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Discussion Starter #1
went on my longest ride to date with my new sv & had a couple of scares; was wondering if anyone could help or at least teach me some stuff about sportbike handling. i have ridden dirtbikes, cruisers, pretty much since i was 10 or so, but have never had this happen before.

here are the facts as i know them.

i am only 5'7 & a buck thirty five.

the rear shock preload is on 3 the best i can tell & there are 3 lines showing on the fronts.

i just am not able to keep the ass end of the bike down at all. every tight curve seems to be a struggle with the rear end wanting to kick out; really "squirrelly" if that is a word. a couple of really bad scares tonight, where the rear just felt like it was gone.

at this point i dont know if its my weight, riding style, shocks, what it could be. any suggestions appreciated.
 

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Do you lean off the bike or stay very upright?? My guess is your staying very upright and leaning agianst the lean of the bike....I hope someon else can shed more light on this
 
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We've got some bona fide suspension experts here, but just me shootin' from the hip I'd cut the rear preload down to nothing and try it again; see what changes and adjust again. With your weight (or lack thereof) and the SV's heavy rear spring you may just be ridin' a hardtail. With only two adjustments available on the SV's suspension you can't go too far wrong...)

You've got some experience with bikes already, so I assume you've already eliminated any mechanical failure or misadjustment (like chain tension, tire pressure) as the culprit.

:)
 

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You may think this is silly to ask, but just in case.... are you using your rear brake?
 

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I allso started on dirtbikes and when I was on my dirtbike I was allways in the habit of leaning the bike and not leaning with the bike. I would be allmost upright. Try leaning with the bike. Now I lean alot with the bike when I'm on my dirtbike and with my sv. I would try backing your prelaod to the softest setting I kinda went through the opposite I'm 5'9" 205 so I was working the stock suspension too much so i would feel as if the rear tire was breaking loose i have allso been going through this on my sv1000 till I finaly adjusted the prelaod up alot and its way better. oh what year is your bike and how many miles are on it your rear shock could be worn out
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the replys

i use the rear brake a bit i guess; can't use the front cause it just shifts all the weight off the back even more; pushing the nose down.

i don't know if i can really explain it correctly but rear never feels planted in the curves; almost like it's fish-tailing out.

i actually stopped at first to check if the tire was flat or something.

is the lowest setting the softest? like i need to be on 1 in the rear and leave front @ 3?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
lol. no armor all. stock bike with 2k miles. rear @ 35 front @ 33psi.

i leaned as i always have before; but it is possible that i am not leaning enough i guess; would that cause this to happen?
 

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heres the key...slow down before a turn then accelerate out of it. Don't brake in the middle of a turn. You being not so heavy, and using the rear brakes in a turn can spell disaster. If you're already in a turn but is going a lil too hot, just engine brake A LITTLE BIT!!! slowly let out the clutch and don't downshift to a lower gear, that'll make your tail slide like hell. But the easiest way to do it is, slow in accel out :-D
 

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I agree with the above post; don't use the rear brake AT ALL while you are turning... slow in and accelerate out, but you should never have to let off the throttle completely and if you do just keep working on your technique. The bike is only stable under throttle application.

If that isn't the problem drop your air pressure to 30PSI or so. If it is at 35PSI when its cold then by the time it heats up you could be at around 40 which would cause the rear end to feel pretty sketchy (I've made that mistake myself).

-josh

p.s. what tires are you running? Are you on a fuel injected SV with the Dunlops or the 99-02' Carburated model with the crummy Metzler Z4s?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
fi with dunlops.

thanks for all the tips.

the trip was through some pretty twisty roads; i didn't think it would be a problem, have ridden it quite alot in the past on my intruder, 883, ect.

but maybe too advanced for me just having gotten this bike. feel like i need to relearn how to ride again seems like.

btw, when they say put suspension at softer in the rear; is that on #1?
 

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The higher the number the greater the spring preload (making it stiffer)

1 being the softest
7 being the hardest
 

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Try approaching a curve at a comfy speed and then rolling on the gas a bit to settle the bike down just before the apex (ideally just after the apex, but at a slow, comfy pace, you should feel the back end get planted by using the throttle).
 

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Your back shock should be adjusted to be sure the bike has 33mm of sag with you on it in full gear. Have a friend help you measure and adjust it. Once you get that sorted out work on throttling out of turns more smoothly.

Under200
 

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Newdriver said:
I agree with the above post; don't use the rear brake AT ALL while you are turning... slow in and accelerate out, but you should never have to let off the throttle completely and if you do just keep working on your technique. The bike is only stable under throttle application.

If that isn't the problem drop your air pressure to 30PSI or so. If it is at 35PSI when its cold then by the time it heats up you could be at around 40 which would cause the rear end to feel pretty sketchy (I've made that mistake myself).

-josh

p.s. what tires are you running? Are you on a fuel injected SV with the Dunlops or the 99-02' Carburated model with the crummy Metzler Z4s?
I would not drop pressure to 30, 33 maybe cause yer a lightweight, recommended COLD pressures take into account that they heat up and build up pressure

I an wondering if you even have the tires heated up,

as already mentioned do you slowing down before you get to a corner, and accelerate thru & out, make sure your not cross leaning, staying straight with the bike shouldn't be a problem , and maybe yer just leaning into the previous owners chicken strips that haven't been scrubed in yet
 

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I may have missed where you gave the model S or N but if you are using clipons, make sure they are at the height you want. If you clipons are too low it will sharpen the steering and make the rear feel light. Also, I've heard people talk about spring preload at the rear but check the ride height too. If the back end is kicked up in the air it will also sharpen the steering by putting a bunch of weight on the front.

Other than that, make sure you keep a light grip on the bars so you don't magnify the bumps with your body weight. That can also cause a squirley feeling from my experience.

If there is anyone in your area with more experience (that you trust) ask them to follow you for a bit and see what they say about your technique.

Good luck and let us know if you get it figured out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
well it may not be the cause of my problems that i had the other day; but, setting rear preload down to 1 & increasing front preload; the bike does feel a bit better balanced now.

haven't gotten to ride much with the new setup yet, but already noticed that the front feels more stable & doesn't dive nearly as much when i have to get off the throttle.

are there any problems with running more preload on the front, with the rear at 1?

i hope to figure this out someday, thanks for the help.
 

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Not trying to tell you what to do, but I never felt planted on the stock Dunlop D220's. I switched to the D208 and the bike handles like a dream.
Also try to slow down a little in the turn. Try finding a decent patch of road less traveled by cagers and ride it over and over while working on your form.
I've also found a couple books handy on riding skills and form. Try to find something like this. I've got a few, like Street Riding Techniques. That's the only one I can think of right now.
My roommate has an SV also. He's about 140 and has the rear spring preload set at #3. I've got mine at #6 and I'm 215.

Don't worry, just slow down a bit until the bike feels more comfortable.

Good luck!
 
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