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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got an 04 Ninja 500.....and this bike scares me. It scares me because it handles like total crap...either that, or I just have no clue how to ride it. I entered a 90 degree corner at between 30 and 35 mph..which would be no problem for my car. I went outside, inside, outside...had the bike at FULL lean and dragged the footpeg on the entry. I started looking ahead to where my exit point should've been, but as I went through the corner, all I felt the bike doing was pushing...it didn't seem to want to dig into the corner at all, it just fought me the entire way, until it finally took me right off the road by about 1 inch, where my tires hit the dirt/grass so I frantically jerked it back straight and got the bike squirrely for a second before I could get it back onto the road. I don't understand it...I can lean it clear over, but it just refuses to turn. Could this just be the crappy stock tires...poor suspension setup....or my inability to ride? It's only got 2000 miles on it, and was never laid down, but it was tipped over twice.

Thanks all.
 

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I don't think it has anything to do with the bike, but I could be wrong. I just think your not used to turning (countersteering) a m/c.
 

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The first thing that comes to mind when I read what happened is you weren't gradually accelerating through the corner. If you just tried to go through the corner off of the throttle the bike will veer way out and feel like it won't turn. Were you on the throttle steady through the turn? Also, you sound like a new rider, did you get "target fixation" IE were you looking where the bike was going or where you wanted to go, that is a big part of it too. When going through a corner do not look where you are going, look where you want to end up. Also, it's not the bike, unless there is something wrong with it. I know guys who race EX500's and they do fine cornering. Hope something I said applies to you.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I entered the corner off the throttle, and then rolled on it lightly but I backed off it again when I started feeling it not wanting to turn.. I know accelerating stabalizes the bike through a corner....but shouldn't it also widen the turn? It's just hard for me to visualize a bike turning sharper while on the throttle...
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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countersteering?

msf?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was counterweighting the best I know how.....

Yeah, I took the MSF course, but not the advanced rider course. I did real good in the course, but then the course doesn't practice high speed cornering...
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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counterweighting or countersteering?

sounds like you came in, cranked her over, hit the peg, freaked out, brought it back up.
 

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It's not the bike.

It's not the bike. I have the same bike and it corners like a motherfucker. Sounds like your countersteering and leaning aren't working together well.

I'm new to.

My first few attempts at a decent corner at a decent speed had the same results. Tried a few times and figured it out.

You gots to countersteer and lean together whilst staying on the throttle.

The bike will corner well if you do it right. Start slower and slowly build up speed 5 km/h at a time or m/h for you.
 

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RACER X said:
counterweighting or countersteering?

sounds like you came in, cranked her over, hit the peg, freaked out, brought it back up.
+1.......You've got to relax too. I'm not sayin you are a noob cause I don't know you, but take that same corner slower, and then gradually increase your speed until you feel comfortable. Once you get outside your comfort zone, there is the potential for disaster. I don't ride like a maniac on the street because there are way too many variables. If I were you, I'd look into some track days. It will only make you a better rider in the end.

Be safe. :)
 

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GSXRGUY said:
+1.......You've got to relax too. I'm not sayin you are a noob cause I don't know you, but take that same corner slower, and then gradually increase your speed until you feel comfortable. Once you get outside your comfort zone, there is the potential for disaster. I don't ride like a maniac on the street because there are way too many variables. If I were you, I'd look into some track days. It will only make you a better rider in the end.

Be safe. :)

My sentiments exactly. Don't ride too aggressivley (sp?) on the streets, you aren't going to like the end result, you just never know what's at the other end of that corner. Save it for the track, it's alot more fun being able to go all out and not having to worry about some old lady not paying attention to the road taking you out.
 

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unless you are turning around in a parking lot you don't want to counterweight the bike. countersteering is for cornering with speed. push forward with your left hand, the bike turns left. it sounds weird but thats what happens. you don't have to push it that far, but just a little bit. it helps the bike lean and turn in better.
 

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when u are off the gas in a turn all the weight is transfered to the front which is bad, you need to keep constant throttle throughout the turn and slightly accelerate. the idea is to keep it in the correct rpm range so that 60% of the weight is on the rear tire (according to TOTW2 if im remember)
 

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Running wide in a turn? Went through the same thing this past sunday and got some schooling.
1. Not looking through the turn. Ongoing problem since I crashed is being cornershy and looking at the surface instead of through the turn.
2. Apex the corner too soon. BINGO! If you're already on the inside of the turn before the apex you will run wider than you intend. Plus you have to lean much farther to make the corner because you've in effect made it sharper.
 

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steeltoe said:
Running wide in a turn? Went through the same thing this past sunday and got some schooling.
1. Not looking through the turn. Ongoing problem since I crashed is being cornershy and looking at the surface instead of through the turn.
2. Apex the corner too soon. BINGO! If you're already on the inside of the turn before the apex you will run wider than you intend. Plus you have to lean much farther to make the corner because you've in effect made it sharper.

I was thinking the exact same thing, the way he describes it, and especially being a new rider, it sounds like that's what he did. New riders are notorious for "target fixation" or looking at the road under them, when they should be looking at the road ahead of them.
 

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The EX250 aand EX500 both have super soft suspensions. <----- Bad thing.

Read the following books.

A Twist of the Wrist
Sport Riding Techniques
Total Control
 

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I have the Sportsriding techniqes book too. Its awsome and I've learned a lot from it. Also, check out Twist of The Wrist II, it has some great info that will also teach you how to stay outa trouble.
 

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HalfLiterBeater said:
I've got an 04 Ninja 500.....and this bike scares me. It scares me because it handles like total crap...either that, or I just have no clue how to ride it. I entered a 90 degree corner at between 30 and 35 mph..which would be no problem for my car. I went outside, inside, outside...had the bike at FULL lean and dragged the footpeg on the entry. I started looking ahead to where my exit point should've been, but as I went through the corner, all I felt the bike doing was pushing...it didn't seem to want to dig into the corner at all, it just fought me the entire way, until it finally took me right off the road by about 1 inch, where my tires hit the dirt/grass so I frantically jerked it back straight and got the bike squirrely for a second before I could get it back onto the road. I don't understand it...I can lean it clear over, but it just refuses to turn. Could this just be the crappy stock tires...poor suspension setup....or my inability to ride? It's only got 2000 miles on it, and was never laid down, but it was tipped over twice.

Thanks all.
30 mph and a 90 degree corner, but at what radius?

At 30 mph counter-weighting is a no-no. Counter-steering is required.

It sounds like you have experience with 4-wheels. You could be turning the bars the wrong way due to your automotive experience. If you brake or let off the throttle or give it a lot of juice in a corner the bike will tend to stand up and lessen the lean angle. Pushing the inside bar to tighten up the turn is the only thing you need to do.

There are a lot of variables in play, lean angle, slip angel, inertia, suspension travel, weight shift, etc. You have to start all over at the begining. Don't expect to match you cars ability right off the bat. Take the corner at half you car's speed and work up to the bike's limits. I know it sucks to go backwards, especially if you are adept with 4 wheels, but it's the only way to learn. We all started at the beginning.
 
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