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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys (Gals),
I'm still trying to get used to riding my SV650 (2002 naked). When I'm cornering, it seems that I'm always having to fight to keep the wheel from turning in too quickly. I've never experienced this on a bike before. I'm starting to wonder if there is a problem with my bike maybe with something bent / broken. Is this just because of the bike having different front end geometry than I'm used to?

I've been riding casually since 1983. I've ridden Honda 1974 CB750, 1975 CB400F, 1982 CB450, and a 1996 Suzuki Katana 750, in the past. I currently own my SV, a 1998 Ninja 250 and my Wife's bike, a Suzuki GZ250. I've never felt this type of feedback in a turn on any of those bikes.

Not sure if I'm just not dealing well with the different bike. Any suggestions?

Anyone near North Pinellas County, FL, want to stop by and take it for a spin and see what you think?
Regards,
Mike M.
 

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Wow, lots of stuff here.  Let's start by getting a little more info.

How long have you had it?
Mileage?
When during the turn are you having issues?
Does it really want to 'fall' into the turn?
How much of your fork tubes are showing above your top triple?
What kind of tires are on the bike?  Pressures?
Any suspension mods done to the bike?

These should get us started with ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, that was fast. Let me try and answer.

I bought the bike in September of 05. It was dropped by the PO and sat in his garage for 2 years before I bought it. Fork tubes were bent, but I removed them and had them professionally straightened, then put new fork seals on when I put it back together. Used 15W oil and filled it to the spec in the FSM. The fork action seems smooth with no binding and no oil leaks. Apart from the forks, there was some other light scratches, but nothing that looked major. According to the PO, he layed it down in a parking lot when he was cut off. The bike went down on its right side and slid with the front tire hitting a curb.

It has around 2800 miles.

It "seems" to want to fall in to the turn, but I'm not sure if it is me and my impression of it, or not. Maybe I'm not letting the bike lean over the way it wants because I'm fighting the front tire?

There is 0.15" of fork tube above the triple, not including the cap.

The front tire is probably stock, Metz MEZ4 120/60ZR17. Rear is Metz Sportec M1 160/60ZR17. They both have decent tread. I haven't checked lately, but I think I filled the tires to 30psi.

I don't believe any suspension mods have been done. The insides of the fork tubes seemed stock and matched the FSM exactly.

I think that I'm questioning the bike because it was damaged when I bought it. Maybe that is making me a little extra paranoid.
Thanks for any suggestions!
Regards,
Mike M.
 

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Recommended tire pressure for the stock Metz is 33 psi; if you're at 30, you may pick up a "wallowing", vague feeling upon turn in. I'd try upping your pressure first and see how it feels.



For what it's worth, stock nakeds are delivered with the fork tubes flush with the top of the upper triple;



HTH...
 

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Hmmm. I'm thinking you're just not used to the SV's handling. The fork tubes aren't too far above the top triple, you're only at about 4mm. I am sitting at 8mm myself.

Even with the low mileage, you may consider replacing the front tire due to its age, and the fact that it's not the stickiest tire out there. You have the M1 on the back, and the front is a pretty mediocre sport-touring tire, at best. I'm not saying you NEED new rubber, but due to the age, it's probably not a bad idea. And most sources say if you're going to mix sticky/no-sticky tires, the sticky one should be on the front. Yours is the reverse.

Maybe try setting the forks flush at the top of the tubes (w/o cap) and see if the sensation you're feeling is lessened. If so, then you're probably just not used to the SV. It is a quick-turning bike.

Good luck, and keep us posted. :)
 

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Front tire is too low (Air Pressure).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, I'm going to up the pressure in the front tire to 33psi, and I'm going to bring the fork tubes flush with the triples. I'll take it for a spin this afternoon and let you know what I feel.
Thanks again.
Mike M.
 

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Morpheous said:
Front tire is too low (Air Pressure).
low pressure will make it turn in slower not quicker

mikemo, what size front tire have you had on your previous bikes? maybe you want to swap to a 120/70 up front the next time you replace tires instead of a 120/60

most likely you just have to get used to the geometry and quick steering of the SV, it's very easy especially at slower speeds to over steer the SV, and have to make mid turn corrections
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I'd like to nominate myself for "rookie of the year".

After reading the posts last night, I was laying there, trying to sleep. I kept thinking: "is it possible that I've never checked the front tire air pressure?".  The bike was not running when I bought it. I had to rebuild the carbs, I changed the oil, coolant and brake fluid. I tore down the front forks and rebuilt them, replaced the fuel tank... But did I ever check the air pressure???

I went out to the garage this morning with my tire pressure gauge and measured the front tire. It was a whopping 14psi! I filled the front to 33 and the rear to 36 and went for a spin. What a difference! Whatever the sensation I was feeling before was gone. Now the turns felt nice and stable, without me having to wrestle the front end.

I'm usually a lot better at things like that. What a rookie move!  I can guarantee you that I won't ever make that mistake again.
Thanks again to everyone for your help. I'm going to let it warm up a bit more and go for another ride!
Best regards,
Mike M.
 

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I'll give ya my two cents from having ridden both on the track and street as well as having a reputable shop set up my suspensions for both the street and track bikes.

It sounds to me like you are just not used the SV's nimble handling. IMO, the SV should turn in quicker than all of those other bikes that you have mentioned that you owned the past. What you ideally want a bike to do is to go into a moderate turn, turn the bike and,and be able to go really light on the grips.....meaning, that once you turn the bike in to a certain point, it should just wanna stay right there until you pull it out of the turn. It should not wanna fall in anymore, nor stand itself up. That is what a bike does if the suspension is set up correctly for your weight.

If you check all of the easy to check things like tire pressures and condition, and they seem to be OK..I would take it to a race shop that does suspension set ups and have them set it up to your weight and riding style. Chances are, if you are too far either way of 150 - 160 lbs, the suspension is not set correctly for you.

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.
 

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yeah, you posted about the drastic low tire pressure while I was typing my post above. :-\
 

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mikemo:

Don't beat yourself up too bad. Lotsa folks get caught out by the mind-numbing, routine basics because they're so simple and easy to overlook. Glad that no people or bikes got hurt during the process (14 psi! :eek:).




Fyi- You may want to keep a close eye on that front tire for a couple different reasons:


1. Not holding air might be an indication that a rim is out of round, which may impart a wobbling sensation at high speed. The PO may have crashed it, or bumped a curb, smacked a parked car, who knows. You may want to consider lifting the front end slightly off the ground (like you would if you were raising/lowering the forks) and loosen both the upper and triple clamps to straighten the angle the forks sit in the triples, and then reset your front ride height appropriately.

2. If the tire was run for long periods at speed on the freeway at 14 psi, the carcass may have gotten pretty well cooked (overheated), leading to a brittle rubber appearance and a 'sliding on ice' sensation. The MEZ 4 did not have good grip when new, imo, and cooked rubber would make it feel even worse. Add that to a 5+ year old tire which may or may not have sat outside and baked in the sun, and you have a recipe for a front tire that may not ever feel right...

Like OG said, I would strongly consider replacing the front with a good sport touring tire such as Metz Z6 to match the M1 rear for the time being, then replace the M1 rear with the companion Z6 rear when necessary.



HTH
 
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