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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:51 pm 
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Hi all. I recently put a 17 inch wheel set on my 96 650 and am trying to sort out the riding manners of my bike. I am running a 4.25 rear wheel with 150-60-17 and 3.50 front with a 120-70 -17, both michelin pilot power. I took it for a test ride today and all seemed fine except that the bike seems more inclined to turn and continue turning than before. I expected this to some extent as the front of the bike has been lowered by the tire/ wheel swap, but when in a turn the bike wants to keep turning and will tend to turn continuously sharper if I do not resist it doing so. Throttle and brake input do not seem to have a significant effect on this. When the bike was stock I could just about let go of the bars mid turn and if anything the bike would have a slight tendency to straighten itself, which is pretty much on par with other bikes I have ridden.

I am trying to do one thing at a time, and initially rode the bike with the new front tire and old rear one, just so I could have one known good tire in case one had an issue, be it balance or otherwise, especially since I laced these wheels myself and have never done so before. The feeling of falling into the turn was more pronounced with the old rear wheel/ tire, which is a larger diameter than the new one, so I suspect that the new rear tire having effectively lowered the rear a bit brought things back in the right direction and moving more in the same direction may get me where I need to be. The bike feels stable in a straight line and has excellent responsiveness and initial turn in, but the feeling once I’m in the turn just feels unnatural to me.

I have a set of .47 kg/mm straight rate front springs (advertised at 25% stiffer than stock) that I have not installed yet. I plan to do those and change the fork oil next. Being as the bike only acts poorly mid turn, I’m hoping the stiffer front may do good enough to set the turning manners right. I don’t know if it is otherwise possible to raise the front of the bike, as that is preferable to me as opposed to lowering the rear. I don’t want ground clearance getting to be an issue in the turns. Worst case I suppose I will have to resort to lowering the rear a bit. I have a Procycle 7.5 rear spring which is supposed to be 16% stiffer than stock. Hopefully going with stiffer springs and a slightly raised front or lowered rear will sort things for me.

Sorry for such a long post and I much appreciate everyone’s time. I’m mostly wondering if anyone has had similar experiences with odd steering after a wheel swap or suspension change such as I have done, and what they did to set it right. I did some reading and most of what I could turn up were issues caused by tire pressure or wear. My tires are new and currently at 25 psi front and rear, and I played with both a bit, moving them between 20 and 30 psi with no real significant changes. I really don’t know much about the suspension and steering geometry of a motorcycle, so at this point I figure my best bet is try to set it as close to stock as I can to regain the characteristics of the stock setup. If anyone can give any input please do. I much appreciate it. Also, I'll upload a couple pics tomorrow for anyone interested.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:21 pm 
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SuperMoto Dude
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i think that's fairly universal the first time you jump on a tard, they just fall into the corner especially coming off a bike with a 21 inch front wheel. coming off a road bike it's less pronounced but still there.

it's probably fine but in my experience they only other thing would be a badly worn front tyre (e.g. worn on the sides a fair bit) or the wrong size tyre for the rim.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:50 pm 
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Adventure Rider
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This is basically caused by 3 things:

- Increased steering head angle (front sits lower). Not really a bad thing. Lowering the rear will only help so much (because: )
- 17" front wheel in a leading axle fork leads very little trail in the fork geometry (compare the forks of a Husky 701 Enduro vs Sumo: no leading axle on the Sumo)
- and of course a smaller front wheel offers less gyroscopic stabilizing effect (one of the reasons why we love a 21" wheel offroad).

I had Sumo wheels on a 650 once, and if you were in a spirited hurry on a twisty road, they were bloody brilliant, pure fun! However, going with the traffic flow, in the rain, on mini roundabouts I found them utterly shite. I had to counter steer to prevent the bike from falling into roundabouts.

Sold them.

If I were you I'd find a buyer for the 17" and buy or trade against a 19" front.

Ps: improving the suspension is always a good idea, simpy because stock is really soft. It will not fix the falling into corners unfortunately...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:47 pm 
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Thanks guys. I spent some more time riding today and it feels a little better now that I am getting used to it. I played with tire pressure some more and ended up at 26 in front and 28 in rear. I took some preload out of the rear (was near all the way up) which effectively lowered the rear about an inch and seemed to help a bit as well. I still only scraped my pegs a little and that was near full tilt, so hopefully I should be in good shape once I get the suspension stiffened up a little. I thought about a 19 inch front, but decided on a 17 for the availability of performance tires. The bike feels plenty stable going straight and is manageable enough now in the turns. Like you say Max Kool, it's great when you are really leaning on it, just a little annoying when you are poking along with traffic.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:03 pm 
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I know the feeling....LOL I went the poor man's motard route on my chinese bike... ninja 250 rims were a drop in but damn... the switch from an 18/21 combo to 16s with 110/80 front and 130/80 rear was a bit interesting to get used to....LOL it WANTED to turn... hella fun on cloverleaf exits though....LOL


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:52 pm 
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MSF Student
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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When I put my 17" supermoto wheels on I move the rear shock lower bolt to the upper hole. This helps level the bike although it will still fall into turns.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:03 pm 
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Well, I ended up putting the preload back up near full stiff at least until I can get my new springs in. As I am getting comfortable with the bike and pushing it harder I have found myself scraping the bottom more and more, and for now I can use the ground clearance more than the extra stability. Either way tire pressure seems to have more effect on things than ride height at this point. I'm currently at 28 cold front and rear. The bike is so much fun in the twisty parts I suppose I'm willing to deal with it being a bit ill mannered the rest of the time. Plus the softer rear was messing with my wheelies. Thanks again guys. It helps to know I'm not experiencing anything too much different from everyone else.

Couple pics just for the hell of it...

Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:08 pm 
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Adventure Rider
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This is typical of supermoto conversions. You lose a lot of trail and it steers and feels different. It's one reason why you see supermoto racers backing it in to the corners rather than taking a traditional (faster) 'leaned way over' roadracing line.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:53 am 
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Max Kool wrote:
This is basically caused by 3 things:
roundabouts I found them utterly shite. I had to counter steer to prevent the bike from falling into roundabouts.

f*** round-abouts man. I just got like 6 put in in a row where I live. Six. In a row.

If theres no one around I just hop them :bumps: . It's more fun.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:30 pm 
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Trail Rider
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:52 am
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Location: California
I already repositioned the rear shock to sit a little lower before I installed the 17" wheels. Yes it does turn faster in a slow turn but I got used to it. I just love the way the bike handles with the Motard wheels now. I switch back to my 21/17 stock wheels when ever I go Dual sport riding and the bike feels like the stock bike with slower turns which is fine in the dirt.

I changed out my exhaust and upgraded to the Mikuni 40mm flat slide carborater, world of difference in power that made me change to a 16 tooth counter shaft sprocket to handle that extra power. On the rode is where I found those wheels to work for me. Give it a little time and if you ever upgrade to those mods, you'll really appreciate the extra power and those wheels!


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