mean the recommended pressure for anything; that's the MAXIMUM pressure allowed for ANY application. Your owners manual will have a better number for what your pressure should be.

PhilB
 
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Weenie <-- not ever gonna take a chance to ride fast on curves on a public road on my new 2012 CBR600: but after riding for 6 months on this bike, I'm starting to think that I want to try and ride fast on curves for fun so...

Consolation: tells self to wait until I can get a bike that I can crash a few times in an environment where it will not kill me"--plan on getting a used 250cc bike an ride on a track going out for fun to learn and get better...on a track where I will likely only end up with a mostly bruised ego from crashes instead of something serious.

Crashed plenty of times on a dirt bike, and know that crashes can instantly reinforce bad riding decisions are not exactly fun...some day maybe this summer I'll have enough extra dinero to get that used 250cc and try out some track days. Definately on my list of to do stuff. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not sure what you're saying here, but on Palomar south grade (tight side), on a 636 in second gear, I can think of no reason why I would ever touch the rear brake.

My inexperience had me going into the corner too fast so i slowed down before i felt comfortable to lean and throttle through. The course is not too complicated to remember, but it isn't engraved in my head yet.

KeS
Take it to the track...where you can actually do laps.
When i have the funds, or a second bike for commuting I will. As much as i didn't see myself doing track days, going up and down Palomar just gave me a reason to do it. Even if it was just to learn the proper body positioning technique and about proper line posture and weight distribution.

This is the point where you need to go to the track and get some competent guidance and instruction, before you hurt yourself.

I *very* much doubt that your tire pressures are supposed to be 42 psi. If that's the number on the side of the tire, that does NOT mean the recommended pressure for anything; that's the MAXIMUM pressure allowed for ANY application. Your owners manual will have a better number for what your pressure should be.

PhilB
That is good to know, I actually did think it was the recommended pressure when i read it.
 
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